7 Essential Skills For Entrepreneurs To Learn

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If you’re an entrepreneur looking to improve your skills, you have definitely come to the right place. Whether you’re new to business or you’ve been running yours for years, improving on your skills is an essential part of being a business owner. Whilst it may be overwhelming to choose at first, there are lots of skills you can be working on that will help benefit your business in the long run. From web design to customer service, the more you’re doing to help the growth of your business the better. With that in mind, here are 7 essential skills for entrepreneurs to learn: 

Web Design And Development

When it comes to running your own business, ensuring you’re able to operate online is essential. Whether this is through social media channels or your business’ website, more and more people are looking to purchase products online. 

If you already have a website, learning web design skills will allow you to make improtant updates and changes to your site without having to rely on others. If you don’t have a website, learning web design and development skills will give you the opportunity to create one. For a guide to setting up your own business website, you can visit this site here. 

Branding & Marketing

Branding and marketing are essential when it comes to running any business so if you’re looking a skill that you’re definitely going to use during your time as an entrepreneur, this is the one. Whether you’re learning how to create branding guidelines or you’re discovering all of the ways in which you can market your business to your target audience, the more you know in these two areas the better. Luckily, there are lots of branding and marketing courses available for you to do. 

Social Media Management

Social media is another vital part of any business and if you’re looking to grow your brand online, the more social media skills you have the better. This could mean taking an in-depth look at a particular platform or learning how each of them can help you in different ways. In most cases, each social media platform will serve a different purpose for you and as a result, it’s important for you to learn where to position yourself. 

For more information when it comes to learning more about social media, you can visit this site here. 

Customer Service

Customer service is essential to every business owner, so if you have the opportunity to improve your skills you definitely should consider it. Whether this means learning about the importance of hiring a customer service team or learning how to improve your own skills, you need to be sure you’re providing a good service every time. 

For more information in regards to customer service for your business, you can visit this site here. 

Financial Management 

Another great skill to have as a business owner is financial management, as this will ensure you’re able to keep on top of your own finances. Although you may want to hire an accountant for the more difficult aspects of running your own business, learning how to keep track of your money each month is important. If you want to take a more in-depth course, that may be an option further down the line. 

Public Relations

If you’re looking to increase the reach of your business but you don’t know where to begin, improving your skills in public relations can help. From learning how to approach media professionals to delving into the world of PR disasters, having these skills will certainly help you in the future. 

If you’re looking to start featuring your business in the news, this is the best place to start. 

Photography 

Finally, improving your skills in photography is a great way to ensure you’re able to take great product photos. Although you may want to hire a photographer for your professional website photos, being able to take high-quality photos that can be used on social media will give you the opportunity to post much more frequently. If you don’t have a camera, you may also want to consider a course in mobile photography. 

Although there are lots of skills you should be learning as a business owner, it doesn’t mean you have to learn them right away. These are all things you will slowly pick up as your business grows. 

What other skills do you need to learn? Have we missed anything off of the list? Let us know your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below. 

SMEs and Professionals Unite During this time of Crisis!

The effect of the corona virus (COVID-19) won’t be just on people’s health, but it will have an effect on the world’s economy and people’s mental health. Here is a good podcast of the World Economic Forum that you can follow:

The International Labor Organization also mentions that the COVID-19 Pandemic will result to approximately 25 Million people who will lose their jobs: https://www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/newsroom/news/WCMS_738742/lang–en/index.htm

Regardless of how huge the effects will be, what we know is that the Corona Virus will definitely impact all of these. Given the uncertainty of things and the future, I’d like to believe that the strength of each one of us collectively will help us weather through a crisis like this.

In our country, the Bayanihan spirit of the Philippines shines through in times like these. A lot of negativity and fake news have circled the internet, and a few people talk about the help that’s going around. I’ve been seeing a lot of people and groups stepping up though to help certain segments of society. An example is that the freelancing community that I’m a part of have been teaching employees how to effectively work from home. What’s interesting that speakers were from different professions and had different backgrounds.

I think we can all do our share to focus and promote the good things happening in our community.

