We are currently experiencing a wave of start-ups. According to the economic survey, India saw the establishment of 14,000 new start-ups in 2021. This alone gives us an idea that businesses are growing day by day and now have a broader scope with online platforms.
Starting a business can be a tiresome task wherein you need to develop specific abilities to run the business. Now, understanding what a business is and running a business are two polar opposite notions. Can you start a business without a degree or is it essential to have a business degree to start a profitable business?
It is often believed that to start a business you need to either come from a business legacy, a great business plan or you need to have a business degree hung on your cabin wall. Now the question is, can you start a business without a degree?
It can be certainly said that attaining knowledge with the right college education is the primary step towards your aspiration. However, you cannot limit the knowledge base to a structural guide provided by an institute or degree course because all successful entrepreneurs are self-taught and many of them have even skipped higher education.
Skills like decision making, leaping for risk, collaboration and leadership can only be enhanced and practiced over time. Skills like these are an integral part of the consideration when seeking to start a business.
With theoretical learning, you may know the meaning of these words but it is the application of these terms that makes a student and entrepreneur.
If you are looking forward to creating an opportunity for the same you are at the right place. We are here to discuss the various skills and strategies on how to succeed in business without a degree.
Let’s dive right into it!
Building your first business is not just coming up with a product or service and selling it in the market. Business is a broader perspective of market strategy and economics. Business success depends on how you market the product and what kind of vision the business owner has.
While these terms can be a little heavy to take for a budding entrepreneur, the easy explanation is; to start a business you need to conduct market research, find profitable niches, and understand how the supply chain works. What product can you introduce in the market which is in scarcity or can help the consumers in their daily routine?
Skills help you to sculpt the clay of ideas. They are the practical approach for what can you do to start and enhance your venture. These are majorly soft skills, as in, they are core skills for all desirable professions such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and more.
The suggestions that we will be providing ahead are subjective to every individual. Hence, every business idea is original even when inspired by another businessman.
We will be discussing a few skill sets an aspiring businessperson can polish and nurture while debunking the thought of can start a business without a degree.
Not only in business but everywhere strategic planning is the fundamental step, to begin with, an idea or thought. Planning is not just what you aim for and what you want, it is focusing on each and every nitty-gritty of the concept.
The ones that should be focused on the most are the objectives and agendas of your business.
For instance, if you are to start a business in apparel, you need to determine your target audience, your section of apparel, the quality, and type of the fabric, the pricing, the establishment – if online or retail, and much more.
Upon planning the entirety of the project, you can start the segmentation of other business sections and departments.
Any business venture works on the system of producing and selling products/services. In order to create these products, the businessperson needs to understand the concept of supply and demand, warehousing, and storage.
The knowledge about this system helps in increasing the efficiency of product manufacturing. For instance, if you know the demand for the product is going to rise you can schedule more of your products to be created and store them. When the demand rises in the market you can sell out instantly. This does not apply to your perishable items.
For perishable items, it is important that the business person knows about the concept of shelf-life and the product’s expiration to handle its supply chain.
Building communication skills is one of the most important skills set to nurture. This skill cannot only help you gain and maintain relations with more clients but also with your employees.
You need to be aware of the fact that your business is the structure of a building and your employees are the foundation. Hence, you need to enhance your communication skills to maintain a friendly and cordial relationship with your employees.
Communication skills also help in cracking deals and difficult clients. Sometimes you may want your client to co-operate a little more with the resources and to do so, you need to have the convincing communication skills to benefit out of that conversation.
It goes without saying that management is the skill that makes an entrepreneur a complete package. Business expansion and growth are achieved because of the various teams that work on production, marketing, HR, and more. It is important for the businessperson to manage all these teams and keep a tab on the business activities.
Management also refers to the skill set that either builds or breaks your business ambitions. As mentioned before, communication with employees and clients is vital and management comes under the same umbrella.
Managing business activities and operations is a role of a multitasker that should be considered when becoming a businessperson.
We have covered the skill sets an entrepreneur should meticulously work on but now we will be talking about the business understanding of an individual wanting to establish a venture. Business acumen, generally speaking, is the business sense which cannot be taught but only expanded from research and on-hand experiences.
The term business sense can be associated with how the businessperson is studying the market which is a subjective notion. For instance, if someone is coming from an affluent background they might settle on a higher price for a product that for the general public is luxury. This is where the entrepreneur needs to study the market and then take decisions.
While the skill sets we spoke about before are theoretical and have an inclination towards business management, business acumen is purely the origination of an idea by understanding the gap in the market.
We will now discuss this concept further in detail where we can take the different perspectives on business to start without a degree.
