In 2015, self-employed workers accounted for about 10 percent of the overall workforce, which equates to 15 million people, according the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. To join the ranks of entrepreneurs, however, you should fully understand business. At first, entrepreneurs may have to do everything themselves, including taking on all the executive roles typically done by multiple people at a larger organization. While autonomy is often the biggest draw for being your own boss, you must have a broad set of professional skills and know the fundamentals of business to be successful.
“More students are attracted to Arizona State University’s online MBA program now who want to work at a small business, startup or as an entrepreneur to get a full scope of business,” says Jennifer Whitten, Director of Graduate Career Services in the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.
If you’re interested in becoming an entrepreneur, the fully online Master of Business Administration program at ASU can help prepare you to start and manage your own business. The comprehensive curriculum gives you opportunities to build leadership skills as you study business fundamentals. The online MBA program is flexible and customizable, which allows you to create an experience specific to your graduate school objectives.
A typical day in the life of an entrepreneur
Your typical day as an entrepreneur will mostly likely vary based on what stage you’re at in the process of starting and running your own business. Here are some potential daily responsibilities you might have at three key spots along the development timeline.
If you’re just starting out, you’re in the preparation stage. Before you invest in an opportunity or begin raising funds for your own idea, you need to do research to ensure the concept is marketable. Learn about potential customers, competitors and collaborators. Find individuals in the same or similar markets you can reach out to for advice or contact other small business owners to learn about what the process was like for them. Take advantage of available services that support entrepreneurs like those offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration:
- Business plan templates
- State and federal business guidelines and registration
- SBA loan programs and fundraising advice
- Local offices and general legal guidance
Once your research is complete and the first round of funding has been raised, it’s time to begin operations. Daily activities at this phase include finalizing your comprehensive market research and business plan and confirming logistics as you build out your business. Finding space, hiring employees if necessary and gathering the materials you’ll need to launch your business are integral tasks at this point. You’ll also want to think about marketing and promotion at the same time you’re ensuring you meet all the legal requirements of small business ownership.
After the official launch or grand opening, you will mostly likely focus on day-to-day business management. You’ll need to stay updated on relevant research and craft strategies to help you stay competitive in your market. You’ll also need to think about methods for growing and promoting your business. This can be accomplished through networking opportunities such as attending business events, joining industry-related clubs and volunteering with a relevant professional organization.
Regardless of what stage you’re in, entrepreneurship can be a time-consuming career with huge rewards as you watch a company you created take off and grow.
A closer look at the professional landscape of an entrepreneur
There is no single professional landscape for a career as an entrepreneur, since each industry has its own factors influencing a startup’s success. Survival rates for new companies vary, although according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, startups in health care and social assistance have the highest success rates over time. Overall, the BLS projects a 3.6 percent increase in self-employment through 2022 with the number of opportunities varying by occupation and industry.
Becoming an entrepreneur
Primarily, you will need the right combination of knowledge and technical skills to accomplish your goals as an entrepreneur. This means not only knowing about the industry you wish to get into, but also having basic business skills like bookkeeping and marketing.
Earning your MBA can provide an opportunity to shape yourself into a well-rounded business professional through learning business fundamentals and technical skills in addition to the development of soft skills essential in management. Having the right people skills to build effective and productive relationships with customers, employees and vendors can help you in a number of ways when it comes to growing and promoting your business. Furthermore, being effective when it comes to time management and multitasking can help you with the long hours and multiple responsibilities that come with business ownership.
Learn more about your potential career as an entrepreneur
An online MBA from Arizona State University can help prepare you for your career as an entrepreneur, as well as whatever comes next in today’s business world. As Whitten says, “You’re going to learn a tremendous amount from your faculty, but you will also learn just as much from the community that you’re interacting with and the students in the classroom with you.”