In the first lesson, you’ll learn the ins and outs of strategic planning. You’ll find out why you need to define your business in terms of the customer and why you must have the right ingredients in place to meet customer demands. The lesson will discuss how environmental factors, such as technology and economics, shape your company. You’ll also see how the internal environment determines how well your organization responds to opportunities and threats.
Memorize the phrase, “Plan your work and work your plan” because it has great applicability to strategic planning. You’ll begin this lesson by learning about the elements you must use to effectively implement your strategic plan. You’ll study vision statements, move on to purpose and mission statements, and discuss goals, objectives, strategies, policies, and procedures. Next, you’ll focus on company culture and find out why planning is beneficial. Finally, you’ll look at the major strategic choices that you can choose from, ranging from core business focus to insolvency.
Organizing is a critical topic that many companies struggle with. Once you have a good idea of how to develop and implement a strategic plan, you need to take the next step. This lesson will discuss how to organize resources so employees can perform job duties and relate to one another in the most effective way possible. You’ll learn the purpose of organization and present several coordinating principles, including authority, power, and span of control. You’ll also spend time exploring the staffing function and evaluate the elements—recruitment, selection, appraisal, and development—and study six different forms of organizational charts.
This lesson will discuss three key management principles: motivation, leadership, and control. Motivation and leadership, as compared to control, represent a more subtle side of business. While control focuses on concrete things such as analysis and procedures, motivation and leadership rely on less tangible factors. You’ll begin the lesson by defining motivation, exploring four theories of motivation, and then moving into leadership. You’ll learn about the types of leadership and see how delegation and empowerment differs. You’ll finish up by investigating control and learning how to effectively use three different control processes.
This lesson and the next four to follow will help you increase your mastery of financial fundamentals. It’s important that you increase your readiness to use financial information to identify and understand problems and opportunities, and also make decisions. The lesson will discuss the elements of the general ledger, explore a few key accounting terms, contrast accounting and bookkeeping, and investigate the different types of accounting. You’ll learn about vital accounting concepts, such as the accounting equation, debits and credits, and the cost principle.
Now that you have the basics of accounting safely under your belt, it’s time to start looking at how to apply financial information. You’ll start off by reviewing two financial statements that you find at nearly every organization—the balance sheet and the income statement. Without these two documents, it’s impossible to determine how a firm is performing. After you learn about the balance sheet and the income statement, you’ll also learn how to account for inventories and understand about the significance of cash flow. The lesson will explain why sound cash management helps any company stay on the right path.
Cost is the price you pay to acquire, maintain, produce, or use materials or services. Since most firms account for their operations at cost, it’s essential that you understand how costs are determined and used. This lesson will discuss the nature of discretionary, relevant, sunk, and variable costs, and many more. You’ll also discover how managerial accounting differs from financial accounting.
The largest investment that many businesses make is in their land and buildings. Firms also make smaller, more frequent investment decisions for items such as equipment and fixture purchase and replacement. In this lesson, you’ll learn about the different types of investment decision-making models, including average rate of return (ARR), payback period, discounted cash flow (DCF), net present value (NPV), and internal rate of return (IRR). You’ll also examine the nuts and bolts of financial planning.
In the last lesson about financial matters, you’ll wrap things up by examining budgeting. In order to be successful and make meaningful decisions about the future, you must look ahead. One way to do this is by preparing budgets. Accounting, as a major organizational function, supports a number of different types of budgets. You’ll learn how to use the major budgets, including the department administration budget (also known as an expense budget), the production materials budget, the maintenance, repair and operating (MRO) budget, the capital budget, and zero-based budgeting.
In this lesson, you’ll examine performance measurements as a way to keep track of progress. Studies reveal that if you don’t measure a process, you can’t properly manage it. The lesson will begin with a discussion on how human nature affects performance measurements. You’ll learn about the attributes of effective performance measurements and see how traditional and progressive performance measurements differ.
The topic for this lesson is business law. The objective is to help you develop a good overview of business law and also learn about some important concepts, such as the principal-agency relationship and the basics of contracts. You’ll begin by reading about the nature of laws, move on to explore the basics of a legal system, and then learn about the essence of commercial law.
Now that you have a basic understanding of business law, you’ll take a look at the four most popular organizational forms: sole proprietorship, general partnership, limited partnership, and corporation. You’ll spend some time learning about organizational politics, because wherever people work together, there will be politics. The lesson will go over “good” and “bad” politics and discuss how ethics relates to politics.