Behind every successful business is a competent business operations manager. They are the “go to” person in an organisation, overseeing various departments to plan and meet business goals. But what is business operations?
Our Introduction to Business Operations course is ideal for Managers, Operations Managers, Team Leaders, those from a technical, sales, retail or trade background seeking to move into a management role, or those in an admin role wishing to take on more responsibility in their current career.
This business operations management course will provide you with the essentials required for a successful career in business planning and operations. You will explore taxation, financial management and record keeping, business law and regulations, the money market, business plan writing, and the foundations of successful business planning, as well as common pitfalls to avoid.
Outcomes achieved by undertaking a business operations management course include:
- Gaining insights into what is business operations
- Learning about beginning operations, the types of businesses and business law
- Exploring the role of the courts, interpreting legislation, arbitrating the constitution and disputes, legal obligations and protecting civil liberties
- Gaining an understanding of business name registration and trading hours
- Understanding staff employment (wages and conditions) and formal contracts
- Studying partnerships
- Examining the legal identity of a partnership
- Understanding consumer protection
- Attaining knowledge of ways to buy and/or start a business
- Gaining insights into the market, location and regulations
- Learning about financial management and institutions
- Exploring liquidity
- Gaining an understanding of how banks can help
- Studying the money market
- Examining banker, accountant, broker and insurance agent contracts
- Understanding financial terms
- Attaining knowledge of the types of business insurance
- Gaining insights into financial records and how financial accounting can help with decision making
- Learning about the steps in keeping financial records
- Exploring the steps in the bookkeeping process
- Gaining an understanding of cash, income and expenditure books
- Studying the double entry system of bookkeeping
- Examining the ledger, balance sheet and the profit and loss account
- Understanding cash flow and what it’s important
- Attaining knowledge of financial and money management
- Gaining insights into investing and taxation
- Learning about sole proprietorships
- Exploring partnership and companies
- Gaining an understanding of how to prepare a budget (income and expenditure)
- Studying estimated monthly expenses and starting costs
- Examining the cost of materials, labour and overheads
- Understanding business planning, how to start it and how to improve results in business
- Attaining knowledge of identifying the product or service being offered
- Gaining insights into key industry features
- Learning about the market and competitors
Requirements for Operating a Business
Running a business is a day-to-day task, but businesses don’t run themselves. Goals need to be set and decisions made in order to achieve these goals. The goals of a business involve acquiring the means to deliver a product or service and then selling them. In terms of business operations management, some days will be challenging and others inspiring, however most will just be integral to the daily routine. But what is business operations?
Typically, there are three key areas involved in running a business:
- Management process – this includes hiring the right people, staff management, training, and getting the best results from the people you hire.
- Business strategy – this defines your short and long term goals in relation to achieving targeted profit and turnover.
- Business operations – these are the means by which you achieve your set goals, for example, tools, resources, set procedures, processes and business plans.
Things you will need to do to fulfil your business goals:
- Buy or make your product or determine the services you will offer.
- Make the correct buying decisions, based on market research and the needs of your customers.
- Fix prices after you determine your costs.
- Keep costs down.
- Promote your services or products via advertising and marketing.
- Follow-up with your customers.
- Hire and train new employees as the business grows.
- Motivate your employees.
- Measure your performance against your set goals.
- Keep the appropriate records.
The daily work of any business operator, however, can vary in many ways:
- Small business operators typically need to do everything! This includes planning, management, creating the product or delivering the service and marketing it.
- Bigger business operators often have the luxury of being able to delegate areas of work to employees, but that luxury is offset by the added complexity of managing a larger organisation.
- Some businesses need to allocate more resources to acquiring their product or service than others. Other businesses may find acquiring the product easy, but usually when one aspect of the business operation is easier, other aspects will be more difficult.
- Some businesses need to continually review and change the product or service they offer, while others may only ever make minor changes in terms of what they are selling.
Common Elements of Business Success
If you are looking to launch a start-up, it’s worth remembering that founding and growing a business is not for the faint hearted. However, undertaking a business operations management course is an excellent place to start!
A 2018 study done by KPMG was an effort to establish some baseline information on high performance in Australia’s growing community of business founders. It surveyed 70 business founders who reported working an average of 64 hours per week, which is well above the national standard of 40 hours per week. Founders reported that it’s an all-consuming enterprise.
What’s it take to scale and grow fast?
“Scaling” a business up can be difficult. Research has shown that only one per cent of organisations make it past the $10m-a-year mark. Harvard Business School Professor Noam Wasserman, the author of The Founder’s Dilemmas, says that 65 per cent of startups that fail do so due to ineffective management by the founders, not product or marketing problems.
The Growth Project, a global study by Professor Charlene Zietsma from Penn State University that tracked companies across seven countries has identified common features. University of Technology Sydney (UTS) Business School Associate Professor Danielle Logue MAICD, who leads the Australian arm of the project, says there is much attention in Australia on startups, but fewer insights on how to build high-growth firms and the scaling process.
The Australian companies surveyed included those from capital cities and regional areas, ranging from high-tech startups to innovative firms in traditional industries such as mining, hospitality, construction, agriculture, manufacturing andtourism.
Findings identified eight important features that fast-growing companies have in common. Logue says these factors transcend industries, cultures and countries.
- Beginning with the end in mind. This means having clear long-term objectives for the business. For example, is this a lifestyle business? Is this a family dynasty? Are you going for world domination?
- Nailing it and scaling it. For example, what value will you deliver to whom, how will you deliver it consistently, what’s your profit formula and what’s your go-to-market plan? It also involves refining the business model, then scaling it up and repeating the process.
- Pivoting with a purpose. When a business model isn’t working, you should be prepared to pivot to a plan B to maximise the chance that your model will appeal to customers. Pivoting can be costly but extremely valuable.
- Letting go as you grow. This is about realising you can no longer do everything — hire, delegate and consult. When you start out, you’re really in touch with customers, the market and technology. As you start to grow, you can no longer do everything yourself.
- Hiring agile people. Hire the right people — especially those who can be fluid in their roles.
- Building scaffolding for growth. This means developing the systems, structures and processes needed to scale up.
- Focusing on cash. Speed cash flow through the system if you can, because it is the oxygen that fuels growth.
- Undertaking targeted execution. This involves developing a metric-driven culture and a focus on key priorities.
Gain the confidence to explore further studies in business operations or take on greater responsibility in your role with a business operations management course, such our Introduction to Business Operations.