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3 Lessons Worth Going Back to School for With the back-to-school season in full swing, it's a good time for all entrepreneurs to beef up their on their own business skills.

By Adam Toren

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

discoverdesign.org

Students may be heading back to school and preparing to hit the books, but entrepreneurs -- no matter their age -- should also consider adding a few skills to their repertoire.

As a serial entrepreneur, I have had to continually learn, ask for help and seek out resources to get ahead in the game. In effect, school is always in session.

As such, it's your responsibility to teach yourself every aspect of what will make your product successful. Here are three key areas you should have knowledge in:

1. Design
The most common complaint I hear from designers, both friends and employees, is the phrase "make it look spicier." It's a phrase that communicates that you don't like something about a designer's work, but you aren't quite sure what it is.

Teaching yourself the basics of what looks good, why it looks good and what goes into making it look that way will make designers excited to work with you. Not only that, but it also arms you with the ability to communicate your needs to an art team in a meaningful way.

Related: Tim Ferriss on Mastering Any Skill

2. Search engine optimization
Google is very open about the fact that the company frequently changes the way its search engine ranks websites. The search giant has also written a bunch of guides that explain the basics of what search engine optimization, or SEO, specialists actually do. If you want to stay on the forefront of search, read up.

Understanding the basic principles behind getting more organic traffic to your site will help demystify an industry that has benefitted from uninformed consumers.

Related: Seth Godin on the 3 Essential Skills Every Entrepreneur Should Cultivate

3. Web development
In today's world, you're kidding yourself if you don't think programming is a necessary skill. You don't have to understand every nook and cranny but knowing the basics of coding will provide a foundation that allows you to communicate with developers and make minor tweaks.

Getting started with coding is as easy as signing up to free online service Codecademy and using their resources to understand the basics.

Entrepreneurship is about the joy of the system. Integrating different resources and learning new skills will help you have a huge leg up on your competition.

What other skills do you think are important for entrepreneurs? Let us know in the comments below.

Adam Toren

Serial entrepreneur, mentor, advisor and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com

Adam Toren is a serial entrepreneur, mentor, investor and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com. He is co-author, with his brother Matthew, of Kidpreneurs and Small Business, BIG Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right (Wiley). He's based in Phoenix, Ariz.

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