Jump-Start Your Start-Up Savvy

blackbusinessownerSuccessful business owners need a range of skills to start and manage their ventures. Traditionally, self-starters with a dream have turned to M.B.A. programs to gain financial, management and entrepreneurial skills. For many, that’s the right decision, but an alternative to traditional business school has been cropping up around the country.

New programs aimed at people who want to launch start-ups offer approaches that can take less time and money than M.B.A. programs. Students can select from a menu of courses such as writing a business plan or product design. Many of the programs are offered by private corporations, some are online, and some are rapid start-up programs provided by traditional universities.

Why choose a rapid program instead of a business school? It’s an individual decision, but one reason is funds. Every M.B.A. program and start-up school differs, but a shorter, custom-designed course can be less expensive. Short courses also take less time and you often can take them after work hours, which means you can keep earning money for your start-up while attending courses or learning online.

Before choosing a business start-up program, learn as much as you can about its curriculum and success rate. Although the M.B.A. pedigree might mean less when gathering support for your start-up than it once did, M.B.A. programs undergo rigorous accreditation, and start-up schools do not.

Assess your skills and determine where you already have what it takes and where you need the most help; this might help you select the best program for your needs and the best courses to take. You can go to our web site ( )and review the Big Three Success Factors for all self-starters) as a first step.