How to Start a Business

The most comprehensive online course for starting and growing your own business.

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$50
Take This Course
  • Lectures 104
  • Video 8.5 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion

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About This Course

Published 10/2011 English

What am I going to get from this course?

  • What it means to be an entrepreneur
  • The basics you need to succeed in business
  • The starting cost you will need for your business
  • To understand your target market and how best to identify them
  • How to create a successful marketing strategy and reach your customers
  • The best ways to present your business to investors
  • What you should include in your business plan to secure funding
  • The benefits and costs associated with having an online presence
  • How to build the best team to run your business
  • What your break-even point is and how you reach that point
  • How to handle the financials of your business, like estimating sales, the difference between cash and profits, and more.

What is the target audience?

  • An entrepreneur
  • Thinking about starting a business
  • In the process of starting a business
  • Writing a business plan
  • Growing your business
  • Marketing your business
  • Need help understanding the financials of your business
  • Pitching your business to a bank or investors

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What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.

Curriculum

Section 1: Welcome Orientation
Article
OBJECTIVES In this course you will learn the key elements to starting and running a business. These include: Who is your ideal customer? What traits best describe your potential customers? What is the best way to reach your potential customers? What are your starting costs and other starting needs?…
04:12

Tim introduces what will be covered in the course.

OPTIONAL: A Slide Notes handout is available. Click here to download it.

04:53

Tim introduces himself and explains his background in entrepreneurship.

OPTIONAL: A Slide Notes handout is available. Click here to download it.

Article
This page provides a brief description of each session and what information will be covered during class. Chapter 2: What is Entrepreneurship? The first session of the course provides an overview of entrepreneurship and the basics of starting a business. The key elements that will be addressed in th…
Article
Glossary of Terms There's a full glossary in the Optional Downloads section with definitions for common business terms used throughout the course. This can be found at: http://www.udemy.com/lectures/glossary-of-terms-51159.html Assignments  There are five key lessons that you will complete during th…
Section 2: What is Entrepreneurship?
Article
This chapter provides an overview of entrepreneurship and the basics of starting a business. The key elements that will be addressed here are defined: What is an entrepreneur? What needs is your business going to fill? What do YOU bring to the equation? What does your business plan look like? How ar…
06:55

Part 1 of a three part series on Entrepreneurship.

OPTIONAL: A Slide Notes handout is available. Click here to download it.

08:11

Part 2 of a three part series on Entrepreneurship.

10:37

The last of a three part series on Entrepreneurship.

Article
These online resources provide ideas from a variety of business and marketing experts. They are not required reading for the course. Guy Kawasaki on The Art of the Start  (video) About a year after his book  The Art of the Start  was published, Guy Kawasaki posted this video on the Internet. It has…
Section 3: Concept Kick Start
Article
In this chapter, you will learn: Can you turn your business idea into a real business? What does it take to build a business? What sets your business apart from other companies? OVERVIEW You have an idea for a business. What’s the first step? Take the idea that has been forming in your head (your bu…
08:15

Part 1 of a four part video series on Concept Kickstart.

OPTIONAL: A Slide Notes handout is available. Click here to download it.

10:09

Part 2 of a four part video series on Concept Kickstart.

10:24

Part 3 of a four part series on Concept Kickstart.

07:46

The last of a four part series on Concept Kickstart.

Article
These online resources provide ideas from a variety of business and marketing experts. They are not required reading for the course. “The following blogs support my belief that an idea alone has no value. Ideas on their own are just not that important.”   Tim Berry, course author A Really Good Answe…
Section 4: Business Basics
Article
In this chapter you will learn: There are many types of startups, from the simple one-person business to a complex technology startup, with a lot in between. How to choose a business name, and how to own the name. Basic legal business types: corporations, limited liability corporation, sole propriet…
10:18

Part 1 of a three part series on Business Basics.

OPTIONAL: A Slide Notes handout is available. Click here to download it

11:23

Part 2 of a three part series on Business Basics.

18:21

The last in a three part series on Business Basics.

Article
These online resources provide ideas from a variety of business and marketing experts. They are not required reading for the course. Just Getting Going, Building, or Planning to Fly  (web only) Here is a  nice summary  of the basics of corporate entities and structure. It’s an excerpt of a book on b…
Section 5: Know Your Market
Article
In this chapter you will learn: What is a “target market” and what does it mean for my business? How can I find out who my target market is? What is it that makes my customers buy from me? OVERVIEW How many buyers are there?  Where are they, and what do they care about? What do they read, what do th…
08:52

Part 1 of a four part series on Market Analysis.