This morning, when I woke up, I wondered how “in my own little way” as a blogger could I be able to help the people in times like this. My heart (as you all would know since I always talk about it) really goes out to business owners, professionals and freelancers who are affected by this crisis. The SMEs in the Philippines also make up 61.6% of the country’s employement (source: https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/01/03/helping-msmes-grow/). If they are negatively affected, their could be a huge hit on our country’s employment rate.

As I read all of the comments in Jason Dela Rosa’s Facebook Group Bounce Back PH, I thought of running articles and features from tomorrow onwards on different Micro, Small and Medium enterprises (SMEs) whose businesses have been affected by the Corona Virus and the Enhanced Community Quarantine.

I think all these local businesses need all the support that they can get from all of us.

If you know a business which needs help, please share this form with them. I’ll be happy to write about them in the following days.

For all the articles about these local businesses and SMEs, I will share links at MommyGinger’s Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/mommyginger/

Hope you can read about them and support them! Have a great day!

P.S. Please read my previous article on the Effects of the Enhanced Community Quarantine and Corona Virus on small businesses: https://mommyginger.com/short-and-long-term-effects-of-enhanced-community-quarantine-to-smes.html

Short and Long Term Effects of Enhanced Community Quarantine to SMEs

I joined a webinar recently to talk about COVID19, the impact that we all think it has on SMEs, professionals and freelancers. I was asked the question: What do you think the short and long term effects of Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) are to SMEs.

I just wanted to share my thoughts on this so that MSMEs and start-up founders like me can reflect and plan accordingly. If you want to add to the list, please feel free to comment on the comment section below.

Short Term effects of Enhanced Community Quarantine on Businesses

These are what I personally think the short term effects of this quarantine period are:

Feel a huge impact on their Cash Flow. Most of the businesses, no matter the size, are living from paycheck to paycheck. This is where we will feel the full effect of not saving up for a rainy day (Yes, as a business, we should also have an emergency fund or plan to maintain business operations and pay our commitments).

For our personal finances, we always talk about emergency funds and having enough to sustain us when unforeseen events happen. This should also be the case for SMEs. But since not a lot of businesses have extra funds for an unforeseen event like this, businesses lack funds to pay their people, they don’t get to have enough funds for the bills that they have, etc. This will result to layoffs, penalties and interests for unpaid bills or taxes, not having enough funds to pay for offices, machines, equipments, etc. Some of these companies will then have to declare bankruptcy.

Some companies will panic because they are not ready for a “work-from-home” scenario. For the longest time, our minds have been set a certain way by policies and directives about working that have been passed on from generation to generation. We think that people are more productive when they come and stay in the office from 8-5 or 9-6. There are no policies on working remotely. No policies set on which tools to use, when to use these tool, how to best use them, etc. During quarantine, most of the business owners will scramble to set up a system that will work for them “temporarily”. 

It will affect people emotionally and psychologically. This isolation will get to some people. And with the news about COVID 19 and this community quarantine, it will definitely foster low moral, scare, lack of motivation due to lack of freedom (freedom that we are so used to). For business owners, some will be depressed because of the uncertainty of their businesses, thus, possibly leading to making the wrong business decision. 

Long Term effects of Enhanced Community Quarantine on Businesses

The only thing constant in this world is change. So as humans, I think that we will obviously “adapt” to whatever our environment throws at us, thrive and survive. With this, we will be gunning for the “normalization” of things. We will look for ways to bring out the new “normal”.

That being said:

  • Businesses will be keen on visiting policies and creating new policies for situations like these. They will probably create new policies for working at home, dealing with Pandemic like this, etc.
  • Most companies will see that having their Employees “Work-from-Home” is actually possible. I feel that a lot of business owners will see after a while that given this kind of environment, there are some people and job functions that can really be done from home and are even more productive this way. They will also see that there are people and jobs, too, where an office setting is more beneficial. Business owners will be more open to having a more results based environment and see the value for certain types of jobs and personalities. They’ll probably be more open to hiring independent contractors and freelancers who work well in these types of environment.
  • Shifts in business models of some businesses. Business owners will see that there may be a few things that they need to tweak in term of how they generate revenues. For examples, a company that used to do things mostly offline, will think of diversifying and looking at other sources of revenue. 
  • Rise of the new creators and inventors. When unforeseen situations like this happen, they become “seen” and people get to experience a different set of challenges and pain points. Some of us go the extra mile and create solutions for the things that we experience now and for the things that we wish we had at this point in time.

