Similar Titles

Startup Founder, Business Owner, Self-Employed Entrepreneur, Small Business Manager, Sole Proprietor, Microbusiness Owner, Independent Business Operator, Small Business CEO, Small Business Director, Small Business Consultant, Consultant

Job Description

A small business entrepreneur is someone who opens a new business without turning it into a large conglomerate or opening many chains. A single-location restaurant, a yoga studio, a retail shop would all be an example of small business entrepreneurship.

Job Responsibilities
  • Business Planning: Develop a business plan that outlines the company's mission, vision, goals, target market, competitive landscape, marketing strategies, and financial projections.
  • Financial Management: Manage the finances of the business, including budgeting, forecasting, cash flow management, bookkeeping, invoicing, and financial reporting.
  • Sales and Marketing: Develop and implement sales and marketing strategies to attract customers, promote products or services, and generate revenue. This may involve market research, branding, advertising, digital marketing, customer relationship management, and sales techniques.
  • Operations Management: Oversee day-to-day operations, ensuring efficient processes, quality control, inventory management, procurement, production, and service delivery.
  • Human Resources Management: Recruit, hire, and train employees, or manage a team of contractors or freelancers. Handle employee relations, performance management, payroll, and compliance with labor laws.
  • Customer Relations: Build and maintain strong relationships with customers or clients, provide excellent customer service, address inquiries or concerns, and gather feedback to improve products or services.
  • Networking and Partnerships: Establish and nurture relationships with suppliers, vendors, business partners, industry associations, and other stakeholders to leverage resources, collaborations, and growth opportunities.
  • Strategic Planning: Develop and execute strategic plans to drive business growth, expand into new markets, introduce new products or services, and stay ahead of the competition.
  • Risk Management: Identify and mitigate risks that may impact the business, such as legal, financial, operational, or market risks. Implement appropriate risk management strategies and ensure compliance with regulations.
  • Continuous Learning and Adaptability: Stay informed about industry trends, technological advancements, and changes in the business landscape. Continuously learn and adapt strategies to remain competitive and meet evolving customer needs.
Education and Training Needed
  • There is no established educational path for Small Business Entrepreneurs, but in general, a bachelor’s degree in business, economics, or other finance can be helpful. An MBA is even better!
  • Entrepreneurs, by definition, seek to do things their own way. Many learn through trial and error, but the more you can learn about entrepreneurship basics in advance, the better your odds of success
    • The Bureau of Labor Statistics points out that “Entrepreneurship plays a vital role in the growth of the U.S. economy.” However, per Investopedia, “20% of new businesses fail during the first two years of being open, 45% during the first five years, and 65% during the first 10 years. Only 25% of new businesses make it to 15 years or more”
  • For those who opt not to pursue a degree, individual courses in budgeting, finance, accounting, marketing and sales, project management, leadership, communication, and networking can all be very beneficial 
    • Many students take these classes at a community college or through sites like edX, Coursera, and LinkedIn Learning. Harvard Business School Online offers many free resources such as eBooks 
  • Consider doing a digital marketing bootcamp, such as Harvard’s Digital Marketing Strategy or Udacity’s Digital Marketing Course
  • Small Business Entrepreneurs should understand their target customer avatars. They also need to know how social platforms are best utilized to communicate messages
    • Popular social apps and sites include TikTok, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Twitter, WhatsApp, Telegram, Reddit, and Quora 
  • Stats and analytical programs such as HubSpot, Sprout Social, Google Analytics, and Tapinfluence are also useful to learn
  • If you intend to hire employees, you’ll need to know all about federal, state, and local laws related to hiring and safely managing workers. This will include:
    • getting an EIN (employer identification number)
    • registering with the labor department
    • buying worker’s comp insurance
    • establishing payroll and tax withholdings and other tax forms such as W-4s and I-9s
    • ensuring employee eligibility to work
    • ensuring fair hiring practices
    • displaying a multitude of required employee’s rights notices
    • setting up a safe workplace
    • providing workers with access to applicable company policies
    • managing personnel records, and establishing benefits programs 
