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What subjects should I study to become an entrepeneur in small business?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I'm currently a technical student and I always wanted to become an entrepeneur. Since I do not have the education of an entrepeneur and I am missing knowledge about law, economics, marketing, etc. Since I do have academics skills, I was just wondering what I can or should study to become an entrepeneur in small business (next to in depth knowledge in the branche where I'm going to develop my product or service). I know that entrepeneurship is a discipline where you have to do things rather than keep studying it, but what would truly be essential knowledge for me to acquire?
post #2 of 9
Having an accounting or mathematics background is always a bonus. Also, if you really want to start a small business in the future doing internships can help with achieving your goal.
post #3 of 9

Depends on what type of business you are starting, but internet marketing these days is definitely a must.

Look into SEO(Search Engine Optimization), Google AdWords, Internet Marketing(as a whole)...Everything related to this topic would be good.

 

Management and legal skills are also important, though my focus is in marketing. there is a website called LegalZoom.com that, for a fee, will sort out all of your legal requirements.

 

Back to marketing, you may want to look into books on "How to Start a Small Business". Aside from the marketing textbooks assigned to me in college, a couple books I found particularly helpful in my own personal business pursuits are: "Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping" by Paco Underhill and "How to Win Friends & Influence People" by Dale Carnegie.

 

Here are the links to these books on Amazon, you may find the customer reviews helpful: Why We Buy How to Win Friends & Influence People

post #4 of 9
Depends on what you want to do. Open up a bakery? an online store?

For a more general as onepiece said, accounting is good.

When you start off you'll prob have to do your own taxes, as you won't be able to hire a good accountant. you'll probably also take some basic business classes in the mix, which will give you a very general view, but still helpful,

Programming/web design. No matter what business pretty much you'll need a website. Being able to do it yourself will save you some money hiring a web designer, and more if your site/business requires more complex coding.

I'd advise you to go work for several years before starting your own thing. learn on your employers dime, while also saving money for capital.
post #5 of 9
You can't learn how to be an entrepeneur, but I think you can study how others have done it. Maybe a seminar on startups? They don't have to be web 2.0 based maybe something with a range of fields - manufacturing, services, etc.

I'd also suggest a course on economics and another on accounting. Read books on the subject maybe subscribe to a magazine or website that caters to entrepeneurs and startups.
post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joffrey View Post

You can't learn how to be an entrepeneur, but I think you can study how others have done it. Maybe a seminar on startups? They don't have to be web 2.0 based maybe something with a range of fields - manufacturing, services, etc.
I'd also suggest a course on economics and another on accounting. Read books on the subject maybe subscribe to a magazine or website that caters to entrepeneurs and startups.

I agree with everything you said. If the OP plans on starting a business have accounting knowledge will be helpful in the short and long run. You wouldn't believe the paper work involved in just setting up and maintaining an at home business.
post #7 of 9

In my opinion, you can hire someone to handle your accounting and finances. It may be more expensive in the short run, but you should be devoting as little of your personal time as possible to the profitability of your company in the first few years.

 

Obviously, it first depends what kind of company you plan to have and if you'll have a service or product.

My advice:

 

1.) Learn how to sell. You need to learn how to advertise, prospect, and bring in new business. Your goal in your first years is to have a large group of clients/customers

2.) Learn how to manage your time. You're going to be working 50+ hour weeks trying to run your own business.

3.) Learn how to generate and ask for  referrals. This is the biggest and most important factor for growing a small business....word of mouth.

 

 

Essentially, you don't need to worry about how much money you're making. Have a moderate amount of knowledge about at what point you can become profitable, but you need customers first.

 

My experience:

In a sense, I have two businesses.

One is my day job where I work for a major company, but my clients are specific to me.

The second is a side business. I don't devote much time to it, but it has been very profitable for the time I put into it.

 

In my day job. I focus strictly on bringing in new business. I worry very little about how much or how little to charge for the service I give. I generally charge as low as possible, but my goal is to bring in as many new clients as I can. In short, my goal is quantity rather than quality. When I reach a certain number of clients (my number is 150), I will begin to cull my client base and worry about the specifics. However, I have a long way to go before that point.

 

In my side business, I don't focus on marketing. However, I use specific venues where I know there is already a large market for the products I sell (ex: ebay). I buy and sell things on ebay, craigslist, and internet forums. I keep a spreadsheet of everything I aquire. It's very simple and includes at what price I bought and sold it. I know exactly how much I'm making on each item, how much I've made this year, and it also helps me to have a specific price I know I should buy something and make money.


Edited by randomhero88 - 11/6/12 at 8:09am
post #8 of 9
Supply chain management. Better for entrepreneurs than entrepreneurship.
post #9 of 9
Finance. And Accounting.


Specifically, you will want to learn about finance options directed at entrepreneur ventures. Many business schools offer courses specific to starting new ventures, so see if you can enroll in some of those classes? They will discuss a lot of info regarding valuation, pitching to angels, pitching to VC's etc. You'd do some good for yourself in learning about how to write a business plan and how to pitch it.
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