What can we do to battle the negative effects and stay sane?

For Business Owners and Startup Founders: Revisit your business model. Try to look for other ways you can earn. As I mentioned, it’s time to look for new ways of earning, if you aren’t really getting any revenue.

This is also the time do some “cleanups”. Clean up processes. Find ways on how to make processes more efficient. This is the time to quickly work on things that would normally get set aside.

Take care of your people. We are all new to this. As business owners and entrepreneurs, we’ve handled a lot of challenges along the way. From overcoming these things, we’ve become stronger. Let’s step up and be leaders at this time. Make your people feel safe and secure.

For employees: Take care of yourself. Even when in lock down, try to maintain a “balance” with everything that you do. It’s hard to separate working from personal time when both are done in the same environment. Try to set boundaries for each. Take breaks while working. At the same time, strive to be more productive, too, while at home. It’s hard, but you’ll get the hang of it.

To motivate you to work from home, you can (1) go back to your company’s mission and see if you can help achieve the mission that they have. In Taxumo, our mission is really to help people compute, file and pay their taxes anytime and anywhere. We are working doubly hard now to reach more people so that they don’t have to worry about paying taxes during times like these. Our government uses these (our taxes) to fund public hospitals and other initiatives that can help our countrymen in times like these.

Another thing that you can look at to motivate you is (2) look at your own personal goals. Who are you doing this for? Going back to the reason why you’re working can help you out at this time.

Let me share with you a video that I shared with some of my employees and hopefully this will help. It talks about looking for the FLOW.

We’ll all get through this. We must get through this. I still believe in the human spirit and how we can turn situations like this into something beneficial for all of us. Let’s help one another, and probably, after all of this has died down, we’ll all be super humans.

P.S. I read this article that I had written 6 years ago when I was “about” to start working from home: https://mommyginger.com/work-at-home-me.html Just brings back a lot of emotions 🙂

Teaching Kids about Business – The Adventures of Lil’ Vee

As I was sitting in a panel for 4th year college students, I was also thinking about a lot of things, on top of which was thinking of how we, as parents, can we pretty much teach starting or creating a business to the kids of today.

In this country, the employment rate in January 2019  was estimated at 94.8 percent.  In January 2018, the employment rate was 94.7 percent. This data was from https://psa.gov.ph/content/employment-rate-january-2019-estimated-948-percent

Aside from just looking at the employment rate, I also look at the underemployment which was at 15.6%. With a population of 108 Million Filipinos (as of today May 2019), this means that 16.8 Million Filipinos are underemlployed and 5.6 Million are unemployed. This is still a pretty huge number.

Ever since we had Zeeka, my husband and I have been thinking of ways to help the country in this aspect. This is why Taxumo exists — to help business owners focus on growing the business and later on generate more jobs for the people in their community (to promote inclusive growth).

As I observed the kids and parents of today, I was quite happy to see that more and more parents are open to letting their children live the life that they want. Graduates now are more open to choosing a path that they would like to have, be it starting their own business, get into the arts, get into the workforce, grow in a corporate environment, etc. We really need to show our kids that they have a choice and they can be successful at they want to do especially if they love what they are doing.

Since my husband and I are both corporate employees who shifted into becoming entrepreneurs, a lot of parents ask us how do we actually teach our kids about entrepreneurship. How do we raise kids who would want to start their own business later on?

You can teach your kids certain skills, values and train them to adapt certain habits, but you cannot force them to start a business (also) if they don’t want to. Anyway, these are skills, values and habits can be used no matter what their choices are.

For Zeeka, these are the things that we do though. Obviously, I cannot say that we’ve been successful (because she’s just 6 years old! haha!), but I’m sharing our own experiences for the purposes of discussion and to get additional tips and advice from parents who are wiser than me 🙂

Encourage kids to explore and see the world and answer their questions.

We don’t stop her from trying out a lot of different things. She has tried gymnastics, sketching, vlogging, fast food kiddie crews, hiphop, theatre classes, joining in workshops, joining an engineering club, taekwondo, creating a prototype for an app, making pastries and selling them, going out for a walk and touching everything she sees, wall climbing, traveling and seeing different places, etc. And whenever she asks about things, we try as much as possible to answer these questions thoroughly. We believe that this is how she will learn and we, parents, are their best teachers.

