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Small Business Management

Purpose of Course  showclose

This course will introduce you to entrepreneurship and business planning. By way of introduction, the word entrepreneur originates from the French word entreprendre, meaning to undertake. Today, we define an entrepreneur as an owner or manager of a business enterprise who attempts to make profits by starting and growing his or her business. In earnest, entrepreneurs are a diverse group of risk-takers who share the same goal of cultivating ideas and developing them into viable business opportunities. Take a quick look at the statistics below to get a sense for some of the (potentially surprising) qualities that have been attributed to entrepreneurs.

  • According to a recent report by the US Census, every day approximately 2,356 Americans are becoming entrepreneurs by starting new businesses.
  • According to 2006 report from Northeastern University’s School of Technological Entrepreneurship, 62% of entrepreneurs in the US claim innate drive as the number one motivator in starting their business.
  • According to a January 2008 report by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, women run 33% of small businesses.
  • Lastly, according to an October 2006 report by Northeastern University’s School of Technological Entrepreneurship, 42% of entrepreneurs say they launched their first ventures during childhood (i.e., via a lemonade stand, paper route, etc.).

As you can see, the entrepreneurial community is diverse, yet its members share a number of striking similarities. This course is geared towards both the eclectic mix of individuals planning to develop and launch their own businesses as well as those with established small business ventures that they would like to expand. We will begin by reviewing the history of small business and identifying a successful entrepreneur’s characteristics. The course will then coach you in some basic business skills, teaching you how to write a business plan, launch a new venture, identify market opportunities, create a marketing plan, and finance a business. Finally, the course will also review aspects of building a successful team.

Course Information  showclose

Welcome to BUS305: Small Business Management. General information about this course and its requirements can be found below.

Primary Resources: This course comprises a range of different free, online materials. However, the course makes primary use of the following materials:
 
- Principles of Management
- Organizational Behavior
- Principles of Marketing
Boundless: Marketing, Business, Accounting, and Management
 
Requirements for Completion: In order to complete this course, you will need to work through each unit and all of its assigned materials. Pay particular attention to Unit 1 as this will lay the groundwork for the more exploratory material in latter units. You will also need to complete:
 
            - Subunit 1.1 Assessment
            - Subunit 3.2.9 Activity
            - Unit 4 Activity
            - The Final Exam

Note that you will only receive an official grade on your final exam. However, in order to adequately prepare for the exam, you will need to work through all of the resources in each unit as well as the assessment and activities listed above. We also recommend that you complete the optional assessments in this course to help prepare you for your exam.
 
In order to pass this course, you will need to earn a 70% or higher grade on the final exam. Your score on the exam will be tabulated as soon as you complete it. If you do not pass the exam, you may take it again.

Time Commitment: This course should take you approximately 98.25 hours to complete. There is also approximately 11.25 hours of optional assessments. Each unit includes a time advisory that lists the amount of time you are expected to spend on each subunit. These should help you plan your time accordingly. It may be useful to take a look at these time advisories, to determine how much time you have over the next few weeks to complete each unit, and then to set goals for yourself. For example, Unit 1 should take you 7 hours. Perhaps you can sit down with your calendar and decide to complete subunit 1.1 (a total of 3.75 hours) on Monday night; subunits 1.2 (a total of 3.25 hours) on Tuesday night; etc.
 
Tips/Suggestions: As you study the material in this course, make sure to take comprehensive notes. Write down any business strategies and concepts that will help you develop as an entrepreneur. These notes will be useful as you prepare and study for the final exam. 

 
A version of this course is also available in iTunes U.
Preview the course in your browser or view our entire suite of iTunes U courses.  

Learning Outcomes  showclose

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:
  • analyze the entrepreneurial process through which business ideas are evaluated;
  • identify the characteristics of successful entrepreneurs;
  • identify and describe strategies for supporting entrepreneurship;
  • distinguish between business ideas and opportunities;
  • explain how to write a formalized business plan, and perform this task;
  • explain how to write a marketing plan, and perform this task;
  • explain how to finance business ventures; and
  • identify and describe teambuilding dynamics.

Course Requirements  showclose

In order to take this course you must:
 
√    have access to a computer;

√    have continuous broadband Internet access;

√    have the ability/permission to install plug-ins or software (e.g., Adobe Reader or Flash);

√    have the ability to download and save files and documents to a computer;

√    have the ability to open Microsoft files and documents (.doc, .ppt, .xls, etc.);

√    be competent in the English language; and

√    have read the Saylor Student Handbook.

Preliminary Information

  • Principles of Management

    You will be prompted to read sections of this book throughout the course. You may choose to download the text in full now and skip to the appropriate section as prompted by the resource boxes below, or you can simply download the specific sections of the text assigned as you progress through each resource box below.

    Reading: Principles of Management (PDF)

    Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

  • Organizational Behavior

    You will be prompted to read sections of this book throughout the course. You may choose to download the text in full now and skip to the appropriate section as prompted by the resource boxes below, or you can simply download the specific sections of the text assigned as you progress through each resource box below.

    Reading: Organizational Behavior (PDF)

    Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

  • Principles of Marketing

    You will be prompted to read sections of this book throughout the course. You may choose to download the text in full now and skip to the appropriate section as prompted by the resource boxes below, or you can simply download the specific sections of the text assigned as you progress through each resource box below.

    Reading: Principles of Marketing (PDF)

    Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

Unit Outline show close


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