The Free Micro-eMBA(SM)
Complete, Free Business Development Program
- As a free, self-paced program for entrepreneurs to develop a business organization.
- As a free, self-paced program to better understand basic systems and practices in business.
- By organizations to promptly provide a business and management development program.
If You Want to Do the Program
- There is no enrollment needed. Just pick the modules that you want to do, and start them.
- If you are using the program to start a business, do all the modules in the order listed in the program.
- There is no certification or degree -- the program is entirely for your learning. See the links below.
If Your Organization Wants to Provide the Program
- Organizations can provide this program. Directions are provided below..
- Those organizations might evaluate learners' results and issue certifications, if they choose.
- For more information, see the links below.
If You Are Focusing on Nonprofits
Table of Contents
Cost of Program and Time to Complete
Please Tell Others About This Program!
Providing Program Requires Little in Resources and Expertise -- Here's How!
Program Not to Be Used Primarily to Generate Profits
How Do I Get Started?
Who Can Benefit From Program
- Highly motivated learners who:
- Wish to understand key principles, concepts and terms in business
- Have limited time and / or money
- Prefer to manage, schedule and locate their own learning experiences
- Prefer highly practical results from programs
- Leaders and managers:
- Seeking guidance to understand business, start a business organization or to firm up the foundation of an already established organization
- Service providers (associations, training centers,
- That wish to offer highly accessible and practical professional and organization development programs in their areas
- Middle managers or entry-level personnel
- Who desire highly accessible and adaptable means to professional development for advancement in their careers
- Consultants who
- Desire better understanding of business and organizations, their systems and practices, in order to provide more effective services to clients
- Wish to establish stronger credibility with clients by understanding the world of managers and leaders in the workplace
Results for Learners and Their Organizations
Personal and Organizational Outcomes (knowledge, skills and abilities)
Basic understanding and skills about:
- Self-directed learning and self-management (in preparation for completing this program)
- Feasibility analysis during considerations to start a business
- Common structures, systems, cultures and life cycles
- Roles and functions of chief executive officer and board of directors
- Building and operating a board of directors (in the case of corporations)
- Basic, critical skills in management and leadership in order to plan, organize, lead and coordinate activities in an organization
- Strategic analysis, planning and implementation
- Marketing, including market research and analysis, pricing, competitive analysis, production, distribution, sales and customer service
- Financial management, including basics of bookkeeping, cash management, financial reporting and analysis
- Staffing and supervising employees, including job definition, recruiting, hiring, performance management and personnel policies
- Business ethics, including practical guidelines for managing ethics, roles and responsibilities, codes of ethics, codes of conduct, policies, resolving ethical dilemmas and training of employees
- (Outcomes from each module are listed near the top of each module.)
Program Outputs (tangible results)
Learners in the program produce the following results:
- Job description of chief executive officer
- Management and leadership training plans
- Complete resources to equip board members
- Training plan and materials to train the board
- Strategic plan
- Operating budgets
- Product marketing analysis
- Public and media relations plan
- Sales plan
- Advertising and promotions plan
- Financial reports and analysis
- Customer service plan
- Policies for staffing and supervising employees
- Policies and codes to guide toward highly ethical behavior in the workplace
- Substantial cost savings from continued access to free, complete, online materials for personal, professional and organizational development
Note that the recurring processes that produce the above items are at least as important -- if not more important -- than the items themselves. This program carefully guides the learner through those processes.
Nature of Learners Who Will -- and Won't -- Thrive in this Program
Who Will Thrive
This highly accessible and practical program is particularly
useful for highly motivated learners who:
- Trust their own ability to manage and carry out their own learning
- Understand that in learning, you don't always get what you pay for -- but you get out what you put in
- Prefer practical results (along with powerful outcomes) from a program, e.g., results such as plans, policies and procedures, job descriptions, financial statements, etc.
- Who cannot afford to pay the rapidly increasing costs of tuition and materials
- Who are geographically remote from educational facilities
- Prefer to schedule and locate their own learning experiences
- Can see the value of self-directed, homeschooled learning with the support of peers in an atmosphere of trust and confidentiality
- Prefer to share ongoing ideas, materials and support among peers
- Lastly, learners will thrive in this state-of-the-art program if they have a sense of adventure about new experiences and the patience for learning new ways of doing things
Who Will Not Thrive
Perhaps the best way to convey the nature of people who won't
thrive in this program is to point out certain myths about learning
that many of us have come to believe over the years. This program
will not be appealing to people who tend to believe (consciously
or unconsciously) that:
- The prettier the content and materials, the more valid the content and materials
- The more expensive the program, the more learning that will be accomplished (the fallacy of "executive-level pricing")
- The more books and binders in the program, the more learning in the program
- Program certification and diplomas represent guaranteed learning that was accomplished by participants in the program
- Learning occurs primarily in a classroom
- Educators can always manage learners' learning better than the learners themselves
Program Design and Format of Learning Modules
Arrangement of Modules -- From Building Basics to Organizational Fitness Test
The program includes 10, online learning modules. Modules are "courses" through which learners progress in the program. Materials and activities for learning are tightly integrated with each other across various modules in the program. A listing of the learning modules is included in the section Links to Learning Modules, which directs learners through the learning modules. Note that learners can choose to complete modules according to their own needs, as well.
