By Kyle Courtright

If you’re reading this, chances are, you are a small business owner who truly enjoys the challenges and rewards of business. You probably know that a business needs a lot of hard work to keep it going. I would assume that if you are on this site, reading small business articles, you care about growing your business. Bravo!

Taking extra steps to learn about business will always pay off. The best advice I can give anyone starting or running a business is this: never stop learning. Maybe that’s easier said than done. How do you learn? How do you grow? Here are three ways.

1. Mentors

We all have strengths and weaknesses. Working in a particular industry for many years on end can easily bring on thoughts that we don’t have anything else to learn. This is a dangerous place to be. There will always be people that have more experience than you, so try not too get too comfortable. Look for people in your space that you respect. Reach out and ask them to mentor you, or ask them if they would be open to answering a few questions once in a while.

Chances are they will be flattered that you admire them enough to ask for help. I have a number people who have mentored me along the way and have made such a positive impact on my business.

2. Seminars

We’ve all seen the flyers, the sign up sheets and the emails. “JOIN US FOR AN UNFORGETTABLE WEEKEND” they all say. You roll your eyes, dismiss it and continue on with your day. Look, I know that after working a long week the last thing you want is to spend your hard earned weekend in a big room with bad snacks and bunch of sleepy and grumpy colleagues.

I’m not saying all of these business seminars are worth your time. What I am saying is that some of them are chock full of business gold. Not to mention, you are in a room filled with people that have similar goals and businesses. Networking, anyone? If you are looking for some seminars in your area, check out the SCORE Workshops page for a list of events.

3. Blogs

These days it seems like everyone has a blog. It can be hard to find the good ones. But find one of the good ones? Congrats! You now have access to solid, FREE business ideas that you can read from the comfort of your couch, or bed, or whatever floats your boat.

Look for blogs that relate to your space, that inspire you, that are full of practical ideas that you can immediately implement. A lot of business is about the details. The little tweaks that can be made here or there to increase productivity, decrease wasted time and boost sales.

Blogs are full of good ideas on how to get things done effectively from people who have done it themselves. Find a few good blogs that you can trust and enjoy. Subscribe to get new posts in your inbox. The other great thing about blogs? They are succinct. Which is great for those of us who are always busy. It’s not a long winded speaker, or a whole book. Just a simple blog post. We can handle that, right?

What have you done to help learn more about new ways to grow your business?