Business Fundamentals

Thirteen on-demand courses that are designed for individuals to explore and build their entrepreneurial skills to ensure their success beyond the startup phase. Completing each course should take about 1 to 2 hours. You have 6 months from the date that you enroll to complete the course(s).

1. Economics of the Business

Course Description: This lesson introduces four primary financial components of a business; Operating Leverage, Volumes, Revenue Drivers, and Margins. These four components make up The Economic Model, a tool that will help mitigate risk, understand how profits can be derived, as well as how some expenses can be manipulated for specific financial outcomes.

This course includes:

  • Financial risk mitigation
  • Positioning your company for financial success

  • Understanding the economic model

2. Understanding and Managing Risk

Course Description: The general misnomer about entrepreneurs is that they are risk takers when in fact; entrepreneurs strive to understand, manage, and mitigate risk. A fatal mistake for many entrepreneurs is to push forward and react to risks as they appear. Learn how being proactive about managing risk can lead to a competitive advantage.

This course includes:

  • Understanding risk

  • Risk mitigation

  • Risk management

3. Financing and Acquiring Resources for the Startup

Course Description: Discover how to identify and prioritize sources of financing. Understand how these sources may change and outline your personal action plan for funding your venture.

This course includes:

  • Bootstrapping techniques

  • Equity financing

  • Debt financing

4. Competition and Key Partners

Course Description: All businesses have competitors. Understanding your industry and developing competitive advantages through specific strategies is a major step toward a sustainable growing business. Learn about and how to implement those strategies here.

This course includes:

  • Industry & competitive analysis

  • The five forces of industry
  • Competitive strategies

5. Law for Entrepreneurs

Course Description: This lesson provides a survey of law most crucial to entrepreneurs who are looking to establish or have recently established a business.  As a survey, the course materials are a mix of different areas in business law. These areas include choice of business structure, professional responsibility, employment and contract law, the legal framework of finance, intellectual property, and laws governing the sale of a business. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the role of business lawyers as counselors.

This course includes:

  • Business formation

  • Selecting a lawyer
  • Intellectual property basics

6. Entrepreneurial Marketing

Course Description: Entrepreneurial marketing is not about advertising agencies and big budgets. It is about building a brand and developing customer relationships with constrained resources. This lesson focuses on the real life marketing challenges involved in launching an entrepreneurial venture.   

This course includes:

  • Guerilla marketing

  • Traditional advertising methods
  • Social media integration

7. Sales Management for Entrepreneurs

Course Description: The number one issue that entrepreneurs face is sales and selling. The word “sales” is infamous for its negative connotation and can often be intimidating to even the most driven and tenacious of entrepreneurs. There are quite a few misconceptions about what selling actually is. In this lesson, you will learn how to create a sales strategy that will action your business model.   

This course includes:

  • Sales strategy

  • Selling with constrained resources
  • Incorporating sales into the business plan

8. Understanding Financial Statements

Course Description: Sometimes entrepreneurs think they can leave the finance and the numbers to the bookkeepers and accountants. Truth is that you absolutely need a bookkeeper and an accountant, but you also need to understand the financial flows of your business. That is fundamental to understanding how to manage your business. In this lesson, you will learn the details behind the financial statements that will improve the bottom line.

This course includes:

  • Income statement

  • Balance sheet
  • Cash flow

9. People Management for Entrepreneurs

Course Description: All entrepreneurs, by definition, are people managers. As founders and owners, they hire people, groom them, motivate them, and harness their talent towards effective management of enterprise. People management is also a science that includes principles, procedures and systems. Learn human resources best practices to enhance your business culture and be an effective people manager in this module.

This course includes:

  • Hiring fundamentals

  • Onboarding
  • Policy manual

10. After Startup: Growing the Business

Course Description: Growing businesses face a range of challenges. As a business grows, different problems and opportunities demand different solutions – what worked a year ago might not be the best approach today. Recognizing and overcoming the common pitfalls associated with growth is essential if your business is to continue to grow and thrive.

This course includes:

  • Growth planning

  • Ongoing market research
  • The changing business model

11. Logistical Considerations for Starting Your Company

Course Description: You have done the market research, created your business model, written your plan, and taken all of the courses – so now what? Here are some common early steps necessary to start your business.

This course includes:

  • Business entity formation

  • B.A.I.L. team selection
  • Signing leases

12. Small Business Administration Resources

Course Description: The Small Business Administration (SBA) provides a myriad of resources to help you start and grow your business. Get an overview of those resources and learn how to connect with an SBA resource partner near you.

This course includes:

  • Finding resource partners

  • Financing with the SBA

13. Business Model Capstone

(Prerequisite: This course should be the last taken in the series of Business Fundamentals courses)

Course Description: This course includes a deeper dive into the business model and aggregates the entire Business Fundamentals program into a model for your business that will provide the foundation for your business plan and next steps.

This course should be the last taken in the series of Business Fundamentals courses.

This course includes:

  • Business model canvas

14. Personal Branding and Customer Acquisition

Course Description: This course explores an awareness of, and the importance of, the image that we portray to the world through our everyday actions and how our Personal Brand can affect the success of a business. A personal brand is transferable no matter where you go with your business and social life. This course is presented by Tommy Karam, Marketing Professor at LSU.

15. Design Thinking

Course Description: This course covers the history of Design Thinking and the importance it plays in the success of decision making in the life of an entrepreneur. The course covers the hallmarks of Design Thinking, Methodology and Tools used in the process. The course is presented by Ken Baldauf – FSU.

16. Enacting Your Entrepreneurial Life: From Opportunity Recognition to Venture Creation

Course Description: This course covers Who is the Entrepreneur? What is Entrepreneurship? Military Connected Business Ownership, Entrepreneur Opportunity and Pricing a Product. The course is presented by Dr. Michael Haynie – Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives & Innovation at Syracuse University, Institute for Veterans and Military Families, Founder & Executive Director.