Perhaps you are committed to and passionate about running your own business, but like many entrepreneurs, you have reached a point where it feels like you are hitting a dead end.
If you do not have any formal business training or previous business experience, it can often get to a point where you feel that you have used up all your knowledge and skills and need more in order to ensure that you can take your company to the next level.
Getting further education in business could be essential if you want to make sure that you are able to make the best decisions for your business in the future.
If you’re a business owner looking to expand your knowledge, build new skills and boost your confidence, there are several options to consider.
Mentors and business coaches are a popular choice for business owners who would like to work one-to-one with a professional who is there to help, and there are several online programs, certifications, and degree qualifications that you could turn to.
Studying online is becoming an increasingly popular option among business owners looking to boost their knowledge and skills, since online degree programs will often offer the flexibility that you need to study while continuing to run your business as normal. Online MBAs are a great choice for business owners since they offer a well-rounded overview of business.
But, is studying for a degree while running your business at the same time a good idea? Will the investment pay off? Will you be able to manage? Many entrepreneurs have certainly been able to make it work for them – here’s how.
Choosing a degree program that is right for you and your lifestyle is key to making sure that it will be manageable for you once you begin. Take the time to research different online degree options as some will offer complete freedom and flexibility for you to study at times that suit you best, while others might require you to be online at certain times of the day.
If you feel that you would benefit from spending some time on-campus, it might be worth looking into blended online and campus-based programs that allow you to attend campus classes along with studying online at your leisure.
Many MBA degree programs online are designed for working professionals or business owners, keeping in mind the fact that students are often working in a professional career or running a company of their own at the same time.
Consider Your Business and Career Goals
Today, there is certainly no shortage of online business degree programs available to study. Online degree programs are becoming increasingly popular, with more individuals deciding that they need a flexible approach to studying for a business degree while working or running their own business.
Start early when choosing a degree program that is right for you in order to ensure that it is aligned with your business or career goals.
Consider what you want to get out of getting the business degree, whether you have specific goals for certain parts of your business or whether you want to simply get a better understanding and knowledge of business in general so that you can apply this to your company in future.
Determine the Entry Requirements
Many online degree programs will have certain entry requirements that you will need to meet in order to enroll on the program. Some will be stricter than others depending on the degree level and the school that is offering it.
In some cases, business owners that have a certain amount of experience in the industry will be accepted on merit of their experience in place of an undergraduate degree, while others will ask for applicants to have both an undergraduate degree and experience beforehand.
Some degree programs will accept applicants with a bachelor’s degree in any subject while others will ask for applicants that have a bachelor’s degree in a business or business-related subject.
If you have your heart set on a certain online degree, bear in mind that there might be additional work to be done beforehand in order to ensure that you meet the entry requirements before you will be able to start.
Plan Your Time and Schedule
Once you have decided on the right online business degree for you, it’s time to start planning your schedule and time for the future. Planning is something that most business owners are very familiar with, since good planning and preparation is crucial for business success.
Once you are working to get an online business degree alongside running your business, planning your time and putting together a schedule that works well for you is going to become even more important than ever before.
Spend some time going over your schedule to work out which times are going to work best for you in terms of when you can study, while still being able to dedicate the necessary amount of time to running your company.
If you are often tied up with running your business and have a lot of work to undertake, it might be worth considering a part-time online business degree that requires you to commit fewer hours per week to studying to make sure that you do not become overwhelmed.
When you’re about to get started with an online business degree, being able to delegate your business tasks to people that you trust to carry them out and get the best results is more important than ever before.
Trying to get too much done at once and taking on all the tasks on your own can lead to feeling exhausted and burned out, increasing your risk of making mistakes that could be harmful to your business.
Now is a good time to think about taking on employees who you can trust with the day to day running of your business, or working with more freelance contractors who are able to take over some of the work that you would normally do by yourself to free up your time and lessen your workload so that you have more time to dedicate to studying for your degree.
Juggling your business degree and running a company at the same time is not going to be an easy task, so it’s a good idea to come up with a list of areas where you might need some extra support, and ask for the help that you need.
This might be in your personal life – for example, if you have children, you might want to ask a relative or friend if they can babysit for you more often so that you have more time to study, or you could consider hiring somebody to come and help you with housework and cleaning tasks.
Many online universities have good student support services and there will be somebody available who you can speak to if you begin to feel overwhelmed or stressed out with the workload. Your tutor is there to help if you need support and may be able to put measures in place to help you manage if things get difficult.
Create a Study Space
Creating a space in your home or office where you can focus on studying will make it easier for you to focus and get the work done, rather than trying to study from random spots in your home or office where you might be met with many distractions.
Try to create a study space that is as distraction-free as possible so that you can focus on studying without worrying about anything else that is going on in your home or business.
If you find studying at home or at the office difficult, you might want to consider finding a local co-working space where you can use the facilities for studying, or public facilities like a local library where you can access Wi-Fi and desk space.
If you’ve enrolled on an online program at a local university, you might have access to the campus facilities if you need somewhere quiet and distraction free away from your home or business to study.
Revisit and Review
Just like your business processes, it is worth regularly revisiting and reviewing your plans to study for an online business degree over time to ensure that what you’ve put in place is still working well for you.
Whether you are studying full-time or part-time, how you plan your schedule, and where you are getting help and support from might need to change over time if your circumstances change either personally or professionally.
You might find that you need to adjust your schedule due to changes in your business that have left you working different hours, for example. Every few months, checking that what you are doing is still working for you and making adjustments as necessary will help you ensure that everything continues to run smoothly until you graduate.
Today, online degree programs have made it possible for full-time business owners to improve their knowledge and skills at the same time as running a business. If you’re planning to get a degree as a business owner, keep these tips in mind to improve your chance of success.