One of the few constants in business is change.
What may have worked in the past may not work now, and what is working now may not work in the future. Markets change, trends change, technology changes, the products and services you offer will change, how you reach your ideal customers will change and your ideal customers in fact, may even change.
To be successful in business you need to keep learning.
As a business owner, taking time out to learn new skills and techniques may seem a little daunting. After all, you are already likely wearing many hats and perhaps feeling overwhelmed and overloaded as it is. But consistently learning is not as difficult as you may think.
Here’s how to create a simple learning plan
Step 1: Identify what you want to learn
Sometimes learning comes from a need, such as a gap in your skills that you would like to address. Sometimes learning stems from maintaining your skills and staying on top of latest techniques and trends, and sometimes there is simply something you would like to know more about.
Is there something you would like to know more about to grow your business such marketing, social media, finances? Or what about learning new skills/techniques to broaden the products/services your offer? Or perhaps you want to learn something just for the fun of it?
Step 2: Determine your objectives
The learning you undertake should have a purpose. This helps to keep you motivated as well as helping you identify when you have achieved your learning objectives.
Do you want to learn a new skill to grow your business? Do you want to develop your expertise in sometimes? Do you want to broaden your general business knowledge?
Step 3: Identify how you will do your learning
Not all learning needs to be formal education. Learning can also come from reading books, visiting relevant websites, listening to podcasts, attending a workshop or seminar, taking an e-course or working with a mentor.
The method of learning will vary depending on what you want to learn and the level of detail you require. Sometimes reading a book will be adequate, sometimes formal certification will be a better learning path.
What is important is you select a method of learning that is realistic for you, make sure you consider the time you have to commit to your learning as well as the cost.
Step 4: Set a deadline
Specify a date for when you expect to complete your learning.
The use of a deadline is important for any goal you set, it helps to keep you on track and accountable.
Step 5: Take action
Creating the learning plan is the easy part, the key is now to take action and use the plan so you can continue to build your knowledge and develop your skills.
Decide how much time you will commit daily or weekly to your learning and schedule the time in your calendar to make sure your time is committed.
It is up to you to stay educated and keep your knowledge up to date. Continuous learning is key to self-growth and a successful business.