Businesses invest huge amounts of money in many different areas…new equipment, latest technology, marketing, inventory, signage, vehicles, research services, association dues, publications, etc. Business owners, however, frequently overlook one of the most important investments they can make in their business…an investment in themselves.
Education For the Future
Business constantly changes. Owners must keep up with the latest changes in their particular industry. Regardless of the type of business, knowing what is most current keeps the owner on the forefront of the newest issues, trends, processes, etc. Customers want to do business with companies that are progressive and have the newest, most up-to-date products and services.
When a business owner invests in himself, nothing is left to chance. No one can take away the education gained. The knowledge acquired improves the business not only for today but into the future, as well. A business operates on a foundation that has been built. The challenge every business has is to continue to build upon that original foundation.
A business owner cannot afford to allow the business to become stagnant, or worse yet, decline. A business cannot grow without positive change and continuous improvement, and that change begins with the owner.
Return On Investment
Retail stores need the latest merchandise. A service business needs the most up-to-date technology. A physician, dentist, or veterinarian needs to practice with the latest procedures. Restaurants need new recipes. A professional must be up-to-date on laws and regulations. These are just a few examples, but all businesses must be current on their particular industry to remain viable and grow.
An important factor in the success of any business is, obviously, having skilled and dedicated employees who continue to learn and grow. When employees leave, however, they take their knowledge with them. Knowledge gained by an owner on the other hand always stays with the owner and remains in the business. When an owner invests in himself, it is an investment in the business. Any form of continuing education for a business owner should never be considered as an expense item but as an investment in the business creating value as a return on that investment.
Invest In You
There are many ways for a business owner to “invest in you.” This might be attending an industry conference or trade show, studying the latest industry trends, taking a continuing education course, understanding economic forecasts, learning how to become a more efficient manager, or how to better motivate employees. Learning, however, does not start and stop with learning just one new “something.” It is a continuous process of gaining more knowledge about the business, and how the owner can surpass the competition. The fruits of success go to the leaders rather than the followers.
There is no substitute for knowledge. The more a business owner knows about general business, his particular business, the economy, competition, latest trends, and advancements, all further the possibility for perpetuating sustainable growth for the business. Expanding core competencies can expand one’s business. Therefore, a great business investment is “investing in you.”