How to Become a Small Business Owner

A small business owner can come from any walk of life. It is simply someone who owns a small business and has either a product or a service to offer.

How to Become a Small Business Owner

A small business owner come from any walk of life.

Many small business owners are entrepreneurs, who have developed a product or service that is either previously not patented, a derivative of an original idea, or a unique way to deliver the idea or service. But others are not true entrepreneurs, choosing instead to maintain a business that was previously owned by someone else, becoming a franchise owner, or by working side-by-side as a co-owner with another business owner. A small business owner could also include those in the medical sciences, such as doctors and dentists, as well as other practitioners and store owners such as mechanics, flower shops, and such. It could be stated that most small business owners are entrepreneurs, but not all entrepreneurs are small business owners. However, it is interesting to note that 95% of employers are small business owners.


The general qualifications for a small business owner are just an ability in a specialty area and the ability to run a company. It takes a great deal of motivation and insight, as well as discipline to see a business through to success. Independent-minded people tend to do better as business owners than those who would rather "follow a leader" or "follow the crowd." Life as a small business owner may sometimes make you feel like a "lone wolf."

Typical Education

There really is no "typical" education for a small business owner. They come from all walks of life and all types of specialty areas. The common denominator of all business owners is that they all would rather work for themselves than answer to someone else, and typically enjoy being in control of their own income, hours, and futures. The best education a small business owner could get would be either a degree in their specialty area (preferred), or a degree in Business. A degree in Business would be a better background for someone who perhaps did not know what area of business they’d like to run, where the specialty field candidate would be someone who already knows what they are good at and focuses on the area in which they excel.

An Alternate Road

There are many roads to small business ownership. Many small business owners are entrepreneurs, meaning they have developed their own unique business idea and are now creating a business around that idea. But, as mentioned before, some small business owners are franchise owners, meaning they are riding on the already established success of others to create their own local business, such as owning a McDonald’s, Macy’s Store, or Subway. Franchise owners do not have to possess the sense of creativity or assertiveness as true entrepreneurs do, because they have to follow the strict stipulations placed on them by the corporation owners. Regardless, a franchise owner still has a desire to run a business, and in many ways, it is much easier due to the high level of success the chain has already experienced. A small business owner may also only hold a certificate, such as a mechanic or welder. In these cases, a degree is unnecessary. Both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, two of the most successful business people in American history, attended Harvard for only two years, then quit, when they felt they had obtained all the education they needed to start their businesses. So one alternative path is to go to school long enough to learn skills related to your dream business, then go for it. It worked for them!

Steps to Becoming a Small Business Owner

If you have an idea or want to become a small business owner, here are some steps to take to start the process:

1) Get a degree or certification in a specialty area or in Business. The best way to become a successful business owner is to do something you are already good at. For that reason, it is best to major in your specialty field in order to gain as much knowledge as possible in your area before launching your business. However, if you want a more well-rounded education, or are not sure what type of business you want to launch, consider getting a degree in Business instead. It will give you the background you need to become a small business owner and may teach skills about how to run your business that you cannot learn anywhere else.

2) Get really good at what you do. Whether you are an entrepreneur or a franchise owner, this rule still applies. You need to be the best at what you do and enjoy what you do. People will start to see you as an expert and you can begin to build a clientele.

3) Work for others in your field of specialty first. If you cannot start your business right away, due to financial limitations or other concerns, work for someone in your field first and get some experience. Then move up to starting your own business and seek financial help through investors or business loans.

4) Research and know your market. Find out where you can sell or promote the products or services you offer. In order to be successful as a small business owner, you must know where your market is.

5) Learn to think "outside the box." A true entrepreneur who is a small business owner knows how to adjust their thinking to the market, the demand for their services, or other changes. If you can learn to be independent in your thinking, and always brainstorm new ideas, you will be more flexible and will be more successful as a small business owner.

A small business owner is sometimes an entrepreneur, sometimes a franchise owner, but always the captain of his own ship. Choosing rather to sail the seas of unpredictability than to ride in the boat of another, his is daring, assertive, and confident. He knows he will come across obstacles but he has a complete motivation and dedication to make it. Sound like you? If you don’t like the idea of working for someone else, prepare yourself now for life as a small business owner and call the sea your own. It all starts with getting as much education in your chosen field as possible! May you sail in calm and sure seas toward your goals!