The most important characteristic of an entrepreneur is the ability to adapt. The entrepreneur often works with fewer resources . Thus flexibility and adaptability are a must in order to leverage limited resources.
One of the ways to increase flexibility is to get new information/skills and utilize them to strategize their business . By constantly being in the learning mode, the entrepreneur is ahead of the curve. Getting knowledge in time allows him/her to spot opportunities in advance and also make changes to business whenever necessary. How one gets knowledge that is useful without spending a fortune on costly courses?
Here are a few sources, I feel you as an entrepreneurs can learn from
From your mentors:
Consider yourself lucky, if you have got a mentor to guide you on the tricky terrain of business. A mentor often has a lot of experience in the industry and he can analyze it to a greater extent. A good mentor can always help you sharpen your business focus. If you don’t have a mentor, its better to find one soon and start learning from him.
From your friends in the industry:
I recently created a new software that can be incorporated in a content management system. I got the idea from one of my friend Carolyn from wonderoftech, who is a great tech blogger herself. She needed a system that could help her with putting social media share icons on her blog. Based on her input, I was able to create that software . Friends in the industry often can act as great source of information.
From the web:
Web is an place where you can get answers to your questions by searching and interacting. I often use a number of websites to get great business ideas because there is a wealth of information available on them.
If you want quick answers, you turn to web. If you want in depth answers , you turn to books. Books by leaders in the industry often help to learn about the best practices of your industry.
From your competitors:
Whether be a website or a software, your competitors are always looking for ways to knock you down. Sometimes they know something that you probably are not aware of. In that case, by analyzing competition you can determine what works and what doesn’t. You learn from their mistakes and avoid them.
Seminars, video-cons and groups:
On internet there are a number of groups that cater to a lot of special interest groups. I am a member of various blogger groups where people exchange a lot of information about blogging. Often free seminars and video cons serve as excellent place for getting more information.
From your customers:
Your customers are the user of your product and services. They will regularly provide feedback. Sometimes they will also tell you about other products that they are evaluating. Always listen to them with a keen ear.
From your employees:
Your employees are the ones who are closest to the market and your customer. The employees should be encouraged to provide strategic information which can be utilized in improving your product for example.
So there you go. Gaining new information need not be costly and often it is available from multiple resources around you.
What sources of information do you use to learn something new and keep yourself knowledgeable?