What do you do if you have a great product and marketing ideas, but no clue how to run a business? It’s wonderful to be on fire with an entrepreneurial vision, but you must ground it with practical skills to make your dreams come true.


While you may be tempted to give up or desperately seek help from someone who can steer you in the right direction, a more logical and sustainable idea might be to see your dilemma as an opportunity to fill in a missing skill gap. Online programs like TAFE business administration courses can help you get up to speed with core skills in decision-making, problem-solving, leadership, and entrepreneurial marketing.

Hard Skills & Soft Skills

Even if your business idea does not work out when tested in the real world, you’ll be armed to the teeth with marketing skills that can take you far in life. For instance, you will know how to present your business to the public, how to write like a professional, how to mingle in a business environment, how to handle a business crisis, and how to increase your business performance.

In other words, besides learning hard skills like how to read a profit and loss statement and besides learning the difference between an income statement and a cash flow statement, you will be acquiring a lot of soft skills that can determine your success in the marketplace.

Success Secrets of Highly Effective Business People

While it’s easy to get an understanding of the hard skills from any business school brochure, the soft skills that make a difference are seldom discussed. For that reason, let’s take a closer look at 5 soft skills you will also acquire as you go through a business administration course.

Business Tip #1: Learn how to present your business to the public.

How you conduct yourself in public can determine your business success. Self-awareness is essential to success. Do you know how to dress well? Do you know how to talk without mumbling, and can you present yourself as a strong, confident, and knowledgeable person?

Your body language, manner of speaking, and way of conducting yourself can make the difference between not being taken seriously and organizing a team to fulfill a compelling entrepreneurial vision.

Leadership skills are learned, and don’t come naturally.

Business Tip #2: Learn how to write like a professional.

As a business person, you will have to write to many people for different reasons – ranging from sending an email to another business or a customer to writing a short speech to present your products on a webinar. The better you write, the more clearly you communicate, the more persuasive you will be.

Good business writing is clear, straightforward, and persuasive. Untrained writing in comparison is cluttered with industrial jargon and filled with verbiage that confuses the reader. Your business partners or customers don’t have the patience to read long, rambling paragraphs, and they can detect within seconds the difference between a canned response and a thoughtfully written out answer to a query.

Business Tip #3: Learn  how to mingle in a business environment.

Businesses are not built in offices, but on golf courses, over formal dinners, and between business flights. In other words, business success is often more a result of social skills and careful networking than in simply working hard in an office. If you appear a little too introverted or rub people the wrong way, you will not be able to develop the strategic relationships you need to build your business. Small steps in learning how to mingle well in a business environment can make a difference to your bottom line.

Business Tip #4: Learn how to handle a business crisis.

Despite our best-laid plans, things can fall apart.

  • Your elegant proposal, artfully designed in every detail, may be rejected for superficial reasons.
  • Your elegant article in a top publication may be met with hateful reader’s comments.
  • Your heroic effort to balance your budget may be offset by an unexpected cost that wipes out your profits overnight.
  • Your main customer may suddenly have a business crisis that damages your monthly cash flow.

How you handle these crises will determine how long you stay in business. Many millionaires have lost it all but stayed calm enough to make it all back and more.

Business Tip #5: Learn how to increase business performance.

Business success is usually a result of hard work. But effort alone is not enough. You also have to be consistently productive and do the right things in the right order of importance.

A successful business is an organized business, but it requires a lot of testing, tweaking, and reviewing to get to that level of high efficiency. Often too, the feedback loop between what you are trying to achieve and the results you’re getting is a long one.

There are many soft skills you will have to learn to increase your own performance and that of your team. These skills are often acquired through experimentation. For instance, you can understand the principles of effective time management after a one–day seminar, but it may take as long as a month for you to learn how to effectively apply what you learned.

Beyond the Curriculum

Launching a business or growing an existing business requires a wide variety of hard skills and soft skills. While you will learn hard skills through formal education, you will also have to make an extra effort to learn soft skills through example, experimentation, and experience.

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