If you’re someone who is dreaming of being your own boss, whether it is starting up an innovative new company, creating your own ecommerce enterprise, or simply going it alone as a professional in a field you are interested in, then you may be wondering what the best way to prepare yourself for the challenges ahead is.
Wisest is he who knows he knows nothing (Socrates).
Doing a college degree, such as a Bachelors in Business Administration (most commonly referred to as a BBA), is one route you could go down, and here we are going to look at just why this is such a good option for would-be entrepreneurs, and how you can go about doing it in a way that will fit in well with your plans for starting up a company, or preparing for a launch.
Aren’t Qualifications Only Important if You Want to Get Hired?
One of the main reasons why people who want to be career entrepreneurs don’t always think about getting a business degree is that they assume that the value of having qualifications from a business school or college only really comes out when you are applying for jobs. However, there are lots of reasons why an entrepreneur can benefit from holding a business qualification – and that’s before we even get into the value to you as a professional in actually learning the stuff on the course!
Even though as an entrepreneur you won’t be worrying about potential employers, recruitment agencies, and HR teams looking at your resume and judging you based on the qualifications you have attained, having widely recognized business qualifications to your name will still help you to gain the attention and respect of other people whose help may be vital in getting your business to succeed. These can include:
- Venture capital investors you may want to get to fund your ventures
- Clients and consumers
- Potential business partners
- Staff, who want to work for someone with proven knowledge about leadership
Qualifications are not, of course, completely necessary to get these people to appreciate that you know what you are doing, but when you are an unknown leading a new business, particularly if you are young and don’t have much experience, showing that you’ve studied business will definitely make it easier to have the people you network with immediately see you as a good person to have in charge of your venture.
The Qualification isn’t All That Matters
As we touched on above, the qualification is only the proof of the learning you did, and so while it has a lot of value, there is also the study itself to take into consideration when it comes to deciding whether doing a business degree like a BBA is worthwhile.
If you want to be an entrepreneur, and you are starting out young, then chances are you’ll end up running more than one business throughout your working life. You’ll also end up wearing a lot of different hats when it comes to the responsibilities that you’ll need to take on yourself if you’re dealing with small businesses or start-ups. This is because you won’t always be able to hire people for everything, or have the scope to actually need someone doing certain things full time. In order to be able to competently manage all of the different strands of a normal business, you’ll need a background that covers far more than just expertise in your specific industry, or being skilled at providing the services you want your company to offer. Doing a BBA, and possibly following this up with an MBA if you want to, can make sure that you’ve had some proper exposure to all different business disciplines, and are well versed in the language of enterprise.
The Networking Potential of Studying Business
Another very good reason why you should consider studying business if your ultimate goal is to run your own company is that doing a BBA or MBA type of course (depending on your previous level of education) will give you lots of opportunities to meet people who may well be useful connections to have. Whether it’s the tutors mentoring you, who may be able to put you in touch with people they know in your field, or the other students, who will be likely to go on to have bright careers of their own, you’ll get to know a lot of other business minded people. You’ll also have good reason to attend things like networking events, and good talking points for when you are trying to forge these useful new relationships.
Even if you’re doing your course online rather than seeing people on campus, you will still be able to make good use of technology to engage with the other people on your BBA program, and also to join helpful online communities where you can make great contacts.
The Future Advantages of Being Highly Educated in Business
So far, we have talked about why the qualification itself, the learning you’ll do, and the people you’ll get to connect with along the way will help you as you start out with your first business ventures. However, having the background you will get from doing your BBA will help you far into the future, long beyond those early start-up days.
For example, if your business does well at first, you may find yourself in a period of frantic and rapid growth. Having the confidence that you will get from having studied this will definitely make you better equipped to manage growth phases, and leverage successes. Equally, your first business may well fail. It is not a great thing to think about, but it happens. If you are well prepared in business, you should be able to analyze where your business had flaws, pull out at the right time without investing too much into a dead venture, and take what you learn and put into your next business.
