Starting & Operating a New Small Business

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 Syllabus | Class Sessions | Links | Grading | Assignments | Blackboard
Instructor Contact & Course Information 
   David Ambrosini 
Room 505B
Class Meets:

Aptos Campus Tuesday Night Hybrid Section
T, 530-650 pm + 1.5 hour/week Online via Blackboard Learning System Room 2502
(+ 3 hrs 25 min per week Online Instruction (minimum Computer Lab Time for homework/week)

Aptos Campus Wednesday Hybrid Section
W 930-1050 am + 1.5 hour/week Online via Blackboard Learning System Room 2502
(+ 3 hrs 25 min per week Online Instruction (minimum Computer Lab Time for homework/week)

Office Hours

M Online 9-1100 a.m. (Bus 5 Online class)
T 1050-1130 a.m., 430-530 p.m., 820 to 840 p.m., room 505B
W 9-920 a.m.,1050-1130 a.m., room 505B
TH 9-920 a.m., 1050-1130 a.m., room 505B

Use Blackboard Email for all class related questions

Click here for a printable copy of this syllabus

Textbooks & Recommended Reading

Bus 88 Website

By Ambrosini

Required Reading: Class website

Online Learning System
  Required: Online Instruction:
The Legal Guide for Starting & Running a Small Business By Steingold

Nolo Press, 11th edition
ISBN 9781413310559

Small Business: An Entrepreneur's Plan By Ryan & Hiduke Optional
ISBN 9781285169958, 9th edition
The Successful Business Plan: Secrets & Strategies By Abrams Optional
Oasis Press
ISBN 1-55571-194-4
Small Business Management By Longenecker Optional
ISBN 0-324-22612-8, 13th edition
Course Description
The course is intended for entrepreneurs. It is conducted in a seminar style. I will attempt to help you develop skills you will need to start and operate a new small business while avoiding common pitfalls. The course will focus upon you as the entrepreneur, financial feasibility, creating the business, marketing, various specific decisions, legalities & paperwork, and the formal and informal business plan. Your chances of success should be much improved by the end of the course.
Add Policy
Add Policy: Students who fail to attend the first class meeting without contacting me will be dropped as "No Shows." The spot will be given to a student on the Wait List in numerical order. You must be on the Wait List and present at the first class meeting to be eligible to add. No one may "Add" after the first week.

Requirements & Options

Lectures are delivered via the Bus 88 Instructor website

All CourseWork is completed through the Blackboard online instructional system.

Coursework, Due dates, schedules, and grades are viewable via either system. The Blackboard Learning Modules show all assignments including readings, plus due dates and late dates for each week. Click Here for a Printable Version

Attendance/Participation - Attendance/Participation is required. There are 16 meetings including the Final Exam meeting. You may be dropped as a no show the first week of classes. If you miss more than 2 weeks of class sessions (2 meetings) you may be dropped. However, it is the student's responsibility to drop a class. You receive points for attendance. You cannot pass the course with less than 70% attendance! (at least 11 of 15 class days, not counting the final.)

Attendance/Participation: (See pages 30-31) This course requires active participation each day of class so it is important for you to attend every class session, arrive on time, and come prepared. Your participation not only enhances your own learning, it benefits other students in the class, especially when the class is doing group work. Your level of participation is reflected in your grade and since you can’t participate if you are not in class, absences will also be reflected in your grade.

Note: There are no "make-ups" for missed days. Extra Credit may be available.

Business Idea - You will need to choose a specific business idea to use in completing the assignments.

MYB Assignments - You are required to do 15 written assignments that simulate a rough draft of a business plan, one each week. Assignments require you to think and offer your opinions and decisions and have no right or wrong answers. All assignments are linked as Word or Excel files. For full credit, your assignments should generally be at least 100 to 300 words. All must be thorough, logical and posted on time.

Assignments are turned in using Blackboard: either typed into the turn-in window, cut and pasted from the Word document into the turnin window, or attached as a file (only allowed if an Excel file is used AND directed to in class).

Note: Late assignments will be 10 points off. Extra Credit may be available.

BizPlan Project Assignment - You will use the General Business Plan Outline (simple version below) I'm providing for you to write a FINISHED plan from the rough drafts of MYBs 1 thru 15 you're doing for the MYBs.

