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Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment

Take control of your career and learn business management

  • Learn problem solving.
  • Learn how to manage staff.
  • Learn about communications, marketing, productivity and more.
  • Studying with this course will give you a good foundation in business management.

Exceptional support is provided by our tutors who are highly qualified professionals with decades of industry experience.

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



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Take control - learn how to manage a business

  • Learn about establishing a business.
  • Understand management principles.
  • Study productivity, management and administration procedures, financials, staff management, problem solving and marketing.

This course develops the skills necessary for managing a small business, or a department within a larger business. Developed by professionals with years of experience, it covers a range of topics that will ensure your career in Management has a strong foundation.

ACS offer you flexibility, support and unlimited tutor access:

  • Flexibility - you can start the course at any time and progress at a pace that suits you.
  • Support - this isn't just about the course, we provide new students with an orientation video which will inform you of all sorts of services to support your study.
  • Unlimited tutor access - you can contact our tutors by telephone or email. They are there to support and guide you in your studies.

Exams are optional for short courses and only needed if you want to use this study as a credit in a formal qualification. If you pass all assignments you will receive a Course Completion Letter, if you pass all assignments and the exam you will be awarded an ACS Statement of Attainment.

The course comprises 8 lessons, as follows:-

Lesson 1. Establishment Procedures
Aims to teach the student how to select appropriate procedures for the establishment of a small business.

Lesson 2. Management Procedures
Teaches the student how to select appropriate procedures for the management of a small business.

Lesson 3. Communication in Business
How to develop procedures for communicating with suppliers and customers of a small business.

Lesson 4. Problem Solving
How to develop procedures for addressing problems in a small business.

Lesson 5. Staff Management
Looks at how to plan the management of staff in a small business.

Lesson 6. Productivity
Learn how to develop strategies for managing production in a small business or department within a larger organisation.

Lesson 7. Financial Management
How to carry out different financial management tasks used in small business or department within a larger organisation.

Lesson 8. Marketing Techniques
Evaluation of marketing techniques used in business 

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • Select appropriate procedures for the establishment of a small business. 
  • Select appropriate procedures for the management of a small business. 
  • Develop procedures for communicating with suppliers and customers of a small business. 
  • Develop procedures for addressing problems in a small business. 
  • Plan the management of staff in a small business. 
  • Develop strategies for managing production in a small business or department within a larger organisation. 
  • Perform different financial management tasks used in small business or department within a larger organisation.  
  • Evaluate marketing techniques used in business. 


Here are just some of the things you will be doing:

  • Find out what pay and conditions must be supplied for a list jobs. 
  • Find out about how to register a business name in your state, including procedures and costs. 
  • Find out the procedure for establishing a company. 
  • List the legal requirements for the establishment of one of a list of businesses. 
  • What are the legal rights and obligations of both the customer and the supplier in a legal contract? 
  • Visit an office in a workplace, and observe the layout of that office, and the way in which the layout affects work performance. 
  • Draw a sketch plan of an office, showing the arrangement of people, furniture and equipment. 
  • Contact either (or both) the Standards Association in your country and/or an appropriate government department to find out more about Quality Assurance. 
  • Compile a resource collection of information on office equipment. 
  • Interview someone who works in a business involved in selling. 
  • Investigate three different workplaces, in order to evaluate problems in small businesses. 
  • Investigate two different small business workplaces, making observations and speaking with some staff, 
  • Investigate the role of unions within a workplace. 
  • Contact at least one workplace where enterprise bargaining has been used to establish working conditions for staff. 
  • Investigate productivity in two different small business workplaces, from the same industry, and which provide the same or similar services or products. 
  • Investigate changing conditions in the business environment that may affect production or objectives of business. 
  • Investigate and prepare a management report on a business. 
  • Investigate investment opportunities with an investment counselor. 
  • Investigate an established business. Consider how a product is marketed by this business in three different ways. 


One of the most important decisions you must make regarding your business is its legal structure. The most common types of business structure include:

  • Sole proprietor/trader 
  • Partnerships 
  • Companies 
  • Trusts

To determine the most appropriate legal structure for your business will depend upon factors such as:

  • The size of the business 
  • The number of people involved 
  • The type of business 
  • The cost and difficulty of establishment 
  • Taxation considerations 
  • Financial considerations, both present and future 
  • Superannuation considerations 
  • Management control and independence 
  • Acceptability of government interference 
  • The need for additional skills 
  • Exposure to risk/liability of individuals 
  • Your own personal preference

Business structures are to a large degree controlled by law; and the nature and range of structures can vary from one country to the next. The following are "genera;" categories that often occur (but might not be exactly the same in every country).

