Would an MBA better prepare me to start a business?
I have been debating about whether to go to business school or just start my own business. I am wondering if business school is worth the time and money. I know I would make great connections and probably learn a lot, but how much would it really help?
It will provide you with some additional knowledge. These are mainly things that you can also learn by yourself, if you are thirsty for knowledge anyway. The best thing that will prepare you for a business, however, is work experience and contact network. Wish you the best.
The benefits of any all buisness degrees are countless, completing the degree takes planning, commitment, attention to detail and development. The learning journey is the major part of the exercise, the MBA is the trophy.
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Going to school would be the first step backwards to starting your new business. The first step in starting a business is by just doing it. Several of the most successful business owners in this world dropped out to start their business.
No, but starting your own business will better prepare you for an MBA...
I started two successful businesses without an MBA. I'm a learn by doing kind of guy, so it was a better match for me to actually start the first business than spend two years studying business.
Plus, when I look around, none of my friends with MBA's have started a business. They are all marketing managers for big companies.
An MBA could be the right path for you, but it's not a pre-requisite for starting a business. If you want a more in depth discussion about what you're looking for and how to get there feel free to contact me.
During my current 20-year journey of startups (both my own and helping others), I got my MBA in Entrepreneurship, so I can tell you my experience pre-MBA and post-MBA. I decided to pursue an MBA after about 10 years of startup experience. Why? - as someone with a pure technical background, I wanted to (1) learn the fundamentals of business, (2) be able to look at companies with both a technical and a business point-of-view (helpful when talking to investors), and (3) broaden my network (my contacts were almost exclusively in technical fields).
Should you get an MBA? - it really depends on your needs and your desire for learning. If networking is your goal, then there are plenty of networking opportunities now to make contacts. These opportunities will be much more cost effective than an MBA. Depending on what you desire to learn, there are numerous online resources that may suit your needs rather than a full MBA program. The time and money spent on an MBA program could be spent on starting your company.
One advantage of pursuing an MBA while developing a startup are the numerous business plan competitions and other startup assistance programs available at universities. Depending on where you pursue your MBA, there could be many resources available to help you start your business. Also, through your MBA classes you may end up working with a potential co-founder. However, you can access many similar resources through accelerator programs (depending on your startup idea).
Back to my experience, I feel the most benefits I have received from getting my MBA are (1) the know-how to fully understand the financials behind a business, (2) the ability to analyze a business and it's products/services from different perspectives (i.e., marketing, accounting, operations), and (3) the introduction to business mentors.
Starting a business does not mean one has to have a business or financial degree as MBA or MS-Finance, etc. The great successful entrepreneurs are mostly either college drop outs or never finished their degrees.
The crucial part is whether you know your market and can connect your product with your customers, if you know it well you can start a business any day.
Barbara, My belief having come from that world is no. An MBA, while it will teach you what you need to know, it is really designed for manager and management of large enterprises.
Years ago I was hire by a national organizations to design a program to teach their members how to more effectively run their own small businesses. What I learned from that process is while the basic principles are the same the way they are applied is very different. You may want to take a look at some of the resources that I have shared here on MosaicHUB in my resource area which may give you better insight and faster alternative to going back to school.
I hope this has been helpful. - Dino
Hello Barbara, I haven't gone to a business school myself but I support having a very good education. The point in every business is understanding your business, market and the dynamics of the industry. An MBA will give you the background skills but an entrepreneurial skill is self built.
I don't think you need an MBA to start your business. Drive and common sense are all you need. Unless you are new to the workforce. The web can provide you with plenty of information on how to start a business. You need to take this information in on a high level - some can be overwhelming. Follow your gut. Good luck.
An MBA confers on the holder a credential that certifies that the this person has completed the requirements in a course of study. In plain language that means you have a "notch in your belt" that looks good on a resume. There are certainly some tools and concepts from MBA programs that will serve you in some ways, but...in starting your own business the one skill lacking in most is selling. Analysis and strategy studies will mean very little to the business owner that can't sell.
You'll need to sell your product or service to prospects and customers. You'll need to sell your business to prospective employees. You'll need to sell your business plan to prospective investors (maybe the hardest sale there is).
Once you have the business up and running you'll need to lean how to market your business to a wider audience. There is NOTHING in an MBA program that will teach either of these critically necessary skills.
Another route to consider is the business-oriented MS/MA versus an MBA or start-up capital.The MBA curriculum is designed to teach leadership and executive management, and thus is excellent when working in the corporate setting. The MS, on the other hand, substitutes more of the concentrated subjects of the discipline, e.g. marketing, accounting, etc., and as such is amplified academically As an example, I'm a grad student seeking an MS in Social Media Marketing, since I plan to start a consultancy. The MBA in Social Media Marketing has 1 less class in social media (MBA = 3 courses, MS = 4 courses), and thus favors pure theory. As far as either degree being necessary, neither is, and using the available capital for start-up funding is an equally valid choice. However, the ROI of a business school advanced degree can be significant (given the undergraduate work was in a college of business, and an understanding of enterprise is well grasped).
You needn't hire an MBA - UNLESS you need a lot of guidance. Then, ask for referrals to people who know about business, and make sure you interview more than a couple. Some of these people might NOT have an MBS. SCORE members are actually less likely to have an MBA, and are MORE likely to be of help.
Barbara, I have spent a lot of time in b-school (MBA, MS Finance, MS Accounting) as well as around business owners (I have banked or currently bank a wide variety of enterprises from start ups to established institutions) and would probably say that an MBA is not the best option.
I would recommend an entrepreneurship program. At the University of Colorado (my Alma Mater) the entrepreneurship program is designed to give budding (or current) business owners a well rounded look at how to start and run a business. That program also gives you the chance to connect with other entrepreneurs and a wide range of contacts via your professors and administration.
While I have never run my own business the most successful folks I have worked with have gained adequate knowledge to perform the must do's (i.e. accounting, marketing, planning, etc.) so as to allow them more time to focus on their product/service. Also, the most successful folks I have met have great networks of like minded people.
Hope that helps.
I agree. MBA is only necessary for individuals in the job market; your clients only care about the quality of work you can provide to them.
In my experience, Business school will makes you to do the business in Professional way. The important thing you need to consider is the selection of Business school and the profile of faculties. You can invest in Business schools which will earn you the returns.
There are those that like to talk about a business and those that build businesses. Spend your money making mistakes in the real world and become a CEO. Everything you can learn in an MBA class you can now learn in podcasts (for free) and the information is up to date and relevant not what your teacher did 20 years ago. Every successful CEO I know is a dropout of college or did not even go to college. School is a place to hide and shows fear of actually going for it. Be brave, have faith that once you are in alignment with your purpose doors will open you can't even yet imagine. Agressively go out and network with clients and mentors.
No. Much of what is taught is out of date by the time it is taught...Learn by doing is the best way to go.
Do you want personal growth or money growth?
If you want money growth, education and knowledge would help but is not that necessary. You just need to figure out how to make more money than you spend, simple math.
If you want personal growth and a meaningful networking beyond cocktail parties and meetup.com groups, then MBA from a GOOD school will be a priceless experience.
Not all MBA schools are the same. For example, Babson is best for starting businesses while an MBA from Purdue would be a better option for supply chain management and so on...and some MBA schools are a total waste of time.
Overall, the value of education and knowledge should never be measured by dollars.