Will an MBA Help You in Your Business?

Will an MBA Help You in Your Business?
Image credit: Jannis Tobias Werner / Shutterstock.com

Free Book Preview Entrepreneur Kids: All About Money

Submit your email to get a sneak peek of some of the fun, educational worksheets included in our NEW book for the little entrepreneur in your life.
Marketing Consultant
3 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

There has been much written about whether or not an entrepreneur needs an MBA to be successful in his or her business. I thought I’d share why it works for a Raleigh-based entrepreneur.

Liliana Cantrell is the founder of Sweetie Pie Organics, an organic baby snack food company. I heard about her company when one of my MBA students began an internship with her. It was not until I met her that I realized that she herself has an MBA. So, I was curious about how her MBA has helped her build her business.

Strategy.

Entrepreneurs are known for taking risks and being creative. While this is all true, Liliana said that her MBA training also helped prepare her for growth. “My MBA education helped me personally put all of the pieces together in a clear go-to-market strategy and implementation plan: from an idea in 2014 to a product approved by 450 Whole Foods stores in 2016.”

Related: Is an MBA Still Necessary?

Execution.

In addition, Liliana said that in order to gain business from large companies like Whole Foods, she had to show that she was organized and ready to execute. “Large national public companies such as Whole Foods and UNFI have a very structured business approach and low tolerance for incompliances, operational errors, and bad planning; things that smaller brands are famous for. It is not enough to have a great product anymore to do business with the big guys. Efficient operational principles not only opened a lot of doors for us and gave us a competitive advantage, but also saved us a lot of money.”

Related: To MBA or Not to MBA

Talent.

Sweetie Pie Organics is unique in that the founder and her two employees at the headquarters location are all women who all have an MBA. When I asked Liliana about this she said that she likes working with MBAs “because they are great problem solvers, fast learners, and can see the big picture.” 

Skill set.

Finally, I was curious about how her HQ employees feel that their MBA has helped them in their roles.  Olga Kerr, the CMO, mentioned that her MBA has provided her “with the crucial experience and set of skills that help to assess and resolve any situation or problem no matter how challenging it might be. The marketing field is evolving so fast that to know how to adapt and learn new things effectively can be a great advantage in this industry. My MBA grad, Swati Sar, is now the e-commerce lead for Sweetie Pie Organics. For Swati: “My MBA education helped me link my IT experience to market research, understand competitive landscape, propose, and implement a strategy to grow e-commerce for Sweetie Pie Organics.”

Related: The MBA Debate: Is Management Savvy Impacted By Executive Education?

While it may not be for everyone, an MBA degree certainly has proven to be worthwhile for these entrepreneurial women.

More from Entrepreneur
Our Franchise Advisors are here to help you throughout the entire process of building your franchise organization!
  1. Schedule a FREE one-on-one session with a Franchise Advisor
  2. Choose one of our programs that matches your needs, budget, and timeline
  3. Launch your new franchise organization
Make sure you’re covered if an employee gets injured at work by
  • Providing us with basic information about your business
  • Verifying details about your business with one of our specialists
  • Speaking with an agent who is specifically suited to insure your business
Try a risk-free trial of Entrepreneur’s BIZ PLANNING PLUS powered by LivePlan for 60 days:
  • Get step-by-step guidance for writing your plan
  • Gain inspiration from 500+ sample plans
  • Utilize business and legal templates
  • And much more

Latest on Entrepreneur