In the hardest days of the recession, many small businesses struggled with managing and keeping their businesses afloat. Many small business owners couldn’t have predicted the economy’s turn. Even if they could have, some of those individuals had little to no previous business knowledge before starting up or buying their small businesses. It seems as though many small businesses start out or continue this way: from a dream, a hobby, an inclination, or the evolution of a job into a career.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses (businesses with 500 or fewer employees) make up 99% of all employers in the United States. A USA Today article reports that job creation at small companies has almost doubled from the end of winter to the end of summer of 2013. These two statistics convey a marked interest in the American Employee and the American Unemployed evolving into the American Entrepreneur. The Small Business Administration encourages and helps people to start their own businesses or to become “self-employed” through Self-Employment Assistance and other State Workforce Agency programs.

In talking to many people who own small businesses, the most common “regret” is that they didn’t have more business related skills, specifically related to accounting, marketing, and business strategy. The Small Business Administration encourages future and current small business owners to take advantage of business training and learning opportunities. There are many competencies needed to start and maintain a business effectively and efficiently. No matter what kind of business it is, know-how related to marketing, accounting, customer service, business law, and human relations are paramount to success. Approved Colleges offers many professional courses that are specifically intended for small business owners and managers. These courses include:

All of these courses respond to many different aspects of owning and running a small business. In addition to those courses, Approved Colleges also offers a variety of courses that help individuals start their own specialized types of businesses. These courses range from event planning to daycare to bookkeeping to photography.

It is commonly said that around 50 percent of small businesses fail in the first five years. With this in mind, being prepared in every way possible, including appropriate training and knowledge related to owning a business, is vital to avoiding going out of business and financial entropy. Taking an online course is both a schedule and wallet friendly way of acquiring specific skills and knowledge needed to run a business successfully and efficiently.

Contributed by S.E. Curtis