As a professional, you need to constantly be looking to expand your knowledge or skill-set, either for personal development or just for that extra competitive edge in this dog-eat-dog business world that we live in. 

‘Skills are multidimensional constructs; they comprise the cognitive – knowledge and what is learnt; the affective – emotional expression and what is experienced; the behaviour – action at strategic, tactical and personal levels; and the context – sectoral, occupational, job and task levels …’

Business skills are paramount to the success of every professional, whether you’re in the fashion industry, e-commerce, or maybe tech, you need a set of skills generally categorized as soft or hard skills to assist you in simplifying your daily activities. 

Simply put, hard skills are those which are technical in nature, they often require training or education to acquire. They include skills like data processing, SEO, cyber security, and more.  Soft skills are often regarded as those that can easily be acquired. They are such traits that may not seem as important as hard skills but are necessary to the development or advancement of any professional. They are often traits such as time management, dispute management, leadership, and more. 

Business skills are paramount to the advancement of any business or professional. Below are 7 business skills you can acquire in 2022;

  1. Project Management

“Project management essentially entails “the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements.”

Project management is one of the most sought-after skills in modern business today. Businesses in various industries often set out targets to be achieved yearly, who best to manage these targets than a project manager.  The ability to deliver projects on schedule, on budget, and aligned with business goals is key to gaining an edge in today’s highly competitive global business environment. 

It generally entails planning, organizational skills as well as an analytical mind in order to be successful at it. 

  1. Data Analytics

“Data analytics is the science of analyzing raw data to make conclusions about that information. Many of the techniques and processes of data analytics have been automated into mechanical processes and algorithms that work over raw data for human consumption.”

Having this as a skill in today’s tech-driven society will create opportunities you never thought existed. Companies today need Data Analysts to leverage data to improve their services and operations by predicting customer trends and behaviours, analyzing data, increase in business productivity, and driving effective decision-making which can then be used by decision-makers to take action with the aim of enhancing productivity and business gain.

  1. Foreign Languages and Translation

Language has been a barrier in business for decades which meant that companies trying to reach a wider target audience or expand globally have to create provisions to breach this gap – that’s where language translation comes in.  

Being able to fluently speak and write in other languages has created opportunities for numerous professionals. A study has shown that the dependence on translators is increasing as businesses keep failing to meet their foreign language target which in turn affects the pursuance of business in other regions. 

Some of the most sought-after languages in the world include Mandarin, French, Spanish, Japanese, Portuguese, German, just to name a few. If you can successfully master one or more of these languages, be rest assured that the world will be yours.

  1. Financial Management

You don’t have to have a degree or be good at math or statistics to acquire a skill in accounting or financial management. Financial management is important to the success of any business failure of which often leads to bankruptcy.

J. F. Bradley, “Financial management is the area of business management devoted to the judicious use of capital & careful selection of sources of capital in order to enable a spending unit to move in the direction of reaching its goals.”

In essence, you need to be literate in finance so as to enable you to manage your resources efficiently. more often than not professionals find it difficult to financially sustain their personal lives less alone their businesses. In other words, understanding concepts such as “cash flow and profitability are useful for understanding your organization’s performance and potential.”

  1.  Negotiations 

“Negotiation is a process where two or more parties with different needs and goals discuss an issue to find a mutually acceptable solution. “As a professional, negotiation skills are important in every sphere, whether it is your interaction with the person in the market trying to sell you goods at a ridiculous price or the multi-national corporation trying to engage you in your service you need to be able to argue terms of engaging and meet in the middle with an amicable solution. 

 ‘Learning to negotiate effectively involves acquiring a variety of relationship management skills including communication, strategy development, persuasion, conflict resolution, decision-making, and rapport building.’

  1. Graphics Design

Graphics Design is another lucrative skill to have in 2021. It has been regarded as one of the most powerful ways to communicate in modern times. This art has been in existence since the B.C era, when Egyptians used specific symbols called hieroglyphs to record special events in their history. 

Graphics Design in modern time has evolved past the use of just symbols edged in stone. It has transcended into a complex art used in various fields to effectively convey ideas. It cuts across various fields such as product design, brand design, website design (UI, UX), print design, publishing design, environmental and animation design. 

Being skilled in any of these areas of design will not only assist you in conveying your personal ideas but will also put you in the position to earn from it as graphic design is one of the most popular skills in demand right now. 

 7.  Business Communication

Djoko Purwanto argues that communication in business is “communication that is used in the business world which consists of various forms of communication, both verbal and non-verbal to achieve certain goals in accordance with the business interests of those communication actors.”

Communication is one of the cornerstones of any successful professional or business. Businesses are basically groups of people working toward a common goal which works both internally and externally, where, as a company if you’re unable to communicate within your team things such as supply dates, due dates, reports and any other issue integral to the success of the company will essentially mean the company cannot flourish. From an external point of view, if you cannot communicate effectively between businesses and clients, it cannot exist. 

Take ants for example, they communicate in various effective ways like secreting a trail of pheromones, touching each other, or detecting vibrations so workers around have the necessary coordinates for what to do, and where to go. Similarly for businesses and professionals if you don’t leave the right trail of communication you cannot be a successful business. Here are a few tips on how to practice clear communication in your business.

Conclusively, the world today is gravitating towards lucrative skills such as the ones listed above and it won’t be bad to learn any of these skills or more in 2021.

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