Have you ever heard the phrase, “you must learn to earn”? This is a phrase that our ActionCOACH founder and CEO, Brad Sugars say a lot. Essentially, what it means is that to earn success in your business you must be willing to learn. Learning is a key foundation of our principles, and it should be our mission as business owners to continuously learn. To grow and expand your knowledge, you must be willing to seek and accept knowledge from a variety of sources. This can include coaches, other business owners, articles, courses, or classes.

  • Financial Management
  • Networking
  • Leadership
  • Management
  • What’s Next?


Too often, business owners get into the mindset that they’ve learned all that they need to learn through experience or formal training. Whether we have received formal training from an accredited program or we learned all we know through experience, we all have areas we can improve.

If you’re willing to assess yourself for the betterment of your business. I suggest starting with these four areas.

Financial Management

Odds are you or someone else has invested a lot of money into your business. If you were to lose this money due to not having proper handling of your finances, this can devastate all parties involved.

The best way to protect your investment is to clearly understand the aspects that impact it. This includes accounts receivable, cash flow, and profit and loss. This allows us to plan our future performance in terms of capital, assets, and requirements to protect the investment of shareholders.

Here’s a list of tools you should consider incorporating into your financial plan:

  • Financial Statement
  • Ratio Analysis
  • Pro Forma Statement of Income (Profit & Loss)
  • Break-Even Analysis
  • The Business Performance Forecast
  • Cashflow forecast
  • Reporting
  • Pricing formulas and policies
  • Net profit calculations

Read the article here to learn more about these tools.

These things give you a picture of how much money your business makes and if it’s enough to cover your business’s expenses. You should also have a financial management system and update it regularly with account balances, expenses, payroll, etc.


Connecting with the right people can provide valuable opportunities for you and your business. This opens up the door to strategic relationships or partnerships with other businesses that can direct customers towards your business.

There may be networking events in your area, either virtual or in-person. Get involved with these networking events by getting connected with groups or organizations that host regular events.

Social media is also a great way to network. LinkedIn was specifically made to network with professionals and has been quite successful for B2B marketing. Facebook also has a Groups feature that can connect you with business owners in your area that you might form alliances with.

Networking requires strong communication and listening skills. The two biggest mistakes are on two sides of the spectrum, oversharing or being stand-offish. Oversharing can prevent connections because you don’t allow the other person to speak and convey that you are not interested in the other person or their business. Being stand-offish may not be intentional, but this can happen when you are not engaging in the conversation, you are not responding, or sharing information about yourself. Additionally, it seems that you are not listening to the other person. Avoid these things and you will become better networker.

Another mistake folks make when networking is not following up. Once you connect with someone, you must always be diligent about following up – otherwise, you miss the opportunity to build that relationship. Contact them a week or two after the initial meeting and contact them regularly, not daily, to continue contact.


This is the most important skill you can learn. As the owner, you define the culture and environment of your business. Many business owners don’t realize that they are leading their team on a path towards failure. If you are cultivating a culture of inefficiency and toxicity that is not time-efficient, goal-oriented, or motivated, your business is more likely to fail.

One of the best ways to learn leadership skills is to learn from someone who has already been effective in leading. Use your networking skills to connect with other business owners to pick up on leadership tips you can use. There are also leadership workshops that you and your team can attend.

Areas you can improve leadership include delegation. If you can delegate to your team effectively, there will be less stress and chaos in the day-to-day operations of your business. Additionally, ensure that everyone on your team is in the proper role. Appoint people to leadership who can best help manage your load.

Another area to improve leadership is to hold regular training sessions for employees on key concepts of your company. You are able to lead your team by ensuring everyone is on the same page. It also holds you accountable to continue learning and developing your own knowledge about these concepts so that you can share it with your team.


Many folks worry about being a micro-manager, but the fact is that all employees need to be managed. Folks need to know what is expected of them each week and accountability to deliver upon those expectations along with coaching and support as needed. If you do not have a management system in place, that should be a priority.

This may involve creating an organizational chart along with clearly defines the roles of every employee and who they report to directly.

You should also carve out time every day or every week to connect with your employees. This time will be used to provide them with feedback and to make sure you and the employees agree on the tasks and responsibilities they are in charge of.

What’s Next?

These are just four skills that business owners should learn, but truthfully there’s a lot more because there are so many ways that we can improve ourselves and expand our knowledge. Not only is it imperative for personal growth, but it’s also important for the growth of our business.

Working with a business coach can uncover just how much you know, or don’t know, about your business. If you’re hesitant about taking the dive towards business coaching, we suggest trying one of our complimentary coaching sessions. We offer a few per month and spots fill up fast. Sign up today to reserve your spot!