We teach her to be observant. We show her the actions have effects. We encourage her to find out what these “effects” are. For example, she learned how to wash the dishes. One time, her hands were slippery and she dropped and broke a plate. She now knows what happens if she’s not careful when she washes.

Guide them with what they can watch and play with online

Zeeka, like any other kid, loves to watch videos on Youtube, Netflix and she love playing games on Roblox. What we do is we limit time for gadgets and we also monitor the things that she watches.

Have you heard of Gary Vaynerchuk? He and his team created a cartoon called Lil’ Vee! Check out the first episode.

I love how they used simple concepts and examples that kids could understand. For this particular episode of Lil’ Vee, there were numerous things that were taught that both kids and adults could understand and use — from where ideas come from, to product development, to customer validation, marketing and selling.

I can’t wait for the next episode. Check out the first episode, moms and dads!

Support them in times of Failure but Expect Quality Work

This is the time in their lives when kids need to learn how to fail and pick themselves up after. They will naturally try a lot of things, and they will possibly fail during the first few attempts, but our role as parents is to help and encourage them to do better. We’re not there to remind them of their failure and their mistakes, because they probably know that they already failed. We’re there to help them pick up from where they left off and support their decisions after.

But we should also expect quality work from the things that they want to do. There are moments when we tell Zeeka that she should try harder. We then focus on what she can do to improve, like “practice more, Zeeka” or “try again”. Our kids are more capable than we think they are.

Be more specific with your words.

This is where my husband is good at. She makes Zeeka understand how she feels and gives her the word for it. He also encourages more specific language at home. Some examples of words that Zeeka uses are frustrated, exhausted, irritating, etc. We noticed that she doesn’t whine as often anymore because we understand her better, and she can communicate clearly.

Teach empathy.

We live in a world where we thrive with other people, and each one has his or her own story. We always remind Zeeka that before reacting to a certain thing or deciding on an action that would affect other people, she has to think whether this will affect the other person in a good way or bad way. Although, we also teach her what her rights are and what are the things and values that she should stand up for.

Value and Money

We are slowly teaching her how money works and how to grow it. Although at this stage, more advanced types of investments may be too hard for them to absorb, we taught her the concept of “interest” already.

We are also slowly teaching her also about “value”. What people may see as invaluable, may be valuable for other people.

Overall, these are some of the things that we feel will make her a successful when she decides to start her own business in the future. I know that we haven’t really cascaded a lot yet, but we’re taking our sweet time and we’re enjoying these moments of passing on learnings and experiences to her. She’s quite an inquisitive little lady! haha!

How about you, moms & dads, what other values and things do you teach your kids? Feel free to share it with us!

2019 Lifestyle Entrepreneur Summit

One of the coaches that I have complete trust on is Mr. Jon Orana. This 2019, he’ll be running a Lifestyle Entrepreneur Summit.

It’s so appropriate that he used the term Lifestyle. Being a successful entrepreneur means know how to manage your LIFE, too. It’s not all about earning profit or selling to customers. A big chunk of an entrepreneur’s life is about developing and managing yourself and your time, about having an appropriate mindset that will make you sail through this journey and having a concrete and clear enough reason why you want to start your own business.

That’s why in this summit, the speakers will show you different ways to build an online business so you experience time freedom, financial freedom, & personal freedom.

I highly recommend that you attend this summit if…

  • You want to learn from experts and practitioners in their own fields and industries
  • You wan to live a life of FREEDOM — freedom from STRESS from not being to be able to do the things that you love the most and freedom from traffic (haha!)
  • You want to have clarity in terms of where you want to go and what you want to do as an entrepreneur.
  • You want to meet other like-minded individuals

The good news is you have a chance to join one at the 2019 Lifestyle Entrepreneur Summit.

And even better is the Php 2,000 discount for the event is still up for grabs. Use this promo code: ginger (All lower case)

Get your tickets here.

It is the ONLY business summit where we prioritize lifestyle over profits.

See all details here. See you there!