Small Business Management/Entrepreneurship
The responsibilities of a small business manager will vary greatly depending upon the nature of the business in question. However, there are some key traits and knowledge requirements that all managers must have, regardless of specific field. Owning and operating a small business inherently comes with risks, but the plus side is that there is more freedom than with a large corporation, allowing for flexibility and implementation of innovative ideas.
Overview of Small Business Management/Entrepreneurship
While the day-to-day tasks of management might vary depending on the nature of the business, there are certain fundamentals every small business manager and entrepreneur will have to understand. Your degree program of choice should provide you with a foundation in:
Typically, a Small Business Management or Entrepreneurship degree will be a concentration of the business school at your college of choice. Some schools may even offer a certificate program, which generally move the core courses to the front of your curriculum, to further propel you into your future career. Having the foundation across a variety of topics will prepare you for some of the possible short-term and long-term tasks you will have to do, as defined by o*net:
- Oversee activities directly related to making products or providing services.
- Direct and coordinate organization’s financial and budget activities to fund operations, maximize investments, and increase efficiency.
- Determine goods and services to be sold, and set prices and credit terms, based on forecasts of customer demand.
- Manage staff, preparing work schedules and assigning specific duties.
- Determine staffing requirements, and interview, hire and train new employees, or oversee those personnel processes.
- Locate, select, and procure merchandise for resale, representing management in purchase negotiations.
Job Prospects in Small Business Management/Entrepreneurship
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the number of establishments less than 1 years old from 2006-2010 has been dropping, and even hit a 16-year low in 2010. What this means for someone who wants to open their own business can be interpreted in multiple ways. First, the opportunity to open and sustain a business during the recession beginning in 2008 would be very difficult. As the economy has started to even out, things may be looking up for entrepreneurs. The changing economy because of the recession is an obstacle many entrepreneurs have had to deal with. This can be a good and bad thing, for it allows certain innovations in business that weren’t there before. Consider the advent of the “sharing economy.”
More optimistically, these numbers have been higher before and can get higher again. The lack of new businesses out there now means that there is a gap that needs to be filled, increasing the possible opportunity to create and sustain a business. While it is inevitable that some businesses will fail, therein lies the challenge of operating a small business, being able to separate yourself from the herd, and how you can stay afloat.