Developing good business sense is about developing a continually evolving understanding of the ever-changing dynamics of the local, national and international business climate. Good business sense often develops through hands-on experience and trial and error in the business world, although it can also be fostered through education, research and mentoring.
Continually Educate Yourself
The business world is ever changing. To develop a keen and insightful understanding of business finance, economics, supply and demand theories, communication techniques, customer relations strategies and management approaches, you must continually stay abreast of the latest trends. You can educate yourself through formal business education, internships, continuing education seminars, professional groups and participation in business and industry trade shows and conferences. Taking in business information as it trends will help you develop a better understanding of ways in which different components of business work together.
Find a Mentor
Find a business professional whose business sense you respect and admire and ask him to be your mentor. A mentor can help you develop your business sense by helping you decipher and understand different elements of business theory, operations and decision making. This can include explaining the rationale behind different business decisions, providing a look into how market conditions influence business operations and how shareholders and investors play a role in the overall planning of businesses. A mentor can also help you weigh the pros and cons of different business decisions and serve as a sounding board for your questions.
Participate in Brainstorming
Brainstorming with seasoned business professionals provides insight into how people with good business sense think, reason and make decisions. Participating in brainstorming sessions as part of a company, a volunteer group or even as an observer can help you understand the thought process that goes on in the minds of successful business professionals.
Read and Research
Read biographies of respected business leaders from throughout history. These publications can provide an in-depth perspective of successful and effective leaders who used their own good business sense to develop multinational corporations. Reading about their challenges, successes and failures will help you understand the factors that contribute to both good and bad business decision making.
Interview Respected Colleagues
Interview professionals whose business sense you admire and ask them what they consider the key elements of business success. Encourage them to elaborate on topics such as their greatest triumphs and disappointments and what lessons they learned from their experiences. Ask them how they view the current business landscape and how they anticipate the evolution of business to unfold over the next 10 years.
Solicit Honest Feedback
Hands-on experience and trial and error is one of the most practical and effective ways to develop good business sense, particularly if you solicit critiques from other business professionals. When making key decisions or implementing high-level projects, ask a respected colleague to evaluate your performance, pointing out both your strong and weak points. Use the feedback to hone your approach and use past mistakes to generate future successes.
Special thanks to the Small Business Chronicle for these tips. Melanie