All the skills that you need to run a business…online
Becoming an entrepreneur is not only forming a business idea and placing it into motion, but also obtaining the diversified skills in order to manage all aspects of the business from production to receipts. HP LIFE provides the forum for an individual to participate in hands-on applications along with applying problem solving skills. For example, individuals may separate the production of a product separate from balancing the revenues with the company’s expenses. In the Profit Loss module, individuals walk through a problem solving activity that places both aspects in one situation. As a result, the activity highlights the importance of calculating visible costs (for example supply purchases) with hidden costs (for example time and product waste) which also becomes a lost in opportunity costs.
It costs what to run a business?
In this example, discussing the Profit Loss topic with students who are building business plans facilitates class interaction by introducing the importance of defining all of the business’ costs. As a result the lessons learned by completing the module can be transferred to the student’s different businesses. It is one thing to ask students to figure all of their costs as an instructor, and it is another to have a modern example that is both relatable and applicable to the students. This is where HP LIFE provides the vehicle to facilitate the conversation.
Simulating running a business
Upon discussing this topic with my class, students were engaged and followed through with submitting their preliminary financials that included both visible and hidden costs. They also commented on how the module was fun to complete while working through the different sections. As an instructor, it is refreshing to find a resource that builds in simulations and requires participants to complete activities instead of the traditional reading and discussion format which historically occurs in my classroom.
Darcie L. Tumey is currently an instructor at Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory, NC in Business Administration. Previously she was Division Director of Vocational & Public Services Technology at Roanoke-Chowan Community College. Ms. Tumey has worked in the educational field for over eight years and is currently a doctoral student at East Carolina University and studying Professional Development of Faculty who works at Community Colleges.