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Creating a Successful Business Plan (Self-Paced Tutorial)

1   A Strategy for Success

In this first lesson, you will meet several leading entrepreneurs and determine if you have similar passions and skill sets. You will discover that business plans are not just for funding your dream, but for guiding it along the path to success (as you choose to define it).        

2   Defining Your Business

Now, you will start to mold your business. You will develop a vision and a mission for your enterprise. You will define and refine your product or service, and you will uncover your niche. This is the fun part of the journey—your only limitation is your imagination.         

3   The Role of the Customer

This lesson will focus on the customer. Today's successful companies focus not on the products and services that they offer, but on the customers that they serve—on many levels. You will learn to position your company to be customer-centric, and how to move that customer from satisfied to loyal (and perhaps even an advocate for your business).           

4   Structuring Your Organization

In this lesson, you will structure your organization so it's in the best position to provide your product or service to your targeted customers. You will discover the role that change plays in your entrepreneurial evolution. Change is good—it shows that you're thinking.   

5   The Marketing Plan

This lesson explores the plan within the plan—the marketing section of your business plan. You will also discover the features and benefits of your product or service, and you will begin the ongoing task of market research. This is where you can differentiate your product or service from that of your competition.   

6   The Competition

This lesson will explore three separate areas of marketing. First, you will learn about your competitors so that you can better position yourself and discover just how solid your business ideas are. Then, you will address one of the most difficult issues of new business—pricing. Finally, you will become a SWOT agent—analyzing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

7   Marketing in Action

In this lesson, you will join a panel of outstanding marketing, public relations, and graphics experts who are also entrepreneurs and believe in the power of networking. You will explore graphic design, logos, image, public relations, and guerrilla marketing, as well as marketing in action. 

8   Operations, Manufacturing

This lesson tackles operations and manufacturing concerns.

9   Understanding the Finance Section (Part I)

This lesson takes a bird's eye view of the financial section of a business plan. You will also briefly explore the capital equipment list, the balance sheet, and break-even analysis.     

10   Understanding the Finance Section (Part II)

In this lesson, you will discover three additional financial components of the plan. You will explore the projected income statement, cash flow, and historical financial records. Be sure to take some time to explore the Supplemental Links area (in this lesson and in all the others) for outstanding online resources.    

11   Financing Your Business

This lesson continues the focus on money, but from a different perspective than in the previous two. You will focus on funding and financing opportunities, and by the end, you should have a better understanding of financing. You will also find out where to locate traditional, and not so traditional, sources of funding.          

12   The Final Document

In the final lesson, you will end one journey while beginning another. First, you will write an outstanding executive summary. You will receive a few important document formatting tips, and you will learn what supporting documents you should add to your final business plan. You now hold all the keys to the doors along your entrepreneurial path. Journey well.

 

 
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  • Learn a new skill or enhance existing skills for professional development or personal enrichment.
  • New sessions starting monthly with lessons and assignments released weekly.
  • 2-4 hours a week in a convenient six-week format.
  • Interactive learning environment. Classroom built around discussion areas where you can engage with classmates and instructors.
  • Expert instructors develop, lead, and interact with students in each course.
  • Award of completion from your learning institution with passing score.
  • Gain the knowledge needed to move forward with your education.
  • Start anytime. Access Granted upon registration.
  • Courses are designed to be completed within 6-12 weeks.
  • Interactive multi-media instruction with integrated assessment, allowing you to work at your own pace.
  • Professional instructors support you throughout your learning experience.
  • Confirmation of successful course completion.
  • Build industry skills or earn continuing education credits in a variety of fields.
  • Start Anytime. Access to all course material and assessments from day one.
  • Many tutorials can be completed in just a few hours.
  • Quick independent study. Learn something new or expand your knowledge while working at your own pace.
  • Material developed by industry leaders and student support offered.
  • Certificate of completion awarded with passing score.

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