The global Covid-19 pandemic has significantly changed the way we live, work and learn. From the wearing of masks and the concept of social distancing, to maintaining work-life balance as we adapted to work from home and using communication tools such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams.
As we move to an increasingly digital world in the post-pandemic age, it will be more important than ever for business owners to think of new ways to get ahead and stay ahead, says Peach Payments’ Head of SME Growth & Marketing, Joshua Shimkin. “Succeeding in the digital world doesn’t just require the right ideas and infrastructure, but it requires business owners to constantly upskill to provide better solutions to their clients.”
While coming up with innovative ideas is one thing, the skills and knowledge to grow and scale a business are teachable - from marketing, to accounting, stock management, talent acquisition and retention. Learning opportunities and options vary from free and open-source resources to expensive university courses.
Below we take a look at five ways business owners are skilling up in 2022:
1) It doesn’t have to be a degree to be a valid and valuable course, as many businesses are acknowledging. One of the best tools for business owners to start their learning journey is in their pocket. Mobile apps such as Pocket MBA, SkillPill, and World Academy Online offer a range of courses or training on specific business skills.
2) The digital age has also seen the rise of online learning platforms offering university-quality courses. Enrolling in an Ivy League university as prestigious as Harvard used to be out of the reach of the majority of people. But in recent years, Harvard has made available a range of online business courses that anyone can do from anywhere in the world. If that’s out of your budget, business owners can access courses on platforms such as Udemy or the locally developed Insaka eCommerce Academy with material custom-built to help entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses.
3) Podcasts are another great online learning platform. The format allows for every budding entrepreneur or successful businessperson to listen to a range of business-oriented podcasts in their spare time – whether it’s during the early morning commute, between meetings, or on a flight to go sign off on an important deal. Globally, podcasts such as How I Built This, The $100 MBA Show, and The Tim Ferriss Show have featured successful business owners telling their stories and sharing their tips. Locally, The Lebo Lion Show has offered a range of discussions aimed at entrepreneurs, business professionals and even students on topics such investing and saving, to how to monetise your skills.
4) Social media platforms and online forums offer opportunities to learn and network with minds across the globe. While many of us might just get our next cat video fix on Facebook or Instagram, business specific forums and channels on these networks and messaging apps such as WhatsApp have become a great place for business owners to share ideas and ask for advice.
5) While the opportunities are endless for business owners to upskill and start their new venture with these online tools, there are still those who prefer to receive their information and learn ‘the good old way’. Online business magazines such as Forbes Africa and How we made it in Africa offer inspiring stories and insights into some of the most successful businesses on the African continent and the secrets behind their successes.