Session 1: Your Business Vision
In this introduction participants will define their business vision, describe their products or services and take preliminary steps in identifying their target market.
Session 2: Expenses and Breakeven Point
In this session participants will learn to identify the costs of starting and operating their own business. They will learn how different business expenses are classified, understand what the break-even point is, and become skilled at calculating break-even point.
Session 3: Personal Goals & Mission Statement
In this session participants will explore their business goals, identify challenges that may get in the way, as well as learn strategies for personal and business success. They will also learn how to receive support from fellow entrepreneurs.
Session 4: Market Research
This session will cover the importance of market research for business. Participants will learn about different primary and secondary market research methods.
Session 5: Financial Self-Sufficiency and Personal Credit
In this session participants will be introduced to basic financial concepts, determine where their money comes from and where it goes, establish personal income requirements related to self-employment and learn about personal credit.
Session 6: Competitive Analysis & Pricing
In this session participants will identify their competition and what they can learn from them. They will also learn how to conduct a competitive analysis, as well as determine their market position and unique niche in the marketplace. Finally, they will explore how competition affects pricing.
Session 7: Planning Your Operations
This session will talk about the operating requirements of a small business, including production, facilities, insurance, legal forms and more. Participants will also plan the operations of their small business.
Session 8: Time & Stress Management
In this session participants will develop time- management skills and become skilled at stress management techniques to reduce stress levels.
Session 9: Financials Overview
This session will present the three major financial statements: the Profit/Loss, Cash Flow and Balance Sheet. Participants will learn how to manipulate simple Microsoft Excel tools in order to calculate and read these financial statements.
Session 10: Marketing Your Business
This session will define the elements of a marketing plan, consider how best to package and distribute products and/or services, as well as discover how to market and promote business on a shoestring budget.
Session 11: Sales Forecast and Making Sales
In this session participants will learn the basics of creating a sales forecast and the five basic stages of selling. They will also learn and practice relationship selling, gain effective sales tips and learn how to deal with rejection.
Session 12: Cash Flow Management
This session will highlight the importance of cash flow management and the difference between profit and positive cash flow. Participants will also learn how the cash flow statement relates to the other financial statements.
Session 13: Record Keeping
In this session participants will identify the documents they need to create or collect during the course of business, discover the difference between cash and accrual accounting and learn to set up a filing system for their paperwork.
Session 14: Profit Loss Statement & Balance Sheet revisited
In this session participants will revisit the Profit and Loss statement, discover how to analyze it and see how it fits together with the other statements. The Balance Sheet will also be revisited.
Session 15: Putting It All Together
In this final session, participants will assemble their own business plans and discover the importance of using and revising the business plan to manage their businesses.