Making it as a small business owner is tough, especially in the post-pandemic economic landscape. Even with the widespread availability of vaccines, vaccine hesitancy and misinformation makes it impossible to tell if the majority of the customers you’re interacting with are actually inoculated against the virus, making it necessary to keep instituting safety precautions. The pandemic also forced many businesses (large and small) to lay off scores of their employees and institute half-baked remote options for customers to transact business from home. Moreover, the labor shortage that followed the pandemic has made it difficult for companies to find new employees to fill needed roles.

However, the labor shortage also presents an opportunity for existing small businesses to grow and stake their claims on existing vacancies in the market that have yet to be filled or yet to be filled effectively. As the CEO of a start-up that’s attempting to establish itself in the middle of the most significant disaster of the 21st century, you will meet no shortage of challenges as you attempt to make a name for yourself. Yet, with the right tools and knowledge of best practices for business growth, you may find that when the dust settles, and the virus becomes little more than a campfire horror story, your business can stand with the greats in your industry.

The growth of your small business starts with your own professional and personal development, and you’ll need to acquire a diverse set of skills to make it in today’s economy. Without further ado, here are a few skills you might want to consider picking up, and how you can use them to establish a firm foundation for your fledgling company.

Be Your Own Accountant: Learning How to Process Payroll

When you first start out, you may find that your business is running on a skeleton crew composed of you and any of your friends or former coworkers that you’ve convinced to follow you. They may not have the proper skill set to manage the company finances, and short of hiring a professional to handle payroll and other accounting measures for you (which eats into the budget and restricts your ability to make other things happen), you might find yourself with little option other than learning how to manage those essential functions yourself. If you find yourself in this situation, you might want to consider taking an online course to obtain the education and licensing you need to have your own construction business or to even become your own accountant and tax professional. While this also requires a bit of an investment on your part, taking an online course and learning how to perform these necessary functions yourself will likely save you money in the long run, as well as expand your skillset as a CEO.

Digital Marketing for Millenials: A Crash Course

Suppose you don’t have personal and corporate accounts on every major social media platform. In that case, you will want to rectify that as quickly as possible. An increasing number of people across demographics are using social media platforms to communicate and interact with brands, and social media is becoming one of the most effective spaces for corporations to advertise. As a result, creating content online that is entertaining, meme-able, and easy to consume and share is now a cornerstone of marketing.

Use your personal accounts on these sites to research what competitors are doing and brainstorm content ideas, as well as to become familiar with using the platform yourself. Following companies like Duolingo and Wendy’s might be a good start, as both have had significant success on platforms such as Twitter and TikTok with unconventional methods of advertising. From there, you should aim to post content on all of your corporate accounts that is both entertaining and innovative, making your viewers want to follow you and ensuring that they absorb what makes your brand special. Make sure your messaging is consistent through your content on all platforms as well, as failure to do so can hamstring your digital marketing efforts.

A Better You Means a Better Company

Your avenues for self-growth are not limited to just these two paths, as you will find that as your company grows, more and more will be required from you and the employees that work for you. You will no doubt eventually need to fill positions with qualified employees, offering a competitive, living wage that ensures you snag top talent. But in the meantime, as your business is getting its sea legs, learning how to do more yourself will save you on both money and headaches.