As an entrepreneur, it’s up to you to decide how much time, and perhaps how much of your budget, to dedicate on professional development.
In the corporate world, there are often professional development opportunities set up within the business. At the least, they have a budget allotted for such and a system of approval to make it happen.
When owning your own business, though, you may be a bit disinclined to set aside funds and calendar time for professional development. However, it’s important to continue working on your skills — plus, many workshops and conferences are opportunities for networking as well.
Focusing on ever improving your skills will increase your value and ensure that you stay pertinent in your industry.
Here are some ideas, starting with low budget options:
Cheap or Free Professional Development Ideas
Subscribe to industry blogs.
Are you reading educational articles or staying current on changes in your industry? Subscribing to newsletters or business blogs is a great way to stay knowledgeable and keep learning.
Follow gurus on social media.
So many people are offering free advice from their online platforms. Find influencers or gurus within your niche who are sharing free, helpful advice. Don’t get lost scrolling — instead, hop online to connect with those you can learn from.
Visit your local bookstore or library.
Whether you’re a writer, graphic designer, or a retailer, chances are your local bookstore or library has some content that can help you. Think about the areas in which your business can grow, and go from there.
Share insights with another professional.
Set a one-on-one coffee date with a professional you can swap insights with. Perhaps they’re an Instagram magician and you have some products or advice they’re interested in. Pick their brain, and be sure to share as well.
Professional Development Ideas with a Price Tag
Download an online course.
There are scores of online guides and courses that can teach you a new skill, or improve one you already have. Find a course or downloadable with great reviews that fits your niche.
Attend a workshop or conference near you.
Events typically have a larger price tag, but you might be surprised at the number of free or low cost events you can find once you start looking around. Like we mentioned, these events can be full of potential leads and business relationships, but they also teach you a thing or two that can make you more successful.
Join a chamber of commerce.
Chambers of commerce typically offer workshops and events that teach you better business practices. It can be a larger investment depending on the size of your business and the membership structure your local chamber offers, but it’s worth looking into.
Let us know below what your favorite professional development opportunities have been so far!