Being an entrepreneur is a challenge; there’s so much that you’re expected to know. Many startup business owners are experts in the product or service they provide, and they generally know about the day to day state of affairs of their business. However, business owners, including retail store owners, benefit when they upgrade their business skills. Let’s look at why retail business owners are investing in business management degrees and why more should consider pursuing one.
Every Business Needs a Good Manager
Many retail businesses started with a single expert selling their services or a creative person selling their product. They hired people and may have expanded the operation. This makes them managers.
Yet their expertise isn’t in managing the books or employees. Unfortunately, the success of the business depends on the quality of management. This is why many business owners are earning business degrees. Then they can cultivate the best in their team members and truly delegate the day to day work to someone else while focusing on what they alone can do. A side benefit of earning a business degree is that you learn how to identify and hire the right person for the job.
The key reasons retail store owners are getting business degrees are as follows:
- To become a better team leader
- To learn more about the business side of business
- To determine how to grow the business
- To successfully expand online
- To improve their brand image and marketing ROI
All of these skills help retail store owners to become more than simply great managers. They can then have a greater hand in their daily operations, and always find ways to be more efficient, whether it’s on the floor, marketing, or the supply chain.
They Recognise the Business Case for Learning More About Business
The purpose of a business is to generate a profit. You may know how to perform a service or sell a product. The problem is how many business owners know how to track the profitability of various products, manage costs and maximise profits. The business case for earning a business degree is that it teaches you how to manage your retail business more effectively. You could learn how to improve productivity without increasing costs. Note that you don’t have to quit your day job to earn a business degree. Institutions like Aston University offer online programs; you can see their course offerings at aston.ac.uk. This means business owners can study while keeping their positions and continuing to earn an income.
Being able to budget for future expenditures and accurately project sales into the future can give you peace of mind. You can save up for purchases instead of buying things on credit. This will lower acquisition costs. Being able to estimate revenue more effectively, you can plan strategically so that you don’t end up in a cash crunch during a seasonal lull. You might save money up instead of relying on a line of credit. Business process changes could improve cash management, as well. There are steps you could take to reduce returns, theft and inventory that ends up being sold at a loss.
They Know They Need This Expertise to Take It to the Next Level
Often, retail owners realise that they have serious gaps in expertise, and don’t always have the means to hire outside help. The business areas retail owners tend to need help with include:
- Financial Planning
- Human Resources
Scaling is hard, especially in retail. Perhaps you have a successful single storefront. However, you’re afraid to open a second storefront because you’re afraid you’ll be stretched thin. Or you’re already stretched thin trying to manage several stores. A business degree will teach you how to grow your business and your team without doing all that work yourself. You’ll learn how to set up middle managers so that they manage the front-line retail staff.
Sometimes the problem is that you don’t know how to grow sales. You could learn how to find complementary products that give your customers an irresistible value-added reason to buy from you. You may learn how to identify joint ventures, whether it is joint marketing or selling via someone else’s gift baskets. You’ll know how to expand your brand’s reach without much more work on your part.
They Want to Expand Online the Right Way
You may want to augment your retail sales with a web presence but have no idea how to grow in that direction. Understand how to service ecommerce customers and manage online marketing campaigns. Learn from existing business success stories so you can set up business processes to service online customers. This will minimise how much work you have to do in order to fulfil orders, whether you have it done in a side room of the retail outlet or have it handled by a third party logistics firm.
A side benefit of a business degree is that you can craft business plans for new business models, such as when you want to set up a division focused on ecommerce. You’re also prepared to assess proposals and hire contractors for the effort.
They Want to Improve Their Brand Image
Businesses are dependent on their reputation. A good brand reputation will sell itself and generate sales almost effortlessly. If you have a great product but a bad reputation for service, people will tend to go to your competition. Businesses may have a great core following but be unable to grow because no one outside of their tribe has heard of them. Many retail business owners return to school to learn how to improve their brand image. It may result in them creating a formal, cohesive brand. Or they may simply alter their marketing to better match the channels their customers use. For example, being able to determine the ROI of various forms of digital marketing means you’ll better utilise your marketing budget by only paying for online ads and shared links that result in increased sales.
Retail businesses operate on razor thin margins, and they truly profit from any improvements in cash management and efficiency. And expanding one’s knowledge base allows these businesses to grow the right way.