The purpose of this course is to give the student tools, information, and strategies to equip them in a way that will give them the best chance of success when starting a business. We will discuss topics such as risk, economics, the global market, ethics, legal considerations, organization, humans resources, and marketing. As a student reads, completes practices and assignments, discusses with others, and takes assessments, he or she will gain a practical understanding of the components of a small business and the steps that one takes to create and establish that business, from the idea, to the business plan, to the strategies for helping that business to succeed and grow.
Lesson 1: Entrepreneurial Pathways
When one comes up with an idea that they feel can impact the world, it often is something in their mind that can be sold as a good or service. The first lesson of the course focuses on the fundamentals of being an entrepreneur. As one has an idea, the opportunity to grow that idea comes in many forms. This can also take down a path where one seizes an existing idea and start their business that way. Naturally, as this lesson concludes, it all revolves around the most important documents of a business: the business plan.
Lesson 2: Who are Your Customers?
The most important part of a business is the customer or client. Without them, a business would cease to exist. The second lesson of the course focuses on how the customer or client makes an impact to one being an entrepreneur. This may include creating a business around a specific clientele or an opportunity. Market exploration is another critical component that entrepreneurs must do in order to know what the right market is to promote their goods and services.
Lesson 3: Integrated Marketing
Marketing revolves around a number of terms that start with the letter ‘P:’ price, promotion, place, priority, etc. As an entrepreneur, one must be able to market their product in the best way possible. Often, resources are limited and creativity may be needed in order to achieve this goal. This lesson reviews how one can develop a marketing mix and have a strong pricing strategy which limits the need for discounts and markdowns. Marketing locally and globally is also talked about. Finally, the authors provide guidance about smart selling and how that can impact customer service provided.
Lesson 4: Show Me the Money: Finding, Securing, and Managing It
Money. It may be the root of evil in some eyes but it is the thing that flows in and out of a business. For entrepreneurs, this can be one of the most precious resources they have from the start. The fourth lesson of the course reviews money and core concepts that come with owning a business as an entrepreneur. Gaining insight on revenues coming in and expenses going out will make one cognizant as to how their business operates. This ties into whether or not to use debt or equity to maintain or grow and how cash flows from cycle to cycle.
Lesson 5: Operating a Small Business Effectively
The fifth lesson of the course reviews knowledge that entrepreneurs must have in order to operate the business they created successfully. This includes addressing legal issues that may arise and the risk of taking action, fundamentals of day-to-day operations, best practices for facilities, and human resource considerations. A business operation has many layers much like an onion and all are tied to the core (that being the original idea explored earlier in this course).
Lesson 6: Leadership, Ethics, and Exits
The final lesson of the course turns to the sustainability of a course. Leadership and ethical practices must be spot on in order for a business to be an optimal community partner in their area(s). As a brand grows, one can look into franchising, licensing, and harvesting. The purpose of this concluding lesson is for entrepreneurs that have successfully gotten their business started to maintain and grow it beyond initial phases discussed earlier in the course.