Welcome to BUS305: Small Business Management
Specific information about this course and its requirements can be found below. For more general information about taking Saylor Academy courses, including information about Community and Academic Codes of Conduct, please read the Student Handbook.
Learn how to plan and operate a small business as a manager or entrepreneur by writing a business plan, launching a new venture, identifying market opportunities, creating a marketing plan, and financing your business.
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 a 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 (via a lemonade stand, paper route, or something similar).
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.
This course includes the following units:
- Unit 1: Elements of Entrepreneurship
- Unit 2: Building the Right Team
- Unit 3: The Business Plan
- Unit 4: Marketing Strategy
- Unit 5: Financing the New Venture
Course Learning Outcomes
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 team building dynamics.
Throughout this course, you will also see learning outcomes in each unit. You can use those learning outcomes to help organize your studies and gauge your progress.
The primary learning materials for this course are articles, lectures, and videos.
All course materials are free to access and can be found in each unit of the course. Pay close attention to the notes that accompany these course materials, as they will tell you what to focus on in each resource, and will help you to understand how the learning materials fit into the course as a whole. You can also see a list of all the learning materials in this course by clicking on Resources in the navigation bar.
Evaluation and Minimum Passing Score
Only the final exam is considered when awarding you a grade for this course. In order to pass this course, you will need to earn a 70% or higher on the final exam. Your score on the exam will be calculated as soon as you complete it. If you do not pass the exam on your first try, you may take it again as many times as you want, with a 7-day waiting period between each attempt. Once you have successfully passed the final exam you will be awarded a free Course Completion Certificate.
There are also end-of-unit assessments and other quizzes in this course. These are designed to help you study, and do not factor into your final course grade. You can take these as many times as you want until you understand the concepts and material covered. You can see all of these assessments by clicking on Quizzes in the course's navigation bar.
Tips for Success
BUS305: Small Business Management is a self-paced course, which means that you can decide when you will start and when you will complete the course. There is no instructor or an assigned schedule to follow. We estimate that the "average" student will take 98 hours to complete this course. We recommend that you work through the course at a pace that is comfortable for you and allows you to make regular progress. It's a good idea to also schedule your study time in advance and try as best as you can to stick to that schedule.
Learning new material can be challenging, so we've compiled a few study strategies to help you succeed:
- Take notes on the various terms, practices, and theories that you come across. This can help you put each concept into context, and will create a refresher that you can use as you study later on.
- As you work through the materials, take some time to test yourself on what you remember and how well you understand the concepts. Reflecting on what you've learned is important for your long-term memory, and will make you more likely to retain information over time.
- Although you may work through this course completely independently, you may find it helpful to connect with other Saylor students through the discussion forums. You may access the discussion forums at https://discourse.saylor.org.
This course is delivered entirely online. You will be required to have access to a computer or web-capable mobile device and have consistent access to the internet to either view or download the necessary course resources and to attempt any auto-graded course assessments and the final exam.
- To access the full course including assessments and the final exam, you will need to be logged into your Saylor Academy account and enrolled in the course. If you do not already have an account, you may create one for free here. Although you can access some of the course without logging in to your account, you should log in to maximize your course experience. For example, you cannot take assessments or track your progress unless you are logged in.
For additional guidance, check out Saylor Academy's FAQ.
This course is entirely free to enroll in and to access. Everything linked in the course, including textbooks, videos, webpages, and activities, is available for no charge. This course also contains a free final exam and course completion certificate.