According to the Small Business Administration there are approximately 27.5 million businesses in the United States. Businesses with less than 500 employees make up 99.9 percent of that total amount. These small businesses account for over 50 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy. These entrepreneurs have an unrelenting passion for their business and their hard work means so much more to them than just making money. Becoming a business owner is similar becoming a parent for the first time, and you want the best for your new entity. So you learn more about how it works, you invest in it, change it, put the right people around it, invest in it some more, put in lots of hard work and pray that it grows and develops into something that you can be proud of. Growing up I was lucky enough to be the son of an entrepreneur who took great pride in what he and his business stood for and accomplished. This is my story.
Like most children of a small business owner during my teenage years I went off to work with my dad. Looking back now, I had no idea the amount of responsibilities that he took on when he made the transition from employee to owner. Working alongside my father really helped shape me into the type of man that I am today. I learned that your attitude and work ethic are two things that you can always control. By watching him as the owner of a small business I learned that you need to know about every aspect of your business including how to manage your business growth, control finances, lead employees, market your business, and much more. Only now do I understand the type of risk and pressure that my father was willing to take on in order to provide a better life for our family, his employees, and the community.
My father had no formal post high school education, yet he still managed to run a successful business. As he graduated high school and was heading to college I remember asking him if he could start over, would he have gone to college. He told me right away that he knew a degree would have helped immensely. By earning a degree you can help avoid and overcome mistakes and obstacles along the way. This is especially important because over 50 percent of small businesses fail within 5 years of opening their doors. Starting a business and building it into a success takes a belief in yourself, a willingness to work hard, and an ability to make smart decisions. As the owner you are the decision maker. Finding the best solution for your business is critical to being successful. You need to prepare yourself well enough to make those educated decisions. Earning your degree will help you understand the basic principles of starting a business and how you can be successful within your market; it may just be the competitive advantage that you and your business need to succeed.