We have mentioned this skill set multiple times already and that is because it is the most important aspect of starting any business because you need more attention in this noisy world. As the name suggests, market research is an in-depth approach to understanding the different criteria of the market. Here, by market, we refer to customer behavior and their notions on businesses.
On basis of this information you can decide the format of your business whether it is retail or can you start a business without money just on the reliance on online platforms and forums where you can provide services like consultancy.
Before the inception of an idea or the start of a business following agendas should be taken into consideration;
Demand and Supply
Demand and supply is the theory of understanding what the consumer is demanding and how as a business you can supply that commodity. For instance, if there is a scarcity of affordable yet high-quality earphones, you need to come up with a solution for this quest and fill the gap in the market. This is exactly how the electronic sensation, Boat captured the market.
They analyzed that there are only extremes for this commodity either a high-end branded earphone and mobile accessory or a local and feeble brand. With that research, they created a product that could give the consumer high-end quality at a lower rate.
The concept of demand and supply is the core understanding approach to starting a business irrespective of if you have a degree or not.
Now that you know what cause or gap you want to work on, it is important to break even the pricing. To gain consumer trust and attraction, it is vital that you decide on a product price that sells.
You can definitely not have a higher price but having a lower price can cost you your profits.
So how can you break even?
Research the price your competitors are offering and then decide a price to attract the consumers.
This goes without saying that you need to analyze the strategies of your competitors and try to find innovative insights on how you can perform better. It can be the quality of your product, the pricing, the utility of the place, among others.
Here we have covered a few of the attributes to look for when conducting market research. This information strengthens the motive of your business and can help in developing new angles.
As a budding entrepreneur and market researcher, it is imperative that you build relations with the people in the business. Networking is an attribute that paves the path to the success of your business.
Networks help in getting an insight into the internal conflicts and deficits of the market which can help you build your brand better. For instance, befriending an employee or worker in the business or market can help you gain information on business analytics.
Connections with vendors and outsourcing workers help in optimizing the business model and also create a higher probability of quality work. Hence, creating connections is a very important aspect of building a business.
Marketing is a broader concept of advertising and maintaining public relations for your business. The nature of marketing is debatable, as it can be considered a skill and also a business acumen element. Here, we are considering the business sense notion.
Marketing is the process of establishing your business in the consumer forum. Showcasing your strengths and highlighting your features is how you can create a place in the market. This is where an entrepreneur, on the basis of their research, creates campaigns where you the public can relate to the brand and the product. You also need to keep up with the trending mediums of advertising and marketing.
Marketing gives your business a well-structured public image. This skill can be enhanced by studying other company campaigns and business strategies.
With the above concepts and skills, the answer to can you start a business without a degree is clear. Business is all about creating opportunities and utilizing your skills to the optimum. These skills can always be enhanced and expanded with experience.
Is A Business Degree Helpful?
We have been discussing on can you start a business without a degree but how efficient or helpful is a business degree. The skills that we have discussed in our ‘ Skill Sets’ are by and large a primary aspect of a business course. You get a unified and structured means to understand what a business is which if done by self-study can be clustered and chaotic.
Information on the internet is layered and can be tiresome to obtain as you need to research in-depth whereas a business course gives you case studies and reference to attain knowledge. This is the fundamental aspect of a degree. However, as we mentioned before, learning the meaning of a word and applying that skill in practice are two different things but the degree can give you a foundation to start from.
All business degree courses focus on the core modules that are;
- Business Management
- Business Communication
With these, they offer specialization in a particular department of business. Now not everyone will be willing to start a business. Hence, these specializations help you in understanding your forte.
Some of these specializations are;
- Human Resources (HR)
- International Business
After procuring your set of skills, you can widen your horizon as a business school student. With a degree, there is no doubt that you will have the advantage of being familiarised with the theories, business acumen, planning, and more. Self-study may take time but you will have hands-on experience in the business which comparatively builds your business sense.
With the understanding of what business is with and without a degree, we can finally answer the can you start a business without a degree question.
Now the choice is of the entrepreneur because we have had many examples of businesspersons such as Daniel Ek (Co-founder, Spotify), Henry Ford (Founder, Ford Motor Company), Ritesh Agarwal (Founder, OYO), among many others who have created a brand without attending college or attaining a degree.
What should I major in if I want to start my own business and have my own company?
If you plan to start your own business, the best choice is Entrepreneurship and the best alternative is Business Management or Operations. These three departments deal with core business analytics, planning, and organizing.
Can you go into business without a business degree or college degree?
Yes, business is all about knowing what your consumers are seeking and giving them that commodity at the best price with high-end quality.
Can you start a business without a high school diploma?
Yes, starting a business at any given age or education is acceptable but the important element is understanding what business is and utilizing your skills to expand it and grow in profits.