Running a company - or starting one from scratch - requires a knowledge of business fundamentals, as well as proficiency in a number of essential business skills in your toolbox. Many of these business foundations are analytical skills, such as financial modeling and financial management, data analysis and statistics, project management, and decision-making.
But many of the most important skills you'll need for a successful career in business are all about people. Great interpersonal skills in areas like communication, leadership, and negotiation are often what separate the most successful business leaders from the rest of the pack.
In short, you need a combination of analytical skills to develop a profitable business plan, as well as the people skills needed to lead your team towards successful execution.
One of the most amazing things about online education today is the way it can leverage video to help students build essential interpersonal business skills, through real-time practicing and mentoring on a flexible schedule from anywhere in the world.
Between virtual live class sessions, one-on-one office hours with experienced and successful faculty, and collaboration with fellow classmates from around the world, a high quality online business education doesn't mean missing out on developing the people skills that are fundamental to your career. A wide range of courses and short Guided Projects can help you hone your skills in presentation, negotiation, and collaboration, along with the leadership ability to influence people and inspire your team. Along the way, you'll get feedback from your classmates and instructors, helping you to keep improving.
Of course, there are plenty of less-interpersonal essential business skills you can develop online too! Courses in business basics like financial management, project management, data analytics, and decision-making, as well as more advanced courses in topics like critical thinking and strategic planning, ensure that you can build a well-rounded business education with online courses. You can also pursue a full-fledged MBA or other business masters degree online!
The skills or experience you might need to already have, before starting to learn business essentials, would be an understanding of the industry you eventually want to work in for the majority of your career. There are common essentials of business that can apply to almost every industry, like accounting principles, marketing tactics, and operational processes. These are standard as they have shown to work successfully in many businesses across industries. But particular industries have certain needs that separate the business essentials from another industry. For example, a software services company might have business essentials that do not apply to a chain restaurant company, for example. Learning the business essentials that are most important to your field, like creativity, management, financial principles, or career stability, can help you in the long run.
The kind of people who are best suited for roles that involve business essentials are often business professionals who have the drive to understand the how and why of a modern business and what essentials are necessary to make it successful. There are some corporate leaders in these business roles who are figuratively tearing up the business rules playbook to use new methods. Technology practices are offering up modern business leaders so many new, efficient ways to run businesses, so the business essentials that were needed a decade ago may no longer be relevant. The kind of people best suited for business essentials work may also be more analytical, yet impatient with the old ways, and have a strong technology focus to improve a company’s overall business conditions.
Business essentials may be right for you if you are interested in pursuing a career path to learn how people use strategy, structure, processes, and systems to work together in an organization. Maybe you’ve spent some time in a small to medium-sized business and want to work in a large organization. You may want to have a solid understanding of an organization’s strategic framework, including its key performance indicators, the essential components that make it a leader in its industry, and any supporting business functions and systems alignment. If you are someone who thinks strategically, with a numbers-focused background, then learning business essentials might be right for you.
The types of places that may hire someone with a background in business essentials may include management consultancies, financial technology firms, and possibly creative marketing companies. Each of these companies requires people who have a high-quality aptitude for business, and who understand what is needed to successfully operate a business strategy. When you have these assets in your professional background, it could lead to increased opportunities to grow within your industry.