Before starting in this industry...or any industry as a Owner....I think some basic business courses would be in the potential Owners best interest. I think understanding business as a whole, accounting, marketing, Human Resources, Business and yes even finance are needed to achieve greatness in industry assuming that everything else falls in place.
True Story - There was this guy who worked for the worlds largest retailer after attending college and getting a degree in Mgmt with a specialization in HR. This retailer ensured that the guy was very very well compensated for running their stores. He did this for a almost a decade, working crazy amount of hours each week, because he was under the illusion that the stores he managed were his, as the company would want him to believe. So he ran the stores like they were his, working his tail off, working crazy hours, putting the company first before family events etc. This was his store after all, he would reap the benefit right?
Until one day when the company started making changes, changes that effected how this guy could run "his store" from personnel and their wages to how his bonus structure was set up, no longer making it his store.
So this guy thought of a plan, a risky plan but one he thought he could make work. You see he had always enjoyed working outdoors, had did several properties even though working crazy hours for this retailer for years, as it was his relaxation time.
This guy put his plans into place, asked for a transfer to Florida from the retailer where he wanted to open up shop on his own, start his own business. And so it happened. This guy worked for the retailer for the amount of time required to ensure they paid for the closing cost on his home, his moving expenses etc per his relocation contract and he left that retailer.
Now this guy was in a environment in which he was not familiar, in was FL, not the midwest he had lived in most of his life, so prior to leaving the company, he researched a lot on the internet from sites like U of F IFAS, went to the library and crammed what he could into his head from landscape books, asked question every where including here on lawnsite, even had some senior members of the site poke fun at him for asking silly questions. You see he did not understand everything about FL and its landscape environment, but he knew he understood business.
The end result...this guy owns his own landscape and maintenance company in Florida, owns all his equipment outright, pays his employee a respectable wage, is liquid enough that if need be he could pay cash for his a duplicate of his entire set up tomorrow and still have enough to cover his overhead for a couple of months without any additional income arriving.
The reason this guy made it, he understood business, not that he understood landscaping better than anyone else. He understood the important things in business like ROI, Networking, Gorilla Marketing , CONTROLLED GROWTH and OMG CASHFLOW. The overly simple things that are not sometimes so simple that allow many to fail in this industry. The stuff many fail to take time to review because they are rushing off to the next dollar to chase that dollar, because they are going to be the next Valley Crest!