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Small Business Management
(BUS 320 3.0 Cr)

Business & Management

Course Description

This course focuses on the unique needs of individuals and small firms (fewer than one hundred employees), giving special attention to family-owned and closely held businesses. Topics include executive succession, planning, time management, use of outsourcing, and other available resources.

This course is being presented in a Problem-Based Learning (PBL) format. For the purposes of this course, PBL is an approach that confronts the student with problems, which he or she has to solve. The problems drive the course - not the content. For example, in a typical classroom course, students would be given reading assignments, asked to complete several exercises, perhaps do some research and write a paper or essay, and then finally write a test. The PBL approach puts everything in reverse! First, students will be confronted with a problem. Then, he or she will identify and accumulate information that will help you solve the problem. Finally, students will apply what you learned and suggest a solution to the problem.

Learning Objectives
After completing this course, students will be able to:

• Apply small business constructs to your personal situation
• Manage issues as they arise in your Business Plan/Case and Small Business Portfolio
• Strategically trade off the time demands of business, self, and family
• Document your personal small business aspirations
• Conduct an interview to extract relevant small business expertise
• Write a business plan/case
• Build networks of relationships to support your small business
• Evaluate business opportunities
• Document strategies for entry, operation, and exit

Breadth of Assignments
This course utilizes a Problem-Based Learning strategy for explore the various topics of Small Business Management. PBL uses case studies and typical real-world problems to drive course discussions, projects, and writing assignments. Students will operate in a group for many of the assignments and will formulate documentation as though he or she is a small business manager.

Required Resources
Richard M. Hodgetts & Donald F. Kuratko, Effective Small Business Management, 7th ed., 2000, Wiley. ISBN 0-03-032930-0

Small Business Management
Business & Management

Module 1: Thinking of Business: An Introduction
• Integrating the Expertise Enhancement Principles in your learning
• Identifying your specific areas of interest in small business
• Identifying the strengths and weaknesses of your social interaction style
• Gaining a preliminary knowledge of the skills, experience sets, and interests of other students in the course
• Defining the role of small business in the economy
• Defining unique challenges imposed by the cycle of entry, operation, and exit
• Recognizing the two core questions in small business: Is it a business? Will it make money?

Module 2: Major Course Projects
• Introduction to creating a Business Plan or Case
• Creating a Small Business Portfolio

Module 3: Entry: Beginning Your Small Business
• Selecting a preferred style for entry
• Discriminating and prioritizing entry opportunities on both hard (numerical) and soft (personal) criteria
• Calculating a value for a business opportunity
• Choosing the appropriate legal form for your entry
• Establishing core parameters and values at the time of entry that are coherent with personal objectives
• Relating your personal wealth creation strategy to the choices made for entry
• Filtering opportunities before pitching them to a selected audience
• Identifying your business plan/case concept
• Identifying your Small Business Portfolio theme and outline

Module 4: Small Business Operation
• The role of financial modeling as a planning tool
• The importance of an assumption sheet
• The value of industry standards and other benchmarks in planning
• Building a financial model for your business plan/case which addresses the core competency issues identified in the DuPont model
• Determining whether in the future it is best for you to build your own financial model or contract it out to an expert
• Developing a personal coping skills strategy
• Applying your understanding of the issues and challenges a small business encounters when it begins operations

Module 5: Small Business Exit Strategies
• Selecting a preferred style for exit
• Discriminating and prioritizing exit opportunities on both hard (numerical) and soft (personal) criteria
• Choosing appropriate legal form for your exit
• Establishing core parameters and values at the time of exit that are coherent with personal objectives
• Relating your personal wealth creation strategy to the choices made for exit
• Creating an exit plan

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