Is MBA really necesarry to start/ own a business?

Thread Starter

ashokraj

Joined Feb 1, 2018
79
I am currently an Embedded systems engineer with 2+ years of experience and Masters in Computer engineering. In future, Probably after 5 to 10 years I wanted to start my own company in the domain of electronics. But I dont want to do Marketing/ Sales.
I have seen people who are successful in business even without an MBA.
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
9,321
As you've said, many successful business have been started by people without MBA's. It's the idea that's more important.

However, someone always looking at financial details can make for a smoother launch and prevent a business from being run into the ground.
 

BobaMosfet

Joined Jul 1, 2009
883
I would consider at least a Bachelor's. Look at the curriculum for both. Getting direction education in Business Administration can provide pivotal skills that will keep you afloat where otherwise you might flounder or make a wrong decision.

If you don't have some education in business and finance, it can make it very difficult to be taken seriously by investors, or anyone you might borrow or get capital from because you won't even be able to talk their language per se.
 

Thread Starter

ashokraj

Joined Feb 1, 2018
79
hi ash,
What sort of company size do you have in mind?
Staffing levels and turnover.?
E
I wanted to start small in India. I wanted to enter the market with a new electronic product and idea combined together.

To start with probably with 10 to 20 people in which some of them should have Associates and very few of them should have Bachelors in Electrical/ Electronics and with new electronic products and market demand growing the company.
 

wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
16,125
There are many detailed tasks needed to efficiently run a company successfully. Having people with the right expertise to perform those skills helps ensure success.

But it’s rare for a small company to cover all the bases. They can’t afford legal counsel, marketing departments, R&D labs and so on. The ones that succeed often do so in spite of inefficiency, because they have a great product that “sells itself “. They can take shortcuts on all that other stuff.

My advice is to get very close to customers. As long as you fulfill their needs, you’ll have a chance.
 

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
8,318
An MBA is most useful to someone in production/engineering who wants to advance within a company. There are even "Executive MBA's" to facilitate that. An MBA is not necessary to start your own company; however, you do have to have a good plan, aka "business plan," and foresight. A plan to "make something and sell it" is not a business plan.
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
9,321
Employees in a small company need to be able to wear multiple hats.

I worked in a semiconductor manufacturing startup. When it had several dozen employees, I did the jobs of several people. I managed the computer systems, did training for CAD, did layout verification, did tapeouts, and negotiated contracts with the mask shop. My real expertise was in systems management.

The company grew to several hundred people and went out of business. The president had an MBA and was the son of the chairman. All he cared about was counting beans and he ran the company into the ground because he always opted to save money. We bought two steppers. The one we had installed never worked right. The other one could never work well enough to be shipped from the manufacturer. They thought they were saving a few million dollars. In the end, they had to scrap both and buy good steppers.

Long story short, the company was mismanaged pretty much from top to bottom and they went out of business. But not before they had invested in a 3 story building; that they built from scratch. They eventually sold their building to Intel who was next door.
 

ericgibbs

Joined Jan 29, 2010
9,067
hi ash,
Which of the 10 to 20 people will do the actual assembly.?

I hope you do not mind me saying this, but you will have to more detailed in your answers, especially when dealing with Banks and Financial backers.

E
 

Thread Starter

ashokraj

Joined Feb 1, 2018
79
hi ash,
Which of the 10 to 20 people will do the actual assembly.?

I hope you do not mind me saying this, but you will have to more detailed in your answers, especially when dealing with Banks and Financial backers.

E
Errics, I definitely don't mind saying any details. Your expertise is important for me. In my network, I do not have any person who neither kept the business nor interested in keeping a business. So feel free to ask me any questions.
After working for 2 years, i realize i do not want to do the same stuff for the rest of my life. Being said, I love the profession I am in but I wanted to have something on my own.
I will make the technicians do any kind of assembly with associates degree. I will do the design of the software and will probably have hardware from outsourcing.
I will order the PCB's either from India or China, Who so ever offers a cheaper price.
Because of the plastic part around PCB I will intitally outsource this design and if customer demand increases will hire people who has the background of hardware, mechanical CAD designs. I wanted to start small and grow big becuase I am with an impression that risk is less if the investment is less.
 

ericgibbs

Joined Jan 29, 2010
9,067
hi,
I was concerned when you said starting with10 to 20 people, many with good qualifications, your wage bill would be excessive.
As you may know the chances of making a profit within the first 1 to 2 years will be low.
E
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
9,321
I wanted to start small and grow big becuase I am with an impression that risk is less if the investment is less.
You'll need a good business plan, good people, and enough cash reserves to tide you over until you can reach profitability.