Learners Can Start Anywhere in the Program
The program can be highly useful to learners regardless of the order in which they go through the modules in the program. Learning modules are arranged generally in the order needed to develop an organization from the ground up. Learners who are going through the program primarily as a form of training and development can proceed in a sequential fashion through the Links to Learning Modules, and in each module address the a) topics for discussion and reflection and the b) activities to build systems and practices.
Note that the activities required to build and manage a healthy organization are usually very cyclical in nature -- for example, product planning often produces learning that, in turn, polishes previous strategic planning activities. Therefore, learners are guided to revisit certain portions of various learning modules at various points in the program.
Format of Each Learning Module
Learning modules (other than the first and last) have the following format:
- Introduction -- explains how the module fits into the program and the overall process of business and organization development
- Outcomes -- lists the new knowledge, skills, practices and systems that learns will accomplish from completing that module
- Specific Materials for Review -- references specific and free materials for review and study; these are needed to respond to all suggested topics for discussion and reflection and to the learning activities required to build basic systems and practices
- Specific Topics and Questions for Reflection and Discussion -- highlights key concepts to understand about the overall topic of the learning module
- Specific Activities to Build Systems and Practices -- guides the learner to develop the basic systems and practices to successfully build and manage the organization
- Assessments -- helps the learner measure and / or evaluate extent of application of that topic to the learner's organization
- Tracking Open Action Items -- guides the learner throughout the program to consistently record and track any incomplete action items remaining from the current and previous learning modules
- Reminders to Learners -- some modules pose miscellaneous reminders
for learners to ensure they're using information and skills from previous
Links to Learning Modules
NOTE: Various modules include optional sections about boards of directors. This applies primarily to business organizations that are formed as corporations. These sections can be skipped by learners who are not interested specifically in boards of directors.
Each of the following modules suggests specific materials for review, specific topics and questions for discussion and reflection, and specific activities to develop basic systems and practices. Various modules also include assessments and guidelines to record and monitor action items from current and previous learning modules.
- Gain Guidelines for You to Get Most from Program
- Learn Tips to Improve Reading and Studying Skills
- Access Extensive Free, Online Resources for You
- Design Your Best Approach to Program
- Decide if You Are an Entrepreneur
- Answer: You Have Right Planning and Financial Skills?
- Answer: What Human Resources Will You Need?
- Articulate Your First Products and Markets
- Verify If Those Markets Really Exist
- Identify Best Approaches to Pricing
- Answer: How Much Money Will You Need?
- Draft Your First Strategic and/or Business Plan
- Learn What a Chief Executive Officer Is
- Understand Major Functions of CEO
- Understand Core Knowledge and Skills for CEO Role
- Be Prepared for Building Your Board
- Set Basis for Strong Board-Staff Relationships
- Avoid "Founder's Syndrome"
Gain Basic Skills in:
- Problem Solving and Decision Making
- Internal Communications
- Meeting Management
- Managing Yourself
- Review Advanced Topics in Management and Leadership
- Design Your Management and Leadership Development Plans
- Understand Roles and Responsibilities of a Board
- Adopt Board Policies
- Build Board Committees
- Recruit New Board Members
- Ensure Strong Participation of Board Members
- Prepare for Board and CEO Evaluations
- Build Board Calendar to Schedule All Operations
- Organize a Board Manual
- Train Board Members
- Assess the Health of Your Board Practices
- Understand the Strategic Planning Process
- Draft Your Mission, Vision and Values Statements
- Conduct Basic Strategic Analysis
- Set Strategic Direction
- Conduct Action Planning
- Draft an Operating Budget
- Write and Communicate Your Plan
- Monitor and Evaluate Your Strategic Plan
- Evaluate Your Strategic Planning Practices
- Conduct Basic Market Analysis for Each Product
- Draft Your Public and Media Relations Plan
- Draft Your Sales Plan
- Draft Your Advertising and Promotions Plan
- Draft Your Marketing and Promotions Plans
- Learn Basics of Bookkeeping and Finances
- Understand Budgeting and Deviation Analysis
- Understand Basic Cash Management Practices
- Recognize Major Financial Statements
- Know Basics of Financial Analysis
- Evaluate Your Financial Management Practices
Supervising Staff, Including How to:
- Define New Job Roles
- Recruit Job Candidates
- Screen Applicants
- Orient New Employees
- Delegate to Employees
- Ensure Strong Performance
- Fire Employees
- Compile Personnel Policies and Samples
- Evaluate Your Supervisory Practices
Set Up Systems to Manage Ethics, Including:
- What is Business Ethics?
