July 20, 2023

As artificial intelligence continues to surge forward, it's easy to feel somewhat threatened. While technology may take over certain job functions, there remain core human abilities that AI can't replicate or replace. These are the skills that hold power to build and sustain successful businesses in today's world, as well as in the future. In this blog, we dive into some of these skills and how these critical competencies can help you navigate the changing business landscape, capitalizing on the advancements that AI provides while safeguarding your venture from potential disruptions.

Different stages of your business journey will necessitate different skills. From attracting and leading smart people in a franchise structure to developing financial literacy when scaling a single branch to multiple outlets, you must always be upskilling.

What's important to remember here is that you don't always have to be an expert, but you need to know enough to understand what you're talking about. Whether it's about leveraging technology for licensing or articulating thoughts clearly and succinctly for persuasive conversations, the objective is to identify the gaps along the way and work on them. It's not about being a master of all trades but about being literate enough to understand the big picture.

1. Leadership: Harnessing High-level Talent

Attracting and leading skilled individuals is necessary for running a business. Each stage of business growth demands different skills, and the vision of your enterprise has to be big enough to house the visions of these smart individuals you're attracting. This involves the art of recruitment and the ability to provide a fertile ground for these talents to flourish.

Articulating your ideas clearly and succinctly to your team, investors, or stakeholders is also an important aspect of leadership. This can involve taking public speaking classes or joining groups like Toastmasters. Without the ability to communicate effectively, you may struggle to achieve your business goals.

2. Financial Literacy

The second essential skill is financial literacy. When you're expanding your business, understanding finances becomes increasingly important. This doesn't mean you have to be your own CFO, but it does mean understanding numbers, debts, leases, and commercial real estate.

Upskilling yourself in financial literacy allows you to have more directive conversations, enabling you to bring in the missing pieces needed to scale your business. This is a skill that AI cannot completely replace, as it involves understanding complex financial dynamics specific to your business and making strategic decisions based on that understanding.

3. Technological Aptitude

Technological competence is key. Despite the threat AI may seem to pose, leveraging technology to your advantage is vital in today's digital age. Whether it's using tech solutions to streamline your services, enhance your products, or simply communicate more effectively, having a good understanding of technology helps you adapt and thrive. It allows you to identify gaps in your skill set and upskill accordingly.

4. Relationship and Community Building

Finally, no AI can ever replace the power of relationships and community in business. Whether it's nurturing relationships with your team, your clients, or your partners, people-to-people interactions are the heart and soul of any successful business.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses with strong community bonds and excellent relationship management skills thrived despite the shift towards home-based or digital alternatives. Businesses that foster strong social connections and community ties have an edge that AI can't duplicate.

In conclusion, the rise of AI is not a threat but rather a call to action for business owners to hone in on the skills that are truly irreplaceable. Strong leadership abilities, financial literacy, technological competence, and relationship and community-building are the cornerstones of a resilient business. 

Improving these skills, combined with an understanding and strategic use of AI, can pave the way for a successful business journey. Remember, it's not about combating AI; it's about leveraging it while thriving on the strengths that make us uniquely human.