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Career Story: Founder And Executive Director Of A Small Education Business

Founder And Executive Director Of A Small Education Business

Job Title: Executive Director Of Small Business

Type of Company: My company provides educational services.

Education: BS, Nursing, Niagara University •• MS, Boston College

Previous Experience: After many years in nursing I became a clinical instructor for a BS Nursing program. After that I became interested in owning my own business which led to my current position. My business is in the field of education.

Job Tasks: My main responsibility is making sure that the company provides excellent service and remains profitable. In order to meet these goals, I need to make sure that I am surrounded by a management team with the same values and goals. Since I am not a certified teacher, I have members on my team who provide that expertise. My main focus is the day-to-day balancing of the accounts as well as determining marketing efforts to grow the business. Since it is a small business, I wear many hats, answering the phones, responding to emails and solving any problems that arise. On any given day I might be the plumber and the cleaning person too: whatever it takes to get the job done. I am involved in hiring and firing but there other less concrete responsibilities: I have to act as a motivator, for example, and ensure that the workplace is a stimulating, satisfying job site.

As with any job there are pros and cons. As the owner I am never really "off"; the staff needs to be able to contact me if there is ever an emergency. The benefits are many, however. I am my own boss, can set my own schedule and am able to delegate responsibilities. It is always interesting and never becomes routine. One of the things I enjoy the most is that I am continually learning and being challenged!

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The parts of the job that I enjoy the most are the creativity of marketing and the challenge of coming up with new ideas to grow the business. I enjoy meeting the students and families we work with; this was also my favorite part of my nursing career.

The worst parts of the job are dealing with the challenges of the current economy. Occasionally we will have customers or potential customers who are stressful to work with but that is relatively rare, luckily.

Job Tips: I would advise you to take business classes and not be afraid to use your imagination, especially when it comes to marketing ideas. You need to really research your business so you are as prepared as you can possibly be. If it is an existing business, spend time as an unpaid worker to see what it is really like. Be prepared for staff turnover with new leadership and plan accordingly.

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