Skills You Must Have
to Grow a Start-up Business Effectively

See also: Self Motivation

Not everyone can lead a start-up business. The leaders who succeed here need to refine their skillset through study and experience.

Of course, more is expected of entrepreneurs today. Not only must they get their venture off the ground, but they have also got to navigate the twists and turns of an unpredictable economy. The political climate is also not very generous to businesses, and trade conditions aren’t the best.

That said, success can still be found today, though businesses must work harder for it. If you’re looking to grow your start-up during these turbulent times, then here’s a breakdown of the skills that will serve you well.

Self-Care Skills

Practising self-care may not seem like a high priority for business leaders. However, it’s the most crucial skillset an entrepreneur can have.

Running a start-up company can be a pressure-filled experience. It was reported that most of these ventures were doomed before the pandemic, and things haven’t improved since. Failure and success stand shoulder to shoulder here, and one wrong move can risk everything.

Self-care is the primary tool in your arsenal that will help you cope with these kinds of stakes. Measures to implement could be:

  • Leading a healthy lifestyle – Eat well, stay hydrated, and get plenty of exercise and sleep.

  • Adopting a healthier work-life balance – Learn to switch off your machines and appreciate time with your loved ones. Your performance may improve when you lead a more fulfilling life and have better reasons to make things work out.

  • Meditation – Setting aside a few minutes to practise mindfulness could be worthwhile.

  • Seeking out therapy – No struggle is too big or small for professional input.

  • Refusing work occasionally – Some start-ups take on too much, so manage the workflow more sustainably and set realistic expectations for what you can achieve.

Start-ups need to walk before they can run. Never lose sight of your personal needs, and take them more seriously than your professional ones. You’ll only be able to grow your start-up when you’re at your best, so keep that in mind as you go forward.

People Skills

Of course, it’s not just your own needs that matter. You must take other people’s feelings and thoughts into account too.

The best companies aren’t soulless corporate machines, as they’re often perceived to be morally questionable, which isn’t good for business. Instead, they can elicit an emotional response and keep customers and colleagues loyal through good behaviour.

Be receptive to feedback. Manage workers diligently. Develop your emotional intelligence so that you navigate tough conversations about well-being with your staff. Small start-ups can create a more personable working atmosphere, so lean into that if it fits your desired culture.

Business leaders are becoming increasingly aware of their employee’s struggles. Develop your sense of empathy if required, and try to be a more approachable start-up leader. Fine-tune your listening skills. If you can build a genuine rapport with your staff, they may work harder in their roles.

Retention rates could also be kept down when staff are treated well. As your start-up grows, it’s essential to have long-term employees occupying key roles. They’ll know the business better than the rest and may help it grow with more precision and finesse than a newcomer would.

Leadership Skills

Good leadership involves elements of self-care and people skills. However, there are plenty of other ways to develop your aptitude for managing others.

It may be a good idea to enrol on an accredited online leadership course. Some of these offerings combine theory and practice and are specially designed for leaders and managers at all levels. Improving your leadership skills through a tailored program often only demands 6-7 hours of your time per week and may last for a couple of months only. It’s easy to schedule around running your start-up.

Consider getting back in touch with the mentor figures in your life, too. They could offer vital guidance if you’re unsure of any decisions that involve growing your business. Perhaps they could caution against making mistakes that they once made, too?

Set your ego aside. Remember that you may not always have the answers to every conundrum you encounter. Utilise resources or confide in trusted parties, and you should always be able to find a path forward when growing your business.

Financial Skills

Requiring financial skills to grow a business might seem obvious. However, given that so many start-ups fail, there are obviously too many entrepreneurs who get things wrong here.

You should ask for help not only in refining your leadership skills but also in managing the financial side of your start-up. Your business can’t grow without a steady cash flow.

Look into how a business loan from Capalona can give your company a boost. A loan can be used for expansion, refurbishments, and investments, giving you multiple ways to enhance your company for the better. Approach a lender only when you have a plan in place so that you can potentially hit the ground running once any funds are secured.

