The Business Happens Online Course—which Mitchell D. Weiss developed for undergraduate nonbusiness majors at the University of Hartford—delivers the practical knowledge you need for the venture you have up and running, or have in mind to launch. From writing a business plan to choosing the right legal structure, tracking financial performance to borrowing money, you’ll learn what it takes to create and competently manage a business the will stand the test of time. The 30 videos—which are grouped into 4 multi-part segments that can be viewed on your own schedule and at your own pace—compliment the Business Happens book on which the course is based. Udemy students can purchase the book at a 10% discount by inserting the word, “Udemy” into the checkout coupon in my store.
About your instructor: Mitchell D. Weiss is an experienced financial services industry executive and entrepreneur, adjunct professor of finance at the University of Hartford, a member of the board of the university’s Barney School of Business and co-founder of its Center for Personal Financial Responsibility. In addition to Business Happens: A Practical Guide to Entrepreneurial Finance for Small Businesses and Professional Practices, Mitch is also the author of Life Happens: A Practical Guide to Personal Finance from College to Career-2nd Edition and its companion course book, and College Happens: A Practical Handbook for Parents and Students.
“Anyone can plunk down a little money and start a venture. But if your plan for it is to become something more than just you and a cellphone…” This first segment encourages prospective entrepreneurs to thoughtfully consider the risks and responsibilities that come with owning and running a commercial enterprise. It also describes the step-by-step process for developing the business that starts the ball rolling, as well as the strategic and operating plans that follow.
“Cash is king with small business and professional practices, and it’s management’s responsibility to ensure there’s enough of it flowing through the place.” This next segment covers a lot of territory so it’s separated into three sections. The first explains how to find the right lawyers and accountants, and how to choose an appropriate legal structure for your venture. The second is a bit dense, which is why it’s broken into seven smaller sub-sections. You’ll learn what balance sheets and income statements are all about, and how the numbers are used by owners, lenders and investors to gauge the venture’s progress…or lack thereof. The third deals with a variety of operational matters including a broader discussion about the risks all businesses face, managing intellectual property, employment benefits and how organizations should be designed to optimize work-flow.
“Bottom-line profitability is a naturally occurring byproduct of the commercial lives we live.” This third segment also covers a lot of ground. In the first section, you’ll learn about borrowing money—how loans are underwritten, typical contractual terms and conditions you can expect to see, the different types of financing products that are available, and how to negotiate your way through all of that. The second segment deals with equity investments—capital that may come from family, friends or the professional investment community; depending on the type of business and the way it’s organized. The last segment speaks to financial adversity—how it can happen and what to do if that should come to pass.
“The disposition of an entrepreneur’s ownership position is often the most financially and professionally significant event of his or her career.” This last segment is the culminating point of the course because it describes the venture’s “financial harvest.” Here you’ll learn about mergers and acquisitions: how they differ, how they’re priced and how to protect yourself. You’ll also learn the importance of planning ahead, whether your intentions are to transfer the venture to a loved one, sell it outright to someone else or liquidate it over time.
My background is on the lending side of the financial services industry. I have owned and run commercial finance companies and served as an executive officer at several banks. I am also an Executive-in-Residence at the University of Hartford, co-founder of its Center for Personal Financial Responsibility and served five years as a member of the university's Barney School of Business' Board of Visitors.