There’s much to be said for being an entrepreneur; having autonomy over your working life, the excitement and reward of running a successful business, and of course, if you get it right, the financial rewards. Nevertheless, it’s not a career path that’s without its problems, and many small business owners find they lack the skills or knowledge needed, or face external challenges they are unable to overcome. Small businesses fail in large numbers every year, so if you want to build a business that doesn’t fail, but instead prospers and grows, how can you ensure your success?
There are a vast variety of elements that have to come together to create a business that stands a good chance of being profitable. If you don’t ensure that every one of these elements is working for you, then you could well have problems.
For example, you could have excellent soft skills, be a great salesperson, be an inspiring leader, and create outstanding marketing campaigns, yet still fail in business because you haven’t got to grips with your figures.
If you don’t understand the difference, for example, between revenue and net profit, or how to set your pricing, none of the great work you do in all the areas you excel in will save you from falling into a financial trap, like having an impressive turnover and making very little profit. You also need to be aware of the national and global economic climate and how it’s likely to affect you.
The best way to ensure you have knowledge and understanding of all the elements that make up a business is to undertake a comprehensive business training course or academic degree. Many business-related courses and degrees are available online by distance learning, which means you can be as near or far from the campus as you like.
For instance, if you lived in the United States, you could enrol in an online MBA Texas, where the course is aimed at residents of the Lone Star State, or you could apply to an institution in any part of the world if you choose.
While you can gain a great deal from learning on the job, and indeed it’s an essential part of your business education, it isn’t a substitute for the comprehensive range of topics and theoretical underpinnings you’ll study doing a business course like the MBA.
Remember, as pointed out earlier, it only takes a lack of knowledge or skill in one area for the whole business to be affected. Studying for an MBA or similar qualification ensures you have extensive knowledge of all the critical facets of business.
As well as getting the right education in all the aspects of business, experience in the sector is invaluable. It gives you a chance to put what you learn into practice, and see how the topics you study applies to real world situations.
For example, negotiating with a supplier is a skill you can learn a lot about through studying communication and negotiation skills, price points, supply and demand, assessing market conditions, and understanding global and local supply chains. However, taking a meeting with one of your suppliers follows a path that can’t be anticipated; it has to be managed in the moment and is a serious test of your abilities.
The more you can put your hand to different tasks within a business environment, the better your business skills will become. You’ll increase both your knowledge and expertise and gain confidence from your experiences. You’ll also be able to learn from the people around you, who may have years of experience and plenty of valuable information and tips to share with you.
Even if they aren’t that brilliant at their jobs, it can be a valuable lesson in how not to carry out a task. For instance, if the staff in a particular department all moan about their boss and dislike him or her intensely, you can look at why that might be; where is your colleague going wrong?
Is it people skills, communication, respect for staff, inability to take advice or admit mistakes, or incompetence that gets blamed on the departmental staff? There could be many reasons as to why this person is disliked, and by observing where they’ve gone wrong, you can see first hand the effects of poor management.
Success in business isn’t guaranteed, however capable you are and however great your idea. All sorts of factors come into play with businesses, and there are some you can do very little about. The important thing is to act on the elements that you can do something about to ensure you give your business the best chance of success.