• Course Introduction

        Have you ever wondered what qualities billionaire Warren Buffet, visionary Steve Jobs, or Jeff Bezos 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.

        After familiarizing yourself with the following course syllabus, enroll in this course using the "Enroll me in this course” button. Once enrolled, navigate to Unit 1 of the course to read the Unit Introduction and Unit 1 Learning Outcomes. Links and instructions for all unit specific course resources will follow the introductory materials.

      • Unit 1: The Context of Business

        This unit covers basic 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. This unit introduces you to productivity, the business cycle, the impact of business on society, current economic trends and policies and a brief look at doing business globally. We’ll take a look at the events related to the financial meltdown of 2008 such as the bailout of AIG, Lehman Brothers, and General Motors which provide teachable moments for such areas as economic policy and business cycles. 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

        Completing this unit should take you approximately 22 hours.

      • 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. The form of ownership you choose will directly correspond to the growth, taxation, and future of your company. In this unit we’ll look at some techniques that business owners use to analyze the potential for profitable businesses. We’ll also review the qualities of successful entrepreneurs and how small businesses impact the economy, including the role of the Small Business Administration.

        Completing this unit should take you approximately 16.25 hours.

      • 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 product, price, distribution as well as promotion in the form of advertisement, publicity, public relations, and sales promotion. This unit will also introduce you to ecommerce by exploring the terms ecommerce, ebusiness, and the use of social media marketing. Through the marketing process, businesses are able to tailor a product or service to their target market.

        Completing this unit should take you approximately 26 hours.

      • 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. This unit will also take a look at how banks, the Federal Reserve Bank in particular, play a part in business activities such as obtaining financing. We’ll also investigate some financing options, the analysis of credit and the time value of money. The concepts you will learn in this unit will be key to your business survival and success.

        Completing this unit should take you approximately 21 hours.

      • 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 nonprofit 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. We’ll also explore how teamwork and communication, a corporate mission statement and culture, as well as social responsibility and business ethics are important in successfully managing a business. 

        Completing this unit should take you approximately 24 hours.