When it comes to professional development, many conversations invariably centre around individuals planning the growth of their careers. In other words, employees planning their climb up the corporate ladder.
But, professional development is equally important for the small business owner. You may already be the ‘big kahuna’ in your business or the ‘cherry on top of the sundae’, (yes, I know pretty lame analogies) but the strength and growth of your business also depends on you getting better at what you do.
Being a business owner is multi-faceted. You either perform the roles or drive the direction of the businesses core functions in sales, service provision, marketing, finance, HR, procurement and so on…………
Nobody goes into business being an expert in all those key areas. If you think you need to be, then you are being too hard on yourself. Often, the reality is that you are the specialist in the core function/intent of the business, and may have a base level competence in some or all of those other listed areas.
For example, the IT guru may be able to assemble and repair any type of PC, but may have basic skills in bookkeeping. The business consultant may be able to guide you in lifting sales to stellar heights but finance, HR and procurement may sit fairly low on their skillset table. (Ok, Ok….I can hear all the business consultants out there. Yes, I know you are proficient in all those areas. It’s just an example, alright!)
So, let’s get back to professional development. There are probably two main paths most people follow when it comes to professional development.
Firstly, we have the ‘shotgun’ approach. It works on the basis that you have a rough idea of the additional skills you need to be proficient across all key areas of your business, and like the hundreds of pellets sprayed from a shotgun cartridge you grab at any articles, seminars, workshops or courses that sound like they might hit the mark. The outcome is often a costly exercise in terms of the expense and time (that you don’t have the luxury of losing), with results that may or may not achieve your ultimate goals.
Secondly, we have the ‘targeted’ approach which works on the basis that you have considered exactly what skills you may be lacking or need to develop further. After identifying those skills, you will have spoken to your business consultant or coach, (that’s a free plug for anyone I may have offended earlier) or perhaps a training professional, to carefully select on-line material, seminars, workshops or training courses (online, face to face, distance education) that actually give you those skills.
You are unlikely to be helped by loading your business profile with qualifications that might look good, but don’t provide you with the actual skills you need to develop the business. Also, in reality, you just aren’t going to have the time to waste on that approach.
Business development is all about planning, and planning includes ongoing professional development for the owner! So, when you’re ready to have that conversation about growing your business and your own professional development, engage with the team at Present Professionally. You won’t be disappointed.
Present Professionally serves customers across the Toowoomba Region and South East Queensland. You can follow Anthony at https://au.linkedin.com/in/anthonyferro1 or view details at www.presentprofessionally.com.au and LIKE us on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/PresentProfessionallyAustralia/
Written and Published by www.presentprofessionally.com.au