Operating Your Startup Business

Can MBAs Improve Your Business?

Do entrepreneurs benefit from an MBA? Definitely. While some great entrepreneurs have never taken a business class, most entrepreneurs can learn tons from a good MBA program.

Knowledge is power, and so you are constantly stressing the importance of education to your employees.

You've even thought about going back to school yourself and finally pursuing that M.B.A. you said you would get when you started out in business. The only thing that's stopping you is that one, little question: "Would an M.B.A. actually improve my business?"

Of course, only you can decide whether an M.B.A. is right for you. However, in most cases an M.B.A. does actually translate into a positive impact for your small business. Here's how:

Keeping It Real

Entering an M.B.A. program as a small business owner has its advantages.

Right off the bat, you will be able to apply the things you learn to a real-world context, i.e. your small business. You couldn't have done that if you had pursued the same degree fresh out of college.

As you pursue your degree, your academic studies will spark new ideas for your company, and you will be able to test your new ideas with a group of peers who possess the tools and experience to know the difference between a winner and a lemon.

These days, part-time M.B.A. programs are commonplace, so it shouldn't be hard to maintain a nice balance between your academic studies and the real world laboratory of your company.

Filling in Gaps

As a small business owner, you know your strengths. But you also know your weaknesses and an M.B.A. program offers the perfect opportunity to brush up on those areas of business in which you are weak.

If accounting is your soft spot, take some accounting courses to get up to speed. The end result will be a business owner with confidence in a wide variety of business topics - and that's a good thing for your company.

Making Contacts

Business school is a great place to network and make contacts. In addition to the business contacts you can make among your peers, M.B.A. programs are often taught by people who have powerful connections in the business world.

Make the right connection and you can use it to land business that will take your company to the next level.

Raising Your Profile

Face it, part of the reason people pursue M.B.A.s is to gain respect in the business community. Clients, strategic partners, even vendors tend to view you a little differently when they know you have an M.B.A. under your belt. While that might seem a little vain, the reputation an M.B.A. affords also an important practical benefit - financing. Lenders and investors are more receptive to business owners with M.B.A.s because it increases their confidence in the company's leadership.

Learning the Job

Many small business owners are experts in their industries, but have little or no experience in operating a business. An M.B.A. program helps you think like an executive, pointing out the issues, subjects, and strategies that you should be concerned about as a business owner.

Without this kind of training your business probably won't go under, but it will be difficult to achieve the kind of growth you dream about for your company.

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