10 Incredible Importance of Knowledge In Your Business
There is a well-known saying that we all hear as kids, in one form or another – “knowledge is power.” Likewise, knowledge in business gives you power.
A large part of what it means to make a success of yourself as an entrepreneur is to take your mistakes and failures as learning opportunities, and use them to motivate yourself to improve your business in core areas.
There are many ways in which this principle applies. For example, the more you understand your own health, the more you know what it means to live in a healthy way. This information gives you the power to avoid sickness and injury.
Then, there’s also the fact that the more you learn, and the more qualifications you earn, the better the jobs you’re likely to gain access to.
As a small business owner too, knowledge is power. Here are a few reasons why you need that knowledge.
1. You’ll never know how to improve unless you know there might be an issue
No business is perfect, especially at the outset, and even the most successful and acclaimed entrepreneurs in the world have experienced their fair share of failure while climbing to the top.
A good business owner never stops learning. Knowledge enables you to identify and seize opportunities around you, it enables your business to thrive in the midst of competition and guarantees its relevance in your industry.
But, if you don’t know there is an issue, you’ll never know how to improve.
It’s useful to look up resources in order to get a sense of how to gather data and deepen your knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of your own company.
When you spot an issue, you can work to fix it.
2. Skills and insights make you valuable to customers and clients
As a business, your key purpose is to provide some degree of value to your customers or clients in exchange for the money they are willing to pay you for that benefit.
But what makes you valuable to your customers or clients, when all is said and done?
Well, it’s largely a matter of your skills and insights – as these allow you to identify and address customer needs shrewdly and effectively, while also differentiating yourself from your competition, and bringing something new to the table that they might not be able to offer.
For example, if you want to know how to find duplicates in Google sheets, you must be highly skilled in using spreadsheets or excel sheets, thereby using certain functions for easily finding duplicates that save time and effort.
The better you are able to develop and refine your skills, the more you understand the nuances of your role. This gives you the power to be more valuable to your customers and clients.
3. The better you understand your industry, the more creatively you can manoeuvre in it
Running a successful business requires a lot of smart manoeuvring, and the ability to identify and seize opportunities as they present themselves.
Of course, before you can properly identify and seize any opportunity, you need to understand your industry sufficiently well. With enough nuance, you will be able to properly read the various developments that are going on.
Knowledge helps you in forecasting the likelihood of a harmful event happening and putting in place effective systems to deal with them. Sound and in-depth understanding is a trademark of successful businesses. With the right knowledge, they weigh their options and beat the odds to procure favourable outcomes.
Furthermore, responding to the needs and wants of your customers requires the application of knowledge in various forms such as skills, insights and even experience that can help you deliver great products or services to them.
Understanding and knowledge are two things that boost the potential for creativity, and creativity boosts the potential for innovation, which in turn is a fundamental element of success.
4. Knowledge keeps your business relevant
Every industry is in a dynamic sphere that grows and gets larger every single day. New technology, new advancements, new discoveries and innovations are the norms in the 21st-century business world.
What was the newest “in-thing” for your industry when you started your business, is most likely becoming a norm or outdated by now. An entire industry can be modified massively in just the shortest space of time.
As a forward-thinking business owner, you can’t afford to be ignorant of the newest trends and updates in your industry if you want to stay relevant.
Your relevance in your chosen industry is totally dependent on just how much you know about the dynamics of that industry as a whole, the recent “know-how” or developments and how you can apply that knowledge to building a successful business.
Some say ignorance is bliss…what you don’t know can’t hurt you, right? Wrong. Definitely not in business. What you don’t know might become what spells doom for your business. Lack of knowledge will make you fall behind.
5. When you’re informed, you make better decisions
Decisions are inevitable responsibilities of business owners. Whether it’s deciding the colour scheme of your company’s logo or debating where to situate your business, you’ll have to make decisions every day.
As your business grows you’ll find yourself making more and more important decisions that can make or mar the success of your business. Similarly, if you run into hard times or challenges (like every successful business does) you have to make some pretty hard ones. Sounds scary, huh? Relax, it’s not as scary as you think.