Sole Traders 
There are a very large number of sole trader businesses in the UK. They can also be known as sole proprietors, as the name suggests they are owned by one person. However, this does not stop the sole trader from being able to employ other staff as they will be employees, not owners. There are many advantages of setting up your business as a sole trader:

  • This form of ownership suits many different types of business. 
  • It is easy and cheap to set up, and there is not a lot of paperwork involved. 
  • If the type and place of business is well thought out, very little start-up capital is needed. 
  • The owner maintains full control of the business and is free to make business decisions without consulting anyone else. 
  • All business information is kept confidential unlike other business types who have to submit financial reports for public viewing. 
  • The owner can keep all of the business’ profits.
  • However, as with most things there are also disadvantages to setting up your business as a sole trader:
  • Unlimited liability. This means that the sole trader is liable for all debts incurred by the business. Therefore, personal possessions would have to be sold in order to pay of the debts of the business. As a sole trader, there is no-one else to share the debts with. 
  • Shortage of capital. Some sole traders find it hard to grow, or even continue operating due to a lack of capital. As they are a risk to lenders, it can be hard to obtain loans from banks etc. 
    Illness. If the owner is ill or even wishes to go on holiday, there may be no-on else to run the business and therefore revenue and possible profit is lost during this time period. 
  • Hours of work. In order to run an efficient and successful business, long hours or work are required. 
  • Continuity. If the sole trader wishes to sell his/her business, there may be no willing purchaser. Also, on a more morbid note, if the owner dies the business effectively ceases to exist. 
  • Shortage of skills. Most entrepreneurs do not have ALL of the necessary skills to run a business. Therefore, specialists will need to be employed i.e. accountant, business lawyer etc. which can also be very costly. 
    Economies of scale. As sole trader businesses tend to be small, they can not take advantages of economies of scale i.e. bulk buying

These types of businesses are especially common in certain industries such as Dentists, Doctors and Solicitors etc. However, it is possible for any business to set up a partnership as long as they fit the necessary criteria. The rules surrounding the creation of partnerships are very strict: there must be between 2 and 20 partners, although it is not necessary for each partner to have an equal share. Because a partnership is a more complicated form of business than a sole trader, most choose to draw up a deed of partnership. If the business chooses not to do this, the law states that in all cases, partners are equal regardless of the amount of capital they invested. It is therefore in the interests of all parties to have a deed of partnership. 

Advantages of partnerships:

  • More capital is available due to the possible number of partners. 
  • There is a wider range of available skills. This is highlighted above in the sample deed of partnership. 
  • The workload is shared, which makes it easier to cover illness and holidays. 
  • It is easy and cheap to set up. 
  • Financial information stays private as with the sole trader. 
  • If extra skills or capital is needed, other partners can become involved.
  • Some investors are happy to invest money into the business without actually taking any part in running it. This type of partner is known as a sleeping partner.

Disadvantages of partnerships:

  • The profit has to be shared between all partners. 
  • Unlimited liability – review point made in sole trader disadvantages. 
  • Disagreements. The partners may not always agree on important decisions and conflicts can often occur. 
  • Shortage of capital. As with sole traders, it is difficult to raise finance through banks due to the unlimited liability. Although new partners can be an extra source of finance, they may be hard to find. This also means less profit for each partner.

All companies must let their customers know what type of business they are trading as i.e. Marks and Spencer P.L.C, Boots the Chemist Pty Ltd. This is normally written on various business documents such as receipts etc. 

This a complicated and costly legal process which companies must go through before they can legally trade. Once all the requirements of the process have been met, the Registrar of Companies will issue the company with a Certificate of Incorporation. Incorporation creates a separate legal identity for the organisation. In the eyes of the law, the business and its owners are completely different things. Therefore, the owners benefit from limited liability, unlike sole traders and partnerships. This means that the owners can only lose their initial investment, they do not have to sell their personal possessions to pay off debts incurred by the business.

So ... Why should I do this course?

  • It provides a broad foundation of business management.
  • Learn how to start a business or how to improve an existing business.
  • Advance you career - learn management procedures, communication and staff management.



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Meet some of our academics

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.

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