There is more to the business world than what you learn in school. Even if you attend some of the best universities or colleges in the world, there are some realities about a business that you can’t learn in school.
If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you must look beyond your classroom lessons. You must be street smart and listen to people who started the journey before you.
For instance, business schools will teach you how to negotiate and communicate. They will teach you the foundation of finance, economics, and law. But no institution can teach you the lessons you will learn from failures and experience.
So, here are some of the things you won’t learn about business in school;
Businesses Are Sometimes Scrappy
One of the realities about businesses is that they are sometimes scrappy. Of course, in school, you learned that you need a plan. You need funding. And you need to make the best out of the resources you have available before you start a business, etc.
But in reality, most of the most successful businesses around the world started very scrappily. Most times, they didn’t have a plan and may not even stick to the original idea.
Amazon, for instance, started in the garage of Bezos’ rented apartment. And the company started as an online bookstore in July 1995. Today, it has become the largest eCommerce platform in the world.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying all the stuff you learn about business in school isn’t true. Of course, they are true and still very relevant in today’s business world. But starting a business is not as rosy as it sounds in textbooks.
As an entrepreneur, your success depends on how scrappy you are, your ability to make the best out of your resources, and the tools at your disposal.
And before you get the funding, staff, and the resources you think you need, it’s crucial to test the market. You can launch a less viable product to test the market. The response you get will determine whether to activate other plans.
A Business Plan Isn’t the Most Important Thing to Do Before You Start a Business
I know this will possibly go against everything they teach you in school. But it’s one of the realities about businesses that you can only learn in the field.
Contrary to popular belief, too much planning could affect your business negatively. A lot has changed in the business world lately.
For instance, in school, we learned that it’s important to adjust based on how our potential customers perceive, use, and buy our products. But that’s not what we learn in the business world.
In reality, customers don’t even know what they want. It’s your responsibility as a marketer to identify their problems and develop products that provide solutions to these problems.
Once you discover an idea, put it to action immediately. You don’t have to go through the process of creating a business plan. Execute your ideas immediately, and if there’s a positive response from your target audience, you can now create a business plan.
From experience, spending too much time on planning before execution is nothing but procrastination.
Marketing in the 21st Century
Marketing in the 21st century is one of the realities about businesses you won’t learn in school. Marketing classes in some universities around the world are not current with the trends. They are still teaching concepts that don’t fit in with the digital age.
Do you know that most institutions don’t teach digital marketing in their marketing classes? I know it may sound surprising, but it’s the truth. I have met a first-class graduate of marketing who doesn’t know a thing about digital marketing.
So, try to learn more about digital marketing and how you can apply it to your business. Learn more about pay per click advertising, search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing, social media marketing, copywriting, etc.
There’s no way business school will teach you how to create a Facebook ad. You can only learn it in the field.
How to Be Creative
Creativity is something entrepreneurs take seriously. It’s what helps them come up with great ideas and offer solutions to problems.
But nobody will teach you creativity in school. All you will learn are systems, set rules, and parameters you will work within as an entrepreneur.
However, creativity comes in when you decide to do things differently. When you look beyond the parameters and think outside the box, you will develop better solutions.
Whenever you see a successful brand and a result-oriented marketing campaign, there’s always a lot of creativity behind it.
Generally, business schools want their students to be successful entrepreneurs afterward. That’s why you will learn more about risk-averse than risk-taking.
All the programs you underwent in schools were designed to make you work within a set of rules. And that’s contrary to being an entrepreneur and running a business.
Once you decide to become a business owner, you must be ready to take risks. Sometimes, you may even fail, but it’s part of your learning process.
So, if you really want to be a successful entrepreneur, you must take failure as a way of learning. And when you fail severely, don’t give up. Keep trying until you finally succeed.
The world of business is all about the survival of the fittest. Never give up on the slightest obstacle or challenges you encounter. Always motivate yourself to keep trying until you get it right.
You see, these are realities about businesses you won’t learn elsewhere except in the field. While it’s good to take what you learned in school seriously, be open to learning new things.