Well, an indispensable tool that’ll come really handy when you’re making those ‘scary’ decisions or any decision at all is – knowledge. Informed decisions are the best ones because they are made with the bedrock of correct information.
As a business owner, it’s up to you to make those decisions and if you want to make the right ones, never underestimate the power of knowledge. The right knowledge can tip the scales in your favour massively and ensure a favourable outcome.
6. Knowledge makes customer satisfaction easy
Perhaps the best most visible mark of a successful business is one that is valuable or adds value to its customers or clients. The whole essence of a business entity is adding substantial sometimes intangible value to customers or clients in exchange for money.
A business that doesn’t fulfill this premise cannot be said to be successful. Put in a simpler way, customer satisfaction indicates a thriving business.
As a business owner, customer satisfaction should be a major goal for you. What better way to achieve this objective, than equipping yourself with the right knowledge? You possibly can’t deal with what you don’t know exists, can you?
Knowledge about the needs, wants and income range of your target audience and even the supposed ‘flaws’ in your own business can help you build, maintain and grow a solid, satisfying market base which is essential to any successful business.
It will help you recognize flaws and gaps in your chosen industry which can help differentiate your business from competitors by bringing something unique to the table that others can’t.
Knowledge will help you put together products or services that resonate completely with your target market.
7. Knowledge helps you minimize risk
A risk is a possibility that something bad or unpleasant will happen. It goes without saying that taking risks is an unavoidable part of running a business. Every business faces many different sorts of risks that could pose a potential threat to the success of the business.
These possible hazards can shatter a business completely or cause serious damage that might be expensive and time-consuming to repair.
Risk management becomes, even more, paramount when your business grows or tries something new such as launching a new product, changing the entire product line, or trying to expand its market base.
Therefore, risk management should be an integral part of any business’ strategic management.
Risk management involves identifying and dealing with the different types of risks facing your business. Basically, it is preparing your business well in advance against unforeseen occurrences.
This can’t be done without adequate knowledge and information. Being armed with the right knowledge and information is fundamental to managing risk well.
If and when a risk becomes a reality, a well-prepared business has a good chance of minimizing the negative impact on sales and earnings, the consumer base and the continuity of the business in general.
This also is where having the right knowledge comes in: knowing what might happen when you do certain things gives you the chance to prepare well in advance, anticipate the consequences and respond to them when they do come.
8. The more you know, the better your business systems
Processes and systems are the essential building blocks for building a successful business. A business system is a set of defined processes, principles and practices that connect all of a business’ interrelated steps and activities to work in unison, for the achievement of the business’ goals and purposes. (Phew!… That’s quite a mouthful, but you got the message right?)
Every single part of your business – from the counter to the office or in the shop or warehouse- is part of a larger system that can be tweaked, managed and improved by applying the right knowledge.
Creating effective business systems will ease your job as a business owner. It’s like building a stable framework for your business to lean on. Once that framework is steady and effective, continuity and success are guaranteed. Businesses with a high rate of continuity are those with great systems.
Many common tools, methodologies have been utilized in creating effective business systems but when all is said and done, it all boils down to this: Knowledge. Nobody ignorantly builds a great business system. It doesn’t happen by accident. And when that system is in place, it takes the knowledge and the application to maintain and keep it running.
9. Knowledge helps you save money and increases profitability
A good business owner should be something of a jack of all trades. The different parts of your business such as (accounts, marketing, human resource management, sales etc.) have to be tackled by different experts for optimum results.
You might not be able to afford to hire every expert you need especially if you own a small business or just started. Being faced with the challenge of doing almost everything yourself for a while can be, believe me, tough.
Meeting this challenge head-on requires you to learn more about the dynamics of business.
No, not your business model, but the nitty-gritty of running any business such as managing people, basic financial and accounting skills, law and legislation in your area of business, marketing, and sales techniques etc.
