5 Practical Training Ideas for Entrepreneurs
If you were to describe the typical educational path for entrepreneurs, you would probably focus a great deal on the theoretical. It only makes sense. A great deal of business and entrepreneurship education is primarily focused on learning different theories and how they are put into practice. However, while poring over case studies and learning the terminology helps you understand the world of business — and can help you run your own business more effectively — it cannot replace the value of hands-on, practical education.
That’s why more business programs are implementing practical training into their curriculum. They’re requiring students to complete projects that require real life application of concepts, internships, or other requirements where they need to put theories to work. But what if you aren’t currently working toward a degree? Or, what if you already have a degree and you want to start and launch your own business? How can you gain more practical training?
It may be surprising, but there are actually several ways that you can seek out hands on training while still running your business. And, you can do it without going back to school for a formal degree. These opportunities will require an investment of time and in some cases money. But pursuing any of them can help you become a more successful entrepreneur and grow your business.
Earn IT Certifications
Typically, IT certifications are viewed as being something only for those who want to have a career in IT. Unless they have an IT-focused business, the average entrepreneur usually hires others to handle their computing needs. However, for a small-business owner, investing resources in online IT training and taking the necessary exams to earn a certification can actually be a major boost to the enterprise.
For starters, taking courses and earning a certification, even an entry-level certification, allows you to handle more of your IT needs yourself. That saves your business money and ensures that you can handle your company’s growth from a technological standpoint. Holding a certification can also create additional opportunities for your business. Especially if you plan to seek government contracts, since government vendors must meet certain requirements.
Participate in Competitions
While many business competitions are open only to students enrolled in formal business education programs, there are some competitions that are open to any entrepreneur. In addition to the potential to win prizes, including cash, consultations with business experts, and more, participating in business competitions forces you to hone your skills in certain areas. For instance, you may be required to develop a business plan for the contest. That would require you to spend additional time perfecting your plan and really thinking through your business idea. And that has potential additional payoff of more support for your enterprise.
Seek Public Speaking Training
Public speaking consistently tops the list of adults’ biggest fears, but it’s an important skill for an entrepreneur. Feeling more comfortable speaking with others will help you network more effectively. And improve how you communicate with others. In addition, developing confidence in your speaking ability can create more opportunities for you and your business. Many industry groups, civic groups, universities, and more are always on the hunt for speakers at their events. And if you’re a polished, professional speaker, you can capitalize on these opportunities to grow your business.
You might be thinking that internships are only for college students. But if you are starting a business, it may be worth your time to work as an intern for a few months. You’ll get an insider’s view on running a business. Or to learn more about certain aspects of running a business that you aren’t familiar with. While some companies will only hire interns who can earn college credit, others are more flexible with eligibility requirements. The bottom line, though, is that nothing can give you the practical experience you need like actually doing the work in a business setting.
Conducting original business research has the potential to straddle the line between theoretical and practical training. But the insights that you gain can not only help you run your business more effectively. They also provide you with a product that can help you promote your business or even create an income stream. Turning your research into a white paper, case study, guide, or book can improve your credibility. An additionally get customers more interested in your business, and give you knowledge you may not have otherwise had.
Investing in yourself by seeking some practical training is one of the best things you can do for your confidence as an entrepreneur, and to grow your business. Even if you have a few years of experience under your belt, these opportunities can help you expand.