Advanced Certificate in Applied Management (Small Business) VBS001

Want to Manage a Small Business?

  • Start your own
  • Buy a Franchise
  • Apply for a management job

Online Study Course - Enroll in this qualification today, for home study by e-learning. This course is 900 hrs, spread over the nine modules that are outlined below:


Office Practices

Develops basic office skills covering use of equipment, communication systems (telephone, fax, etc) and office procedures such as filing, security, workplace organisations, etc.
The course consists in eight lessons where these subjects are developed.

1. The Modern Office
2. Communication Systems
3. Interpersonal Communications
4. Phone Skills
5. Writing Letters and Other Documents
6. Computer Applications
7. Office Organisation and Procedures
8. Health and Safety in the Office

Business Operations
The aim of this course is to provide you with the building blocks for a successful career in business planning and operations. Covering topics such as business law, the money market, taxation, business plan writing and mistakes to avoid, it is a solid foundation, developed by highly qualified and experienced professionals.
Develops knowledge of basic business operations and procedures (eg. types of businesses, financial management, business analysis, staffing, productivity, etc) and the skills to develop a 12 month business plan.

There are 6 lessons as follows:

1. Introduction Business law, types of businesses, starting a business
2. Finance Liquidity, The money market , terminology, insurance
3. Financial Records Simple Bookkeeping procedures , cash flow
4. Financial Management Taxation, costing, budgeting, investing
5. Business Planning Developing a 12 month business plan.
6. Mistakes to avoid Reasons for business failures , profitability, improving productivity


Make sure your management style is grounded in the 'tried and true'. This course outlines management theories and procedures, problem solving and decision making tactics, staff management, supervision, recruitment and workplace health and safety.
Developed by professionals with a substantial amount of industry experience, it is the perfect foundation for a successful career.

There are 6 lessons as follows:

  1. Introduction & Organizational Structures
  2. Management Theories & Procedures
  3. Problem Solving & Decision Making
  4. Management Styles & External Influences
  5. Employing People & Interview Skills
  6. Staff Management

Marketing Foundations
Develops a broad understanding of marketing and specific skills in writing advertisements, undertaking market research, developing an appropriate marketing plan and selling. The course consists in ten lessons, as follows:

  1. Marketing and the Business What is marketing, and its significance, Considering alternative approaches to business & marketing, Alternative enterprises (eg. goods or services based, sole proprietor or partnership etc).
  2. Scope of Marketing Understanding basic economics (eg. supply & demand); the difference between the potential market, available market, target market, and penetrated market for a product/service of your choice; Different advertising approaches, Controlling Growth, Improving Results in Business, etc
  3. Target Marketing Understanding the market place; Stages that sellers move through in their approach to a market, What is targeting, Advantages of target marketing as compared to mass marketing and product-differentiated marketing
  4. The Marketing Mix and Managing the Marketing Effort Product, price, place, and promotion; Affects and interactions between marketing and other operations of a business.
  5. Product Presentation and Packaging Importance of product knowledge, Core, tangible and augmented products; Differences in packaging & presentation for different products.
  6. Promotion Communication skills, Merchandising, Shop Floor Layout, Displaying Products, Signs, Understanding Selling and Increasing Sales, Sales Methods, Publicity Marketing,
    Structuring an Advertisement or Promotion, Advertising budgets, etc
  7. Product Pricing and Distribution Pricing, Profitability Ratios, Increasing Turnover, etc
  8. Customer Service Methods of assessing customer satisfaction; Significance of Customer Service; Different types of customers in the market place, and how best to approach each; Difference between selling, publicising, marketing and advertising, etc
  9. Market Research The research process, What to research, Surveys, Developing and conducting a market research program, where to find useful statistics
  10. Organisations - Structures and Roles Business law; Financial Management, Business Structures, Business terminology, etc.



