What is Business Acumen? Dictionary meaning says keen insight into the business matters is Business Acumen. In more practical terms we can say Business Acumen is an ability to think clearly and quickly in a business scenario and take good judgments that lead to profitability. Business acumen can also be termed as being business savvy or having acute business sense. Do you think every working professional should aspire to have business acumen? Yes, you should. Having knowledge about how a business operates add great value to your profile and boost your career; you will be promoted year after year, your organisation strives to retain you, and what more your pay hike says it all!
Here We Discuss The Ways And Means To Gain Business Acumen
1. Understanding Business Functionalities
Get to know different functionalities of various departments. Understand marketing, finance, production, information technology, service, operations, sales activities and how they contribute to the overall functioning of the organisation. This eagle view of all the departments give you an edge over other colleagues to project yourself as a man of wisdom. Your bosses would want to know your opinion on a business situation and be assured it counts.
2. Participating In Discussions
Your active participation in conference rooms will fuel your knowledge. You will get to learn various insights on business scenarios from point of view of different departments and hierarchical positions. This understanding enriches and expands your knowledge base.
3. Gauging The Market Competition
Possessing in-depth understanding of market conditions, the business competitors and their strategies, equip you to engage the management with effective communication and powerful presentations. This tendency also signals that you are an intelligent person with focus. Keep your eyes and ears open for information that you come across from various sources like social media, news papers, news room discussions etc.
4. Larger Picture Of Business
Gaining insight into the larger aspect of the organisation enables you to understand why a business runs as it is run now? The basic functions, vision and mission statements are guidelines an organisation sketches for itself and adheres to it. Understanding this fundamental working model would help you a great deal and sharpen your business acumen.
5. Relate To The Work Place Hierarchy
When you understand how your individual job responsibilities aid in achieving bigger business objectives, and how it contributes to the organisation’s bottom line, you will be in a better position to peg your ideas in the board room and take on the limelight.
6. Develop Rational And Clear Thinking
Quickness and shrewdness to take business decisions require clarity of thoughts and rational analysis of the internal and external situation. Try developing these critical skills by going through organisation’s communications like marketing materials, financial statements, PR communications etc. also keep a close tab on what’s going on in the market. Discuss your views with your peers and sharpen your thinking and analysis skills. Get yourself listed in relevant business groups’ forums and observe the trends and discussions.
Raise your bar with confident and knowledgeable communication with your peers and higher-ups. Learn to talk to inter departmental colleagues in their own language i.e., talk profit & loss to finance guy and market share to sales guy, discuss operational expenses to operations guy and dig deep into technology challenges with information technology guy. This way you can develop rounded communication. Any business manager in decision making position needs to be well informed about the happenings to make shrewd decisions and
communicate effectively up and down the ladder.
Though the business manager should hold his ground and stick to the strong decisions he makes in the face of adversities, he should also be flexible enough to forecast the market trends and make necessary changes in his decision making style.
So guys, develop this critical skill and scale to new heights in your career. Any company would love to have such resource who not just takes the ownership of the tasks he is responsible for but also understands the nitty gritty of the business and contributes to the success of the organisation.