Some entrepreneurs come to the table with experience at other startups, business school training, or other field-specific preparation, but for many founders, startups are a passion project. That meOf course, learning how to manage a business or set up a database might not be in the budget, but that’s okay – there are plenty of grassroots educational approaches at your fingertips. Need to hit the books before you launch your business? Here are 3 ways you can gain the skills you need to lead.
ans it’s fairly common for a startup founder to know a lot about their niche, but a lot less about business operations or office technology. And bridging that gap can mean the difference between success and failure.
Get Email Updates
Don’t waste time trying to cull the best the internet has to offer for startup founders – have it all delivered directly to you. All you have to do is sign up for startup education newsletters and skim them for relevant articles. The #DISTROSNACK newsletter, for example, focuses on growth while Startup Digest organizes the best content into niche lists, including one for women in the field.
In addition to startup specific newsletters, sign up for other business, technology, and niche mailings that will keep you on top of the latest in the business world. This is how you learn to spot a trend, get informed on a hot new software product, and identify networking opportunities. The more you read, the more you know – so get reading!
Interact With Incubators
As with so many other areas of life, business and technology skills are best learned first-hand. If you’re a startup founder looking to build connections and try your hand at a new program or production tool, then an incubator is the place to do it. Startup incubators are something like the industry equivalent of a shared alma mater – they create networks of entrepreneurs, offer mentoring opportunities, and boost business growth.
What does incubator influence look like in practice? In the age of big data, you’ll need to have a solid grasp on database management skills, not something you’re likely to have picked up in passing. A mentor or colleague from your incubator could train you to use database monitoring software to address performance issues and quicken response times. Need to connect with a manufacturer? Someone else in the incubator has likely scoped similar factor environments and has advice to offer on region, pricing, and other key concerns. In a field with limited knowledge banks, an incubator drives connections.
Test Tech Tutorials
The biggest advantage of doing business in today’s world is that many programs and processes can be learned easily online through tutorial programs. Need to hone your social media presence? Watch some videos about scheduling your posts across platforms, or read a few articles explaining what makes a compelling social video. It’s all there at your fingertips for common platforms.
The same goes for slightly more advanced skills like WordPress or HTML. WordPress offers excellent on-site guidance, as well as countless independent tutorials, while HTML has become so ubiquitous that you can learn how to code from a library book, an online tutorial video, or just rely on the built-in rich text options your website provides by default. Your local library might even teach an intro to HTML class or similar coding program.
Don’t pay for classes or hire consultants to handle business activities you can learn to do yourself; startups thrive on a can-do spirit, on the determination to push your limits and try something new. So stop standing around and puzzling over that software and dive right in. There are countless resources at your fingertips if you’re willing to look around and use the tools at your disposal.