First of all, let’s review what we mean by management skills. These are skills are universal, and apply not just to physical and mental management, but also to managing yourself as an individual. Number one on this list is communication; being clear and concise with those around you and your workmates is a premier skill. Let’s make a list to show the skills them clearly.
- Clear, concise – both written and spoken forms
- Using the right language with customers, being encouraging, being time efficient with meetings, negotiation, and keeping the lines of communication open between employees are just some of the ways where communication is really important. Sometimes it takes practice, but being conscious and observing others can help you pick up those small tips and tricks to nail communication.
- Know the company, know the job, know the product. This may also include IT skills, social media, reports and presentations, data security, etc. These really are individualised to the position at hand. Mental investment in the company pays off if you’re looking for a higher-level job.
- In terms of your motivation in addition to the motivation of employees. You can do this through providing appreciation, incentives for performance, supporting workmates who are under stress, and empowering employees to be proud of their work.
- Motivation makes the environment not only more positive, but also more energetic, and productive.
- Problem solving skills are useful in every situation, we all have to identify and work through issues. Working this problem back to its origins and understanding the cause helps you to see and predict future problems too.
- This would also include planning as a form of problem prevention
- Innovation is shown through solutions to customer needs, creative marketing campaigns, redesigning or altering processes to create a more productive, functional, and smooth flow.
- This is what makes you stand out as a leader. Diplomacy, strong moral values, initiative, as well as curating an excellent customer service attitude shows your employees the standard to strive for.
Other skills that are super important to demonstrate as a manager of anything (these are combinations of/ or subcategories that needed special mention):
- Planning – effective, anticipatory, and course of actions plans
- Organising – hand-in-hand with planning, organising is fairly essential in managing yourself, projects, and teams.
- Directing – similar to communication, directing is more about being able to distribute tasks in an effective way to streamline projects.
So now you know the skills, how do you work on improving yours? Honestly, you need to be conscious and observe others. That’s the simplest way to see how it’s done; then you can start implementing version of what you see (so long as it’s appropriate). You may do this through practicing communication with friends and family, showing innovation and problem solving with your daily tasks or assignments, and, motivating yourself and those around you. This way you can see what works and what doesn’t, and when you show these skills in the workplace you will demonstrate your potential as a manager.
Check out our BSB51915 Diploma of Leadership and Management if you feel like you want to upgrade your management skills.
Managing yourself for study – Developing your student skills
Following on from the first post, ‘Success as a Student’, this post is about the study skills you will use and how to develop them. Since it’s been a while, here’s a reminder of the last topic, I’ve copied the skills needed to be a successful student. Skills valuable to the student:
- problem solving
- and stress management
Basic Research Skills
This is the ability to find information, speed reading, using multiple sources, making notes of important information, organisation skills, as well as using numerical data. Basically, these are all skills required when completing homework or assignments. This will come naturally to some, but others need time and practice to build these skills. One helpful tip I can give, is to use keywords when looking for information, and speed reading.
Now, this one really does rely on you. It’s about decision makings, such as which piece of information to use; memory skills; critical thinking; creative problem-solving, and understanding. Memory skills are quite obviously important, and there are many strategies available to aid your memory recall. Critical thinking skills will be essential in all studies. It requires you to evaluate the quality of sources, interpretation of information and building a strong line of reasoning. Your understanding of the content and the task at hand is instrumental in using these skills, so you will need to be engaged in the material and discussions to practice these skills.
Written and Other Communication Skills
This is about how you write, getting your ideas across in a clear and precise manner. This brings in organisation and planning, the style and format, the audience, referencing, specialist terminology, academic integrity and using subject appropriate conventions. This is also where having organised notes from research will be beneficial.
Studying with others requires you to take an active part, make a constructive contribution in classes, give feedback, work collaboratively, and support your fellow students. This doesn’t have to be a big thing, and if you don’t know what to do to help in a group setting – ask another group member.
