In a previous article, we discussed the top 10 tips on how to succeed in business as a woman. Doing business as a woman instead of trying to get things done like a man is at the top of that list. Women in business have certain advantages that men don’t have, with attention to details and empathy being a couple of them.
Naturally, having the right traits alone isn’t enough. You also need the right set of basic skills to succeed as a businesswoman. Before jumping head first into the world of business, here are the basic skills you need to master.
It is safe to say that Microsoft Excel mastery is a crucial skill to have when you are a business owner. There is nothing you cannot do with Excel at your fingertips. Do you need to do accounting for your business? Excel can help you with that. Do you want to keep track of sales and productions? There are features in Excel that can help you with that too.
Having advanced Excel skills means you can cover most – if not all – of the business’s administrative tasks with ease. You don’t have to worry about investing in expensive software or relying on proprietary solutions early in the game.
Some advanced functions also help you perform specific tasks. The Excel Mod formula, for instance, is handy for figuring out waste and keeping the business optimized from the start. VLOOKUP is notoriously powerful since it connects more than one spreadsheet and lets you combine data from multiple sources.
Negotiation is a skill; it is something you can master through practice. As a business owner – especially a woman in business – you will need to do a lot of negotiating. You’ll negotiate with vendors, customers, and third-party service providers for the benefit of your business.
Keeping your negotiation skills on point means knowing your strengths and how to use them to get the best deals in every situation. You have a lot of bargaining power in today’s competitive market; it is just a matter of knowing which deals to pursue.
Good negotiation skills will also help you grow your network at a much faster rate. Oftentimes, the best partners and new sources of opportunities are found in the deals you make for your business. What started as a one-time purchase could easily turn into a long-term relationship.
The third basic skill to master is critical thinking. You need to be able assess the situation you are in from an objective perspective regardless of the situation or any problem you may be facing at the time. You also need to be able to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.
This too is a skill you can develop through practice. It isn’t easy to position yourself objectively when the fate of your business depends on the decision you make but being able to do so enables you to think critically and analyze every situation to the last detail. Besides, you already have the ability to focus on the right details on your side.