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Why Every Entrepreneur Needs An MBA

A Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a highly prized qualification. Despite this, several prominent voices in the world of business have criticized business schools for encouraging a herd-like mentality. But is this fair?

You don’t necessarily need an MBA from Harvard Business School to be a success, but there is growing evidence to suggest that it can help boost your career to the next level. Not everyone will benefit from earning an MBA, but for many entrepreneurs, having an MBA can offer serious advantages.

Forging Useful Connections.

Everyone accepted onto a prestigious MBA course has earned their place. Some have many years of business experience under their belt. Others have traveled the world, worked for non-profits or founded successful startups. You don’t get a place at Harvard Business School without the right qualifications.

This means that every single man and woman in your MBA class is a talented individual. The connections you make on an MBA will be incredibly useful in your future endeavors. Your classmates could become your business partners one day. There might come a time when you need extra funding for your business. You can leverage your MBA connections to search for suitable investors. Don’t forget that your tutors will also be seasoned professionals. They too could become useful business contacts in the future.

The best part of doing an MBA is that you become part of an exclusive network. Not everyone you meet will offer value personally or professionally, but a good percentage of the connections you make when studying for an MBA will come in useful. You’ll meet partners, mentors, advisors, and people who have the experience to help you set up a successful business.

Whether you need funding, advice, or someone telling you that your idea isn’t a waste of time, you can tap into your MBA network and find exactly what you need, whenever you need it.

You don’t even need to score a place at Harvard Business School to benefit from these connections. MBA degrees from online universities are just as useful – and cheaper. For a starting point, you can discover MBA degrees online by checking out this link.

Learn How to Grow Your Company.

Anyone can start a business, but not everyone can steer it in the right direction. Nine out of 10 businesses fail in the first five years. The economy may be growing, but this doesn’t mean that success is guaranteed. Growing a successful business takes business acumen, which not all budding entrepreneurs possess.

Studying for an MBA will help hone your skills and teach you what you need to know to turn your idea into a sound business venture. A brilliant idea will only get you so far. Virtually everyone who attends business school learns that they knew very little before they hit the books. You will have valuable skills that every entrepreneur needs, as well as soft skills that you might not have thought about. These include business ethics, how to focus on your long-term business plan, and the value of feedback – giving and receiving.

As part of your MBA course, you will study business cases and dissect what works and what doesn’t. This offers useful insights into what makes a successful business. No two businesses are alike but learning from the mistakes of others is a useful lesson. It could help you avoid any catastrophic disasters at a later date.

Share Ideas.

An MBA program is a hothouse of ideas. Many MBA students already have seeds germinating in their head before they start their MBA program. They have a vague idea of what they want to do, but no real clue about how to get their embryonic business off the ground.

Spending two years studying for an MBA gives you the skills you need to evaluate your ideas and decide whether the business is a viable one. More importantly, an MBA course is a place where entrepreneurs can share their ideas and get valuable feedback from their peers.

Let your colleagues help you develop your plans, work through ideas, and share your dreams. Your classmates can be your first customers. Each person you meet on an MBA course will leave a lasting mark on your future business. They might spot problems that you have missed or provide some ideas that help turn your product into a world-class business. This is help that you wouldn’t have had from anywhere else. And it’s all free!

Raise Capital.

There will come a point when you need business funding to start or grow your venture. You don’t need an MBA to approach a lender for working capital, but an MBA degree opens a lot of doors. Financiers will be more open to your ideas if they see that you have an MBA because they know you have the experience needed to start a successful business.

Don’t underestimate the value of the connections you make at business school either. Many of the people you meet will become useful contacts, and some of them could give you an introduction to financiers, angel investors, and mentors.

Build Your Team.

No man or woman is an island. Even if your venture starts small, there will come a point when you need other people on board to share the workload and bring new ideas to the table. The friends you make at business school could become your future business partners. Spending two years sweating over an MBA course is the perfect time to decide whether your classmates are people you can work with.

Many of these people will have worked alongside you on class projects. You know them, and they know you. You are familiar with their skills and they know your weak spots. An MBA gives you lifelong access to a talent pool like no other. When you need a business partner, you can look at your contacts list and see who might be available. If you need to hire a finance director, leverage your MBA connections to get some suitable names. In the future, your MBA connections will lead back to current MBA students, so you can hire the brightest people to join your business. These people could become valuable assets in your business.

Don’t forget also that your professors are always on hand to offer advice and help you, even after you graduate. Form strong relationships now and you will reap the rewards for years to come.

Will You Benefit from an MBA?

MBAs provide structured support for entrepreneurs that cannot be underestimated. It’s fair to say that not everyone will benefit from the time and money it takes to earn an MBA, but most will. Before you sign up for an MBA course, consider the cost-value implications.

In some fields, time is of the essence and the time it takes you to earn an MBA is time that could have been better spent getting your business off the ground. But, if you can afford to wait a bit, earning an MBA will give you the foundation your business needs to survive. These are skills that can be used in all areas of life, so even if you decide not to start a business, your talents will not go unrecognized.

An MBA is a desirable qualification in all areas of business, so if you decide to join a larger organization, it won’t be difficult to find a suitable – and highly paid – position.

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Young Upstarts is a business and technology blog that champions new ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship. It focuses on highlighting young people and small businesses, celebrating their vision and role in changing the world with their ideas, products and services.

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