Many of you know this, but for those of you that don’t, I have a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. I didn’t go straight out of undergraduate school because at that time, I was still focused on ministry. I also didn’t much see the point in getting a Master’s Degree when I had been an entrepreneur for many, many years. But, as I always say, “you don’t know what you don’t know.” Looking back, I learned some of the most valuable lessons in business from getting my MBA. In today’s blog post, I wanted to share that wisdom with you.
What I Learned from Getting my MBA
1. How to Make Difficult Decisions
My personality is very entrepreneurial. I am a creative person, and I used to lean heavier on other people to make difficult decisions in my business. While I do agree that it’s important to consult your executive level leadership as well as your board, at the end of the day, the buck has to stop with you. If I am attaching my name and my reputation to a decision, I better get it right. Here’s some tips I learned:
- examine the numbers. If your marketing strategy is costing you more money than it’s making you, is it worth keeping? This keeps the personal feelings out of the decision.
- do a pro-con list. I know, we all learned this in middle school, which is why most of us don’t take it seriously as a decision-making tool. But it is, so use it!
- ask the experts. If you have a large company, it’s likely that you’ll have different subject matter experts for different departments. I encourage you to bring them into the conversation, but remember, the buck stops with you.
- set a deadline. By giving yourself a firm deadline for when you have to make a decision, you will stop procrastinating it.
2. How to Organize Your Organization
In all of my businesses now, I use an organizational chart religiously. I used to think that you set a person up as a manager and the rest of your team follows them. I learned from my MBA, however, that you have to make explicitly clear the lines of authority and the exact descriptions of each job. That way, you have fewer personnel problems surrounding who has authority to make what decisions. You can read more about how to create a chart for your organization here.
3. Standardize Policies and Procedures
If you don’t have standard policies and procedures in place, your business will become chaotic very quickly. At WealthBuilders, we have policies relating to social media and marketing as well as standard procedures for every event we host. Why is this? Because it takes the guesswork out of most situations! Everyone will respond and act in a way that is agreed upon, which means things run more smoothly every time. I learned from my MBA that policies and procedures allow your staff to make the best decisions even if you are unavailable. Trust me, if you don’t have standard policies and procedures, you need to draft some!
If you have an MBA, what were the most important lessons you took away from it?
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