8 Develop your knowledge and experience of a small business and its core functions


To be a good provider of business information you need to have an awareness of the 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 appreciate the competing demands, pressures, and motivations that face the entrepreneur.

This standard is a tailored version of Standard 5 in the SFEDI Introduction to Business Support suite of standards.

What you need to show

You need to have awareness or an appreciation 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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