Entrepreneur/Small Business Owner Career and Salary Profile


By University Alliance

Small business is the heart of the U.S. economy, and countless individuals dream of becoming entrepreneurs and small business owners. Making that dream real takes dedication, hard work and planning. Obtaining the skills that can make a small business successful is a key advantage. Enrolling in an MBA program with a specialization in Management is the best way to learn how to become a thriving entrepreneur or small business owner.

Entrepreneur/Small Business Owner Job Duties

Specific job duties for small business owners and entrepreneurs vary according to industry, business category and size. In general, small business owners are responsible for the overall direction and everyday operation of the business.

Sales are an important part of a small business, and entrepreneurs must be excellent sales people to be successful. Whether they are involved in direct selling or not, there is a great deal of sales skill needed to pitch a business plan to a bank, investors, partners and staff, and then to sell potential customers on the business’s products or services.

Entrepreneurs are planners: a business plan is usually the first task when launching a small business, followed by marketing plans, production plans, sales forecasts and budgeting plans. Daily job duties might include reviewing sales reports and financials and comparing them to the goals set out in the plans. Owners can then direct activities of sales or production people to better meet the objectives.

Hiring, training and mentoring staff is another responsibility for the small business owner. They are required to know the federal and state laws and regulations concerning employees, and to file Social Security and wage reports for each staff person. Some entrepreneurs hire accountants or human resource consultants to handle these activities. Others personally manage all the accounting, taxes and required reporting duties for their business.

Additional job duties for small business owners include everything from sweeping the front sidewalk to meeting with local officials or dignitaries. In order to build relationships and secure additional business, many entrepreneurs join local civic groups and participate in business opportunities such as networking events, trade shows or sponsorships.

Small business owners’ work environments depend on the type of business and industry. Retail storefronts, private offices or production facilities are typical. The number of hours an entrepreneur works usually depends on the workload. While small business owners sometimes enjoy flexible schedules and a measure of freedom, it is often balanced by the need to work longer hours.

Entrepreneur/Small Business Owner Salary Potential

Entrepreneur and small business owner salaries vary widely depending on factors such as size, industry and geographical location. National salary data on PayScale.com, as of December 2010, showed that small business owners earned a median total income of about $68,631 per year, with those in the 25th to 75th percentile earning between $38,714 and $98,548 in total pay.

A sampling of PayScale.com data from December, 2010 showed the following salary ranges for industries popular with entrepreneurs:

Child Care/Day Care $23,532 - $62,493
Landscaping $30,330 - $75,928
Cleaning Services $25,187 - $76,220
General Contractor $35,198 - $93,759
Construction $39,957 - $111,154

Company size also has an effect on small business owner salaries. A sampling on PayScale.com in December 2010 revealed the following salary ranges:

1 – 9: $35,630 to $78,325
10 – 49: $44,856 to $99,815
50 – 199: $68,790 to $253,695

The data shows that the top salaries generally go to those with the experience and advanced business skills needed to grow a business into a viable, sustainable operation.

Education and Training Requirements

Any education or training background can qualify an individual to become a small business owner or entrepreneur. There are no entry requirements. While individuals without advanced education can become successful entrepreneurs, it is clear that a viable small business must have a solid business plan and proper financing – which are more likely for individuals with a business-focused education and demonstrated skills.

Individuals interested in becoming an entrepreneur or small business owner can obtain vital skills and knowledge by enrolling in an MBA program with a specialization in Management. Coursework typically includes marketing management, managerial accounting, production and operations management and corporate innovations and new ventures.

Employers can be confident that professionals who have earned an MBA with a specialization in Management are able to:

  • Develop a complete business plan according to your interests and ambitions.
  • Apply effective management skills to every day business challenges.
  • Combine marketing, operations and financial knowledge to achieve business goals.
  • Make critical decisions on difficult issues and solve a variety of business problems.
  • Leverage advanced knowledge and skills to succeed as a small business owner or entrepreneur.

Have You Always Wanted to be a Small Business Owner or Entrepreneur?

If you have an idea for a product or service, understand finances and sales, are self-motivated and driven, and have a strong drive, work ethic and interpersonal skills, you may be a good fit to start your own small business. Your success as an entrepreneur will be more likely if you pursue a solid business education first; earning an MBA with a specialization in Management can give you the skills and knowledge you need to be a successful small business owner.

Category: Business Administration