Do You Need a Degree to Start a Business?

Small businesses make up the backbone of the American economy. More than 30 million small businesses employ almost half of all workers in the country. Creating and running your own business is a central facet of the American Dream.

It’s also a process full of potential pitfalls. About half of all new businesses fail within the first five years of existence, according to data from the federal Small Business Administration (SBA). A third fail within the first two years.

No laws or regulations mandate what business owners must do to prepare for success. The only two necessities to start are an idea and financing. However, one way to increase the chances of becoming a successful entrepreneur is to earn a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Management (BSBA) degree with an Entrepreneurship concentration.

Do you need a degree to start a business? No. Nothing guarantees success. Nonetheless, a business degree prepares entrepreneurs for the challenges that often cause a new venture to fail.

How Touro University Worldwide Prepares Entrepreneurs

Touro University Worldwide focuses its 100% online BSBA program with an Entrepreneurship concentration on the critical areas of business success.

These include the foundations of management, marketing, and sales. The program also delves into issues specific to e-business formation and startups, as well as the best practices for weighing the benefits and risks of any new business.

Examples of courses offered in the TUW program include the following areas.

Managing Small Business

This course provides future entrepreneurs with expertise in how to plan and start a new business (or improve an existing one). Using a case-based approach, students develop a business plan, market their product or service, and put strategies in place to finance, staff, and control a small business.

Business Opportunity Analysis

Students learn how to assess a business opportunity by applying a business analysis framework that assesses the many factors that influence business success or failure. These include evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of a new idea, their personal and professional goals, business environments, and competitive analysis.

Sales and Marketing

Students learn the basics of sales and marketing, two key components to business success. The course examines the total marketing process, including issues such as customer loyalty, relationship management, pricing, distribution, marketing communications, advertising, and the impact of innovative technology on sales and marketing.

The types of courses mentioned above can prove critical to success for future entrepreneurs. Rather than diving into the complex world of running a small business with little to no preparation, students learn many of the skills that can help them avoid common pitfalls.

Why Do Most Businesses Fail?

The SBA reports that the first five years present the most dangerous time for a new business. As the years pass, the failure rate steadily drops. Federal data shows this pattern remains consistent in good and bad economic times.

Why such a high failure rate early on? Investopedia compiled a list of the most common reasons that new companies fail.

  • Not investigating the market. People start a business in a market with little demand for their product. The most successful businesses meet a strong, existing consumer need.
  • Lack of a business plan. A business plan sets down realistic goals and methods for achieving them. One common mistake is to have a solid business plan but not follow it. Another is to fail to address flaws that become apparent in the business plan.
  • Not enough financing. A lack of cash flow is the undoing of many businesses.
  • Poor marketing. A digital marketing strategy is necessary for most modern businesses.
  • Expanding too fast. Early success can lead to business owners deciding to expand. Many fail to follow the same careful steps they did when first starting the business.

Thousands Decide to Start a Business Each Year

Despite the challenges, thousands each year decide to launch their own business. These businesses account for 1.5 million jobs per year, driving about 64% of the nation’s job growth, according to small business consultants Fundera.

The chief motivation for people to start their business is to become their own boss, according to a survey done by Guidant Financial. The other top motivators include wanting to pursue their passion and dissatisfaction with corporations.

That same survey found that 76% of respondents reported being “somewhat happy” and “very happy” about creating create their own business.

When you forge your own path through the business world, a BSBA degree will help achieve your goal. TUW designed the program for professionals seeking the knowledge and skills that tips the scales of success in your favor.

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