If you want to create a successful business or a long-lasting career, you need to have a plan of action. It can often take years to achieve your goals; a written guide to your personal development will help you keep track no matter how long it takes.
Earlier we looked at the first two steps you should take when planning a career or business, which include asking yourself some tough questions and researching industries you are interested in.
We also talked about how it might seem out of reach to start your own business, but that you really shouldn’t count yourself out, even if you’ve been in your current position for a number of years. It is never too late to start doing what you really want to do in life.
As an adult with life experience behind you, you have the ability to be honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses. You can really take the journey to find what will not only give you the income you desire but the satisfaction out of your work life that you truly deserve.
The final two steps are to actually write down your plan and start to take action.
Step 3: Write your plan
There’s no point going to all the effort of asking difficult questions, and then not do anything with the information. The ideal way to do this is to write it down. Having your plan on paper will not only allow you to map out the tasks required to achieve each goal, but it will also give you a document to refer back to and track your progress. The smaller the steps you take, the more rewarding the journey; you will be able to see how these little acts of progress fit into the bigger picture.
There is a ton of research out there that shows writing your goals down on paper makes you connect to them differently. Instead of just being this abstract thing you think about, almost just a daydream. When you think of your goals, you’re likely just using the right side of your brain, the creative side of your brain. The reason the goals become real when you put pen to paper is the act of writing engages the left side of your brain, the literal side of your brain. When you write a goal down, it becomes an actual thing you need to get done!
While planning is important, you also need to be flexible when opportunities arise along the way. Innovation and creative thinking are both essential skills for business, but it takes practice to learn how to let yourself brainstorm ideas without censorship.
This is a good opportunity to collect ideas without limiting yourself. If you catch yourself saying ‘that’s too hard’ or ‘that could never be done’, write it down. Think about how you would do it if you wanted to. You don’t have to act on every idea, but you may be surprised by what you come up with.
Questions to ask
- What money do I need to live comfortably?
- How much money will I need if I want to start a business?
- Is there any funding available to me or my industry? Or could I get a small business loan?
- How can I improve my chance of career or business success?
- How can I gain the skills I have identified as needing improvement?
- What educational programs do I need to undertake?
- How can I get work experience?
Some people like to make both short-term and long-term goals because of their life situation. They might find it easier to achieve small steps in the next six months that will lead to where they have a rough idea they want to be at in ten years time. Achieving their current set of tasks will then shape what steps they next need to take. Thus, there is a plan, but it is adjustable to changes that happen in their life without losing sight of their end goals.
People with children might find it easier to work in this fashion. There are always going to be surprises and events that pop up when you have a family, especially if you are a single parent or sole provider for your kids. Having an overarching goal, but being flexible in the time being can help to keep you on track. Just don’t forget to write down both the short term and long term goals!
Step 4: Take action
It’s not really important which task you tackle first, as long as you get started. You might have dreams of owning a business, but your current career is taking up all your focus. There are ways you can further your career and improve your chances in business. Learning the right skills will not only help your current career but also give you a strong foundation for successful business ownership.
Here are two ways you can take action to prepare for your future business while improving your career chances at the same time.
Build your business knowledge
The best way to build your business knowledge is through education. A good business program will not only enable you to apply the skills you learn to any administration position or any position for that matter, it will also give you the tools you need to run your own company.
You should learn your way around business software, such as Microsoft Office and Quickbooks. Whether it be for your business or your career, you should be able to create professional documents, spreadsheets, and powerpoints. Like MOS, QuickBooks is almost the industry standard when it comes to accounting software.
If you want to run a business, either as an owner or manager, it’s not enough to understand an organization’s procedures: you need to be able to understand why businesses implement those types of procedures, to begin with. You need to have a basic understanding of regulations, taxation, ethics, communication tools, and marketing techniques so that you are able to apply your knowledge as necessary.
You do not have to give up your current career to work on a new one. Many vocational schools are built for working adults to attend. One or two nights a week is all it takes to take classes to become certified in Microsoft Office or take a business course. Your current employer may even be happy you are focused on upping your game with these courses and certifications.
Become an IT nerd
No matter the type of business, industry or job, technology is difficult to avoid. If you want to start a business, you will want to take care of your IT needs in-house as much as possible to reduce costs, at least at the beginning. When you are more established, understanding the terminology and processes used will help you communicate your needs effectively to your tech subcontractors.
Like business and accounting skills, IT skills could prove to be the point of difference you need to stand out from other applicants. Employers love workers who can fix the tools they use and limit IT call outs. Whether it be through formal training or personal research, knowing about computer networks, security and IT innovation will help give you a career edge.
CCI Training Center offers all the classes you need to further your current business career while strategizing about owning your own company. Enrolling in classes is a great first step to take and should be at the top of your goals list.
We offer not only business courses but many IT courses that will help you to become certified in IT. You could even further your current career by taking a higher paying IT job once you earn those certifications.
We offer year-round classes that only meet one or two days or night a week, so you don’t have to worry about taking time off of your current job to train for your future. We also offer career counseling that can help you to decide what kind of business you’d like to own in the future. Our instructors are world class and have real-life experience. Many of them still work in the business world or even own their own businesses. Same with the instructors for any of our other courses, such as IT certifications.
You will be able to use your time wisely at CCI Training Center by also starting to network among your classmates. You never know who you will meet in class that may be able to help you further your business plans, or your skills will be beneficial to theirs. In the business world, networking is everything, and CCI Training Center is a great place to build that your professional network.
Don’t delay any longer and start reaching turning dreams into goals, and goals into reality. Our staff at CCI Training Center are waiting to help you fulfill your dreams. For more information on how you can improve your career with business, accounting, or IT skills, fill out the contact form.