National Higher Education Day | Fora Financial Blog
National Higher Education Day: Pros and Cons of Going Back to School as a Business Owner
June 06, 2017

National Higher Education Day: Pros and Cons of Going Back to School as a Business Owner

All business owners are different. Some are highly educated and have taken courses to learn the intricacies of their business and industry. Other owners might be self-taught entrepreneurs who have learned their business knowledge through real-life experiences, opting not to pay for additional schooling. Many business owners are a mix of both!

With National Higher Education Day being acknowledged on June 6, it seems appropriate to evaluate the pros and cons of returning to school, either to complete an undergraduate program or to obtain a graduate degree. A third alternative is for an owner to fill educational gaps by taking a few small business-related classes, or by taking specific certification courses. Ultimately, business owners must evaluate their own strengths and weaknesses to determine whether small business education is worth the time, effort and money.

What are the Benefits of Pursuing Higher Education as a Business Owner?

1. Learn More About Running a Business

Pursuing small business education could make the difference between long-term success or failure. For instance, if you aren’t well-informed on topics such as finance and accounting, taking these types of courses could help you make better decisions with your business’s money moving forward. Or maybe you are unfamiliar with business law practices; gaining this knowledge will allow you to stay up-to-date on legal requirements. Taking these courses will give you information that you can utilize in your day-to-day duties as a business owner.

2. Stay Up-to-Date on Trends

Most industries change over time, adding new ideas to displace outdated practices. Going back to school can give you the opportunity to learn about upcoming business trends, which you can incorporate into your own operations. Maybe it is a certification that will set you apart, or a new skill that will enable you to offer new services. Whatever the specific trend is, you’ll be on your way to being a top business owner in your respective industry.

3. Intellectual Curiosity

If you’ve devoted many years of your life to running your business full-time, you might want to add some balance to your lifestyle by pursuing advanced education in a related discipline. On National Higher Education Day, consider taking time for personal advancement and sign yourself up for courses at a local college. You never know what area could spark your interest, and ultimately serve as inspiration for your small business.

What are the Downsides of Going Back to School While Running a Business?

1. Finding Financing

Enrolling in small business courses may be an investment that you can’t afford to make. You should consider all the business expenses you already have, in addition to your personal financial situation. While you could take out a loan to pay for school, you should determine whether furthering your education is currently your biggest priority.

2. You May Not Have Time

There are only 24 hours in the day, and it may be challenging to attend classes, study and run your business. Most importantly, you’ll need to decide whether your business will decline if your time is divided between work and school.One option is to take online classes instead of attending sessions at a university. Still, you’ll likely have coursework to attend to, that may take away from your business duties.

3. Issues With Delegation

Another aspect relating closely to time is delegation. You might feel prompted to delegate more authority to a partner or employees so that you can concentrate on completing your small business courses. That can be a problem if your business doesn’t have a strong management structure, or if you should recruit a new employee to fill in. Running a business is not an easy responsibility to take-on, and even existing employees may not be able to handle your role.

Are You Interested in Higher Education?

National Higher Education Day gives business owners the opportunity to reflect on their educational goals. It can be difficult to decide between taking courses to further your business education, or continue focusing on running your business. Hopefully after reading this list you’ll be able to determine the right situation for you and the future of your operations!

Fora Financial

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Fora Financial is a working capital provider to small business owners nationwide. In addition, the Fora Financial team provides educational information to the small business community through their blog, which covers topics such as business financing, marketing, technology, and much more. If you’d like to see a topic covered on the Fora Financial blog, or want to submit a guest post, please email us at [email protected].