All too often, success stories from the business world tend to focus on one of two areas. Some successful business people climb the ladder to the top by securing a qualification such as a Masters in Business Administration, or MBA, while others follow the bootstrapping route and create their businesses from the ground up.
Often these success stories do not mention that there are other routes to reaching the top of the business ladder. It is possible, for example, to achieve business degrees which aren’t as high-end as MBAs, while it’s also possible to explore other business models such as franchises if you feel you’re not quite ready or able to craft your own firm from the very start. This article will explore some of these options, and take a look at how you can make your business dreams come true.
Franchising is an interesting model which has been used with a degree of success in all sorts of industries. A franchisee does not own a business overall, but instead leases the right to operate it – and to keep an agreed percentage of the profits – from the ultimate owner for a certain amount of time. You might be surprised to learn that some major American brand names, such as McDonalds and Subway, operate largely on a franchise model.
While there are many advantages, do not forget that there are certain potential drawbacks to becoming a franchisee. You will be responsible for some of the start-up costs in most cases: you may be required to do the market research to see if the brand of the franchise will work in the proposed area, for example. You might also have to pay for renting the property. But if it pays off, franchising will grant you access to a trusted, popular brand’s customer base in return.
Pursuing an MBA is considered by many to be the gold standard when it comes to qualifying your way to business leadership. But it is far from the only degree that a successful businessperson might choose to gain and there are in fact other educational routes designed to give those who can’t afford the time, money or energy for an MBA to also rise through the ranks.
Take the Associate’s degree in business offered by Bryant and Stratton, which covers many useful areas of business life including management functions and business technology. And more broadly, there is no reason why studying for a degree in a field which isn’t on the face of it related to business might be a good idea. Taking a humanities subject such as history, for example, can provide critical thinking skills which will be advantageous for problem solving in the workplace. Degrees such as economics also provide a great way for people to learn the ins and outs of profit and loss sheets, strategy and more.
Working your way up
It’s important to remember that many businesses are meritocratic environments, which means that they – at least in theory – respond to strong performers by promoting them and rewarding them with better pay, better incentives and more. As a result, working your way up the ladder from the ground to the top is a possible route to go down – and it’s a well-trodden path which employers recognize and value when they see it.
There are countless stories out there of people who have given their all in a job and found themselves going from entry level to partner level in a few years. In order to get yourself in the best possible position to rise through the ranks, you should first ensure that you meet all the basic employee diligence tasks – such as arriving on time, putting the effort in and going the extra mile when needed. Gaining extra qualifications to enhance your continuing professional development is also a good idea, and can help you to stand out from the crowd.
Breaking into the business world is something that many dream of doing – and rising the ranks is also something that many aim for. And the traditional routes to these goals, such as taking an MBA or bootstrapping your way to a successful IPO, are not the only ones. You can also study for associate’s degrees, work your way up in an existing company or even look into innovative alternative models such as franchising. However you choose to do it, for those determined enough there will be a way to rise to the top.