There is nothing more challenging than successfully starting your own business and making "a go of it." Your story might just start out with the purchase of a truck and tools and your first contract building a greenhouse. Later on its seven trucks, five concurrent projects (two over due), 42 employees and some tax issues; just a normal day. Well, business is business, as the old expression goes. Small business is as different from the enterprise level as a single celled organism is from an elephant. No, it's not easier. The demands of small business elude many, which is why most don't go down the road of true independence.
However, once you reach that critical level and you're growing faster you are going to need help. What is the reason that most (69%) small businesses fail? The short answer is, regardless of the industry, failure is the result of the lack of management skills, the lack of proper capitalization or both. That is where the Small Business Consultant (SBC) comes in. The reality is that most small business retail owners are experts in their chosen field. Much like greenhouse construction but lacking in the area of management or finance, save for their ability to generate revenue. This is a very challenging career for just that reason. With over 625,000 new businesses launched each year and 595,000 businesses closing at the same time, you can see where the 70% failure rate comes from. Consulting for small businesses is growing sector of the consulting market for obvious reasons.
Gone are the days of the simple "mom-n-pop" shops and "Joe the Plumber." This is the 21st century and business of any scale is more complex than every before. As a consultant to small business, you will need to have a diverse background that should start with your own successful experience in business; ideally, a small business. Then you should have gotten your business degree from a local college or university and then developed contacts in the finance world.
As to formal education, licensure or requirements, there are little-if any-for this dynamic field. There is a certification institute that offering a program for Certified Management Consultants; they require at least nine years experience in the field of consultancy and a minimum of three successful business evaluations to qualify. A degree in business, while not a requirement, is highly recommended.
The growth for employment in the sector is rated one of the highest with projections of over 24%. This is however, as volatile and dynamic as Wall Street. The great rewards of a successful professional practice are had at a price-the constant change, wild swings of the economy and the intense pace of change. Can you imagine being a successful Small Business Management Retail Consultant without a firm grasp of the internet, ecommerce and technology? Education is the key to success in this career, as well as a taste for the intense and dynamic.
Learn from the top schools in the county how to understand small business planning including management, financing and management decision making. Make the right choice in your education and your pursuit of an Associate’s Degree in Small Business Management. Ensure that the degree you are taking will qualify you for the career you want. Below are some of the more common courses that you’ll have to take during your degree program.
- Marketing Management
- Applied Business Law
- Employee Satisfaction and Customer Service
- Customer Relations
- Business Development
- Business Communication
- Accounting Principles
- Introduction to Finance
If you have ever wanted to own your own business or run a small business for someone then earning your Bachelor’s degree in small business management is a good start. Keep in mind during your training to focus in on courses that deal in leadership and communication. Below are a few of the areas good small business owners all focus in on.
Leadership: Being a good leader can be difficult, especially when you first start out in management. In your role as a small business manager you need to show your employees your leadership capabilities. Employees need to see you come into work with a positive attitude, help others, are knowledgeable and led by example and have the ability to solve complex problems.
Planning: Small business owners as well as their managers need to work together to come up with plans for sales and marketing. Since you probably will be working in a local market the way you go about marketing your business is different. You are more than likely going to gain market share through referrals and customer service. The reason why so many customers shop at local small businesses vs. retail stores is the personalized attention they receive.
Community Involvement: Do you manage a store in a small community? If so odds are everyone knows you and your community will be behind you the more involved you are with it. As someone that has owned my own business in small town it is vital that you get involved with your community and your community leaders. Small business owners are the heartbeat of America and your community will be supportive of you if you show involvement.
Small Business Management Resources: