You will require a number of skills to start and run a business.

It is important to identify the skills you need to develop or improve so that you can succeed in your day-to-day business operations.

These business skills are essential

Financial management

Being able to effectively manage your finances is critical. You will need to be able to forecast your cash flow and sales, as well as, monitor your profit and loss. You will also need to declare your income to the Australian Tax Office.

Having sound financial management skills will help you to run your business profitably and protect your financial investment.

Find out more about managing your financials.

Marketing, sales and customer service

It is important to be able to promote your products or services effectively. Providing good customer service and having a marketing strategy in place will help you to generate sales.

Find out more about marketing.

Communication and negotiation

You will need to communicate and negotiate with your suppliers, potential investors, customers and employees. Having effective written and verbal communication skills will help you to build good working relationships. Every communication should reflect the image you are trying to project.


If you employ people, leadership will be a key skill. You must be able to motivate your staff in order to get the best out of them and improve productivity. Allocate time to mentor and coach your employees.

Find out more about employing staff.

Project management and planning

Starting a business means you will have to manage a range of projects, such as setting up a website, arranging the fit-out of your premises and developing a range of policies and procedures. Knowing how to effectively manage your resources, including time, money and staff will help you to achieve your goals.

Delegation and time management

Failure to delegate is a trap many business owners fall into usually because they are reluctant to let go of control. Managing your time effectively may mean delegating responsibility to someone else in the business or outsourcing. Identifying who you can delegate tasks to, allows you to concentrate on those tasks that generate revenue.

Problem solving

However much you plan, you will encounter problems in your business. This means you need to be able to make good decisions, sometimes under pressure.


Building good relationships through networking will help you to grow your business and give you the support you’ll need.

Consider joining an industry or business association to grow your network.

Further your knowledge and skills

Running a business is a demanding task. Seek assistance if you are unsure about your abilities and skills. Developing the necessary skills will provide your business with solid foundations.

Photo of a woman sitting at a table. She is watching an SBDC workshop on a tablet device.

Build your business skills

We offer a range of low-cost, practical workshops across Western Australia. They are delivered by selected presenters who are specialists in their subject matters and have a background in small business.

   Government supported

   Specialist facilitators

   Tailored for small business


Browse our current workshops