Here’s How to Succeed in Business in Arlington Without a Degree

Having a degree is not always a prerequisite for becoming an entrepreneur — it is entirely possible to become a successful entrepreneur without having one. If you’re just getting into entrepreneurship, however, you may still have misgivings if you feel like you don’t have the right credentials. But fear not, because the following guide from the Arlington Chamber of Commerce offers some tips and advice on how to become a great entrepreneur without having to go through the traditional educational route.

Start with good, old-fashioned research.

First things first — it’s important to know which business types you’re most suited for or have the most interest in before launching into entrepreneurship. Consider whether you should start an online store, a freelancing business, a consultancy firm, or a brick-and-mortar store. Take time to do your research and gain knowledge of the market you’re planning to enter.

Sit down and write your business plan.

Having a business plan is essential for any type of business. It serves as your roadmap for success and allows you to track your progress over time. A good business plan should include information about your target audience, marketing plans, financial projections, and long-term goals. The key to success is being thorough and realistic when writing your business plan.

Learn about your funding options.

Accessing funding is essential if you want to start your own business with little to no capital. You can get funding from venture capitalists and angel investors or take out loans from banks or credit unions. You can also look into crowdfunding and grant programs that are available in your area and demographic. Do your research and find out which type of funding would be best suited for your particular needs. Keep in mind that your credit report can play a significant role in your ability to take out a business loan, as it can impact the interest rates, terms, and loan amount you qualify for.

Make your life easier with proper organization.

Making sure that you have a system for organizing your files is a surefire way to ensure that everything runs smoothly. Keeping your financial statements, registrations, and other important documents in neat and up-to-date folders will benefit you immensely when it comes time to file taxes or apply for loans or grants. 

Structure your business as an LLC.

Choosing the right business entity can be an overwhelming but very important decision when it comes to launching a successful business. LLCs are a popular option, because they provide limited liability coverage and they offer more flexibility when it comes to growth. If you’re not sure how to start a Massachusetts LLC, know that the registration process has five requirements, including obtaining an EIN, naming a registered agent, and forming an operating agreement.

Learn by doing.

With no golden ticket to success, entrepreneurs, regardless if they have a degree or not, must rely on wisdom earned through practice. Gaining practical experience is an invaluable asset in the journey of business ownership, so be prepared to make mistakes and learn from them.

Find a mentor to take you further.

Working with a mentor can be invaluable to entrepreneurial success. Not only can they provide advice based on their own successes and mistakes, but it's like having your very own guide throughout the journey.


Becoming an entrepreneur without having gone through traditional educational routes can be daunting, but it’s also doubly rewarding if done correctly. The key lies in knowing what kind of business best fits your skill set, writing an effective business plan, finding funding, getting organized, and choosing an LLC designation. Working with mentors who have experience and gaining practical knowledge by running the business hands-on are also priceless. With these tips, you can become a great entrepreneur regardless in no time — and you didn’t even have to spend years in school to do so!


The Arlington Chamber of Commerce is your advocate for building a thriving business in our community. Join us today!