Is your education enough to run a business? Expertise and experience you have in abundance. But, is your education all you need to succeed in the small business you started?

Successful people are educated people. Their education never ends. Once you accept that you need to stay ahead of the learning curve, you have to identify the gaps in your educational record. You have to prioritize according to what you want, what you can afford, and what time you can commit.

While I do not want to discourage anyone from pursuing a college degree, I do not believe the degree guarantees anything. There may be other ways to better and more efficiently serve your needs.

  • Complete a Certificate Program. Colleges offer a range of focused studies. You only have to complete six or seven courses – in the evening or on weekends. And, they cost less than a full degree. Consider how valuable a focused program in Financial Management or Business Taxation may be to you.
  • Create a “degree:” Select courses at your community college that assure you, for instance, a foundation in Business Management or Human Resources.
  • Shop Seminars: Those one-day “seminars” are likely to address topics already under your belt – through good and bad experiences. However, focused intense two or three-day programs may serve you well. For example, a seminar in Financial Management for Non-Finance Managers could go a long way to helping you understand the terms and processes you leave to others.
  • Seek Free Education: Put some regular events on your calendar. For example, see what education programs your local SBA office offers. Or, attend the annual meeting sponsored by your bank where they provide important info forecasting economic developments in the works.

Do not fall prey to most on-line college degrees; they are a very expensive way to validate your experience. Remember, you need to continue your education. But, it needs to serve your needs now – in an accessible and efficient way.
by Steven Schlagel