For most MBAs, a job in a Fortune 500 company or another corporate behemoth is the career goal. Many others settle for well-paying positions in smaller companies. A few—very few—dare to follow their dream: entrepreneurship.
Taking a risk by launching a business isn’t always the ideal solution for an MBA, but success always brings independence; it also often brings a chance to serve society, and it sometimes brings great wealth.
The trick could be to start an enterprise that is fueled by a practical idea and sustained by good management, and that doesn’t require too much capital.
In this article, the team at MBA Crystal Ball came up with some good business ideas that MBAs might find worth pursuing.
Who knows, someone may go on to become another Elon Musk (PayPal, Tesla, SpaceX), Michael Bloomberg (media/data company Bloomberg), Phil Knight (Nike), or Scot McNealy (Sun Microsystems), all entrepreneurs with MBAs.
As a bonus, we also have a section below where an entrepreneurship expert from a top business school shares some tips, to make it easier for you to select the right idea to launch your entrepreneurial journey.
Consulting is essentially an advisory business that can open up a huge number of opportunities, depending on the niche you focus on. Here are a few examples of consulting businesses you can start after an MBA.
As an MBA graduate, management consulting is a job tailor-made for you. Depending on your reputation and your educational and professional record, you will be in high demand, particularly among small and medium businesses.
Your recommendations would provide information and solutions and help them improve their performance or decision-making. No wonder then that a management consultant is often described as a “manager’s manager.”
Read these management consulting articles.
Marketing consulting is often considered a part of management consulting. Among the various areas that require this service are online marketing, social media marketing, and content marketing.
New businesspersons, particularly in the small-scale sector, may have smart ideas but not a clue about how to find the money to launch their ventures.
A business financing expert shows them the way to get funds through loans and by other means.
A crowdfunding expert knows the ways by which business ideas can bring funds from a variety of investors big and small.
They know investors who are seeking new, interesting, and viable ideas to fund and help people with startup ideas launch their ventures.
Read this related article on crowdfunding education.
Entrepreneurs often ask themselves: is my idea feasible? An MBA can find out what the business will involve and what the profits will be.
Digital marketing involves creating a persuasive marketing pitch and finding the right social media platform to spread the entrepreneur’s message, such as email, Facebook, WhatsApp, and SMS. The message should be well-crafted to move the recipient to action—that is, to buy the product.
Read more: What is digital marketing?
If you have an MBA in marketing, this business could be right up your street. Not all companies can afford to have permanent employees for advertising, especially small and medium companies, and many require the help of an advertising consultant.
If you can start an agency, you can provide a range of ad services from copywriting to field publicity.
A good SEO consultant can transform an online business by converting an unknown website relegated by search engines into a popular portal that appears on page one in search results.
But the MBA planning this business needs to have a thorough understanding of search engine optimization, ranking algorithms, analytics, and keyword research.
Green consultants show their clients how to streamline their processes so that their businesses follow environment protect norms and contribute to the Green Revolution.
Business ideas include green building consulting, solar-cell/panel business, green IT and desktop recycling, and energy-efficient electrical device business.
MBA grads from top business have gone through the grind, competed with thousands of equally (and possibly more) qualified applicants from across the world.
The knowledge of MBA programs, MBA careers, admissions process, writing MBA essays, tackling MBA interviews can be highly valuable for newbies who’re starting the process and overwhelmed with the information out there.
This is why the best admissions consultants continue to attract applicants even during an economic downturn.
Big and small companies want their new and senior employees to be trained and equipped with skills to face competition in their sector. MBAs, with their knowledge of various industrial sectors and the role of human resources, can offer training services to companies.
Corporate training is today a multi-million-dollar industry, and MBAs can offer training according to their field of expertise. However, they need to stay abreast of business trends and have talent for public speaking.
Many would-be entrepreneurs just don’t know where to start. Some join business management courses but don’t feel these programs are adequate. MBAs running business classes can impart their knowledge and basic skills to upcoming entrepreneurs, for example, how to draw up a business plan, how to source capital, how to manage the business, how to manage accounts, and how to market a product.
They can also teach the finer points of product development and business optimization. However, MBAs would need to prepare a curriculum based on what they have learned and what their students require.
