Online Class: Retail Business 101

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Course Description

The idea of running one's own business is the dream of hundreds of thousands of Americans. The reasons for opening your own business are myriad; to be your own boss, to set your own hours, to do what you want to do, to provide a product or service where you perceive a need, to follow your passion. 


Any one of these reasons are good ones for opening your own business. There are really only a few real reasons for not just jumping into the process and opening your doors to new customers and your heart to an entirely new and wonderful way of life.  The biggest reason is fear; fear based on lack of information.  When you do not know how to do something, there is underlying fear that it will likely be done wrong.


 In order to tackle your fear, you need knowledge and that is what this course on  Retail Business will give you. By going through Retail Business you will discover whether or not you have the true entrepreneurial spirit to leave the corporate world and all that goes with it, and enter into your new world of Business Owner. The beauty of being a business owner is that you will never be bored, you will spend time doing the things that you love, and perhaps even with the people you love if you decide to join forces. 


This course will take you through the lists of things that you need to do or consider before you open your doors.  Once you have completed the course, you will have enough information to decide whether or not business ownership is for you.

Course Requirements

This course will not require you to have previous experience in any particular area but you should have a high school reading level. No books will be required.

Course Outline


Lesson 1: So you want to be a Retailer?

            A. Self-Assessment

                        1. Are you a people person?

                        2. Problem solving your forte?

                        3. Keeping cool under fire?

            B. Going into business.

            C. Hours and Responsibilities

            D. Keeping records

Lesson 2: Your Options and the Competition

            A. Study the Market

            B. Finding your Niche

            C. Sizing up your Competition

            D. Do you know the business?

Lesson 3: Developing a Business Plan

            A. Business Structure

            B. Potential Customers

            C. Service and Price

            D. Capital

            E. SBA loan

            F. Reasons for failure

Lesson 4: Structure of your business

A.   Sole Proprietorship

B.   Partnerships

C.   LLC

D.   Incorporate?

E.   Business License

F.    Insurance required

Lesson 5: Location, location, location

A.   Make or break you.

            B. Know your Target Customer

            C. Demographics

            D. Convenience

            E. Community

            F. Space and cost

Lesson 6: Merchandise

A.   Vendors

B.   Suppliers

C.   Credit issues

D.   Pricing issues

E.   Always deliver VALUE

Lesson 7: Designing the store

A.   Displays that sell

B.   Unique Image

C.   Staging

D.   Merchandising

Lesson 8: Marketing Issues

            A. Marketing Plan

            B. Getting the word out

            C. Relationship marketing

            D. Innovate

Lesson 9: Staffing

            A. Finding “people” people

            B. Job descriptions/applications

            C. Choosing the best front line possible

            D. Create a loyal workforce

            E. Make it fun

Lesson 10: Training and motivating

            A. Teamwork

            B. Training

            C. Responsibilities

            D. Motivating employees

            E. Customer Service

Lesson 11: Will we make it?

A. Sales performance

B. Inventory performance

C. Productivity

Course Materials

All course material will be provided in the lessons and netlinks. There are no required materials to purchase before taking the class.

Grading Policy

Each lesson will include a lesson review quiz along with one or two assignments. Students will successfully complete this course by mastering all learning outcomes with 70% or higher overall grade.

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Define what is a retail business and whether or not it is right for you.
  • Know your options and the competition.
  • Develop a business plan.
  • Structure your business.
  • Define location, location, location.
  • Describe merchandise.
  • Describe designing the store.
  • Describe marketing issues.
  • Know staffing.
  • Describe training and motivating, and
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Assessment Guide

Assessment Points
Lesson 1 Assignment2
Quiz for Lesson 1 : So, you want to be a retailer?62
Quiz for Lesson 2 : Your Options and the Competition60
Quiz for Lesson 3 : Developing a Business Plan58
Quiz for Lesson 4 : Structure of Your Business50
Lesson 5 Assignment2
Quiz for Lesson 5 : Location, Location, Location52
Quiz for Lesson 6 : Merchandise58
Lesson 7 Assignment2
Quiz for Lesson 7 : Designing the Store60
Quiz for Lesson 8 : Marketing Issues49
Lesson 9 Assignment2
Quiz for Lesson 9 : Staffing50
Quiz for Lesson 10 : Training and Motivating42
Lesson 11 Assignment2
Quiz for Lesson 11 : Will We Make It?61
The Final Exam420
Total Points:1032

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