In 2002, there were approximately 23 million small businesses in the United States according to the US SBA (Small Business Administration). Small businesses have now come to play a vital role in the US economy creating over two-thirds of new private sector jobs. Small businesses also employ more than half of all workers and account for more than half of the output of the economy. In fact small businesses represent more than 99.7 percent of all employers, pay 44.5 percent of the total US private payroll and generate 60 to 80 percent of net new jobs annually.
The SBA defines a small business as an independent business having fewer than 500 employees. However this is standard varies from industry to industry and firms who wish to be designated as a small business must meet standards specified by the SBA Office of Size Standards.
When most people think of small businesses the first thing that comes to mind is a small firm with few employees. However this perception of a small business is completely wrong. Many small businesses are actually quite large with a number of employees working in different administrative, clerical and executive positions. Small businesses range from an import/export company to a web designing firm to an online merchant account.
Small business administration jobs
Small businesses offer many types and forms of jobs from administrative posts to entry level positions. Working in a small business can be a great advantage as it:
* Offers frequent contact with top and higher level management.
* Gives employees a greater sense of personal involvement.
* Leads to broader work experience.
* Provides better opportunities for on the job learning.
* Provides jobs more tailor made to persons talents.
* Provides faster promotion and personal growth opportunities.
Some small business administrative jobs include:
* Data Entry Clerks
Data Entry Clerks are sometimes called database administrators as well. They play a key position in a small business organization and are primarily responsible for updating, maintaining and retrieving information especially in computer systems. They also transfer paper-based records and information into a spreadsheet or database. The basic work of a data entry clerk involves entering details of new clients; maintaining a client database, transferring paper-based results to a computer; and so on. Data entry clerks are employed in sales and marketing organizations, banking firms, medical organizations and educational institutions.
Receptionists mainly deal with members of the public, who could be prospective or current clients, or visitors of a small business. Their main job entails providing front desk customer support with answers to queries, and directing visitors/clients to the person they need to see. Receptionists also organize appointments and take bookings as well as keep the reception area tidy, organize reading material and provide refreshments. In smaller firms with not many clientele receptionists also perform a wider range of tasks such as answering the switchboard, take messages, dealing with telephone inquiries, and doing some basic clerical work. They may also handle petty cash and do simple bookkeeping.
* Secretaries/Administrative Assistants
Secretaries are sometimes known as administrative assistants especially in small businesses where their job descriptions overlap one another. They provide administrative support to one or more people in an organization. Though their duties and responsibilities vary according to an employer, their main duties include: using word processors, spreadsheets and databases, answering the telephone, dealing with public enquiries, making appointments and keeping diaries, preparing and distributing papers, documents and files for meetings as well as taking minutes of a meeting, dealing with all incoming and outgoing mail, drafting letters and other essential documents, transcribing important confidential information and maintaining a filing system for the entire office or department. Well-qualified secretaries, can compile accounts, control budgets and present reports.
* Executive Assistants
Executive Assistants usually provide direct support to the Chief Executive of a company and executive staff members. They ensure that CEO remains organized and informed at all times. An executive assistant handles confidential company information as well as manages executive calendars and complex travel arrangements. They interact with high profile clients and corporate executives and co-ordinate company meetings and events.
* Other essential duties and responsibilities include:
o Providing executive administrative assistance to CEOs and executive staff.
o Managing, arranging and scheduling meetings, conference calls and web conferences, as well as making business travel arrangements.
o Composing memos and office correspondence as well as proofreading all forms of communication, and maintaining confidential documents.
o Composes and assists with presentation materials.
o Creates and maintains database spreadsheet files and reports.
o Maintains and creates Confidential Disclosure Agreements.
o Provides investor relations support; distributing press releases and coordinates and compiles literature for meetings and conferences.
* Operations Manager
An operations manager is involved in the day to day management of a small business, when the CEO or GM is not available. Their key responsibilities include; supervisory duties of the entire office staff, maintaining personnel records and confidential files, supervising daily office business when the CEO is unavailable, and so forth. Operations managers are also involved in purchasing, hiring, training and quality control in a company. Their job description varies with each industry; however they work in close contact with the CEO or GM of a company and are usually involved in work policy formulation, salary issues, and manage the day-to-day activities necessary to operate an effective business.
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