OCCUPATION THESAURUS

SMALL BUSINESS OWNER



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HELPFUL TIP:

How your character makes a living is an important decision. After all, there’s probably a good reason why they chose this career. Think about how they pull on certain talents and skills, have positive or negative traits, and adhere to a specific work ethic to excel. Sometimes characters choose an occupation because of how they were raised, something they experienced, or even an emotional wound, so consider how all of these things will show readers who they are deep down, and why they do what they do.
OVERVIEW:
A character who is a small business owner may choose a number of structures (Sole Proprietorship, C Corp or S Corp, Limited Liability Company, etc.) and concentrate in any number of areas. Businesses are product or service-focused, and may target individual consumers (via a convenience store, a bakery, a mechanic's shop, a pottery studio, a fast food franchise, etc.) or corporations (via a safety training company that services oil companies, an art supplier for creatives, a canning company for various manufacturers, etc.), or both.

Small business owners wear many hats and need to excel at managing all aspects of the business, or be able to afford qualified help (outsourcing to other companies or hiring employees). Aside from ensuring the highest standards of the product or service the company specializes in (because they feel they are an expert in this area due their passion for the product or service), the owner must concentrate on business development, customer retention (through excellent service, quality products, and competitive pricing), be able to navigate market changes, gain financing, understand and navigate any legal aspects (securing sensitive information appropriately, obtain insurance, keep certificates, licenses, and permits up-to-date, adhere to any codes and regulations in one's industry, ensure employees have required training, and pay one's taxes to name a few). They also need to pay bills, do payroll and other accounting tasks, manage their cash flow, understand their assets, investments, and make decisions on reinvestment (things like buying new equipment, hiring more employees, moving to a better location, updating one's branding or doing a website overhaul). Owners also concentrate on building good relationships with suppliers and other local businesses, they need to be proficient at marketing (and maintain a website and social media presence), and create and follow a business plan. Over the long term, owners must master scaling up to grow, and if they are struggling, scale down as needed to stay afloat.

Small business owners, although time- and cash-stretched, often give back to the community through personal involvement, sponsorship of events, charitable donations, or a mix of these to raise their profile in the community.

NECESSARY TRAINING:
Training will vary depending on the type of business, the expertise needed, and the appropriate certifications one may need to operate. Generally speaking, having a background in business management, marketing, and/or accounting will greatly help a small business owner better understand how to run a business successfully, and navigate the many challenges that come with market fluctuation, and changes to regulations that can affect one's operations. Another beneficial background to have is past experience in the area of one's business. Working for someone else (perhaps as an apprentice) and understand the business from the inside will help one start and manage a company successfully, or even having managerial experience (payroll duties, scheduling, balancing books, ordering, shipping, etc.) at a different sort of business will give one a leg up when it comes to administrative duties.

USEFUL SKILLS, TALENTS, OR ABILITIES:

HELPFUL POSITIVE TRAITS:
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HELPFUL NEGATIVE TRAITS:
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EMOTIONAL WOUNDS THAT MAY HAVE FACTORED INTO THIS OCCUPATION CHOICE:
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SOURCES OF FRICTION:
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PEOPLE THEY MIGHT INTERACT WITH:
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HOW THIS OCCUPATION MIGHT IMPACT ONE'S BASIC NEEDS:
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COMMON WORK-RELATED SETTINGS:
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REASONS THE CHARACTER MAY HAVE BEEN DRAWN TO THIS PROFESSION:
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