Small Business Development

If you're looking for a career where you can put your creative, communication and leadership skills to good use and have an entrepreneurial spirit, then a career in small business development may be a good fit for you. Read on to learn more about career and educational options for small business developers.

Is Small Business Development For Me?

Career Overview

Building a small business can be a difficult and risky task, and many small businesses fail within the first few years. As a small business owner, you'll be responsible for overseeing all aspects of your company's daily operations. This can include everything from hiring and training employees, to keeping track of finances and creating effective marketing initiatives.

While there are many benefits to owning a small business, including the possibility of high profits and establishing a recognized name, it also comes with risks. Aspiring small business developers should be confident enough to make important decisions on their own, willing to put in long hours and be flexible enough to pursue other options in case a business venture doesn't work out.

Employment and Salary Information

Small business developers can be found in a variety of industries, with employment prospects and salaries varying according to the field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), opportunities for real estate managers were expected to grow by an average rate of 12% nationwide between 2012 and 2022. By comparison, openings for construction managers were projected to increase by a faster-than-average rate of 16% during the same period. The BLS also reported that the average annual wage for general and operations managers was $116,090 in May 2013. Construction managers averaged $92,700, while real estate managers earned average annual salaries of $64,270 (www.bls.gov).

How Can I Work in Small Business Development?

Undergraduate Programs

A major in business with an emphasis on entrepreneurship can help you acquire the essential skills you need to become a small business developer. Core coursework might include topics in business ethics and law, budgeting, forecasting and operations management. You'll also learn how to write a business plan while studying e-commerce, finance, microeconomics and public communication. Some bachelor's degree programs offer management and entrepreneur internships, as well as the chance to create a hypothetical business venture for your final project.

Graduate Programs

If you wish to further your education, you may want to consider earning your Master of Business Administration (MBA). Many schools allow MBA students to specialize in entrepreneurship, which may include coursework in financial accounting, economic analysis and marketing concepts. Topics in valuation, global competition and strategic decision-making might also be covered. Some MBA programs can also provide you with the opportunity to conduct field studies where you'll develop your own business ideas or work with an existing company.

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