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6 resources to learn about running a business
If you’re looking for advice on running your business, you are sure to have found a wealth of resources available online.
So much, in fact, that it can be overwhelming. With so many different sources offering up different – and sometimes even contradictory – advice, how can you be sure that the advice that you find is right for your business?
Well, it all comes down to how trustworthy the source is. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best resources available, so you can focus on learning everything you need to know to make your business a success.
1. Join a business network
Surrounding yourself with successful businesses and people is a fantastic way to keep your growing business on the right track.
Organisations such as Vistage and ActionCOACH provide enormously valuable resources which are designed to clarify and support your decision making, while also giving you access to other business owners. Groups such as this are a collaborative form of community, where each member is encouraged to share their expertise, request the support they need and challenge themselves to continue their business growth.
If the membership cost of a group like this is prohibitive for your business in its current stage, you could also consider joining a lower cost or free networking group. These will not offer access to the same kinds of resources as the more expensive groups, but they will enable you to start networking with other CEOs and business owners in your local area.
2. Identify thought leaders
You can also surround yourself with success outside of a formally structured business network.
The first step is researching thought leaders in your industry. Who do other business owners in your field listen to? Who is the trade press always talking about? Who is speaking at industry events? These people are your industry’s thought leaders, and you can learn a great deal simply by listening to what they have to say.
At your discretion, you may even want to reach out to them in a professional capacity. You might be surprised at how willing people are to help, if you just ask them to. Remember, though, that these thought leaders are busy people and likely run businesses of their own. Only ask considered, specific questions and be respectful of their time.
3. Watch video content
But there is a way you can hear what thought leaders from all sorts of different industries have to say without getting in touch with them – or even leaving your office.
Video lectures on business, leadership and innovation often contain powerful ideas that will revolutionise the way you think about your role as CEO. While you can find useful content on YouTube and beyond, The TED Talks platform is the undisputed champion of the online video lecture world. As well as boasting a huge archive of high-quality talks on all sorts of fascinating topics, TED’s strict 18-minute time limit means that its highly regarded speakers always get right to the point they want to make.
Keep a particular eye out for topics relevant to your business, videos featuring recognised thought leaders in your industry and talks by speakers who have written great books. Speaking of which…
4. Read business books
The condensed nature of an online video is fantastic, but you may also want to absorb information in a slower paced, more analogue way.
Business books are like training manuals for running a company. You can find books written by people who have grown thriving businesses, and the amount of work and fact checking that goes into a published book means you can be sure the content is authentic, verified and worthwhile.
Invest your time and money into reading books for your business – such as these 10 books recommended by Process Bliss CEO Alister Esam – and you will find everything you need to know to run your business effectively.
5. Consult official sources
If you need advice on some of the more administrative aspects of running your business, where better to get your advice than the most authoritative source available?
Most governments will offer support to business owners in their country. After all, it’s in the national interest that business runs smoothly and successfully. In the UK, the government’s Business Support service offers case studies and other written materials, a helpline and local growth hubs that are all geared towards answering business owners’ questions. These resources cover the financial support available, as well as leadership, innovation and technology.
6. Find a community
You may find, however, that the method of learning that suits you best is less formal.
If this is the case for you, then social media platforms may be a surprisingly valuable tool for your business. Growing your network through groups on LinkedIn or other platforms is always worthwhile and can enable you to find answers to your questions in a more casual setting.
Finding the right community on Reddit, such as r/Entrepreneur or r/Smallbusiness, can unlock a goldmine of open discussions from people who have been in your position. While the advice you find here may be less official or specific to your industry as other sources, it can be great for getting a feel for how other business owners have tackled particular challenges, and for flagging up any potential pitfalls.
And if you can’t find an existing thread relating to the issues you’re facing, then ask about it: the platform is all about sparking enlightening discussions, and other users will happily contribute with their experiences.
All of the resources and advice you need to take your business to the next level is at your fingertips.
You just need to know where to look, ask the right questions of the right people, and be ready to act on the advice they give.
If you’re looking for more advice on running your growing business, book a call with Process Bliss to discover how embedding process can help.