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Online classes

Effective: Late Fall 8-Week, 2017/2018

FINC 361: Small Business Finance

Course Description

An introduction to the finance function within a small business. The focus is on the acquisition and management of capital from inception through growth. Emphasis is on the use of key financial management tools. 

Prerequisite: ACCT 280

Proctored Exams: Final



Syllabus Contents

Textbooks

Required

  • Rogers, Steven. Entrepreneurial Finance, Finance and Business Strategies for the Serious Entrepreneur. 3rd. New York: Irwin (McGraw-Hill Education), 2014.
    • ISBN-978-0-07-182539-9

Additional Information

Outside reading is strongly encouraged. A good daily reading source will be The Wall Street Journal. 

MBS Information

Textbooks for the course may be ordered from MBS Direct. You can order

For additional information about the bookstore, visit http://www.mbsbooks.com.


Course Overview

Entrepreneurship is about “doing it” or in another words getting your hands dirty and putting your toes in the sand. While there are many sources of capital, entrepreneurs basically finance their business in two ways: debt or in the form of equity. In this course we will analyze both ways. In addition we will also explore topics such as; cash flow management including financial statement analysis, valuation including pre-money and post-money, sources of capital, boot-strapping, financing for minorities and women, “intrapreneurship”, and crowdfunding. In this course you will have hands on experience examining financials and other business documents, which will enable you, a financial consultant, to make a recommendation to the CEO of the small business.



Technology Requirements

Participation in this course will require the basic technology for all online classes at Columbia College:
  • A computer with reliable Internet access
  • A web browser
  • Acrobat Reader
  • Microsoft Office or another word processor such as Open Office

You can find more details about standard technical requirements for our courses on our site.


Course Objectives

  • To introduce the business and non-business major to the methods used by small businesses to acquire and manage capital.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

  • To describe and explain the effect of the economy on small business.
  • To describe and explain the most appropriate forecasting methods.
  • To describe and explain the various sources of capital for new ventures and the advantages and drawbacks of each.
  • To describe and explain the tools and techniques of managing current assets and current liabilities.
  • To describe and explain the methods used to evaluate investment proposals.

Grading

Grading Scale
Grade Points Percent
A 900-1000 90-100%
B 800-899 80-89%
C 700-799 70-79%
D 600-699 60-69%
F 0-599 0-59%
Grade Weights
Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussions (9) 180 18%
Assessments (7) 420 42%
Midterm Exam 200 20%
Final Exam 200 20%
Total 1000 100%


Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1
Assignment Points Due
Introductions 20 Thursday/Sunday
Discussion 1 20
Weekly Assessment 1 60 Sunday
Week 2
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 2 20 Thursday/Sunday
Weekly Assessment 2 60 Sunday
Proctor Information N/A
Week 3
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 3 20 Thursday/Sunday
Weekly Assessment 3 60 Sunday
Week 4
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 4 20 Thursday/Sunday
Weekly Assessment 4 60 Sunday
Midterm Exam 200
Week 5
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 5 20 Thursday/Sunday
Weekly Assessment 5 60 Sunday
Week 6
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 6 20 Thursday/Sunday
Weekly Assessment 6 60 Sunday
Week 7
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 7 20 Thursday/Sunday
Weekly Assessment 7 60 Sunday
Week 8
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 8 20 Thursday/Saturday
Final Exam 200 Saturday
Total Points 1000

Assignment Overview

Readings

Complete all assigned weekly readings prior to submitting weekly assessments and discussion responses for the week so the concepts covered can inform your work.


Discussions

Discussion assignments are designed to enrich the course by asking students to go beyond the text. You will be required to post one (1) original discussion by Thursday, 11:59 PM CT of each week. You will be required to post your initial posting prior to viewing the postings of other students. By Sunday, 11:59 PM CT of each week, you will be required to reply to a minimum of one (1) classmate, with the exception of Week 8 which is due on Saturday, 11:59 pm CT.

Each discussion post will be worth 20 points, for a total of 180 points will be available for all discussion posts. All postings must be in your own words. I do not want you quoting the textbook for your posts. Postings will be graded according to the discussion grade criteria table. In addition to the assigned question, you should use the discussion area to share your thoughts on and questions about the course work. I will be checking postings, asking and responding to questions regularly. In addition to writing your own postings, please make sure you read each other’s and mine. I will post additional questions and I expect responses. Please remember, “Nice Post!” or “Very clearly stated!” or other phrases of that type do not constitute a good response. Please review the Late Assignment Policy.

