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Business Operations

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



Business success depends upon a strong foundation of skills and knowledge in various aspects of business operation and planning. 


This course is a good choice if you're wondering where to start. It covers vital topics such as finance, financial record keeping, financial management, business planning, mistakes to avoid, and more.

This course 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
    • Developing a 12 month business plant.
  6. Mistakes to avoid
    • Reasons for business failures
    • profitability
    • improving productivity

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 You Will Do

  • 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

Business Tips -

Reasons Businesses Fail

Insufficient Capital

  • Not enough money to get started:
  • Don't forget that money is needed to keep you going from the time you begin in business until the time you are bringing in a profit. In some businesses you might need to cover yourself for several years’ wages. In most businesses you need to cover yourself for at least a few months’ wages.
  • Not enough money to grow and develop:
  • A slow and steady rate of growth is safer than rapid expansion.
  • Remember: Businesses do not stand still  they either expand or shrink.

Depending too Heavily on Borrowings

At all costs, avoid borrowing any more money than necessary. If lenders change their minds and won't wait for repayments, or if interest rates increase; something you thought was manageable might all of a sudden cause the business to collapse. This has happened to many small business people as well as a significant number of big businesses in recent times.

Improper Financial Planning

You must know your financial position at all times and adjust the way you manage your business accordingly. It is easy to lose touch with the current situation and become distracted and involved with the day to day problems of running a business. Set clear goals and monitor your progress towards them.

Poor Cash Management

Don't overspend when you have it or you won't have it when you need it. This is a simple statement, but one which leads to the downfall of many businesses. If you don't keep accurate records of what you are owed, you might not realize you haven't been paid.

Watching the Volume of Business and Losing Sight of the Profit
The most successful businesses are generally those which do less work for more profit. Don't try to get too big too fast  instead, put your effort into getting better profits out of the work which you are able to get.

Not Collecting Money Owed to You

You need to be of strong resolve to get money out of your customers.


Remember - business and friendships are two very different things.

  • Don't go easy on people because you like them.
  • Don't avoid chasing money because you don't like the confrontation. If you can't take the right approach to collecting money you shouldn't be in business.



Meet some of our academics

Sarah RedmanB.Bus (Marketing), Cert Bus.Admin Over 15 years industry experience covering marketing, PR, administration, event management and training, both in private enterprise and government; in Australia and the UK. Sarah has traveled extensively and enjoys cooking and outdoor pursuits.
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.
Kate GibsonKate 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).

Check out our eBooks

Business OperationsExplore how to improve the management and profitability of an existing business. Businesses do not run themselves - goals need to be set and decisions need to be made in order to achieve business goals. This book talks you through all of the different aspects involved in running a business from finance and forecasting to staffing changes and legal issues. Six chapters cover the daily challenges of running a business, people, the law, finance, product management, and risk management. 73 pages
Event ManagementThe Event Management ebook is a complementary text for event management students or professionals working in the field. The ebook goes through the considerations and elements of an event and what needs to be organised when an event is in the planning stage.
Saving a BusinessIf your business is in trouble or under performing: you must read this!
ManagementManagement is the process of planning, organising, leading, and controlling an organisation’s human and other resources to achieve business goals. More importantly though, effective management needs to be a process of human interaction and compassion. Most bad managers don’t know they are bad. They may well admit that they are a bit erratic, or they are sometimes late to appointments, but it is rare that they will recognise that they are ineffective as managers. Never here. This book has something to offer even the best of managers.