… she makes a successful business. Though popular culture is rife with stories of entrepreneurs who made billions without the help of a graduate degree (or an undergraduate degree, for that matter) the fact remains that entrepreneurs who have completed business administration programs tend to create more stable enterprises.
The stories of uneducated bootstrappers might make good headlines, but most businesses are headed by knowledgeable and skilled MBAs. For every Mark Zuckerberg, there is a Meg Whitman; for every Bill Gates, there is a Warren Buffet. Here’s why the heroes and heroines of the entrepreneurial world will always have MBAs.
MBAs Provide Diversity in Business Experience
An entrepreneur is more than a business leader. For the first few years of a startup’s life, an entrepreneur often functions as a figurehead for the business, a financial analyst, a marketer, an HR representative, a customer service provider, and even a receptionist. It isn’t enough to perform the minimum for each of these jobs; to be successful, an entrepreneur needs to be effective in all roles until the business is successful enough to hire area experts.
MBA programs are notably diverse in the types of business education they provide. Though some schools offer MBA specializations, most programs instruct students in all business skills, from leadership to finance to marketing and more. Entrepreneurs without MBAs might feel overwhelmed by the foreign responsibilities of their new roles, but MBA grads have some experience with nearly every aspect of business, which gives them an advantage from the beginning.
MBAs Build Strong Business Networks
Of course, in business, it isn’t always what one knows; it’s who. Networking is as vital for entrepreneurs as employees, since entrepreneurs often rely on business contacts for investment opportunities, hiring prospects, expert advice and guidance, and more. Entrepreneurs with small networks tend to lack the support they need to find success.
MBA programs are ideal hunting grounds for future business leaders looking for connections. Even MBA online programs offer opportunities to connect with peers and industry experts, so MBA grads have wider nets to cast when looking for professionals to lend aid or information. What’s more, MBA programs usually attract top talent, so an MBA grad’s network isn’t only larger, it tends to contain greater contacts than that of a less-credentialed entrepreneur.
MBAs Help Fine-Tune Great Business Ideas
The first step to starting a business is a business idea ― but not every idea is worth chasing right away. Usually, business ideas require adjustments to make them plausible money-making schemes, but not all entrepreneurs are capable of discerning which tweaks are appropriate before they launch their businesses. Unfortunately, waiting to find a flaw in an idea is extremely dangerous and often incredibly costly.
MBA programs often function like business sandboxes, where students can tinker with ideas and plans without the significant repercussions of the real world. Using the expertise of professors and peers, aspiring entrepreneurs can fine-tune their existing ideas to develop strong and stable business plans executable after graduation.
MBAs Teach Invaluable Business Lessons
Anyone can have a brilliant business idea, and many can even develop a plan without much help. However, every decision presents an opportunity to make a catastrophic mistake that brings a business to the ground. Entrepreneurs with MBAs are more likely to make strong, smart decisions for their burgeoning businesses because they learned vital lessons about effective business management.
During their programs, MBAs perform all kinds of study to prepare them for real-world business operations. They read case studies of failed businesses to review and learn from others’ mistakes. They practice business scenarios to make their own mistakes in safe environments. Such experience is nearly mandatory for entrepreneurs hoping for fast and sure success.
Overall, MBAs have higher employment rates, earn higher salaries, and enjoy greater knowledge and skill than less-educated workers, but the unique opportunities available to students during MBA programs are particularly useful to aspiring entrepreneurs. Further, since many MBA programs are available online, entrepreneurs can structure their educations around their already busy schedules, so they have time to learn and build industry both. Far from being a waste of time and money, an MBA is a necessary tool for entrepreneurs looking for fast, near-certain success ― which is why so many low-key business leaders have them.