Most posts and advice about entrepreneurship and starting a business center around ways to grow your business, how to get more traffic, how to sell more or how to build your business. These are all important topics of course, but in this post I wanted to cover something more general; How to improve yourself.
You do of course need to sell more and get more customers or whatever else, but what people forget is that when you first start out with a business you don’t know what you are doing. If you are serious about building a successful business you need to set aside time to learn to be a better entrepreneur. The best entrepreneurs are the ones who take the time to develop themselves and then use experience to apply the lessons they learn elsewhere.
1: Set A Few Goals
Ok, first of all, what aspect of your business or your management is weakest? You probably already know this, but writing it down is your first task. Take the time to figure out where you are performing best and worst and then set yourself a goal to improve upon your weaknesses and learn to exploit the strengths.
2: Schedule Learning Time
If your business is going well, you might well find yourself in a situation where all of your time is being spend running it. As hard as it might be, you need to set aside time now to learn, because that investment will save you time and money down the line.
Just an hour every other day or maybe a couple of hours once a week will do. You are going to be efficient with your time because you already know what you are going to be focusing on (those goals). Making a habit of professional development now will stay with you and make you the best entrepreneur you can be.
3: Emulate The Best
Whatever your business, there is probably someone doing it already, and they are probably bigger, more established etc… You should see these businesses and their leaders as your competition but also as your role models.
During your learning time you should take the time to study your role models, both within your area of business and more generally. Take the time to read about them and also plan for how you can apply those lessons to yourself. It may not always be obvious, but it should at least be inspiring.
4: Training & Conferences
Finally, don’t write off training courses as something for employees. For most people learning is there to get qualifications, but for you it is there because you want to be better. So whatever your weaknesses are take a course, get a private tutor or whatever you need.
For the areas that are most critical to your business (hopefully the areas you are best at too), you should be keeping up with the latest industry news and conferences are a great way to do that. Try to pick the most relevant ones and take the opportunity to meet people in your industry. Networking is rarely a bad thing.
So there you have it. I hope at the very least this post has reminded you budding entrepreneurs that you are the most important cog in that machine and the best way you can improve your business is to invest in yourself.