Starting your business should not be like playing online slots. There should be no gambling involved. You need to start your business on solid ground with a solid business plan.
The Entrepreneur’s Toolkit is an excellent beginner’s course for those who want to start their own business or advance in their current industry.
Professor Goldsby, the Entrepreneur’s Toolkit instructor, provides a detailed roadmap for starting, nurturing, expanding, and eventually selling a business. He also shows how the same valuable skills even translate to other spheres of life. The following people can benefit from Dr. Goldsby’s great advice:
- anyone thinking of going into business, whether it’s a freelance career, a small store, a franchise, or an ambitious startup;
- those already in the industry who want to rejuvenate their organization and make it thrive;
- employees who want to get ahead in their present company, using the tools of entrepreneurship to build their career;
- teachers, ministers, club presidents, and others in leadership positions who want to make a difference in their field;
- people who deal with entrepreneurs, from screenwriters pitching a movie to sales representatives trying to win a contract; and
- anyone who loves a rags-to-riches story—because the annals of entrepreneurship are filled with inspiring biographies.
What other reviewers say
A majority of the reviewers on the Great Courses website think that this course is excellent. Most of the 2-star reviews (lowest reviews) were from people who felt that the course was superficial. The 4-star reviews thought that this course was just a first step, and one would need to supplement the video series with other resources.
In response to the 2-star reviews: if a person already has a degree in business or finance, the material taught in this course may have previously been taught in their college degree program.
As for the 4-star reviews, I would agree that the financial lessons are not enough. Additional resources would be needed to write this part of the business plan correctly.
My review of this course
I watched this series with my son, who was in middle school at the time. I was homeschooling him, and it was part of his life-skills curriculum, which also included him learning business math (the mathematics of money).
My son knew of family friends who were trying to start their own business. “Our friend is making every single mistake that the teacher is talking about how to avoid.”
From one perspective, the video is simple enough that even a middle schooler can understand the course instruction. From another perspective, many people who try to open their own businesses are not following the “simple” advice present in the course.
Even simple steps can easily be forgotten.
So I would give this video series 5 stars, but I would recommend “doing the video series.” Don’t just watch the video series.
Details of the Entrepreneur’s Toolkit Series
This series has 24 lectures that are 31 minutes each. But don’t expect to just “watch” each episode. You have to “do” each episode. In other words, you need to work through the steps involved in starting your own business … either a company that you actually want to start or a mock business that you will use as a course project.
How to come up with a great business idea
You will learn how to refine your business idea and how to define who your customer is.
Understanding your market
In this lesson, you will learn how to conduct market research.
Prototypes – making your ideas a reality
Learn how to demonstrate what your purpose is and how it is going to meet your customer’s needs.
Defining your business model
How will your company make money? How will your business differ from your competitors? How are you going to ensure repeat customers?
Picking your business structure
From a legal perspective, how are you going to set up your business?
Starting your business plan
Learn how to write the executive summary and description of your business.
Market analysis and marketing strategy
This lesson will focus on are on the marketing section of your business plan.
Business logistics and operations
Now you will focus on the logistics and operations side.
Organizational structure and management teams
How are you going to organize your business? Is it going to a top-down design or some other management structure?
Income statements and balance sheets
This lesson and the next lesson deal with the financial part of the business plan.
Cash flow statements and performance measures
This is the second of the two lessons on the financial part of the business plan.
Conducting risk analysis
This deals with obstacles that you may encounter with your business. It talks about your disaster recovery plan.
Finishing your business plan
This deals with how to make your business sellable. In other words, your business as a whole is profitable. What targets are you setting to say that is true?
How to finance your business
How to raise money to start your business. What are bankers looking for? What are other options outside of traditional bankers?
From your home office to social media
How do you set up a home office? How do you separate your business life from your home life? How do you balance the two? How do you pick a business name? How do you use social media for advertising your business?
Starting a family business
Going into business with family and friends can either be a rewarding experience or a complete disaster. What are some steps that you can take to prevent it from becoming the latter?
Buying a franchise or other business
What to look for when purchasing an existing business or a franchise?
Understanding intellectual property
How to protect your intellectual property rights? Copyright, Trademarks, Patents.
Managing human resources
Employee (worker) side of your business. Write a job description for every job from the beginning, even if you don’t plan to immediate hire somebody for that job.
The customer’s experience and your brand
In this lesson, you see examples of excellent customer experiences as well as horrible customer experiences.
Investigate four types of people who are primed to excel: artists, scientists, evangelicalists, and builders. Review some inspiring people from each of these four groups.
How to prevent entrepreneurial burnout. How to grow as your business grows. How to make your one-person business more professional. How to avoid the one-person company from “wearing too many hats.”
How do successful entrepreneurs think?
The successful entrepreneur
What happens when the entrepreneurial phase of your business is over?