OPTIONAL: A Slide Notes handout is available. Click here to download it.

08:44

Part 2 of a four part series on Market Analysis.

05:36

Part 3 of a four part series on Market Analysis. This lesson video demonstrates how to create a Market Analysis table. The demo supports the LESSON: Market Analysis at the end of this section.

02:18

The last of a four part series on Market Analysis.

6 pages

DOWNLOADS: Templates for Lessons

Financials: The spreadsheet portion of this lesson will be completed by opening the business-plan-financials.xls file. You will continue to build into this file with each spreadsheet lesson.

  • Download and open the business-plan-financials.xls (found in the optional downloads area) 
  • Use the "Save as" command to save a copy of the file as yourname_financials.xls 

Text: The text portion of this lesson will be completed using the minimum-business-plan-outline.doc. You will continue to build into this file with each text lesson.

  • Download and open the minimum-business-plan-outline.doc file (found in the optional downloads area)
  • Use the “Save as” command to save a copy the plan outline file as yourname_businessplan.doc 
Click the "Download Printable Version" button to download the PDF of this lesson.
Article
These resources provide ideas from other business and marketing experts. They are  not  required reading for this session. Two examples of finding a market need: The right way (identify a need and fill it):  Turbo Pascal The wrong way (build a product and sell it):  Apple Newton Need vs. Recognized…
Section 6: Marketing Strategy
Article
In this chapter you will learn: How marketing is different from sales How to create a “brand” for your product or service How to best reach your ideal customer/target market OVERVIEW : Knowing about your market isn’t enough. You also need to decide who will be your customer, how you will find new cu…
08:38

Part 1 of a four part series on Marketing Strategy.

10:27

Part 2 of a four part series on Marketing Strategy.

10:13

Part 3 of a four part series on Marketing Strategy.

08:04

The last of a four part series on Marketing Strategy.

Article
These resources provide ideas from other business and marketing experts. They are not  required reading for this session. PR vs. Advertising vs. Social Media vs. Branding What do these terms mean, and are they the same?  This post  gives examples of each as well as how the meaning can change when yo…
Section 7: Basic Financials - Overview and Startup Plan
Article
In this chapter you will learn: The difference between ‘startup’ and ‘ongoing’ expenses How expenses vs. assets are treated for tax purposes The difference between profits and cash OVERVIEW Start-up expenses happen before the business is running. If expenses come after the start of the plan, they ar…
08:59

Part 1 of a three part video lecture series dealing with Financials.

OPTIONAL: A Slide Notes handout is available. Click here to download it.

09:33

Part 2 of a three part video lecture series dealing with Financials.

03:25

Part 3 of a five part series on Basic Financials.

Article
These resources provide ideas from other business and marketing experts. They are  not  required reading for this session. Business Plan Financials (3-part video series) This series is about 25 minutes long. It talks about the six key financial building blocks. It also gives examples of how they com…
10:39

Part 1 of a five part video lecture series dealing with Starting Costs.

OPTIONAL: A Slide Notes handout is available. Click here to download it.

05:28

Part 2 of a five part video lecture series dealing with Financials. This lesson video demonstrates how to create a Startup table. The demo supports the LESSON: Starting Costs at the end of this section.

03:16

Part 3 of a five part video lecture series dealing with Starting Costs.

03:05

Part 4 of a five part series on Starting Costs. This lesson video demonstrates how to create a Startup Funding table. The demo supports the LESSON: Starting Costs at the end of this section.

02:11

The last in a five part video lecture series dealing with Starting Costs.

6 pages
DOWNLOADS: Templates for Lessons

Financials: The spreadsheet portion of this lesson will be completed by opening the business-plan-financials.xls file. You will continue to build into this file with each spreadsheet lesson.

  • Download and open the business-plan-financials.xls (found in the optional downloads area) 
  • Use the "Save as" command to save a copy of the file as yourname_financials.xls 

Text: The text portion of this lesson will be completed using the minimum-business-plan-outline.doc. You will continue to build into this file with each text lesson.

  • Download and open the minimum-business-plan-outline.doc file (found in the optional downloads area)
  • Use the “Save as” command to save a copy the plan outline file as yourname_businessplan.doc 
Click the "Download Printable Version" button to download the PDF of this lesson.
Section 8: Basic Financials - Forecast Sales & Expenses
Article
In this chapter you will learn how to pull together the numbers of a business plan. Video demonstrations will forecast sales and starting costs and as well as ongoing expenses. This will show how the numbers in the plan come together. OVERVIEW Forecasting is like the weather forecast. It's a mix of…
09:42

OPTIONAL: A Slide Notes handout is available. Click here to download it.

