When you’re building your own business, it’s easy to get caught up in all the day-to-day activities involved in entrepreneurship, from everyday sales and customer service tasks through to product design, admin and more.
However, you shouldn’t forget to keep learning, too. The top business leaders around the world are those with a growth mindset and belief in the power of continual learning. There are many topics that can help you be the best entrepreneur possible. Read on for some of the subjects you should consider studying, either at university or via short courses, to expand your knowledge and skill set today.
Finance and Accounting
When you have your own business, one of the most important things to do to keep it thriving is ensure cash flow stays under control. As such, all entrepreneurs need to have a good understanding of finance and accounting. You must be able to set and stick to a budget, keep track of expenses, prepare and read key reports, make realistic sales and profit projections, see where to cut costs and most efficiently spend money and so on.
You should study finance and accounting, so you can learn about how to get access to capital to start and grow your business. Knowledge in this area will also help you work with different currencies and trade overseas as required. It’s helpful to understand how the effects of micro and macro-economic decisions made by local and overseas governments can impact you, too.
Most business owners plan to outsource their finance and accounting tasks to third-party accountants, advisors or in-house team members. However, even if you do this, you must still have your head wrapped around key elements, so you can make effective decisions for your organization — and avoid being taken advantage of by anyone you pay to handle these sorts of tasks for you.
Next, consider that many elements of business success come down to having a good understanding of human nature and how the brain works. If you want to become the best entrepreneur you can be, then it pays to learn about the mind. Whether you take some basic psychology classes or enroll in an entire online social work degree or similar, it’s worth it to ensure you get an idea of the different drives, inspirations, desires, fears and various complexities that drive us.
Once you’ve studied how the human mind operates, you will be better equipped to motivate yourself, deal with challenges and emotions and become more productive. It will prepare you to inspire and lead your staff members and to design or select products or services that your target customers will want to buy.
Understanding psychology will also help you better create your business brand and to market your wares effectively. Plus, it will be very beneficial when you’re trying to convert leads into more sales. Having a good idea about human nature will also assist you when it comes time to choose the right employees and to generate interest in your business from investors and lenders.
Lastly, in this technology-focused world, it’s more important than ever for entrepreneurs to have at least a basic understanding of computer science and related information technology topics. More and more aspects of business are becoming computerized and digitized, so owners and managers must be able to keep up.
For starters, having skills in this area will make it possible for you to create the best website for your venture and to utilize software programs to run your business productively. In addition, you’ll be able to take advantage of Big Data and analytics programs to do things like cut costs, streamline processes, observe trends, train your team well, hire the best new employees, create personalized offers for customers and more.
On a bigger-picture level, having knowledge of computer science might also be what helps you imagine a new product or service idea that disrupts a whole industry and launches your business into the stratosphere. For inspiration, just look at the founders and CTOs of some of the biggest tech firms in the world these days, like Snapchat, Facebook, Amazon, Angry Birds, Google, Basecamp and Evernote. It was their training and interest in the field of computer science led them to develop apps, games and other programs which created billion-dollar businesses and changed the way many people work, live and play today.
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