4 ways to up your business literacy skills

Personal financial literacy seems to grab all the headlines, but business literacy is just as important, no matter where you are in your entrepreneurial journey.

If you’re just starting, there is plenty to learn, and if you’ve been in the game awhile, you know it always keeps changing.

Either way, it’s essential to keep learning. That’s why today’s post covers four things you can do to keep getting better.

Let’s go!

Read, Read, Read

It’s estimated that more than 1,000 business books are published each month.

So, the only excuse for not reading is too many to sift through.

Fair enough, so let’s pare it down. Here are a few solid book picks to start with.

“Financial Intelligence for Entrepreneurs” by Karen Berman and Joe Knight has become a classic since its first publication in 2008. It’s a deep dive into business literacy written in a way the average layperson can understand and apply.

“Accounting for the Numberphobic” by Dawn Fotopulos is another good one. If you dread the thought of looking at business finances, this book will help. It’s an easy guide that takes the mystery out of things like cash flow and net income statements.

As for the internet, resources like Investopedia and the Small Business Administration website are great places for articles and videos covering a vast range of topics.

But there are deeper dives on the internet than just articles and videos.

Online Courses and Workshops

This neck of the internet woods isn’t as dense as the book publishing world, but many options still exist.

Platforms like Udemy offer relatively inexpensive courses by industry experts. You can read reviews on each course before determining if you like it.

If you are working with a team, Udemy Business and LinkedIn Learning are subscription-based options worth exploring.

If you prefer an in-person setting, check out local business organizations, community colleges, and universities that may offer workshops on business finance fundamentals.

Talk to the Pros

If you want to be successful in business, talk to people who are successful in business. Search out mentors at industry events. Schedule time with a good CPA and pick their brain with all your questions. Do the same with a financial advisor.

You will gain valuable information and start to form relationships that will help you grow as an entrepreneur.

Practice like the Pros

Those folks we mentioned in the last section weren’t gifted with natural business acumen. They had to work at it.

So will you.

Once you have the knowledge from all the resources above, pore over income statements, financial statements, and balance sheets.

Don’t have any of your own yet? A simple Google search for sample business statements will yield plenty.

Practice using financial modeling techniques to create different scenarios based on the information you found. Then, develop theories about the potential impact of the business decisions on the bottom line.

Speaking of the bottom line, here’s the one for this post.

The Bottom Line

Gaining business literacy isn’t easy, but it is simple. So, keep working on it. You’ll see how it improves your entrepreneurial skills and helps you build confidence in reaching your business goals.