Bearing in mind, that almost 80% of new businesses fail within their first 5 years, it's smart for every small business owner to find out what they can do to try prevent this happening to them.
From my perspective, I believe the vital skills that new business owners need to have are effective financial management skills and excellent strategic marketing skills.
Many will say that having sales skills is vital, but sales is only one aspect of marketing and at times you may not even need a hard sell approach.
Marketing is about looking at every aspect of your business to ensure that you are customer (or consumer) focused in order to make a profit. Keeping in touch with your customers regularly to find out if they are still happy with your product / service is vital and can also help you build your business by getting new product idea's or different ways to do something that will add more value to your customers as well as to your business. Too many small businesses get arrogant or complacent and think that they are doing a "fab" job and that all their customers love them. 2 years later when they don't have half the customers they used to have & they don't know what went wrong. What went wrong was that they were not on top of their customers feelings about their product / service.
Marketing is also about finding effective ways to promote your company so that your target market finds you, or you find your target market. There are many ways of doing this eg. advertising, selling, PR, promotions.
So my advice is to make sure you research your product extensively with consumers to make sure it is supplying a very real need, make sure that you can make your required profit (even if it is in a couple of months time), check that there is not too much competition, promote your business effectively and efficiently and then when your business is up and running, make sure you do regular research with your customers re. their satisfaction (make sure you allow them to make comments which could enhance their experience with your company)
I would highly recommend that you do some research regarding strategic marketing or even one of the courses that the IMM (Institute of Marketing Management) has, or find someone who is knowledgeable on the subject. (Marketing skills are skills that would benefit every person in an organisation as well as the company itself)
Remember it can take up to 2 years to see a business running successfully, so don't give up if you are doing something you love and that other people really need.