Launching a business of your own is always going to be a big step. Thrilling, yes, but big. You absolutely need to be aware of that business owners, especially when they first start out, work under multiple hats. Not only that, but chances are you’ll go from working full-time hours to 1.5x that, even 2x that.
Operating and starting up your own business is hard. It requires more hours than you’ve given before, with more dedication and a million times more passion than you put into any job you have had before.
Often your own savings are used to fund your startup as well, which puts you personally at risk.
All of this can cause mental health and physical health strain, and that’s if you do everything right. There is a lot you need to know, and even more, you need to consider before you launch, but thankfully with this guide, you’ll have the perfect blueprint to get started:
To Earn an MBA, or not to Earn an MBA?
There is actually a rather big debate around earning an MBA if you want to start your own business. Some argue that MBAs are completely outdated. Others say that the only reason why you would want or need an MBA is if you intend to become an executive rather than a business owner.
The fact is that the skills that you learn during an MBA can be instrumental in any businesses’ success – including your own. It can help you better understand how to run a company, what to watch out for, and also how to manage essential components of any business, like a team and your own books.
It isn’t essential, but it can take a lot of the guesswork out of the process. It can also help you manage your company more efficiently from the start. Mistakes are costly, especially the longer that they go on. What could have been done properly at the start with the right knowledge could cost company millions to fix, and that’s just the cost of fixing issues, not the lost profit that inevitably occurs when your business isn’t running as efficiently as it could.
What Resources Do You Have?
An MBA can offer you an effective, solid foundation to start and run your business. Don’t, however, stop there. Read, listen to podcasts, follow influential business leaders, go to workshops, and even consider hiring a business consultant.
If you are serious about your business, you can leave no stone unturned. Knowing what to do, especially legally, can make all the difference between succeeding and failing before you have even begun.
Use these extra resources to supplement your education and continue to invest in your skills and knowledge long after you have graduated. Lifelong learning can help you and your business thrive as the years go on.
What is Your Unique Selling Point?
When it comes to your actual business, remember that there needs to be something about it that makes it stand out. Your unique selling point doesn’t need to be the only idea in existence to work; it just needs to be done better, or even more locally. Don’t be afraid to workshop your idea with others, particularly if you are enrolled in an MBA. Have them poke holes at your idea, ask questions, and so on. Only when your idea is confronted can you hammer it out to a smooth polish.
What Kind of Business Model Suits Your Idea?
Investing in your own education is going to be worthwhile regardless of your industry or business idea. What won’t be a one-size-fits-all is the business model you choose for your idea. There are many different business models to choose from, though you can and should look to your competition to see what the industry standard of the day currently is.
Only by knowing where the industry has come from and where it currently is can you make the right decision. You can have an innovative business model idea that may just disrupt the entire industry, but you won’t know that until you know what’s been done and what customers currently expect from a business of your type.
What Are Your Competitors Doing?
Investigate your competitors further to learn a whole host of things, from marketing campaigns to social campaigns to even their most popular products or services. There is a lot that you can learn based on what your competitors are doing right.
Similarly, how have your competitors failed? Investigate the companies that overcame challenges and those that closed down to learn from their mistakes.
How Can and Should You Expand?
Having a roadmap is also key. You will need to expand, grow, or evolve. If you don’t know how to do that, you won’t be able to gauge public reception until later. Create a roadmap alongside your business plan, and you will be able to expand in the ways your customers want.
From offering new product lines to new services to new locations, there are a variety of ways that you can and should expand your business and having an idea of where to grow is a great place to start.
Starting a business is a big deal, but there is also a risk of overpreparing. At the end of the day, you want to have the tools and resources to handle anything that comes your way, but you will not be able to plan for every outcome or eventuality. You also can and should continue to learn, grow, and adapt your business after launch.
A good way to frame your efforts is around your degree if you are going for a business degree before launching. By starting your MBA with a business idea in mind, you will be able to plan it, prepare for it, and ask specific questions from the faculty to better understand how to launch, manage, and grow your company.