If you own your own business or plan to start one, do you really need an MBA? The answer isn’t always clear or even widely agreed-upon; some say yes, and some say no. But while there’s debate about whether entrepreneurs need MBAs – and while it’s true that no one needs an MBA in order to start a business – entrepreneurs who do get them may have a better chance of success.
Why? Because without completing business school, you’ll have to learn how to run a business through trial and error – and too many errors could cause your business to fail. Once you’ve got a failure under your belt, it’s going to be harder to convince investors to put money into any of your future ideas. An MBA will impart the technical skills you’ll need to start and run a business, give you the chance to hammer out your business plan, and let you network with mentors and peers, so that when it’s time to open your business’s doors, you’ll be able to give it the best possible chances of success.
Master the Nuts and Bolts of Running a Business
If you don’t know the basics of how businesses operate, you’re unlikely to succeed as an entrepreneur. Attending classes through an MBA program will help you understand the business life cycle and how organizations function, as well as how individuals function within organizations. You’ll have the opportunity to learn what makes companies successful and what makes them fail, by studying problem-solving frameworks and multiple case studies.
In this way, you’ll have the chance to learn why specific CEOs made the decisions they made, and how those decisions ultimately panned out for them. You’ll learn what strategies worked for others and what didn’t, while you hone your problem-solving, leadership, and team management skills through classes and seminars. You’ll learn how to streamline your company’s work processes, choose and hire the best candidates, run better meetings, and understand your market. And if you choose an AACSB-accredited online MBA program, you’ll be able to take classes on your own schedule, amassing real-world work experience at the same time.
Network With Mentors and Peers
One of the most important assets any successful businessperson can have is a strong network of other accomplished businesspeople. While you’ll continue to pick up connections throughout the course of your career, nothing beats the connections you’ll make while you’re a business school.
Business school connections are valuable because at no other time in your life will you have the chance to share a similar experience with others again. You’ll forge connections with your classmates and peers based on the shared adversity, so to speak, of being in a challenging graduate school program. The people you’ll meet in your MBA program will come from all walks of life, and because online programs allow students to attend from anywhere in the world, you’ll meet people from all kinds of different cultures, too. You’ll learn more about the world than you ever thought possible, and benefit immensely from sharing different perspectives with your fellow students.
Of course, all of your fellow students will be at the beginning of very promising careers. You have no way of predicting how valuable your relationships with them can become in the future. And you’ll form relationships with faculty mentors, too, who can help you with advice and support as you start your business, and with connections as your company grows up.
Hammer Out Your Business Plan
When you put your business plan into action in the real world, it’s sink or swim. If you don’t have a formal education in business, you might be trying to implement a business plan with serious flaws of which you’re unaware. Business school provides a safe environment in which to incubate your business plan so that you can work out the flaws while the stakes are still low, and be confident that the plan you’re implementing when you start your business is one that has every chance of success.
If you’ve got big dreams of entrepreneurship, you might think you don’t need an MBA. And while that’s technically correct, earning a graduate degree in business administration can give you the tools you need for entrepreneurial success. From honing technical skills to building your network, there’s so much an MBA can do to help you become a better entrepreneur