5 ways to develop your business skills

Improve your skills.

Skills pay the bills.

And if you're working for yourself, starting or running a business - or just thinking about it - you'll be devouring advice and info from all angles.

There are different ways to develop business knowledge and skills, and the following 5 methods are probably on your radar.

But read on...just to be sure.

1. the global classroom

The internet is the biggest classroom in the world.

You can learn just about anything...if you can find the right teacher.

And that's the trick. Sorting out the good advice from the bad.

Popular sites include Entrepreneur, Inc and Forbes for general business trends, news and 'how to' type articles.

While sites like Business Wales are good for getting practical tips on building and running a business.

Then there's specialist areas of business. Marketing for example.

Sites like Social Media Today, Mashable and the Hubspot blog can be good for marketing tips and info.

Ultimately, you've just got to put the hours in, and find the online resources that work for you.

Why not start your search on Twitter?

Search for sources of business skills and tips using hashtags like #business, #startup, #entrepreneur, #marketing and #biz.

2. the mentor

Why would a successful business person spend time helping an in-experienced entrepreneur?

Well, it happens. And if you can find a good mentor willing to share some of their knowledge with you, it can go a long way.

Where to start?

Try your local authority (i.e. council) to see if they know of any mentoring programmes you'd be eligible for, or any professional networks you should join.

If you're based in Wales, check out the Business Wales Mentoring initiative.

3. biz support schemes

Support programmes vary across geographies and sectors, so your options will depend on where you're based and what line of work you're in.

But a lot of businesses benefit from government-sponsored initiatives designed to help them get the skills and knowledge they need.

Try your local authority first (if you're based in Wrexham County Borough, contact Wrexham Council's business support team).

4. formal training and education

Is it worth slogging over dissertations, essays and lecture notes when the internet can serve up so much info at the tap of a finger?

If you can do it, yes.

Formal, structured learning can still prove an invaluable base on which to build your business skills.

And can open doors to opportunities, contacts and all kinds of other business support.

Use Which to find business-related courses at UK universities.

5. experience

The best way to build your skills is to get experience. Not rocket-science, but it's true.

The world is abound with stories of people who failed many times before becoming successful.

And their eventual success is often tied to their ability to learn from experience.

So if you're starting or running a business, treat each day as an education.

If you're not in business yet, but aiming to get there, maybe an internship or work-placement is the way to go?

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