Small business owners frequently perform multiple ‘jobs’ everyday. Even if the owner has a college degree in the field of their business, it is unlikely that he or she will have expertise in every field of knowledge. For example, an architect who opens his own business has to know accounting, human resources, employment law, and many more subjects.
It is unreasonable to expect anyone to take a class in every possible area of study, however most business owners have a couple of areas that they could really use help in. Here are some classes that many business owners could benefit from taking.
Intro to Finance
Introduction to finance classes can have various names at different schools, such as finance 101 or basics of finance. Regardless of the name of the class, most of them will include instruction in banking, corporate finance, and financial economics. Financial economics is the study of interrelation of financial variables.
You may be saying to yourself “I own a bakery, why do I need to study finance?” Even if you own a bakery, you can benefit from a greater understanding of banking. Sooner or later you will probably need a loan to finance a larger oven or other equipment. A successful dance studio owner can maximize their profit from investing if they understand markets and risk.
Finance is fundamental part of business. Every business owner should have a working knowledge of the various subjects that are taught in a introductory finance course.
Human Resource Management
In a class in human resource management, you will learn about interviewing employment candidates, training and developing your workforce, some employment law, employee benefits and more. Most states have laws that affect the interview process, and prohibit certain questions. There are federal laws that apply to all states, violation of these federal laws by asking illegal questions during an interview with a candidate can be costly. Additionally, getting the best workforce starts with the interview process, learning how to conduct effective interviews is important.
Training employees can increase your profits by making your employees more effective. Training can be expensive, however if you know how to implement an effective training program, you can get a great return on your training investment. When training is done properly, employee satisfaction improves, and turnover decreases. When turnover decreases, businesses save the cost of recruiting employees, and the employees they do have will be more effective.
Everyday small business owners are sued by former employees. Lawsuits are expensive even when you prevail, and losing a law suit can cost millions. You can avoid costly law suits with a basic understanding of employment law.
Introduction to English, also called composition and rhetoric, teaches the fundamentals of writing. Some business owners may think that they do not need to study English, however writing in a professional manner is crucial to communicating with customers and employees. All businesses have a message, whether it is ‘purchase the stuff I have to sell’ or ‘I will perform a valuable service for you’, the best way to communicate your message is through professional, effective writing.
Email has become a popular form of communication in business today. Businesses that primarily serve other businesses often use email for more than 50 percent of communication with their customers. Show your customers that you are professional and you can be trusted by writing without errors and in a convincing manner.
Depending on your specific situation, there are many other classes that you can take to help you succeed in business. In this article I have discussed a basic finance course, human resource management, and English, each of these classes include particularly useful information for every small business owner. Although it can be difficult to juggle the responsibilities of operating a business and taking a college class, the benefits of the knowledge you will obtain, definitely makes the extra work worth the effort.