Welcome To Starting Your Own Business
Welcome to Starting Your Own Business. You have made a wise decision to embark on this course, and we are certain that what you will learn will help you start up your own business.
Any aspiring business person has to come to terms with basic concepts associated with a business. Throughout this course, we intend to discuss concepts like ‘entrepreneurship’, ‘entrepreneur’, ‘enterprise’, ‘the business idea’, and factors that influence your intention to start up a business.
While preparing the contents for this course, we took special measures to ensure that you would be able to relate to the different concepts introduced. In addition, we have kept the language as simple as possible to ensure clear understanding of the content. The activities that have been integrated throughout the units will enable you to gradually and systematically gather information and the right ‘ingredients’ to be able to write up your business plan: the most important tool that will support your efforts to start up your own small business.
Starting Your Own Business — is this course for you?
The contents of the Starting Your Own Business course have been written for:
1 anyone who wishes to start their own business;
2 anyone who already owns a small business, but would like to grow it while learning more about the planning process and the business aspects fundamental to sustainable growth, such as marketing, customer care, financial management, etc.;
3 any pre-university learner or a mature learner who would like to get a formal introduction to entrepreneurship and business planning.
STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS COURSE OUTCOME
Upon completion of Starting Your Own Business: A Self-Study Guide you will be able to:
- Self-assess your individual characteristics in relation to the requirements of entrepreneurship and determine if you are prepared to become an entrepreneur.
- Create an effective business plan for your small business idea.
- Implement the different stages of strategic business planning, including research about the legal requirements for launching a small business and devise record-keeping strategies to meet your country’s legal requirements.
- Compare the potential of different business ideas.
- Perform SWOT analyses and apply them to your competitors, your own business, and even yourself.
- Analyze the local environment for designing marketing strategies that will lead to the financial sustainability of your own small business.
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As an adult learner your approach to learning will be different to that from your school days: you will choose what you want to study, you will have professional and/or personal motivation for doing so and you will most likely be fitting your study activities around other professional or domestic responsibilities.
Essentially you will be taking control of your learning environment. As a consequence, you will need to consider performance issues related to time management, goal setting, stress management, etc. Perhaps you will also need to reacquaint yourself in areas such as essay planning, coping with exams and using the web as a learning resource.
Your most significant considerations will be time and space i.e. the time you dedicate to your learning and the environment in which you engage in that learning.
We recommend that you take time now—before starting your self-study—to familiarize yourself with these issues. There are a number of excellent resources on the web. A few suggested links are:
The “How to study” web site is dedicated to studying skills resources. You will find links to study preparation (a list of nine essentials for a good study place), taking notes, strategies for reading text books, using reference sources, test anxiety.
This is the web site of the Virginia Tech, Division of Student Affairs. You will find links to time scheduling (including a “where does the time go?” link), a study skill checklist, basic concentration techniques, control of the study environment, note-taking, how to read essays for analysis, memory skills (“remembering”).
Another “How to study” web site with useful links to time management, efficient reading, questioning/listening/observing skills, getting the most out of doing (“hands-on” learning), memory building, tips for staying motivated, developing a learning plan.
The above links are our suggestions to start you on your way. At the time of writing these web links were active. If you want to look for more go to www.google.com and type “self-study basics”, “self-study tips”, “self-study skills” or similar.
The Course website is presently at http://wikieducator.org/VUSSC/Content/Entrepreneurship/Starting_Up_a_Business.
What is the course instructor’s name? Where can s/he be located (office location and hours, telephone/fax number, e-mail address)?
Is there a teaching assistant for routine enquiries? Where can s/he be located (office location and hours, telephone/fax number, e-mail address)?
Is there a librarian/research assistant available? Where can s/he be located (office location and hours, telephone/fax number, e-mail address)?
Is there a learners’ resource centre? Where is it located? What are the opening hours, telephone number, who is the resource centre manager, what is the manager’s e-mail address)?
Who do learners contact for technical issues (computer problems, website access, etc.)
To complete this course, you must work on the following three assignments:
- A SWOT analysis at the end of Unit 3
- A business plan, at the end of Unit 5
- A marketing plan at the end of the last unit, Unit 6
Assignments must be completed in the order they are presented and may be handed in to your tutor, or sent to your tutor by email.
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- How many assessments will there be in this course?
- Are they self-assessments or teacher-marked assessments?
- When will the assessments take place?
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- How long will learners be allowed to complete the assessment(s)?
- How long will it take a teacher to mark the assessment(s)?