Top 10 Business Skills You Need as a Professional

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published June 21, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Related: Top Resume Skills

Learn more about what hard skills and soft skills to put on a resume so it stands out from the others.

As a professional, having the right business skills and being able to apply them in real-life situations guarantees the progress of any organization. These skills tell you apart as a professional because they guide the key defining decisions you would take in tough situations.

In this article, we talk about the importance of business skills and highlight 10 of the most important business skills that every professional needs to guarantee success at any point in their career.

Importance of business skills

Business skills are important because almost all life's processes can be viewed from a business perspective. Therefore, you need the right business skills to excel in whatever you do. Everything you do as a professional has business implications. Business skills help you identify and access these implications, so you can make the best decisions.

As a professional, business skills allow you to market yourself to employers as the right person to fit a particular role. When you're occupying a role already, developing these skills help you excel and potentially earn promotions for your hard work.

Top 10 business skills you need as a professional

You need the following business skills to excel as a professional:

1. Negotiation tactics

You need negotiation skills throughout your professional career. They're used for negotiating salaries, contracts, and project responsibilities with colleagues. To ensure progress, you must learn to negotiate effectively and come out with the best possible deals and outcomes for yourself and the business.

Negotiation is all about having discussions with other people to come to a decision that all involved parties can agree with. Having good negotiation skills leads to building better relationships and ultimately having business success. Specifically, you'll need to put your negotiation skills to work when making a deal for your organization or asking for salary raises with your employer.

2. Leadership

Leadership skills are what make it possible for any individual to motivate a group of other individuals to achieve a set goal—in this case, business goals. You can do this by employing different strategies that best suit you and people you're leading.

Your leadership skills as a professional stem from your ability to understand your and your team's strengths and weaknesses and to be decisive enough to make the right decisions based on those facts. You must also be able to use your creativity and imagination to motivate your team with a positive attitude until you achieve your goals.

Read more: 10 Common Leadership Styles

3. Communication

Business thrives on information. Therefore, communication skills are crucial to your success as a professional. When making business plans and coming up with strategies with other professionals, communication skills are essential to deliver and understand business information effectively and to achieve business goals. You must be proficient in a range of communication skills, including written, visual, verbal, and non-verbal.

Employers value communication skills as one of the most desirable skills in the workplace, and clients also love business owners who can connect with them and their needs on a different level.

Read more: Four Types of Communication (With Examples)

4. Resourcefulness and networking

Developing a strong network of resourceful contacts is incredibly valuable in achieving business goals as businesses thrive long term when they have relationships built on trust. Therefore, you must make a conscious effort to cultivate valuable relationships with the right individuals. You must also support your professional network in their endeavours. You and your contacts can grow and learn from each other as you progress throughout your careers.

In business, you need to overcome challenges that arise in unpredictable situations. Having an expansive list of individuals with the skills you need in a given situation make you a resourceful professional. Employers value resourcefulness, and business owners must have a good network and a wealth of resources for their company to thrive.

Related: Guidelines on How to Network

5. Business development

Business development is arguably the greatest business skill you should have as a professional because it comprises all the strategies and knowledge you need to make a business grow. This skill is all about increasing the business's value in the long term by using methods that grow its market, relationships, and customers. You must have great expertise in sales, marketing, planning, and budgeting to be an excellent business developer.

6. Research

Generally speaking, research involves systematically making inquiries about a subject to reach new conclusions, identify new opportunities, and develop unique solutions. Research as a business skill involves doing the same activities to solve current business problems, identify new opportunities for the business, and develop unique business solutions.

You can use research to monitor your competitors' activities so you can always be a step ahead. Research skills also help you gain insights into what customers want so you can adjust your offerings accordingly. They ensure that you keep up to date with the current trends in your industry.

7. Project management

Project management involves a series of actions carried out within the period of initiating and completing a project. During this period, you must know how to plan, execute, and control different stages of the project to guarantee successful project completion.

A major hard skill in project management is scheduling. You must be able to break the larger project into tasks on a timeline to guarantee accountability and adequate measurement. Scheduling also entails managing the project resources so people can complete the project on time. Task management is next to scheduling as one of the important project management skills. To ensure continuity within the project, you must be able to create, assign, and manage small tasks that depend on each other and contribute to a greater business goal.

8. Community development

Highlighting community development in your resume shows that you're able to create a community around your business as a professional or a business owner. Some businesses spend a lot of money on marketing their products and services. If they were to make a community out of their market and customer base, then the cost and resources directed at marketing would be reduced significantly.

You must have the requisite skills to create a sense of togetherness and belonging in your business, bringing staff and customers together. Doing this requires you to care about your staff and customers' needs and opinions to help them solve their problems. Finding solutions to customers' problems makes them loyal customers.

9. Decision-making

Decision-making tests your ability to make the best choice amidst other options and alternatives to help any business achieve their goals efficiently. Making the right decision is based on adequate research and a good understanding of the goals a business set out to achieve. You must provide yourself with all the relevant facts before you can make good business decisions.

Intuition and critical thinking are also an essential part of decision-making skills. Sometimes, decisions come down to your intuition, and it's often beneficial to listen to your feelings after you've considered all the hard facts and data. When you make the right decision, you steer your organization in the right direction, culminating in business growth and development. When working with an employer, your decision-making skills are an asset that every employer wants to put to good use.

10. Economics skills

Having foundational knowledge in economics contributes positively to decision-making in business. The reality is that profits run businesses. Therefore, you must have the right economics skills to decide the best course of action to make a profit for the business.

Furthermore, your knowledge and understanding of key economic concepts like demand and supply, price control, and pricing strategies will help you spot and act on business opportunities effectively. Your analytical skills, coupled with critical thinking, are key economics skills every professional needs to stand out.

Read more: Analytical Skills: Essential for Every Job

As a professional, having strong business skills is essential, regardless of your industry or niche. You can use these skills to assess the overall impact of your actions and assess how they will benefit a business.

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