For an entrepreneur, there is no greater thrill than the one that comes with starting a new business. At least, that's what many entrepreneurs tend to believe. That's one of the reasons that many people that start businesses have a habit of becoming serial entrepreneurs – starting venture after venture, ever in search of the next big idea. Others find themselves staying at the helm of their company, but are unable to guide their businesses to take the next step to grow beyond the SME market.
There is, however, another path that an entrepreneur can choose to take. They can dedicate themselves to learning the skills and developing the business acumen they need to transform the small businesses that they start into bigger, more profitable enterprises. That way, today's entrepreneur can become tomorrow's successful CEO and take their business career to a whole new level.
Making it Happen
One of the best ways for an entrepreneur to gain the skills they need to transition from founder to CEO is to turn to the tried-and-true educational path that has produced some of the world's best-known successful business leaders. That path normally culminates in earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. Such a degree can be a valuable addition to an entrepreneur's tool kit and will give them everything they need to turn their next idea into a big, thriving, business. Here are the specific ways that earning an MBA can lead to greater business success for an entrepreneur:
#1 Opening up Sources of Funding
Like it or not, personal magnetism, enthusiasm, and a good idea won't always be enough to open up the doors needed to start a new business off on the right foot. In fact, even entrepreneurs with a solid track record of success can have a difficult time finding investors for their ventures, even when they take advantage of every government program and grant they can find. That's because larger investors are more apt to take a risk on a founder that has the credentials to back up their track record, and an MBA is exactly what they're looking for. To investors, an MBA is a guarantee that the entrepreneur has the breadth of knowledge required to operate a successful business, beyond simple natural talent and willpower.
#2 Learning to Manage and Lead
Although it's very common for entrepreneurs to wear many hats, especially in the early days of a business, there will always come a day when they've got to build an organization and loosen the reins a little bit. For some, however, managing others and leading teams doesn't come naturally. That reality makes it difficult for some entrepreneurs to navigate the shift from key man to strategic leader. An MBA program will include plenty of training on management theory, including leading and facilitating teams, organizational planning, and how to hire and retain the right people to grow a fledgling business. Together, those skills help an entrepreneur make the leap from jack-of-all-trades to visionary business leader – which is necessary to turn a small business into a larger one.
#3 Make the Right Connections
In the world of business, the old saying that 'it's not what you know, but who you know' isn't all that far from the truth. An MBA program, among its many other benefits, also grants the entrepreneur access to a high-level network of like-minded businesspeople, industry leaders, and skilled professionals. In reality, holders of MBA degrees all belong to something of a global fraternity; forming a powerful and valuable association that gives them unique access to some of the brightest minds in the world of business. There are professional associations for MBAs all over the globe, and most MBA programs also include access to alumni programs that can help an entrepreneur supercharge their ventures by injecting high-level talent and having access to valuable advice from others that have already found success.
Taking the Next Step
For any entrepreneur looking to take their business to the next level, an MBA is the way to go, especially now. The rise of eLearning has made it easier than ever to earn an MBA, even for busy business people and other professionals. It's even possible to earn an online MBA in just two years on a part-time basis. For such a small time investment, the rewards can be massive, and well worth the effort. It's the perfect complement to the can-do entrepreneurial spirit, which, once matched with the skills of a seasoned professional manager, make for a recipe for success. The real question for the entrepreneurs out there, then, is: are you ready for an even bigger challenge and a thrill that surpasses even that of starting a business? If so, it's time to hit the books and transform into a true business master with an MBA.
About the Author
Andrej is a dedicated writer, digital evangelist and a freelance writer. He is a contributor to a wide range of business and technology-focused publications, where he may be found discussing everything from neural networks and natural language processing to the latest in smart home IoT devices.