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Education…..small business owners need it…….

Take a look at your book shelves, what books do you own? What are the disciplines discussed in those books?  Besides having complete, up to date knowledge on your product or service, an owner has the responsibility for accounting, marketing, advertising, office systems, legal issues and every other aspect of growing a successful business.

Unfortunately, many small business owners are one dimensional.  The few books or pamphlets I see usually relate to information on the product or service that the business is offering. Like most other excuses, the “I don’t have time” is the one I hear the most with regards to continuing education.

Success in a small business is most often related to the leadership an owner provides. Even without a staff, leadership also pertains to the informed actions that the owner takes. Basic knowledge in all areas of business growth is critical education that every small business owner needs.

In speaking with business coaches they tell me that they have to take on the role of educator while developing business and marketing plans.

Business education is not expensive, nor is it as time consuming as most small business owners believe. I maintain a list of recommended authors in both book form and CD format. I suggest the following to my clients.

  • Each month i select a discipline in marketing, management, or another area of owner responsibility.
  • The audio version of the book is most popular if the owner spends at least 30 to 45 minutes in the car; otherwise, a half hour of reading prior to bedtime is assigned.
  • Every week we spend 30 minutes discussing what was listened to or read and how it applies to the business.
  • At times I recommend webinars, seminars or other educational venues and in each case, we spend time discussing the application to the business.

The goal of this exercise is not to make the owner an expert in each discipline, but to understand the role it plays in growing a business.

Something new is coming the second quarter of 2013 that will revolutionize small business.  I will share more as I learn more about it.

Nick J. Petra CFP        subscribe to this blog today at

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