You are required to cite at least one source. You may not use wikipedia or the textbook as a source! Please use scholarly reviewed or peer-reviewed articles and websites. The Columbia College Library is a great starting point.

Performanced-Based Weekly Assessments

Performance-based assessments require you to solve a real-world problem or to create perform, or produce something with real-world application. It allows me to assess how well you are able to use essential skills and knowledge, think critically and analytically, or develop a project. In the act of learning, people obtain content knowledge, acquire skills, and develop work habits—and practice the application of all three to “real world” situations. Performance-based learning and assessment represent a set of strategies for the acquisition and application of knowledge, skills, and work habits through the performance of tasks that are meaningful and engaging to students.

How would you feel about learning all the rules and skills of a sport, spending months sweating yourself into good physical condition, but never actually playing the game? Schooling frequently centers on individual concepts, facts, discrete skills, and work habits. But how often does a student encounter opportunities to “put it all together,” the way work is done in the “real world”? How often does a student actually get to step on the field and play “for real”? To play basketball, you need to practice dribbling the ball, passing, and shooting; but to really learn the game, you need to actually “play ball!”

Performance Based Assessment Instructions

Your weekly assessments will consist of short paragraph-style answers; require critical thought, and problem solving. All assessments should be completed and saved using Microsoft Word or other machine-readable format. Further, your assessment for each week should be in the form of a memorandum, which the template can be found in the Content Area. In the instance you want to use MS Excel to “crunch the numbers”, please insert those spreadsheet(s) into your MS Word document. Assessments will be completed using double-spaced 12-point font and 1” margins all around. Each weekly assessment should be no less than 500 words. Charts and exhibits do not count towards the word count. Prior to submission all assignments should be checked for grammatical errors and misspelled words.

Additional requirements, documents, and information needed to complete each weekly assessment can be found in the Content area. Completed assessments must be submitted to the appropriate Dropbox folder by 11:59 pm CT Sunday of each week. No late submissions will be accepted.


Midterm Exam

The Midterm Exam will cover weeks 1 – 4 of the course. The exam consists of 50 multiple choice, true/false, or problem solving questions and is worth 200 points. The exam will have a two-hour time limit. You will have one attempt on the exam, so be sure to save your work often. Questions will be randomly drawn from a test bank and will cover subjects that have been covered. In other words, there will be no surprises. You have to complete the exams in one sitting, no exception. After completing the exam you will be able to see your score and the questions you missed. Calculators will be allowed for use.

The Midterm exam will be open from 11:59 pm CT Thursday until 11:59 pm CT Sunday of Week 4.


Final Exam

The Final Exam will be cover weeks 5 - 8 of the course. The exam consists of 50 multiple choice, true/false, or problem solving questions and is worth 200 points. The exam will have a two-hour time limit. You will have one attempt on the exam, so be sure to save your work often. Questions will be randomly drawn from a test bank and will cover subjects that have been covered. In other words, there will be no surprises. You have to complete the exams in one sitting, no exception. After completing the exam you will be able to see your score and the questions you missed. Calculators will be allowed for use.

The Final exam will be open from 11:59 pm CT Thursday until 11:59 pm CT Saturday of Week 8.



Course Outline

Click on each week to view details about the activities scheduled for that week.

Week 1: The Entrepreneurial Spectrum & Financial Statements
Readings
  • Chapter 1: The Entrepreneurial Spectrum
  • Chapter 2: Financial Statements
Introductions

Introduce yourself in the "Introductions" thread of our class discussion, our "virtual classroom". Please give us more than your name. Include your profession; hobbies, why you are taking this class, and any other information that can help us get to know you.

Your initial post is due by 11:59 pm CT on Thursday, with a response to at least one (1) classmate's post by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday.

Discussion 1

Complete Discussion 1 and contribute a response to the post of at least one classmate. In your own word, identify key differences between a balance sheet and income statement. Is the balance sheet an accurate reflection of a start-ups potential?

Your initial post is due by 11:59 pm CT on Thursday, with a response to at least one (1) classmate's post by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday. 

Weekly Assessment 1

You should have read all required chapters for a better understanding of this assessment. In a memorandum to the Chief Executive Officer, you the incoming financial consultant for Cougar Consulting, finished your first of six assessments of Cougar Doors, and will provide the following in your report.

  1. Give an overall review of the company from ALL documents provided to you in the Week 1 Content Area.
  2. Give an opinion on the historical financial statements; including the strengths and weaknesses, and where you see the company at in three to five years if they continue without any changes to financial controls.

You must submit your assessment to the appropriate Dropbox folder by 11:59 pm CT Sunday in Week 1.

