How An Advanced Degree Can Help You Launch or Grow Your Business

If you’ve been thinking about launching your own entrepreneurial venture or expanding your existing business, there’s no time like the present. The first step on this journey is to ensure you’re up-to-date on best practices related to small business growth and development. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, learning new leadership skills and fundamental business strategies will help ensure you’re poised for success, regardless of your industry. Continuing your education or pursuing an advanced degree with a business focus can open the door to a wealth of valuable knowledge. Web and graphic design expert Tracie Carrigan offers the following guidance on boosting your educational journey.

Position Yourself Well

Part of being an effective small business owner is in having a solid working knowledge of the elements that go into operations, including market research, identifying demographics, studying consumer habits and trends, and recognizing how to work the market in such a way that’s beneficial for growing your small business. Understanding key management functions is also a critical element of business success, helping ensure you hire the right type of people and training staffers so they can grow with your company and help advance its initiatives. Exploring different leadership strategies, customer engagement and effective sales and money management practices can also be beneficial to your bottom line.

Business Education = Success

It’s easier than ever to continue your professional growth, development and education, particularly via online course offerings. Many allow you to work at your own pace so you can run your business at the same time. Going back to school to earn an MBA with an emphasis on marketing, leadership management and organizational communication can all benefit you from a business perspective. This is especially true when professors are both well-versed in their fields, as well as active in their professions. This ensures you’re getting real-time information you can put into practice immediately, even before your degree is completed.

Benefits of Professional Development

Advanced degrees, particularly MBAs, are designed to give students true-to-life examples of what does and doesn’t work in the business world. You’ll also learn the theories behind why some operational approaches are successful, while others are not. In addition, you’ll be interacting with like-minded members of your cohort, sharing personal experiences from your professional lives that you can each learn from. Introspective and group work projects are designed to help you make honest assessments about your own leadership capabilities, as well as learn how to strategize and identify best practices in key areas of running a business. You’ll also read case studies about the techniques employed by all types of industries, as well as learn about the strategy associated with different approaches.

Networking Bonus

One of the best side benefits of participating in an advanced degree program is the potential connections you’ll make in the process. Instructors, professors, guest speakers and other students all bring different perspectives to the table. Sharing trials and tribulations and examples of approaches that are useful in leading people, managing customers and running a business can be invaluable. According to U.S. News & World Report, you’ll come away not only with knowledge but with a strong network and an address book full of potential future collaborators.

While it might feel daunting going to school and starting a business at the same time, the two can go hand-in-hand. Advanced education pursuits are often populated by people with a bit of business acumen already under their belts. You’ll also have the opportunity to peek inside various industries, which can give you a holistic look at how different types of businesses operate in practice. This far-ranging knowledge can be a significant asset in running or expanding your own operation.

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Whether you’re preparing to launch your business or have already begun, you’ll likely need some outside help. From website design to social media management to digital marketing, look to Tracie Carrigan to help bring your business vision to life!

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