How Do I Gain Small Business Experience?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 30 August 2019
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If you are planning on opening your own small business in the future, it may be beneficial to get small business experience first. You can do this in several ways: you can work at an existing small business and job shadow the owner or manager to learn the skills and processes necessary to operate an effective business; you can go to school to learn about the processes and skills necessary to run a small business; or you can take part in a training seminar that will give you small business experience by allowing you to create a hypothetical business plan.

Of course, you can simply begin to start your own business without any small business experience. This means you will need to learn by doing, which can have advantages and disadvantages. You will be more likely to take risks and be creative, which can lead to success, but you may also make common mistakes that can otherwise be avoidable if you gain small business experience first. If you learn by doing, you will be likely to make mistakes that will cost you money and time, but you will also get a feel for your own business talents very quickly.


Taking a course or degree program in business is perhaps the best way to get small business experience. Such programs will teach you everything from advertising to budgeting, from getting permits to securing business loans. Opening a small business can be difficult and time-consuming, but with enough preparation, the process can go smoothly and you can be making a profit fairly soon. Degree programs and courses are designed to help you avoid the pitfalls of starting a business, and they are wise investments if you have the money to participate.

Alternatively, you can gain small business experience by working at a small business. You will learn by doing, and you will risk very little because you do not have any money invested in the business. You can job shadow a manager or owner and learn how to do payroll, write an employee schedule, deal with difficult employees and customers, devise advertising campaigns, manage day to day operations, and calculate projections for profit and loss. If you can work your way up to a managerial position, you will be in even better position to learn the necessary skills and techniques to run your own small business in the future.



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