Editor’s note: This article has been created in collaboration and with financial support from the London School of Business and Finance.
If you’re the owner of a startup or even just thinking about setting up a new business, you should consider taking time out of your busy schedule to go back to school to further your education and acquire new skills. While it is a significant investment, the right MBA degree can help you to plan and adapt your business model, allowing you to hit the ground running with your startup and make your operations more successful in the long term.
Getting the communications right
Depending on the nature of your expertise, when you start out it won’t be financially feasible to hire a PR and communications expert to help with your media relations and public-facing conversations. An MBA in communications can help you to improve upon building networks with your key clients and customers. The best entrepreneurs know when to step back and understand the value of forming excellent client relations. Gradually gaining the trust of a small number of customers is more beneficial than gaining many clients who you can’t communicate with effectively because you don’t have the necessary skills.
Spending time working towards an MBA in a subject like IT or Marketing can improve analytical thinking and help entrepreneurs to ensure they take a measured approach to planning their marketing strategies. Budgets can be tight when you first start out, and it’s important to have a good understanding of how to populate and maintain a web presence. As marketing becomes an increasingly online environment, it can help to have a good working knowledge of website development and social media communications – both of which are integral to the success of burgeoning startups with their limited budgets.
A fair and encouraging leader
A great entrepreneur listens to their staff. If you want to be not only a brilliant business head, but a great leader and manage your startup well, you need to learn to be a team player, even if you are used to working independently. Team building is essential and managers need to be able to motivate people and make them feel valued and appreciated. They also need to be able to identify training needs as required. Further study will not only improve these key people skills, but also help you to learn to be more perceptive towards the needs of your staff and your business.
A good negotiator
One of the most important skills an entrepreneur can perfect is the ability to put your point across in a coherent and articulate manner, whilst politely challenging your adversaries. Studying for an MBA degree will undoubtedly give you the credibility and confidence required to take large projects forward with a better sense of the bigger picture.
No matter which MBA course you choose, one of the key benefits of going back into formal education is that this kind of course attracts top talent from around the world. It’s never a bad thing to be challenged and inspired by the very intelligent and creative people around you.
Image by mikedarnell1974, used under Creative Commons license.