By its very nature, starting a new business can be a frightening experience. Even with a solid business plan, taking that first step involves a great deal of risk. Stacy Blackman, a contributor at U.S. News & World Report, writes that while “an MBA program can’t teach you to feel more comfortable with taking risks,” it can certainly “teach you how to turn a good idea into a good business.”
While there are a number of entrepreneurs who have found success without having an MBA, such as Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs, they are the exception rather than the rule. The knowledge and experience gained through an MBA program can prepare entrepreneurs for the world of business and help them sidestep the early failures that plague many startups.
A Petri Dish for Entrepreneurs
Blackman says, “Business school has become the safe place to test out your most creative, outrageous, and ambitions ideas without the pressure and fear of failure.” The world of business is rife with failures, and those failures are teachable moments for every entrepreneur. An MBA program is a testing ground for students looking to learn and experiment with ideas.
Blackman goes on: “You’ll have teachers and mentors guiding you along the way as you search for that big idea that will change lives.” Having access to experienced business professionals is invaluable and will pay dividends to those who take the time to grow in an MBA program. Similar to entering a music program to master an instrument, while it is possible to simply pick it up and learn it, there is much to be gained from learning from experts in the field.
An MBA Helps Entrepreneurs Avoid Mistakes
Having an MBA can be the difference between a successful, streamlined business plan and a clumsy one that lacks focus. Liliana Cantrell, the founder of Sweetie Pie Organics, told Entrepreneur that her MBA education helped her “put all of the pieces together in a clear go-to-market strategy and implementation plan: from an idea in 2014 to a product approved by 450 Whole Foods stores in 2016.”
In a highly competitive marketplace, entrepreneurs should explore every advantage over the competition. Having an MBA can put an entrepreneur head and shoulders above the competition in terms of interdisciplinary knowledge and competency. Swati Sar, the e-commerce lead for Sweetie Pie Organics, told Entrepreneur, “My MBA education helped me link my IT experience to market research, understand competitive landscape, propose, and implement a strategy to grow e-commerce for Sweetie Pie Organics.”
Having a singular idea may be key to launching a successful startup, but it’s not enough. Having the in-depth understanding of the fundamentals of business and commerce learned in an MBA program can be the deciding factor in the success or failure of a new business venture. After all, as Stacy Blackman writes, “So many entrepreneurs have failed at getting their business idea off the ground precisely because they didn’t have some of the necessary tools in their arsenal that they would have learned at business school.” An MBA is a powerful way to acquire those necessary tools and avoid the early pitfalls of entrepreneurship.