As an artist with limited business sense, this was the perfect course for me to take. Kris took a lot of the mystery out of starting a small business. Her teaching style was very friendly and easy to comprehend. Thank you!"
Excellent instructor - excellent course! I thoroughly enjoyed taking this class and can't wait to use the information I learned to start setting up my own small business. Thanks for the opportunity for me to be able to take this class. It was very little effort on my part to complete it, but what I learned will stay with me a lifetime."
I enjoyed the course and although I own a small business already, I learned some very important tips."
I enjoyed this class very much, the Professor was extremely knowledgeable and professional. I would definitely recommend it to someone with this particular interest."
I feel this class has helped me gain a greater insight into my own goals and provided support that will be useful going forward in the development of my next career."
I found the instructor to be knowledgeable, approachable, supportive and helpful. She has a very creative side and was very personable as well. I learned a lot in this course and it will all be very useful and applicable in my future business endeavors. I am glad I took this course and will recommend it to others."
I learned a ton and really looked forward to my classes. I am very excited to have found this class and thrilled to have been able to participate in it. Thank you very much."
I really liked the instructor's comments. Especially if it is not what you wanted to hear because sometimes an objective person's point of view helps you decide on what to do and how to do it."
The instructor was very informative and interested in the subject. She was very helpful in the discussion boards. This class was very useful and I would recommend or take any class taught by this instructor."
This was my first online course and I was not sure what to expect. The information was well presented and relevant. I will definitely be signing up for future online courses."
Course Code: biz
If you have dreamed about starting a small business but didn't know where to start, you have come to the right place. In this first lesson, you will learn why you should start a business, why now might be the perfect time to do it, and what separates successful business owners from those who remain dreamers.
Today, you will find out about the three different ways to start a business. You will explore the advantages and disadvantages of buying a franchise, buying a business, and starting a business from scratch.
No matter what business option you're leaning toward, you must find and exploit your unique selling proposition (USP). Your USP is the reason a customer would do business with you instead of someone else. In this lesson, you will develop your USP. Then you will discover the single most valuable asset in your business and how it can create all the wealth you will ever want.
Alan Lakein, a leading expert on time management, says, "Failing to plan is planning to fail." In this lesson, you will learn all the advantages of having a written business plan. You will see how it helps you take advantage of more opportunities and keeps you focused on achieving your goals. If you need to find financing for your business, having a business plan becomes twice as important.
Once you have chosen the business opportunity you're going to pursue, you will need to legally set up your company. To do that, you will have to choose whether to be an S-corporation, a corporation, or a limited liability company. Each of these structures has advantages and disadvantages. In this lesson, you will find out how to decide which one would work best for you.
Unless you have your own vault of money for marketing, you will need to know the best way to spend limited resources to create the most sales. As a future business owner, you need to understand the importance of direct-response marketing along with tracking and testing. You will learn about those things in this lesson as you discover how to expand marketing efforts that work and cut or improve those that are ineffective.
This lesson continues the discussion on marketing and explores the pros and cons of two main forms of it: advertising and publicity. You learn about at free publicity, because it's one of the most cost-effective ways to market your business.
No one can run a business effectively without proper accounting and financial statements. But few business owners take the time to understand the basics of bookkeeping. In this lesson, you will walk hand-in-hand with an actual business owner as she sets up her accounting records. By the end of this lesson, you will know the basics of accounting and be able to analyze and develop your own financial statements.
Most new business owners need to find money to start their business. In this lesson, you will find out the most common, traditional ways to fund a business and a few nontraditional ways as well. Whichever method you choose, your desire to get your company going is what will make the difference. Many people give up too soon or don't use the feedback from a funding source to improve their plan. You don't have to be one of them.
Employees can make or break a business. Just think about businesses you wouldn't use again because of the service the employees provided. Bad employees can cost a company thousands of dollars, and you, as an owner, won't have the luxury of hiring and training employees on an ongoing basis. Hiring, training, motivating, and parting with employees are all complex processes. In this lesson, you will learn tips that make them easier.
Having effective business policies in place helps your business run efficiently. It also gives your employees a framework for knowing what's expected of them. By the end of this lesson, you will be able to develop your own business policies, including sexual harassment and ethics policies.
To ensure success, business owners need to be able to use limited resources efficiently. In this final lesson, you will learn how best to manage your time, relationships, and personal financial position. You will leave this course knowing you have done all the preliminary groundwork to get your business off to a good start.
Kris Solie-Johnson, chancellor and president of the American Institute of Small Business, best-selling author, educator, speaker, and mother of three, is an energetic and passionate entrepreneur. Her books are in public libraries, high schools, colleges, and military bases both nationally and internationally. Solie-Johnson has an MBA in Venture Management from the University of St. Thomas and over 19 years of experience helping entrepreneurs reach their goals quickly through joint venture partnerships, creative marketing programs, and innovative financial options. She's dedicated to motivating and inspiring owners to achieve beyond their dreams.
There are no prerequisites to take this course.
The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.
Instructor-Led: A new session of each course begins each month. Please refer to the session start dates for scheduling.
Self-Paced: Start your course at any time your schedule permits.
Instructor-Led: Once a session starts, two lessons will be released each week, for the 6 week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.
Self-Paced: You can start your course at anytime, review all lessons in any order, and learn and complete the course at your own pace, within the 3 month access period.
Instructor-Led: The interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes 2 weeks after each lesson is released, so you’re encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.
Self-Paced: There is no time limit to complete each lesson, other than completing all lessons before your 3 month duration of access ends.
Instructor-Led: The Final Exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the Final Exam has been released, you will have 2 weeks plus 10 days to complete the Final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.
Self-Paced: No extensions will be granted since all lessons are accessible at the start of your enrollment, for the full 3 months of access.