To attract good people to a startup, you either need to offer high salaries or decent salaries and some company ownership. Otherwise, people will tend to make less risky job choices.

The number one requirement is that you have a compelling product that differentiates you from others. If you don't have that, it'll be a bumpy road.
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
19,729
I believe you need three individuals to run a company:

1) technical - engineer - product design
2) marketing - sales
3) financial

It is difficult and not ideal to have one person wear all three hats.

How do you keep the company alive successfully?
Keep on moving. You have to know what your next three products will be at every stage in life of the company.
 

Thread Starter

ashokraj

Joined Feb 1, 2018
79
I believe you need three individuals to run a company:

1) technical - engineer - product design
2) marketing - sales
3) financial

It is difficult and not ideal to have one person wear all three hats.

How do you keep the company alive successfully?
Keep on moving. You have to know what your next three products will be at every stage in life of the company.
I will keep your points in consideration Mr. Chips
 

JoeJester

Joined Apr 26, 2005
4,126
Does India have the equivalent of the Small Business Administration? About 60% of the startups fail within the first three years.

There is plenty of information at the U.S. Small Business Administration to help you build a business plan and recordkeeping. The IRS has info on recordkeeping. I know all of this info is specific to the U.S. but there are commonalities between all basic business operations. You might glean some info from that if you have no resources in India.

It's better to do some homework in the "starting a business" arena.
 

wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
16,125
I believe you need three individuals to run a company:

1) technical - engineer - product design
2) marketing - sales
3) financial

It is difficult and not ideal to have one person wear all three hats.
I don't disagree and for the TS I'm pretty sure this is all true, but different types of companies have very different needs. Most companies don't need a lawyer on staff, for instance, and can contract out some of their service needs. Other companies absolutely have to have these functions in-house. Point: You have in-house the functions that are critical to meeting the needs of your market. It's usually good to out-source the rest.

How do you keep the company alive successfully?
Keep on moving.
Sooooo true. One of my business professors was the ex-CEO of a big chemical company. He loved to set up a case of a successful product line and lull all the unsuspecting students into agreeing that the best strategy was "if it's not broke, don't fix it". Then he would lower the boom and pound into all of us that standing still is death. What's the expression? Something like, "You may be on the right track, but if you're not moving you'll still get run over by the next train".
 

Glenn Holland

Joined Dec 26, 2014
681
I used to work for an elevator company (as an employee and not an owner) and I'm familiar with the allure of mechanics and technicians starting their own service and maintenance business. But there are a lot of pitfalls waiting to trap a novice entrepreneur.

Most small technical businesses don't require the knowledge of an MBA, however, it is essential to know the basics of running a simple business. In addition to the hands on tasks, there's a lot of administrative stuff (like accounting) which can add up to several hours of paperwork per day.
 

WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
24,970
I am currently an Embedded systems engineer with 2+ years of experience and Masters in Computer engineering. In future, Probably after 5 to 10 years I wanted to start my own company in the domain of electronics. But I dont want to do Marketing/ Sales.
I have seen people who are successful in business even without an MBA.
You've answered your own question -- if you have seen people who are successful in business even without an MBA, then isn't the answer to the question, "Is MBA really necessary to start your own business," obvious?

If you want to start your own business in 5 to 10 years, then make a point of spending the next 5 to 10 years learning how to start and run a business. You can get a lot of that from just paying attention to how the people that run the company you work for run it -- observe both the good things and the bad things that they do and learn from them. Pay particular attention to the little details. How do they treat employees? How to they treat customers? What are the budget items that they care about? What do they do for marketing? Learn as much as you can about "best practices" from people that are doing it well. Read as many books as you can about starting and running a small business. If you find that you don't like doing that, then perhaps the whole thing isn't something that you are cut out for.

One the biggest suggestions I would offer is to avoid a very common fatal mistake among people that start up a business -- they assume that the entire world is going to want to buy their product just because it's a product that they think the entire work should want to buy. Try to identify an existing niche in the market that is currently under served -- don't think that you are going to be able to create a new niche that doesn't currently exist today. Yes, it happens, but very rarely and the list of companies that failed and ruined the people that tried to go that route is far, far longer.

Also, don't go into debt to start your business. Most new businesses fail and, in part, that's because most business starters insist on borrowing money to start the business and thus don't have any breathing room from day one. You have five to ten years to save up the money needed to start your business. If you can't start it with that kind of lead time to save the start up funds, then it's a sign you aren't that serious about it in the first place. Also, by using money that you have worked for and saved you will take an entirely different view when it comes time to spending it on the start up and you will generally make much better decisions than you would if you were using someone else's money.
 
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