Many entrepreneurs set up their own business and then their whole focus is on keeping it afloat. Few entrepreneurs even think about professional development let alone actually get involved in it. This is such as shame because, although running a business will undoubtedly teach you a lot, there is nothing like continuing your education to give you a competitive edge, and if we’re being completely honest, give you a good backup should your efforts not be as successful as you would like.
One of the common traits of successful people is continuously seeking ways to improve. That's why I not only earned my BA in Communication, I also went on to earn my MA in Journalism. I also continue to seek out opportunities like classes and workshops to learn new skills.
Read on for things to consider when fleshing out your plan for professional development.
Now that it is possible to enroll in everything from short courses in accountancy to MBAs from excellent schools online, where you can work at your pace, it makes sense for entrepreneurs to invest in their continuing education, and the continuing education of their employees too. Why? Because the world of business is not stagnant and whatever sector you work in, it is likely that changes will be a constant factor in helping you to beat the competition or not. The more knowledge you have, the more power you have to align your business with the needs and values of your target audience.
That’s all well and good, but how can you possibly fit the time in to take a class? What kind of classes should you even be taking?
Online vs Offline
If you’re an entrepreneur and you are front and center when it comes to running your business, it’s probably going to be in your best interests to study online either via one of the many MOOCs that are available and free of charge online or via a paid course with a decent college. However, if you can spare the time, if you are doing something like an MBA, you may want to consider an offline course, Why? Because a major roi of MBA courses is the fact that you get to meet and network with other aspiring business men and women. So, by actually turning up to classes, you can mingle and hopefully make a few useful contacts.
Of course, education doesn’t always have to be so formal and if having certain qualifications under your belt will not influence your business in any real positive way that you can think of, then you may want to consider the benefits of self-directed learning, which basically means using resources like books and the internet to learn what you want and need to learn for the future success of your business as and when you want/need to learn it. You won’t get any official credit for this, but if, as I said earlier, that doesn’t matter, and it is simply the information you need to implement certain processes within your company it is a good option to take.
The Bottom Line
Just because you’re an entrepreneur and you have your own business doesn’t mean that you know it all, and that means that education is always going to be important to you, and the success of your company in the future. Now, there are many ways to get that education, there are know excuses not to fill yourself with as much knowledge as your brain can hold.
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