The Five Skills You Need to Compete on a Global Stage

October 22, 2015

in Staff + Space

Authored by Brad Bortone

Sponsored by Sage X3

The Five Skills You Need to Compete on a Global Stage

Your business is primed for the U.S. You have an audience, a deep pool of prospects, and a killer product that is set to redefine the marketplace. All you need is the talent to carry your brand to an entirely new set of buyer behaviors and personas.

In the past, finding skilled workers in a new country required an exhaustive search (and possible relocation package) to get the right talent for your company. This often left companies scrambling to find specific skill sets, or settling on sub-par talent that would require extensive training to compete in a hyper-competitive global economy.

Thanks to technology, not only is it easier to find the best talent for your needs, but there is also a wealth of young talent that possesses a growing set of skills to help your organization grow and adapt to the ever-changing U.S. market.

Today’s talent pools don’t specialize in one skill, but rather, can analyze, engage, create, and maintain value in new ways. Here are five leading business skills for organizations seeking to compete in today’s amorphous global economy:

Metrics and analytics

Every minute YouTube users upload hours of video, Facebook users digest and share a metric ton of content, and Google receives nearly 3 million search queries. As Big Data gets even bigger, fewer people will be needed to collect information, and more people will be needed to analyze and discover the value stored within these findings.

With mass-computerization and mass production, the playing field is is level for organizations, and there is very little they can do to differentiate themselves in today’s markets. Except for one thing—the way they can understand and act on data. To this end, “data scientist” is a fast-emerging job category.

Some of the most exciting, best-paying roles of the next 10 years will belong to the likes of Internet statisticians and data miners, people who don’t just crunch raw numbers but analyze their hidden patterns to shape business decisions. Having team members with these skills will be a boon to any company entering a diverse, growing marketplace like the United States.

On that note…

UX and design understanding

It’s not enough to just throw together a templated website and hope your SEO is strong enough to stand out in the U.S. Instead, users need to know what a site (or landing page) does, why it’s better than competitors, and how to navigate from square one.

That’s a lot of information to convey in 1.7 seconds.

Today’s web professionals—developers, designers, writers, editors, and social media pros—need to inject their own expertise to UX and page design. This means crafting compelling copy, positioning clear value propositions, and driving users to a logical progression of clicks and actions. You can’t assume any knowledge on the part of a user, nor can you expect them to come to their own conclusions about “next steps” or desired conversions.

UX needs to be a universal skill, shared by anyone in your company who has a vested interest in your website. In other words, everyone in your company.

Expanded communications

To succeed and be competitive within a global economy, your team needs to connect with various markets. In a truly globally connected world, a worker’s skill set could see them posted in any number of locations—they need to be able to operate in whatever environment they find themselves. This means being accessible and productive regardless of locale, be it a boardroom, virtual meeting room, or through more traditional means like email and text.

Though the U.S. and U.K. share a wealth of common ground, there needs to be cultural and professional understanding of how both parties do business. This will not only ease transition as your company sets up shop in the U.S., but also sets the table for further global expansion.

Cross-cultural competency will become an important skill for all workers, not just those who have to operate in diverse geographical environments.

Visual media

To get their companies ahead, professionals need to be well-versed in media such as video, infographic design and virtual presentations, and be able to critically read and assess them in the same way that they currently assess a traditional presentation.

They will also need to be comfortable creating and presenting their own visual information. Knowledge of fonts and layouts was once restricted to a small set of print designers and typesetters, until word processing programs brought this within the reach of everyday office workers.

Similarly, increasingly user-friendly editing tools will make video terms part of the vernacular, and increase their use for business. As immersive and visually stimulating presentation of information becomes the norm, workers will need these skills to engage and persuade their audiences.

Entrepreneurial spirit

Once a blanket term to describe anyone looking to succeed on their own terms, today’s entrepreneurs come in a wide range of forms, in myriad industries. First, there are those who have the ability to build a startup based on a business idea, or simply buy someone else’s business, and be able to build upon that.

Second, there’s the freelance model, in which individuals provide services on a contract or project basis to clients. Third, there’s the idea of being an internal entrepreneur within the walls of the organization, either to launch new products or a new piece of the business.

Regardless of model, the spirit of entrepreneurship—the fearless, driven way to disrupt a current norm—will be an invaluable skill set to have as your business expands within U.S. markets. Today’s most prosperous U.S. businesses are the ones that rethink and redefine the status quo, and those mindsets are the ones that will carry your business to new levels of success.

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