You launched a business with little more than a wing and a prayer, but thanks to your excellent stewardship, your little company is doing quite well. In truth, many small business owners and leaders have only the knowledge and skills gained through the experience of running their current operation — and as long as your current level of success meets your goals, you might not need to make any changes.
However, if you dream of building a much bigger business empire, you likely need to invest in your own knowledge and gain the skills. Here are a few steps you can take to improve your business acumen and grow your little enterprise to reach your dreams.
Pursue a Business Degree
A business degree is not a guarantee of entrepreneurial success, but it can provide several benefits that could improve how your business functions and boost business growth. For example, a bachelor’s degree in business administration will provide you with a fundamental level of knowledge and skill to make your business operations more efficient. Degree programs can expand your network, giving you connections to dozens of like minded business professionals to include potential employees, partners and mentors. Finally, a bachelor’s degree is an essential first step to achieving more advanced credentials, such as an MBA or even a PhD, which might be among your professional goals.
Read Business Books
Business is among the most popular genres of books, and every year, hundreds of new books are written and published by industry leaders to help small business owners like you develop winning strategies. You might turn to some of the most popular business books of all time, like “Good to Great” or “Built to Last,” both by Jim Collins, but you should also recognize that business trends change and evolve. More recent business books are more likely to provide you with valuable insights for the present and future, so you should keep an eye on the business bestsellers lists to find new reading material to better your business.
Find a Business Mentor
Everyone at every stage of their career can benefit from a relationship with a mentor. A mentor will help you make better decisions that promote the health and wellness of your business, and they will guide you toward other ways to develop your professional knowledge and gain the skills. As someone who has experienced entrepreneurship, your mentor should be able to understand your emotional state and help improve your confidence in your current role. You might approach other business leaders in your area to find your mentor, or you might use your professional network to find contacts with similar business experiences.
Engage With Business Influencers
Social media is an incredibly powerful tool for connecting all sorts of different people — to include the most prominent business experts with newbie entrepreneurs, like you. Some business gurus maintain private groups where disciples can ask questions and receive advice. You might also use tools like Reddit or Twitter to connect with experts in your industry or field. In fact, merely following business influencers on social media can give you access to their valuable insights and help build your knowledge and skill in business leadership.
Attend Business Seminars
Conferences and seminars are popular gathering places for business professionals as they offer some of the latest information to help leaders make better decisions for their organizations. You can find seminars that are specific to your industry as well as seminars specially made for small businesses and beginner entrepreneurship. To get the most out of the conference, you should familiarize yourself with every aspect of the schedule and space, so you know where you need to be and when to engage with the information most pressing to your unique business case. You should bring materials, like note taking tools and business cards, to help you remember lessons and make connections during your seminar experience.
Your small business may be doing well now, but if your success has come through chance, there is little guarantee that your business will continue thriving into the future. Fortunately, by working to improve your knowledge and skill, you can transition from a lucky entrepreneur to a confident and capable business leader with a growing enterprise.