What Types Of Business Classes Are Recommended?

Business By madicakes Updated 29 Apr 2011 , 6:31pm by scp1127

madicakes Posted 29 Apr 2011 , 4:02pm
post #1 of 8

I am beginning the process of starting my business and want to take some classes for he business end of things. Do those of you who have your businesses running have any recommendations on what types of classes I should take?

Thanks!

7 replies
scp1127 Posted 29 Apr 2011 , 4:52pm
post #2 of 8

Accounting... at least two college classes. Economics... macro and micro, rather elementary courses, but the knowledge is valuable for forcasting, knowing how to position yourself in the market, and for weathering economic downturns (such as poor economy and dealing with a saturated market... where this industry is headed). There are adult ed clases for small business in most areas. Marketing can be learned from some fantastic books on the market. Even if you take it in college, the market is changing rapidly and a college course will not be able to keep up. Start studying employee law in your area. A good place to start is with state agencies... the labor board, state and fed tax depts, unemployment ffice, and workers comp. An interview with an accountant that can keep you on track, and a class for Quickbooks will be valuable. Do not discount a great educational tool... knowing your competition inside and out, and knowledge of your area demographics. The latter can be found at your local Chamber of Commerce. They have the job of luring industry to your area with that information.

jason_kraft Posted 29 Apr 2011 , 5:26pm
post #3 of 8

Another great resource is SCORE, they offer free business mentoring.

http://www.score.org/

Looking back to my MBA, the most useful classes in terms of application to my business were in the fields of taxation, economics (micro more so than macro), accounting, operations management, and marketing. Even though the market is constantly changing, the basic tenets of marketing (segmentation, positioning, value chains, competitor analysis, etc.) remain the same, taking a marketing course taught by someone with real-world experience can be invaluable.

scp1127 Posted 29 Apr 2011 , 5:34pm
post #4 of 8

Jason_kraft, I agree about the core to a degree. The problem is that the vehicles used to reach the market have changed damatically, and the methods of a cutting edge marketing plan are 180 degrees from the old ways of even a few years ago.

jason_kraft Posted 29 Apr 2011 , 5:42pm
post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

Jason_kraft, I agree about the core to a degree. The problem is that the vehicles used to reach the market have changed damatically, and the methods of a cutting edge marketing plan are 180 degrees from the old ways of even a few years ago.



The means of effectively implementing a marketing plan have certainly changed in the past few years, but the components of the plan itself are still pretty much the same. In any case, before paying for a marketing course it would probably be worthwhile to check out the syllabus or even audit a few days to make sure the info will be relevant to you.

There are even some courses dedicated to social media and web-based marketing that would be valuable when added to a solid background of basic marketing principles.

scp1127 Posted 29 Apr 2011 , 5:47pm
post #6 of 8

jason_kraft, you have obviously taken these classes more recently than I have. But I found, even years ago, that a professor in a classroom does not always have his finger on the pulse of current, cutting-edge marketing solutions.

jason_kraft Posted 29 Apr 2011 , 5:59pm
post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

that a professor in a classroom does not always have his finger on the pulse of current, cutting-edge marketing solutions.



That can still be the case today, it really depends on who you get. My intro marketing class was a waste of time because the professor had no real-world experience, unfortunately the selection of professors was limited so I didn't have much of a choice there on the MBA track. The followup class, Competitive Marketing Strategy, was taught by a high-level marketing executive with decades of experience, and as a result it was far more useful.

Here are the course descriptions for the graduate level marketing classes at my school. I only took the first two, since I was focusing more on ops and finance. If I didn't already have an IT background I definitely would have taken the Internet Marketing course though.

http://www.scu.edu/business/marketing/academics/graduate-courses.cfm

scp1127 Posted 29 Apr 2011 , 6:31pm
post #8 of 8

I am helping my daughter, who is taking a concentration in finance. We really just discuss what she is learning. It looks like the exact same curriculum that I had, only watered down. And I haven't been in college since the 80's. With a marketing background, I am fascinated with the new marketing approaches. When I had my marketing company in the 90's, I stressed honesty, being a resource for information, having excellent customer service... especially when things go wrong, and being solutions oriented in your treatment of customers... not just a pitch. This is exactly where marketing has evolved. The internet has created a "no place to hide" atmosphere if you have an inferior product or poor customer service.

I will give an example of old ways still being used, even though it is a proven liability in a marketing plan... the cold call. Another is using mass marketing just because it's easier to throw the message out to the masses and hope you hit a few interested parties. You see it here on CC all the time when bakers complain of people wanting "Walmart" prices. This is the baker's fault, but they will blame everyone else.

As I have said many times on CC, this market will be saturated in the near future. Many of these small businesses will fail and they won't see it coming. The case of the illegal baker will take care of itself also in the future. Credit cards will be a must, and the illegal cannot create a paper trail. Web sites will be a must, and again, the illegals will be excluded as governing agencies (IRS, health departments, state tax) use this valuable, incriminating tool.

It is still very simple to separate your business from the masses, and fortunately, very few know how to do it.

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