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Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment

Learn the essentials of business operations and planning  

  • A great foundation course to develop skills and knowledge in business operation and planning.  These skills are important in ensuring success in business. 
  • This course covers vital topics such as finance, financial record keeping, financial management, taxation, business planning, mistakes to avoid, and more.

This course does overlap with Business Studies and Starting a Small Business, so you should choose to do one or another, not any two of these.

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Do you want a successful business career?

Learn more about business operations and planning essentials with this short course.

This course aims to provide you with the building blocks for a successful career in business planning and operations.
It covers topics such as business law, the money market, taxation, business plan writing and mistakes to avoid, it is a solid foundation, developed by highly qualified and experienced professionals.

Course duration: 100 hours of self paced study.

The course comprises 6 lessons, as follows:
  1. Introduction
    • Business law
    • Types of businesses
    • Starting a business
  2. Finance
    • Liquidity
    • The money market
    • Terminology
    • Insurance
  3. Financial Records
    • Simple Bookkeeping procedures
    • cash flow
  4. Financial Management
    • Taxation
    • costing
    • budgeting
    • investing
  5. Business Planning (Developing a 12 month business plan).
  6. Mistakes to avoid

There is an assignment at the end of each lesson, which you submit to your tutor for marking. You can also contact your tutor with any questions throughout the course.


  • Define the business community, the types of businesses involved and the interaction which occurs between different businesses.
  • Explain the difference between goods and services based businesses.
  • Define a range of commonly used business terms.
  • Research and analyse business opportunities by studying activities in the business world.
  • Assess the feasibility of a business opportunity and allocate resources to this business.
  • Carry out the basic procedures of recording and interpreting financial records and statements including the cash book, balance sheet, profit and loss statement.
  • Explain liquidity and productivity
  • Calculate profit and determine assets
  • Calculate the real cost of labour in a business.
  • Determine pricing based on costs calculated for providing a particular service or product.
  • Develop a budget for a simple business operation.
  • Develop a simple 3 year business plan (real or hypothetical).
Choosing Good Staff is Critical
It can be difficult to find and choose employees to work in the business you manage or own. Selecting staff is even harder when you are just starting out in the business world. With experience; you can get a lot better; but not necessarily.
It is critical that you develop a habit of choosing what the business needs; rather than choosing people because you like them; or it is too difficult to say no! 
Making a hasty decision can be worse in the long run because of the costs which go into advertising, interviewing, recruiting and training. Also, if employees are salaried, severance pay will be needed if you make a mistake and need to fire the employee. There are then further costs of finding a replacement. Even freelance workers and contractors can take considerable time and resources to hire, and train if necessary. It is therefore important to give the process considerable thought.

The first step is to sit down and consider what you really want from this person. For a start-up you need people who can help to get the business up and running, rather than CEOs and higher level management. You also need each employee to make the most use of their time since the emphasis is on helping the business to get a foothold in the market or industry in which it operates. You therefore need all hands on deck and can ill-afford to have anyone who does not pull their weight. What organisational psychologists sometimes encounter in larger organisations is a phenomenon called 'social loafing'. This refers to a tendency by some workers to slacken off their effort because they believe that others will compensate for them. This could seriously damage a start-ups' chances of survival and becoming established.

To begin with, it might not even be worth taking on permanent employees. Many jobs can be contracted out of the business these days, including but not limited to:

  • Website design and maintenance
  • Accounting
  • Marketing & advertising
  • Market research
  • Sales
  • Receptionists

For smaller businesses, there are different types of skills and qualities which an employer might look for. Smaller businesses are usually looking for people who can do a range of tasks and who are able to work effectively in less bureaucratic environments. For instance, the right type of employee or contractor needed might have:

  • Broad general skills - highly specialised staff may not be needed til later
  • Flexibility - the hours needed for work might be part time or casual
  • Autonomy - it may be preferable to have workers who can work unsupervised
  • Willingness to job share - often staff members may swap roles and all be able to undertake all roles
  • Good interpersonal skills - staff and management generally have closer working relationships
Many of the initial employees in start-ups may be found through networking and asking friends or acquaintances about possible employees. Once the business gets off the ground advertising may be needed as slightly more specialist employees are sought. Often employees also act as a good source of personnel recruitment through recommending others. This is because they are only likely to recommend workers who they think will do a good job rather than risk their own reputation at work.
So ... Why should I take this course?
  • Understand business operations to give you the knowledge for your own business or improve your participation as an employee of a business. 
  • Advance your career - learn about different areas of business operations.
  • Contribute more to a business by improving your understanding of how it operates and what factors have to be considered.
  • By being more visible within a business you are more likely to be successful in achieving promotion.



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Courses can be started anytime from anywhere in the world!

Meet some of our academics

Sarah RedmanOver 15 years industry experience covering marketing, PR, administration, event management and training, both in private enterprise and government; in Australia and the UK.
David CrothersChartered Accountant with 20 years experience in corporate and financial roles. David has a FCA, GAICD, B.Sc.Econ (Hons), Cert IV TAA. Extensive international experience in business and finance.
Kate Gibson B.Soc.Sc.15+ years experience in HR, marketing, education & project management. Kate has traveled and worked in a variety of locations including London, New Zealand and Australia.

Check out our eBooks

Working With PeopleAre you a "people person" looking for a job; or a better understanding of careers that might suit you? If so, this book was written for YOU!
Saving Your BusinessMost businesses fail; but failure is more often than not avoidable. This book shows you how to quickly get a handle on what is wrong, take action, and give a shaky business the best chance of resurgence.
Business OperationsA text book for business students, or a guide book for anyone operating a business. Six chapters: Daily Challenges of Running a Business, Managing People, The Law, Fiance, Product Management and Risk Management.
Starting a BusinessBusinesses don't need to fail! This is concise, easy to read, and alerts you to all of the things that commonly make a difference to business success or failure. Seven chapters are: “A Reality Check”, “The Product or service”, “Managing a Business”, “How to Find Customers”, “How to Make a Sale”, “Delivering the Product or Service”, “Pitfalls to Avoid”.