To be successful in business takes identifying what you want to achieve, setting priorities and establishing goals with deadlines. It also takes a few soft skills, like networking, mentoring, giving back and learning something new. Here are a few tips to help make 2020 a successful year for your business.
Learn Something New
Successful business professionals know that learning new facts, information and skills is a way to remain relevant and competitive in the marketplace.
By learning about a wide range of topics, you can gain perspective outside your areas of specialization, feed your innovation and creativity by pulling from broad knowledge sources. Learning makes you more interesting to others, giving you something to talk about at networking, volunteering and business events.
Start by subscribing to daily news feeds, reading industry blogs, listening to podcasts, and attending conferences. You can benefit from an understanding of current business trends, the latest developments in business and stories of successful entrepreneurs from reading trade magazines, business books, biographies, and autobiographies.
Another source of information is your local Small Business Development Center office, where consultants provide business advice and education.
Network in a Variety of Ways
You can develop your soft skills in other ways, including expanding your networks and spheres of influence. By joining various groups and making your presence known, you may be able to generate referrals, create strategic partnerships and find investors.
There are many options for networking, including:
- Attend networking events hosted by your local Better Business Bureau or become a part of a business-focused Meetup group or leads generation group.
- Contact your local Chamber of Commerce and attend networking and ribbon-cutting events.
- Sign up for a co-working space where small businesses rent office space.
- Create or update online profiles such as your BBB Business Profile and platforms such as LinkedIn, a professional networking site.
To make networking successful, be a good listener, ask how you can help others, and take notes to remember key details about those you meet.
Develop Business Soft Skills
Here are a few ways to develop business soft skills:
• Volunteer or Donate: Organize a fundraiser, serve on a board or participate in a volunteering event. Giving back is a way to generate publicity, make new contacts, boost employee morale and learn how to be innovative with limited funding. Before donating time or money to an organization, review BBB Accredited Charities at give.org. Make sure the organization operates ethically and responsibly and also reflects the values and goals of your business.
• Participate in a Mentorship: Seek guidance from mentors or offer to give advice to students and young professionals. New business owners can gain the benefit of lessons learned from a mentor, while seasoned professionals can see things from a fresh perspective.
Start with Trust® For more tips and information, visit bbb.org.