updated - December 12, 2019 Thursday EST
Most small business owners get certified in their field to become an expert. Does your industry require you to have a business certification?
"Badges? We don't need no stinkin' badges." You could just as well say diplomas or certifications. Entrepreneurs love going out on their own.
But earning a certification marks you as an expert in your field. It means that you pursued additional education and practice in a particular subject or specialty. For certain fields, certifications mean higher paychecks.
Does it make sense for you to have a certification in your industry? As a small business owner, you have hard limits on your time and budget. Read on to take a look at the pros and cons of business certification.
A restaurant chef only needs one business certification in most U.S. locations. It's a food handler's card. It means the chef isn't carrying typhoid or hepatitis, has at least 6 hours of food safety instruction and has passed a written test.
It does not mean that the chef can actually cook. However, many people look for a certificate from a culinary academy before calling a person a chef. It works the same way with electricians, plumbers, barbers, and many other professions. There's a test, then there are the certificates that matter.
Take the term "Realtor" for example. To call yourself one, you need to be a licensed real estate sales professional in your practicing state AND belong to the National Association of Realtors AND pass a test.
In many places, you don't need anything special to call yourself a plumber, electrician or sometimes even engineer. However, local laws can take exception to those titles without some sort of business certification. Individual requirements vary.
In California, for example, contractors must take an exam to show competency for licensing. A contractor can be certified as an air conditioning contractor or an electrician. A general contractor must demonstrate knowledge of all of the trades plus qualify in at least one.
Certain professions have even more stringent requirements. Nurses, hair stylists, doctors, architects, and attorneys come to mind. You expect a certain level of education, professional practice, and continuing education. Licensing and certification are a point of trust as well as law.
Some newer fields lack any sort of testing. People can call themselves tattooists, medical sonographers or computer network architects without the blessing of any sort of certification.
There are certain certificates that indicate competency. Different certifications in the computer networks industry, for example, mean different competencies. There is no legal framework around these types of certifications. For voluntary certifications, look for the authority in that industry.
The short answer is "no" unless the law requires one to practice in your profession. However, should you?
A business certification helps establish that you have the knowledge and experience a customer needs. Choose a certification that makes sense for your brand and industry. Become a Certified Apple Repair person or Brain Boost Mixologist to increase customer trust.
Want to learn more about franchises that make sense with or without a certificate? Check out our latest news.
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