The most obvious starting point is to research the area about which you’d like to learn more.
Surf the internet, read industry publications and visit industry body websites that relate to your field of interest.
But only do this once you’ve asked yourself why you want to become proficient in this new area.
Is it to develop a new revenue stream for your business? Ensure it’s for a legitimate reason and that it fits your business model, including your business objectives, and not just because you want to jump on the bandwagon of a new market craze. Your plan must be sustainable.
There will always be an enthusiast on hand to share their experience of a particular business area, so network to find them and tap into their knowledge base to help you decide if the area is right for you.
Use social media to assist with your search, from LinkedIn to Twitter and Facebook; there’ll be someone out there willing to support your efforts, and very often for free!
Find a mentor
Is there an individual already equipped with the skills you’d like to acquire from whom you’d feel comfortable asking for guidance?
Don’t worry if this isn’t the case; there are a number of national organisations that can help.
These include mentorsme.co.uk, the free online gateway for small and medium-sized businesses in search of mentoring services.
If you’re really sure you want to pursue your new field of interest, consider acquiring the relevant qualifications.
Property qualification bodies include Propertymark Qualifications and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, and the Chartered Institute of Marketing for marketing-related qualifications, should you feel that your marketing proposition could use a boost.
Or perhaps you’re considering creating a new revenue stream by developing a marketing service for industry peers? But be sure that this is the right path for you, and that you’ve the capacity to take on the time and financial commitment.
You could instead consider recruiting someone with the necessary expertise, saving you this commitment.
Estate and letting agency doesn’t always have to be cloak and dagger, with business expansions top secret until they’re ready to be unveiled.
By then, you could have made all the schoolbook errors that could have been avoided had you sought support and guidance at the research stage of your planning.
Don’t be afraid to ask for advice and guidance, particularly from retired industry veterans, who would be flattered to be asked for their input.
That’s it for upskilling. Next time, we’ll be focusing on how to mine your data.
*Nigel Poole is Founder and Managing Director at Eurolink Veco™