Thursday, October 11, 2012

Is An MBA Worth It For Entrepreneurs?

There is no denying that adding an MBA to your resume is an impressive accomplishment. It is definitely the kind of degree that can give you a leg up as you enter into the job market, but what if your goal is to be your own boss?

Do you need that MBA to become an entrepreneur? The records show a mixed result of successful entrepreneurs: some have an MBA and others don’t.

If you have both an idea for a business and catalogs for college you might want to consider the following factors before making your final decision.

The Risks

Investing in a startup business is going to take up a lot of your time and money. The same can be said for pursuing an MBA degree. On many levels it will be hard to accomplish both tasks simultaneously. With the MBA there will be extreme limitations on your time. To succeed with that degree you’ll want to give it your best effort without distraction. Are you ready to make a 2 to 4 year commitment of further studies?

If you do go down the path of the MBA, chances are you’ll forge a strong bond with many of your classmates. The pressure will be on to excel out in the real world as a majority of your fellow grads will be snagging those high paying corporate gigs. Would you be prepared to give those up to pursue your business startup? In other words, would your drive to becoming an entrepreneur wane over the ensuing years of your MBA studies? It’s perfectly natural but it’s a good argument for diving into your business first.

One thing you might not learn in an MBA program is probably the most important skillset you can develop, and that’s sales. It’s the ability to persuade investors or clients to come on board your startup. The only tried and true method of that is through trial and error. You’ve got to get out of the classroom to practice your pitch and find the cash.

The Rewards

On the other side of the coin, having an MBA can become a benefit, especially if you focus your degree program on the specific area of business you intend to pursue.

Depending on where you obtain your MBA, you could find yourself surrounded with future captains of industry. That’s an extremely valuable network that you can tap into. You’ll also be able to work out the details of your business plan in a kind of “laboratory” setting. Wouldn’t it be better to run several models of your business by a collective think tank of professors and business experts then going into the venture “blind”?

With the MBA you’ll also have a solid “fall back” position should your business plan come up short. It might be that added level of security could be your deciding factor.