Is an MBA worth it for future business owners? We’ve made a list of startup tips to help determine if pursuing an MBA will provide the business foundation you need to start your own business.
Know What You Don’t Know
A critical step in starting a business is to recognize the items you don’t know and, even more importantly, when professional advice is needed. Chances are, you’re not an expert on proper legal and accounting practices for the industry, and sometimes a Google search doesn’t cut it. For many business owners, hiring a professional has saved a lot of confusion, frustration, and time.
Use Your Resources
Free resources like your local Small Business Association chapter can provide tools to help get your business started. Additionally, Purdue students and staff have access to the Purdue Foundry, an incubator specifically formed to help commercialize ideas or products. At the Purdue Foundry, you will have access to resources that will help make your startup a success, including:
- Capital Funding – get connected to potential funding sources.
- Mentorship – tap into the thriving mentorship community of experienced entrepreneurs, Purdue staff, alumni, and business professionals.
- Marketing – gain access to marketing resources such as news releases and video development.
- Branding & Design Services – work with staff to create a unique logo for your brand.
- Office Space – find office, coworking, and lab space available to Purdue Foundry or Purdue Railyard members.
Dip Your Toes
Not all startups require a “risk it all” approach. If you want to start a business, “dip your toes” in the industry by moonlighting and shadowing.
To keep financial risk at bay, start with moonlighting. Keep your current position and start to manage your business during off hours. Of course, not all businesses could work with this approach, but if it’s feasible it is a great way to keep an income stream while starting your business concurrently.
Another way to try a business on for size is to shadow an entrepreneur or similar business. Often an honest email saying “I want to be where you are in the future,” can open doors. Most people love to impart knowledge and mentor someone with similar passions and interests, the worst thing they can say is “no”.
Everybody Needs a Simon Cowell
Whether you love him, hate him, or love to hate him, everybody needs someone in his or her life to tell-it-like-it-is. Honest feedback is supremely important when deciding whether or not to pursue your business because it provides an outside perspective. Just make sure you value that person’s opinion or ensure they are in the target market, otherwise, the feedback could be less valuable.
Start the “Relationship” off Right
Some business ideas are fun to flirt with, but you should only take on a startup if you’re in love with the idea. Passion will be needed to carry you through the ups and downs that come along with business ownership.
Take your business out on a “date” and figure out who he or she is because you will need to understand the identity of your brand. A brand with a solid identity can be the difference between interested consumers and die-hard customers.
So, is an MBA worth it? Well, if you’re seeking resources to help in your startup journey — like knowledgeable professors, applicable coursework, and The Purdue Foundry — a Purdue MBA can help. If you’re looking into starting a business, we suggest this article on startup tips and entrepreneur resources available for Purdue students.
Assistant Director of Recruiting
Krannert MBA & MS Programs