Business owners continually push their employees to learn more. Whether it’s on-the-job training, seminars, classes or degree programs, business owners know that continuing education allows their employees to grow. When employees grow their skills, they can perform their jobs better, take on new challenges and rise through the company ranks.
What business owners might forget, however, is that they could benefit from continuing education, too.
Why business owners need to keep learning
There are countless ways business owners can benefit from continuing education. From learning new skills to brushing up on the latest trends, continuing education helps business owners to grow, and that personal growth can lead to business growth. Some of the primary benefits of continuing education for business owners include:
Expanding capabilities. Running your own business means taking on tasks you might not have been trained for. As your business grows and expands, you likely will realize where your weaknesses lie. It could be an aspect related to running a business, such as bookkeeping, or it could be an aspect of your business that you don’t have practical experience in. You might be an expert chimney sweep, but if you’ve never installed a fireplace, it could be difficult to talk to your customers or relate to your employees about the job.
Staying on top of industry trends. Things can change quickly. A new product or technology can be introduced, or a company in your industry could try a new approach that strikes a chord with customers. By continuing your education, you can stay on top of industry trends, whether it’s a new technology you should be employing, a product or service you should be offering, or a best practice you should be adopting.
Growing your business. As your business grows and expands, you might find that there’s something you’re not offering that’s in demand. Your customers might repeatedly ask you for a particular service. If your business experience tells you that there’s a market need, seeking out training in that area can help your business grow faster, and in a way you didn’t expect it to.
Networking. Small business owners can find themselves very isolated. They work in small offices, or from home, with small groups of people, or even by themselves. By attending continuing education courses in your industry, you can find yourself networking with the people who can lead you toward new business opportunities.
How business owners can find educational opportunities
There are plenty of traditional methods of continuing education. You can enroll in a degree program or attend seminars. There are also many less conventional continuing education opportunities that are more easily accessible, cheaper and less time consuming. Many universities now offer online courses. More and more websites are emerging to offer quality low-cost or no-cost continuing education opportunities, and many industry groups offer online courses or webinars. For an in-person experience, local colleges and even chambers of commerce provide educational and training opportunities you might find helpful.
At the very least, all business owners should work to stay current on industry and business news. Podcasts, trade websites, and books are all simple and inexpensive ways to make sure you are developing your business skills. Growing your knowledge or skills in any way you can will ultimately help you grow your business.