How to Become a Business Owner: Education Requirements & Job Description

Being a business owner is a career riddled with high risks and potential rewards. Read on for detailed information on the requirements, responsibilities, and benefits of owning your own business to see if this move is right for you. Schools offering Business degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Overview of Owning a Business

Self-employment ranges from working on your own as a freelancer to owning a business that employs other individuals. Owners have a great deal of control, but the first few years can be especially unpredictable. Below we'll examine specific details.

Training Required Classroom or on-the-job training and experience in relevant fields
Key skills Strong interpersonal skills, efficient time management and organization, ability to adapt and ask for help as needed, research skills, and a passion and commitment to your line of work
Job growth 2016-2026 7.9% (all self-employed workers)*
Median salary 2016 $32,020 (all self-employed workers)*

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What does being a Business Owner Entail?

Owning your own business means being responsible for the day to day functioning of your company and overseeing the many elements that contribute to keeping it running efficiently and profitably. One of the most important elements of owning your own business is having the technical skills and knowledge to be competitive within your field. For example, owning your own photography business means that you should have a strong familiarity with photography equipment, solid understanding of lighting, and proficiency with editing software, to name only a few relevant skills. From here, enormous preparation is required in order to take a small business off the ground, and most of it begins with research. This research will allow you to test the viability of your business and develop your plan. Once you've established your business, you will then need to continually research and reevaluate in order to network, stay competitive, and make adjustments as needed so that your business can grow and flourish.

What Education is Needed to Become a Business Owner?

No specific level of formal education is required to become a business owner; however, certain degree, licensing or certification qualifications apply depending on the nature of the business. For example, a self-employed individual who owns a taxi-driving business will probably need a taxi license along with a valid driver's license. Mechanical engineers typically need a degree in engineering, and those who want to sell their services directly to customers are required to have a Professional Engineering (PE) license. Training in accounting and bookkeeping could certainly be an asset to business owners who strive for financial success.

How Much can I Earn as a Business Owner?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics quotes the median salary across all fields of self-employment at $32,020 for 2016. A bachelor's, graduate, or professional degree plus relevant experience are often linked to a higher median salary. A sample group of business owners having at least a bachelor's degree and relevant experience earned an annual median salary of $60,000 or more that same year. Job growth is an important factor to consider, as well, and also varies by business type. The BLS expects to see a 7.9% increase from 2016 to 2026 in all self-employed jobs.

What are the Risks Associated with being a Business Owner?

Financial risk is a very important consideration when deciding whether to begin your own business. Starting a business often requires securing financial investments that you will be responsible for paying back. Income is not always predictable, particularly as you grow your customer base and adjust to the demands of your industry. Your time will inevitably be in high demand, as you handle various components of running your business. Last but not least, you are responsible for paying for your own benefits (health, retirement, etc.), which do not include paid vacation time or sick days.

What are the Benefits of being a Business Owner?

Owning your own business comes with a variety of great perks. For one, you get to choose the type of work you do, as well as where and when you do it. You are in control of your schedule, what you learn, and how you choose to apply and spend your time and knowledge. There is no time for you to feel stagnant, as starting your own business means unavoidably wearing a number of hats at one time, and so your job functions will vary by day and keep you on your toes. There are no limits to the level of creativity that you can apply in your own business, and if you're passionate about your ideas, it can be highly rewarding to watch it grow.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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