SCORE

It’s rare to hear of a stellar athlete that hasn’t completed years of training or a chef who hasn’t gone through several versions of a recipe to get it just right. There are many examples that demonstrate how training can pay off and improve results, so why not consider it as a small business owner? 

A small business owner can have the dedication to succeed, but without training and business experience, it can be a challenge to achieve results.  As Vice President of Human Resources, Training & Development at The UPS Store, I know the importance of training and skill development for small business owners.  Business acumen and operational skills are essential skills for any small business owner to have when seeking out their next venture or sustaining their current business. At The UPS Store we want our franchisees to be as educated on the business as possible. We offer a comprehensive training program for new franchisees designed to help them develop the business acumen and day-to-day operational skills and knowledge needed to own and operate a The UPS Store location. Here are few reasons why maximizing training can help you achieve desirable results for your business.

Set goals and achieve results

My favorite piece of advice to give small business owners is to set a goal and then have a plan to achieve that goal. This is no different for training and skills development. Training establishes a foundation for small business owners to develop themselves, learn new skills and stay relevant to their niche. It provides the tools for small business owners to really understand what it is to run a business – from the internal mechanics of running a business to the front of the house customer service and management.  If you really understand the fundamentals of business, it allows you to take risks and grow your business.

Training can also lead you to really examine why you want to own a small business. In some cases, people are looking to buy a job rather than an entire business. By going through the training process, you can examine your motivation, develop your knowledge and skills step-by-step and focus on serving your customers.

Customer engagement

Customers are essential to any small business, which is why training should be centered on customer engagement.  It’s important that small business owners understand the motivation of their customers. It’s also critical that owners make training their employees a priority. Your employees are often the first touch point for the customer, so they need to fully understand your business model and goals. They also need to know how to communicate with customers. Training can provide employees with an arsenal of tools to be effective communicators and help grow your business.

Before you manage an employee, you have to find a good one. Finding the right person with the right skill set is the first step. Once you have the right people, create a positive work environment to motivate and encourage your employees. At the end of the day, if you have trained your employees with your business model and goals, you can hold them and yourself accountable.

Make connections

Training also offers a great opportunity to network within your community and make new connections. Organizations such as SCORE and the Small Business Administration (S.B.A.) can be a great way to learn about training resources. It can also allow you the opportunity to get involved in community events. Additionally, industry newsletters and magazines can keep you up to date on the latest trends and alert you to local events that might help you expand your entrepreneur network.

At the end of the day, training is one of the greatest resources to aid success. Understanding the fundamentals of running a business allows small business owners to set goals, educate their employees and better serve their customers.