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The redesigned Small Business Management program at Pickens Technical College prepares students for employment in an office setting or another business environment by putting an emphasis on computer skills, e-commerce, and entrepreneurship. Both college-bound or office-bound students receive skills in their area of emphasis, so they can go on to earn four-year or master’s business degrees, or if they wish, get started on their own business idea.

Running a small business in any economy or industry takes a skill set that is best learned in a small class with as much teacher-student interaction as possible. All classes in the Pickens Tech Business Department are kept small intentionally to allow for the most student-teacher interaction and individual learning time as possible.

In addition to the normal subjects covered in all business classes, such as finance, ethics and values, supervision, management, etc., experienced and successful business expert Jennifer Cronk-Cross teaches students in her new class how to read and analyze market forces, how to manage risk, and how to set up successful e-commerce systems: everything a new small business owner needs in their toolkit to succeed in their own industry producing their own useful products and services.

This new direction for business management at PTC emphasizes the struggles that small, independent organizations often face in their own markets and industries. While many small business owners love the freedom and the rush of running their own growing organizations, they often face challenges on all sides. At PTC, Cronk-Cross and her team put students in a position to prepare themselves for the challenges they’ll face after they start their entrepreneurial journey. By giving students the time they need to meet with their instructors and handle situations they will face after they graduate, students can rest assured they’ll be prepared for the next step.

Running any small business these days takes a great deal of courage. Change is the only constant for entrepreneurs as they navigate the potential pitfalls in front of them. Competition is fierce in almost any industry. In order to be prepared for this uncertainty, students have to have confidence in their abilities. Confidence can’t be instilled unless it’s based on experience and practice. Cronk-Cross makes sure all of her students have the opportunity to gain the experience they need to succeed in the real world. The emphasis on building an e-commerce presence sets future small business owners up for success in this rapidly changing business environment. As new technology sweeps through all industries with new ways of managing finances, people, commodities, and more, students graduating from PTC’s Small Business Management program will be prepared not only for market disruption but to use these new tools to make their processes and systems better for the future. Small business management today takes agility and a willingness to dare to dream bigger and fly higher. PTC’s Small Business Management program under Cronk-Cross gives students the best chance to fulfill their dreams and reach their goals as successful small business owners.