Best Ways to Improve Business Acumen

by Josh Biggs in Business on 11th March 2021

Leaders combine their instincts and creativity with business acumen to actualize their vision and achieve their ambitions. What is business acumen, and is it inherent, or can one acquire it?

Entrepreneurs and business owners who don’t trust their instincts always have a hard time making critical decisions. The corporate realm is brimming with uncertainties and disappointments, which require problem-solving skills and sharp acumen. Business acumen equips an entrepreneur with insight and the skills to channel other leadership skills towards achieving organizational goals. 

Each individual has a unique set of skills. While some flourish with confidence and communication skills, others have creative talents and artistic vision. Business acumen allows an entrepreneur to channel their inherent gifts with savviness to develop a competitive and profitable brand.  

People fail to understand that acumen is a lot more than just having a strong business sense. It’s a lot more than understanding financial jargon and complicated acronyms, like BKPR and EBITDA. Essentially, business acumen is the intellect that allows entrepreneurs to make well-informed and profitable decisions. Keep reading to discover how you can develop sharp business acumen to achieve your entrepreneurial dreams. 

Pursue Higher Education 

The corporate realm is increasingly competitive and complex. Technology has penetrated every business activity domain in recent years, be it supply chain management or financial reporting. Most entrepreneurs enter the corporate realm with a dream, capital, and a business plan. Their faith in their business plan often encourages them to neglect formal business training and higher education. 

Pursuing higher education is a necessity to stay competitive and rise above the noise of the competition. Entrepreneurs often neglect higher education, but a Master of Science in Management degree can prove a dynamic game-changer. It will equip you with market-competitive skills and inspire innovation by instilling leadership skills and corporate insight. 

Today, market dynamics are much more complicated than the age-old mechanisms of demand and supply, profit, and loss. Present-day brands, much like humans, are compelled to develop distinctive personalities and characters to build a sustainable audience. Entrepreneurs must understand key business metrics and know how to apply these metrics for marketing, sales, and promotional purposes. 

Higher education introduces new practices and innovative strategies to steer a startup towards sustainable growth and profitability. Luckily, entrepreneurs can now pursue education with flexible eLearning platforms without giving up their full-time professions. 

Training & Certifications 

The corporate realm is rapidly evolving and innovating, and each new technology makes traditional processes increasingly redundant and useless. Entrepreneurs struggle to stay competitive and equip their businesses with new technologies. Training and certifications are instrumental in helping entrepreneurs, managers, and employees develop a robust acumen. 

Employers can invest in training programs to increase engagement and promote professional development for employees throughout the organization. The eLearning arena is brimming with certifications and training programs that offer market-competitive skills. Whether you wish to build your acumen in digital marketing, data science, or artificial intelligence, each skill is empowering. 

Training programs allow businesses to develop a formidable force of highly skilled and business-driven employees. 

Observing & Acting Strategically 

Organizational cultures and behaviors are instrumental in exploring avenues for increasing productivity, efficiency, and profitability. Corporations pay psychologists thousands of dollars to observe and study their corporate behavior and propose improvements. As an entrepreneur, you must continuously monitor organizational behavior and evaluate human relations to boost productivity by motivating the workforce. 

What is organizational behavior and why is it important? Simply put, it is the study of how people operate and participate in teams. Organizational behavior allows businesses to enhance efficiency, productivity, and profitable growth. But how? You see, it evaluates the social and environmental drives of employees working across departments, teams, and groups. 

Observing organizational behavior allows entrepreneurs and managers valuable insight into group dynamics, business structures, and activities. This insight facilitates strategic decisions that enhance the competitiveness and growth of a business by improving working procedures. Understanding employee behaviors and motivations are crucial for managers to design effective motivational strategies and productivity enhancements. 

Developing Core Competencies 

Whether you’re a business owner, a dentist, or a sculptor, developing core competencies is crucial to harness one’s gifts and talents. As an entrepreneur and business leader, you must build your core competencies and help your employees actualize professional development. Business acumen is a vital core competency that allows leaders to overcome adversities with analytical reasoning and problem-solving skills. 

You can develop your core competencies through training, mentorship, networking, industry seminars, and even inspiring leadership podcasts. 

Seek Out Mentorship 

Human life is a never-ending journey of learning, improvement, and innovation. We learn and imitate behaviors by those who inspire us and encourage us to do with our lives. Mentorship is a gift that stimulates the mind and heart. It propels us towards our goals with valuable insight and encouragement. However, finding a mentor is not easy. 

You can find mentorship in school, college, or even at work. Find someone who you genuinely respect and admire and someone eager to show you the ropes. Someone who has climbed the corporate ladder can offer reliable guidance to support your success. Finding a reliable and trusted mentor is a decisive step towards sharpening your acumen by learning from the best. 

Step outside your Comfort Zone

If you strive to become a business leader, keep in mind that there is no comfort zone. All the things you aspire to achieve, be it profits, success, or competitiveness, lie outside the circle of comfort. Many entrepreneurs avoid dealing with financials, taxation matters, and intricate legalities. They hire employees, accountants, and lawyers to deal with these matters while focusing on core business activities. 


Business acumen is not a skill that you can acquire in a month, a year or even a lifetime. It’s a continual process of learning and improving. The corporate world changes every day, and as an entrepreneur, you must stay competitive. Focus on your professional and personal development, and invest in building a library that offers a wealth of information.

Reading is a powerful habit that equips leaders with unmatched intellect and valuable insight. Explore the works of renowned and celebrated entrepreneurs to learn the art of success from the best.

Categories: Business