Skip to main content
6 answers
7
Asked 161 views Translate

what major do you need to study if you want to be a business owner.

how can i start a business with little to no money.

Thank you comment icon Lets say you go to a really inexpensive school for 4 years and it costs 40K total. That 40K and 4 years should be an investment in your future. If you get a degree in computer science and start a business to help people with technology, yes, that's a good investment. it's an investment in the product you provide to others. It is a unique and scarce product so you'll get more money in the long-term as a result of your college investment. Lets say you got a degree in accounting and you want to own/start a convenience store. Yes, that accounting degree will help you understand the financial side, but the value add from the accounting degree is not worth 4 years and 40K. If you instead used those 4 years to work at 2 different convenient stores, maybe even get promotions to see other parts of the business, you would then essentially have someone paying you to study their business and this would be much more valuable then an accounting degree when it comes time to starting your convenience store. Matt Kurz(CareerVillage)
+25 Karma if successful
From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you

7

6 answers


1
Updated Translate

Mark’s Answer

Hi Abdul,

This is a common question. Unfortunately, there isn't any single answer to this. And I know people use the phrase "it depends" quite a lot, but in this case, it truly does.

What kind of business are you planning to start? Will it require specialized knowledge for a product or service? If so, then a major in that area might be useful, with some business courses as electives. As a "simple" example, if you are opening a bakery, it would be useful to have a good understanding of food safety and storage, baking, and chemistry (yes, chemistry). But it would also be useful to have some business classes so that you understand how to manage money, understand advertising and marketing, accounting, and perhaps even business law. Some colleges have entrepreneurship programs, which may be similar to a business degree, but focus more on starting a business as opposed to running one.

More useful than a specific major might be experience in the type of business you're interested in opening. While I am a big proponent of education, there's no substitute for seeing how things work in the real world. Get a job (part time during school or over the summer) in the line of business you're interested in starting or one somewhat similar. Get to know the types of customers for that type of business. And learn all the stuff that happens behind the scenes. What we see of most businesses as customers is the tip of the iceberg compared to what is actually going on. And often it's all the stuff we *don't* see that can make or break a business.

As for how to start a business with little to no money? It can be difficult and scary. If it's not something you can easily grow organically (meaning, you start very, very small and grow the business as it gets more popular), then you'll need to borrow. People borrow from friends and family, you may be able to get a small business loan (https://www.sba.gov), or somehow find people to invest. Perhaps a partner who puts up the funding while you bring the expertise and day to day running of the business.

Mark recommends the following next steps:

Figure out the kind of business you want to start
Find people in your community who have started similar businesses (similar can be very broad)
Talk to them about their experiences. How did they get to where they are?
Find a job in a similar company. Making pizza, writing apps, making/selling clothing, whatever your interest is.
1
1
Updated Translate

Derek’s Answer

Hello,

You don't need any formal education to be a business owner. In fact, there are many things you will learn while running a small business that you wouldn't get in a formal education setting. Example - Accounting, marketing and operations are all learned better on the job than in a classroom setting. You are forced to learn quickly and efficiently.

That said, if you are adamant in getting a degree, anything in business or finance would assist you.
1
0
Updated Translate

Gloria’s Answer

Hi abdul,

I think that you should consider a major in Business, specifically small business if you plan to be a small business owner. The other thing is consider getting a degree in what your business will do. Say you want to be an artist. You may benefit from taking your art to a higher level with college. Then you could also take businesses classes while you are getting your art degree. My point here is this - what area would you most benefit from getting a degree? The choices are to learn how to run a business or to learn how to do what you want to do really well. For some people, they turn this answer into a double major when they go to college.

Gloria
0
0
Updated Translate

Valarie’s Answer

You could start by getting an associates degree in Business Administration. While doing that possibly consider doing a part time role to learn about the industry you are hoping to work in. Ex. if you would like to start your own contracting company then maybe work at a contracting agency part-time and ask a lot of questions (it's like free training). Talk to other entrepreneurs and read books about the area of focus you are interested in. Additionally, review benchmarks with tools of an industry your are pursuing, ex. (payment tools = Square, CRM tool = mail chimp) - these things will help you run your business smoothly.
0
0
Updated Translate

Akansha’s Answer

You can major in anything that you are interested to be a business owner and start your own business. Classes can spark your interest to create new things and ideas. It is always important to have the economic and entrepreneurial mindset, however, so economics classes would be good to take.
0
0
Updated Translate

Kathy’s Answer

Abdul, I'll tackle each of your questions separately:
First, you can be a business owner with just about any degree, or no degree at all. For example, if you want to own your own landscaping or painting business, it is much more valuable to get experience doing landscaping and painting. That experience will not just teach you how to paint, how much fertilizer to apply and when, etc., it will also teach you how much time a job will take, how much materials will cost, and what your skills are worth. All of these are valuable pieces of information if you are going to own your own business and make money doing it.

If you want to own your own business in a field that requires advanced technical skills (like a trade) or advanced education or certification (like engineering, architecture, tax/accounting/financial advisor firm, attorney/law firm, road/building construction, warehousing/distribution, or employment/recruiting), it is best to get a degree in a field that aligns with the type of business you want to own. In some cases you can go straight from college to opening your own business, but often it is best to work for 3-5 years in the field you are interested in and then branch out on your own. This gives you the advantage of seeing how the company gets customers, what technology is available and needed to help the business be efficient, what your cost - salary, materials, equipment, etc - are going to be. It also has the advantage of helping you build the contacts and financial resources you will to help you get your business launched.

Which leads me to your second question about how to fund a business.
1. Use whatever resources you have to get started. This may mean having a second job while you are trying to get yourself started up, or using savings from earnings in a previously job. Even if you decide to borrow money, banks often want to see that you are willing to make an investment in yourself before they will risk giving you any of their money.
2. We've all heard stories about people who start with nothing and develop successful organizations or become millionaires. It does happen. But if this is the route you plan to take you will need to be prepared to fail first, not take no for an answer, focus on the growth and success of the business and not how much money you make. You will need to live and work leanly, learn from your mistakes quickly, and persevere in spite of all the odds against you.
3. You can borrow money either from family, a bank or on your credit card. Your ability to do this will depend on the type of business you want to start. If you are starting your own tax preparation company, for example, you can do things like start your business out of your house, buy some used furniture, and save up enough money for the tax and accounting software you'll need. If your business is equipment- or property-intensive it will be more difficult to fund that without borrowing. By leveraging what you've learned in school and your job experience you will have a better idea what you'll need to get started. Education and experience will help you build a business plan that will give you a better chance of getting a bank loan.

One final thing that I will mention is that the success of any business is based only in part by what you know and how good you are at it. Before you go out on your own, be sure your product or service is something that others will want to buy, and come up with a plan for why your customers will want to buy from you instead of someone else. These are really the keys to having a successful business of your own.

Best of luck.
0