You will first choose an idea for a business start-up and turn it in as an Assignment using the appropriate assignment turn-in link in Blackboard. (Retailer, Service, Wholesaler, Manufacturer, etc.) You'll expand on that idea starting with the the Discussion MYB1 post. The FINISHED Biz Plan will be turned in as a file attachment using the Assignment Link in the Main Blackboard menu at the end of the semester. Click here  for a printable version of the Biz Plan outline you will use.

You must use Microsoft Word document format to upload your Biz Plan as an attachments in the Assignments area. No other format will be accepted for attached files.

The BizPlan is turned in using Blackboard: either typed into the turnin window, cut and pasted from the Word document into the turnin window, AND MUST BE attached as a file.

Note: Late assignments will be 10 points off. Extra Credit may be available.

Discussion - Online postings and responses via Blackboard. Post your choice of one of the "Discussion Topic choices from the Discussion Column for each Discussion on the Assignments link at my website. Post your Answer on Blackboard and respond to two postings from your classmates. Don't attach the file, cut and paste the answer or type your answer directly into the Discussion inbox at Blackboard.

For full credit, your original posts should be at least 250 words and responses 150 words. All must be thorough, logical and posted on time.

Note: Late Discussions will be 10 points off. Extra Credit may be available.

Late CourseWork - is marked as "Late" after the Due Date on the Assignments page. A 10 point penalty is assessed after one week late (a 1 week "grace" period) They are expected to be accurate and thoroughly completed.

Note: All CourseWork must be submitted by Thursday midnight of Finals Week.

Xtra Credit - You will have some opportunities to get xtra credit points. They are noted on the Assignments page as MYBx (not MYB) and can be used in any order. Others may be added. Most are 10 points each.

Withdrawal policy - You may withdraw from the course with a W grade until 75% of the semester has elapsed. You can drop using WebAdvisor. Contact the admissions and records office for details. Failure to follow the withdrawal procedure will result in an F grade being assigned at the end of the semester. No Shows will be dropped by the instructor at the end of the first class meeting and your spot will be given to a student on Wait List.

You will use the class website as your textbook. Enrollment in this class gives you access to computers on campus. The class website is published on the Internet and is not password protected, thus you have access to the class website from any Internet connected computer on or off campus. However, to use a campus computer you need your class login and password. Click here for printable instructions. You may use the Library computers without having to log in. Students will use the same login for both Blackboard and classroom computers. (See FAQs for more info)

Printing on campus requires you to go to the CTC (Computer Technology Center) in Aptos or Watsonville and open a printing account with $5.00. You are charged $ .10 a page for black and white, $.50 a page for color.

DSPS Statement for Syllabi: Students needing accommodations should contact the instructor ASAP. As required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), accommodations are provided to insure equal opportunity for students with verified disabilities. If you need assistance with an accommodation, please contact Disabled Student services, Room 810, 479-6379, or Learning Skills Program Room 1073, 479-6220.
Disabled Students Programs and Services

Each student should click and read the standard Code of Conduct for Cabrillo College courses: Student Rights & Responsibilities

Hybrid Course and Using Computers
  • Hybrid Course & My expectations This course is a sixteen week course, organized into weekly class sessions with multiple topics. You will need to arrive on time, stay the entire class session and meet all deadlines to succeed. The class is taught with 1.5 hours in the classroom using my website and 1.5 hour online per week (not counting homework) through the Blackboard (formerly WebCT) online instructional software.
  • Using Computers
    Your Student Account or Login
    (or Logon) consists of a username & a password.

    Activate your semester login ASAP.

    • To use Blackboard activate Student Account - Within 24 hours of registering in any class with the college, your student account will be automatically created and you can look up your Student Account:
    • The Campus Network, Hawknet (wireless), and Blackboard account are the same.
    • To Use the ClassroomLab Computers you will:
      • power them on
      • login usingyour Student Account username & password
    • To access the Internet with a laptop or other personal device login using your Student username & password

    (click here for Account directions and CTC sign-in info)

Computer Labs
CTC Hours Aptos - Room 1400 Aptos
Monday-Thursday 8:30 am - 8:45 pm
Friday 8:30 am - 3:45 pm
Saturday 9 am - 4:45 pm
Sunday closed
Aptos CTC
CTC Hours Watsonville - Room Wat4510
Monday - Thursday 800 am - 7:45 pm
Friday 800 - 3:45 pm
Saturday 9 am - 12:45 pm
Sunday closed
Watsonville CTC


All graded items are on a point basis as indicated in the table below. You will get a letter grade unless you let me know by the end of the fourth week that you prefer the Pass/No Pass option. Students must drop themselves after the second week.

