If you’re a new business owner, or even a seasoned one, then you may wonder what skills you need to grow your business into that special success story.

In this blog post, we explore skills that will make you transform how you run your business. Here’s a breakdown of critical skills that will make you a better leader and how to get them.

Digital Marketing

As a business owner, one of your primary activities is to market your business. And in the modern world where having an online presence is key, you need to have strong digital marketing skills. And it isn’t just enough to know marketing in general. There are specializations that will create an even stronger impact if you dive into them.

Conversion rate optimization

The goal of marketing is to get people to take action – to buy your product, sign up for your newsletter, leave a review, or do something else.

Driving marketing campaigns that lead to action is a field of its own. And I consider learning conversion rate optimization (CRO) one of the most important marketing skills there is – if not the most important one of all.

With CRO, you make sure that every customer has the best experience possible in order for them to choose you over your competitors. It’s also a way for you to leverage technology and data to increase your conversion rate.

Email Marketing

Email Marketing is an effective tool to grow your business by reaching out to prospects and current customers.

It’s a way for you to communicate with your customers directly so that you can send them timely and personalized emails. Email marketing is a beast of its own. You need to know how to use email marketing tools and how to set up campaigns.

However, for every dollar you spend on email marketing, you make a solid 46$ in return. So, it’s a basic and rewarding skill worth mastering.

Social media marketing

Social media marketing is critical to building a strong brand name and gaining customer trust. It lets you reach potential customers without having to advertise in traditional mediums.

However, it isn’t simple to get results on social media today. You aren’t just competing with other businesses, you’re competing with individual content creators too.

Making your brand work on social media is also a necessary skill to focus on. You need to focus on non-promotional content and engage people at a personal level.


Digital marketing is challenging and rewarding. And fortunately, you can easily learn all about it by doing paid online courses or by picking up skills for free on YouTube.


So far, we’ve looked at some practical marketing skills you need. You also need skills that are especially driven towards interacting directly with other people.

Negotiation is a critical activity that you have to apply in many scenarios including asking for funding and working with suppliers.

When you negotiate well, you don’t just create advantages for your own business, you also develop lasting, positive relationships with third parties.

I suggest reading books like Getting to Yes by Fisher and Uri to learn how to do just that. This particular book is powerful because it’s not about gaining what you want. Rather, it’s about truly understanding what each party needs while negotiating and getting to a point where both sides are happy.

Writing Skills

While writing skills could come under digital marketing, it’s worth mentioning separately because you need to write for more than just marketing.

As a business leader, you need to craft emails to your company, customers, and even to the public at large. For example, when you create announcements and press releases or when you want to share thought leadership content online.

Having writing skills isn’t just about having good grammar, it’s also about knowing how to write for the internet. You need to write as if you’re talking to people directly. And you need to be inspiring, interesting and present a unique point of view.

One of the best ways to improve your writing is to follow people whose writing you admire. And to try and replicate what they do. As with any skill, you can become good at writing by practicing frequently.

Financial Statement Analysis

While this skill seems intimidating, it’s actually achievable when you find a source of information.

Learning how to read your business’s financial statements will help you know how healthy your website is. You’ll know whether you’re spending too much and getting reasonable returns.

And when you know how to read your financial statements, you’ll also know what to focus on to improve your business’s health.

For startups, knowing how to read your Balance Sheet, Cash Flow statement, and Profit and Loss statements will also help you convince investors that they should invest in your business.

One of the best and easy-to-understand sources for this topic is Prof. Aswath Damodaran who is a finance professor at the Stern School of Business. Prof. Damodaran’s series of online videos are available at no cost.

Public speaking

While this isn’t a skill that’s commonly acknowledged as necessary, it is a helpful one. As a business leader, you may have to speak at webinars and conferences. You may also have to interact live with your audience. Or talk to your company as a group.

In all these cases, you need to know how to be comfortable with large groups of people. And to speak confidently while dealing with questions posed at you as you talk.

There are groups and clubs that help people build their speaking skills for free. Consider joining a chapter in such a group where you live to improve your public speaking skills.

Motivational skills

Motivational skills include emotional intelligence, leadership skills, and emotional awareness. Such skills help you resolve interpersonal conflicts and bring out the best in other people.

Did you know that 21% of people feel unappreciated at work? And as much as 79% of all employees leave a great company because they believe that they aren’t appreciated.

You can pick up motivation skills by learning about behavioral psychology with books and online courses. And follow thinkers in this field online to get updated with great strategies to keep your employees productive and happy.


Your business’s ability to grow depends on your skills. You need to be updated with the latest industry trends and also have skills that help you run your business better.

I’ve mentioned some of the most critical skills a modern business leader needs to grow their business. As you can see, they’re varied and challenging – which is par for the course when you run a business.

You need to manage the various critical aspects of your business by building different skills. The best way to do this includes reading books, doing courses, and getting advice from mentors.

As you gain more experience and increase your skill level, you’ll also see improvement in your business too.