You will need to rely on more than gut instinct and good ideas to thrive in business. It doesn’t matter if you are an entrepreneur, manager, or ambitious employee; you must work on your business knowledge to drive a company to success.
If you want to enjoy a successful career, you must build on your expertise. So get started by checking out these seven sure-fire ways to boost your business acumen.
1- Improve Your Professional Skills with an Online MBA
A Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree can provide professionals with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to become business leaders. Thanks to the course, you will be able to identify potential problems, make critical business decisions, engage teams, and discover unique opportunities.
During an Aston University MBA course, you will develop the analytical and strategical skills to launch and run a small business. Also, you will learn about different forms of finance, the financial market, and even financial strategy, which can help you identify potential business challenges and effective solutions. Plus, you will gain an in-depth understanding of the global business environment, which could help you become an asset to a multinational enterprise.
2- Follow Business Leaders
The more you understand about business, the more potential challenges you can identify, and the more solutions you can find for a problem. For this reason, you should follow various business leaders online, as you can learn from their mistakes and successes.
Follow large and small entrepreneurs on social media, subscribe to their YouTube channels, read their blogs, attend conferences, and even network with them in-person and via LinkedIn.
3- Keep Up-to-Date on Your Industry
Improve your business-know how by keeping up-to-date on the latest industry news, regulation changes, and the economy, which can help you foresee potential challenges. Pinpointing problems early on could help you develop various solutions to a problem, which can help a business bounce back from an issue or avoid it altogether. Don’t forget to monitor competitors to learn how they manage similar problems, which you could incorporate into your company’s processes.
4- Find Out What Makes Your Customers Tick
The most successful entrepreneurs understand the importance of listening to consumers, as their feedback can transform the customer experience. For example, Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, realized the importance of consumer feedback, as it helps the tech company provide products for various wants and needs. By listening to the brand’s audience, Apple developed some of its most iconic products, such as the iPod, iPhone, and Mac.
There are various ways to generate feedback from your audience. One tactic is qualitative research, which requires you to talk directly to your customers about their lifestyle, problems, and product desires. Host focus groups, create online surveys or give a customer a call.
Another tactic is a quantitative research that requires you to gather data about your demographic using the likes of social media reporting or a CRM. The unbiased information will accurately represent the majority and not the minority, which can help a business make smarter decisions.
The more feedback from customers, the more insight you will have into a company’s processes, products, and pitfalls. You must then act on this information to deliver products, services, and experiences that matter to your target audience.
5- Read the Best Business Books
Some of the biggest and best entrepreneurs have written various books to help entrepreneurs, managers, and other professionals thrive in business. To learn from their stories, obstacles, and successes, you should pick up their books.
If you are looking for entertaining, informative books on business acumen, pick up copies of:
- Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell
- The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz
- Good to Great by Jim Collins
- Atomic Habits by James Clear
- Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss
6- Learn About the Business Model
It doesn’t matter if you are a manager or a sales representative. You can enjoy more success by gaining an in-depth understanding of the business model. You will need to look beyond how the organization makes money and learn about the supply chain, business lifecycle, legal requirements, talent acquisition, marketing objectives, etc.
An in-depth understanding of the business can help you learn how it operates, generates revenue, and grows its net profit. You will then be in a better position to recommend unique solutions and innovative tactics, and you will understand how your decisions will impact the business.
7- Learn About Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Your business acumen must extend to your strengths and weaknesses. By gaining a detailed understanding of your talents and shortcomings, you will know when to take control of a problem or delegate a task to a more skilled team member.
While it is never easy to admit you have shortcomings, this insight will become a professional strength. If you are unsure about your strengths and weaknesses, complete a respected personality test, such as Myers Briggs, which can provide a detailed understanding of how you approach various problem-solving situations.
For example, you can identify if you are outwardly or inwardly focused, a thinker or a feeler, or if you judge or perceive. After answering various questions, you will receive an analysis of your personality types, such as a Thinker, Caregiver, or Idealist.
The choices you make can determine a company’s success or failure. The stronger your business acumen, the more likely a business can avoid obstacles, generate a healthier revenue, and increase its industry longevity.
Many factors can determine the strength of your business acumen. To climb the corporate ladder or lead a company to success, you should enroll in an MBA program, follow business leaders, get to know your customers, pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses, and stay updated on your industry. The more you know about a company’s finances, processes, legalities, and audience, the better decisions you can make and the more success you will enjoy throughout your career.