As a small business owner we wear many hats. We become the accounts department, the manager, the customer representative, the marketing manager and that’s just to name a few. It’s often these parts of the business that require us to upskill.
When you’re first starting a business it’s because you’ve had a great idea but most small business owners don’t have any experience in running a business. Funds are always tight and resources are in short supply. We tend to do as much of the work as possible as we want to save money where we can.
Upskilling is worth every cent and it doesn’t have to be a costly exercise. First decide where to invest your time and money that’s going to be the most beneficial to you getting ahead. It’s not realistic to complete a new degree or sign up to a fulltime course, you have a business to run!
One of our favourite ways to upskill is through Udemy courses. Udemy is an online and teaching marketplace where you can basically learn anything at your own pace. Just make sure you read the course reviews. Online courses are super flexible, they allow you to learn anywhere at any time.
When you expand your knowledge, you can make better decisions. The time will come one day (we hope it does as this means our business is growing!) when you need to outsource or employ someone. And because you’ve upskilled and learnt about a certain facet of the business, you’re becoming better at running your business and will be able to oversee better the area you’ve outsourced or employed someone to take over.
Technology is constantly changing, and it’s important to keep up to date with the changes in your industry as well as to tools that you use in your business. Unfortunately, many business owners don’t spend the time learning new things, which can have a negative effect on their business. You do not want those competitors getting the upper hand.
Here are areas to upskill as a small business owner.
We’re not suggesting you need to learn how to do your BAS or EOFY accounts. But by getting an understanding of your accounts you can then easily forecast sales and create a budget. You need to keep track of every dollar that goes in and out of your business and most importantly if you’re making money!
Maybe this one we should have put first as after all who hasn’t heard “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Every business owner should have a plan in place! What are your goals, when do you want to achieve them by…how are you going to achieve them and what’s going to keep you accountable? Hands up who has a business plan?
Sales does not come easy and chances are a very small percentage of small business owners we’re in sales prior to starting their business. You can have the best product in the world, but it won’t sell itself. People buy from people, not just because of your product or service but they base it on how well you connect with them. (ie. If they like you!) But how do we create a smooth sales pitch that doesn’t sound like a pitch.
Without marketing, you’re not going to sell any of your products and services. Downside, it can also be one of the most expensive parts of your business. Yes, you need to spend money to make money. There are some areas that you can manage yourself, from your social media through to your email marketing.
With any type of upskilling or learning as a small business owner, it’s essential you’re learning from the correct people, so do your research. Would you really want to learn Facebook from someone who only has 200 people following them? Or business planning from someone who has never run a successful business?