Do you have experience starting a business or helping a business grow or recover? Can you write in a simple style that aspiring entrepreneurs can follow?
Then you can write a book and publish it in print or electronic form (ebook) and market it on websites such as Goodreads and Amazon.
If you are an observer of the business world and can explain trends and predict outcomes, you can write a regular blog for a website or popularize your own blog.
If you have knowledge and can write in a persuasive style, you can find hundreds or thousands of followers and be regarded as an expert in your field.
You can also explore blogging through video or podcast. Eventually, as you earn trust, your recommendations will be welcomed.
Do you have a product/product-range that you think will sell if marketed properly? Why not try to sell it through ecommerce.
The field is competitive with every other person with some entrepreneurial spirit jumping on the bandwagon, but your MBA gives you the edge. And remember that not all ecommerce ventures demand huge investments.
If you feel confident that you have the knowledge to advise people on investing in funds and buying securities, this business is for you.
If you have an MBA finance background, then you are fully equipped. But you have to follow ethics, show maturity, and act responsibly as you are dealing with other people’s money.
Another business idea for MBAs with a finance background is to start a debt management and recovery company. A debt management company negotiates with a debtor on behalf of a business so that the debtor evolves a plan to clear the loan more easily without stress.
The company can also negotiate with a business on behalf of a debtor with the same aim. Firms dealing with financial products, manufacturers, and distributors require the service. Debt management companies also have debt recovery as part of their portfolio of services.
Those who venture into business need to know the demand for their product and what people want in a new product. They also need to be aware of market trends and what their rivals are doing. A market researcher provides this crucial information.
A person planning to launch a business may have all the knowledge and skills in the field but may be a novice in finance.
A top MBA in finance grad can play the role of financial advisor who can help businesspersons navigate their way through investment, loans, interest, and taxes.
Any financial institution or investor will require a business plan from a person seeking a loan to start a business.
MBAs can prepare a business plan for new entrepreneurs that will convince a bank or an investor of the viability of the business idea and provide funds.
Starting a public relations agency should be an excellent business idea for MBAs from the marketing stream.
The job of a PR agency is to create awareness about a company and its products, and, when required, handle crises, so that the organization maintains a good image before customers and others.
MBAs with creativity and organizational, time management, and analytical skills can launch a business as event planners.
Many companies outsource the management of events such as annual general meetings, product exhibitions, and product launches to event planners so that they can focus on the business side of the event.
A logistics company offers air, rail, and road services for transportation of goods and adequate warehouses for storage.
The business, a workable idea for MBAs with knowledge of supply chain management, may require a good capital investment but can thrive with good management.
Are you a good listener? Can you offer solutions to problems faced by people?
Your knowledge and empathy can make you a good life-coach with experience in a practical world.
The spin-off: the people you help will consider you as a dependable, go-to friend.
These days companies are concerned about the well-being and good health of their employees. Many of them offer health and fitness services.
Many outsource “corporate wellness” services such as health check-up camps and yoga classes. An MBA can create a package for companies and run the business on their clients’ own premises.
We discussed the ideas given below in an earlier article (see full list – Small business ideas from home), but some are worth repeating.
This is a business that requires very little capital investment but a great deal of networking. The process of inviting applications, shortlisting candidates, conducting tests and interviews, negotiating the terms of employment, and training is tedious, and companies outsource the task to staffing agencies.
Companies buy goods and services and are looking for those that sell them. Business brokers bring these companies together and earn a commission.
MBAs with skills and knowledge in technical areas can start tutoring or coaching classes to guide students and young graduates in specialised fields. However, they need excellent communication and networking skills.
Some of the business ideas mentioned above can be run from home (for example, e-commerce, business classes, financial advisor, blog writer, and management consultant). Also, instead of launching a business afresh, new entrepreneurs can become a franchisee or purchase an existing business.
Read more here:
– Best MBA Programs for Entrepreneurship and Start-Ups
– A day in the life of an entrepreneur after MBA
– Bitcoin entrepreneur heads to elite business school (Oxford)
– Why joining a startup after MBA may be the right career move
– Best business schools for social entrepreneurship
– Are entrepreneurs born or made?
References: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9