• Course Introduction

        • Time: 68 hours
        • Free Certificate
        Have you ever wondered what the billionaire Warren Buffett, visionary Steve Jobs, and entrepreneur Jeff Bezos have in common? After you finish studying business practices in this course, you may discover you have many of these same qualities.

        This course will expose you to business terminology, concepts, and current business practices. We will help you establish a viable business vocabulary, foster critical and analytical thinking, and refine your business decision-making skills. You will acquire these skills by the reading materials, exercises, and research assignments that simulate today's workplace. By delving into the five units of this course, you will fine tune your direction and choice of career in business.

        Since your education should help you contribute and compete in the global business environment, we will also focus on multicultural aspects of markets and business. We will examine how the business models other countries adopt often reflect their most salient characteristics.

        First, read the course syllabus. Then, enroll in the course by clicking "Enroll me in this course". Click Unit 1 to read its introduction and learning outcomes. You will then see the learning materials and instructions on how to use them.

      • Unit 1: The Context of Business

        This unit covers basic concepts which provide a context for business. We explore economic and historical information governments use to make decisions, which provides a foundation for future decision-making. You will learn about productivity, the business cycle, the impact of business on society, economic trends and policies, and elements of global business. We will examine the financial meltdown of 2008, including the government bailout of AIG and General Motors, and the collapse of Lehman Brothers, which provide teachable moments in economic policy and business cycles.

        Completing this unit should take you approximately 16 hours.

      • Unit 2: Entrepreneurship and Legal Forms of Business

        In this unit we explore various forms of ownership (sole proprietorship, partnerships, and corporations) which affects how businesses are taxed, how profits are distributed, and what regulations must be followed. The form of ownership you choose corresponds to the growth, taxation, and future of your company. In this unit we examine some techniques business owners use to analyze profitability. We review the characteristics of successful entrepreneurs, how small businesses impact the economy, and the role of the Small Business Administration in the United States.

        Completing this unit should take you approximately 10 hours.

      • Unit 3: Marketing

        Marketing encompasses more than simple advertising and selling, it describes the activity businesses engage in to create, communicate, deliver, and exchange their products to their customers, clients, partners, and society at large. Business owners not only aim to provide customers with the goods and services they want and need, they need to convince them to make a purchase and come back for more. It involves the product, price, distribution, and promotion in the form of advertisement, publicity, public relations, and sales promotion. We will explore e-commerce, e-business, and the use of social media marketing.

        Completing this unit should take you approximately 10 hours.

      • Unit 4: Accounting, Finance, and Banking

        Every day business owners make financial decisions that will impact every phase of the business operation, including such as payroll, cash flow, and projecting future growth. A thorough understanding of accounting and financial management allows business owner to find the best sources and use of funds. For example, you can derive and accurate measure the health of your business from the income statement, balance sheets, and financial ratios. We investigate financing options, how to analyze credit, and the time value of money. We also examine how banks, such as the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank, affect the ability of businesses to obtain financing.

        Completing this unit should take you approximately 15 hours.

      • Unit 5: Management

        The management practices a business adopts will inform how well it is able to achieve its goals and respond to changes in the workplace. For-profit and nonprofit businesses achieve their goals through the four steps of management: planning, organizing, controlling, and leading. Technical, conceptual, and interpersonal skills are essential to the management process. It also involves using human, financial, and informational resources. In this unit we explore how successful business management involves teamwork, communication, creating a clear corporate mission and culture, following good business ethics, and a commitment to social responsibility. 

        Completing this unit should take you approximately 17 hours.

      • Study Guides

        These study guides will help you get ready for the final exam. They discuss the key topics in each unit, walk through the learning outcomes, and list important vocabulary terms. They are not meant to replace the course materials!

      • Course Feedback Survey

        Please take a few minutes to give us feedback about this course. We appreciate your feedback, whether you completed the whole course or even just a few resources. Your feedback will help us make our courses better, and we use your feedback each time we make updates to our courses.

        If you come across any urgent problems, email contact@saylor.org or post in our discussion forum.

      • Certificate Final Exam

        Take this exam if you want to earn a free Course Completion Certificate.

        To receive a free Course Completion Certificate, you will need to earn a grade of 70% or higher on this final exam. Your grade for the exam will be calculated as soon as you complete it. If you do not pass the exam on your first try, you can take it again as many times as you want, with a 7-day waiting period between each attempt.

        Once you pass this final exam, you will be awarded a free Course Completion Certificate.

      • Saylor Direct Credit

        Take this exam if you want to earn college credit for this course. This course is eligible for college credit through Saylor Academy's Saylor Direct Credit Program.

        The Saylor Direct Credit Final Exam requires a proctor and a proctoring fee of $25. To pass this course and earn a Proctor-Verified Course Certificate and official transcript, you will need to earn a grade of 70% or higher on the Saylor Direct Credit Final Exam. Your grade for this exam will be calculated as soon as you complete it. If you do not pass the exam on your first try, you can take it again a maximum of 3 times, with a 14-day waiting period between each attempt.

        Once you pass this final exam, you will be awarded a Credit-Recommended Course Completion Certificate and an official transcript.