1. Orientation – How does this course of 10-weeks work?
This session is an introduction to our services, the course logistics and a thorough orientation on the 10-week seminars which includes a discussion on mutual expectations and ground rules.
2. Networking – How do I do it?
You will also get to participate in introductions are made. This enables the instructor to address respective industry needs and to customize the classes to meet your specific needs. It also enhances the awareness of the power of networking as you meet others who also are starting or growing a business.
3. Our No Fail Formula – Is there a secret that successful business know that I don’t?
You will learn the secret to be successful in business! We will share with you our secret formula that we have taught for 20 years with a proven track record of excellent results!
4. Business Plan – What is it?
We will also provide you with the beginning of understanding all about a business plan. What is a business plan? What are the elements of a good business plan? Why have one? Is it complicated?
1. Self-Assessment – Are you ready to own a business, particularly this business?
We will have discussions and do exercises to clarify the reasons that each person has for wanting to operate their own business. Do you need to make any changes to your lifestyle to ensure the success of your business? Remember! In order to truly grow a business it must match your talents, skills, experience, and interests!
2. Intro to Market Research – Is your business idea a viable one? Where are your clients?
A business will not succeed without clearly identifying its customer and everything about them. This class will define your marketing and uncover the targeted customer profile. Where can I find them? Where should I locate my business? Learn how to use the latest information from the Census Bureau to answer these questions. Is my business idea a good one? Only studying Industry forecasts and trends can help you. Let us teach you how!
3. Business Plan Template – Does this course make it easy for me to write a business plan?
A business plan that is a fill-in-the blank will be provided to help you to use this course to develop a written plan. It is a known fact that if your plan is in writing, your business is more likely to succeed!
This week we will give you directions on how to order a copy of your credit report from the three (3) credit bureaus. These will be visited in Seminar 5 with a credit expert!
1. Marketing Strategies – What’s working in today’s marketplace for my business? How do I know it will work for me?
Affordable yet efficient marketing strategies will be considered in order to stretch your marketing dollars. Tactics include: retail marketing; telemarketing; direct and outside sales; work-of-mouth and retention marketing; display advertising; hosting promotional events; participating in tradeshows, fairs or conventions; networking and finding leads; writing press releases. How do I know if my marketing is working? Typical costs and expected rates of return for different types of marketing are discussed. The times of the year that are best to market a business are probed. Methods to track and follow-up on marketing effectiveness will be provided.
2. Marketing Materials – What do I need for my business?
You will learn how to create the logo, the slogan, a business card, letterhead, flyers and a brochure. The important elements of a well-designed newsletter, direct mail piece, press release, and display ads are taught. An introduction is made to cost-saving ways to obtain a professional writer, designer, illustrator, printer and a mailing service. New services being offered by the United States Postal Service will be presented by an expert! Imagine mailing to 500-800 households for less than $200!
1. Technology and Your Business – Can you benefit from the power of the Internet? What are the 10 business tech tools that every business needs?
Which are the appropriate technological options and solutions for your Business? Examine what will work best for your business. How to use the Internet in conducting on-going market research – what is the competition doing? Learn about good E-mail correspondence; how to make your smartphone work for you; performing marketing functions; websites; e-listings to join like Angie’s List; e-commerce; social media – Facebook, Twitter; and, how to do direct sales via a website.
2. Do I have a business phone number? Can a customer find my business on the Internet? Special Guests will join us to answer these questions and more!
CenturyLink Representative, will join the group to deliver a presentation about CenturyLink Business Services. One of our clients, Carlos Salguerro, who the owner of a successful Internet sales business NetDirect Sales, will also be a guest speaker.
This seminar is conducted by a banker and an accountant.
1. Money Management, Credit – How do I create financial stability?
Both your personal and business money management are focused on in this class. A personal budget is reviewed. Emphasis is placed on keeping business revenue separate from personal funds and not co-mingling. Thoughts and attitudes about abundance and money are discussed. Credit is studied: reading a credit report, repairing bad credit, establishing good credit and best practices in the use of credit. Business financial tips are shared: setting financial terms for customers, minimizing bad debt, establishing good business credit and negotiating the best terms from suppliers.
