Working for a typical 9-5 job might be easy, but running a business isn’t. Entrepreneurs will agree to it because they also experienced scenarios while trying to set up their own business. They had to face different situations on a day-to-day basis where every decision impacts their business growth. In short, they had to sharpen their “business acumen” if they wanted to succeed.
Business acumen is the efficiency and eagerness to understand business matters and act accordingly for positive outcomes. It is a powerful tool that empowers you to fulfill your business vision with the help of concrete skills. It helps you make effective business decisions by assessing what is good and bad for your organization. Eventually, it produces the desired results that motivate you and keeps you on the right track.
The most significant learning is not by success but by failure. You learn more when you lose something big, which could happen due to any business decision that didn’t work out as initially planned. You should know how to act when the chips are down due to any loss. Ups and downs are part of business, so you have to be mentally prepared for them.
But you don’t need to learn these lessons the hard way. Challenges will never stop coming your way during your entrepreneurial journey, so it’s better to toughen up and start learning how to face challenges rather than look for easier ways. Following are some helpful tips to help enhance your business acumen.
Build it as your core competencies
Organizations primarily operate on a particular set of core competencies. They also like their employees to develop such kinds of skills that can help them improve business acumen. It is essential to make business acumen one of your core competencies because it helps your professional development and contributes to your personal development.
Look for a good mentor
It will help if you have someone in the company who is most trustworthy and admirable. It will be best to look for someone who you think has better insight and experience in the business than you. Hearing valuable ideas and experiences will help you create results-driven strategies to drive growth for your business. Having a reliable mentor not only helps in your decision-making abilities but also brushes up your time management skills.
Hire qualified individuals
To enhance your business understanding, you need to look for qualified individuals. Suitable qualification always gives you an edge and allows you to think critically and act smartly in any problematic situation. It would help if you urged your employees to opt for better qualifications.
You’d think that educating yourself will be time-consuming and that you’d instead invest that time in your business venture; you’d be wrong. Education will guide you and teach you valuable lessons you need to make better, calculated business decisions.
What’s more is that institutions have started online classes due to the ongoing pandemic, making it easier for candidates to pursue higher education in their homes. If you are looking to get your Bachelor’s degree in accounting, Rasmussen University has an online program to achieve this goal. This is an excellent chance to go for a degree like the AACSB online MBA no GMAT option, which highlights the fundamental principles of business, guides entrepreneurs, and helps build their business acumen.
What’s even better is that nowadays, companies prefer hiring employees with professional degrees in business because it helps the company establish itself through time-tested business philosophies.
Take control of your company’s finances
It may seem an impossible task, but you do not have to be an expert to understand the financial aspects of your company. It will help if you focus on critical things like income statements, cash flow statements, balance sheets, etc. You may ask your mentor’s help to gain a proper understanding of the financial metrics.
You have to invest time learning how your company’s supply chain works and your products and services. Being equipped with all this information will help you add valuable insights to all key strategies.
Understand your Business Model
One of the fundamentals of business acumen is to have an in-depth insight into your business model. It would help if you dug deep down to understand different business aspects. From sales cycle to business life cycle, you need to have a solid foundation of knowledge, so you can take the proper steps to improve it.
For example, if you are running a business of car care products, your business acumen should be based on the problems of car owners. It will help you provide them with a suitable solution with your products.
Another critical part of the business model is understanding the significance of talent acquisition and the different proficiencies employees offer. It will help you identify the individuals who can meet your business requirements by their high-level skills and competence.
Marketing is also another vital component of a business model that you need to consider. Once you have clear marketing goals, you know what you have to achieve and how you will do it. You also have to understand the marketing concepts such as customer segmentation and positioning strategy to strengthen your marketing acumen.
Once you start digging deeper to understand the business factors that can impact your company’s growth, it will help you develop business acumen.
Understand your customer needs
You need to listen to your customers about what they need and what problems they are facing. It will help you to modify your products and services accordingly and to enhance your customer base. It would be best if you will get feedback from customers regularly about your services. You can also ask your employees to share their reviews of your company’s products by using it. You can find out the flaws by doing this, and it will help you improve products big time.
You have to keep yourself aware of what is going on in the business world. You can rely on the platforms like Forbes, The Economist, and Yahoo Finance to stay up to date about current events. The point of keeping an eye on the news is to find something useful for your company.
Try to relate it to your company and consult your mentor to extract something relevant and beneficial. It will surely improve your business acumen and help you think more critically by hearing about the latest industry trends and news.
Building a solid business acumen is not an overnight process. It requires your consistent efforts and dedication to attain that level where you can make decisions without hesitation for your company’s progress.
The key is to have the right team that can support you to fulfill your business goals. A good team can even turn your wrong decision into the right one by using unique skills and experience. The tips mentioned in this piece will surely help you develop good business acumen skills and help climbing the ladder of success easier.