How to develop your skills into a viable business

I earlier published two posts on skills identification. You can find them here and here. This post is a follow up to the two publications and it centres around how you can develop your skills into products or services that you can trade for money.

One industry with a high number of skill based business is the fashion industry. You will notice that most of the designers discovered their passion for fashion later in life after having studied another course in school.

You too can do the same. Regardless of your field of study, you can become anything you want to be based on your skills. All you need to do is follow a planned approach towards sharpening your skills and turning it into products or services that people will patronise and pay for.

If you are looking to develop your skills into a profitable business, here are some approaches that you should take to actualise your goal.

1. Read literatures

There are lots of published works of the early comers in your niche available for you to read and learn from. Stories such as how they started their journey, and lessons learnt from their mistakes. You should get these books and read through so that you can start based on the experience of established industry players.

Bear in mind though, that you cannot have the same journey with another person. Only use the literature as a guide, do not plan your journey solely around it.

2. Follow industry leaders

The tool I recommend for this approach is social media. Either you follow a company page or an individual account, you stand to gain a lot of experience. You will get insight into how they navigate activities​ such as customer complaints, product announcement, and general audience engagement. For individual accounts, you also stand a good chance to glimpse into how they reason as some of these leaders use social media to indirectly mentor their followers.

3. Get a mentor

Mentors are experts who have acquired experience and rich knowledge in their fields. Some are like moving encyclopedia such that spending​ just an hour with them could change your perspective on a subject matter.

To hone your skills into a money maker, you should seek out mentors in your industry and learn directly from them. They are also available to guide and put you in the right mindset of a professional.

Develop your skills4. Further learning

If your skills require technical knowledge such as IT, you may need to enrol in classes to learn further. There are several online classes that you can join and learn at your own pace. Examples of sites where you can sharpen your IT skills are Codecademy and W3Schools.

If you are going into entrepreneurship, you should form an organised reading habit  and dig into the articles at Entrepreneur and Small Business Trends.

Another way you can learn further is through internships. Some organisations accept graduates into short term internship programmes where they can learn or develop business skills. You may consider interning for some months in a company with long strides where you get to learn the business in a real setting.

You don’t have to take all of the aforementioned approaches to sharpen your skills. However, it is advisable to explore each briefly to identify the one you are more comfortable with. You may then stick with it till you are ready to launch and start selling your skills for profit.

Did you just discover a new skill that you want to develop? Share your planned approach with us.

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