Business acumen is essentially the capacity to quickly evaluate and approach a business scenario using concrete skills and in-depth knowledge and reach the best possible conclusion.
Strong business knowledge is essential for everyone in the workplace, especially for startup founders. Developing your business acumen helps you enhance your efficiency at work and contributes to your firm’s success in the long run. If you need to improve your business acumen, here is how you can improve it and catch up with the best minds out there:
1. Obtain a Business Degree
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Unfortunately, pursuing a business degree is a conventional route, and it does not seem to be too popular among the new generation. However, most successful entrepreneurs, CEOs, managers, and even those who pursued a career in e-commerce with significant achievements come from academically sound backgrounds. Therefore, you should enroll in a suitable program right off the bat. With so many well-reputed AACSB accredited online MBA programs no GMAT, required should not be an issue. At the same time, it is equally critical to integrate academic study with the subject you are passionate about.
2. Get A Mentor
One of the best aspects of working in a company is that it provides several chances to learn from coworkers. Though you might not always apply what you learn, it is still a great method to broaden your knowledge. Regardless of how competent you may be, it’s always helpful to bounce ideas off of others and learn new things along the way. Mentors are ideal for this healthy activity.
It bears worth mentioning that all mentors are not equal. To get the best out of a mentor, you should seek the following characteristics to form a mentor-mentee relationship.
- Enthusiasm: When looking for a mentor, you should focus on one crucial component of the potential mentor’s personality. They must be on top of enthusiasm. You should be able to sense their genuineness in how they express their willingness to assist you. Good mentors are always driven by a desire to help others instead of worldly objects.
- Industry knowledge: A mentor must quickly get you off the ground in the area you attempt to break into. Therefore, it is pertinent for a mentor to provide industry insights and trends.
- A desire for learning: Great mentors are life-long learners. They understand that they can also lag in knowledge despite being specialists. As a result, they will be open to the possibility that you may have solutions that they do not have. A mentor willing to learn from their mentee is the right fit.
3. Read Business Books
Reading business books on a variety of subjects both provides information and deepens one’s understanding of a specific subject. Everything you read instills new information in your mind. The more you know, the better prepared you will be to confront any obstacle that comes your way. Remember that even if you lose everything else, such as your job and assets, knowledge will never be taken away from you.
We know that reading books is easier said than done. It stands particularly true for individuals who are into books. Well, you can cultivate the habit of reading with the help of tips enlisted below:
- Choose the right book: It could be tempting to grab popular business books or the ones that catch your eye in a nearby bookstore. However, for new readers, this strategy is unlikely to work. We suggest that you begin with a book that sparks your interest.
- Set a time: You must allocate a specific time to reading. Irrespective of your mood or schedule, you should read during this period.
- Always take a book with you: Take a book with you wherever you go. If carrying a hard copy causes inconvenience, you can go for the soft copy. It will enable you to read more, especially during traveling.
4. Understand The Financial Side
Financial measurements are used in every firm. To acquire business acumen, you must comprehend the crucial figures and financial processes that determine your company’s economic standing. This is because these numbers assist you in focusing on what is essential to gauge the success of your decisions.
Some of these measures, such as net income and customer lifetime value, are shared by all businesses. Others may be specific to your business strategy, which could be necessary to a particular department.
5. Listen To Customers
Customers are the lifeblood of any business. There is simply no revenue without them. Your consumers have firsthand knowledge of how your company operates. Hence, the more you know about your clients, the more you can use that knowledge to improve your business. Yet, strangely enough, many firms fail to solicit input from their customers.
Whatever is going on behind the scenes, your company will always require customers. If you do not clearly understand your customers’ beliefs, your business acumen will suffer big time.
Here are two of the most reliable ways to come to terms with customer insights:
- Qualitative research: Qualitative research is speaking directly with your consumers to get their thoughts on your company’s products and services. To get a substantial sample size, you must talk about a fair proportion of clients. Customers also submit feedback pertinent to their present circumstances, accounting for bias outcomes of your study. That is precisely why you should combine this method with quantitative research. There are a few issues with this method.
- Quantitative research: This method provides a larger and impartial client sample. If a client tells you they do not like a certain product, but your data reveals it is a best-seller, you know the consumer does not reflect the majority’s point of view.
Contrary to the common assumption, working for an organization does not automatically translate into sound business acumen. In fact, you can readily come across people who have served their respective companies and been in the industry for several years without any significant career advancement. So if you want to embrace growth, taking these steps to improve business acumen will help.