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Why business owners shouldn’t stop learning

AS a small business owner,learning something new may seem daunting, the reward goes far beyond personal growth. In fact, furthering your education can benefit your employees, business and brain. Following are some ways small business owner can benefit from continued education.

There is a stigma in the business world that any continued education worth getting includes high-priced seminars or a full-fledged MBA programme at a top business school. If you’re looking for actual face time with instructors and classmates, be on the lookout for free seminars and guest speaking sessions sponsored by local small-business alliances.

According to a 2014 study by the Apollo Education Group, 70 percent of senior executives are concerned about the availability of key skills needed for their professional growth. If you’re looking to boost your out-of-the-box thinking, try taking a step outside of your business.

Learning how others have found more efficient ways to complete tasks, picked up new skills, and expanded their businesses can get you thinking about your own company in new ways.


Expands your network
More than half of all small businesses are based in their owners’ homes. Despite being financially responsible, this often leads to limited networking opportunities. If you don’t work in a busy office building on a town’s main street or in a collaborative co-working space, you can often go weeks without meeting new contacts.
Don’t limit the idea of expanding your network to places like stuffy networking events with awkward name tags.

Business partners

Whether in a classroom or online, your educator is likely to be someone who has forged valuable contacts in the industry. And your classmates can also become a significant part of your network as well – as sounding boards for ideas, potential business partners for future endeavors, or even strategic new hires.

Do you run a tech startup but feel clueless when talking to non-engineering employees? Trying to relate to everyone across your company isn’t easy. But this is where quick, introductory educational classes can come in handy. Investing in a marketing seminar or sales webcast can change how you connect with employees in departments outside your educational background. Get a better understanding of what your employees face each day, and find ways to present new ideas to them with ease.

Chances are you’re still using most of the same technology as the day you opened up shop. We’re creatures of habit, after all.

Once you and your employees learn a program or process, trying to learn something new can become a huge undertaking. Simply sticking to what you know could have lasting effects on your customer base and competitive outlook.

In fact, among companies with a recognized skill shortage, 66 percent expect to lose business to competitors and 59 percent say they’re facing eroding customer satisfaction. Simple webinars can introduce you to the best ways to use a new version of software you’ve purchased. If you’re really interested in a product, it may be worth scheduling a demo with a sales associate who can teach you how to get ahead of the competition.


Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.