The course consists of thirteen lessons, as follows:

1. Introduction
2 Balance Sheet
3. Analysing and Designing Accounting Systems
3. The Double Entry Recording Process
4. Cash Receipts and Cash Payments Journal
5. Credit Fees and Purchases Journal
6. The General Journal
7. Closing the Ledger
8. Profit and Loss Statement
9. Depreciation on Non-current Assets
10. Profit Determination and Balance Day Adjustments
11. Cash Control: Bank Reconciliation and Petty Cash
12. Cash Control: Budgeting


There are 10 lessons in this module as follows:

1. Scope & Nature of Entrepreneurship
2. Is Entrepreneurship Right for You?
3. Assessing opportunities
4. The Role of Market Research
5. Intellectual Property
6. Legal & Ethical Concerns
7. Operating a Business
8. The Business and Financial Plan
9. Marketing
10. Launching a Venture


The course contains ten lessons, outlined below:

1. Analysing the Market
2. Target Marketing
3. Display and Display Techniques
4. Advertising and Promotions Strategy
5. New Product Development
6. Sales Techniques – General
7. Writing Advertisement
8. Electronic Marketing -Telephone & Email
9. Direct Mailing
10. Exhibitions & Shows

One or Two WORKPLACE PROJECTS (200 hours)

You next must complete a Workplace Project or work experience (approved by a tutor and equal to 200 hours duration) There are four options available to you to satisfy the Workplace Project Requirement requirement:

Alternative 1.

If you work in the industry that you have been studying; you may submit a reference from your employer, in an effort to satisfy this industry (ie. workplace project) requirement; on the basis of RPL (ie. recognition for prior learning), achieved through your current and past work experience.

The reference must indicate that you have skills and an awareness of your industry, which is sufficient for you to work in a position of responsibility.

Alternative 2.

A one module credit (100 hrs) can be achieved by verifying attendance at a series of industry meetings, as follows:

  • Meetings may be seminars, conferences, trade shows, committee meetings, volunteer events (eg. Community working bees), or any other meeting where two or more industry people or people who are knowledgeable about their discipline.
  • Opportunity must exist for the student to learn through networking, observation and/or interaction with people who know their industry or discipline
  • A list of events should be submitted together with dates of each attended and times being claimed for each
  • Documentary evidence must be submitted to the school to indicate support each item on the above list (eg. Receipts from seminars, conference or shows, letters from committee or organisation secretaries or committee members. All such documentation must contain a contact details)

Alternative 3.

Credits can be achieved by completing standard modules Workshop I, II and/or III

Each of these modules comprises a series of “hands on” PBL projects, designed as learning experiences that involve interaction with the real world. (This approach is based upon tried and proven learning approaches that originated in American universities but are now widely used and respected by academia throughout many countries). See the web site or handbook for more detail.

Alternative 4.

If you do not work in the relevant industry, you may choose to undertake a project as follows.


Procedure for a Workplace Project

You will design this project in consultation with a tutor to involve industry based activities in the area of specialized study which they select to follow in the course. The project outcomes may take the form of a written report, folio, visuals or a mixture of forms. Participants with relevant, current or past work experience will be given exemption from this project if they can provide suitable references from employers that show they have already fulfilled the requirements of this project.

For courses that involve more than 100 hours, more than one workplace project topic may be selected. For example, 200 hours may be split into two projects each of 100 hours. This will offer the student better scope to fulfill the needs of their course and to meet the number of hours required. Alternatively, the student may wish to do one large project with a duration of 200 hours.

Students will be assessed on how well they achieve the goals and outcomes they originally set as part of their negotiations with their tutor. During each 100 hours of the project, the students will present three short progress reports. These progress reports will be taken into account when evaluating the final submission. The tutor must be satisfied that the work submitted is original.

If you wish to do one large 200 hour report, then only three progressive reports will be needed (however the length of each report will be longer).


In the daily operation of a business, some days will challenge you and some will inspire you. Most of them however will be just part of the daily routine of normal business operations. Unfortunately your business will not run itself - goals need to be set and decisions need to be made in order to achieve these goals.

The following are the three key areas in operating a small business:

  • Management process: this includes staff management, hiring the right people, training, how to get the best results from the people you hire.
  • Business strategy: defines your short and long term goals in relation to achieving targeted turnover and profit.
  • Business operations: the means by which you achieve set goals i.e. resources, tools, business plans and set procedures.

The day to day goal of a business involves acquiring the means to deliver a product or service, then selling that product or service to someone.

Things you will need to do to fulfill your business goals:

  • Buy or make your product or determine the services you will offer
  • Make the correct buying decisions – based on market research and the needs of your customers.
  • Fix prices (after determining costs)
  • Keep costs down
  • Raise Visibility -Advertise, Promote, Network (marketing)
  • Sell
  • Deliver
  • Follow-up with your customers
  • Hire and train new employees as the business grows
  • Motivate your employees
  • Measure your performance against your goals
  • Keep appropriate records

The daily work of any business operator can vary in many ways:

  • Small business operators need to do everything (planning, management, marketing, delivering the service or creating the products etc.)
  • Big business operators have the luxury of being able to delegate areas of work to employees, but that luxury is readily offset by the added complexity of managing a larger organisation.
  • Some businesses need to allocate more resources to acquiring their product or service than others. Others may find acquiring the product easy, but usually when one aspect of the business operation is easier, other aspects will be more difficult.
  • Some businesses need to continually review and change the product or service they offer, while others may only ever make minor changes to what they are selling.

