If your ambition is to become an entrepreneur but you think about tech skills as something you can leave to your future IT department, think again. The savvier you are about emerging technology, the more you can stay ahead of the competition. Not only that, but venture capitalists and angel investors tend to be more interested in tech-oriented companies. However, if your background is that of a business generalist, don’t despair. You can start getting up to speed today and prepare yourself to succeed in a fast-changing world.
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Make a Financial Plan
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Before you can start any kind of business, you need to get your financial house in order. This ensures that you know what kind of resources are available to you, makes you less vulnerable to losing too much of your own money and helps potential investors and lenders see you as credit-worthy. Whether you’re just starting your business or you are trying to take your company in a new direction, if you’re going to be looking for more money, your personal credit should be as good as possible. If you have existing debts and the means to pay them off, this is the time to tighten your belt and do it. A student loan may be a large debt that you cannot pay off right away, but you can refinance from Earnest to get lower interest rates. Shop around and see what lenders offer you.
Big data, artificial learning and machine intelligence aren’t just buzzwords. They are all tools that are revolutionizing the way companies do business. People go to school for years to learn how to be data specialists, and you don’t have to become an expert, but you should understand how these tools are operating within your industry. For example, with big data, companies are able to capture and analyze a huge amount of information about potential and existing clients and customers so they can tailor their offerings for each person. You may want to consider finding a few business technology websites or publications and subscribing them so that you stay informed about the latest innovations.
Consider Further Education
You don’t have to go back to school on a degree path to brush up on your business technology skills although that is certainly one option. However, it may be sufficient to simply take some classes as a post-baccalaureate student. There are also seminars online and in-person that can offer you valuable networking opportunities as well as deeper knowledge about the role of tech in your industry.
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Look for a Mentor
Whether you are a new graduate or you have been in the working world for some time, you can benefit from the assistance of a mentor. If you’re still an employee, your company may offer a mentoring program. Professional organizations in your industry may have something similar. Personal connections are also an excellent way to start building a mentor relationship. However, you find a mentor, remember to be respectful of their time and to pay it forward when you have the chance.