Meaning of Business Acumen
Business Acumen is a term concerned with understanding how a business works, makes money, and attains its goals and objectives. In simple terms, business acumen refers to quickness and keenness in knowing and dealing with business situations in a manner such that good outcomes can be yielded. Business acumen is also called business sense, business understanding, and business savviness. It comprises two components: ‘Business literacy’ and ‘Acumen’. Business literacy is knowledge and understanding of distinct functions within the business enterprise, and acumen is the ability to arrive at good judgments and make quick decisions. A strong business acumen collectively serves as means of improving business performance and developing leaders.
There are standard strategies of marketing nowadays that were never before such as account-based marketing, content-based marketing, and social media-based communications. A proper learning engagement on business acumen will provide participants with key elements required for understanding and participating in today’s ecosystem of complex marketing.
Ways of Improving the Business Acumen Skills
Different strategies for enhancing business acumen skills are as follows:
Proper understanding of the Business model
Having a deep understanding of your business model is key essential for developing strong business acumen. It includes much more than the basic understanding of the organization of how it makes money and should dive into distinct aspects of business enterprise such as how its supply chain and business life cycle work. The more person gets to know about all these business factors, the more he/she will be able to enhance their business decision-making and develop their business acumen skills.
Learning unfamiliar areas and Knowing about strategies
Learning of unfamiliar areas relates to knowing about areas of which a person is not aware that may be factors adding to manufacturing costs of delivering products and services. It is not necessary to know each and every small detail but one should have a good understanding of business fundamentals including how revenue is generated and costs are managed. On the other hand, knowing strategies means having good knowledge of the company’s growth strategies, how it evolves its products, and why the business is choosing to follow particular revenue opportunities over others. All of this will assist in filling up a complete picture regarding the business model of the company.
Get to know the financial side of the business
Financial metrics are key to every business that directly influences its economic health. These metrics reflect the focus areas of business organizations and are largely taken into consideration by decision-makers. A person need not be necessarily from financial background for learning about all this financial side of the business. The ways for acquiring knowledge on financial metrics include tracking key metrics of business organizations and then analyzing them to know how they affect the functioning of the business. One can also take help from well-known business financial resources available online for developing an understanding on business metrics, in case he/she doesn’t understand them.
Invest in education
Education plays a key role in the development of the business acumen skills of a person. It is not always possible to acquire all the necessary skills on the job and therefore you need to make efforts to seek knowledge on your own. There is a number of online courses and certification that can be pursued for broadening business acumen skills and becoming more efficient in your work role. The kind of education to be pursued is determined by your level of business acumen. Reading books and taking classes providing general guidance on business management would be sufficient for the one looking for just developing their skill set.
The ways for seeking education on business acumen involves keeping yourself updated with business news, especially the one that occurred within your relevant industry. This will help you in staying informed on all happenings that can affect business. And another way is to follow prominent business leaders from your industry that assists in growing the business knowledge. You should read their blogs and follow them on social media for knowing their business insights and therefore learn from their thought process.
Listen to customers
It is the last item on the list and is regarded as the most crucial element for enhancing business acumen skills. More focus should be made on finding out the factor motivating customers to buy from your organization. A proper understanding should be gathered of challenges faced by customers so that the right assessment can be made of how the company’s offerings provide a solution. More the information you have about your customers, the better you will be able to identify the path for your organization to deliver its competitive goods and services. Customer knowledge serves as a key to advancing business acumen as they are the most important stakeholders of the organization. It also helps in other business acumen skills such as paying attention to items that matter most to your customers.
Qualitative Research and Quantitative Research
Qualitative research involves talking directly with customers for gaining their perspective regarding your business offerings. A discussion needs to be done with a large number of customers for collecting an appropriate size of sample. Here, customers also share their feedback relevant to a current business situation. Whereas, quantitative research relates to acquiring data on customers via utilizing CRM software. Such data offers two advantages that offset the disadvantages of qualitative research. Firstly, it provides with wider set on customer data, and secondly, the collected data is unbiased.