--Robert L Schwartz
What Is Entrepreneurship?
Small business and entrepreneurship degrees provide a tailor-made curriculum to professionals wishing to participate in new or small business ventures. Like any business degree, these programs cover the obvious functions such as accounting, management and marketing, but you'll also focus more on product or service development, start-up funding, purchasing and distribution issues, and client base development.
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Do You Have What it Takes to Be an Entrepreneur?
What you bring to the table is your strong drive and determination, your self-discipline, decisiveness and your comfort with wearing all the hats your business requires. You will build on your previous work experience and study what it takes to be the administrator and manager for start-up ventures. You'll have more responsibility and will likely work much more than 40 hours a week, for a salary that may be low to begin with. But, if you like being in control of the operation, enjoy variety and change, and thrive on taking risks, you've found the right area to pursue.
The business world has seen many changes of late. More people are starting entrepreneurial or small business ventures every year. Women are now the fastest-growing segment of new business owners. And an entrepreneurial spirit is increasingly valued by many larger organizations that encourage managers to "take ownership" of their responsibilities. Small firms can work faster, with more flexibility, and take more chances than the large retail corporations. Some entrepreneurs use their unique talents for "getting the ball rolling" by selling their companies and then going on to start new ones. And as the market opens up, competition gets fiercer. Many aspiring entrepreneurs take online college courses in business to stay ahead of the game.
Career Education in Entrepreneurship & Small Business
Many businesses fail due to poor planning, lack of knowledge, and naive expectations when it comes to turning a profit. Increase your chances of success with a solid educational foundation--there are many different kinds of entrepreneurship degrees and courses available. In particular, many working professionals are turning to online college classes in order to build the skills they need without sacrificing the financial security of a full-time job (that is, until they're ready to become their own bosses).
Bachelor's Degrees in Entrepreneurship
A bachelor's degree in entrepreneurship will teach you the business basics and help you develop an understanding of the unique factors that pervade entrepreneurial and small business endeavors. The coursework will take you through case studies, team projects, principles of Internet use and web design, and simulated exercises in computer applications and systems integration. You'll develop competencies in effective business communication methods, problem solving techniques, and critical thinking. If you're already working, you may receive credit towards your degree for your work experience. By studying online, you can continue with your regular work schedule while you enhance your career potential.
What Can You Do With a College Major in Entrepreneurship?
In order to launch their companies, most entrepreneurs and small business graduates will initially find themselves working in sales and/or retail. No matter what your product or service, you can't succeed if no one patronizes your business. In sales, your focus is to connect and build relationships with consumers. The job descriptions can range from point-of-sale (direct contact with customers) to advertising, career counseling, marketing management, product representation, realty, and travel and hospitality.
Retailing is specifically selling directly to the customer. It calls for skills such as understanding consumer behavior and needs, communication, problem solving, predicting trends, demographic sensitivity, product evaluation, and feedback.
Business Entrepreneurship Careers
What will your day-to-day job look like if your business succeeds? Business managers generally have a bachelor's degree in business or business administration, with a specialization appropriate for their industry. The common job description is to develop, oversee, and organize operations and the hours are often longer than lower-level careers.
Retailing managers look after all aspects of operations where goods are being sold. You'll manage inventory, maintain sales floor displays, hire any additional staff needed, and uphold good customer relations policies. Salary ranges depend on the size and type of the store, but depending on the product or service you're selling, your salary is virtually limitless.
As an entrepreneur, you'll need self-discipline and determination to bring your vision to fruition. No two days will be the same, since you will likely be responsible for every aspect of your company, from client care to accounting. But if you see a need waiting to be filled and you take advantage of it, your career success could be limitless.
Certification, Licensure, and Associations
Although professional organizations, trade publications and websites exist for entrepreneurs and small business professionals, no official recognized professional designation exists at this time. You are more likely to need certifications or licensing for service-based businesses such as financial planning, taxation, real estate, or accounting. If you plan to work as a consultant, membership in a professional organization is a crucial tool for building a client base.
When you incorporate your company, be sure to look into local regulations that may govern your industry. You might need additional licenses or business certifications, depending on your business.