5.1 Entrepreneurship Today
- Why do people become entrepreneurs, and what are the different types of entrepreneurs?
Entrepreneurs are innovators who take the risk of starting and managing a business to make a profit. Most want to develop a company that will grow into a major corporation. People become entrepreneurs for four main reasons: the opportunity for profit, independence, personal satisfaction, and lifestyle. Classic entrepreneurs may be micropreneurs, who plan to keep their businesses small, or growth-oriented entrepreneurs. Multipreneurs start multiple companies, while intrapreneurs work within large corporations.
5.2 Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs
- What characteristics do successful entrepreneurs share?
Successful entrepreneurs are ambitious, independent, self-confident, creative, energetic, passionate, and committed. They have a high need for achievement and a willingness to take moderate risks. Good managerial, interpersonal, and communication skills, as well as technical knowledge are important for entrepreneurial success.
5.3 Small Business: Driving America's Growth
- How do small businesses contribute to the U.S. economy?
Small businesses play an important role in the economy. They account for over 99 percent of all employer firms and produce about half of U.S. economic output. Most new private-sector jobs created in the United States over the past decade were in small firms. The Small Business Administration defines a small business as independently owned and operated, with a local base of operations, and not dominant in its field. It also defines small business by size, according to its industry. Small businesses are found in every field, but they dominate the service, construction, wholesale, and retail categories.
5.4 Ready, Set, Start Your Own Business
- What are the first steps to take if you are starting your own business?
After finding an idea that satisfies a market need, the small-business owner should choose a form of business organization. Preparing a formal business plan helps the business owner analyze the feasibility of his or her idea. The written plan describes in detail the idea for the business and how it will be implemented and operated. The plan also helps the owner obtain both debt and equity financing for the new business.
5.5 Managing a Small Business
- Why does managing a small business present special challenges for the owner?
At first, small-business owners are involved in all aspects of the firm’s operations. Hiring and retaining key employees and the wise use of outside consultants can free up an owner’s time to focus on planning, strategizing, and monitoring market conditions, in addition to overseeing day-to-day operations. Expanding into global markets can be a profitable growth strategy for a small business.
5.6 Small Business, Large Impact
- What are the advantages and disadvantages facing owners of small businesses?
Because of their streamlined staffing and structure, small businesses can be efficiently operated. They have the flexibility to respond to changing market conditions. Small firms can serve specialized markets more profitably than large firms, and they provide a higher level of personal service. Disadvantages include limited managerial skill, difficulty in raising capital needed for start-up or expansion, the burden of complying with increasing levels of government regulation, and the major personal commitment that is required by the owner.
5.7 The Small Business Administration
- How does the Small Business Administration help small businesses?
The Small Business Administration is the main federal agency serving small businesses. It provides guarantees of private-lender loans for small businesses. The SBA also offers a wide range of management assistance services, including courses, publications, and consulting. It has special programs for women, minorities, and veterans.
5.8 Trends in Entrepreneurship and Small-Business Ownership
- What trends are shaping entrepreneurship and small-business ownership?
Changes in demographics, society, and technology are shaping the future of entrepreneurship and small business in America. More than ever, opportunities exist for entrepreneurs of all ages and backgrounds. The numbers of women and minority business owners continues to rise, and older entrepreneurs are changing the small-business landscape. Catering to the needs of an older population and a surge in web-based companies fuel continues technology growth. Entrepreneurs typically follow the money and set up shop in places where there is venture capital money easily available.