As a business owner, you have to keep your knowledge of your craft and your industry current. You can’t expect to triumph over competitors if you’re not up to date on the latest developments, technologies or trends. You also can’t expect peers or employees to respect you if it’s obvious that you don’t know what you’re talking about. That means you constantly have to take in and process relevant information. Here’s where to get this information from:
For a constant stream of information you have to join the social stratosphere. For business owners, the best social media avenue is without a doubt Linkedin. You can connect with contemporaries as yourself and your company. Twitter is effective too, provided you follow the right people. Start by following people you know and respect, and then look at who they are following. It’s likely that they will also follow reputable companies and business owners.
If you subscribe to daily or weekly newsletters from companies to watch, the news will come to you – you won’t have to go looking for it. Newsletters worth your time will be relevant and contain useful links, opinions and industry alerts. Read them first thing in the morning to get your news fix before you start your day. This way the newsletters won’t interfere with your productivity levels.
Business-to-business publications refer to any printed material that contains important information, from newspapers to magazines and b2b books. They’re a wealth of information and definitely worth investing in. Good b2b books are especially valuable, as you can keep them in your office and refer back to sections whenever you need to. The bonus here is that some books are available to download from the internet, so you don’t even have to leave your office or home to purchase them.
You can’t limit where you get your knowledge from to the office. You also have to get out to trade fares, expos and conferences to get the information from the experts themselves. These types of industry events will give you the chance to ask questions and also mingle with others in your industry. This then becomes more than just a learning experience – it also turns into a networking event. And, as you should know, building relationships is very important if you want to build a successful business.
Professional development courses
Professional development courses are an excellent way to continue your education and thus keep your knowledge up to date. They’re generally presented as part-time courses. If you don’t have a lot of home commitments, you can opt for courses presented at a learning institution. You’ll get to interact with other students, so you’ll also have the chance to network. If you prefer self-study, you can look at online courses. Keep in mind that these will require that you are self-disciplined.
Once you start exploring these strategies, you’ll find that you’ll be able to employ most of them in your average working day. Others, like attending conferences, you’d only be able to use when the opportunity presents itself. Do aim to put all of them to use though, because that will ensure that you get the maximum benefit for yourself and your business.
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