One of the challenges of operating a business is figuring out how to perform the daily operations of the business as well as stay updated with the news trends and developments in the industry. This is especially true in the information technology industry where changes happen very rapidly, but it applies for almost any type of industry over time. How do you stay updated with the latest ideas and techniques without sacrificing delivering your core products/services? This question weighs heavier on a sole proprietor than any other type of business due to limited resources. Here are some tips that I have used to balance the delicate scale of learning and working.
Prioritize formal education for a fixed time period
You may be naturally adept at your job but at some point you may desire a formal recognition of your talent. To get the degree or certification that you want you may have to go back to school. Your business does not have to stop because you are taking classes though. You can do courses online from accredited sources while still running your business. If you do decide to obtain a degree or certification though, ensure that you make it a priority and invest in your education. After you receive your degree or certification you will be even more qualified to run the business efficiently. If you want your business to succeed, however, you should not reduce your influence on it indefinitely. Give yourself enough time to get the formal education that is necessary then refocus your knowledge and new-found expertise on growing your business.
Continue with informal education throughout your career
Despite our best efforts, we will never know it all and we will never be recognized for all that we know. To remain competitive we must learn, adapt and innovate. This can only be done by continuing education through experiences, opportunities and even failures. The internet gives us access to many resources that we can use to educate ourselves at our own pace. Although this type of education may not be formerly recognized, you have access to various types of multimedia to suit your individual learning needs.
Learn from the experience of others
Influencers are people who have gained a reputation in their field and are regarded as good sources of advice. These influencers can teach us from their own experience and success/failure stories. By learning from these individuals’ work ethic and approach to problems we can gain insights from the professionals that have already been through the challenges we are facing. These insights can help us to avoid making the same mistakes and prepare us for some of the challenges in store.
Keep a futuristic view of business
Your business is operating now but your goals are based on future success and profits. With that in mind you have to be focussed on your goals and the environment in which you are operating. The rise of social media has changed the behaviour of many in your target audience and future developments are likely to have a similar impact. Being able to foresee these trends allows you to be better prepared for them. Change can be challenging especially if it requires leaving your comfort zone but it is often necessary. Do not let the challenges of today make you lose sight of the opportunities of tomorrow.