Towards the end of 2020, we saw a great shift in focus towards rebuilding our economy. The spotlight has fallen on SMEs and emerging small business entrepreneurs, who now have a pivotal and exciting role to play in this rebuild, and can also capitalise on the opportunity to pioneer a new way of working. Undoubtedly, this has sparked a growing interest in entrepreneurship as we continue in 2021. However, beginning and sustaining an enterprise requires unique and specialised skills, which should now also be relevant in our current economic climate.
Skills such as critical and creative thinking can improve your decision-making and the way you direct your business to a large extent, but need the proper theoretical backing in order to benefit your enterprise effectively. Qualities such as resilience and adaptability often come after years of experience, but can be nurtured through development.
One of the best ways to develop each of the skills you need to begin a successful entrepreneurial journey is through a business management course, such as the Postgraduate Diploma in Business Management and Administration (PGDip BMA) at the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB). Entrepreneurship is embedded in every one of the business management degree’s core modules, including one which is dedicated solely to entrepreneurial theory. Here are 5 crucial areas of entrepreneurship that USB’s PGDip BMA programme will help you develop on your road to success.
Adopting a systems thinking approach to entrepreneurial situations or opportunities can give you an advantage when you are managing your business. It gives you an alternative perspective when solving problems, by seeing your business as a system of interrelated moving parts, instead of many different functions working adjacently.
"Systems thinking takes a holistic approach to how different parts of a methodology interrelate. In traditional analysis, people only looked at the separate elements in a system. By thinking in systems, you can understand the balancing and reinforcing processes which cause system behaviour."
Source: Toggl Plan – 5 Advantages of Systems Thinking and How to Make Full Use of It
USB’s PGDip BMA understands the great benefits of systems thinking within entrepreneurship, and thus includes the Systems Methods core module as part of its business management studies programme.
A digital mindset
Embracing digital practices is essential in managing a business today. The digital way of working is advancing as we speak, especially with the advent of the ‘new normal’ and working from home. Adopting a digital mindset will certainly stand any entrepreneur in good stead whilst navigating the challenges of these uncertain times.
"The pandemic has accelerated the process of digital transformation across almost all sectors. As the world slowly but steadily shifts to the recovery stage, we’ve also seen that the pandemic has brought on changes to consumer behavior that are likely to stay for good. The question then becomes how we can empower entrepreneurs to leverage digital tools and innovations while navigating the pandemic."
Source: World Economic Forum – How digital entrepreneurs will help shape the world after the COVID-19 pandemic
USB’s Digital Quotient module of its PGDip BMA is designed to prepare you for today’s way of working as an entrepreneur. It will help you understand the digital context within which we find ourselves, and argue the importance of digital literacy in the modern business environment. There is also its Information Systems Principles core module which will further prepare you for the digital way of working.
According to Forbes, the management of your finances will make or break your business. Handling resources properly and carefully assessing investments compared to ROI is a solid requirement for entrepreneurs, and your ability to manage and raise money will determine its success.
USB’s PGDip BMA includes a Managerial Accounting core module, which focuses on the key elements of management accounting and financial accounting, and will give you a keen understanding of the financial aspects of running a business.
Harvard Business School Online regards an entrepreneur’s network as one of the greatest assets they have.
"Identify and reach out to people in your network who can guide you in your entrepreneurial journey and inform your decision-making. Ask them about their business, how long they’ve been in their industry, and lessons they’ve learned from successes and failures. Perhaps they’ve started several companies and can offer valuable advice about raising funds, developing products, and building a client base. They may even be able to connect you to professionals in their networks whose work aligns with yours."
Source: Harvard Business School Online – Must-have Entrepreneurial Skills for Aspiring Business Owners
Studying a PGDip BMA will connect you not only with lecturers and fellow classmates, but will also put you in touch with the vast global network of established USB alumni. This will help you gain perspective from both a local and global standpoint, and also give you the opportunity to connect with people who can help you develop your business.
Having a solid strategic plan for your enterprise will help you to set goals, decide what actions need to be taken in order to achieve those goals. They will also help you make decisions on the direction in which you would like to lead your enterprise.
"When structuring and growing a business… it’s important that the structure and growth strategy is based on sound business sense and skills. A successful entrepreneur needs to have a solid strategy to take their business from good to great."
Source: Investopedia – 5 Skills Every Entrepreneur Should Have’
In these uncertain and changing times, a strategy for your enterprise is invaluable. How will you adapt to new legislation? How can you navigate a new way of working whilst staying on route to achieving your vision? How will consumer behaviour change? The PGDip BMA has elective modules in Business Strategy and Enterprise Risk Management, which will enable you to hone your strategic skills in a business sense and ensure that you reach your goals in an uncertain business climate.
If you are an entrepreneur looking to make the most of your business journey, find opportunity within uncertainty and navigate a new way of working, find out more about for USB’s Postgraduate Diploma in Business Management and Administration.