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I did the “Cert IV in Business” not Business Management through open learning. I chose this instead small business management because it had units in there for manual bookkeeping.

I worked for accountants years ago and wanted a formal qualifiaction for that as well as some other parts of the course as I was planning to teach the course at TAFE with my other IT subjects.

We were given a CD which was a virtual office to use with the assessments. Which was great and showed you every document and procedure necessary to run a small business (other than tax) Most of the Course material was valuable and it was easy to do, the manual bookkeeping modules help you understand how to watch your business finances and learn about how GST works in a business. I think everyone should know how to do manual bookeeping even if they use electronic systems like MYOB etc so you fully understand how it all works.

The “Co-ordinate implementation of customer service strategies” module provided good info I find useful still today. Some modules will also assist you to document your work practices which is valuable should you expand and need to train employees or if you sell your business. This course also taught a lot about writing reports on your business performace to monitor progress and trace your customers enquiries etc, this will help you monitor your business and improve as you are developing e.g. it will prompt you to monitor where you work is coming from, how each type of advertising is working etc.

I did actually know a lot of all of this before I started the course from other businessess and paid employment but I still found I learnt a lot through doing the course. I didn’t end up teaching it as life changes forced me to leave my TAFE job and start the business we have at present..but I have implemented things I learnt during the course into our business especially reports & monitoring. I can tell you exactly how my business is doing every day with my spreadsheet I developed combining a lot of the info mentioned above on a daily basis to see how each area of our business performs. (It looks like a rainbow of coloured cells but is simple and quick to use.)

I did my course through TAFE QLD Brisbane Nth Institute of TAFE open learning 6 years ago. The module descriptions are often misleading as to what you actually learn as well. I had tutors I could of asked for assistance online if needed, but I didn’t need them so can’t comment on that. I had no distractions from classmates just did it at night over 9 months. I have heard comments like above from others have have attended classroom courses, where the teachers can be good or useless. If you do a classroom course ask about the business/working experience of the teacher and how long ago they had this experience and ask for comments from their students about their teaching -nearly all institutes keep these records after every course.

If you have never run a business before I think you should obtain some training, most businesses are failing long before they know it is happening, if you know how to monitor your progress, make plans and have understanding of your reports and graphs, records etc you will be able to take action before its too late. If you don’t even know you should be doing this then you are taking pot luck that your business will work or last for you. All those reports, procedures etc tell the history of your business to a prospective buyer should you want to sell your business down the track and let you know quiet times of the year etc.

If you don’t know how to monitor your advertising, client referrals, do monthly reports on your business activities and be able to take charge of your own books – then do the course!