5 Ways to Learn How to Run a Small Business

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You have a great idea for a small business. That’s awesome! But how do you turn that idea into something real? In the digital age of information, you can start online. From online classes to digital research and remote networking, it’s all there at your keyboard.

Start with a Business Education

If you really want to learn how to run your business, you need to learn how businesses run. An online program that teaches you the fundamentals is a good place to start. Whether you choose to attain an Associate Degree in Business Management or a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, both programs should introduce you to what makes a successful business. Through online lessons and case studies, you can discover what differentiates the winners from the losers.

Among the business topics you’ll need to learn are:

  • Accounting
  • Business Law and Ethics
  • Project Management
  • Human Resources
  • Leadership
  • Team Management
  • Marketing
  • Customer Service
  • Technology

Do Your Research About Small Businesses

Before you start any business, find out if what you’re doing make sense. Whether you’re selling a craft or building a service, you need to know who your customers will be—and your competitors. Check out other businesses and entrepreneurs. Look at what they’ve done and the mistakes they’ve made so you don’t make the same ones. Pay attention to industry news specific to your products. Follow blogs like Small Business Trends or All Business, which give advice on how to develop and market startups. Or tune into podcasts like Youpreneur or Entrepreneurs on Fire for small business insights and expert interviews. The goal is to get informed and stay informed.

Connect with Other Entrepreneurs

Another great way to learn what business management is all about is from other entrepreneurs. Create a LinkedIn account and connect with other small business owners. Look for business owner meetings in your area or attend events hosted by your city’s Chamber of Commerce. The more you network, the more you’ll be able to learn. And who knows—you may also find partners or vendors to work with in the future. Not to mention, customers!

Find a Small Business Mentor

As you network, look for someone who can mentor you on your business journey. A mentor can give you advice, brainstorm ideas, guide you through the process of running a business, and help you set goals and follow through to achieve them. You may stumble upon one, but don’t be afraid to be proactive in your community or on LinkedIn. There are lots of people out there who would love to share their knowledge with you. Just ask!

Gain Sales Experience

Whether you run your own business or someone else’s, an important component to success is sales. You need to know how to market and sell your product or service. The good news is that you may already have sales experience. Ever work in retail or food service? That’s sales. Ever apply to a job? You’re selling yourself. Start today and hone your selling and customer service skills.

Are you ready to learn more about business management? Charter College offers online programs in business that can teach you what you need to know to run a small business or contribute to a large one. Call 888-200-9942 or fill out the form for more information on our degree programs.