You don’t need formal education to succeed as an entrepreneur. However, a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) can sometimes help to put you on the fast track to business success by offering you numerous massive benefits and advantages. Let’s take a look at 4 of the most important ways earning an MBA can help you to lead your small business to breakthrough success:

Acquire an Entrepreneur’s Skill Set Fast

An entrepreneur’s skill set is multi-faceted and complex—and, contrary to popular opinion, a big part of the skill set can be learned at business school. The following are some of the skills you can expect to learn as part of your MBA program:

  • Leadership skills: Learn how to manage others and inspire them to give you their best efforts. If you plan to hire employees, you’ll need this training.
  • Business analysis: Learn how to analyze common business scenarios to determine the best way forward given the constraints of a particular situation.
  • Communication: Learn the best strategies for business communications.
  • IT mastery: Nowadays, many MBA programs give you the option to learn some IT skills, which are becoming increasingly essential for success in business.

2. Expand Your Trusted Professional Network

An entrepreneur is much likelier to succeed if s/he has a powerful professional network supporting him or her—and an enhanced network is one of the most crucial benefits of an MBA degree. Whether it comes to hiring employees, finding the best sources of supply or attracting customers, a strong network will help with every people-oriented aspect of running a business.

3. Enhance Your Understanding of Business Strategy

An MBA will empower you to learn proven success strategies from others who have succeeded in businesses like yours. You’ll have a chance to learn invaluable product launch strategies and business implementation plans. This knowledge will help you feel confident in moving forward, taking action and building your business faster than you would be able to do otherwise.

An MBA can also enable you to learn from other entrepreneurs’ failures. All successful entrepreneurs have some failures behind them, and an MBA cannot totally protect you from failure. It can, however, help you to minimize the amount of failure you must endure before you reach success.

4. Gain Clarity on How to Implement an Efficient Operational Structure

Companies like Toyota have honed their operational efficiency to a science through a long history of trial, error and improvement. You could reinvent the wheel by following your own course of trial and error—or you could learn from other entrepreneurs who have already blazed the trail.

If you’re operating a manufacturing or product-based business, you have no choice but to get up to speed fast in the area of operational efficiency—or your business will fail. An MBA can help to give you the shortcuts you need to leap over this hurdle and move forward quickly.

As you can see, all of these are valuable benefits that would be well worth acquiring. If you’re willing to put in the time it takes to get through an MBA program, the time spent is likely to pay off substantially in the form of enhanced success for your business and whatever entrepreneurial ventures you choose to pursue in the future.

Andrej Kovacevik is an accomplished digital marketing specialist and an avid internet technologist. Throughout his career, Andrej has combined his passion for cutting-edge technology with a keen eye for emerging industry trends to deliver customized marketing solutions to businesses and clients around the globe. He believes that the key to modern marketing excellence is a constant willingness to learn and adapt to the ever-changing digital world. Andrej is a contributor to a wide range of technology-focused publications, where he may be found discussing everything from neural networks and natural language processing to the latest in smart home IoT devices. If there's a new and exciting technology, there's a good chance Andrej is writing about it somewhere out there. Follow him on Twitter @andrejtl.