Not everyone wants to work as an employee, clock in 8 hours every day, and work for someone else. Many dream of running their own business and becoming their own boss. With more businesses in the market, the economy is likely to flourish and expand. The government in the United States is encouraging prospective entrepreneurs to set up their own small businesses and contribute to the economy.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) is one of the leading independent agencies of the federal government that has specifically been set up to promote small businesses, assist entrepreneurs, offer guidance, and protect their interests. This agency has played an important role in boosting the number of small businesses. According to SBA, small businesses make up 54% of all US sales and provide 55% of all jobs. Since 1982, there has been an increase of 49% in small businesses. All these facts confirm the growth in this field and its popularity.
University of Southern California
Small Business Management Courses
To start a business, one must have the skill, knowledge, and understanding of how small businesses work. With the help of specialized education in this field, individuals can prepare themselves for running their own business. Many institutes are offering small business management courses to train students to setup and manage their own business.
Small business management courses can be pursued online as well. These programs fall in the category of non-degree programs and are relatively short. Much of the coursework is career-oriented and will focus on skill development and understanding the needs of the industry.
What You Will Learn
Small business management course provides students the opportunity to acquire in-depth understanding of the basics. Students will learn about the various functions and operations of businesses, and how to counter issues when starting up a business. The curriculum may vary with different institutes, but will generally cover the following areas:
Evaluating the Potential of a New or Existing Business
This course is designed to help students determine strengths and weaknesses of a business. Students will learn about the essential evaluation techniques and how to analyze industry trends.
Developing a Business Plan
This course is one of the main areas covered in the program. It is geared towards helping students design and chalk out a business plan. Topics such as feasibility, industry demand, consumer trend, competition, market and goal setting are covered.
In this course students will learn about the practical aspects of business management. Students will learn how to implement different solutions and effectively manage business operations. Time management, decision making, project management, and resource management are a few of the topics covered in this course.
Marketing Principles and Practice
Marketing is one of the main engines that drives a business. This course will allow students to learn about the highly competitive business market and design various marketing strategies. The course will emphasize areas such as marketing functions, marketing practices, profitability, and organizational growth.
Project Management Essentials
This course will allow students to explore the different techniques and tools used for managing a project. Topics such as teamwork, simulations, project definition, lifecycles, planning, and risk management are covered in the course.
In this course, students will learn how to analyze consumer behavior and design methods to satisfy the needs. Areas such as behavior patterns, consumer decisions, and culture are included in the course.
In this course, students will learn how to conduct market research using different qualitative and quantitative methods. Market research is one of the most important areas of business organizations.
Human Resource Management
HR has become one of the most important aspect for any business. This course will shed light upon various human resource functions such as recruiting, employment law, training and employee development, and compensation.
Financial Statement Analysis
In this course students will cover legal and ethical requirements of stating financial results. Students will learn how to analyze financial statements and forecast financial events. Areas such as cash flow, rations, income statements, and balance sheets are covered.
Objective of the Course
Identify different forms of businesses and structures that exist in the industry
Understand the legal and ethical requirements of setting up a business
Learn how to conduct market research and effectively create a business plan
Understand the current market trends, consumer needs, trends, and challenges faced by entrepreneurs
Understand all the basic functions of a business that include finance, human resource, marketing, and strategic development
Design business strategies and use innovative techniques
Effective communication skills
A small business management course can only be completed by earning the minimum number of credit hours. This requirement will vary from school to school but will generally range between 10 and 30 credit hours. Each component of the program is equal to a number of credit hour or unit. You can get more information about the program requirements by visiting your prospective school or by going online.
Typically, short educational courses take around 6-12 months to complete. The duration will depend upon the school you choose.
How do I Enroll
You will need a high school diploma and must fulfill the minimum CGPA requirements to qualify for enrollment in this course. However, some short courses are designed specifically for graduate and undergraduate students. It is recommended that you learn about the admission requirements by visiting the admission web page of the prospective school.
After completing a course in small business management, you can start your own business venture, or take over an existing one. The program will provide you with the skill and technical expertise needed to run a business successfully. The career opportunities are vast and dynamic. You can work as a sole proprietor, or gather a few employees for a small business project, depending upon your area of interest and business plan. Interest, passion, creativity, and finance play a key role in determining your success. It is important to remember that the SBA offers help and guidance to all new small business owners. You can choose to launch your own business in the different industries such as the food industry, services industry, design industry, e-commerce industry, and more. The income level will vary and depend upon many factors.