Business is a fairly vague term that covers many different career paths and many different industries. What all of these have in common, however, is the start – if you are going into business, particularly if you are running your own business, you will need certain elements in place before you can begin. Knowing what these are and how to get them if you are lacking in some areas is crucial for success.
Here are some aspects of starting a career in the business world that you need to consider before you begin; having everything in place before you start will help you to be more successful in the future, and to do it more quickly.
Assess Your Skills
When you look at your own skills, you need to be completely honest with yourself. Just because you know you need to be confident and have knowledge of finance, for example, doesn’t mean that these things will come naturally to you. However, just because you find certain areas of business difficult, it doesn’t mean that you can’t do it – honesty is the key.
If you can truly assess your skills and determine what you still need to learn, then you can gain the knowledge and qualifications before you begin your business career, rather than starting and then realizing that something is missing. The great thing about this is that you don’t need to look too far to boost your learning; Suffolk University has a number of excellent online business courses that you can study while you build up your confidence and contacts, for example.
When you are sure of what you know and what you still need to learn, you will also begin to understand which style of business, even which industry, you should be working in, and that will help you find a job or even launch your own company with more confidence – plus you’ll be more likely to enjoy the work.
Who Is The Competition?
When you are looking to start a career in business, you need to know who your competition is, and this is true whether you are intending to work for someone else or you are wanting to start your own business.
Knowing the competition will give you a number of useful pieces of information. It will tell you what kind of marketing works and what doesn’t. It will show what pricing people are willing to buy at. It will give you an insight into how other, similar, businesses are run. In order to find out this information and much more, you will need to ask the questions. That might mean calling up the competition and asking how they do things (whether you identify yourself is another matter). Or perhaps you would be more comfortable outsourcing your market research and having someone else find out the information and report it back to you.
When you know who the competition is, you can more easily set yourself out as different to them, even if you are working in a similar (or perhaps identical) way. If you can show the differences, it will be easier for customers to decide who to use.
Who Do You Want To Work For?
Assuming you want to at least start your career in business working for someone else (you can launch your own business at a later date once you have gained all the experience and knowledge you need to do it), who is it you want to work for?
Again, research is key here. Take a look at all the businesses working in the type of industry you are most interested in, and look at how they conduct their business. Are they ethical? Are they exciting? Are they well-known? Judge them by what you feel is most important to you when working somewhere, and make a list of pros and cons for each one.
When you have your list of the companies you most want to work for (and you’ve looked at customer reviews which can tell you an awful lot), see if they are hiring. You might be lucky enough to discover that they are looking for someone with your skills and qualifications for a role in the company, in which case you can apply right away. Even if there are no jobs available, that shouldn’t stop you from sending in your resume and explaining who you are and what you are looking for. You never know when a speculative inquiry could result in a meeting, interview, or even a job.
Update Your Resume
Once you have initially written your resume and covering letter to go with it (this is extremely important and can make you stand out from other applications as well as giving you the chance to add more information than is written in your resume), you will need to go back to it from time to time to update it – don’t just assume that writing it once will be enough.
Every time you gain a new skill or qualification, and every time you are recognized for something important at work, it should be noted down. The more information you can add to your resume the more likely it will be that you will be asked for an interview and you can really start your career in business.
If you feel your resume is lacking, take steps to fill the gaps. This might be an additional qualification, but you could also try volunteering in your local community, joining an industry organization, or writing a blog on the subject matter to show how much of an expert you are – all of these things will impress a potential employee and will look great as additions to your resume.
Remember to check your resume every time you send it out to ensure nothing is missing and that it is the correct version. You can also check that you are including all of the information required in the job advert. Plus you should tailor your covering letter to each individual position rather than using a generic one – this will show that you have done your research and that you know exactly who and what you are applying for.