I must have missed the class where they taught you how to hire an employee, or collect sales tax, or register to be an official LLC, or look professional when invoicing a customer, or “fill in the blank”. There are just so many things that are necessary to know (or figure out in my case) when starting a business that aren’t covered in any courses offered at most universities.
It is no wonder so few people pursue entrepreneurship. The paperwork alone is tough to manage without hiring a lawyer, an accountant, and a business consultant to help you out. Unfortunately, most people don’t have the budget to afford such luxuries. They are left to do exactly what I am doing, struggle through the processes themselves (I would like to note that I do have several friends and family members who have been tremendous help along the way). I consider myself to be a smart person, and some of this stuff is kicking my butt. There are just so many things to do and so many steps involved in each thing that it is easy to become overwhelmed. It is quite a deterrent really.
Throughout the past few months I have learned so much about running a business. It has really made me start to think about how valuable an entrepreneurship program could be. I’m talking about a program that focuses on all the important and unimportant things that are necessary to know when running a business. A program that prepares you to do everything from developing a business concept all the way to collecting checks from the customer. This program would teach you how to apply for a tax id number and then hire an employee. It would teach you how to connect with clients, write a proposal, develop a statement of work, and then invoice the client. Heck, the program would require you to start your own business, assisting you with all the irritating bureaucratic annoyances that you have to deal with you along the way.
I know some universities offer an entrepreneurship program, but most universities don’t. UK is one that doesn’t. UK offers plenty of business courses, but none of them are focused on entrepreneurs. UK also offers an MBA program, but it mostly focuses on theory and management. It doesn’t teach you applicable concepts and skills that are necessary to start and then run a business. Maybe after I am a successful entrepreneur for a while, I will start an entrepreneurship program at UK. Now that would be fun, teaching motivated students how to grow their awesome ideas into something of value.