Task Management Skills
Task management is like a combination of self-discipline, time management and the above skills, in one. As a student you will have to produce set items, like essays, reports, and presentations, etc. You will find that there is criteria to meet, formats that you need to follow, and potentially – specific resources that you are require to use. Therefore, having good task management skills means you have to be organised, goal orientated, motivated, develop self-management and stress management skills.
It takes time to build these skills, if you haven’t already, however, in the studying environment you will find these come quickly from observation of fellow students.
Inspiration taken from ‘The Study Skills Handbook’ by Stella Cottrell, 4th Edition.
Managing yourself for study – Success as a student.
We all desire success when commencing a new study. This blog is the first in a series that will provide more insight into getting the best out of your study.
What is expected of you?
In vocational and higher education, there is more freedom of when and what time you learn – however, this also means you need to have more determination, persistence and self-discipline. That last one especially. You need to be independent – which includes looking for your own answers instead of asking the course facilitator or lecturer. Be self-motivated, organised, goal-orientated, and open to group work. You need to figure out how you learn best, and how you study best. This could be at a particular time of day, in a certain space, with or without music, etc etc. It’s also helpful to make goals and keep track of due dates. I find this works best for me with a monthly calendar and a whiteboard to write the weeks priorities. You are expected to manage your own time and life, which often requires a bit of organisation.
How vocational and higher education differs from previous levels?
The teaching methods are different, with you partly being responsible for your own learning. The work is harder, more complex, and takes more time – which makes time management is essential. Lecturers/tutors will encourage debate and self-research, but ultimately, it requires you to be open to new learning opportunities, and take some initiative with your own education. You will find that a lot of the material and content requires you to be tech literate.
How to make the best of the experience?
Studying in vocational and higher education, it may feel like you have more time, more choice, but you also have more control, more responsibility, and less guidance.
To make the best of the experience, you will need to learn some new skills (some mentioned in the “what is expected of you” section). Self-discipline and time management are the most critical student skills. Building your self-discipline, i.e. the thing that makes you sit down and finish the reading or assessment instead of bludging or going out, will enable you to stay on top of work and meet deadlines. None of which can happen if you aren’t organised, and don’t manage your time well. The best thing to do is to write out all the due dates, and plan some time in the weeks before to get the work done. Once you get the hang of it, you will find student life less stressful – and you may even have a better study-life balance.
How to build resilience as a student to maximise success:
Resilience helps you manage when study and life gets stressful and tough. Starting a vocational or higher education course can feel like a lot of change, but have confidence in yourself. When you are challenged, it is resilience that makes you push back. Key skills that aid resilience are; motivation, perseverance, routine, perspective, problem solving and stress management.
Other things to consider are:
- What success looks like for you?
- what makes you feel successful
- realistic goals
- What are your anxieties and resources?
- stresses, pressure
- family, friends, college or university student services, experience
- Student relationships that are beneficial for both parties
- study buddies
- going to class together
Inspiration taken from ‘The Study Skills Handbook’ by Stella Cottrell, 4th Edition.
Tips To Starting Your Business
You have this great idea, it’s awesome, and you cannot wait for everyone to know and think it’s awesome too. That’s great! Maybe you’ve been working in your field for a while and are thinking it’s time to branch out on your own. Fantastic! I admire you for striving towards your dream. However, there are a few points to notes before beginning your business owner journey. Many of these may be tough questions, or require some time to answer, but starting a business is a big thing and it’s always best to be prepared. It always requires planning and a lot of attention.
Are you ready?
- Is this the right time for you to start a new venture?
- Do you have the time?
- Why do you want to start a business?
- Will it be your sole source of income?
- Take time to think about the future if your business succeeds, but also if it fails, all businesses have ups and downs.
- Make a pro’s and con’s list, and if necessary, adjust the time frame accordingly.
Assess your idea
- Do your research! Is there a plausible market – is there a demand?
- Do a SWOT analysis, what are the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats?
- Does your product meet a niche market?
- Does it have the ability to evolve with time?
- Will it keep up with competitors?
- Will you need employees?
- Do you have the money or investors?
