I have had a keen interest in entrepreneurship and small businesses since I first started using the internet and eventually made my Master’s dissertation (thesis) on the problems of starting and growing SMEs.

For any budding entrepreneur, it’s easy to get lost in the fantasy created around an idea that he or she is sure will work.

But the reality is much different. Starting out a business requires one skill which is hardly ever taught in classrooms. No matter how many strategies you learn, no matter how many business plans you make and no matter how many case studies you look at, the real world is nothing like what you get to see in the classroom.

My point? The importance of people skills. You do not have to be a student to learn these. Any entrepreneur or even a businessman in his late 40s or 50s can start to learn these skills and change his business.

Many people learn this with experience. They learn how to negotiate, when to talk to a person in a specific way and get a particular reaction, how to influence a person by the way you talk or smile, your tone of voice and your dress. The overall goals of learning these skills is to get things done! You can never be a successful businessman if you cannot get things done, and this is even important for a budding entrepreneur.

There are various such classes, courses and books for learning these skills. Sales people are often trained on how to make a sale by acting and saying a particular thing to influence a potential client. Team leaders and supervisors in many companies are trained to influence people and complete a particular task.

When you combine these skills with the knowledge of a business school, a young entrepreneur can become very successful. And even though you would still need experience you would start off way ahead of others. Businessmen who are experienced in their 40s, 50s or 60s but are having trouble with managing people and interacting with them should learn these skills. You should learn when to compromise and when not to compromise and this will help you across many areas, including your personal life.

I will not go in great detail on these topics, but you can meet counsellors and trainers in your country and city and check online to get some more ideas.

Meeting the right counselor who can improve your voice, accent, tone, dressing, and expressions, as well as improve your speaking skills and fluency in a particular language, will all eventually help in influencing people and getting things done!