words Al Woods
Everyone can be an entrepreneur these days, and it’s possible to succeed in business without a formal education. But the reality is that most successful entrepreneurs have a background in at least one discipline. Even if it’s not in business or they dropped out before they finished their studies, they were still able to benefit from them.
This is why you should consider getting a degree as well, or at least study for one if you want to be able to compete. Being more well-rounded will also allow you to be more involved in decisions and not constantly have to rely on someone else’s expertise. Let’s take a look at some of the best degrees for aspiring small business entrepreneurs.
Those who understand how to compile, analyse, and apply data in their day-to-day operations and decision-making will always have an advantage over the competition. With a deep knowledge of business analytics, you’ll be able to identify trends better and will be able to make decisions based on data instead of going with your gut. You’ll be able to gauge the efficiency of your marketing efforts better, manage your books and human resources management more efficiently, and will be able to draft a clear road map for your business’s future.
If this is a degree that interests you but you don’t know how you could fit it into your current schedule, know that you can always get it online. Aston University has an MSC Business Analytics that you can follow from the comfort of your own home. This would allow you to get your MSC in Business Analytics while you run your business and apply some of the principles of the programme as you go.
Psychology is usually not the first degree that comes to mind when it comes to entrepreneurship, but there are tons of reasons why entrepreneurs should study it. First of all, it will allow you to delve deeper into the mind of your customers and know what their true needs and motivations are. You’ll be able to craft your message better and you’ll be more self-aware in your communications in general.
You’ll also gain other valuable skills like negotiation, for instance. Someone who understands human psychology will be able to pick up on non-verbal cues that no one else can and use them to their advantage.
Another major advantage of having a psychology background is that you’ll be able to understand your employees better. You’ll be able to choose the right people to hire and promote. You’ll know how to promote employee wellness beyond the surface and how to create the perfect environment for them. All of this will translate into higher retention rates, more employee satisfaction, and eventually, a more profitable business.
The MBA is still very relevant for business owners, and you should consider it. The best part of getting an MBA as a small business entrepreneur is that you’ll be able to wear all sorts of hats at once competently.
Having an MBA means that you may not need to hire a lawyer or an accountant, at least not at the beginning. You’ll also be able to handle things like HR and marketing on your own. Being able to be completely autonomous when starting will allow you to not only cut on costs but also have more control over your operation.
MBAs are natural managers and know how to motivate people, but they also understand the technical aspects of running a business. They know how to spot waste in their processes and fix them. They can also do some forecasting and better understand the financial impact of their decisions.
They know when would be the right time to make equipment purchases or when they should expand, among other things. MBAs are also masters in managing supply chains, which is a skill that will be essential for any business owner in the future.
Marketing is another great degree to get if you want to be an entrepreneur. Being able to build and monitor your marketing campaigns without having to hire a team will save you money and give you more control over how you deliver your message. You’ll always be in the loop and be able to choose what kind of image and message you convey through your message.
Marketers also know how to think outside the box and use original marketing techniques to spread awareness about their brands. They understand things like media buying and which type of marketing method is best for a particular business or product.
People with a marketing degree know how to identify a target audience and how to speak and connect with them. They can also keep a marketing budget and extract maximum value from their efforts. These are all things that will give you a leg up on the competition and reduce your costs.
People often say that an accountant knows more about a business than the owner does, and that’s often true. Having a degree in accounting means that you’ll never have to look for an accountant again, which is already a big advantage, but you’ll be better at managing your business’s spending too.
You’ll understand the true impact of your decisions on your bottom line and cash flow. You’ll also be able to see problems before they manifest and adapt better. An instant increase in production costs will not catch you off guard as much, for instance. You’ll be able to organise your operation and adjust your pricing to maintain solid margins while still being competitive.
Accountants are also more respected as entrepreneurs. This might seem like a small detail but you’ll realise how important that is if you have to seek financing. Banks and venture capitalists will be much more comfortable giving money to someone who’s an accountant, and you’ll have a better chance at keeping majority control when taking on partners, so that’s something you should think about.
These are some of the degrees all aspiring small business entrepreneurs should consider. All of these will equip you with crucial skills that will allow you to dominate your field or at least increase your chances of success.