Are there business development classes I can take that will better prepare me for entrepreneurship?
I am interested to hear if anyone recommends a certain course or class that can benefit my career as an entrepreneur. I am looking for courses for me to attend as well as classes I can recommend to my team members; some at different levels of beginner, moderate and advanced.
The short answer is yes. There are numerous courses and programmes out there that can help you prepare for entrepreneurship.
The discovery - Some can help you with visualisation whilst others may be able to help with understanding the processes involved. A helpful hint will be to find yourself a mentor, and preferably, someone in your line of work who has built a similar business or managing a similar one within your sector. Afterall, business is about people first and then processes. The trick is making it (fluid) gel.
The Learning - Whilst one size doesn't fit all, your development or success will also be dependent on your (business) ideas, the problem you're trying to solve, the value proposition and most importantly - YOU.
A Shared Experience - Having completed an entrprepreneurial programme myself 2yrs ago, I can assure you, it can be enlightening but it will ultimately depend on whether your expectations are met from the experiences it offers - and in my case it did - and I now offer the same experience to my mentees.
The impact - Be under no illusion that these programmes will help you become successful, indeed,most of them can and will help you "think differently" - coining my own tagline - about business and how to build one.
As a mentor and business coach, I'm happy to share my experinces on what to look for, how to determine if it meets your expectations and most importantly, preparing to jump into these murky waters.
Hipe this helps and feel free to connect if I can be of further help. Best of luck to you and your team members.
The classes developed in and by academics will not actually prepare you for starting your first business. Organizational institutions teach business from the organizational paradigm not from the micro-enterprise paradigm. It doesn't matter how large you believe your business will become, it will start out as a micro-enterprise (under 11 employees). This business model is very different than the much larger organizational model. Lack of financial and human resources require owners / founders to find alternative strategies and tactics to address and overcome the challenges that larger organization will apply the academic solutions which depend on people and money. We have written a book on the subject called "The BizCube Paradigm - A System for Starting and Building A Successful Small Business". We use the book in a live on-line workshop to help new business owners get organized and moving forward. If you'd like more information email me and I will send you a no cost overview. We've been using and teaching this for the last 20 years. Hope that helps.Steve Chapman
imo, the best thing you could do is buy lunch for about ten people, one at a time, who you see to be running successful small businesses. #1 this will teach and/or show you the difficulties surrounding getting time with a decision maker, which is a great segue into the world of sales. Get these people talking about their sales and selling efforts. Everything else is commodity info you can find in Google.
For me, SCORE and similar organizations are pretty much a waste of time. While SCORE volunteers mean well, they all tend to come from largish companies that had lots of underlings and lots of revenue. For the most part, imo, they're all from businesses that existed and/or grew prior to the advent of what a small biz will see in today's set of conditions. Having sat through several of their "lectures", they seemed to be reciting something from a 1950s era business textbook. None of them understood online sales and none of them had much to say on selling. They did have nice networks of people they knew. Then they would hand out a bunch of SBA drivel that was outdated (but well meaning) like it contained the secrets to success. Maybe true from twenty years ago.
For the most part, and with some exceptions, anyone that can type a search using Google can acquire the same body of knowledge as what these SCORE retirees/people seem to offer. All nice and smart people, but I thought their experience and outlook was a generation old and based on largish cash flow positive companies. A far cry from a home based startup existing from sale to sale and project to project.
Unless things have radically changed in the last decade most gov't-sponsored entities, including classes, seem to consider small business anything under multiple millions of dollars in revenue. Government awareness and emphasis on helping the 1-2 person startup does not exist. They want (and they should) largish affairs that can prop up state and fed tax collections and thus allow them to show some ROI on what they spend on biz dev. 1-2 person startups does not work in their scheme, albeit well intended.
Spend your time and money on taking small biz people out to lunch. imo, you'll get more out of listening to their stories than anything organized by a public entity.
There are a great series of courses on Coursera by the University of Maryland that I recommend as a jumping off point. Here is a link. https://www.coursera.org/learn/innovative-ideas
Remember that most courses offer generalized information and usually do not connect success actions with your personality challenges and beliefs. It's a little like getting therapy help by reading a psychology book. They have value, don't get me wrong, but through this site alone there are dozens of qualified and experienced coaches, trainers and teachers who can give you customized counseling that is likely far more productive and efficient than a course. I have engaged with wannabe entrepreneurs and have both guided to success and suggested owning wasn't likely a good strategy for an individual when they were forced to face their true reality. If you want to accelerate your success read a couple of books first then hire an adviser who will assess your skills/behavior/attitude against a success grid and personally guide you and your team.
Score offers counseling and courses and classes on business entrepreneurial studies, help, etc.... I suggest you contact a Score counselor in your area and set up a mentoring appointment with him or her...
Entrepreneurship is a strange beast. If you have a decent amount of basic education and knowledge, it simply is just better to jump straight in and start the company. The problems that are unique to you cannot be taught very well before. Join an accelerator or launch program similar to Founder Institute.
Most regions -- cities, counties -- have an educational program for small businesses tied in to the Small Business Administration. Google education for entrepreneurs or go to the SBA website to look up what's available for you.
I've been working with mine with excellent results.
Yes, there are a lot and good ones. I had found Coursera, edx, MIT online, and few other platforms tremendous at helping you gain and improve specific skills, but entrepreneurship go way more far from concepts, books, and training. You have to apply what you understood in order to learn it better, share experience, connect with other in related fields, debate and critique results, and make your own impressions while adapting them as you wish and find fit.
The best places to look for business development classes are a Central Library with business workshops for business owners, alternatively contact colleges/universities about any evening classes.
However, in my experience I would look about doing a course through Lynda.com via LinkedIn or Udemy.com.
Hope my advice help and best of luck with your business venture.