You launched your startup knowing that your idea was strong, and now you have a small business that seems to be thriving. Yet, if you have limited experience as a business leader, you might not know how to manage your business growth and ensure success into the future. Many small business owners resolve to return to school to hone their business knowledge and skill — but which degree program will provide you with the acumen you need to guide your budding business on the right path?
Here are a few of the best bachelor’s degrees for current small business owners looking to improve their credentials and achieve greater business success.
There are several levels of business administration degrees, from two-year associate degrees that offer basic instruction on business management to doctoral programs who function as executives for some of the world’s largest enterprises. Small business owners like you would benefit most from a bachelor’s degree in this field, which provides a comprehensive overview of business fields and topics, so that you can manage all aspects of your business as it grows.
Similar to a business administration degree, a business management degree provides knowledge and skill in many of the fields required for business leaders to succeed. However, business management programs tend to focus on the leadership aspect of management, which means students pursuing this degree become experts in activities like identifying top talent, understanding employee motivation, organizing teams and generally managing a workforce.
Following the COVID pandemic, technology has become an essential component of business strategy. Even small, local businesses need to understand how to leverage technology effectively to build audiences, maintain engagement and make the best possible decisions to drive success. In addition to equipping a business owner with fundamental tech acumen, business technology degrees often provide information about tech laws and regulations that businesses must follow as they adopt new tech systems and practices.
A business leader’s ability to understand finance is often what determines a small business’s future. Knowledge and skill in finance will help a small business grow, as leaders will gain the ability to analyze risk effectively and deploy strategies likely to result in success. You can pursue an online degree in finance while you manage your small business, and you can begin utilizing strategic applications of finance as you learn them.
Research shows that roughly half of small businesses fail within the first five years, and more than 80 percent of those failures are a direct result of cash flow problems. Skill and knowledge in the field of accounting can help business leaders maintain greater control over their income and expenses, which will aid them in analyzing financial risks. Often, accounting courses are components of other business degree programs, but some business leaders benefit from a focused accounting degree.
Though often conflated with finance, economics is the study of the allocation of resources, on both micro and macro scales. Business leaders can benefit from an economics degree by gaining greater understanding of the behavior of economics affecting their organization. Experience in economics can also be valuable as the field improves one’s ability to predict outcomes based on available resources and historic trends.
A small business is only as good as its marketing, especially now that the internet is blurring the lines between local and global competition. Because there are so many marketing channels for small businesses to balance, a marketing degree might be useful in delivering greater knowledge and skill in this field. Often, marketing programs also provide insight into brand management, product management and consumer behavior, all of which can make marketing an easier task for small businesses to accomplish.
Communication is the one skill that every professional on Earth should work to master — and yet, so many business owners fail to have even passed proficiency in it. A bachelor’s degree in communication offers opportunities for you to practice communicating in a variety of environments and using diverse communication tools. It might also help you hone skills like public speaking and business writing, which can be useful as a small business owner.
You don’t need to rely only on your limited experience to guide you as a small business owner. By gaining a bachelor’s degree, you can ensure the growth and success of your small business — and any businesses you launch into the future.