The kiddos are heading back to school in the coming weeks, and probably you’ll be a little relieved to have them out of your hair while trying to run your business. But consider: would going back to school for business provide extra benefits to you as an entrepreneur?
Consider Your Reasons
If you’re simply frustrated because your business has slowed down, getting another degree — or a higher degree — probably won’t change that, at least not in the short run. But if you’re moving into an industry that you don’t know very well (maybe you were a lawyer for years and now you run a restaurant), more education might give you an edge.
Benefits to More Education
In addition to making you smarter in a given industry, going back to school — to seek a degree or even just continuing education — has ample other benefits:
- Expands your professional network as you meet professors, other students and alumni.
- It helps you keep the pulse on what’s happening in your industry.
- It gives you skills in really specific areas you might not get otherwise.
In general, the benefits should outweigh any drawbacks, such as the cost or time required to bone up on your skills.
Going back to school for business purposes doesn’t have to mean you’ll be surrounded by 19-year-olds in Comp I. There are plenty of other options that may make a bigger splash for you as a business owner.
Small Business Workshops
Business organizations like SCORE and SBA often offer free or affordable workshops on particular areas relevant to business owners, like marketing, accounting or hiring. See what’s being offered in your town.
If resources are scant in your local area, the Internet is a cornucopia of educational options. You can get great workshops online through webinars (which are usually held over video), and with the added benefit of being able to play back the webinar for review later.
If you’re looking for something more than a 3-hour workshop, check your local college’s continuing education department. Sometimes they’ll offer a several-week course on a topic like business communication. The benefit to a longer commitment is that you can get feedback from your teacher and interact with other students/business owners in the same boat as you.
If having a particular certification on your LinkedIn profile will attract more customers, go for it. Many industries, like project management and IT have certifications that may put you in the running for more business opportunities.
If you thirst for more, an executive Master’s of Business Administration is the cream of the crop when it comes to further education. Like a traditional MBA, you’ll learn about all aspects of business, from finance to marketing, but these programs tend to be geared toward executives, leaders and entrepreneurs. So classes might be three days a month, and many students might travel across the country to attend. The benefit of going to a prestigious EMBA program is the fantastic network of alumni you will have access to.
Whatever level you choose, getting smarter is always a benefit to both you and your business.
College Classroom Photo via Shutterstock
Education is good especially if you are aiming for higher positions or expertise in your field. However, I know a lot of business owners who learned their craft out of sheer passion and education is not even a requirement.