Program Goal and Outcomes
Program Goal: The program goal for the Small Business Management program is learn how to plan for success, market products or services, find the right sources to finance a business, and write an effective business plan step by step in order to start your own small business or manage a small business for someone else.
Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:
- Identify the typical qualities and behaviors of successful entrepreneurs, and the benefits and drawbacks of starting one's own business, buying a franchise, and purchasing an existing business.
- Develop clear, measurable goals and a comprehensive mission statement for a business.
- Comprehend techniques used in successful networking, including how to make a good first impression, how to introduce your business to a potential contact, listening skills, and how to follow up with a promising contact.
- Distinguish between primary and secondary research and determine appropriate question types for various research situations.
- Establish an effective marketing strategy which includes an advertising platform and a public relations campaign.
- Develop and draft a business plan according to a five-part comprehensive structure.
- Identify an appropriate business structure to match the business plan, including considerations for hiring management and staffing.
- Recognize the features and benefits of different types of funding in order to identify the right money sources for a particular business.
- Understand the range of legal regulations that affect starting a new business, including licenses, zoning approvals, and basic tax knowledge, and apply these to a business plan.
- Identify the components of a solid business team such as employees, suppliers, and distributors, and techniques used in identifying personal and business characteristics that will enhance a business.
- Comprehend the scope and function of the Internet, the advantages and hazards of an online presence, resources for developing an online presence, and features of successful commercial websites.
- Differentiate between types of pricing strategies and business evaluations, and use cost and expense data to prepare a budget as part of a business plan.
- Recognize the features and advantages of well-organized business records and how business records can be used to inform major business decisions.
Instruction Set 1
Starting Your Program
Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program. Understand how to use your Student Portal, including your My Homepage and My Courses pages; access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers; and connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.
Preparing for Business Success
What you need to know before you get started: the pros and cons of starting a small business; evaluating your own strengths and weaknesses; avoiding the ten most common mistakes; exploring online resources.
Instruction Set 2
Choosing Your Business
Types of businesses; the pros and cons of different types of businesses; facts and figures; legal points; special considerations; online resources.
Keys to Success
Identifying your mission; creating a Mission Statement; setting measurable goals; stages of growth.
Where and how to begin networking; building and maintaining your network; successful networking; developing community contacts; finding a mentor; online connections.
Instruction Set 3
Where to start your research; the benefits of market testing; using demographics; finding your target market; adjusting to market changes; creating a questionnaire; types of surveys; interpreting data; customer buying behavior and values; online resources.
Basics of a Business Plan
Business information; your industry; your operating plant; your financial plan; supporting documentation; background research; getting started; using the library; researching costs and pricing; business tips; finding business plan software
Writing a Business Plan
Getting ready to write; Introduction and Overview; the Business section; Background, Mission Statement, Products and Services, and Target Customers, positioning your business; product differentiation; the Industry section: Market Position and Competition.
Instruction Set 4
Your Business Structure
Choosing a structural status; plant and equipment needs; describing your inventory; your management structure; Total Quality Management; developing processes; staffing considerations.
Financing Your Business
Finding the right financing; types of financing; banks and other lending institutions and agencies; equity financing; finding financial resources online; avoiding undercapitalization.
Legal Requirements and Resources
Types of legal requirements;legal resources; regulations, licenses and permits; federal, state and local requirements; payroll; zoning laws; business taxes.
Instruction Set 5
Marketing that Works
Your marketing plan; tips for effective marketing; advertising campaigns; public relations campaigns; marketing resources; promotions and publicity; finding the right strategy for your business.
Building a Team
Hiring the right people; keeping the right people; internal customer service; suppliers, distributors and experts; referrals and recommendations.
Putting Your Business Online
What is e-commerce; establishing your Web presence; security, credibility, and consumers; creating your Web page; online resources; Web service providers; making yourself known.
Instruction Set 6
Preparing a Budget
Estimating costs and expenses; software and online resources; forecasting sales volume; pricing strategies; making financial projections; financial analysis; performance measures.
Keeping Business Records
The importance of keeping records; bookkeeping basics; computerized accounting; record keeping for tax purposes; line item descriptions; income statements; your business status; financial statements and statement analysis.
Graded Project — Creating Your Business Plan
Pulling all the elements together; filling in the missing pieces; developing the overview; evaluating the overall plan; tips for presenting a stronger plan.
Learning Aid: Starting Your Own Business CD-ROM