While it seems as if it’s never been easier than it is right now to launch a new business, it’s never been harder to make it a longstanding success. Bringing your business idea to fruition takes much more than creating a website or renting a space in the center of town. Before starting your own business, garnering a solid understanding of the underpinnings involved in business ownership can make the difference between being a financially successful entrepreneur who provides a long-term viable service to the community or being another statistic, drowning in the pool of failed or struggling business start-ups.
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Begin your start-up process with an entrepreneurship course today and help ensure your success tomorrow.
1. Build the Foundation of Your Business
Knowing where to start can be overwhelming. An entrepreneurship course will provide a guide for building a solid foundation within your business. The course will help you to learn how to establish business operations and practices.
2. Write a Business Plan
A business plan is a priceless and necessary tool not only for new start-ups, but also for established businesses. If created correctly, it can be used to secure funding from traditional loaning institutions or angel investors, as well as serve as a resource and guide to accomplish your five-year plan. Most entrepreneurship courses cover the integral ingredients of a sharp and effective business plan.
3. Make financially sound business decisions.
Whether you secure a business loan through the comprehensive business plan you create or your start-up cash is coming from your personal savings, you need to choose purposefully how you are going to invest your money in your start-up business. An entrepreneur course offers real-case scenarios on financially sound business decision-making techniques, and arms you with the tools and information you’ll need to avoid financial-related mistakes so many start-ups can fall prey to.
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4. Understand your market.
Although your plans may be to open a steakhouse in a certain town, if you don’t know your market (and that the neighborhood you are considering for your business has 25 crazily-successful vegan-style eateries in it for a reason), all your well-intended plans can fail before you even open your doors. An entrepreneur course will help you understand how to identify and choose the absolute best market for your business.
5. Identify your competition.
If your dream is to open a dry cleaning service in your city, it would be wise to first find out if you will be the only service of its kind in town or if it will be the ninth in the neighborhood. While the quality of products and services your particular company offers might exceed those of all the others, it’s still necessary to know your direct competition vying for the same customers.
6. Access financial and business resources.
Networking. Angel Investors. Start-up cash. Venture capital. These are all things you’ll become familiar with as you look to start and grow your own business. An entrepreneur course is an excellent guide on how to effectively access the proper financial and business resources for your company. Knowing how to identify and embrace these resources is an indispensable skill.
7. Adapt to change.
In a class setting, you’ll explore how to prepare and adapt to the ever-present risk of change in your industry and in the world’s economy in general. Anything from local zoning ordinances to tax code changes to health care reform could catch you off guard if you aren’t prepared. You’ll learn what to pay attention to and where to find information regarding the latest news about your industry and business community.
8. Analyze your concept.
You’ll do an honest evaluation of your concept and make sure your plans are in sync with both your reasons for launching your particular business and your long-term goals. Are you looking to start a business that you can sell in five years? Or are you hoping to start a company that will be handed down to future generations?
9. Build upon the basic fundamentals of business.
A course in entrepreneurship will help you develop a working knowledge of business fundamentals, including hiring high-caliber personnel, marketing, choosing vendors, product pricing, customer service, and managing your online presence.
As exciting as launching a business is, there are times that may be challenging—customers might complain; vendors might be late; employees might quit unexpectedly. You’ll learn the importance of perseverance and seeing the big picture even when the details present road blocks.
[Have a little fun, too: 10 Business Movies for Business Students]
Try these top-rated courses and or browse this list of entrepreneurship courses to find the most intriguing class for you.
- FastTrack® NewVentures™ Entrepreneurship: In this online class provided by the renowned Kauffman Foundation, you walk through each facet of building a successful start-up and emerge with a completed business plan in hand. With the low-cost enrollment fee, you’ll also have unlimited access to all of Kauffman’s in-depth resources.
- How to Build a Start-Up: Taught by a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, this free online class focuses on fine tuning your business model and successfully using data from the market to adapt and evolve your start-up.
- Developing Innovative Ideas for New Companies: The First Step in Entrepreneurship: This free class from the University of Maryland will help you learn how to identify a great idea and turn it into a great company. You’ll hone your business skills to be ready to innovate and act on start-up opportunities.
- Interviews with Entrepreneurs: Although not exactly a formal class, this set of interviews with leading successful entrepreneurs is brought to you by the Kauffman Foundation and Khan Academy. Get inspired with personal stories and insights from today’s most creative, influential entrepreneurs.