Class teaches business skills

By Christina Schauls

Students of the NIU Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management class are learning business operations through analyzing small businesses and working with their owners.

The students are working with the businesses to find a solution to the problems of initiating a new product into the market or transferring an existing product into a new market, Management Instructor Dan Lemanski said.

The project allows students to gain an understanding of where to find business opportunities, business problems and discovering solutions, Lemanski said.

The analyses are done with the owner of the businesses and students must visit with these firms at least five times during the semester, he said.

One student of the class said the analysis of the small businesses is mostly marketing related using concepts learned in finance, marketing and management classes.

The class allows a person to put together previously learned material getting hands-on experience and insight on what it is like to run a business, the student said.

The findings of the analyses will be presented to a panel of business owners, bankers and lawyers on Tuesday, Dec. 5 from 3:30 p.m to 10 p.m. at the Crystal Pistol Beach Club, 1312 W. Lincoln Hwy.

Lemanski said there are about 55 students in the class working in groups of between two and four people. Most of the businesses analyzed are well established and have been in business for about five years, he said.

In the future a follow-up course will be offered, Lemanski said. He said he also plans on trying to internationalize the program.