Your first topic is the Nature of a Business. It’s a relatively short topic, which aims to introduce you to the general business environment and function.
Under the role of business, you will examine the function of a business, that is to produce goods and services. In addition to this main role, businesses also exist to make a profit, provide employment, innovate, offer consumers a variety of choice between products and so forth.
Then, you’ll also be introduced to the types of businesses. Businesses can be classified as either a Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) or a large business; a local, national or global business; a sole trader or partnership or alternatively a private or public company. A business may also be categorised by the broader industry it operates in.
Additionally, you will learn the array of external and internal influences that persist in the business environment. These influences have distinct impacts on businesses, to varying degrees depending on characteristics of the business such as its size, the industry it operates in, etc. You should, particularly, develop a thorough understanding of these as these will be constantly revisited throughout the HSC course and content.
The first topic will end with the stages a business typically goes through in the course of its life. There are four main stages, each having its own distinguishing features that you’ll need to know.
In business management, you will be informed on not only how a business is managed but also be introduced to the four key business functions: operations, marketing, finance and human resources. This is a vital aspect of the syllabus as the year 12 syllabus content is solely focused on each of these four key functions. Hence, it is imperative to gain a solid understanding of these now, as it serves to provide you with a contextual ground for the HSC content. Going back to managing a business, you’ll learn that there is no “one size fits all” approach and that there are different ways to manage a firm. It all comes down to the individualistic features and goals of the business.
Getting to the more gritty part of the preliminary course, business planning, you’ll revisit the idea of a SME in detail as well as the particular influences pertaining to establish a SME. You will find that is quite a resourceful and risky venture. One may call it a battleground to survive as long as possible (which often proves much more difficult for a SME than you may think and you’ll evidence this through the shocking statistics). The rest of the topic takes you through the relatively long process of planning that a business conducts in the course of its operations. It is a fundamental part of preventing the misuse of limited resources possessed by a business, and hence a tool every business should learn to effectively yield to sustain success. This is reiterated in the critical issues in business success and failure, among other points such as analysing market trends, gaining a competitive advantage, effective management, avoiding too much debt and so forth.
Don’t be intimidated by the new content you may be facing, as most of it is relatively straightforward, especially if you can contextualise the theory learnt in reality and to real life businesses. For instance, try to draw links between what you learn to real businesses and how the particular syllabus dot point may relate to them and impact them.