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niftby
29-10-2004, 09:05 AM
Hello,

Just a general question about qualifications. I've got some business ideas that have been floating around in my head for some time now and thought that the best way to get started would be to sign up for a college course. I've signed up for a HNC in Business/Management but so far I've been unimpressed.

I wanted to learn about things like businsess plans, balance sheets, that sort of thing, i.e. the practical side of setting up and running a business. All I've learnt so far is a lot of theory about organisational structure, high level marketing etc which will be nice if (when!) my business is a multi-million pound business but not much use to me now.

My questions are - is it really that important to get qualified first or can you wing/learn it as you go along? I've got all the recommended books, i.e. LloydsTSB Business Startup book plus the books I've bought for the college course. If you think it is important to be qualified, can you recommend a course I can take?

TicketMan
29-10-2004, 09:42 AM
Hi,

From my personal experience I would not count on the qualification aiding your business idea. Reading up, speaking to different advisors and generally participating in forums (such as this one!) are just as useful.

I went to uni and got a degree in a totally unrelated subject but decided I longed to develop my own business. I just read (alot!!!) spoke to people and generally learnt as I went.

Hope this helps

Richard

..DN..
29-10-2004, 10:14 AM
Hi,
I think it depends on what your business idea is.
Like Ticketman I did a degree (actually graduated 2nd tp of the class) but then decided that I wanted to do my own business in a totally different area so went back and did a masters in subject more closley related.

I think uni/collage can give you some great experience that should help you with your business (timeplanning etc), but then again no point in being there if you mind is else where.

Some unis/collages have schemes where they help you with your business idea offering extra subjects/training/support etc.

I agree with you though that a lot of business courses are geared towards careers in large businesses and so might not be so relevant when you are starting out.

LisaB
29-10-2004, 10:16 AM
I have a BA (Hons) Business Studies Degree, and to be honest, I've learnt more practically in the last 6 months of starting our own businesses, than I did in the 3 years studying!

The degree is fine learning about the theory, but realistically when will you use it? I'm not saying my degree is a bad thing by any measures, because at least it taught me issues such as time management, presentation skills etc. I found that my Business Studies A level taught me enough to know the basics of business, it gives you a brief outline into management, accounting, economics, and marketing.

But everything is life is trial and error, you learn by your own mistakes and experiences! Knowing how to write a good essay, doesn't mean you will be able to do it in 'real life'.

I honestly wish that I had left after my A levels and went straight into starting our own businesses ... at least then I wouldn't have a student loan to pay off!

natalieg
29-10-2004, 06:43 PM
I would recommend the courses run by business link and the inland revenue, they focus on specific things that are relevent to starting a business. Hope this helps

alastair@a3uk
29-10-2004, 08:29 PM
Just to add my agreement to the general consensus here.. I've got a first-class degree in business management, and a postgraduate diploma in law. I had a great time at uni, I met many of my best friends there, and it taught me loads about the world. I would recommend it to anybody.

But, if you actually want to know how to run a business in practice, no course will ever teach you the experience you get from simply doing it yourself, asking questions from people who've been there before (like on this forum), or through business link. As you've already found out, Uni courses are fairly high-level/theoretical and will rarely be specific enough for you to learn things you can apply in your own business.

Whizzergo
29-10-2004, 11:49 PM
Originally posted by LisaB
I have a BA (Hons) Business Studies Degree, and to be honest, I've learnt more practically in the last 6 months of starting our own businesses, than I did in the 3 years studying!

The degree is fine learning about the theory, but realistically when will you use it? I'm not saying my degree is a bad thing by any measures, because at least it taught me issues such as time management, presentation skills etc. I found that my Business Studies A level taught me enough to know the basics of business, it gives you a brief outline into management, accounting, economics, and marketing.

But everything is life is trial and error, you learn by your own mistakes and experiences! Knowing how to write a good essay, doesn't mean you will be able to do it in 'real life'.

I honestly wish that I had left after my A levels and went straight into starting our own businesses ... at least then I wouldn't have a student loan to pay off!

I think i am in a very similiar boat to you Fraser, but i don't think that further education into college and university will be beneficial when compared to the 5 extra years it will take to complete.

I have just decided to leave college after a month of studying and am going to take my a-levels directly through the exam board because accounting, business and economics syllabus's all seem very easy.

To be honest i think that practical education is the best form, and if you have a real willingness to learn then you will, its natural, just seeing things on TV, reading articles and taking the risk.