Whenever I hear the word knowledge, an old song from my childhood is brought to mind.
“It’s great to learn ‘cause knowledge is power.” Wise words by an old favorite of mine, School House Rock.
As a business owner, knowledge can benefit you in a lot of different ways. If you know how to properly apply it, knowledge can rocket your business to the front of the pack. Today I want to touch on three reasons to gain knowledge, and how to use it to build your business. Expertise, business financing, and start up business loans are essential for making your business profitable.
1. People pay for expertise
Let me give you an example. Let’s say your appendix burst, and you’re given two options. First is a licensed medical professional who spent over 10 years preparing for surgeries like appendectomies. They know how to sanitize their equipment, where to cut, what to do when in surgery, and how to help relieve your pain.
He charges $2000.
The other option is a teenager that’s really good at the game “Operation”.
He charges $25.
Which one would you choose?
People are willing to pay more for expertise. Clients and customers have to trust you before they give you their business. If you understand your industry, your customers problems, your product, and everything else you need to know to build your client’s trust, it’s going to go a long way for you. If you’re the business owner or CEO, your company can especially benefit from you being a knowledgeable voice in the industry.
Here’s how to build expertise: In your job, whenever you don’t fully understand a concept or term that you come across, write it down. Study it. Know the ins and outs, the pros and cons, the ups and downs of the concept. Know how to talk about it. Then you’ll eventually become known as an expert on the topic.
2. Understand your finances
Don’t just rely on your financial people. You need to know where the money is going, and where the money is coming from. This will help you make decisions for your company that will increase revenues and decrease costs. When you know where the money is coming in from, your priorities for running your business will fall into place.
Here’s how to better understand your financials: Schedule some time to sit down with your accountants and bookkeepers. Ask them what they think will increase your revenues and decrease your costs (usually, they’ve got a lot of ideas for how to decrease costs). These people work with the numbers every day and they’ll have some things you hadn’t thought of that will help your company financially.
3. Being aware of opportunities and dangers
Twenty years ago, if you asked someone to name a camera company, they’d probably say Kodak. If you asked someone to name a video store, they’d say Blockbuster. Today, these companies are pretty much gone. Everyone knows what happened to both, Kodak didn’t evolve and take advantage of their brand to enter the digital camera market fast enough, and Blockbuster ignored Netflix and Redbox until it was too late.
When you stay on top of your industry, and use your knowledge to understand where the moving parts are headed, you can take advantage of opportunities that others might not see. You can also spot threats to your company before they sink your business.
Here’s how to stay aware of opportunities and dangers: Be involved with your industry. Subscribe to trade publications, go to conventions, and network with people doing similar things. Read blogs, websites, and newspapers. Constantly look for things that you can take advantage of. Watch out for things that could push your business out of the running. When you see opportunities, begin the start up business loan process right away so you have the capital when you need it.
Knowledge is a huge industry. Public schools, private schools, colleges, junior colleges, universities, research facilities, R&D departments, market research, etc. all account for a lot of jobs and a lot of money in this country. Successful business owners understand that knowledge is not only beneficial, but essential. Keep gaining knowledge, and watch your business grow.
How has knowledge helped you run a business? What resources have you used to gain knowledge?
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