Setting Personal Goals
Set personal goals as well as business goals. The most integral part of any successful business operation is determining the range of tasks involved in running your business on a day to day basis. Once you understand this it is much easier to achieve the goals you have set for yourself in daily operations. Keep the following ‘Plan of Action’ in mind when determining your goals as a manager:

Write down your goals

  • Be realistic – too much optimism in what you can achieve can cost in both business and personal terms
  • Be specific about your goals – break them down into smaller goals if needed
  • Set priorities for your goals
  • Determine ways in which you can measure your goals
  • Make sure you can measure your goals in terms of performance – determine what you hope to achieve in a month, two months, three months, next year or in two years etc. Mark the time you hope to achieve each goal against them
  • Measure what you have achieved as you go along so you can see if you are on track or need to make changes
  • Plans can go wrong – keeping a close eye on the business means you are more likely to foresee problems and use strategies to minimise or head them off. Revise your plans as things change


What else does a business operator need to do?
Things change every day of the week, and the manager of a business needs to react to those changes accordingly. Changes likely to occur could include:

  • Accidents and illness and as a result, goals that were expected to be achieved are not met
  • New businesses start which compete with your operation
  • Anticipated sales targets are not reached and cash flow stalls
  • Anticipated sales targets are exceeded, and your capacity to supply customers is put under stress
  • Cost of supplies or raw materials change - prices go up and your customers may cancel orders as a result
  • Government regulations change and impact on your business
  • Economic conditions change and sales drop or increase

Everything that happens requires consideration, and adjustment. Typically, any effective business operator needs to do the following continually:

1. Consider what should be achieved that day.
2. Consider the resources available to achieve the goals.
3. Identifying problems before they develop into anything significant.
4. Prioritise work and allocate resources accordingly.
5. Review and adjust both allocation of resources and priorities.
6. Minimise risk to the business and the employees.



Although doing a course may not guarantee you a job – it will set you apart from those that have not studied at all and it will improve your personal choices when applying for jobs.

Each job listed usually gets a huge amount of response – when employers choose people to interview they will look at a range of factors – what you have studied will be just one of those factors. You need to be able to catch a potential employer’s attention – stand out from the rest.

So what do employers look for?

  • Great communication skills: verbal, written and also the ability to use a computer.
  • Problem solving skills: thinking on your feet and working through problems in an orderly way.
  • Efficiency: doing things in a logical order without compromising accuracy improves efficiency.
  • Knowledge and skills demanded of the job.
  • A passion for the work and willingness to learn.
  • Presentation and grooming - people who present as being well organised and well-groomed will impress.

How Will A Course Help Me To Gain those Skills?

Choosing the right course will help i.e. one that develops knowledge, practical and also your problem solving skills. Not all courses do this. At ACS our courses focus on Problem Based Learning so this enables the student to develop these skills and at the same time using this learning method also improves you knowledge retention and recall.

What Can You do to Improve Your Career Prospects?

  • Choose a course that you are passionate about – be open to learning and use this course to start building your future. Today we are expected to keep learning and studying in order to keep up with a world that is rapidly changing. Learning is a lifelong experience. Study a course that makes you stand out - a qualification that is different to all the other applicants will always catch the attention of a boss, and may be the difference between getting an interview or not.
  • Network with people in the industry, attend conferences and trade shows – make yourself known to people in the industry in general.
  • Try to build a range of skills – multi-skilled people catch the eye of the employer or potential employer.
  • Write a good CV and ask for help if you need it. Tutors at this school will help our students with their C.V.'s if you ask -no cost. Resume Writing services can also be used, but they charge.
  • Recognise your weaknesses and work on improving them - not just academically. And also know your strengths and demonstrate them.


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Fee Information (AC)
Prices in Australian Dollars

PlanAust. PriceOverseas Price
A 1 x $4,257.00  1 x $3,870.00
B 2 x $2,299.00  2 x $2,090.00
C 3 x $1,661.00  3 x $1,510.00

Note: Australian prices include GST. 
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