Become a better auctioneer and grow your online auction company by prioritizing your own education.
As a small business owner, it’s easy to let continuing education fall to the wayside without a boss or HR nudging you to keep at it. But developing your skills and knowledge is key to building credibility and growing your business.
In this week’s installment of our small business series, we’re sharing a brief guide to self-development and education.
Keep up with auction licenses and certifications.
Auctioneers usually need a license and other certifications to do business, as well as regular continuing education. This will look a little different in every state, so do your research and make sure you know the requirements. And don’t save your renewal work until the last minute. You don’t want to find yourself scrambling to finish six hours of training before midnight on the same day you’re running an important auction.
Learn specific auction skills.
Prioritizing your own education to improve your skills and knowledge can give you a major boost on your competition and make you a better auctioneer. In addition, many accreditation groups and auction schools offer a wide variety of classes and seminars that go way beyond licensing requirements.
- We did a quick search and found classes on:
- Ethics of auctioneering.
- The science of making decisions.
- How to communicate with different generations.
- The laws and nuances of specific industries.
- And much, much more.
Check www.auctioneers.org to find online courses or an auction school near you.
Become an expert in your niche.
If your goal is to become the go-to auctioneer for a specific industry, you can increase your credibility by learning everything you can about it. Of course, you can sign up for webinars and read books, but think about creative ways to dive deep.
If your passion is vintage cars, ask a mechanic who specializes in them if you can shadow for a few days. Or, if you want to break into the arts, take a few art history classes or a hands-on painting class. If you’re focused on real estate, learn how to appraise houses or conduct home inspections.
Think outside the box to take your continuing education to the next level, so you can better connect with your customers.
Hone your professional skills
Running an online auction company is about more than just the auctions. You have to manage a website, handle the finances, keep up with your marketing campaigns, and more. Depending on your background, some of these business skills may come naturally to you, while others may feel like a challenge. But there’s no need to fumble your way through; you just have to learn.
Seek out opportunities to get better at running your business. Watch the tutorials for your bookkeeping program, take an online course about email marketing, or hire someone to show you how Instagram Reels work. Sign up for Maxanet to build and manage your own website. Between your local library and your internet connection, there are virtually endless resources at your disposal so you can get better at the nuts and bolts.
How to make your professional development goals to reality
We’re all guilty of letting a goal or a New Year’s Resolution slide, but usually, it’s because we don’t make a plan. Here’s our roadmap for following through on your continuing education:
- Determine your goals for the year. Think about any skills you’d like to improve or any topics you want to learn more about. You should prioritize your plan around these specific areas.
- Get out your calendar and make a plan. In November or December, check out class schedules and course catalogs for the upcoming year. Flag all the classes that interest you and mark them in your calendar—and don’t forget to include any continuing education credits for your license. Be realistic about how many will fit your schedule and prioritize your top choices. Register as soon as possible, so you’re held accountable and can’t bail at the last minute.
- Put your money where your mouth is. Self-education is a high-leverage investment. So, please give yourself a monthly or annual budget, or set aside a small percentage of everything you earn and be sure to invest it.
- Keep track of your progress. Write down your thoughts after each class, and keep your notes organized for easy reference. This makes it easier to decide your next step. If you feel energized and motivated by a particular subject, look into the next level of classes.
- Make it easy to do a little learning here and there. Not everything about the learning process has to be so formal. Save any articles you want to read or videos you want to watch. Then, gradually work your way through them by choosing one whenever you need a break or have some downtime. You can get a lot of reading done while waiting to board a flight or pick up your kid from soccer practice.
With clear priorities and a good plan, you can become a more effective auctioneer and grow your online auction company by growing yourself first.
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