08:56

Part 2 of a two part series on Sales Forecast. This lesson video demonstrates how to create a Sales Forecast table. The demo supports the LESSON: Sales Forecast at the end of this section.

5 pages

DOWNLOADS: Templates for Lessons

Financials: The spreadsheet portion of this lesson will be completed by opening the business-plan-financials.xls file. You will continue to build into this file with each spreadsheet lesson.

  • Download and open the business-plan-financials.xls (found in the optional downloads area) 
  • Use the "Save as" command to save a copy of the file as yourname_financials.xls 

Text: The text portion of this lesson will be completed using the minimum-business-plan-outline.doc. You will continue to build into this file with each text lesson.

  • Download and open the minimum-business-plan-outline.doc file (found in the optional downloads area)
  • Use the “Save as” command to save a copy the plan outline file as yourname_businessplan.doc 
Click the "Download Printable Version" button to download the PDF of this lesson.
Article
These resources provide ideas from other business and marketing experts. They are  not  required reading for this session. A three-minute video titled, “ How do I Start a Sales Forecast ?” The “ Forecast Your Sales ” chapter from  Hurdle: The Book on Business Planning , by Tim Berry, at www.hurdlebo…
04:25

Part 1 of a three part series on the Expense Budget and Payroll.

OPTIONAL: A Slide Notes handout is available. Click here to download it.

01:54

Part 2 of a three part series on the Expense Budget and Payroll.

07:48

Part 3 of a three part series on Expense Budget and Payroll. This lesson video demonstrates how to create a Personnel table. The demo supports the LESSON: Personnel Plan at the end of this section.

3 pages

DOWNLOADS: Templates for Lessons

Financials: The spreadsheet portion of this lesson will be completed by opening the business-plan-financials.xls file. You will continue to build into this file with each spreadsheet lesson.

  • Download and open the business-plan-financials.xls (found in the optional downloads area) 
  • Use the "Save as" command to save a copy of the file as yourname_financials.xls 

Text: The text portion of this lesson will be completed using the minimum-business-plan-outline.doc. You will continue to build into this file with each text lesson.

  • Download and open the minimum-business-plan-outline.doc file (found in the optional downloads area)
  • Use the “Save as” command to save a copy the plan outline file as yourname_businessplan.doc 
Click the "Download Printable Version" button to download the PDF of this lesson.
Section 9: Getting Financed
Article
In this chapter you will learn:  How to build a Startup Funding table using your startup costs and expenses from the previous session. Ways to finance a new business, and What works for what kinds of startups OVERVIEW Many classes on starting a business talk about getting money from outside investor…
08:44

Part 1 of a two part series on Getting Financing for your business.

OPTIONAL: A Slide Notes handout is available. Click here to download it.

10:48

Part 2 of a two part series on Getting Financing for your business.

Article
These resources provide ideas from other business and marketing experts. They are  not  required reading for this session. ARTICLE   Five Alternate Sources of Financing , from the Wall Street Journal. VIDEOS What do investors look for in a Startup?  (Naval Ravikant, speaker) This  speaker has been o…
Section 10: Building a Team
Article
In this chapter you will learn about: Building your team Working with outside advisors How to hire employees OVERVIEW Even if you have no employees, you are likely to need bookkeeping, accounting and legal advice. These advisors should be considered part of your team. You don’t have to know, be and…
08:32

Part 1 of a four part series on Building a Team.

OPTIONAL: A Slide Notes handout is available. Click here to download it.

08:12

Part 2 of a four part series on Building a Team.

09:40

Part 3 of a four part series on Building a Team.

10:44

Part 4 of a four part series on Building a Team.

Article
These resources provide ideas from other business and marketing experts. They are not  required reading for this session. Articles Angel-Eyed Skepticism on Sweat Equity  (originally discussed as part of Session 3: Business Basics) Videos Tim Berry on SBTV:   Building a management team. Tim Berry on…
Section 11: The Web
Article
In this chapter you will learn: What you want your website to do for you (contact only, sell online, etc.) How to bring visitors to your website What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and what it means to your website What "analytics software" is and what it can do for your website Marketing progr…
10:15

Part 1 of a four part series on The Web as it pertains to your business.

08:43

Part 2 of a four part series on The Web as it pertains to your business.

09:13

Part 3 of a four part series on The Web as it pertains to your business.

06:18

Part 4 of a four part series on The Web as it pertains to your business.

