Business. A fairly abstract concept when you consider the almost limitless facets business has. Online business, retail, services... you name it, you can probably turn it in to some kind of business. Learning the inner workings of such a concept comes from both education and experience--but neither exclusively.
Learning the true inner workings of business and how to operate as one comes from years of education combined with years of experience. Though there are certainly special cases in which entrepreneurs create multi-billion dollar companies without any sort of higher education or without any sort of business experience, it’s rare for start-ups conceived this way to get off the ground. Mistakes are easily made--some of them fatal to the company.
Learning how to create and run a business can often come from the classrooms of institutions that teach courses such as business administration and business law. However, for the full look into how businesses really work, enrolling in even an online college to pursue a degree in business is not a bad idea.
If you’re seriously considering learning more about business, consider the following
College can be expensive, especially if you’re looking at colleges out of state. If you’re already a student and need credit hours, business classes are always a good idea.
Business students should enroll in business classes that interest them in order to ensure they get something useful from the course.
Adults returning to college should seriously consider if business is a passion or just a hobby; unless you’ve got money to spare, going into student debt in 2014-2015 is not a good idea if you can avoid it.
Online colleges are excellent options as they don’t often require out-of-state tuition (not to be confused with online courses offered by state institutions). Online-only colleges such as University of the People offer globally accredited degrees in Business Administration. Students are only required to have a stable internet connection in order to apply, though exams cost $100 per course.
Of course, college isn’t the only option to learning more about business
Local and state libraries will have countless books and resources on how business truly works. Consider taking a trip to one and taking stock of the resources available to you.
If you’re not keen on learning from a book or classroom, reaching out to a CEO or mentor can be a big help in understanding basic business concepts and principles. Depending on their schedule, most entrepreneurs are more than willing to answer some questions about how they learned about business. Consider emailing them first rather than taking up time with a phone call.
If all else fails, start a business and learn on the go
Learning from a classroom or through questions can only take you so far. Sometimes, taking the big leap is the only way for some to learn how things really work. This is an extremely hands-on approach that can cost you serious money if you invest a lot of time and effort in starting your company. Be sure to do extra research on business laws in your area before committing completely to starting a business.
All of these different options have their own pluses and minuses. However, the only way to truly understand how businesses work is when you combine all of them together. That way you will have all of the knowledge and experience. People often lack one of these factors.
Image: Business in London, by Trey Ratcliff, via Flickr