Many entrepreneurs launch multiple businesses in their careers – some successes, some flops, and others businesses that were viable at one time, and then were subject to changes in the market. Having a solid business education will mean you won’t feel like your successes were flukes you wouldn’t be able to replicate, and your failures will be valuable learning opportunities that help you refine what you’re doing. This mindset will come with the confidence that you’ve studied the world you’re entering, and will serve you well for your entire career.
What Are Your Options for Getting Your Business Degree?
You can do a BBA either full or part time, and you can choose between doing the course either at a private college, a community college, or by doing it online. With more and more top schools now offering online business courses, and with online degrees now being just as well respected as conventionally obtained ones, it can be well worth considering taking this path.
Why Online Study Can be the Best Choice for Would-be Entrepreneurs
The benefits of doing your degree online are many, as it is a much more flexible and often cost-effective path. Here are some of the reasons why an online BBA program is very well suited to aspiring entrepreneurs:
- Reduce the amount of student debt with the lower costs of online college
- Complete your degree in a timeframe that suits you
- More flexible start dates – don’t wait for the new school year
- No need to relocate or commute
- Fit study around life
- Live wherever you like while you’re a student
- Take advantage of the latest technology (improving your own computer literacy)
Don’t Want to Wait to Finish My Degree to Start My Business!
One thing that might be putting you off doing an online BBA or enrolling in college as a student in general, is that you might not want to wait for the course to be over to make a start on running a business. You may even have already started your business, and not want to lose momentum by taking years out to get your business education.
With online degrees, it can actually be relatively easy to fit studying around your business, no matter what stage you’re at, and it can even be beneficial to have a proper business project going that you can relate things on your course to. In the next few sections, we look at taking on a BBA while you’re at different phases of a business venture:
Studying While You Prepare to Launch
If you are in the process of coming up with a business plan, and preparing a launch, or even just planning how you’ll try to get funding for your start-up, then this can be a time where you’ll sometimes be very busy, and have other times where you’ll be stalled due to waiting for things. You can make this period feel less frustrating and more productive by putting some of your time into progressing with your degree. You will also find that a lot of the tasks you’ll be doing will be highly relevant to your course, and you may even be able to double up by using things you do for your business as coursework, showing you’re applying what you are learning as you proceed with a real world business strategy.
The flexibility of online college can really pay off here, as you won’t have to worry about attending lectures at fixed times, when you may have to make other important appointments, for instance with investors, or when you are busy working on your business with any partners or staff. You may be in the process of doing things like having your business’s website set up, and beginning to work on your initial marketing strategy, or you may be developing products. With an online degree, you can balance working on all of this with working on your course, and get good progress towards your degree without having to slow down on your start-up.
Studying When You Have Already Started Your Business
Studying while you’re planning a business offers some great advantages, but what if you are already running a business? In this situation, it is best to take on your course with the understanding that you’ll be doing it part time, and so it may take you a bit longer to graduate than if you were devoting most of your time to the degree. However, you’ll start getting benefits from working towards your degree pretty much straight away, as with every module you study, you’ll be getting new insights and information that you can immediately begin to use to sharpen how you run your business. As with people who are in the planning phases, you may also find that there are things you can do as coursework for your degree that you can do with your own business, so you may well be able to get progress on your course and improvements in your business by taking the same actions – which will definitely feel like a nice, efficient way to get things done!
Just be sure that if your business starts to see extreme growth while you’re studying, you keep a close eye on your workload. If you need to rebalance how much time you’re spending on your degree so you can ride the momentum of your business, it is better to take longer to get your qualification than to burn yourself out!
Why Not Get Started Straight Away?
If you’ve been reading this and thinking that doing an online degree like a BBA may be a really good way to prepare yourself for your career as an entrepreneur, and may even be something you could do alongside running your first business, then the best next step is to look into courses that are available to you starting soon. Many online colleges offer multiple start times each year, and so you probably won’t have to wait for the start of a new school year to enroll and get working. Why not put some time into researching the best business course for you today?
Article Submitted By Community Writer