How to develop your business acumen effectively

The world of business is a competitive place and it takes real effort to carve out a successful career in your chosen sector. Being able to do this relies on the core skills you learn and the business acumen you develop. Business acumen in particular is very important and key to forging a fabulous career in your industry. This is because it gives you the knowhow to perform effectively and the ability to not only understand business in general but also your own industry specifically. 

Fostering better levels of acumen within business not only helps you become better at making correct decisions, dealing with tricky situations and moving into leadership roles, but it can also make you more desirable as an employee. Having high levels of acumen in business can also be something that employers look at when you are applying for promotions internally. This is because they will want people working at senior levels who have a feel for business and a decent understanding of how it all works. 

Business acumen is something that is usually built up over time and comes with experience to a certain degree. Although simply gaining experience of working in business is a great way to develop it, this is not the only option. So, how else can you become more business savvy? 

Hone your skills through study 

One of the best ways to develop your business acumen further is through academic study. Enrolling on the right course will not only expose you to new business ideas, but also bring you up to date with the latest methods, techniques and models to use in your own role. Academic study will also enable you to speak with other students and get advice from expert tutors (either in person or online for a distance learning program). This allows you to exchange ideas with them and sharpen up your business acumen. 

Key to getting the most from study though is choosing the right course – you must find one that is academically robust and focused on business. The Doctor of Business Administration from Aston University is a great example of this kind of course. This is a distance learning course specifically for business and is studied part-time, which makes it ideal for those already working.

Use interdepartmental training

Finding new ways to become more business savvy overall can also be done in-house. Unless you work as a sole trader or for a very small company, the chances are that your place of work has multiple departments within it. Although you may be based in the same department normally, spending some time in other departments for training purposes is sensible. If you usually work in the finance department, for example, it is a great tip to spend time in customer service or HR to see what they do.

This allows you to develop key skills in areas of business that you might not have much experience in currently. It also enables you to get a better overview of how each department helps the business function smoothly and what kind of problems they come across to solve. Interdepartmental training is also good for honing your social and teamwork skills. This is because it sees you interacting with colleagues who you might not spend much time with usually.

Attend workshops, seminars and industry events  

This really is one of the best tips for building up business acumen effectively. Making the effort to attend workshops and seminars will allow you to build new business skills in areas you might be weak in and enhance your general business knowledge. It will also enable you to exchange knowledge with the other attendees and come across new ideas in business that could prove useful. Workshops and seminars also give you the chance to brush up on current business ideas or specific guidelines in your sector. 

By the same token, keeping an eye out for external business events is also a great tip. These events are often large and can be industry specific. These are not only superb events for developing networking skills, but they are also superb for discovering new innovations in your sector. They can also be useful for seeing how competitors are succeeding in business and picking up tips to improve your business acumen. 

It is also worth keeping an eye out for larger-scale, general business events. These can often be focused around improving the business skills of attendees and giving you a new perspective on key areas such as leadership, marketing and time management.

Stay on top of the latest trends

One really good piece of advice if you want to boost your business skills is keeping an eye on the latest trends. This can again be industry specific and also in a wider sense. Keeping tabs on emerging trends is a good idea because it means that you do not get left behind and are always on the cutting edge. In addition, it enables you to discover the latest trends to learn from. It also means that you have new ideas to bring to the table at the next team meeting or during discussions with your manager. 

The good news is that this tip is pretty easy to put into action. Whether you head online for the latest business news and advice, pick up new trends through colleagues or check out industry magazines, you should find it simple to catch the latest ideas. By doing this, you can develop your own business skills in new areas and delve into emerging trends to become more business savvy. 

Developing business acumen makes sense 

Carving out a successful career in business relies on a few key things. Developing your own personal business acumen is certainly one and is therefore worth focusing on. As we have looked at above, there are actually some easy ways to go about this. From academic study to keeping up with trends, there really is no excuse for not fulfilling your potential as a businessperson. 

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