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Conventional wisdom asserts that if running a small business was easy, everyone would be doing it. At this point in economic history, it might seem like everyone has some kind of gig, side hustle or hobby they call a small business, but the proportion of that group actually earning a real living from their companies is much smaller than one might expect.

The overwhelming cause of small business failure isn’t necessarily a bad product, idea or a lack of effort. In many cases, it comes down to the fact that the business owner, founder or executives don’t have the competencies they need to perform critical tasks. It is easy for ambitious people to believe they can do anything with enough effort and determination. Again, if it were this easy there would be no need for schools.

If you are planning on starting your own business and being an entrepreneur, there are some things you can do that will dramatically increase your chances of success, and all of them revolve around preparatory education.



If you don’t know the financial state of your business, you’re on the express train to bankruptcy. All of the decisions you make regarding your company are entirely dependent on how those decisions will affect your finances, your tax situation, your ability to manufacture and ship future products, and anything else your company requires money to do.

A basic accounting course is something every school should require, but in the absence of a mandatory curriculum, before you try to start a business, you have to understand the language, and that means a college-level course taught by an instructor with practical experience and the credentials to match.



As an entrepreneur, your entire business life will revolve around the written word. You will spend a huge amount of time writing proposals, letters, business plans, product pitches, scripts, books, documentation and all manner of other important documents. If you can’t express yourself well in writing, your chances of advancing your business decrease considerably.

Failing getting the education and skills on your own, you should acquire a partner or a trusted assistant who can fill this role for you. It simply isn’t possible to advance a business if you can’t communicate persuasively in writing.



While some might recommend a debate or public speaking course, the better choice is a course in rhetoric. A solid understanding of this subject will allow you to express ideas in a manner that inspires others and assuages their concerns about unfamiliar ideas. This skill is key, especially in any capacity where you are trying to advance technology.


As with any vocation, education is the foundation of any kind of success. Being well-read, looking for opportunities to study other people’s success and continual improvement are very often the results of a quality education, especially for a visionary business leader.