Do we really need MBA education to successfully run your business? Find out here!
If you currently run or have ever wanted to start your own business, but you don’t have a business background, you may be wondering whether you could benefit from an MBA education. If money were no object, the answer would most certainly be yes. But with tuition soaring into the stratosphere, a business degree is not always an entrepreneur’s best bet.
In the US, small businesses make up 99.7% of firms, according to the Small Business Administration. Of these, over three-quarters are sole proprietorships or partnerships employing only the business owners, and over half are home-based. Some small businesses grow and become medium-size or large firms, while many others die off (roughly 50% within the first 5 years). Many small businesses are designed to stay small, so-called “lifestyle businesses,” whose main purpose is to provide a steady income, not to become the next Uber.
With such uncertain odds and differing motivations, it’s no surprise that when faced with the choice between investing in the business itself or plunking down $100K for business education of unknown ROI, many small business owners forego the degree. In some ways, that’s just smart business. In other ways, it’s a shame, since small business owners, managers of family businesses, and people who are planning to start a small business one day could certainly pick up some valuable skills from a graduate business education.
A Better Alternative for Small Business Owners
Enter massive open online courses. For this demographic, as for many others, a MOOC-based business education offers an attractive alternative to a pricey MBA degree.
This comprehensive course is great for demystifying what happens at top business schools. Chris Haroun, venture capitalist and former management consultant, teaches a highly condensed, highly practical course. He covers all the major b-school topics in an intuitive way. In the section on accounting, for example, Haroun focuses not on accounting theory or manual bookkeeping. Rather, he talks about the kinds of accounting software and services that business of various sizes rely on. The section on finance, the least intuitive topic in the business curriculum, is where you’ll find the real meat of this course. Well worth the money, and readers of this blog can get 75% off the course using this link.
Many brick-and-mortar businesses are behind the curve on digital marketing. Don’t have a digital marketing strategy? This course can help get you up to speed and get you thinking about opportunities to engage a digital audience.
If you run or plan to start a business, what courses have you found valuable? Share your favorites in the comments!