Small businesses are the lifeblood of the US economy. Pursuing a small business management degree equips you with the skills and training needed to run a small business. Subjects that you will learn about include legal and business requirements, customer service, and financial planning, among others. Ensure that you have the entrepreneurial skills needed to succeed when you hang out your own shingle by taking small business management courses.
Small Business Management Degree Options
Courses or Degree
Small business management classes provide you with a solid foundation in business principles and strategies, preparing you to adequately launch your own entrepreneurial endeavors. You could take a few stand-alone courses in small business management or complete a full program that culminates in a degree. Degrees in small business management are offered at the associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level. Small business management may also be offered as a concentration within a business administration degree.
Prerequisites for Undergraduate Degrees
The admissions requirements for associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs in small business management are typically a high school diploma or GED, minimum required GPA, and minimum required SAT/ACT scores. Associate’s degree programs may be completed in two-years, and bachelor’s degree programs typically take four years.
Prerequisites for Graduate Degrees
The admissions requirements for master’s and doctoral degree programs in small business management are usually a bachelor’s degree in a related field, a minimum required GPA, relevant work experience, minimum required GRE/GMAT scores, and letters of recommendation. Some doctoral programs will require a master’s degree. Master’s degrees can take from one to two years to complete, whereas doctoral programs might take from three to five years.
Curriculum for Small Business Management Classes
The curriculum for small business management programs emphasizes the application of business principles to real-world small business settings. Courses that students may be required to take include the following:
- Sales & customer service
- Introduction to entrepreneurship
- Financial management
- Business ethics
- Small business management
- Business planning
- Business law
- Entrepreneurial management
Many degree programs in small business management are flexible, allowing students to complete some or all of their coursework online. This means students can tailor their studies to suit their needs and make the program work around their schedule and other commitments.
Career Options for Small Business Management
Small businesses offer an innovative, creative, and flexible environment that presents you with exciting new challenges every day. As a small business manager or owner, your duties may include creating and implementing a new business plan, managing staff and payroll, identifying new opportunities, and securing financial resources.
Types of Jobs
If you are not quite ready to start your own small business or take over an existing enterprise, you could pursue a variety of business jobs. Potential career paths for those with a degree in small business management include business development, customer relations, marketing and sales, and small business financial accounting.
Growing Industries for Small Businesses
According to a 2013 study by SageWorks, a financial information company, the industries which have had the fastest growing sales for small business include:
- Oilseed and grain farming- wheat, corn, soybeans
- Building finishing contractors- drywall, painting, flooring
- Real estate sales agent and broker offices
- Architectural, engineering, and related services
- Management, scientific, and technical consulting services
- Computer systems design and related services
- Other fabricated metal product manufacturing- metal valves, ball bearings
- Utility system construction- water, sewer, oil, gas, electricity
- Specialty food stores
- Foundation, structure, and building exterior contractors- concrete, roofing, siding
Salary for Business Managers
The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not specifically report the salary of small business managers and owners. Small business manager salaries are all over the map, so it is difficult to quote a specific wage. But to give you an idea, in 2013, the median annual salary for administrative service managers was $82,310. The bottom 10% earned $44,850, and the top 10% earned $145,100. The median annual salary for general and operations mangers was $96,430. The bottom 10% earned $46,190, and the top 10% earned more than $187,199. While the salaries for these management positions can be hefty, the income spans a wide margin.
Enrolling in a Small Business Management Program
Small businesses play a vital role in the growth of our economy. If you want to develop the business acumen and technical expertise needed to launch a new business, then pursuing a degree or taking a few classes in small business management may be right for you. Get your small business off to a great start by taking small business management courses today.