As an entrepreneur, you know that it takes more than knowledge of your particular industry or niche to get ahead in a highly competitive world. Launching any kind of business requires knowledge and skills in several areas beyond the products or services you provide. No matter what kind of business or even the size of your enterprise, everything you do will impact your bottom line.
As an entrepreneur, you will need knowledge and skills in finance and business management. You will further need tools for keeping abreast of economies because predictive marketing depends on the economies you are targeting. With an MBA, you’ll garner respect among your peers and potential clients, which will also lead to opportunities for growth through networking. To get a better understanding of these reasons for pursuing an MBA, let’s delve into each reason a little more fully.
1. Financial Skills
Even if you have already launched a startup, there is no reason not to pursue an MBA online. If you hold a 4-year degree and have a couple of years of experience in your industry, you can comfortably work toward an MBA online from the prestigious Aston University at your own pace. A course of study from a school holding such honors will give you a solid background in finance.
With that said, it is unfortunate that so many startups go under within the first 12 to 24 months of being in business simply because they didn’t have a handle on finance. Running a successful business means that the owner or director has a strong grasp of business economics and finance. It isn’t always as cut and dry as weighing cost against profit. From procuring cost-effective loans and financing to making the highest profit per product or service, there are levels upon levels of financial elements involved.
2. Business Management Skills
Another much-needed set of skills is in the area of business management. This would involve a more people-centric focus on business operations. That MBA online will teach beyond the fundamentals in such areas as:
- Motivation and interpersonal skills
- Teamwork and delegation
- Decision making
- Strategic thinking
You may already be a people person, but there is more to it than being an agreeable person who gets along with a majority of the people you encounter. Sometimes business management requires you to take the hard-line when making decisions or solving problems. These are the kinds of advanced skills an MBA will give you a foundation in. It takes a delicate balance between an open-door policy and knowing where to draw the line.
3. Garnering Respect
If you have a few moments, take the time to do a quick search for businesses within your industry or specific niche. Undoubtedly, Google will return literally thousands of businesses meeting your search criteria. While Google ranking is another thing an MBA will help you learn to navigate, that is not the point here. The point is that no matter what business you are in, the competition is stiff. Therefore, to garner respect among your peers and a wider audience of potential customers or clients, that advanced level degree may be all it takes to propel you to the top when choices must be made.
Holding a degree from a prestigious school of business like that of Aston is the icing on the cake in terms of professional respect. Now consider looking at a physician who holds a degree from Harvard in the US or the Imperial College of London in the UK as opposed to little med schools few have heard of. Doesn’t that degree from a prestigious school immediately garner respect?
4. Tools for Keeping Abreast of Economies
Strategic and forward planning in business is the key to continued growth and respect. Learning how to read economies on every level, from global to local economies, is the key to strategic planning going forward. You wouldn’t want to launch an expensive marketing campaign in an area suffering in the depths of poverty, so learning to read market movements is a key area of business management.
This involves understanding data analytics, geopolitical factors, and other elements that can lead to growth or decline in markets you are trying to reach. An MBA will give you the tools you need to read and forecast market conditions relevant to your market.
5. Networking Opportunities
Even though you may be pursuing your MBA online, you will undoubtedly have ample opportunities to ‘meet’ others in the same course of study. Even online programs often require class collaboration, and for this, professors will often establish teleconference teams to collaborate on class projects. This may or may not be something your university utilizes, but it is one of the ways networking can be established online.
Also, within the area of research for your thesis work, you may need to interview business professionals in your field. This can open many doors in terms of B2B relationships and help you find mentors you will need as you learn to mentor others.
Growth is a Key Factor
When all is said and done, the one thing an MBA can accomplish is to provide the fuel you need for growth. You will gain more than knowledge and skills because the sheer fact will also nourish you that you are working on personal growth. There is nothing more fulfilling than realizing you are growing on both a personal and a professional level.
While those academic credentials after your title are important, know that you can study at your own pace and learn the skills you need from course to course. You may be pursuing a two-year post-graduate degree, but if it takes only 1.5 or up to 2.5 years, there’s no hurry to gain the knowledge and skills you need to succeed. Growth is the key to success in business and your personal journey, so take pride in every step you take.