No-one knows everything, even those that people that depend on the breadth of their knowledge – such as small business owners – to succeed. However, just because you might not know everything you need to build a profitable company, that doesn’t mean that it has to remain that way forever. With a little bit of self-analysis, a little bit of learning, and a little bit of outside help, you can plug those gaps and prevent them from unnecessarily derailing your business. Here’s how.
Identify the Gaps
First thing’s first: what are you actually lacking in? Most people are pretty good at identifying their strong points, but when it comes to running a business that’s only half the battle. It’s just as important that you focus on the areas in which you don’t excel. In doing so, you’ll be able to see where you need to improve. Of course, it can be quite difficult to think about things that you don’t have, so use a checklist of everything a business owner needs to do and see which ones you don’t think you could perform to a high standard.
Take a Course
You went to school, and then to university, and then set out into the big, bad world ready to make your mark. You’ll have been learning for the majority of your life, and then it all came to a halt. But it doesn’t have to be this way! If you’ve found something fundamentally beneficial to business success that you lack in, then look at taking a course. You can look online, at a weekend course, or even enroll in a local college course if you have the time. From knowing little about the subject, you’ll become something of an expert.
Approaches to Learning
Of course, you don’t have to do anything quite as grand as signing yourself up for a course. If the subject matter isn’t overly complicated, then you might be able to learn all you need to know just with the only tried and tested method of learning: by reading a book! Whatever you need to know, you’ll find that there are high level, easily accessible books available on the subject. As an entrepreneur, you’ll also be well-served by reading the books written by some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs. They’ll contain invaluable nuggets of wisdom which might just help take your business to the next level.
Get Outside Help
You might be a business owner, but that doesn’t mean you have to do everything by yourself – even if you’re currently the company’s only employee. There are two approaches, here. The first is to hire an employee that excels in one of your weaknesses and pass the responsibility over to them. The second is to outsource the specialist tasks to a third party; tax, marketing, and IT outsourcing will all give you access to high-quality work, without the need to hire a full-time employee. It’ll also help free up some of your time, too.
Find a Mentor
As you’re probably already aware, you are not the first person in history to start a company. Thousands of people have done it before you and been successful, and some of them may be willing to help guide you along on your journey. If you know someone like this, then ask them to be your mentor. They might not have all the information you need, but they can be a brilliant person to bounce ideas off and to learn from in general. If you don’t have a person like this in your life, then you can use one of the many online database resources that are available. If you do, you’ll be considerably increasing your chances of success.
Assess the Progress
You don’t want to go out of your way to learn more and more, and then not check that it’s been worth your effort. Once you’ve identified your weaknesses and then have done something about it, keep tabs on the progress that you’ve made in those areas. If you’re still not performing as well as you’d like, then you’ll know that there’s still more effort required.
Finally, remember that arrogance is going to be one of the biggest threats to your business. So stay humble. Admitting that you don’t have all the answers and being comfortable reaching out to others for help is one of the best remedies against letting your knowledge gaps bring you down. As we said in the opening line, nobody knows everything, so don’t pretend like you do!