Business Tools & Concepts for Non-Business Majors

     Proposed New Course

    Everyone needs to know something about business--
    We are all in business.
     It is important to understand the basics of how things are valued in the business world, and to effectively market what you do.  At some point, you will have to deal with budgets, costs and profits. Profit (or, in the not-for-profit environment, availability of resources) is the measure of how much other people value what you produce.

    This course isn't for business majors.  It's a practical course in business for non-business majors, who are perceptive enough to realize that they must know something about business to successfully pursue their first love -- Chemistry, Engineering, English literature, French, Medicine, Counseling, Teaching, or whatever they have decided to do--in the real world.

    This course is a survey of topics from the business curriculum delivered in a style appropriate for general audiences.
    You will come out of this course with understanding you need to deal with the business aspects of your chosen field, and with some practical tools you might need to start your own business.

    Some tentative textbooks:

    Nickels, McHugh, McHugh--Understanding Business includes the Essentials of Business CD-ROM
    and The Vest-Pocket MBA by Shim, Siegel, Simon

    Here is a list of  tentative topics:

    I. The Science of Business Decisions

      Reducing conflict by redesigning the decision process.
      Objective approaches to quantifying options and reaching consensus
      Optimism, Pessimism and Risk Management
      Game Theory and Total Quality Management
      All You Really Need to Know About Statistics

    II. Finance & Accounting

      Breakeven Analysis and Budgeting for Fixed and Variable Costs
      Incentives, Management and Accounting
      How Accounting Rules can Lead Managers to do the Wrong Thing
      Business taxes and form of business organization-e.g. corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship
      Finance, Forecasting, The Stock Market, and other Psychic Phenomena
      (including the time value of money)
      How to Read a Balance Sheet

    III. Operations and Efficiency

      Scheduling & Time Management
      Waiting Lines and Service Levels
      Why "equal" isn't equitable, and "adequate" service isn't good enough

    IV. Principles of Marketing and New Product Development

      Basic Economics--Supply, Demand, Price Theory & Market Segmentation.
      Breakthough Products, Market Research and Positioning
      Project Management and Implementation
      Competitive Advantage and the Mathematics of the Dilbert Principle

     V. Teamwork

      Industrial Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Supervision
      The Special Issues of a Volunteer Environment

    VI. The Changing Environment of Business

      International Business
      Entrepreneurship and Procedures for Starting a New Business in Missouri
      E-Commerce and Business on the Internet
    Enrollment in this course is open to all levels.  The only prerequisite is familiarity with basic algebra.  See Dr. Bud Banis (230 CCB; email:; phone: 314-516-6136) for more information.
    In addition to extensive business training, the instructor , a PhD Biochemist with an MBA, now a full-time Business Instructor, has twenty-years practical experience in corporate environments and is an entrepreneur. The course will draw examples from a number of fields.
Return to Bud's Page

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