Getting into business is often oversimplified. Many people believe that if you work hard and provide a quality product, the world will beat a path to your door and you’ll be set for life.
The reality is that, on top of a serious work ethic and immeasurable determination, every business operator needs two specific -and often very dissimilar – skill sets to be successful.
First, you have to know how to run a business. The first set of skills is the universal business management skills that you need whether you’re in a barber shop, a bakery, or a dry cleaner. You need to know how to complete payroll, handle taxes and workers’ comp, and manage accounts.
Second, you need to know how to operate your business. The other set of skills involves the particular good or service to be involved in your firm. One must know how to cut hair, or bake cupcakes, or dry-clean fine linen, and with a high level of competence.
Many times, there are small-business development services to walk you through these tasks, or you can hire contracted help to take care of the administrative duties, freeing your time for improving your product and service. This will generally put more experienced hands in charge of your books, payroll, and so forth as well.
But the content of your business, the widget that comes out the door, is your sole responsibility. And during the opening months of operation, you may find that you don’t know as much about it as you’d like.
Who has time to learn a new business while operating a new business? As it turns out, anyone.
While certain fields demand a long, laborious field of study on a campus many miles from you, others are rather accommodating.
For example, you may be a new franchisee for a home health products company. You have a smattering of experience in the medical field but hold no degrees.
At first, it’s no problem, but in time you can see sales escaping you because you aren’t as well-versed in the products as your competitors.
Is it all over for you? No. Schools like Gwynedd Mercy University offer accelerated online nursing programs to help get up to par with the rapidly expanding and evolving healthcare world.
Even though you may never supervise a patient’s care, just having the knowledge base to understand what your products are will get you inroads with potential clients.
And not every business will require such in-depth study. Local vocational schools, university outreach systems, and even potential competitors may offer just the education that you need in order to make your business successful.
Another benefit to such education, whether formally gained or informally, is that it provides a safety net for your business in two ways.
First, as the old timers said, it gives you something to fall back on. If health insurance changes undercut that home health business and you decide to exit the market, you’re already trained for a full-time job, and you’ve garnered experience that will help you stand out from other applicants.
And second, those skills can provide you the freedom to work part-time in addition to your business, helping you pad your income while also learning still more about the work you do.
The beginning of a business is not the end of education. In many ways, it’s just the beginning.Targeting the right learning path will make you and your business more successful.