Injecting marketing skills in to more degrees

Professor Evan Douglas, new Head of the School of Marketing
Professor Evan Douglas, new Head of the School of Marketing, Griffith Business School

Griffith University has plans for a new course in entrepreneurship to help introduce young professionals to the world of small-business management.

Physiotherapists, engineers, doctors, lawyers and artists all study intensely in their chosen field but often move into small-business after graduating.

The course would provide the knowledge and skills needed before starting a business or practice.

Professor Evan J. Douglas, Head of the Department of Marketing at Griffith, talks of a call to action for future professionals that he calls the ‘self-employment hook’.

“Recent studies indicate that a large proportion of high school and university students aim to be self-employed,” he said.

“Well, if you are thinking of about self-employment as a professional in your field, whether it is law, medicine or the arts, then you ought to take out some insurance before you launch into a business of your own.”

The insurance he is talking about, is an entrepreneurial skill set featuring small-business finance, marketing, human resource management and entrepreneurship; a toolbox for start ups.

“The advent of the Internet makes it easier for a business to be found,” Professor Douglas said.

“Everyone from bricklayers to psychologists can advertise and market their business via a website and be found. People can find you fairly quickly and make a judgement whether they will give your business a call.”

“But too many small-businesses collapse in their first year. So our message is quite simple. For self-employed professionals starting out on their own, a little entrepreneurial knowledge can go a long way.”

The immediate plan as Professor Douglas sees it, is to for the Griffith Business School to take the existing entrepreneurial marketing course and remodel it for entry level study. It can then be offered as a stand alone starter course that could be adopted across the university until the new major is rolled out.