Improving your business acumen

As an Assistant, whether you are supporting Executives or working in a team, having a solid understanding of the business and its operations is crucial for your success. In today’s fast-paced and ever-changing business landscape, it’s essential to continuously develop your business acumen to stay relevant and contribute effectively to your organisation’s goals. This article will explore valuable insights from experienced assistants on improving your understanding of business and accelerating your learning curve.

Be proactive in learning

One of the critical strategies to improve your business acumen is to be proactive in your approach to learning. Take the initiative to become actively involved in business operations and processes. This could include sitting in on meetings with Executives, reading relevant materials, and understanding the business priorities and goals. If you have access to your Executives’ emails or other appropriate communication channels, take the time to read and understand the information shared. This will help you gain insights into the decision-making process and the organisation’s strategic direction.

Meeting Agenda for Assistants and Executives

1:1 Meeting Template

The template you need to maximise the time spent with your Executive.

Minute-Taking Template for Assistants

Minute-Taking Template

This powerful template is designed to help busy Assistants take effective minutes.

Immerse yourself in the business

To truly understand the business, it’s essential to immerse yourself in its operations. Take the time to learn about different organisational roles, from marketing and PR to sales and product development. Understand how each department operates and how they contribute to the business’s overall success. Familiarise yourself with the tools and systems used by different teams and learn how they are utilised in their day-to-day operations. By immersing yourself in the business, you will understand how other functions work together to achieve common goals.

Take advantage of remote work opportunities

With the increasing trend of remote work, there are unique opportunities to improve your business acumen. Even though you may not be physically present in the office, you can still actively participate in meetings and discussions through online collaboration tools. Take advantage of these opportunities to engage with your colleagues and Executives, and ask to join meetings or discussions that align with your areas of interest. This will demonstrate your proactive approach to learning and commitment to adding value to the organisation in your Assistant role.

Speak the same language

Speaking the same language is crucial to effectively communicating and collaborating with your Executives and colleagues. Stay updated with your industry or organisation’s latest business jargon and terminologies. This will help you better understand the context of discussions and contribute meaningfully to conversations. Online collaboration tools can also be a valuable resource for learning the language of business, as you can observe and learn from the language used in emails, documents, and other communications.

Be curious and add value

Curiosity is a valuable trait for Assistants that can help you improve your business acumen. Be curious and ask questions to deepen your understanding of the business and its operations. Seek feedback from your Executives and colleagues to identify areas for improvement and growth. Additionally, look for opportunities to add value beyond your regular Assistant tasks. Offer to take on additional responsibilities or participate in projects that align with your interests and skills. By actively contributing to the organisation’s success, you will gain valuable experience and start improving your business acumen.

Improving your understanding of business is essential for Assistants who aspire to excel in their roles. By being proactive in your learning, immersing yourself in the business, taking advantage of remote work opportunities, speaking the same language, and adding value, you can accelerate your business acumen and make a significant contribution to your organization’s success. Remember to be curious, proactive, and continuously seek opportunities for growth and learning, as business dynamics evolve rapidly, and staying relevant requires a proactive approach to skill development.

Becoming a successful Assistant requires having a thorough grasp of how businesses run. This article has highlighted the benefits of improving business acumen and provided invaluable insights from experienced assistants on enhancing your skills and knowledge. Sharpening your business understanding is important to help you contribute meaningfully and swiftly to organisational goals. To further develop your skills, one great option would be enrolling on our Strategic Business Partner Online Course. It provides comprehensive coverage of essential techniques for success as an Assistant, so why wait? Take action today and unlock the business potential you have within – join us now and equip yourself with the ability to enhance performance across the board!