Both Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard and founded two of the world's most valuable companies. So just how valuable can a postgraduate business degree be to an entrepreneur anyway?
An MBA can be quite valuable and even indispensable to your success. Many of America's most successful companies like Nike, Match.com, Tesla Motors, Capital One and many other Fortune 500 companies were all founded by MBA graduates. Among all the reasons for prospective entrepreneurs to consider enrolling in an MBA program, none may be more important or inspiring than what other MBAs have achieved.
Your fledgling company could become the next great American success story. As an entrepreneur, your challenge is to combine your natural and learned entrepreneurial talents with fundamental skills that you can learn in business school -- skills that other entrepreneurs have used to build legendary businesses from the ground up. Why reinvent the wheel when the paths to success are there to be learned, provided you have the ambition to turn your good idea into a solid business.
Here are just a few benefits of an MBA for aspiring entrepreneurs:
- Develop Fundamentals for Sound Decision-Making:The Boise State University online MBA program is ideal for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to acquire the skills they need to build a business. The educational environment provides a safe place to learn, apply, and test concepts through case studies, frameworks and peers. You can learn these skills in 12 months of online coursework, instead of years of trial and error. Several courses, including the following, provide core business skills that are essential to launching, building and sustaining a business:
Business Plan Development: Every business begins with a solid business plan, and this course provides the training in developing one that can help you to secure partnerships, financing, employees and future investment capital. You will develop a go-to-market strategy and an implementation plan, and you'll get the expertise you need to fine-tune your business plan development capabilities.
Corporate Finance: This course examines the three major decisions in finance affecting the value of a business: investment, financing and cash distribution. Entrepreneurs must understand the methods used to measure value and evaluate financial performance.
Marketing Strategy: Small businesses need to grow quickly with limited capital, which means marketing expertise is absolutely essential to early success. This course focuses on revenue-generating opportunities with a special emphasis on evaluating opportunities for new products or services.
Managing Successful Projects: Entrepreneurs can easily get bogged down in projects without project management skills, wasting time and resources. Great ideas are a dime a dozen in business; the key to success is in the execution. This course introduces and provides experience in the front-end issues of project management such as team formation, communication strategies, project constraints and risk analysis.
- Test Your Business Ideas: In science, hypotheses are tested in lab environments. Similarly, your business ideas can be tested in an environment that can prove them viable before you take costly risks. Your classmates and professors in an MBA program have work experience against which you can test your ideas and plans. The practiced ability to vet ideas is a skill you will need to start and grow a business.
- Conduct Research and Informational Interviews: Making mistakes in the real world carries a tremendous opportunity cost. Learning to conduct proper research and to tap the minds of people who can help you are skills that will reduce your risk and prepare you to plan and execute successfully on your business ideas.
- Collaborate and Build an Entrepreneurial Network: MBA entrepreneur programs attract like-minded people who form relationships, alliances and even partnerships. During the program, you learn to collaborate with people from different backgrounds, who are learning about different disciplines. The peers, professors, entrepreneurs and executives you work with can become valuable connections and a business support structure. The brand of a great business school is also a valuable asset in acquiring the ingredients necessary for a startup company.
Choosing the right business school is a pivotal decision for the aspiring entrepreneur. Look for one that is known for developing entrepreneurs by exposing them to innovative practices, creative thinking, powerful ideas and inspiring people.
Learn more about Boise State's online MBA program.
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