Maintain strong budgeting and auditing practices too. After all, it’s no use taking out loans if money is regularly being squandered. Keep reviewing these matters or hire an accountant. Can marketing projects be pulled if they’re not generating conversions? Is there too much outsourcing? Are employees underperforming? You may need to make some tough decisions, but they could benefit your start-up long term.

Data Analysis Skills

Most of the points raised so far can be analysed through data. Customer feedback, employee satisfaction, financial needs, market research – it can all be fed into charts and graphs at some stage.

Some start-up leaders will instruct their employees to decipher all of this crucial information. However, it may be more prudent for you to break it down yourself. That way, your start-up’s findings can be presented to you unfiltered by others’ interpretations.

Learning marketing metrics is also advisable. Search Engine Optimisation determines your web presence and how often you’re seen by people browsing the internet. Do you have the correct keyword strategies implemented to boost your visibility?

Your ability to lead a data-driven business may also inspire your staff. Prospective partners and clients could also be impressed by your efficiency. Every business decision you make will be more powerful if backed by credible information you’ve sought out and prepared. That inspires confidence in you and your growing start-up, which can pave the way to a more prosperous future.

Research Skills

Start-ups cannot grow without having the future in mind. If you’re unsure of the direction your company will go in, there’s a strong likelihood it’ll stumble and fall.

It’s important to forecast the potential future of your firm with the data you’ve gathered. However, you should also be conducting research independently to gauge the way the world is thinking. For example, though the coronavirus is not yet over, the media is still speculating on which pandemic could be next to cause worldwide devastation.

Obviously, it’s important not to treat everything you read as gospel. Still, if you can engage with multiple resources and better understand the shifting world around you, you can align your start-up’s objectives more precisely with those of the wider world.

Don’t just focus on external influences, either. Vet job candidates more rigorously, and delve deep into their backgrounds. What does their social media activity say about them? Can you authenticate all of their listed experience on their resumes? Some additional research will help you secure the best people for a role, which will give your start-up a more powerful punch.

Teaching Skills

You cannot grow your start-up alone. The knowledge you’ve accumulated should not live and die with you but instead be passed down through your workforce where applicable.

Try to be a mentor or provide training opportunities yourself. Upskill your workers wherever possible. Give them the sense that they are growing in tandem with the start-up and that the progress of one is not possible without the other.

As your business expands, more opportunities for your workforce will arise. Promotions will need to be made, and your best workers will need to compete for positions. Give those chances to staff who’ve responded best to your teachings. Recognise the potential in those you’re working with and let it shape the future of your start-up.

Patience is crucial here. Realise that much of this effort is up to your employees. They should handle learning curves well and seek to push themselves. If they can do it, you can be confident that your start-up will be in a series of good hands as it grows.

Further Reading from Skills You Need

The Skills You Need Guide to Self-Employment and Running Your Own Business

The Skills You Need Guide to Self-Employment and
Running Your Own Business

If you are thinking about running your own business, or already do so, but feel that you need some guidance, then this eBook is for you. It takes you through self-employment in easy steps, helping you to ensure that your business has more chance of success.

The Skills You Need Guide to Self-Employment and Running Your Own Business is the guide no new or aspiring entrepreneur can afford to be without!

Based on our popular self-employment and entrepreneurship content.


There are many skills you can refine that will facilitate the growth of your start-up directly. It can be a test of fortitude and commitment, so remember, this effort is more a marathon than a sprint. Realise that working on yourself and working on your start-up are intrinsically linked. Additionally, keep trying to gain deeper insights into your firm. Determine what works and what doesn’t. Growth can only be focused when your start-up has focused aims to fulfil.

About the Author

Zoe writes articles for a wide variety of career websites, blogs and magazines, has a strong understanding of current business trends, and a passion for entrepreneurism.