According to several sources, including the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, small business is defined as a firm with fewer than 500 employees in all of the industries or business locations in which the firm operates (all of the firm’s establishments combined). Incidentally, the nation's 9 million self-employed - sole proprietors with few or no employees, contract workers, and freelancers - constitute about 8% of the total U.S. labor force.
Entrepreneurship offers many rewards, but it demands preparation, long-term commitment, and diligence. As a self-employed business owner, the proprietor becomes his most important employee. He should expect to wear many hats, such as a store manager, a personnel manager, a salesperson, a purchaser and buyer, a shipper and receiver, a marketer, a bookkeeper, a janitor, a manual laborer, and a public relations worker. There are numerous issues that a prospective business owner must consider before committing to the small business ownership. Traditionally, the best business to be in is the one in which an entrepreneur is most skilled and feels passionate about. A future business owner has to develop a business plan, which will precisely define the parameters of the business, identify the objectives, and serve as a blueprint for the course of action. The individual must decide on the format of the business enterprise (corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship), tax status (e.g., should you opt for a Subchapter S status?) and educate himself about licensing requirements and related regulations. Other issues that need to be addressed include how to obtain financing, chart a marketing strategy, engineer an advertising campaign, hire qualified personnel, contact suppliers, make manufacturing arrangements, develop and grow a customer base, and earn and maintain solid reputation. Before taking the plunge into small business ownership, it would be crucial to candidly assess your own experience and skills and recognize your deficiencies. A coursework in Business Administration that covers the issues of Entrepreneurship/Small Business ownership might be just the right solution in remedying those deficiencies.
The GCC Certificate and Associate in Science Degree in Business Administration - Entrepreneurship/Small Business program are aimed directly at individuals who expect to own or manage a small business or improve the profitability of their existing business enterprise. A combination of the Business Administration core curriculum and a cluster of specialty courses provides detailed instruction in such topics as starting and managing a small business, marketing methods, consumer psychology, advertising, budgeting, pricing, staffing, accounting principles and payroll accounting, capital acquisition, management styles, workplace morale, interpersonal communications, and decision making. Students will learn how to develop business plans and operating strategies that take advantage of government and market-based resources available to entrepreneurs. The program offers an overview of the retail, wholesale, service, and manufacturing industries, the real-world process of establishing an import/export business and teaches comprehensive computer skills.
Students interested in pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture or other related fields should consult with an academic and/or transfer counselor to discuss university transfer requirements.
Key Skills and Characteristics
- Self-starter, with strong organizational, leadership skills, and initiative.
- Managerial ability and decisiveness.
- A desire to be autonomous and independent.
- A developed sense of creativity, innovation and drive.
- Willingness to take calculated risks.
- Ability to visualize a business and all its parts as a whole.
- A motivation to think primarily in terms of business growth and expansion rather than profit.
- Ambition to have financial security.
Please visit the GCC Career Center to research specific occupational information and learn more about your selected career path.