- Myths About Business Ethics
- 10 Benefits of Managing Ethics
- Ethics Management System
- 8 Guidelines for Managing Ethics
- 6 Key Roles and Responsibilities
- Codes of Ethics
- Codes of Conduct
- Ethics Policies and Procedures
- Resolving Ethical Dilemmas
- Conduct Ethics Training
Cost of Program and Time to Complete It
The cost of the program depends very much on how the learner chooses to go through the program. If the learner chooses to go through the program on their own (rather than, for example, as part of a group of learners sponsored by a local service provider), the program is entirely free. Otherwise, program costs are determined by the local service provider who sponsors the program.
Time to Complete Program
Learners can go through all of the modules in the program or they can choose their own set of modules and how those modules will be completed. Consequently, the amount of time to complete the program depends very much on how the learner chooses to go through the program. The more time and energy that learners invest in the program, the more they will learn and accomplish for their organizations and careers.
Many of the learning activities in this program are activities that organizational leaders and managers should do in the workplace anyway to develop a healthy organization. Consequently, time to conduct these learning activities in the program should not be viewed only as "time in the program"; rather, this program helps learners turn their organizations and careers into "learning labs" where they get things done -- and learn at the same time.
As a very rough estimate, learners can spend anywhere from 10-40 hours in each module -- again this amount of time depends very much on how thorough learners are in reviewing learning materials and conducting activities to deepen and enrich that learning.
Certain modules include more learning activities than others. Therefore, the program sponsor and learners may choose to dedicate more than one meeting for these modules. For more information, Suggested Number of Meetings Per Learning Module in Here's How to Provide the Program.
Please Tell Others About This Program!
- The vast majority of small- to medium-sized businesses have very limited time and money -- yet the majority of these businesses still do not tap the vast reserve of free resources available on the Internet and Web! Please help spread the word!
- Please print out this program flyer and place copies appropriately around your business community.
- If you know of service providers who will see value in providing this nature of program, please tell them. You might suggest they read the program description at "http://managementhelp.org/freebusinesstraining/program-description.htm
- If you're a service provider to businesses and communities, please consider offering this program as a service in your area.
Providing the Program Requires Little in Resources and Expertise -- Here's How!
Providing the program in your area requires little in resources and expertise. See Here's How to Provide the Program.
Within certain limits, I can also work with you to customize the program to suit your needs, if needed. For example, you may want to modify certain topics.
Program Not to Be Used Primarily to Generate Profits
This program was developed on a pro bono basis as a service to the management, training and development communities. The study materials for the program are contained in the Free Management Library, also developed as a pro bono service. Because of the pro bono nature of the program and its resources, the program should not be used primarily to generate profits. Specifically, any fees to learners to participate in this program should be no more than the very low costs incurred to provide and operate the program.
How Do I Get Started?
Begin proceeding through the modules by referencing the Links to Learning Modules.
For the Category of Personal Development:
To round out your knowledge of this Library topic, you may
want to review some related topics, available from the link below.
Each of the related topics includes free, online resources.
Also, scan the Recommended Books listed below. They have been selected for their relevance and highly practical nature.
- Field Guide to Leadership and Supervision in Business
- by Carter McNamara, published by Authenticity Consulting, LLC.
Includes step-by-step guidelines, tips and tools to effectively lead:
2. Other individuals in the business
3. Groups and teams in the business
4. Business organizations
5. As well as all functions within the business organization.
Many of the Library's materials about business, leadership and management are adapted from this book. Just click on the title of the book above to see the Index and Table of Contents.
- Field Guide to Leadership and Supervision With Nonprofit Staff
- by Carter McNamara, published by Authenticity Consulting, LLC.
Includes step-by-step guidelines, tips and tools customized for personnel in nonprofits to effectively lead:
2. Other individuals in the nonprofit
3. Groups and teams in the nonprofit
4. Nonprofit organizations
5. As well as all functions within the nonprofit organization.
Many of the Library's materials about nonprofit leadership and management are adapted from this book. Just click on the title of the book above to see the Index and Table of Contents.
The following books are recommended because of their highly practical nature and often because they include a wide range of information about this Library topic. To get more information about each book, just click on the image of the book. Also, a "bubble" of information might be displayed. You can click on the title of the book in that bubble to get more information, too.