Trying to be your own boss has its inarguable upsides. You can decide on the dynamics of your workplace, choose your own hours, treat staff well and try to maximise profits for yourself. But while that all sounds like a cinch, it takes more skill than you might imagine.
Running a business is a marathon
Most small business owners take years, even decades, to hone their skills, using famous entrepreneurs as templates or attending in-depth courses on the subjects of business and finance.
Even those who are clued up might struggle in the bear pit of free market capitalism. It only takes one slip-up in a dodgy financial climate to turn your once-thriving business into a stagnant shell of its former self.
Huge numbers of SMEs fail within their first 18 months, not least because of poor leadership, a lack of brand awareness or a dearth of financial planning.
These things take time. But with more and more digital pioneers becoming bosses and CEOs at a young age, learning the foundational elements of business is becoming a lost art. Instead, technical whizz kids focus on their product and delegate actual leadership to other people.
While that might work with the foetus-faced CEOS of Silicon Valley, it’ll be unlikely to suffice for any other SMEs. For everyone else, training is the best option. So we’ve come up with a few tips to help you train yourself into a business superstar.
Find a hero
Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Alan Sugar. They’ve all got one thing in common – an eye for success.
And studying their rise to prominence can be vital to boosting the profits of your business.
Look at the backstories of these (and many other) entrepreneurs, and incorporate their successes into your business plan.
Of course, not every success story works in the same way. Some rich businesspeople simply managed to grab onto the popular zeitgeist at the right time, riding on the tailcoats of the culture they lived in. But if you can find a leader that inspires you, try some of their strategies for your company.
Go the distance
Distance learning has been providing leaders with a sophisticated skillset for decades, and its effectiveness has increased since the dawn of the internet age.
Where it used to be a case of education by post, it’s grown into an intricate (but easy-to-use) education portal online that’s teeming with online business degrees that will rocket you to entrepreneurial success.
Most of these courses are about optimising your perceptiveness towards business opportunities, and coordinating your staff effectively towards your company’s objectives.
What’s more, an effective course is fully accredited by universities and other business professionals, so you know you’re getting your money’s worth.
Once you’ve got an adequate level of knowledge under your belt, you’ll be able to tackle problems more effectively, honing a top-class instinct that can turn even the most meagre opportunity for profit into a veritable goldmine.