Your business skills have an expiration date

5 Apr

This article was written by A.Michelle Blakeley. A.Michelle Blakeley is the Founder and CEO of Simplicity, Inc.; a progressive small business development firm. She manages her clients’ business expectations and prevents information overload via Micro Business Therapy™ and Micro Business Action Plans. She is featured in Forbes.com and the Financial Post as one of 30 Women Entrepreneurs to Follow on Twitter and the host of Simple Truths for Women Entrepreneurs on BlogTalkRadio.com.

It’s never too late to learn something new. Honing your business skills can help you maximize productivity and attain goals by providing strategic insight and applicable techniques. Don’t just take the time to learn something new. Knowledge unused is wasted. Implement what you learn and share it with others.

It doesn’t matter how you acquire information and new knowledge. However, it does matter that you actively pursue it and utilize it for the benefit of you and your business. Your business is a journey and just like with any trip, you see new things, learn new things and bring new things back with you. Make the most of your journey. Don’t just be a tourist; get to know the people and culture of where you are.

5 ways to hone your business skills:

1. Take a class online, live or via phone. Most of the time, these are cost-effective ways to acquire new information on a wide variety of topics. They are also convenient in terms of location and access.

2. Connect with a mentor. The wisdom that you gain from someone who has walked the walk is priceless. You can learn from their experiences and mistakes. You can expand on what has worked for them. Most importantly, you have emotional support and encouragement.

3. Read business magazines, books and reports. These are quick, yet powerful ways to discover quick tips, tools and techniques that will increase your knowledge and resources.

4. Join a business association related to your industry. Association memberships keep you aligned with best industry practices and legislation.

5. Sign up for a business retreat or convention out of town. Getting out of your “territory” and meeting new business owners is refreshing. You can see how things are done in other areas, expand your market base, collaborate with new connections and break the monotony of your daily routine.

Don’t get left behind. Failing to refresh yourself and ideas on a regular basis is a sure way to not only kill your creativity but dull your business senses. Use the venues above to keep your finger on the pulse of your target market, industry and relevance of your business. Your business skills are directly related to your business success.

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