Classroom Business Meets Small Business Marketing in the Real World

It’s the age-old question of where do we really learn best-in the insular environment offered by today’s classrooms or out in the school of hard knocks? As small businesses explode and everyone from high school students to retirees are catching the entrepreneurial bug, that question becomes even more relevant. Is your business degree worth the paper it’s printed on? Or are you better off learning the ins and outs of small business marketing through the power of the Internet and the school of hard knocks?

The answer you get is going to depend on who you ask, but most of the old business hands running around out there are going to tell you the same thing. A formal education doesn’t hurt, but there’s no substitute for experience.

Is that your answer? Or is it an epic non-answer? Ask yourself this: Would you take your car to a mechanic that had never received any kind of trade school degree? Of course. You do it all the time. Does that mean that degree isn’t going to give them the little extra boost they might need to diagnose a problem a little more quickly, with less trial and error? Or provide more familiarity with newer methods and technologies they might not otherwise be familiar with? Absolutely not.

The bottom line is, taking the time to go back to school for that business degree or taking those night classes in fundamental marketing may not be the only way to learn about marketing, but it is a great way to learn the fundamentals of marketing that you’re going to eventually use to build your next campaign. And because you’ll be learning from people with years of experience in the field, you’ll have the opportunity to use their experience to shape yours. So go ahead, take the plunge. Head on down and sign up for next semester’s classes. Remember, no one ever went out of business by knowing too much, but many, many companies have gone out of business from knowing too little.