C-Suite Network™


5 Essential Skills to Master Early for Small Business Success

Starting a small business can be an exciting and rewarding endeavor, but it also comes with its own set of challenges. To thrive in the competitive landscape, small business owners need to acquire essential skills that can make a significant impact on their success. In this blog post, we will explore the five best things to learn early on for small businesses, equipping entrepreneurs with the tools they need to navigate the journey and achieve sustainable growth.

1. Financial Management:

A solid understanding of financial management is crucial for small business owners. Learning how to create and manage a budget, track expenses, analyze financial statements, and forecast cash flow can help you make informed decisions, identify areas of improvement, and maintain financial stability. Take the time to educate yourself on financial management principles or consider consulting with an accountant or financial advisor to ensure your business stays on the right track.

2. Marketing and Branding:

Effective marketing and branding are essential for attracting customers and building a strong business presence. Learn the fundamentals of marketing strategies, including identifying your target audience, crafting compelling messages, and leveraging various channels such as social media, email marketing, and content creation. Understanding branding principles and developing a unique brand identity will help differentiate your business from competitors and foster customer loyalty.

3. Sales and Negotiation:

Sales skills are vital for small business success. Learning how to effectively sell your products or services, build relationships with customers, and close deals can significantly impact your bottom line. Additionally, developing negotiation skills can help you secure better deals with suppliers, partners, and other stakeholders, ensuring favorable terms and conditions for your business. Invest time in honing your sales and negotiation techniques through courses, books, or by seeking mentorship from experienced professionals.

4. Communication and Networking:

Strong communication skills are essential for effectively conveying your business’s message, building relationships, and resolving conflicts. Learn how to articulate your ideas clearly, actively listen to others, and adapt your communication style to different audiences. Networking is equally crucial for small business owners. Attend industry events, join local business associations, and actively engage with other professionals to expand your network, gain valuable insights, and explore potential collaborations.

5. Adaptability and Continuous Learning:

In the rapidly evolving business landscape, adaptability and a commitment to continuous learning are paramount. Stay informed about industry trends, emerging technologies, and changes in consumer behavior. Embrace new tools and technologies that can enhance your business operations. Develop a growth mindset, be open to feedback, and continually seek opportunities for personal and professional development. This agility and willingness to learn will enable you to adapt to market dynamics, stay ahead of the competition, and drive innovation within your small business.


Mastering these five essential skills early on can significantly contribute to the success of your small business. By understanding financial management, excelling in marketing and branding, honing sales and negotiation techniques, improving communication and networking skills, and embracing adaptability and continuous learning, you will be well-equipped to overcome challenges, seize opportunities, and foster long-term growth. Invest in your development as a small business owner, and reap the rewards of your newfound expertise.

Health and Wellness Parenting Personal Development

Dear Katherine: Why is My Granddaughter So Moody?

Dear Katherine,

I have an 11-year-old granddaughter whose emotions are all over the place. Recently, she came home from school in an especially angry mood. I could tell something had happened, but when I asked her about it, she yelled that it was none of my business and slammed the door in my face.

Why is my granddaughter moody? What should I do? Should I give her space? I never know how to respond to her in situations like this.


Concerned Grams


Dear Concerned Grams,

First, I want to give you some good news: “bad” behavior at home means a child feels certain they’re loved no matter what.

Your granddaughter knows she can let her hair down and be difficult in front of you because you’ve created a safe place for her to fall apart. If she were to exhibit mood swings in children, this kind of behavior at school would be a symptom of a much bigger problem.

But Concerned Grams, I know this assurance doesn’t fix the problem you’re having.

What you and your granddaughter are experiencing is a classic communication breakdown. Neither of you has the necessary tools to reach the other, so you’re caught in a rut of ill-expressed feelings, hurt, and reasons a child has mood swings unmet needs.

Here’s the thing to keep in mind: children don’t have the sophisticated vocabulary or the maturity to identify their unmet needs. So 99% of the time, a child’s default reaction to emotional discomfort is to fall apart crying, screaming, kicking—or all three!

As the adults in the room, it’s our job to teach kids to self-regulate their emotions and effectively express what they need. Here’s what I recommend:

  1. Depersonalize.

    No matter how personal your granddaughter’s behavior may feel to you, know that it’s not about you. Her yelling and slamming doors are symptoms of her own pain, and nothing else. As Marshall Rosenberg once said, “Never listen to the words people say.” Your grandchild’s angry words will only trigger you. So when you feel emotions begin to rise, allow yourself self-empathy and self-compassion. Take a pause and step back. Once you’ve depersonalized, then you’ll be ready to re-engage.

  2. Lead them out.

    Once both you and your granddaughter have achieved a level of calmness, open a line of communication in a gentle, leading way. If you suspect the problem stems from friendships at school, for example, start with something like: “It seems like you’re feeling so distraught. You need to be seen as who you are, to be acknowledged and included, to have security in your relationships. Do you feel like one of your friends isn’t meeting these needs?” Then listen to her response—with compassion and without judgment.

  3. Help them name their unmet needs.

    Because children have trouble identifying their unmet needs, they blame external factors for how they feel.

    If they’re excluded from a party invitation, for example, they feel so overwhelmed with negative emotions that the underlying unmet need (i.e. the need for belonging and friendship) goes unresolved.

    Help your granddaughter express, “I feel…because my needs aren’t being met,” instead of letting factors she can’t control dictate how she feels inside.

    Concerned Grams, when a kid is hurt, sad, or distressed, they have no idea how to reconnect in a meaningful way with those around them. But your concern is the first step to dealing with your child’s mood swings helping your granddaughter through whatever difficulties she’s experiencing.