Small Business Management

Small Business Management Classes

If you're someone who likes to be in charge or you've dreamt of becoming your own boss, our online Small Business Management Career Diploma can help you take the next steps toward the career you want. Through flexible online classes, you can learn how to start and manage a successful small business from home.

  • This program can prepare students to start or manage a small business in a variety of industries, from retail to service-focused businesses.
  • The small business management classes cover essential skills for new business owners such as writing a business plan, marketing for your business, and maintaining finances.
  • Our online programs are flexible enough for you to finish them at a pace that works for you, based on how much time you can dedicate to your coursework each week.
Self Paced

Save up to $190 Ends 5/29/2024

Cost of Program


$989 Save $190


$59/month, Start for as low as $20

1-800-275-4410 (10AM - 6:30PM ET)

small business owner checking laptop.

What You Will Learn

  1. How to develop and draft a business plan according to a five-part comprehensive structure.
  2. How to establish an effective marketing strategy that includes an advertising platform and a public relations campaign.
  3. How to understand the range of legal regulations that affect starting a new business including licenses, zoning approvals, and basic tax knowledge, and apply these to a business plan.
  4. How to hire and keep the right employees, including strategies to manage a team.
Full Program Goal & Outcomes

Small Business Management Career Outcomes

Penn Foster's online Small Business courses can help graduates prepare to start their own business or become a small business manager. Graduates can work toward starting businesses in a variety of sectors including the service industry, for-profit and non-profit organizations, or retail.

State Licensing Requirements

Licensing and/or certification requirements for jobs in certain fields are not the same in every state and may include educational, testing, and/or experiential requirements beyond those offered by your Penn Foster Program. You should contact the state professional licensing board or similar regulatory body in the state(s) where you plan to work to determine their requirements before enrolling in your program. See the State Licensing page for contact information for state licensing/regulatory boards and certain industry licensing information.

Additionally, many cities and states require that business owners are registered or have the necessary licenses before starting a business. Make sure to check with your local business administration to ensure you comply with all relevant regulations.

Small Business Courses

  • 6 courses
  • 20.2 continuing education units (CEUs)
  • 17 exams
  • 1 submitted project

Estimated completion time:

  • Fast track = 6 months
  • Average time = 11 months

With Penn Foster, you can learn at whatever pace works best for you. Some learners will be more comfortable moving faster, and dedicating more time, and the fast track estimate will apply to them. The average track will apply to most learners who can dedicate a few hours per week to completing their coursework. The estimated completion times are based on completion times for learners enrolled in this program from May 2021 - April 2022, excluding withdrawals.

In our Small Business Management Career Diploma Program, you'll learn the fundamental skills and knowledge that can help you prepare to start your own business. Your online coursework includes:

  • Market Research
  • Writing a Business Plan
  • Financing Your Business
  • Keeping Business Records

Show Full Curriculum

Small Business Success Stories

Penn Foster’s Small Business Management Career Diploma Program can help prepare you for the first step toward becoming a business owner. This program has helped recent graduates find new jobs or start their own businesses while learning at their own pace. Learn more about Penn Foster graduates' experiences and how Penn Foster worked for them.
View Student Success Stories
quote icon

Donald H.

Penn Foster Graduate, 2023

“I improved all of my skills as a leader, manager and collaborator. My writing skills have much improved.”

Looking for training for your workers?

Penn Foster currently works with hundreds of leading employers to meet their unique organizational needs.
Learn More

Small Business Management Program Tuition

Take the first steps toward a new career with our online Small Business Management Program. Simply choose from one of our low-cost customized payment plans below and get started today!

Option 1: Pay in full

Save up to $190 Ends 5/29/2024

Cost of Program


$989 Save $190

  • Best price. Best value.
  • Pay the full cost today
  • No monthly payments
Enroll Now

Option 2: Monthly Auto Pay Plan

Cost of Program


  • Pay $59 per month
  • Start for $20 down
  • All major credit and debit cards accepted
Enroll Now

Option 3: Monthly Mail Pay Plan

cost of program


  • Pay $59 per month
  • Start for $49 down
  • Mail your payments
Enroll Now

California residents please click here for Required California Disclosures.

Need more info or ready to enroll?

Looking for more information on transfer credits, military benefits, or our refund policy? Find this information and more about tuition and enrollment here.

Tuition & Payment Options

We're here to help. Call 1-800-275-4410 (10AM - 6:30PM ET)

Request Info

Our Proven Business Management Learning Model

Empowering students to reach their professional goals


  • Start anytime
  • No exam due dates
  • Self-paced


  • Digital study guides
  • Self-check quizzes
  • Simulations and videos


  • 24/7 access to online resources
  • Online student community
  • Dedicated Learner Center


  • Expert faculty
  • Dedicated student services
  • Robust learning resources

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Small Business Management Program FAQs

What is small business management?

Small business management is a term for the set of skills you may need to successfully start or manage a business. Usually, a small business is classified as a privately owned corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship that has less than five hundred employees. Businesses are defined as "small" in terms of being able to apply for government support and qualify for preferential tax policy depending on the country and industry.

What types of businesses can I start after taking this course?

After completing your small business courses, you'll have the foundational skills to run a successful business in a variety of industries. Depending on your interests and what you want to do, you can start a retail business, look into becoming a franchise owner, and more.

What will I learn in the small business management program?

In Penn Foster's accredited online Small Business Management Program, you'll cover fundamental business topics related to becoming your own boss. The program will teach you how to find the right sources to finance your business, market your products or service, and write an effective business plan.

How do I know if the Penn Foster Small Business Career Diploma is right for me?

If you're someone who wants to be an independent leader, has a knack for entrepreneurship and wants to be your own boss, the small business management classes could help you build the skills and knowledge that can get you started. Since the program is completely online, it can be right for students who have busy schedules and need flexible classes. Our programs are self-paced with no exam due dates, so you can start and finish when you're ready. Even better, you can do it all from home!