Business savvy describes a level of understanding and technical expertise in business that we are more prone to recognise in others than acknowledge in ourselves. If you’re striving for success in business then you recognise that becoming an expert in this field is an ongoing process of learning and discovery, communication, problem solving and developing understanding. And yet we easily apply the label to our peers or acknowledged business leaders. So when we describe someone as ‘business savvy’ – what exactly is it that we see?
A business savvy individual is first and foremost an expert at business. And that is because they have developed a range of skills and behaviours, as well as extensive knowledge, that means they know their field backwards, forwards and inside out. Business experts can understand how an action on one side of a company can affect a team on the other. They are able to view the entire operation of a business holistically whilst simultaneously grasping the minute details of how things work.
So let’s take a closer look at six of their attributes and understand what their expertise is founded on.
1. Communication and co-ordination
A business savvy individual is certainly one who is a great communicator. They demonstrate this with their ability to successfully communicate with individuals across a business, across their network and throughout the wider community.
Because they are constantly learning, absorbing and processing, they understand that listening is as important as talking. The mark of a business expert is often their ability to know their people as well as they know their business. This is reflected through their ability to effectively and productively manage the different personalities and skill-sets that comprise both their business and their working network.
If you are interested in brushing up on your communication skills, read the 5 communication skills every leader needs to develop.
2. Problem solving
For business experts problem solving is very much a soft skill – one that has been embedded in their personalities for a long time. Whether at home or the office, or anywhere in between, you can present these individuals with something that’s not working and their brains will fire up with a list of solutions and potential ways to improve, adapt and implement their changes. Business savvy and problem solving skills go hand in hand.
3. Process and planning
To be recognised as business savvy, an individual needs to understand both the solution and the steps required to get the solution to be implemented. Almost as a by-product of their detailed understanding of the operations of their business, these leaders can understand the knock-on impact of change across departments.
Their understanding is based not only in the present, but has its foundations in the past and acknowledges the possibilities that exist in the business’s future. This high level of understanding makes them excellent planners, and you are often conscious that their thoughts and conversations are just a step in a longer process towards successfully delivering change.
4. Number literacy
When a business person is identified as business savvy, you can be certain that they will have a perfect understanding of the numerical functioning of their business. Think more than accounting. They can quote weights and measures for their product, cite the latest productivity numbers, and put their finger on the tipping point where an offering moves from profitable to unprofitable at a moment’s notice.
And their grasp of – or should we say obsession with – the numbers that drive their success is not limited to internal factors. Look and you will find a deep statistical understanding of customer satisfaction levels, their competition, the economics of their marketplace, and the impact of big picture details such as currency and overseas export costs.
If cash flow is the life blood of a business then Sales can operate like its heart, pumping in that cash and ensuring that a business grows and thrives. That’s why a business savvy leader will understand the importance and logistics of sales in relation to business in general and their business in particular. The ability to talk in the same language as the sales team means that they have their finger on the pulse of what customers are asking for and saying, and they understand the competitive playing field and challenges that the sales team face when they’re taking the company’s offering to market.
Business expertise is demonstrated through the ability to link this sales understanding back into the rest of the business. By connecting this input with marketing, operations, customer service, etc., a savvy leader is able to unite a business and ensure everyone is pushing towards the same goals.
6. Business Development
Business savvy individuals are great networkers and understand that by keeping their network close and connected, they increase their business potential and grow future opportunities. They bring together sales understanding, communication, and a wealth of other business acumen: and as such it’s fair to say that this is all about business development. They’re about spotting the potential, seizing the opportunities and making them happen, leaving no stone unturned, and driving home a deal for the good of the business. If you would like to learn more about business development, read our article Strategies for promoting growth in your business.
Business development is ongoing, for smart cash flow solutions for every stage of business Fifo Capital have the solution.
These individuals combine a broad skill set that includes skill elements such as excellent communication with a deep understanding of how a business functions that incorporates all of its working parts. They have facts and figures at their fingertips, and use their knowledge to create opportunities, solve problems and grow the business through new ideas and new sales. There isn’t a point where they stop learning, and there isn’t a point where they stop taking that learning and sharing it with their colleagues and employees. Constantly evolving, growing, inspiring: the business savvy individual is someone to aspire to be like, someone to emulate, and someone to admire.
About Fifo Capital
Fifo Capital provides cash flow solutions to small and medium sized businesses. If you’re looking for excellent customer service and a company that is focused on delivering the best short and long term support for your business: contact us here today.