Article
These resources provide ideas from other business and marketing experts. They are not  required reading for this session. 5 Tips and Tricks for an Effective eCommerce Site and 10 Brilliant Examples Running an Online Business Social Media Marketing 10 Successful Facebook Business Pages
Section 12: Cash and Taxes
Article
In this chapter you will learn about: Cash and profits Cash flow and cash balance How your legal setup can affect your taxes How a calendar year or fiscal year can affect your taxes Types of business expenses to deduct from taxes Online resources for tax questions OVERVIEW Critical content is cash f…
11:33

Part 1 of a two part video series on Cash and Taxes.

OPTIONAL: A Slide Notes handout is available. Click here to download it.

13:37

The second in a two part series on Cash and Taxes.

Article
These resources provide ideas from other business and marketing experts. They are  not  required reading for this session. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) The IRS offers free information to help you understand the tax laws. Click on each link and choose to read online or  save to your computer. These…
Section 13: Plans and Pitches
Article
In this chapter you will learn: The differences between a business 'pitch' and a business 'plan' How to create and use Plan vs. Actual forecasts Where to go from here OVERVIEW You have your business idea. You know who your target market is. You have planned your sales, costs of sales and expenses. Y…
08:41

Part 1 of a six part series on Plans and Pitches.

OPTIONAL: A Slide Notes handout is available. Click here to download it.

10:51

Part 2 of a six part series on Plans and Pitches.

11:02

Part 3 of a six part series on Plans and Pitches.

09:57

Part 4 of a six part series on Plans and Pitches.

08:21

Part 5 of a six part series on Plans and Pitches.

05:27

The last of a six part video series on Plans and Pitches.

3 pages

DOWNLOADS: Templates for Lessons

Financials: The spreadsheet portion of this lesson will be completed by opening the business-plan-financials.xls file. You will continue to build into this file with each spreadsheet lesson.

  • Download and open the business-plan-financials.xls (found in the optional downloads area) 
  • Use the "Save as" command to save a copy of the file as yourname_financials.xls 

Text: The text portion of this lesson will be completed using the minimum-business-plan-outline.doc. You will continue to build into this file with each text lesson.

  • Download and open the minimum-business-plan-outline.doc file (found in the optional downloads area)
  • Use the “Save as” command to save a copy the plan outline file as yourname_businessplan.doc 
Click the "Download Printable Version" button to download the PDF of this lesson.
Article
These resources provide ideas from other business and marketing experts. They are  not  required reading for this session. ARTICLES Seth Godin: Nine steps to PowerPoint magic Seth Godin: Really Bad PowerPoint VIDEOS The Back to Fundamentals Series This is from November 2008. The total is 50 minutes.…
Section 14: Optional Downloads
768.0 kB

DOWNLOADS: Templates for Lessons

Financials: The spreadsheet portion of this lesson will be completed by opening the business-plan-financials.xls file. You will continue to build into this file with each spreadsheet lesson.

  • Download and open the business-plan-financials.xls (found in the optional downloads area) 
  • Use the "Save as" command to save a copy of the file as yourname_financials.xls

NOTE: This file was originally created in Business Plan Pro; it is compatible with Microsoft Excel or any other spreadsheet-compatible program which can read .xls format.

120.8 kB

Templates for Lessons:

Text: The text portion of the lessons will be completed using the minimum-business-plan-outline.doc file. Use the “Save as” command to save a copy the plan outline file as yourname_businessplan.doc 

NOTE: This file was originally created in Business Plan Pro; it is compatible with Microsoft Word or any other program which can read .doc format.

At the end of the course, the completed tables in the .xls file can be copied into yourname_businessplan.doc file. The combined tables and topics will then become your business plan file.

202.2 kB

The template for Business Plan Pro is contained within this ZIP archive. Save this file to the hard drive of your computer, right click on it to Extract the file, then open it with Business Plan Pro to use it for your assignments.

Instructor Biography

Bplans School of Business, Helping You Succeed in Business

Instructor Biography

Tim Berry, Business Planning Expert

Tim Berry is the founder of Palo Alto Software, makers of the top selling business plan software in the world. He is also the founder of Bplans.com, co-founder of Borland International, author of several best-selling books on business planning, and has a Stanford MBA.

Tim has spent his entire career focused on entrepreneurship and business planning. As a consultant Tim has helped businesses such as Apple, Autodesk, and McDonalds with their business planning.

As an entrepreneur, he started a company from nothing and grew it to own 70% market share without any outside investment. As an educator, Tim taught entrepreneurship at the University of Oregon for 11 years.

In 2001 Tim won the USASBE (United States Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship) Corporate Entrepreneur of the Year award and a USASBE award for teaching. His books have been published by Harcourt Brace, McGraw-Hill, Dow Jones-Irwin and Entrepreneur Press.

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