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Rural entrepreneurship in Wales
Rural entrepreneurship in Wales

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4.3.1 People skills

Clearly, it is important for your future success to work with the right people, who have the right capabilities and skills. The focus here, however, moves out from the central role of the new business owner to the needs of the company as a whole. People, and the skills they develop, are essential to the success of any organisation (no matter how small).

As well as understanding the skills and capabilities required for producing, launching and sustaining your product profitably, you may need to develop your understanding of your own strengths and weaknesses further in relation to technical skills, organisational ability, management style and business acumen.

If and when you create a new company you will need to address your own development needs – by studying this course you have recognised that you need to do this. You will also need to review the skills of your staff/volunteers, or the network of people/businesses you rely on, against the goals you set for them to achieve in your plans. However, for now, we will just focus on your skills and associated needs that relate to your idea as it now stands.

To turn a business idea into a reality you will need to deploy a range of skills and resources. Some of the skills you need you will have already, in your knowledge of the world and of your field. Others can be acquired or further developed, either by your own learning or by hiring the right people, temporarily or permanently.

The combination of the knowledge, skills and often ‘personality’ of you and your staff/volunteers or network is unique and can form part of your competitive advantage.

The key considerations that have to be taken into account when analysing your human resource needs are:

Job needs analysis

Job role

  • What tasks are required to produce the product or service?
  • What tasks are required to sell the product or service?
  • What tasks are required to support the production and sales staff?
  • Which of these tasks need to be done in-house?

Purpose of job

  • How does it contribute to the successful production of the product?
  • How does it contribute to the successful sale of the product?
  • How does it contribute to achieving the aims of the firm?

Essential functions

  • What key tasks actually form the job?
  • Are they all essential?
  • How are the key tasks related to each other?
  • Is there a sequence in which the tasks have to be done?
  • What physical activities need to be performed?
  • Can the activities be shared among a number of people?
  • How much time is spent on each task?
  • Are the tasks equally important to the successful completion of the job?
  • What happens if a task is not completed?

Job qualifications

  • Are formal qualifications required?
  • Is specialist knowledge required?
  • What are the skills required?
  • What training is required?
  • What previous experience is required?

Job context

  • Where are the essential tasks done?
  • How is the work organised?
  • What are the physical conditions?
  • What are the social conditions?
  • How is the job supervised?

Do not fall into the trap of failing to analyse all the work you expect to do yourself. Firstly, you could quickly be in a situation where if the job you actually do was advertised by another company you would reject it out of hand! There are inevitable trade-offs required in the short term but be clear what they are and how long you are prepared to let them continue.

Secondly, if you fail to account for all the work that you and your family do in the business, you risk missing out essential components of your business.