Knowing what skills you need to grow your business is giving yourself the ability to reduce costs but also renew and maintain the innovative spirit in your business. Here is our list of 5 skills that are worthwhile knowing for growing your business.
Your business is off to a booming start and customers keep coming back asking for what's new or other ways that they can support or purchase from your business. You begin to think about all the skills you don't have yet to ensure you are able to reach your current and future customers, as well as expand your product offerings. While all the skills we list won't pertain to everyone's businesses, a lot of these skills are great to know in expanding your business into new ventures. Some are technical skills, while others management skills. Let's begin!
Arguably one of the easiest skills to obtain, web design is one skill we believe is vital in our current day and age. While you can pay companies like ours to build a website for your business (see our services HERE), having the ability to control your branding at a whims notice is important for major brand shifts or changes in seasons (like Christmas or Valentine's Day). Volatility in markets mean brands need to be flexible and respond quickly to changing tides. In some cases, having a web developer manager your site can leave you wondering how fast you can change your brand to meet current market demands.
Sites like Weebly, Wix, and Squarespace all offer drag and drop web site builders to help you easily get online. These platforms have free options which give new businesses the ability to easily get a website up in less than a day to start reaching customers. There is some setbacks to this as items like SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can be difficult to understand. Platforms like Weebly offer SEO guides to help you conquer these items, but this need for optimizing your search presence leads us into our second worthwhile skill.
Search Engine Optimization is the ability for a website to appear in relevant searches without having to use obscure keywords. It helps display company information like store hours, business address, phone number, and more in business search results. In other words, SEO controls whether people and other businesses can find you on the Google, Bing, or other search engines.
There are tons of services out there that offer SEO website improvements but often at a great cost. Google has attempted to help out by providing resources through the Google webmaster tools platform which gives you tips on using Schema.org mark-up as well as submitting your website for indexing through "Fetch as Google" services.
You can also find courses for SEO on YouTube, UDemy, even Coursera to help improve your SEO skills. Taking time to sharpen these skills will help you reach more people, especially as more people visit your site and business.
The next WorthWhile skill to grow your business may seem a little odd, but we will explain why it is worthwhile and important to have.
Whether you are team Apple or team Android, you have to admit that you do most everything on your phone. From updating your business facebook page, to responding to emails, even the music you play in your store probably comes from your phone or other mobile device. With a majority of search traffic on Google, Bing, and other search engines coming from mobile, having a business that caters to this trend is important.
Developing your own app for your business might not be on your list of important things to do, but it could be one of the many things that could set your business apart. Googling "should my business have an app" will yield results from experts who say it would almost be silly not to. Even just as a way for people to connect with your business in a unique way, it offers a special marketing channel for you to reach customers. You could offer specialty or exclusive deals, coupons, and more through a specialized mobile app.
Learning to build a mobile app for your business isn't an easy task, and that is why most business owners tend to avoid doing so. The idea of learning a programming or scripting language seems daunting, but it is a lot easier in 2018 than it has been in previous years. Apple Xcode even has a completely in depth tutorial to get you on the road to learning their Swift programming language. The popular "For Dummies" books are great resources to learning languages from the "dummies" level. There is also a treasure trove of online resources with complete multi-week bootcamps to get you in the deep end of app development and software engineering. Coursera.org, Codecademy, and Udemy are the most popular resources for those learning to code, while schools like General Assembly offer multi-week coding bootcamps for anyone willing to learn.
The next two worthwhile skills we believe best compliment the skills you gain from learning app development.
All of the skills above are not nearly enough to get your business growing to the next level, what you need is graphic design. Graphic design skills allow you to create interesting graphics, advertisements, and publications to help promote your brand. It isn't as simple any more to just type about your business. Considering that when customers interact with your brand, you only get a short amount of time to convey an image that will convince them to buy or use your product/service.
Graphic design skills will enable you the ability to take the interests of your target demographic and turn them into interesting designs, advertisements, and products that people will actually engage with. Taking advantage of people's increased likelihood to interact with a post is an opportunity you should not pass up.
Sites like Coursera.org are great resources for learning graphic design. Additionally, local small business associations and community colleges may hold workshops to help people learn this important business skill.
The biggest advantage of learning graphic design is the ability to increase social media engagement through well designed content. It can make or break your ability to grow your social media channels and these tend to be the most important for growing your brand awareness online.
Finally we get to our last worthwhile skill for growing your business. This honestly pertains more to App Development and Web Design more than anything, but it uses skills from the previous 4 areas and that is why we are including it in our worthwhile skills list.
UI/UX stands for User Interface/User Experience Design and it seems pretty self explanatory about what it is for. UI/UX designers command high salaries in the workforce because of the roll they play in customer retention for their brands websites and mobile applications. Bad UI/UX and you could lose current and potential customers. Some are forgiving in these areas, but ensuring that a customer's experience with your website, social media profile, and mobile app is an important task that you shouldn't trust just anyone with.
Learning this important skill requires the ability to listen to feedback from customers who interact with your business on a daily basis.
This skill is easy to learn but a little difficult to master because of how quickly acceptable design lasts in the modern world we live in. Customers tend to want businesses to feel fresh and up to date, and this is what makes this skill with web design and app development so incredibly important. SEO skills also help in UI/UX because it is centered around customer engagement and the ability to find your business.
Use sites like Coursera.org, and Udemy to learn UI/UX design. It will be well worth your time.
Combining all these skill into your business resume will help you and your business adapt to the ever changing business world. One can not simply underestimate the value that they will help bring to your business as well as to your customers.
Have any questions? Comment below and we'll try to answer them as best we can. As always, if you don't feel comfortable learning these skills, Oak Development Technologies is always here to help with Web Design (SEO included), as well as software development coming 2019!