Business Operations

Understanding business operations is vital to ensure that you are across all of the business functions and that each business function runs smoothly.

Course CodeVBS006
Fee CodeS1
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

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Increase Business Profitability and Sustainability 

For success in business, you need to begin with a strong foundation of skills and knowledge in various aspects of business operation and planning. The aim of this course is to provide you with the building blocks for a successful career in business planning and operations. Covering 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.

This course is a good choice if you're wondering where to start including:

  • Those with a retail, technical, sales or trade background looking to move into management
  • People working in administrative roles who wish to take on more responsibility
  • A starter course for anyone who has not studied business before
It does overlap with Business Studies and Starting a Small Business, so you should choose to do one or the other, not any two of these.

Lesson Structure

There are 6 lessons in this course:

  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
    • Overview
    • Improving results in business
    • Developing a 12 month business plan.
  6. Mistakes to avoid
    • Examples of things to avoid; lack of market research, problems with marketing, cash flow, attitude, etc
    • Profitability
    • Profitability ratios
    • Reasons why businesses fail

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.


  • 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).

What Is Required to Operate a Business?

Running a business is a day to day task - it will not run itself. Goals need to be set and decisions need to be made in order to achieve these goals. In the daily operation of a business, some days will challenge you and some will inspire you. Most of them however will be just part of the daily routine of normal business operations. 

The day to day goal of a business involves acquiring the means to deliver a product or service, then selling that product or service to someone.

The following are the three key areas in operating a small business:

  1. Management process – staff management; hiring the right people, training, how to get the best results from the people you hire.  

  2. Business strategy – defines your short and long term goals in relation to achieving targeted turnover and profit.

  3. Business operations – the means by which you achieve set goals i.e.  resources, tools, business plans and set procedures. 

Things you will need to do to fulfill your business goals:

  • Buy or make your product or determine the services you will offer.

  • Make the correct buying decisions – based on market research and the needs of your customers.

  • Fix prices (after determining costs).

  • Keep costs down.

  • Promote products or services (Advertising, marketing).

  • Sell.

  • Deliver.

  • Follow-up with your customers.

  • Hire and train new employees as the business grows.

  • Motivate your employees.

  • Measure your performance against your goals.

  • Keep appropriate records.

The daily work of any business operator however can vary in many ways:

  • Small business operators need to do everything (planning, management, marketing, delivering the service or creating the products etc.).

  • Big business operators have the luxury of being able to delegate areas of work to employees, but that luxury is readily offset by the added complexity of managing a larger organisation.

  • Some businesses need to allocate more resources to acquiring their product or service than others. Others may find acquiring the product easy, but usually when one aspect of the business operation is easier, other aspects will be more difficult.

  • Some businesses need to continually review and change the product or service they offer, while others may only ever make minor changes to what they are selling.

What will this course do for you?

At the end of this course you should be able to start or improve a business.

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

  • Research business publications to evaluate current trends in small business

  • Prepare management reports for several businesses

  • Contact lending institutions to enquire about money market investment schemes

  • Prepare a profit and loss statement, a ledger statement and a balance sheet for a hypothetical business

  • Speak with the taxation department about business related tax issues

  • List the assets and liabilities in an existing business

  • Develop a budget for a simple business operation

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Sonia Andrews

15 years experience in business, bookkeping and accounting.
Kate Gibson

Kate has 12 years experience as a marketing advisor and experience as a project manager. Kate has traveled and worked in a variety of locations including London, New Zealand and Australia. Kate has a B.Soc.Sc, Post-Grad. Dip. Org Behaviour (HR).
Denise Hodges

Promotions Manager for ABC retail, Fitness Programmer/Instructor, Small Business Owner, Marketing Coordinator (Laserpoint). Over 20 years varied experienced in business and marketing. More recently Denise studied naturopathy to share her passion for healt
Rosemary Davies

Businesswoman, Journalist, Editor, Broadcaster, Teacher, Consultant for over 30 years.
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