(This is a contributed post)
No matter where you are in business, no matter how successful your operation, you should never give up on learning. We don’t care if you hold a business degree, it doesn’t matter how many courses you have taken, and we aren’t bothered about the expertise you have in your field. You must always hold on to that learning mentality; being teachable, no matter your position. If you don’t… you will find yourself learning from business failure! Sorry, but it’s true. Consider the number of businesses that are shutting their doors every day. Why? There are many factors, but quite often they have failed to learn from the competition. They have failed to learn current trends in business. They have failed to learn the benefits of new technologies. Quite simply, they have failed to learn!
So, our message is this. Keep on learning. Your business will benefit if you do.
You should learn from your customers, those very people who are the lifeblood of your purchase. Give them feedback surveys and learn from their responses. Keep an eye on consumer trends, and stay up to date with any changes that determine their shopping behaviour. Speak to them, listen to them, learn from them.
You need to learn from the people you employ. Okay, so you’re the boss, but that doesn’t mean you know everything. Especially when your employees are fresh out of college, they may have something new to teach you about your industry. They will have skills you don’t have, qualifications you don’t hold, and life experiences that will shape the way they behave at work. Is there anything they can teach you? Almost certainly, yes!
You need to pursue learning opportunities outside of work, focussing on areas where you know you are the weakest. Many courses can be taken online, including MBAs in Business Management and Administration. There are learning providers in classrooms up and down the country who will provide you with new skills and qualifications to carry out your business. As one example, you could contact Training Connection to learn Microsoft Access, Web Development, and Business Skills. Always take advantage of what is on offer online and off, as you will not only better yourself, but have the qualifications to showcase your business credentials to others.
It is vital you learn from your mistakes, as despite your many strengths, you are certainly not infallible. You may have said or done something that has affected your reputation. You may have damaged your business with a hasty decision. You may have spent money in the wrong places, or not spent enough. Mistakes are a great asset in business, provided you learn from them and don’t repeat the same blunders over and over again.
Learn from your business rivals, the things they do well, and the things they fail at. You need to be better than them, or at the very least match them, in the way you conduct your business. You don’t want to shut your doors because they have found new ways to market themselves. You don’t want to be left standing because they have evolved with the times. You need to be on your guard, learning from their example, and being teachable to stay relevant in your business.
Every day, make a vow to learn something new. Whether that’s talking to somebody for advice, picking up a book, booking yourself onto a course, or watching something instructional online. Never assume you have made it in business, because you are destined for a fall. Keep learning, and the people around you will learn from your good example. Business success will surely follow.