Monday, December 1, 2008

Business class helps small business owners succeed

Business class helps small business owners succeed

Small business owner Chris Priebe always had an entrepreneurial spirit so it wasn’t surprising he started his own business right out of high school.
But it wasn’t until he solidified his business plan with help from a Rio Salado College class that his venture really began to take off.

Now just 24, Priebe runs a successful web design and recording studio business called OutofStockRecords. And in some of the most challenging economic times Priebe has managed to survive and thrive when many are calling it quits.

“This year has been our best year profit wise. We’ve worked out a lot of the kinks and the business plan really helped,” Priebe said.

A musician, Priebe launched his first business when he began buying studio recording equipment one piece at a time so he could record his own music. Once word got around others began asking to use his studio and the fledging business began to expand.

His web design side of the business also began out of necessity. Priebe knew his new business needed a web site so he started taking classes developing his skills in Macromedia Flash and Macromedia Dreamweaver and Photoshop. Once launched the web site became his best marketing tool as others asked for his help and he quickly gained clients.

“The web design caught on a lot quicker and is the most profitable side to Outof StockRecords,” said Priebe. The web site can be found at
Priebe and his wife Bethany are the sole owners of the business. He says it’s been a lot of work but also a lot of fun.

“I like being my own boss although with the business my wife ends up being my boss,” Priebe said.

Priebe and his wife now have some additional help. On November 10 Bethany Priebe gave birth to twins boys. Born 10 weeks earlier the twins are doing fine.

Maureen Racz was Priebe’s Rio Salado College teacher. The instructor for MGT253 (Owning and Operating a Small Business), Racz loves to see her students and former students succeed. An experienced, successful small business owner herself, Racz who has a MBA and a Doctorate, has been teaching business management classes for years.

“Whether your dreaming about one day opening your own business or have a specific plan in mind, this class really helps fine tune your ideas,” said Racz.

Students learn how to create a business plan, pros and cons of the various types of business ownership, debt capital sources, effective management styles and other entrepreneurial skills.
Before they even start, students choose one of two paths – those who have a specific business planned and others who are not sure what kind of company to start. Students complete different assignments based on the route they choose.

“This course provides students with a good idea of what it would take to own their own business: identifying their target market, analyzing their competition, formulating some financial information, and other details that are critical to the success of a small business," Dr. Mary Hannaman, Rio Salado Business Faculty Chair said.

The 3-credit online course can be used to earn an Associate in Applied Science in Organizational Management Degree at Rio Salado.

Rio Salado has more than 450 online classes and extensive course offerings in business, including introduction to business, business communication, business statistics, quantitative methods in business and legal, ethical and regulatory issues in business.

Rio Salado is one of the ten Maricopa Community Colleges offering weekly start dates, 24/7 online support and classes easily transferable to a university. For registration or more information call 480-517-8540 or go to

E. J. Anderson
Media Relations Manager
Rio Salado College
2323 West 14th Street
Tempe, AZ 85281