Small Business Management

Program Outline

Instruction Sets
Your program consists of six Instruction Sets designed to take you step-by-step through the knowledge and skills you'll use in your new career.

Here's how it works
You receive the first course as soon as your enrollment has been accepted, and other courses will follow as you complete your exams.

Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need access to high-speed internet to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 10® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running macOS® or later, and an email account to complete this program.

Here is an overview of what you'll learn and the order in which you'll access your lessons:

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal: The program goal for the Small Business Management program is learn how to plan for success, market products or services, find the right sources to finance a business, and write an effective business plan step by step in order to start your own small business or manage a small business for someone else.

Program Outcomes:
Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Identify the typical qualities and behaviors of successful entrepreneurs, and the benefits and drawbacks of starting one's own business, buying a franchise, and purchasing an existing business.
  • Develop clear, measurable goals and a comprehensive mission statement for a business.
  • Comprehend techniques used in successful networking, including how to make a good first impression, how to introduce your business to a potential contact, listening skills, and how to follow up with a promising contact.
  • Distinguish between primary and secondary research and determine appropriate question types for various research situations.
  • Establish an effective marketing strategy which includes an advertising platform and a public relations campaign.
  • Develop and draft a business plan according to a five-part comprehensive structure.
  • Identify an appropriate business structure to match the business plan, including considerations for hiring management and staffing.
  • Recognize the features and benefits of different types of funding in order to identify the right money sources for a particular business.
  • Understand the range of legal regulations that affect starting a new business, including licenses, zoning approvals, and basic tax knowledge, and apply these to a business plan.
  • Identify the components of a solid business team such as employees, suppliers, and distributors, and techniques used in identifying personal and business characteristics that will enhance a business.
  • Comprehend the scope and function of the Internet, the advantages and hazards of an online presence, resources for developing an online presence, and features of successful commercial websites.
  • Differentiate between types of pricing strategies and business evaluations, and use cost and expense data to prepare a budget as part of a business plan.
  • Recognize the features and advantages of well-organized business records and how business records can be used to inform major business decisions.

Instruction Set 1

Starting Your Program
Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program. Understand how to use your Student Portal. Access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers. Connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.

Preparing for Business Success
What you need to know before you get started: the pros and cons of starting a small business; evaluating your own strengths and weaknesses; avoiding the ten most common mistakes; exploring online resources.

Instruction Set 2

Choosing Your Business
Types of businesses; the pros and cons of different types of businesses; facts and figures; legal points; special considerations; online resources.

Keys to Success
Identifying your mission; creating a Mission Statement; setting measurable goals; stages of growth.

Business Connections
Where and how to begin networking; building and maintaining your network; successful networking; developing community contacts; finding a mentor; online connections.

Instruction Set 3

Market Research
Where to start your research; the benefits of market testing; using demographics; finding your target market; adjusting to market changes; creating a questionnaire; types of surveys; interpreting data; customer buying behavior and values; online resources.

Basics of a Business Plan
Business information; your industry; your operating plant; your financial plan; supporting documentation; background research; getting started; using the library; researching costs and pricing; business tips; finding business plan software

Writing a Business Plan
Getting ready to write; Introduction and Overview; the Business section; Background, Mission Statement, Products and Services, and Target Customers, positioning your business; product differentiation; the Industry section: Market Position and Competition.

Instruction Set 4

Your Business Structure
Choosing a structural status; plant and equipment needs; describing your inventory; your management structure; Total Quality Management; developing processes; staffing considerations.

Financing Your Business
Finding the right financing; types of financing; banks and other lending institutions and agencies; equity financing; finding financial resources online; avoiding undercapitalization.

Legal Requirements and Resources
Types of legal requirements;legal resources; regulations, licenses and permits; federal, state and local requirements; payroll; zoning laws; business taxes.

Instruction Set 5

Marketing that Works
Your marketing plan; tips for effective marketing; advertising campaigns; public relations campaigns; marketing resources; promotions and publicity; finding the right strategy for your business.

Building a Team
Hiring the right people; keeping the right people; internal customer service; suppliers, distributors and experts; referrals and recommendations.

Putting Your Business Online
What is e-commerce; establishing your Web presence; security, credibility, and consumers; creating your Web page; online resources; Web service providers; making yourself known.

Instruction Set 6

Preparing a Budget
Estimating costs and expenses; software and online resources; forecasting sales volume; pricing strategies; making financial projections; financial analysis; performance measures.

Keeping Business Records
The importance of keeping records; bookkeeping basics; computerized accounting; record keeping for tax purposes; line item descriptions; income statements; your business status; financial statements and statement analysis.

Graded Project — Creating Your Business Plan
Pulling all the elements together; filling in the missing pieces; developing the overview; evaluating the overall plan; tips for presenting a stronger plan.

Learning Aid: Starting Your Own Business CD-ROM


Online Library and Librarian
Students in Penn Foster Career School have access to an online library for use during their studies. Students can use this library to do the required research in the courses they complete or can use it for general reference and links to valuable resources. The library contains helpful research assistance, articles, databases, books, and Web links. A librarian is available to answer questions on general research-related topics via email and to assist students in research activities during their studies with Penn Foster Career School International.

We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.

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Apple, Mac, and macOS are trademarks of Apple, Inc. registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.