It’s isn’t necessarily about becoming an expert in each of these fields but learning everything you can. This will give you a sense of mastery, control, and confidence. It will give you something to fall back on when you find yourself (your business, that is) in a fix.
You’ll also save a fortune on ‘consultancy fees’ and other monies you pay experts for the in-house help they provide you.
Whether you’re a big business, small business or a start-up, having substantial knowledge in the key areas of your business can aid you in no small way to save money.
Moreover, knowledge in satisfying and meeting the needs of your customers helps you gain and enlarge a steady market base. This translates to being more profitable.
10. To be on the right side of the law
The law and legislation in your area of business is something you have to consider always. Failure to do so can bring about all sorts of disastrous consequences. You can’t afford to be at odds with the law if you want to build a successful business.
Acquiring adequate knowledge about the law as it concerns your business is a good way to ensure that your business dealings are legitimate.
Knowledge in your business is of great value as it is essential your business makes its mark in the business world. It shapes your business activities, enhances your productivity, and fosters growth and development in your business. This also gives you the edge that sets you apart in your industry.
Knowledge – the right one, managed and applied effectively – is truly power in your business.
With this in mind, every business owner should be set on building and managing what I call a ‘knowledge bank’. It is the sum total of all the information that is related and relevant to your business. A business with a vast, well-managed ‘knowledge bank’ has a knowledge advantage to run more efficiently, improve profitability and ensure continuity.
“The knowing” is just as important as “the doing”. Acquiring knowledge is not enough if it can’t be managed and applied effectively.
To this end, I’ll include 3 practical strategies for building and managing your knowledge bank for your business
1. Make knowledge a huge part of your business culture:
Attend conferences, seminars, and pieces of training where you can learn more and connect with people who know more. Hire knowledgeable staff and keep their knowledge up to date by providing in-house training for them.
You can train them yourself, bring in a facilitator or have more knowledgeable employees train the others, share and transfer their knowledge.
Offer incentives like a bonus or pay-raise to employees who not only provide useful information about the latest market trends and developments but also devise ways to improve the company’s products and services in accordance with the market news.
Recognize that the suggestions and opinions of your employees are vital to the progress of your business. Pick their brains, ask them questions and actively seek their opinions.
Give them tasks that require them to dig up and digest information. When they do offer information, listen and show them that their suggestions are highly appreciated and valued.
2. Make experience your teacher:
Mistakes and failure at one point or the other are characteristics of an entrepreneurs’ climb to the top. Part of what it means to make a success of yourself as an entrepreneur or business owner is to make those mistakes you should make. Then change them into learning opportunities.
Learning doesn’t necessarily have to be in a classroom. Why not make every business experience you gain and life itself your teacher? Every mistake you make has a silver lining of experience which makes you wiser.
Learning from your mistakes gives you invaluable insights which aid your decision-making in the future.
It’s not about doing everything just right and never making mistakes. Step out, take that risk and gain new business experiences.
Enjoy gaining business experience, because, without it, you won’t make your mark as an entrepreneur. Experience and insights are often what make one company better than the other.
3. Increase your business knowledge by research:
Sometimes the best business knowledge comes from your own sources. Identify key areas in your business where knowledge will make a positive difference and start your research. Source for information on the internet and read books. Read articles on business and subscribe to business publications. Employ a systematic approach to acquiring knowledge.
You can also conduct surveys and get feedback from your customers to increase your knowledge of the market.
Getting yourself into a mentoring program can also help a great deal. Look for other successful business owners around you and learn as much as you can from them. A mentor doesn’t have to be someone you’re familiar with, read about the life and times of great capitalists and business people.
The power of knowledge in running and building a successful business cannot be over-emphasized. The acquisition of knowledge is a painstaking, continuous, never-ending process, but the results are well worth the effort.
Knowledge can, in no small way simplify and make your entrepreneurial journey easier. So, what steps are you taking to acquire knowledge for your business today?
Learn as much as you can about your industry, and you might be able to work wonders. I wish you success as you learn more about your business at every opportunity you get.
Which of these tips are you ready to implement right away?