Week 2: Financial Statement Analysis & Cash Flow Management
Readings
  • Chapter 3: Financial Statement Analysis
  • Chapter 4: Cash Flow Management
Discussion 2

Complete Discussion 2 and contribute a response to the post of at least one classmate. What happens if a start-up runs out of cash? In that context, identify strategies that start-ups and small businesses can incorporate to manage cash flow effectively?

Your initial post is due by 11:59 pm CT on Thursday, with a response to at least one (1) classmate's post by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday. 

Weekly Assessment 2

You should have read all required chapters for a better understanding of this assessment. In a memorandum to the Chief Executive Officer, you the incoming financial consultant for Cougar Consulting, finished your second of six assessments of Cougar Doors, and will provide the following in your report. Using ALL of the documents provided in the Week 2 Content Area, provide in your memorandum

  1. a historical and forecasted picture of the company using the various ratios learned in the weekly material.
  2. From the material provided, ensure you identify the importance of EBITDA (net income) and the need for cash management.
  3. After using various financial ratios, determine any recommendations to management based on your analysis.

In addition to your memorandum, you may submit a MS Excel spreadsheet with your financial ratios OR embed those ratios into your memorandum.

You must submit your assessment to the appropriate Dropbox folder by 11:59 pm CT Sunday in Week 2. 

Proctor Information
Submit your proctor form to the appropriate Dropbox folder by the end of the week. Remember to “Save” the form before placing it in Dropbox. See the Content area for more information.
Week 3: Valuation & Raising Capital
Readings
  • Chapter 5: Valuation
  • Chapter 6: Raising Capital
Discussion 3

Complete Discussion 3 and contribute a response to the post of at least one classmate. What is the difference between pre-money and post-money valuations? Back your response with at least two examples?

Your initial post is due by 11:59 pm CT on Thursday, with a response to at least one (1) classmate's post by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday. 

Weekly Assessment 3

You should have read all required chapters for a better understanding of this assessment. In a memorandum to the Chief Executive Officer, you the incoming financial consultant for Cougar Consulting, finished your third of six assessments of Cougar Doors, and will provide the following in your report. Using ALL of the documents provided in the Week 3 Content Area, provide in your memorandum to the Chief Executive Officer:

  1. A post money and pre money valuation analysis of Cougar Doors., which you are conducting.
  2. Using creativity and critical thinking, talk about the “Key Factors Influencing Valuation”.
  3. Briefly describe the various sources of capital that are available.

In Week 4 and 5, you will describe in more detail those various sources of capital.

You must submit your assessment to the appropriate Dropbox folder by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday of Week 3

Week 4: Debt Financing
Readings
  • Chapter 7: Debt Financing
Discussion 4

Review the following YouTube video:

The Crisis of Credit Visualized (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bx_LWm6_6tA)

Explain how the credit crisis adversely affected many other people beyond homeowners and mortgage companies, specifically small business owners. Do you believe the impact of the credit crisis is still being felt today by small business owners? Please explain, be thorough in your response and provide any available citations.

Your initial post is due by 11:59 pm CT on Thursday, with a response to at least one (1) classmate's post by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday. 

Weekly Assessment 4

You should have read all required chapters for a better understanding of this assessment. In a memorandum to the Chief Executive Officer, you the incoming financial consultant for Cougar Consulting, finished your fourth of six assessments of Cougar Doors, and will provide the following in your report. Using ALL of the documents provided in the Week 4 Content Area, provide in your memorandum to the Chief Executive Officer:

  1. Identify four different types of debt financing that are available to Cougar Doors.
  2. Using the resources available to you this week, identify how much debt financing Cougar Doors may need for a new R&D project.
  3. If Cougar Doors does not or should not take on debt financing, please thoroughly justify your opinion.

You must submit your assessment to the appropriate Dropbox folder by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday of Week 4.

Midterm Exam

Complete the non-proctored Midterm Exam. The exam consists of 50 multiple choice, true/false or problem solving questions and is worth 200 points. The Midterm Exam will cover all of the content from Weeks 1 – 4.

The Midterm Exam must be completed by 11:59 pm CT Sunday.

Week 5: Equity Financing
Readings
  • Chapter 8: Equity Financing
Discussion 5

Complete Discussion 5 and contribute a response to the post of at least one classmate. Suppose you need $1 million dollars to start your Dream Business. Research ways to get the money for such a business. Compare two (2) sources of financing you might obtain. (e.g., Small Business Administration (SBA), private investors, private loans, personal assets, and / or personal credit cards.) Identify the risks and benefits of your two (2) choices.

