5 Knowledge and experience of a small business and its core functions


To be a good business adviser you need to have a broad range of abilities that cover the essential areas of business. This includes finance, marketing, sales, and customer service and how they link to and support each other. You also need to have experience or practical knowledge of the competing demands, pressures, and motivations that face the entrepreneur. These progression standards
require coverage of these areas at an appropriate level, in some instances described as basic. This must be sufficient to provide a basis for subsequent progression to meeting the requirements of the full Business Support standards.

Knowledge and experience

You need to have knowledge or experience of each of the following.
A Finances
i Working out financial requirements (for example forecasting resource requirements).
ii Sourcing of funding and what is needed to secure that funding.
iii Planning, monitoring and recording the cash flow in and out of a business, venture, or project.
iv Opening and managing a bank account.
v Understanding financial accounts.
vi Basic accounting terms and practices, and the basic rules regarding business taxation.
B Marketing, sales and customer service
i Conducting market research (for example to assess market conditions, to estimate potential
customer base, and to identify competition).
ii Understanding the customers needs.
iii Delivering a good customer service and how you can measure and monitor it.
iv Understanding terms of business.
v Basic marketing and sales techniques (for example, advertising, promotion, pricing) and tools (for example, websites, mail shots, direct selling).
C Small business experience
i The emotional investment entrepreneurs make in their businesses.
ii The major functions needed in a small business and how they link to and support each other.
iii What it takes to successfully start and run a small business.
iv The competing demands and pressures of running a small business (for example, cash
management, the personal nature of people management and relying on a small customer base).
v The diverse capabilities required of entrepreneurs (for example, financial management, business acumen, and human resource skills).
vi The need for entrepreneurs to take risks.
vii The recognition that running a business takes a lot of time, energy and commitment.
viii When and how to apply the principles of running a small business in practice.

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