How to Get an MBA While You’re Running Your Business (& Why You Should)

May 4, 2018

Guest post by Tiffany Rowe

If you’re a small business owner or startup entrepreneur, you may wonder whether you need an MBA in order to be successful – and if you even have time to get one. Wouldn’t going back to school mean abandoning your business? Can’t business owners succeed without a formal education in business?


While it’s true that some famous business leaders have succeeded without an MBA – or even, in some cases, a college degree – that’s the exception, not the rule. You may be able to learn what you need to know to keep your business afloat the hard way, through trial and error; then again, one of those trials could end up sinking your whole enterprise. Enrolling in an MBA gives you the chance to bolster your business knowledge without the difficult failures that may otherwise come with trying to figure things out on your own. And, thanks to online education, you can earn your degree and run your company at the same time.


Build Your Business Knowledge

You probably already have some basic business knowledge, especially if you’ve been running your business for a while. But chances are good there’s a lot you don’t know, or that you excel in some areas more than in others. Perhaps you’re good at marketing but not so great at formulating a sustainable growth strategy. Maybe you know a lot about finance and networking but not so much about building and maintaining an online presence.


Earning an MBA can give you a solid foundation of business and finance knowledge with which to nurture your business, and it can fill in the gaps in your knowledge. You’ll gain important insight into business skills like negotiation, leadership, evaluating job candidates, maintaining data security, and more. An MBA could give you the skills you need to take your business to the next level, attract better clients, and adhere to a long-term growth strategy. A business school education can also be helpful if you want to pivot your business to work out kinks in the plan and kick-start success.


Network, Network, Network

Networking is just as important for entrepreneurs as it is for non-entrepreneurs, but for business owners, finding mentorship and building a network of peers can be harder. Business school gives you the chance to build lasting friendships and mentorships with classmates and faculty. You might think that attending classes online would hamper your ability to build lasting friendships, but these days, plenty of people have online friends they’ve never met in person, but who are no less valuable to them for that.


MBA programs in general place a lot of emphasis on doing group work and honing communication skills, and online programs are no exception. You’ll still get plenty of chances to work and interact with classmates, and even with your professors. Students in online programs often interact more with classmates and professors because email threads, group chats, and discussion forums allow many people to be more forthcoming than they might be in person. And you’ll definitely get more one-on-one attention from the professor, since you’ll be using email, small group chats, and video conferencing to ask questions, clarify concepts, and hash out problems you might be having in your business. Some programs offer students the chance to meet classmates and professors at in-person residencies.


Choose an Online MBA Program

If you’re already running a business, a traditional MBA program is most likely out of the question for you – you’d have to abandon your business and quit working altogether to move to a new city and attend classes full-time for as long as two years. But online MBA programs are different. These programs are designed to meet the needs of busy working adults who have responsibilities – they have kids to support, mortgage payments to make, or a business to run. That’s why online MBAs have some flexibility built in, allowing students to go over material when their schedule allows and even take classes part-time. Many programs even waive GMAT and GRE requirements for applicants with real-world experience.


Build Study Time into Your Schedule

A flexible online MBA program means that you won’t have to drop everything to attend classes at a pre-ordained time of the day, but it does mean you’ll need to make the time commitment necessary to complete your coursework. Most programs allow students to take one or two classes at a time, so that they can still work, spend time with their families, and attend to other responsibilities. You may need to block off time each week to go over course material, complete assignments, and confer with classmates on group work.


Earning an MBA can be just what you need to correct the course of your business or take your company where you’ve always wanted it to go. Online MBA classes offer you the flexibility to take classes while staying at the helm of your company. Enroll today.


About the Author: Tiffany is a leader in marketing authority, she assists Seek Visibility and our clients in contributing resourceful content throughout the web. Tiffany prides herself in her ability to create and provide high quality content that audiences find valuable. She also enjoys connecting with other bloggers and collaborating for exclusive content in various niches. With many years of experience, Tiffany has found herself more passionate than ever to continue developing content and relationship across multiple platforms and audiences.

Deborah A Bailey

Deborah is a writer, writing workshop presenter and published author. She's host of the Women Entrepreneurs Radio podcast.

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