  • Naturally, Entrepreneurs must learn a great deal about whatever product or service is going to be marketed! This may involve a degree in that field or a lot of self-study. Consider world-famous entrepreneur Bill Gates, who mastered computer programming in his spare time and launched Microsoft in 1975 (after dropping out of Harvard) 
Things to do in High School and College
  • Enroll in math, accounting, finance, marketing, and business courses, along with classes to help develop your writing, public speaking, analytics, research, leadership, and teamwork skills
  • Other helpful courses may include English, storytelling, graphic design, mass communication, social media marketing strategy, digital advertising, writing for new media, and virtual environments
  • Help family and friends with financial planning and budgeting
  • Volunteer as a budget or resources officer with your school or other organizations. Try to tackle larger projects where you can learn about project management, teamwork, and conflict resolution
  • Depending on your proposed product or service, consider learning how to use a few common digital tools for accounting, financial management, Client Relationship Management, workflow automation, file sharing, and risk assessment 
  • Consider launching a website and/or social media channels. Study SEO, Search Engine Marketing, and analytic tools 
  • Apply for business-related intern jobs to gain work experience
  • Conduct a few informational interviews with successful Small Business Entrepreneurs in your area
  • Develop a professional network via LinkedIn. Write articles and start working on your reputation 
  • Try to keep your personal social media posts professional because an entrepreneur’s personal life can easily spill over into their business and branding these days
  • Consider hiring a personal branding consultant who can help you present yourself the way you want customers to view you 
  • Check out the resources available from the Small Business Administration, such as loans and other funding sources
    • If you are a military veteran, visit the SBA’s Veteran-owned business section
  • Learn about Angel Investors and Venture Capitalists. You may need to bring in such stakeholders to afford launching at the scale you want
  • If you are considering a franchise, visit for a comprehensive directory of opportunities!
How to Start
  • Business internships are a great way to get experience before launching your own enterprise 
  • Since Small Business Entrepreneurs are self-employed, there isn’t a job to land, per se. You’ll be your own boss, so be ready to put in the hours to develop a solid business plan
  • It can take months or even years to launch a successful business enterprise. It is important to be fully prepared but you don’t want to wait too long or someone else might steal your thunder
  • Some Entrepreneurs create an original product or service, which can take longer to research and develop. Others simply modify or offer a unique twist to an existing product and service. Still others buy into an existing franchise such as Subway or Dunkin’. Each route comes with its own timeline
  • Do your research, study the markets, and decide if you want to run a local, statewide, national, or international business. Keep in mind that anything beyond the state level will require additional business licenses and will carry different tax implications
  • Consult a small business lawyer! Most small businesses have some type of customer (even if the customers are other small businesses). As a result, you’ll need to carefully consider how your product or service could potentially cause any type of liability risk
  • For example, if you open a restaurant and a patron gets food poisoning, you run the risk of a lawsuit 
  • Once you launch your enterprise, you may need a Social Media Specialist to help you with marketing and advertising. If your budget doesn’t allow for that in the early stages, you can practice your own social media skills. Pay attention to what gets viewed, shared, or commented on. Study viral social media ads, videos, and copywriting. Read tutorials on the built-in features of apps and platforms. Take online courses and get familiar with analytical tools that show user engagement stats. Check out freelancers who can help with creating and running ads
Recommended Resources


  • 500 Hats
  • AllBusiness
  • AllThingsD
  • AngelList Venture
  • AudienceBloom
  • Brazen
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • Business Owners Toolkit
  • Chic CEO
  • Copyblogger
  • Crunchbase
  • Design Sponge Biz Ladies
  • Dutiee
  • EpicLaunch
  • Escape from Cubicle Nation
  • Federal Trade Commission
  • Forbes
  • ForbesWomen
  • For Entrepreneurs
  • Forte Foundation
  • Google Analytics
  • Harvard Business Review
  • HubSpot
  • Inc. Magazine 
  • Investopedia
  • Mashable
  • Medium
  • Microsoft
  • Mixergy
  • Neil Patel’s KISSmetrics
  • Noobpreneur
  • OneVest
  • Paul Graham
  • ProBlogger
  • QuickSprout
  • Quora
  • Reddit:startups
  • SaaStr
  • SBA’s Veteran-owned business section
  • Small Business Administration
  • Social Media Examiner
  • Sprout Social
  • Startup Company
  • Startup Donut
  • Tapinfluence
  • Tara Gentile
  • The BOSS Network
  • Under30 CEO
  • VentureBlog



Online Courses and Tools