Contact:  John J. Glisch, Associate Vice President, Communications
Office:  321-433-7017  Cell: 321-794-0324

Starting a Business is High Risk

By John Hilston

November 6, 2012 - Our country votes today to elect a president and host of officials on the national, state and local level.

Much of the conversation during the campaigns has been focused on the economy, job creation and health care policy. When the election is over and the winners are declared, those challenges will remain.

And one of the ways some people will confront them is to become an entrepreneur and start their own business.

The life of an entrepreneur is not for everyone. They must have creativity, vision and a drive to achieve. Fulfilling this “need to achieve” requires a high energy level. Self-confidence and optimism are essential because entrepreneurs often face multiple rejections, especially in the beginning.

That includes a big risk of failure.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, 50.4 percent of businesses close within four years. The numbers look even worse within 10 years.

However, there is a bright side to these dim statistics:

Some 49.6 percent of businesses are still around after four years. And even if you are part of the 50.4 percent that fail, proper management of financial risk might help you to avoid personal financial catastrophe.

There is a way to prepare for that high-stakes environment and it’s through taking courses in entrepreneurship that many colleges and universities are now offering.

Among them is Brevard Community College, where the Business Entrepreneurship Program is recognized as among the tops in the nation.

In fact, it was named the “Best Emerging Program” by the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship in 2010 and is continuing to build on that success.

Classes include the must-have basics to start and run a business, including writing a business plan, obtaining financing, maintaining records, managing and marketing, and facing legal and ethical issues.

There are two degree choices — an Associate in Science degree in business administration, and an Associate in Arts degree in entrepreneurship.

The importance of the programs has been noted by BCC President, Dr. Jim Richey, who says “the college is committed to providing our students with the education they’ll need to excel in this all-important field.”

If you’re thinking about starting your own business, courses such as those at BCC are an excellent way to find out if entrepreneurship is right for you. And, if it is, the knowledge gained will prove beneficial to tackling the tough challenges of running your own company.

The backbone of the American economy remains small businesses, and their importance will only grow as the nation continues its slow recovery from the recession in Brevard County and throughout the U.S.

Dr. John Hilston is an associate professor of economics at Brevard Community College.