Business school is a good place to begin fine-tuning some aspects of what running a business is all about, but you won’t learn everything in drills and book work. I, for example, had to learn much in the school of hard knocks.
I did get a lot of important information and practices from business school. Some of the most important topics included negotiations, effective communication, economics, fundamentals of finance and a bit of law as well. But, it wasn’t until I got out of that “kiddy pool” and started swimming in deep water that I realized a few gaps in my educational experience.
The information is important, and the relations and networks I was able to cultivate during my training more than paid the costs of admission. But, what I learned in the few short months after business school, in an entrepreneurship, was far more than I learned in the four years prior.
The following article will provide an overview of the various things I learned in my entrepreneurship, that had not been revealed to me as a student of business school.
1. A business can be scrappy
The first thing you should do in an entrepreneurship is set yourself up for an ongoing study and “figure things out as you go”. This will mean placing less importance on funding, scaling and hiring as covered in business school and more attention on making do with what you’ve got.
This means streamlining your processes to the bare necessities. Most successful entrepreneurs were not well-funded at the beginning and had to scrape by on what they had. They had a rough plan, no resources, and even had to escape from the original plan when resources didn’t cover the needs.
Making it out of these preliminary rounds will test your mettle and see how resourceful you can be when it seems you should just roll up the tents and call off your offensive. This could mean launching anyway with a mere handful of products, to give the market a taste of the options and see where you can go from there.
2. Plans are not the most important thing
While you may think this is counter-intuitive, when in the chaos of these initial stages of your entrepreneurship, making plans can leave you subject to frustration; especially when you base your initiatives on how you expect your clients to view your product and the business.
In a business school, they seem to impart the idea that business is something you can create a massive plan to produce and follow this plan step by step to victory. You will be given a task like assemble a business plan, determine the market for the product and figure out your break-even.
You will see many things you never expected as you begin to take the products to the market and gauge the reactions they receive. You will put yourself in a greater position for success if you get a proof of concept, rather than trying to plan the last details down to perfection. Planning too much is just an exercise in procrastination, most of your performance indicators will come after the products are launched.
3. Set goals differently
It is an important question as to why business schools don’t focus more time on setting goals and reverse-engineering the outcomes you expect, and spend so much time on the importance of planning and setting goals.
The fact is, knowing where you want to go comes easily to most entrepreneurs, it is the skill and art of determining the best course of action to these goals that is sometimes difficult. The important thing to remember here is that the path to the goal becomes clearer as you truly consider what these goals are in detail, and what the details require from the overall plan of dominating your marketing. Most companies will utilize SEO tools to get a sense of the online market.
Then it is up to you to share this vision with the rest of the team. A united effort always produces a bigger impact.