  Graded Requirements
MYB Assignments
(Minding Your Businesses)
(15) 30 pts each
BizPlan Assignment
150 pts
Click here  for a printable version
(5) 20 pts each
Attendance - 20 pts per day
You cannot pass the course with less than 70% attendance! (at least 11 of 15 class days, not counting the final.) 
Extra Credit
10 pts each, 40 max pts available
                       Grades based on 1000
The Assessment 1 in Blackboard - Syllabus Review is Required in first two weeks  
Total Possible =
(grades based on 1,000)

Pass/No Pass requires 700 points for Pass and requires that you miss no more than 4 meetings. (at least 11 of 15 class days, not counting the final.)

Letter grades: 900 pts=A, 800 pts=B, etc.

Attendance is required. You may be dropped as a no show the first week of class. If you miss more than four weeks of class sessions during the semester, you may be dropped. (11 of 15 meetings not counting the Final)

Final Exam - There is no final exam. All assignments must be turned in via Blackboard by Midnight Thursday, Decemeber 17th.

Late assignments will be 10 pts off. Extra Credit is available.

Final Exam Meetings Schedule - attendance not required
Aptos night Tuesday Section- Tuesday, 12/15, 6-850 pm
Aptos Day Wednesday Section- Wednesday, 12/16, 7-950 am

Class Sessions - Quick Look 
Session 1. Entrepreneurship - facts & figures

Session 2. Business Plans - Sample Outlines
                Buy Existing Business vs. Startup Decision

Session 3.   Create the Financial Model for Your Business (Required)
Session 4.   Legal Forms Of Organization

Session 5.   Paperwork, Regulations, Permits and Licenses

Session 6.   Location & Leases & Home Based Business
Session 7.   Business Names/Trademarks & Competition
Session 8.    Define Your Market , Estimate Demand & Research

Session 9.   Financial Feasibility of Your Business Plan

Session 10. Identify & Estimate Startup Costs

Session 11. Sources of Capital
Session 12. Pricing Strategies

Session 13. Compensation, Payroll and Deductions & Risk & Insurance

Session 14. Cash, Credit, Credit Cards, Checks, Trade Credit, Credit Terms

Session 15. Merchandise Sales Rights, Obligations and Deceptive Sales Practices
                  Employer/Employee & Personnel Issues
                  Customer Relations


Deadlines Fall 2015
August 31 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Fall semester begins
September 7 . . . . . . . . . . . .Labor Day; Holiday, Campus Closed
September 11 . . . . . . . . . . . Deadline to return parking permits for refund
September 12 . . . . . . . . . . . Deadline to add or register for a full-term course
September 12 . . . . . . . . . . . Deadline to drop full-term course & receive reversal of charges or refund of enrollment
September 12 . . . . . . . . . . . Deadline for student activity card refund or credit
September 13 . . . . . . . . . . . Deadline to drop a full-term course without permanent record "W"
September 14 . . . . . . . . . . . Census Day; Financial Aid awards are not adjusted after this date.
October 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Deadline for pass/no pass option (full-term course)
November 13 . . . . . . . . . . . . Veteran's Day; Holiday, Campus Closed
November 21 . . . . . . . . . . . . Deadline to withdraw from full-term course
November 26-27 . . . . . . . . .Thanksgiving Holiday, Campus Closed
December 11 . . . . . . . . . . . . Deadline to apply for AA/AS degree or certificate
December 14-19 . . . . . . . . . Final Exams
December 19 . . . . . . . . . . . .Semester ends;Last day to submit a BOG application for Fall Semester
December 21 . . . . . . . . . . . . Fall Grades Due
December 22 . . . . . . . . . . . .Fall Grades Available on WebAdvisor


  • September 7 . . . . . . . . . . . .Labor Day; Holiday, Campus Closed
  • November 13 . . . . . . . . . . . Veteran's Day; Holiday, Campus Closed
  • November 26-27 . . . . . . . . .Thanksgiving Holiday, Campus Closed
Student Learner Outcomes
Student Learner Outcomes:
1. Assess strengths, resources, and weaknesses as a business owner/operator; compare options of starting from scratch, buying an existing business or investing in a franchise system and determine the feasibility of each.
2. Construct a simple business plan including capital needs, demand projections and financial statements.
3. Articulate and justify your decisions in planning areas such as marketing plans, competition, location, legal form of business.

copyright: David Ambrosini, 1988-2015, All Materials on Website ©