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Introduction

I am attending Salt Lake Community College and working towards my Business


Management degree with the Small Business Ownership Emphasis. Throughout my life I have
had varied careers including extensive restaurant experience. I was pulled away from the
restaurant business when my parents purchased a tiny store in Sugarhouse called the Persian
Peacock. After almost 15 years and 3 expansions I felt the need for a change and began a career
at UPS as a driver.
Shortly after starting at UPS I missed the retail experience and came up with the idea of a
fair and festival retail business. Hence, The Gem Miner was born. The Gem Miner is currently a
retail business that sells rocks, crystals, mineral specimens, and small jewelry items. We do
anywhere from 5-10 shows per year, although I would love to grow upon that as opportunities
present themselves. My goal is to slowly build upon this business until it is ready for the next
level.
Running the business has been a learning experience, as it should be. I am hoping to use
my college experience and education to give me the insight and background to continue to grow
and expand on my business ideas. I love researching and reading about the retail business. From
malls and shopping centers to the newest start-ups and expanding retail businesses. In this paper
I will present what I have learned about what it takes to become a small business owner, and
what it takes for me to be successful at it.

Job Description
For this paper I found several interviews with founders, CEOs, presidents, and industry
leaders that will give me insight into what it is like to run a start-up retail company. The first, and
probably most important thing that I have learned while researching is that a start-up especially a
retail one takes a lot of work.
Lindsay Gaskins, CEO of Marbles: The Brain Store has memories of being at the mall at
2.a.m. when they opened the first kiosk doing rearranging and trying to make the idea work.
(Ding) And then there is Vivien and Fernanda Bohme sisters and founders of their namesake
boutique who hauled a ladder and 8 lumber in their Honda Accord in order to get their first
space remodeled. (Weist) The other interesting thing about these two companies in particular is
that they both started in 2008, when the United States was in the midst of the Great Recession.
So, from this we can conclude that as an entrepreneur during this time then you must have a
strong drive, and desire for what you are trying to accomplish.

General Career Path


While being a small business owner is no easy task. I believe that the career path is all of
your prior work experiences, in addition to all of life experiences. From what I have learned so
far through my life, much of it can be considered experience towards starting and running a
successful business.

General Education Experience


I plan on continuing at SLCC to get my AAS in Business Management: Small Business
Ownership Emphasis. Since I am looking to own a mall based retail store, this degree will
accomplish most of what I will need to learn from a collegiate background. However, I will
probably want to look at some outside courses and training on different topics as they come up.
Some of these may include trade groups, and other industry specific training methods.

Average Salary
Initially when starting a new business, the owner can be expected to not earn any income
for at least two to three years. According to the website Payscale
(http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Small_Business_Owner/Salary) the average salary
is just over $71,000 per year. While it is said that it takes some time for a new business to
become profitable it is also important to set some sort of compensation so that you dont feel
frustrated in working for free.

Career Outlook
According to a January 2016 survey, a majority of those surveyed indicated that 2016
would be better than 2015. (PR Newswire) It is estimated that 543,000 new businesses get
started each month (Nazar), however more employer businesses shut down every month. With
that said, there is always someone who can build a better mousetrap and go their own way and be
able to add to the entrepreneurship ranks.

Business Leadership
The cost to start up a retail business is expensive to say the least. The Bohme sisters
explain that Were self-funded, Bootstrap is our middle name (Weist) The sisters had maxed
out credit cards, and received a $20,000 AMEX card so they had enough inventory to open the
first store.
Marbles, on the other hand was funded by Sandbox Industries, a Chicago based business
incubator. Although at a cost of $200,000 to build out each store, they are concerned with
expansion and therefore have yet to turn a profit. (Ding)
Once the business is open and operating, as a CEO or business leader you need to be
prepared to do anything. From answering the phone about an incoming delivery to delivering
product to a store then having to jump on the sales floor and helping out customers. I feel that
these actions help to make a great business leader. You need to have the knowledge and ability to
jump into any situation at a moments notice.
Successful business leaders need to know how to delegate but also need to have
knowledge of the work and tasks that they are asking of their employees and other staff
members. Being able to reach out to employees can make a huge difference, especially to a mall
store, which more often than not could be young kids. Zumiez founder Tom Campion started a
program in the 80s where he took employees that sold over $100,000 out to dinner. (Lewis) To
me, this is a great idea. When you launch a company and grow you do not ever want to forget
where you came from or how you got there, and rewarding employees is probably the best way
to do this.

Pros and Cons


Pros
You get to work for yourself
Unlimited earning potential
Ability to set your own hours
Sense of accomplishment

Cons
You might have to do all the work
May have to make less money
May have to work long hours
Sense of frustration

My Fit With This Career


In this paper I have presented a multitude of information that I have researched
and found that helps inform me of facts and insight into my chosen future career field.
I believe that my past experiences and current training through my educational
experiences at SLCC have helped to lead me to this path. The most important things to
poses are the strong desire to be a business owner, in addition to having a successful idea
that can be acted upon and turned into a successful business. I believe that I have all that
is necessary to accomplish this goal.

Sources
Bates, Rob. "Interview with Signet CEO Michael Barnes." JCK Online. N.p., 5 Apr. 2013.
Web. 01 Apr. 2016. <http://www.jckonline.com>.
Ding, Erin. "Marbles CEO Has Mindset for Success and Is Playing to Win." Chicago Tribune,
23 Jan. 2012. Web. 02 Apr. 2016.
Lewis, Mike. "Zumiez Founder Tom Campion Shares Insight on Building a Sales Based
Culture." Transworld, 28 Oct. 2010. Web. 03 Apr. 2016. <http://business.transworld.net>.

Moore, Anne. "This Entrepreneur Wants You to Play Mind Games." Crain's Chicago
Business. N.p., 15 May 2014. Web. 17 Apr. 2016.

Nazar, Jason. "16 Surprising Statistics About Small


Businesses." Forbes 09 Sept. 2013: n. pag. Print.
"Survey: Vast Majority of U.S. Small Business Owners Are Both Bullish On 2016 Outlook And
Critical Of Government Support For Small Business."PR Newswire. N.p., 11 Jan. 2016. Web.
17 Apr. 2016. <https://www.endurance.com/press/press-releases/survey-vast-majority-of-ussmall-business-owners-are-both-bullish-on-2016-outlook-and-critical-of-government-supportfor-small-business>.
Weist, Ellen Fagg. "Utah's Bohme Boutique: The Business Story behind the Fashion." The
Salt Lake Tribune 29 Mar. 2012: n. pag. Print.