How Previous Work Experience Can Improve Your Business

improve your business

When it comes to entrepreneurship, there are certain skills and previous work experience which can give you an upper edge. Although you will need to put in time and effort, there are prior skills and experiences that can help you advance. Also, the more you can offer to your own business, the less you will need to rely on others to help improve your business.

How prior skills can improve your business

Every business owner has strengths and weaknesses. You may need to improve in terms of your organizational skills, but may have incredible customer service skills. When you focus on the skills and experiences that you have, you will be able to assign needed roles. You can also focus on your strengths and build your business based on the skills that you possess.

You do not need to have every skill in order to be successful. When it comes to experience, you will continually build on this. With that being said, there are some qualities that business owners should possess. They help owners run an efficient, successful business.

1. Interpersonal skills

Interpersonal skills are typically vital. As a business owner, you will need to deal with many different people. Depending on your business, you may need to work with customers, accountants, suppliers, employees, the government, and more. You will need to adapt to various personality types, due to the volume of people you will come into contact with. When you have a strong ability to communicate, you can obtain true feedback. Customers will let you know what they’re fond of and what they’re not. That way, you can continually improve yourself and improve your business.

2. Critical and Creative Thinking skills

When you’re a startup business owner, you will need to continually come up with new, fresh ideas. When you possess critical and creative thinking skills, you’re able to make more beneficial decisions regarding future projects and opportunities.

You often hear people mention that they do not possess any creativity, they  “weren’t born with this natural skill“. The truth is, you can build upon this skill by investing time and energy. When you are able to think creatively, you can see problems from all angle and perspectives.

When you view any situation from a number of perspectives, you will be able to create unique, productive ideas. You will also be able to spot new trends, allowing your business to grow and develop.

3. Leadership skills

Another example is leadership skills. This is not only necessarily in terms of managing employees, but your customers as well.

As a business owner, people will come to you for a product or service. If you possess strong leadership skills, you will more than likely be comfortable with this responsibility. If you are a good decision maker, possess good planning and organizational skills – then you will be focused and driven.

This is where effective goal-setting also comes into play. Where do you want to take your business? You need to lead your business in the right direction, while accommodating to your customer’s needs.

Interpersonal, leadership skills and creative thinking, help to develop and maintain a business. Some of the other skills which business owners possess are: 

  1. Marketing skills
  2. Planning skills
  3. Being skilled within sales
  4. Accounting skills
  5. Organizational skills
  6. Negotiation skills

Although there isn’t a definitive list that focuses on one ‘right‘ set of characteristics, there are most certainly various practical skills and traits that will allow you to succeed. Focus on your strengths, while targeting your weaknesses. Use your strengths to your advantage.

Every successful entrepreneur has a weakness in terms of their skills. For instance, do not let poor organizational skills hinder your progress. Instead, use your planning and negotiation skills to get ahead. As you grow and develop, you can focus on improving your organizational skills.

How prior experience can help improve your business?

When it comes to starting a business and operating it, there are no set rules in terms of past experience. You may have relevant experience without even realizing it. There are various types of experiences; business experience, industry-related experience, and even life experience.

Let’s say you wanted to start your own business, opening a cafe. You may not have owned a business before, but if you worked in the hospitality industry for five years, you already have experience. You understand how various systems work, scheduling, customer service, etc.

All of your experience from prior positions, will transfer into your business plan. Since you will already understand the inner workings, you can look for growth opportunities. Not every business will require you to have past experience within a specific industry, but it tends to help.

1. Internships help

For some, they benefit from working within the industry for a year. This can help you build experience before making decisions for your own business. Not only does this provide hands-on experience, but allows potential business owners to compare their own strengths with others working in their desired industry. By obtaining this vital information, you can get a better sense of how this potential career will mesh with your personality.

For example, let’s say you want to start your own ‘social media marketing’ firm, it’s better to get some experience with an established social media marketing firm first, learning the tricks of the trade. You will also see how well you adjust within this position, before starting your own business. A part-time internship is also a good idea for some, as they can participate in an internship, while they continue working in their current position (generating enough income to fund their startup).

If you would like to begin your business without much prior experience, reach out to people within the industry. Ask questions, read, and enhance your overall understanding of the area you’ve chosen.

If you do not have business or industry-related experience, don’t panic. There are other skills which can help improve your business. For instance, having experience with a specific skill. Any past job you had, would have elevated at least one skill. Maybe you’re experienced in marketing due to your prior position. You can use your marketing skills to improve your business. Say you’d like to start a natural health company. You will already know how to reach your target audience.

2. Life experiences help

There’s also life experience, which is continually developing. As you have experienced life, you would have encountered different business types. What works based on your past experiences? What doesn’t? You can apply these failures and successes to your business plan.

Also, life experience allows you to deal with the stressful situations that you’ll encounter. Life experience builds our coping skills, which helps us to stay emotionally stable and resilient. It also makes us more confident in terms of decision-making and other important processes.

Overall, your business can benefit from your past experiences and your current skills. As mentioned, when you can personally do more within your business, your budget will benefit. Your prior experiences and unique skills, can allow you to build a business that is unique, productive, and successful.

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About the Author

Krista has a degree in psychology and neuroscience. She is active in mental health research, while focusing on overall health and business topics. She is passionate about business and career development, as well as nutrition-based research.

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