Often business people get so caught up in the day to day that they do not make the time, nor do they see the value, of taking the time to attend professional development programs that can help them manage and grow their business.
Below are four reasons why it’s so important to make time for professional development:
Increase knowledge base
You are an expert in one area, your business. Attending programs where you learn something new helps you to develop other areas of expertise that can help your business. Even if you learn of something you would never do yourself, having a basic understanding of what needs to be done and why, can save you money and heartache.
Meet new people
Opportunities to collaborate with others, obtain referrals, develop speaking or writing opportunities, discuss a business purchase or sale, etc. The list goes on and on! When you attend professional development programs there will be a lot of people you do not yet know. Network, meet others and see what opportunities are available for you to expand upon!
Expand client base
Developing new connections with people that may not be aware of your business can help you build your customer base, either through a direct sale or referrals. Building those relationships and getting to know other business people will help you build your reputation. The old adage “it is not what you know, but who you know” is so true when trying to expand your customer base.
Develop new resources
In addition to what you learn from the program content, you can learn even more from the other business people in attendance. You can develop a new vendor resource, get advice from others who have “been there, done that”, potentially find a good employee. Attending programs are a great way to delve into others knowledge base and areas of expertise.
Throughout the year, The University of Georgia Small Business Development Center offers professional development programs that are timely, relevant and reasonably priced. Often, after attending our programs, participants tell us how much they enjoyed the program quality, how much they learned, what great connections they made and how reasonably priced it was compared to others they have attended.
I hope to connect with you soon at one of our upcoming professional development programs!
Laura Katz, MBA, is the Athens Area Director at The University of Georgia Small Business Development Center and specializes in marketing and business development. For more information on SBDC programs, or to register please visit www.georgiasbdc.org or call 706.542.7436.
(Source: Laura Katz, Area Director, UGA SBDC)