Your initial post is due by 11:59 pm CT on Thursday, with a response to at least one (1) classmate's post by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday. 

Weekly Assessment 5

You should have read all required chapters for a better understanding of this assessment. In a memorandum to the Chief Executive Officer, you the incoming financial consultant for Cougar Consulting, finished your fifth of six assessments of Cougar Doors, and will provide the following in your report. Using ALL of the documents provided in the Week 5 Content Area, provide in your memorandum to the Chief Executive Officer:

  1. Identify four different types of equity financing that are available to Cougar Doors.
  2. Using the resources available to you this week, identify how much equity financing Cougar Doors may need for a new manufacturing plant.
  3. If Cougar Doors does not or should not take on equity financing, please thoroughly justify your opinion.

You must submit your assessment to the appropriate Dropbox folder by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday of Week 5.

Week 6: Financing for Minorities and Women, Crowdfunding
Readings
  • Chapter 9: Financing for Minorities and Women
  • Chapter 12: Crowdfunding
Discussion 6

Complete the prompt for Discussion 6 and contribute a response to the post of at least one classmate. In the charged political climate surrounding national elections, do you think the financing spectrum changes depending on which party gets elected? Please include cited examples and elaborate within your response.

Your initial post is due by 11:59 pm CT on Thursday, with a response to at least one (1) classmate's post by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday. 

Weekly Assessment 6

You should have read all required chapters for a better understanding of this assessment. In a memorandum to the Chief Executive Officer, you the incoming financial consultant for Cougar Consulting, finished your final assessment of Cougar Doors, and will provide the following in your report. Using ALL of the documents provided in the Week 6 Content Area, provide in your memorandum to the Chief Executive Officer:

  1. Identify four different types of minority business structures that are available to Cougar Doors. Please be detailed and use original thoughts.
  2. Identify two sources of crowdfunding for an employee’s recent product proposal.
  3. Prepare a short description of the employee’s product that you will use in your crowdfunding search. Please be creative and use critical thinking.

You must submit your assessment to the appropriate Dropbox folder by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday of Week 6.

Course Evaluation
Please evaluate the course. You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link sent to your CougarMail will allow you to access the evaluation. Please note that these evaluations are provided so that I can improve the course, find out what students perceive to be its strengths and weaknesses, and in general assess the success of the course. Please do take the time to fill this out.
Week 7: Early Stage Opportunities and Intrapreneurship
Readings
  • Chapter 10: Considering a Job Offer from an Early Stage Company
  • Chapter 11: Intrapreneurship
Discussion 7

Complete Discussion 7 and contribute a response to the post of at least one classmate. What has been the impact of crowd-funding sites such as Kick Starter and Indiegogo on start-ups?

Your initial post is due by 11:59 pm CT on Thursday, with a response to at least one (1) classmate's post by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday. 

Weekly Assessment 7

You should have read all required chapters for a better understanding of this assessment and will consider ALL information learned in this class in totality. Using ALL of the documents provided in the Week 7 Content Area, you are to choose one (1) of the three financing deals being offered to Cougar Doors and articulate the financing deal Cougar Doors should pursue. Be detailed and substantially justify your position.

  • Asset Based Lender
  • Traditional Business Bank
  • Private Equity Firm

You must post your assessment to the appropriate Dropbox folder by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday of Week 7.

Week 8: Final Thoughts
Readings
  • Review Chapters 1 - 12
  • Review Instructional Materials (located in the Content area)
Discussion 8

Complete Discussion 8 and contribute a response to the post of at least one classmate. Go to http://sffed-education.org/chairman. Briefly examine the Economic Dictionary and the Policy in Depth features. Now play the game! You are the Fed Chairperson! You begin with 16 quarters, 4 years, and then your job is up for review. You begin with rates at 4.5, inflation at 2.14% and unemployment at 4.75%. Be detailed and explain how interest rates, inflation, and unemployment impact small businesses today?

Your initial post is due by 11:59 pm CT on Thursday, with a response to at least one (1) classmate's post by 11:59 pm CT on Saturday. 

Final Exam

Complete the proctored Final Exam. The exam consists between 50 multiple choice, true/false or problem solving questions and is worth 200 points. The Final Exam will cover all content from Weeks 5 – 8.

The Final Exam must be completed by 11:59 pm CT Saturday.



