Launching your own business can be an effective way to build wealth and spend your time doing something you love. If you’ve always planned on being your own boss, statistics show you’re not alone. In the UK, more than 650,000 start-ups are launched every year – that’s more than one a minute.
However, a significant proportion of these startups don’t achieve long-term success. In the UK, four out of 10 start-ups don’t make it past their first five years, while the U.S. start-up failure rate is estimated to be as high as 90%. Whichever way you look at it, it’s clear that creating a thriving business is more challenging than a lot of people think.
There are many reasons why start-ups can fail, from a shortage of funding to patchy business plans. Of course, one potential cause of a start-up failure is an inexperienced business owner. No matter how great your concept is or how determined you are, you need to understand how businesses operate if you want to become a successful career.
If you’re committed to launching your own business and being the master of your own destiny, it’s important to enhance your entrepreneurial skills every step of the way. With this in mind, take a look at what a Doctor of Business Administration degree can offer and why it might be the making of your entrepreneurial career:
1. Enhance Your Research Skills
A DBA programme focuses heavily on research, but the format of a DBA gives you the opportunity to undertake different types of research and apply methodologies to real-life business scenarios. Rather than focusing purely on theoretical hypothesis, you’ll have the chance to undertake both qualitative and quantitative research.
Perhaps surprisingly, being a successful entrepreneur requires a large amount of research. From the moment you have your first idea for an innovative new start-up, you’ll spend your time researching your market, your competitors and your audience.
Despite the importance of research in the business field, few people are trained in how to identify the most effective research methods and apply them successfully. Both the modules undertaken on a DBA programme and the research itself will give you this knowledge and experience. As well as using your skills to obtain your qualification, they will be directly transferable to your role as an entrepreneur.
2. Data-Driven Decision-Making
The importance of data-driven decision-making is becoming well-known. Now that Big Data is more accessible, business owners, entrepreneurs and managers are being urged to base every decision upon verifiable information. By doing so, decision-makers can use the data that’s available to inform their decisions and increase their commercial success.
However, this process relies on the premise that the data you’re using is accurate and relevant. Making data-driven decisions when you have incomplete information or have asked the wrong research questions, for example, can be catastrophic for any business.
Due to the research-based nature of DBA programmes, graduates are well-equipped to make data-driven decisions in the workplace. Furthermore, DBA graduates are able to identify potential inconsistencies and anomalies in data and use them to refine future research and reach logical conclusions. Essentially, completing a DBA can help you to develop your decision-making skills and enable you to use data to drive your businesses forward.
3. Widen Your Network
Whatever profession you’re in, having a network is essential for success. When you have connections to industry leaders and peers, you’re able to learn from the people around you and further your own career. Additionally, the people within your network may well become future clients, business partners or investors.
If you want to widen your network to include tomorrow’s business leaders, where better to do so than on a DBA programme? Your fellow students are likely to have both academic and practical experience in business and/or finance, as well as bright futures ahead of them. In terms of making valuable connections, there really is no better place to start.
Even if you’re not studying in a traditional classroom-based environment, you’ll still have the opportunity to connect with other students. When you enrol on a reputable online DBA programme, for example, you’ll have the opportunity to liaise with other students via email, video chat, message boards, live discussions and at in-person events, if you choose to attend. This gives you the flexibility to study in a way that suits you, while also furthering your business knowledge and widening your professional network.
4. Specialise in an Area of Interest
After completing specific modules, the bulk of your time as a DBA student will be spent researching, planning and writing your thesis. Although you’ll need to have your proposal approved, you’ll have the opportunity to choose an area of particular interest to you and formulate a related research question or premise.
Whereas many other business courses cover a wide range of topics in limited detail, a DBA gives you the chance to conduct in-depth research into your area of specialism. If you want to become a tech entrepreneur, for example, you can choose a research topic that relates directly to the tech industry. Similarly, if you’re focused on retail, you can submit a research proposal that focuses solely on the retail sector.
With the flexibility to drill down on to a particular topic, you needn’t waste your time studying subjects that aren’t relevant to your future career. Furthermore, the in-depth nature of a DBA ensures you’re able to gain real value for the research you undertake.
Become an Entrepreneur with a DBA
People assume that becoming an entrepreneur is as easy as deciding to start a business. However, becoming a successful entrepreneur requires knowledge, skills and determination. While you don’t necessarily require any formal training to establish yourself as an entrepreneur, you can increase your chances of being successful by honing your skills and gaining further knowledge.
Whether you dream of starting your own business one day, you’re already heading up a thriving SME or you’re about to take your enterprise global, a Doctor of Business Administration degree can give you an edge in business and make you a more successful entrepreneur.