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  • Manage Your Business

    Being your own boss requires an ability to make decisions and stay focused on what’s important to your customers—and to you. If you hope to one day own your own business, you are not alone!

    According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the 23 million small businesses in America account for 54 percent of all U.S. sales. In addition, the number of small businesses in the United States has increased 49 percent since 1982. 

    The SBA notes that the small business sector is growing rapidly. While corporate America has been downsizing, the rate of small business start-ups has grown, and the rate for small business failures has declined.

    That’s good news for people interested in seeking a new challenge and willing to take a risk to be in charge of their own destiny!

    Successful business owners have a lot on their plates. They must balance their attention between day-to-day operations and the “big picture.” This requires planning by the day, week, month, and year. Having a good business plan can act as a compass.

    Yet business owners must also be ready to adapt to change. If unexpected growth or slow sales occur, the issue needs to be addressed quickly and swift action may need to be taken.

    Experience and passion will get you only so far as a business owner. Knowing how to overcome obstacles and stay resilient are traits owners cultivate. Sometimes you can’t do it all yourself. If you are not a financial whiz or don’t want to take on tasks you are not skilled in, find someone who is. An owner who knows how to delegate tasks improves his or her chances of success. Assess your strengths, skills, and interests. Failure to delegate is one of the top reasons small businesses fail. 

    Managing your finances is also critical. Payments for taxes, rent, invoices, insurance, and other expenses need to be documented and submitted on time. Small business owners need to keep close tabs on their operating costs. Cash flow is a regular concern. Billing, filing, and other administrative tasks can take more time than most people think. 

    Keep learning. Understand your market and know your customers. What do they value from your services or products? Do you save them time and money? How is your product different from others in the market? Communicate in a clear way what your value is. Having clarity in your marketing message helps with promotional campaigns, along with networking and lead generation (generating interest in purchasing your product or service). Marketing and selling are elements business owners need a strategy for. How will you make your business visible in your community or online?

    While there are risks in being an entrepreneur, there are also rewards. Owning your own business allows you to create your own schedule. In addition, many entrepreneurs find that time flexibility provides for a good life/work balance. Of course there is the chance that the business could fail, but there also is the chance that the business will prosper and grow, and while it may not be a “get-rich-quick” scenario, you could start a successful operation that will help you comfortably take care of your family.

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    And if you are considering pursuing higher education we invite you to find out more about Kaplan University’s programs and explore our undergraduate and graduate degree offerings.

    It is important to note that certain career paths are growing and our degrees are designed to strengthen your knowledge and prepare our students to advance their careers. But Kaplan University cannot guarantee employment or career advancement. Several factors specific to a student’s or alumni’s backgrounds and actions, as well as economic and job conditions, affect employment. Also, keep in mind that national long-term projections covered in articles may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.

     

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