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Do You Or Don't You

Do You Have a Business-Related Degree?

More than half of our brain squad does not have one.

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Yes: 24%

  • Accounting and finance courses helped tremendously. — Russell Herman, Pet$aver Healthy Pet Superstore, Rochester, NY
  • Though I have many years of employment experience in customer service, marketing and accounting, my MBA experience and education has definitely guided my decisions about how I operate and manage my business. — Marcia Cram, Just Fur Pets, Springfield, VA
  • I had a graphic design major and business minor. Before I opened my store, I owned a successful advertising/marketing/creative design agency servicing national accounts. As creative director, I was responsible for preparing and presenting account pitches and ad campaigns. This has helped me immensely in how we present our store products, benefit-sell to customers, interact with the news media, etc. We prepare our print ads and TV spots, as well as our weekly LIVE web show “What’s Barking Local,” where I host and interview cool people in the community doing great things for pets. What I wish I knew better was accounting. That is something I hire out. — Pattie Boden, Animal Connection, Charlottesville, VA
  • I have a degree in graphic design. This helps me understand the design concept and marketing, when working on my business marketing. — Tammi Bui, Wishbone Pet Care, Missouri City, TX
  • I majored in fashion merchandising with a minor in business management. Although, my education did provide me with a good foundation in merchandising and management I learned the most from my mentors while managing for Aeropostale and The Limited Express Corp. — Toni Shelaske, Healthy Pet Products, Pittsburgh, PA
  • It has been a long time since receiving my master’s degree, and experience has certainly been a better teacher. However the foundational skills it provided are important. I wish I had a better command of finance concepts/reporting/projections. However, I am now enrolled in a SBA Emerging Leadership program, and there is a whole section dedicated to this area. — Remy Bibaud, Pet Perennials, Pittsburgh, PA
  • I started the path to my degree and shortly after started working for Chow Hound. I feel that I learned much more with my hands on experience and immersion into the business world than I did in any classes. — Jess Smith, Chow Hound Pet Supplies-Standale. Walker, MI
  • I have a BS in business administration with a concentration in marketing. Honestly, the only class I felt has been useful was my speech class. Maybe I was too young and immature when I went to college. Whatever the reason, I don’t remember much that is currently useful. Most of my business savvy has come from mentorship by more experienced business owners. I do, however, wish I had paid more attention during accounting, since that remains one of my weak areas. — Wendy Megyese, Muttigans, Emerald Isle, NC
  • My degree’s given me the confidence to know I can figure out anything, but continuous learning from audio books, blogs and podcasts have helped me gain self-mastery. — Asha Olivia, Hoby Dogy Pet Care, Boca Raton, FL

No: 76%

  • I have owned multiple businesses without a degree and have been very successful at all of them. I have learned a lot over the years hands-on about business practices and administrative duties. One of the most critical I have learned is customer care. In any business, in my opinion, that is the most important. It brings your customers back. — Jan A. Hopper, Living Pawsitively, Lafayette, NJ
  • I wish I was better with numbers but that’s why I have a wonderful accountant! — Adrienne Preuss, Animal Loving Care, Brooklyn, NY
  • I went to college for business management, just didn’t get the degree. It helped some, but it was years ago. Really it was our 20 to 30 years in retail management that help us run a successful business today. — Jennifer Larsen, Firehouse Pet Shop, Wenatchee, WA
  • But I do have a bachelor’s in zoology and am a registered veterinary technician. I’m also certified in animal nutrition. Holding these degrees helps me with recognizing many diseases in my clients’ pets and suggesting they visit their vet ASAP. — Danielle Wilson, Bath & Biscuits, Granville, OH
  • I’ve learned the hard and fast way as to how to run my business. I don’t think there’s any area that I haven’t been able to learn on the job. You just have to be open and willing to learn and not embarrassed to ask questions when you don’t know how to do something or what someone is talking about. An ego gets you nowhere in business. — Johnna Devereaux, Fetch RI, Richmond, RI
  • While I don’t have a degree, I did take some night school business classes to prepare myself with what I getting into. The real world turned out to be different than what they teach. I’d like to know of the financial end of things, including taxes. — Paul Lewis, Birds Unlimited, Webster, NY

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. pet business serving the public, you’re invited to join the PETS+ Brain Squad. Take one five-minute quiz a month, and you’ll get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting the pet industry. Sign up here.

Since launching in 2017, PETS+ has won 16 major international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact PETS+'s editors at editor@petsplusmag.com.

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