As any small business owner will tell you, one of the best things about running your own company is that you don’t need any previous experience or qualifications in order to do so. Many successful business owners have no previous business experience. The things that are responsible for the success of your company ultimately come down to you and the marketplace; there are no other requirements – unlike working in employment, you don’t need to prove yourself by working your way up the career ladder or earning a degree from a recognisable and reputable university. Anybody, from any background, can start their own business and be good at it if they’re willing to learn what it takes and put the work in.
But that being said, many small business owners are deciding to get an MBA. You might be wondering why they would do this if the job doesn’t require any degrees or accreditation. There are many benefits that getting an MBA can bring to you and your small business. While it may not be the best route for everybody, and it’s certainly not the only route to take if you’re looking to improve your business skills and knowledge in order to become a better entrepreneur, there are certainly many rewards and advantages for those who decide to pursue this avenue.
Getting an MBA is Easier Than Ever
Before we dive into the many benefits of getting an MBA for small business owners, it’s worth exploring the fact that getting an MBA is, these days, easier than ever before. Blended and online MBA programmes from reputable universities mean that you don’t need to put starting your small retail business on hold so that you can spend two years getting an MBA; you can study online, start your business at the same time, and learn as you go. Click here to learn more.
- Prospective MBA students can earn a degree online, allowing them to study from home flexibly and fit it around starting and running their business, compared to dedicating set times throughout the week to attending lectures and classes.
- Pursuing an online MBA is often cheaper; while tuition fees may be the same, there are less associated costs. There’s no cost of commuting, for example, and students can study at a reputable business school or university hundreds of miles away with no need to relocate.
- Online MBAs still offer the same range of networking opportunities for students, if not more. Online groups on social media, for example, give students the option to meet with their peers and professors, and online schools often hold more regular networking and meetup events in various locations in order to give all students the chance to attend.
It Can Help You Improve Your Business Skills
There’s no denying that the main goal of an MBA degree programme is to improve your business skills, whether that’s in terms of your employment or running your own company. MBA programmes are designed to equip students with a well-rounded business education to help them achieve confidence and a strong skillset in every area of business. When you run your own business, you’ll be all too aware that you need to wear several hats. Getting an MBA can help you get a better understanding of all the different aspects of running your own small retail company, including:
- Finance and accounting
- Data analysis
- Human resources
- …and many more.
If you haven’t had any formal education in these things before, getting an MBA will improve your knowledge and help to bring some balance to your business intuition and entrepreneurial spirit, helping you make the right decisions going forward in the best interests of your company.
And, if you already possess some of these skills and want to increase them more than others, there are many MBA programme options that offer specialities and more emphasis on certain skills and concentrations.
Get a Different Perspective on Running Your Small Retail Business
Besides all the specific skills and techniques that you will learn when taking an MBA programme, you will also develop a far more refined sense of integrating them all into the entire operational side of your own company. You’ll not only learn how to exceed in just one area of your business, but to ensure that they are all working collaboratively and in harmony with each other.
Running your own business certainly demands a huge amount of skills, resources, and various interdependent operations. Throughout the process of getting your MBA, you will develop the knowledge and skills necessary to not only see, but also analyse the bigger picture, anticipate and deal with any challenges that your small business is likely to face, be acutely aware of new opportunities and how to grasp them, and streamline operations.
Become a Better Business Leader
Many small business owners find that one of the biggest challenges that they face in running their own company is managing other people and professional relationships. As a result, pretty much every MBA degree course that you will find offers extensive training in leadership and management; you can even find MBA programmes that specialise in this specifically.
It’s no secret that many small business owners are motivated by independence; they move away from employment and into self-employment because they want to work independently. As a small business owner, you are probably all too aware of the frustration that can be caused by having to depend on other people. However, if you want to see your business grow, you’ll need to develop the skills needed to both relate to and manage other workers to an extent. And you’ll eventually discover that whether you like it or not, your company’s fate will often rely on various other people and the relationship that you have with them.
Getting an MBA can help you improve your leadership and management skills significantly, helping you get better at:
- Managing teams of people in order to grow and develop your small business
- Managing relationships with investors, stakeholders, and other key business figures
- Managing relationships with clients
- Determining when to delegate work to somebody else and when to do it yourself
- How to delegate work efficiently and choosing who to delegate it to
Working with other people doesn’t have to be a challenge for small retail business owners. When you are able to effectively manage your professional relationships as a business owner, other people often represent new opportunities for interdependence, business growth, partnerships, collaboration and more.
Whatever MBA programme you decide to take, one thing’s for sure – you will need to meet and learn to work successfully with many other people from all different walks of life. Your fellow students will not only be business professionals, but also current and future business owners, and there’s the chance that they will become valuable resources to you as you run your own business in the future.
And, another important benefit of getting an advanced business education is that it will significantly improve your communication skills, making it easier for you to form and nurture your professional relationships. By the end of your degree, you will have become much better at managing your communications with other people, which will become a valuable advantage to effectively owning and operating a small business.
Work on Your Weaknesses
No one small business owner can do everything; the small business owners who try to do everything themselves are often the ones who fail first. Ultimately, you’re good at what you are good at, and everybody has things that they’re not so good at. It’s all part of being human. But many small business owners feel like a failure if they cannot wear all the hats and look good in them too.
That being said, while learning how to delegate tasks that you’re not-so-good at to people who are good at them is a key part of being able to successfully run and manage a small business, there are plenty of opportunities for you to determine what your weaknesses are and improve on them, especially when you study for an MBA.
Learning new ideas is all part and parcel of the course, and it can help you:
- Anticipate and identify challenges and changes
- Identify your own weaknesses and determine how best to improve them
- Identify which weaknesses are better off left alone and the work delegated to somebody else instead
For example, while an MBA may provide you with ample knowledge about the financial side of running a business, you may still want to continue working with an accountant. But ultimately, you will have a much clearer understanding of how it all works, rather than depending on the accountant solely to deal with money matters.
Or perhaps there’s an area of business that you’re currently not that strong in, but are interested in and would like to learn more. Studying for an MBA can easily help you turn your weaknesses into strengths if you so desire.
Although you can start and run a small retail business without a degree qualification, many small business owners find that earning an MBA provides them with valuable tools for success.