Small businesses are privately held enterprises, partnerships, or single ownership that have fewer registered employees and/or lower annual sales than a normal-sized company or business. Many small businesses are home-based operations. Some small businesses have sales online, through mail order, through telephone, or by direct mailing brochures or catalogs to their customers. Most small businesses do not have financial resources that can be used for expansion or for purchasing additional assets. The small business owner must use his personal resources–usually his own time, talent, and money–to grow his business.
Typically, small businesses have two or more sales persons who perform the different tasks associated with day-to-day sales activities. They include a salesman who represents the product or service; a warehouse or store owner who maintains and inspects the shop’s inventory; a customer service representative who answers customer questions and forwards them to the manufacturer or seller; and an administrative assistant who helps in preparing financial and business documents. Sales representatives commonly begin their careers as entry-level employees. The top five employment positions typically occupied by small businesses include:
Managers are the most senior and hands-on managerial personnel in most small businesses. Most managers have at least a bachelor’s degree and many have master’s degrees. The most common qualifications required for manager positions include customer service skills, sales experience, computer skills, leadership experience, and accounting knowledge. Many managers oversee two to three employees. Other manager responsibilities include overseeing production levels, budget planning and forecasting, and supplier procurement.
The small business structure has many advantages over larger corporations. One advantage is the ease of incorporating. Almost anyone can form a S-Corporation, although the minimum requirements vary by state. All corporations must meet the same filing and registration requirements. Besides that, there are few legal disadvantages to the formation of an S-Corporation.
The corporation is established by filing Articles of Organization. The Articles of Organization provide information regarding the corporation and its selected characteristics. The Articles of Organization will also describe the corporation’s capital and credit resources. Among other information contained in the Articles of Organization, the following provides information about the corporation’s selected characteristics: the business address, the registered agent, the corporation’s names or any name used in the names of the director and members, the nature of the business, the date of first operation, the duration of the business, the shareholders, the authorized purpose of the corporation, the length of term of the business, the notice of meetings, the annual general meeting, the committees required to be present at meetings, the management rules and policies, the officers’ duties, the partners’ titles, and the financial information.
An effective listing in the local telephone directory is one of the most effective ways to locate small business corporations. A local telephone directory provides valuable information on companies that have incorporated. Another valuable way of locating and identifying small businesses is through a web site. Many websites provide helpful information on small business corporations. Web sites provide statistics on small businesses, the select characteristics of small business corporations, and how to list a corporation.
One of the best ways to identify small businesses is by visiting the small business government website. The small business government website provides useful information on small businesses. Among other things, the website provides data on selected characteristics of small businesses. Among the selected characteristics listed on the small business government website are the types of small businesses, their locations, the percentages of ownership by women, percentages of ownership by minorities and more. The website can also provide data on the number of employees, number of owners and the percentage of owners who are women, the average age of employees, and the average age of entrepreneurs.
Finally, a person can use the Small Business Administration’s web site to identify small businesses. The SBA web site offers information on SBA loans, grants, tax services and small business administration programs. There are also links to contact the small business administration. The SBA can assist in starting up a small business, providing general advice, setting up a business plan, registering a business, getting licenses and inspections, managing payroll, and more. To locate a list of small businesses and other businesses in your area, log onto the SBA’s web site and use the Select Search Engine to locate SBA businesses.