- Will you need to work with a partner?
- Do you need help from other professionals?
Choose your business structure
- Sole trader, partnership, trust, company?
- These all have pros and cons and THIS gives you a good idea of what they are.
Making a plan
- Make a detailed and structured business plan outlining your operational and financial strategies for the start-up, short term and long term.
- This is important to work out the finer details here, it helps you avoid getting stuck in the mud later. (We’ll cover doing a business plan in a future blog)
- Use your answers from the first two sections to help you.
Check your legal obligations
- Register your business name with ASIC (also check with the Australian Trade Mark Online Search System – IP Australia).
- Get an ABN, TFN, etc.
- What do you need to know about PAYG and GST, licenses, and codes of practice?
- Should you trademark/copyright/patent your idea?
- Do you need insurance?
Build your support team
- This could be your family, your business partner, business contacts that you will be working with, friends or potential customers.
- These people are going to be trustworthy and reliable advisers who can help you at various stages in growing your business.
- Who will be your business advisers for legal, accounting, bookkeeping, marketing, etc
Figure out your finances
- Your business plan should have addressed some of this, but think about it in even more detail.
- Do you have a good credit score?
- Are you good a keeping financial records?
- Do the financial projections in your plan look positive?
- Can you analyse financial statements?
- If finance is not your strong suit, one of your support team members, such as an accountant or bookkeeper, may be able to advise and assist you.
Market your business
- By now, your business name should be registered and your finances and support team will be in check.
- Marketing to your potential consumers will be the biggest part of setting up a small business to grow successfully.
- There are many marketing courses and professionals that can help you, only a quick google search away.
Linden College offers a short small business course to work through these with you, including customer service strategies, how to build customer relations, and grow networks. With this guide and our course, you will be well on your way! Good luck!
Start and Grow Your Business; big or small business
Get the structure right: Business Structures
The beginning steps to launching your own business includes understanding business structures and knowing which type of structure will best suited to your future business. There are four main types of business structures;
- Sole Trader – A sole trader is one of the simplest forms of business. As a sole trader you have complete control over your business, however, you also have unlimited liability, meaning if something goes wrong your personal assets are at risk.
- Partnership – A partnership structure can be implemented when there are between 2-20 owners of a business. Partnerships are similar to sole trader structures, where the owners of the business are held liable for the debts.
- Company – Company structures are very popular, in this structure your business is recognised as a separate legal entity. Company structures are more complex however they allow you to have limited liability.
- Trust – A trust is a different style of organisation where a trustee holds the property and assets for the benefit of others, known a beneficiaries. Although slightly more complicated than a company, a trust can be the most suitable business structure for tax planning and asset protection purposes.
Sole trader and company business structures are most common for small business.
Build the Framework: Compliance and Risk Plan
Once you’ve decided on your business structure, it’s time to create a framework. Implementing a compliance and risk framework allows you to create a structure as well as an understanding of how your business will work.
Implementing a compliance framework will allow you to create guidelines that all business processes must comply by. The risk plan will manage your compliance plan to ensure all aspects of your business are running effectively.
Make it Happen: Financial Planning
It’s imperative that you look at your finances and build a financial plan. Financial plans show a comprehensive evaluation of your current and future financial state. Once you have a financial plan you will know exactly how much money you have to spend on your business and allocate it accordingly.
Get Known: Marketing Plan
This is an exciting phase of the journey, this is where your idea becomes a reality. Developing a marketing plan creates a blueprint for all of your business’s marketing and advertising plans throughout the year. Your marketing plan should include your goals, detailed plans on achieving them, the budget that you are putting towards it and the time frame that you want to reach your goals by.
Putting it all together
The Final Step, a business plan!
A business plan steps through all of the different aspects of your business. Your plan will look at competition, marketing & sales, operations, goals & milestones, your financial plan and projected financial statements. Your plan will be a step by step guide on how your business will work and outline the steps that must be taken to achieve your business goals.
Once you have your business plan ready, it’s time to start your business!
Check out our Small Business training course!