When we think of an MBA degree, we often picture it as a program for those who are interested in climbing the corporate ladder within an established company rather than as a qualification for entrepreneurs. It’s certainly true that you don’t need an MBA to set up your own business – you don’t strictly need any qualifications at all, in fact! However, it’s also true that if you are a wannabe entrepreneur, having an MBA (Master of Business Administration) can give you an edge over your competitors and make it more likely that your new company will be a success. Here are just some of the reasons why.
It Builds Your Knowledge
When you study for an MBA, you will have the chance to cover a wide variety of different topics and modules. The specifics will vary according to where you study and what specialism you want to concentrate on, but you can expect to cover areas such as accounting, finance, marketing, business ethics, consumer behavior, innovation, international business, critical leadership decisions, big data, business intelligence, sustainability in business, and much more. While some topics will of course be more relevant to entrepreneurs than others – and many MBA programs give you the choice to focus more heavily on this side of business – almost everything you study will be useful in some respect when it comes to setting up your own company.
Of course, it’s possible to learn all of these different aspects of business by yourself, or operate on a trial-and-error basis when setting up your company, but having this kind of formal educational foundation can certainly give you a head start. Entrepreneurs have to take on a wide range of different tasks and responsibilities when starting out, and learning what you need to know in advance in a supportive environment can make doing so much easier.
It Develops Your Skills
An MBA doesn’t only help you to acquire new knowledge – it also enables you to develop a wide range of valuable skills. Some of these may be technical skills related to finance, business strategy or administration, but many of them are what are known as ‘soft skills’ or transferable skills. For example, you’ll do a lot of work on presentation and communication, which can be vital for pitching investors or selling products to customers. You’ll also boost your confidence, which is invaluable when setting up a business on your own, and build leadership skills ready for when you start hiring others to work for you.
Some of the other useful skills you can expect to develop include time management, organization, critical thinking, problem-solving, decision-making, and a whole host of other key abilities that will make your life as an entrepreneur far easier and contribute to the success of your new business. Just be sure to take advantage of every opportunity to develop – click here for more advice on how to do so.
It Gives You Plenty Of Networking Opportunities
One of the main advantages that doing an MBA gives you is the chance to network with different key players. This comes in many forms. Firstly, there are your fellow students. You’ll be studying alongside a cohort of people from a wide variety of backgrounds and with a wealth of different life experiences and skills. Not only will you be able to learn a huge amount from them, but some may well end up becoming lifelong friends and potentially even business partners if you meet some fellow entrepreneurs. Then of course there’s the faculty members you’ll be studying under, all of whom will be experts in their particular fields and able to offer you plenty of wisdom.
The truly valuable opportunities, however, tend to come from professional networking. You’ll have the opportunity to work on projects with real-world companies, attend events with industry professionals, connect with alumni, and meet all sorts of potential mentors and even investors. Again it is possible to network as a solo entrepreneur, but as an MBA student you’ll find many more doors opening to you.
It Gives You Lots Of Experience
When you do your MBA, you’ll have the chance to work on a multitude of different group and individual projects in consultation with real-world companies. Not only that but there may well be competitions you can take part in, study abroad opportunities, internships you can apply for, and much more besides. All of this will give you a wealth of experience to draw on when it comes to setting up and running your own company. Just make sure that you say ‘yes’ to every relevant opportunity that you can, as the more experience you bank up the bigger the benefit will be.
Many MBA programs also have entrepreneurship modules that may involve the opportunity to test out your product ideas, practice pitching, work on concept development, and generally gain experience in a variety of relevant challenges. Obtaining this experience in a practice environment where you can receive constructive feedback from your peers could give you a big advantage when it comes time to do it for real.
It Gives You Credibility
There’s no denying that the MBA is still an extremely prestigious qualification, and one that is recognized all across the world and in all different industries. By having these credentials, you’ll show future investors and business partners that you are willing to invest time and money in yourself and your company, and that you are truly committed to making all of your business ventures a success.
An MBA degree can help you build a bright and promising professional future. One thing that you need to make sure is that the quality of the institution you are joining matters. This is because, in the recent years, almost every college or university has started an MBA program simply because the same was in demand. If you wish to understand how you can select the best MBA college or university, read more.
These days there are more and more people attempting to become entrepreneurs and establish a startup, so by having an MBA you can ensure that you will stand out from the crowd for all the right reasons. In itself this might open doors to you that would otherwise remain closed. Just remember that the institution you choose to study at does make a difference here, so be conscious of the reputation of the colleges you are thinking of enrolling at to make sure that you do reap this particular reward