Are you a creative and strong communicator? Are your leadership and persuasion skills top notch? Most importantly, do you have an entrepreneurial spirit? If so, you may be suited for a career in small business development. Read on to learn more about what it takes to develop a small business, including what kind of education you'll need.
Developing and building a small business is an incredibly difficult task, because most small businesses fail within the first few years. As a small business owner, you'll be responsible for overseeing all aspects 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 have flexibility in case a business venture doesn't work out.
If you're interested in pursuing small business development, prospects vary greatly by industry though some industries have more opportunities than others. For instance, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that employment for real estate managers will only grow by eight percent while a 17% growth is expected for those in construction management during the 2008-2018 decade (www.bls.gov). The BLS also reported that the average annual wage for general and operations managers was $113,100 in May 2010. During this time, construction managers earned an average annual salary of $94,240 and real estate managers earned $62,400.
A bachelor's degree in business with an emphasis in entrepreneurship can provide many essential skills. Courses that will help small business developers include public communication, business ethics, business law, microeconomics, finance and operations management. Other important courses include budgeting and forecasting, e-commerce and business plan writing. Some bachelor's programs offer management and entrepreneur internship opportunities. You're also most likely going to have to create a hypothetical business venture as a final project before you graduate.
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 subjects such as financial accounting, economic analysis, marketing concepts, valuation, global competition and strategic decision-making. Some MBA programs also give you opportunities to conduct field studies on your own, either working off of your own business venture ideas or working with an existing company.