Successful entrepreneurs and analysts encourage young professionals to embark on their own business ventures. Work for yourself, they say, instead of dedicating your skills to add value to someone else’s business. While that’s excellent advice, but it does undermine the mammoth challenge of starting a new business.
You may have a stellar business idea and burgeoning demand for your proposed products or services. But do you have the expertise and knowledge to successfully execute this idea and turn it into a profitable, sustainable company?
Most ambitious aspirants overlook the glaring fact that 90% of startups fail, of which 10% don’t survive the first year. Corporate survival demands a well-rounded skill set, experience, and leadership acumen. Learning the ropes of your industry and chosen trade will help you cultivate entrepreneurial insight, driving you towards success.
Keep reading to explore compelling reasons to learn the ropes before launching your startup.
A Solid Academic Background
Decades ago, business owners, inventors, and innovators could easily get by with a passionate dream and formidable street smarts. Henry Ford was a farm boy who received no formal education in automotive, and Walt Disney didn’t undertake animation training. Their dream was enough to keep them dedicated to the struggle, inching them closer to their goals.
But back in the day, the corporate environment wasn’t as sophisticated and complex as today. Modern-day businesses operate on strikingly different mechanisms and highly complex, tech-driven infrastructure. Globalization and technological advancement have transformed the nature of entrepreneurship, demanding a formidable skill set.
Formal education in business management is crucial to running a successful and sustainable business. Aspiring entrepreneurs are strongly advised to consider pursuing an AACSB online MBA to complete their fundamental corporate training. Most people wonder how AACSB accreditation supports the ambition of launching a startup.
AACSB-accredited degrees ensure that the curriculum and learning techniques are at par with world-leading standards. Schools that provide AACSB accreditation must comply with rigorous quality controls to maintain their prestige. When choosing an online MBA, it’s wise to prioritize AACSB accreditation to get more value out of your education.
An MBA offers well-rounded learning in all aspects of running a business, from supply chain management to human resources and digital evolution. Students can choose to specialize in any core corporate element and prepare themselves with industry-relevant training. An MBA prepares entrepreneurs for global success by introducing them to international regulatory standards with valuable, real-world exposure.
Learning From Trial &Error
Making mistakes is crucial for learning, as mistakes encourage memory development and retention in the brain. Our mistakes make us more responsive to adopting efficient approaches, expanding our minds to embrace new concepts and techniques. Without mistakes, we would learn nothing. However, the corporate arena is awfully unforgiving to entrepreneurial errors.
When you’ve invested your life’s savings into a business venture, the slightest mistake can lead to catastrophic repercussions. Many startup owners have had to file for bankruptcy because they lacked the skills to run a profitable company.
If you’re focusing solely on the charisma and charm of being your own boss, you’re overlooking the responsibilities. Running a company comes with numerous liabilities, as you’re answerable to your employees, customers, investors, and other stakeholders. Simply put, there’s very little room for learning from trial and error.
Therefore, it’s wise to gain experience with a job in the same industry that you intend to target for your startup. Suppose you want to use your culinary knowledge to open a gourmet restaurant. In that case, it’s wise to work at a gourmet restaurant as a chef or in a managerial position. Working in your chosen industry will help you build connections and learn the ropes.
You will learn to manage suppliers and vendors, lead teams towards project completion, and handle disgruntled customers. It’s crucial to merge formal education with on-the-job training to enrich your skillset with expertise and experience. There’s ample room for trial and error while working for someone else, as you don’t have much to lose.
Do you intend to run your business as a one-man-show, deprived of advice and insight from external resources? While that may seem liberating after quitting an unrewarding job, it’s a highly unrealistic prospect. You see, startups thrive on lucrative collaborations, external inputs, investments, grants, and industry applause. And entrepreneurs need a thriving industry network to open their companies for external opportunities.
If you’re not tied to an acclaimed university or a successful company, you cannot network successfully within the industry. Universities act as influential contributors to professional growth by organizing events and collaborations for their alumni. Likewise, organizations and businesses allow professionals to gain exposure from industry trade shows, seminars, and networking events.
Building a network of like-minded professionals and connecting with industry big-wigs offers numerous advantages. It will help you connect with retailers, manufacturers, suppliers, and supply chain partners to reduce expenses and maximize profits. Your network will also help you identify potential investment opportunities and connect with generous angel investors.
Learning the ropes with an academic degree or a job has many advantages, of which networking is paramount.
Cultivating Industry-Relevant Skills
You may plan to start your advertising agency after completing your MBA and undertaking several advertising certifications. But is your education enough to navigate an industry as competitive and multifaceted as advertising? Certainly not!
Interestingly, this conundrum doesn’t solely occur in advertising, but rather it applies to all industries and sectors. Mastering a skill is not sufficient to launch a startup – a mistake that most startup owners make. The online infrastructure and digital innovation have eliminated many of the complexities involved with launching a business.
Naturally, this ease and accessibility encourage every aspirant with a dream to start their own company. However, since they know very little about industry dynamics and mechanisms, they fail to deliver value and survive. Industry-relevant skills and expertise is the foundation that allows entrepreneurs to build a sustainable business.
Learning the ropes of the industry will help you build acumen in key areas, such as market segmentation and industry trends. Industry-relevant expertise will open up your business to lucrative opportunities and strengths.
Running a successful company is not a child’s play. It demands a formidable and well-rounded skill set, coupled with experience and expertise. Even if your business idea is straightforward, it is bound to get complicated in its execution phase. All aspiring entrepreneurs must prepare themselves for their vision with academic and on-the-job training.
Dedicating years to education and working for someone else may not align with your plans. But the effort and energy you invest in these endeavors will help you actualize your corporate dreams.