A new session of each course starts monthly. If enrolling in a series of two or more courses, please be sure to space the start date for each course at least two months apart.
All courses run for six weeks, with a two-week grace period at the end. Two lessons are released each week for the six-week duration of the course. You do not have to be present when lessons are released. You will have access to all lessons until the course ends. However, the interactive discussion area that accompanies each lesson will automatically close two weeks after the lesson is released. As such, we strongly recommend that you complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.
The final exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the final exam has been released, you will have two weeks to complete all of your course work, including the final exam.
Lesson 01 – Starting Your Dream
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.
Lesson 02 – Find Your Perfect Business Opportunity
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.
Lesson 03 – Creating a Truly Unique Business
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.
Lesson 04 – Developing Your Business Plan
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.
Lesson 05 – How to Legally Set Up Your Company
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.
Lesson 06 – Power Marketing for Business Owners
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.
Lesson 07 – Advertising and Publicity to Skyrocket Your Business
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.
Lesson 08 – The Report Card for 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.
Lesson 09 – Finding Money for Your Business
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.
Lesson 10 – Hiring, Motivating, and Parting With Employees
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.
Lesson 11 – Business Policies
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.
Lesson 12 – Managing You
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.