I can't begin to tell you how much this course has helped me. For the last 14 years, I have been shying away from writing a "Business Plan." After having everything in place, I still had not written a plan, but alas, now it's done. I just have to refine and get it to read and present professionally."
I finally have a three-dimensional package and not just a "thought.""
I have a small business and thought I would take this class to start up something new. I now have the knowledge that I would need to tackle that feat. During the lesson on customers, I spider webbed an idea to make my business more customer centric. I simply offered another low overhead service to my largest client. The spider web exercise led to three large markets opening up for me. I am now projecting to gross last year's income times 4. What an investment! Thanks again for the great ideas."
My business plan has been a struggle for me; however, I knew the importance of creating my own. Since completing the class and having the printed material to refer to, I know I will have a final first draft that will be useful, inspiring, and a true picture of my company. The class has provided incredible direction to great informational websites that would have taken me endless hours to locate on my own. I'd like to thank Carol for her excellent presentation and material."
Our Business Plan was praised by our lender, who helped provide necessary funding. The Plan proved extremely helpful in ensuring that we considered all the bases before we opened."
The course brought up important professional and personal isues. It has been an extraordinary experience and one that I never would have anticipated. It has made a monumental difference in my life and marriage - giving me confidence and energy to move forward in pursuit of my vision."
The course was much more than I expected. It taught me much more than how to write a business plan. The course/instructor taught me how to think like an entrepreneur and gave me great advice on how to make my business successful. I was clueless about starting my own business before I completed this course, now I am confident and focused."
The scariest part about starting my own business was giving my two-week notice, but with all of the preparation that is shown through our plan, I think it's now going to be the most exciting part."
This was a great course and as a business owner, I had an opportunity to see how I could have approached my business differently - do more research about the business and funding."
This was a great way to open ones eyes to the realities of becoming an entrepreneur. No one should go into a new business without going through something similar to what this course has to offer. Thank you very much."
Course Code: cbp
Take that first step along your entrepreneurial path, and 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). Develop a vision and a mission for your enterprise as you define and refine your product or service, and you'll uncover your niche. This is the fun part of the journey—your only limitation is your imagination!
Learn how 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). Then, structure your organization so it's in the best position to provide your product or service to your targeted customers. You’ll also learn the role that change plays in your entrepreneurial evolution.
Lay the foundation for your marketing efforts, explore the features and benefits of your product or service, and begin the ongoing task of market research. Then, learn about your competitors, discuss pricing (one of the most difficult issues of new business), and complete a SWOT—analyzing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
Explore graphic design, logos, image, public relations, and guerrilla marketing to discover marketing in action! Then, tackle manufacturing and operations concerns.
Take a bird's eye view of the financial section of a business plan and briefly explore the capital equipment list, the balance sheet, and break-even analysis. Then, explore the projected income statement, cash flow, and historical financial records.
Focus on funding and financing opportunities and gain a better understanding of where to locate traditional (and not so traditional) sources of funding. Finally, you'll write an outstanding executive summary and discuss a few important document formatting tips. You'll also learn what supporting documents you should add to your final business plan.
Kris Solie-Johnson, chancellor and president of the American Institute of Small Business, best-selling author, educator, speaker, and mother of three, is an energetic and passionate entrepreneur. Her books are in public libraries, high schools, colleges, and military bases both nationally and internationally. Solie-Johnson has an MBA in Venture Management from the University of St. Thomas and over 19 years of experience helping entrepreneurs reach their goals quickly through joint venture partnerships, creative marketing programs, and innovative financial options. She's dedicated to motivating and inspiring owners to achieve beyond their dreams.
There are no prerequisites to take this course.
Instructional material requirements:
A new session of each course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits!
Once a session starts, two lessons will be released each week, for the six-week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.
The interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes 2 weeks after each lesson is released, so you’re encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.
The Final Exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the Final Exam has been released, you will have 2 weeks plus 10 days to complete the Final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.