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Business Skills: Creating a Business
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NOTE: This course requires compulsory materials to be ordered for those students that are pursuing the Professional Development Certificate. Students working on the Personal Historian program may find this required reading helpful. Please click on the Supplies tab for details.

Creating a genealogical or personal historian business requires many steps. First, there is self-analysis to determine who you are, what you want, how to achieve balance in work and personal life, and what kind of business you wish to start. Next, you will need to conduct business and marketing planning, market analysis, and establish an overall business structure. Finally, you must consider what you need for your business including supplies, income, and marketing opportunities. A productivity tool chest will help round out your plans and get you off on the right footing. In this course you will learn the skills you need to accomplish all these things and prepare yourself for starting a successful business.

This course assumes that you have intermediate or advanced in either genealogy skills or personal historian skills (i.e. family history research, writing, photography, audio and video recording, and/or interviewing) and that you want to use those skills to create a business.


Module 1
So You Want to Create a Business
  • Course Introduction
  • Note about Web Addresses
  • Websites
  • Required Reading
  • Introduction to Creating a Business

    Becoming a Professional
  • Goal Setting

    Self-Analysis: Are you Ready to Start a Business?
    Why Do You Want This?

    What Type Of Business Structure Do You Want?
  • Sole Proprietorship
  • Limited Liability Company
  • Partnerships
  • S-Corporation

    Establishing Your Business
  • Tax ID Numbers
  • Licenses
  • Zoning
  • Taxes
  • Financial Planning & Business Records

    Building a Library
  • Additional Business Resources

    Things to Consider
  • Networking
  • Volunteering
  • Balance

    Additional Resources

    Module 2
    Writing Your Business Plan
  • Required Reading

    What is a business plan and why do you need one?

    Steps of Writing a Business Plan
  • Things to consider before you start

    Pieces of a Business Plan
  • Executive Summary
  • Company Description
  • Market Analysis
  • Organizational Structure
  • Services
  • Marketing Plan
  • Financial Planning/Funding
  • Financial Projections
  • Appendix/Supporting Documents

    Updating the Business Plan

    Business Plan - Example #1
  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Description of Business
  • Industry
  • Company Basics
  • Services
  • Market Overview
  • Marketing Plan
  • Target Market
  • Brand Positioning
  • Promotion
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Management Plan
  • Operational Plan
  • Financial Plan
  • Strategic Growth Plan
  • Business Model
  • Objectives
  • Strategies
  • Recommendations
  • References

    Business Plan - Example #2
  • Executive Summary
  • Educational Background
  • Memberships and Associations
  • Business Description & Vision
  • Mission Statement
  • Company Vision
  • Goals and Objectives
  • About the owner
  • Definition of the Market
  • Description of Services
  • Organization and Management
  • Marketing and Sales Strategy
  • Financial Management
  • Appendices

    Additional Resources

    Module 3
    Contracts and Fee Structure
  • Required Reading

    Things to consider when creating a contract

    Types of Contracts
  • Letters of Agreement
  • Research Contracts

    Example Contract - Letter of Agreement
    Research Contract - Example #1
    Research Contract - Example #2
    Research Contract - Example #3
    Research Contract - Example #4

    Final Thoughts

    Module 4
  • Websites
  • Required Reading

    What should you market?

    Marketing Avenues
  • Online
  • Blogging
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Other ideas
  • Offline
  • Join a Group
  • Word of Mouth
  • Writing
  • Teaching & Lecturing
  • Volunteering
  • Schools
  • Local News Outlets
  • Paid Advertisement

    Trade Shows & Conferences
    Writing a Marketing Plan
    Marketing Strategies to Keep in Mind
    Final Thoughts
    Additional Resources

    Module 5
    Time Management
  • Required Reading

    Identifying Time Wasters
    Personal vs. Professional Time Management
    Tips for Time Management
    Additional Resources

    Module 6
    Tools For Productivity
  • Websites

    Being Productive in Daily Life

    Old School Tools for Productivity
  • Paper and Pencil
  • Paper Calendars and Planners
  • Index Cards
  • Bulletin Boards, Whiteboards, and Notebooks

    New School Tools for Productivity - Technology Items
  • Smart Phones
  • Digital Cameras
  • Hand-held scanner
  • Two monitors
  • Digital Recorder and Video Camera
  • Technological Bulletin Boards, Whiteboards, and Notebooks
  • Scrivener
  • Microsoft OneNote / Growly Notes
  • Online Storage
  • Google Drive
  • DropBox
  • Backup System
  • Client Timer
  • Social Media & Email

    Tools to Organize Client Information
  • Organizing Paper and Digital Files
  • Family Tree Programs - Computer Based
  • Family Tree Programs - Online
  • Spreadsheets or Databases

    Things to Consider
    Additional Resources



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