Will an MBA Assistance You in Your Business?

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Source:   —  April 22, 2016, at 4:05 PM

I thought I’d share why it works for a Raleigh-based entrepreneur. Liliana Cantrell is the founder of Sweetie Pie Organics, an biological baby snack food company.

There has been much written about whether or not an entrepreneur needs an MBA to be successful in his or her business. I thought I’d share why it works for a Raleigh-based entrepreneur.

Liliana Cantrell is the founder of Sweetie Pie Organics, an biological baby snack food company. I heard about her company when one of my MBA students began an internship with her. It wasn't until I met her that I realized that she herself has an MBA. So, I was curious about how her MBA has helped her construct her business.

Strategy.

Entrepreneurs are known for taking risks and being creative. While this is all true, Liliana said that her MBA training also helped prepare her for growth. “My MBA education helped me personally keep all of the pieces together in a clear go-to-market strategy and implementation plan: from an idea in two thousand-fourteenth to a product approved by four hundred fifty Whole Foods stores in 2016.”

Execution.

In addition, Liliana said that in order to gain business from large companies love Whole Foods, she'd to indicate that she was organized and prepared to execute. “Large national public companies such as Whole Foods and UNFI have a very structured business approach and low tolerance for incompliances, operational errors, and horrible planning; things that smaller brands are well-known for. It's not sufficient to have a grand product anymore to do business with the huge guys. Efficient operational principles not only opened a lot of doors for us and gave us a competitive advantage, but also saved us a lot of money.”

Sweetie Pie Organics is unique in that the founder and her two employees at the headquarters location are all women who all have an MBA. When I asked Liliana about this she said that she likes working with MBAs “because they're grand problem solvers, quick learners, and can look the big picture.”

Skill set.

Finally, I was curious about how her HQ employees perceive that their MBA has helped them in their roles. Olga Kerr, the CMO, mentioned that her MBA has provided her “with the crucial experience and set of skills that assistance to evaluate and resolve any situation or problem number matter how challenging it might be. The marketing field is evolving so quick that to know how to adapt and memorise new things effectively can be a grand advantage in this industry. My MBA grad, Swati Sar, is presently the e-commerce lead for Sweetie Pie Organics. For Swati: “My MBA education helped me link my IT experience to market research, realize competitive landscape, propose, and implement a strategy to grow e-commerce for Sweetie Pie Organics.”

While it may not be for everyone, an MBA degree certainly has proven to be worthwhile for these entrepreneurial women.

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