If you’ve ever dreamed about starting a small business but didn’t know where to start, then 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.
In this lesson, you’ll learn about the three different ways to start a business. You’ll 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 the businesses you wouldn’t use again because of the poor service their 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.