Topic outline

  • Course Introduction

    Have you ever wondered what qualities billionaire Warren Buffet, visionary Steve Jobs, or upcoming Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com all have in common? After you finish studying business practices in this course, you may discover that you have some of the same qualities as other successful entrepreneurs.

    This course is designed as a survey course that will expose you to business terminology, concepts, and current business issues. The intent is to develop a viable business vocabulary, foster critical and analytical thinking, and refine your business decision-making skills. These skills will be acquired by the reading materials, exercises, and research assignments in this course that simulate the workplace today. By delving into the five units of this course, you will be able to fine tune your direction and choice of career in business.

    A major goal of your education is to help you become a citizen who can contribute and compete in an increasingly global environment. Elements of this course will focus on multicultural aspects of markets and business. Additional elements will ask you to look at other countries and evaluate the combination of business models and country characteristics.

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  • Unit 1: The Context of Business

    This unit covers basic macroeconomic concepts which provide the context for business.  This unit will explore economic and historical information that aids in government decisions today but also provides a foundation for future decision-making.  The events related to the financial meltdown of 2008 such as the bailout of AIG, Lehman Brothers, and General Motors provide teachable moments for such areas as economic policy and business cycles.  This unit attempts to draw in multiple sources of information and several great documentaries that have been created lately concerning the 2008 economic crisis while giving you an introduction to the context of business.   A quote referring to two business cycles that you will study still holds true today: "It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job; it's a depression when you lose yours.” - Harry S. Truman

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  • Unit 2: Entrepreneurship and Legal Forms of Business

    This unit will illustrate how the various forms of ownership (sole proprietorship, partnerships, and corporations) that an owner chooses affects how that business is taxed, how profits are distributed, and what regulations are to be followed.  Through careful study, as a potential owner, you will decide in which form you are the most comfortable operating.  You will also see that in some situations, it is necessary to move from one form of ownership to another.  The form of ownership you choose will directly correspond to the growth, taxation, and future of your company.

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  • Unit 3: Marketing

    The process of marketing found its way into the business mindset around 1950.  Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.  It is a process that involves activities and communication designed to persuade buyers to buy, and through research, give customers what they want.  Before you enrolled in this course, you may have perceived marketing as only advertising and selling.  You will find that it encompasses the areas of publicity, public relations, and sales promotion.  Through the marketing process, businesses are able to tailor a product or service to their target market.

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  • Unit 4: Accounting, Finance, and Banking

    Daily there are financial decisions made by the business owner that will impact every phase of the business operation such as payroll, cash flow, and projecting future growth.  A thorough understanding of accounting and financial management will allow you, as a business owner, to find the best sources and use of funds.  Your means of measuring the health of the business will come from the income statement, balance sheets, and financial ratios.  The concepts you will learn in this unit will be key to your business survival and success.  This unit will also help you understand how to report your business's finances to the Internal Revenue Service.

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  • Unit 5: Management

    Management is a process through which the goals of an organization are achieved and change in the workplace is handled.  This process involves using human, financial, and informational resources.  The goals of any profit or non-profit business are achieved through the four steps of management: planning, organizing, controlling, and leading.  In this unit, you will discover that technical, conceptual, and interpersonal skills are essential to the management process.

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  • Course Evaluation Survey

    Please take a few moments to provide some feedback about this course at the link below. Consider completing the survey whether you have completed the course, you are nearly at that point, or you have just come to study one unit or a few units of this course.

    Link: Course Evaluation Survey (HTML)

    Your feedback will focus our efforts to continually improve our course design, content, technology, and general ease-of-use. Additionally, your input will be considered alongside our consulting professors' evaluation of the course during its next round of peer review. As always, please report urgent course experience concerns to contact@saylor.org and/or our Discourse forums.

  • Final Exam

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