Business Studies

Understand the essentials of business management so that you can make the best decisions for the business that you own or manage for a successful operation.

Course CodeBBS101
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

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Learn to Manage a Business

  • Self paced course -introduction to business management

  • Learn to manage business

  • Start a business or improve a business

  • Learn from teachers with decades of successful experience in the world of business

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

It does overlap with Business Operations and Starting Your Own Business, so you should choose just one of these modules. We can help you decide which one is best for you.

Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Establishment Procedures
    • The Business World
    • Ways to Begin a Business
    • Buying or Starting Up New
    • Market, Location, Regulations
    • Risks; emotional, financial
    • Common Reasons for Business Failure
    • Developing a 12 Month Plan
    • Creating a Business Plan
    • Motivation, Planning, Customers, Competitors, Promotion, Sales and Pricing, Employees, Premisis, Tax, Cashflow, Your Skills, etc
    • Legislation and Business Law
    • Legal Obligations
    • Partnerships
    • Contracts
    • Types of Business
  2. Management Procedures
    • Management Theory
    • Economic View, Behavioural View, Stakeholder Theory
    • Policies
    • Management Influences
    • Government Intervention
    • Classical School of Management Theory
    • Humanistic Management Theory
    • Scientific or Contingency Approach to Management
    • Systems Management
    • Neo Human Relations Management
    • Organisational Structures
    • "Functional", "Product/Market" and "Matrix" Structures
    • Coordination
    • Office Work
    • Quality Systems
  3. Communication in Business
    • Scope of Office Work
    • Business Letters
    • Customer Service
    • Writing Procedures
    • Clarity in Writing
    • Causes of Confusion
    • Concise Wording
    • Examples of Quality Assurance
  4. Problem Solving
    • Problem Solving Approaches
    • Non Complience Procedures
  5. Staff Management
    • Introduction
    • Interviewing, Recruitment and Staff Induction
    • Advertising
    • Potential Candidates
    • Interviews
    • Job Specifications
    • Management Styles
    • Supervision
    • Communicating with Employees
    • Giving Orders
    • Delegating
    • Motivating Employees
    • Security, ethics, gratitude, belief systems, etc
    • Negative Motivators
    • Space Management
    • Time Management
    • Viscious and Virtuous Cycles
    • Staff Training
    • Dealing with Complaints
    • Workplace Health and Safety
    • Work Sceduling
  6. Productivity
    • Introduction
    • Total and Partial Productivity Ratios
    • Foundation Economics
    • Goods, Resources, Performance Criteria
    • Economic Laws
    • Improving Results in Business
    • Profitability Ratios
  7. Financial Management
    • Introduction
    • Liquidity
    • Financial Records
    • Steps in the Bookkeeping Process
    • Basic Bookkeeping; Double Entry System, Ledger, Entrries resulting from Transactions, etc.
    • Cash Flow
    • Taxation
    • Financial Assistance
    • Insurance and Types of Insurance
    • Financial Terminology
    • Budgeting
    • Costing
    • Cost of Employing Labour
  8. Marketing Techniques
    • Scope and Nature of Marketing
    • Supply and Demand
    • Market ResearchMaking Contact and Communicating with Potential Customers
    • Convincing a Customer
    • Developing an Advertizement or Promotional Message

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.

What You Will Do

  • Find out what pay & 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 counsellor.
  • Investigate an established business. Consider how a product is marketed by this business in three different ways.

How Should You Structure a Business 

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

What are the Options?

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.

Is Incorporation Needed?
This is 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.


Start A Business, or Work in Business Management


  • What does it mean to be successful?

  • How do you plan for the future?

  • How to make money?

  • How to improve?

  • How to sell?


Need assistance?

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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
Bob James

Horticulturalist, Agriculturalist, Environmental consultant, Businessman and Professional Writer. Over 40 years in industry, Bob has held a wide variety of senior positions in both government and private enterprise. Bob has a Dip. Animal Husb, B.App.Sc.,
Lyn Quirk

M.Prof.Ed.; Adv.Dip.Compl.Med (Naturopathy); Adv.Dip.Sports Therapy Over 30 years as Health Club Manager, Fitness Professional, Teacher, Coach and Business manager in health, fitness and leisure industries. As business owner and former department head fo
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