Course Policies

Student Conduct

All Columbia College students, whether enrolled in a land-based or online course, are responsible for behaving in a manner consistent with Columbia College's Student Conduct Code and Acceptable Use Policy. Students violating these policies will be referred to the office of Student Affairs and/or the office of Academic Affairs for possible disciplinary action. The Student Code of Conduct and the Computer Use Policy for students can be found in the Columbia College Student Handbook. The Handbook is available online; you can also obtain a copy by calling the Student Affairs office (Campus Life) at 573-875-7400. The teacher maintains the right to manage a positive learning environment, and all students must adhere to the conventions of online etiquette.

Plagiarism

Your grade will be based in large part on the originality of your ideas and your written presentation of these ideas. Presenting the words, ideas, or expression of another in any form as your own is plagiarism. Students who fail to properly give credit for information contained in their written work (papers, journals, exams, etc.) are violating the intellectual property rights of the original author. For proper citation of the original authors, you should reference the appropriate publication manual for your degree program or course (APA, MLA, etc.). Violations are taken seriously in higher education and may result in a failing grade on the assignment, a grade of "F" for the course, or dismissal from the College.

Collaboration conducted between students without prior permission from the instructor is considered plagiarism and will be treated as such. Spouses and roommates taking the same course should be particularly careful.

All required papers may be submitted for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers may be included in the Turnitin.com reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. This service is subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use posted on the Turnitin.com site.

Non-Discrimination

There will be no discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, ideology, political affiliation, veteran status, age, physical handicap, or marital status.

Student Accessibility Resources

Students with documented disabilities who may need academic services for this course are required to register with the office of Student Accessibility Resources. Until the student has been cleared through this office, accommodations do not have to be granted. If you are a student who has a documented disability, it is important for you to read the entire syllabus as soon as possible. The structure or the content of the course may make an accommodation not feasible. Student Accessibility Resources is located in Student Affairs in AHSC 215 and can be reached by phone at (573) 875-7626 or email at sar@ccis.edu.

Online Participation

You are expected to read the assigned texts and participate in the discussions and other course activities each week. Assignments should be posted by the due dates stated on the grading schedule in your syllabus. If an emergency arises that prevents you from participating in class, please let your instructor know as soon as possible.

Attendance Policy

Attendance for a week will be counted as having submitted any assigned activity for which points are earned. Attendance for the week is based upon the date work is submitted. A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday (except for week 8, when the work and the course will end on Saturday at midnight.) The course and system deadlines are based on the Central Time Zone.

Cougar Email

All students are provided a CougarMail account when they enroll in classes at Columbia College. You are responsible for monitoring email from that account for important messages from the College and from your instructor. You may forward your Cougar email account to another account; however, the College cannot be held responsible for breaches in security or service interruptions with other email providers.

Students should use email for private messages to the instructor and other students. The class discussions are for public messages so the class members can each see what others have to say about any given topic and respond.

Late Assignment Policy

An online class requires regular participation and a commitment to your instructor and your classmates to regularly engage in the reading, discussion and writing assignments. Although most of the online communication for this course is asynchronous, you must be able to commit to the schedule of work for the class for the next eight weeks. You must keep up with the schedule of reading and writing to successfully complete the class.

No late work will be accepted without prior approval from the instructor.

Course Evaluation

You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link will be sent to your CougarMail that will allow you to access the evaluation. Be assured that the evaluations are anonymous and that your instructor will not be able to see them until after final grades are submitted.

Proctor Policy

Students taking courses that require proctored exams must submit their completed proctor request forms to their instructors by the end of the second week of the session. Proctors located at Columbia College campuses are automatically approved. The use of ProctorU services is also automatically approved. The instructor of each course will consider any other choice of proctor for approval or denial. Additional proctor choices the instructor will consider include: public librarians, high school or college instructors, high school or college counseling services, commanding officers, education service officers, and other proctoring services. Personal friends, family members, athletic coaches and direct supervisors are not acceptable.


Additional Resources

Orientation for New Students

This course is offered online, using course management software provided by Desire2Learn and Columbia College. The course user guide provides details about taking an online course at Columbia College. You may also want to visit the course demonstration to view a sample course before this one opens.

Technical Support

If you have problems accessing the course or posting your assignments, contact your instructor, the Columbia College Helpdesk, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance. Contact information is also available within the online course environment.

Online Tutoring

Smarthinking is a free online tutoring service available to all Columbia College students. Smarthinking provides real-time online tutoring and homework help for Math, English, and Writing. Smarthinking also provides access to live tutorials in writing and math, as well as a full range of study resources, including writing manuals, sample problems, and study skills manuals. You can access the service from wherever you have a connection to the Internet. I encourage you to take advantage of this free service provided by the college.

Access Smarthinking through CougarTrack under Students -> Academics -> Academic Resources.


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