Remember the training programs, seminars, and workshops you had to attend when you were on the corporate side of the table? You were expected to complete course after course for professional development and skill enhancement. Well, where do you get your training now that you are on your own? Do you learn from your clients? Are they the best teachers? What about your competitors?
Here are six ways to educate yourself and keep your professional edge:
- Learn from your clients. Discover what they are doing or not doing to keep up with the changing marketplace. Ask them to share what makes them unique or industry leaders.
- Join trade associations and networking groups that will keep you sharp and growing.
- Find a mentor or coach—someone who is further along the business career path or more experienced. Learn from them. Soak up the knowledge they choose to impart and reciprocate as much as possible.
- Read everything that you can about your industry and clientele. Identify and research your potential customer base.
- Get the appropriate industry or specialty certifications.
- Attend seminars and workshops to increase your knowledge and exposure. The more you associate and mingle with people who have similar businesses like yours, the more you will learn just by rubbing shoulders with them and mutually sharing your successes and challenges.
Educating yourself is very important. Set aside money each year for professional development. Don’t rest on past laurels or stop growing. If you do, you will lose competitive ground and be left behind.
Roy DeBrule, entrepreneur and seasoned executive in the financial services industry, has helped small business owners for over 25 years to successfully tackle overwhelming business challenges through his clear strategic perspective and a proven ability to evaluate the feasibility of goals. His guiding principle is that everyone, especially executive management needs to embrace one vision.
Roy is the President and co-founder of RADSGroup Organizational Consultants, a Stamford, CT based human resources and organizational consulting firm to small and medium-sized businesses. He is a member of the National Speakers Association and is available to speak at management conferences and leadership retreats. To discover how Roy and the RADSGroup can transform your business, visit: http://www.radsgroup.com/