2. Identifying the Competition / Intro to “Pricing and Market Position” – Who exactly is my competition?
The difference between direct and indirect competition will be examined along with their respective impacts on a business. Participants learn how to figure out their “fit” or “niche” in the market.
3. Determining Pricing, Breakeven – What should I charge? How do I calculate my breakeven point?
The survival of a business is contingent on profit. Understanding the art of pricing of products and/or services and knowing the break-even points are critical to starting a successful business.
4. Identifying Start-up Costs – You mean that it is more than an estimated amount?
A worksheet is developed to demonstrate initial start-up costs of a business. Methods to obtain this exact information are shared. Strategies to have realistic costs are examined and re- examined to assure that a business is frugal and not losing capital.
Tonight’s seminar is delivered by an attorney.
1. Analyzing Legal Structures – What is a legal structure?
In this country you have to register a business at a state level and at a federal level. Before you register a business, you should understand what a “legal structure” is and then determine which one is best for your business.
2. Independent Contractor vs. Employee – What are the differences? Why should I care?
As a business owner you need to know the difference between an Independent Contractor and an Employee. What are the pros and cons? Misclassification of an employee is a serious offense. The penalties from the IRS and the State of Colorado are very high and need to be avoided.
3. Knowing about Common Legal Documents – What are the common mistakes that business owners make?
When you sign a contract, you need to know exactly what you are signing. When renting a location or equipment, you need to be careful of the fine print! Also, when you do work, you want to be paid. Learn the basics of a service contract, how to protect your business when there are change orders, and other legal tips.
An insurance expert will present tonight on what your business need!
1. Examining Liabilities and Business Insurance Possibilities – What insurance must I have? What insurance would be helpful?
Business liabilities can be reduced by the options of legal entity and by business insurance. A knowledgeable insurance representative will be present to explain how liabilities can be minimized. Health insurance issues are discussed with insurance professionals.
2. Business Operations – The “Quote to Cash” System – Can having better systems improve my profits?
How to improve cash flow, accounts receivables, management and sales strategies are taught. The need to focus on the customer and his expectations, how they perceive value are examined. It is imperative to strive to continuously improve, and become more efficient. Identify tasks where the organization adds value in order to implement successful strategies for the future. Create an easy flowing process of transactions in the least amount of time possible. Establish disciplines to satisfy the customer’s needs directly related to processes, transactions and resources.
3. Developing a Contingency Plan – If my business fails, then what?
Every business plan must include a rational back-up plan in order to honor commitments, especially when you have investors or loans.
4. When is it better to say “No” rather than say “Yes” and risk ruining your company’s reputation
There are times when too much of a good thing is not good. Let’s say that you are making salsa at a very small scale and selling it to small local grocery stores. Suddenly you get an order to sell to King Soopers throughout all of Colorado! Can you fulfill this order?!? You probably are not prepared to do it. What steps should you take to expand in a controlled manner?
5. Business Etiquette –What do I need to learn about good business manners in the USA? What offends customers and suppliers?
Doing business in the USA is different than in other countries! What are the cultural differences? We will reveal the most common business practices in the USA that will make you success ful.
This night we will have bankers to speak directly to you!
1. Business Accounts, Banking Online Services and Business Loans
Both traditional and non-traditional bankers will present banking basics and account reconciling. They will discuss the different types of loans available – lines of credit, variable rate, commercial loans, SBA loans, and leasing.
2. Learning All About Business Record Keeping
Maintaining detailed financial records will be taught in a simple and direct manner. It is important to have an easy system. The importance is stressed by the following reasons: to pay taxes; to qualify for future loans; to pursue investors; and to monitor trends of growth or decline in a business. The essential basics are covered:
3. Calculating Cash Flow Projections
The participants will get a chance to forecast sales, cost of goods (COGS), gross profit, monthly expenses, and cash flow to determine if your business is financially viable. This class brings the pieces together AND one-on-one assistance is offered in a group setting to develop a minimum of a one-year cash flow projection worksheet.
A CPA will be present to help you establish your business financials!
1. Accounting Workshop – How do I set up my accounting? Where do I begin?
This is a hands-on workshop with professional, small business CPAs and accountants who will help develop an accounting system for each participant. A chart of accounts, the profit and loss statement and the balance sheet will be explained and you will learn how to develop your own.
2. Taxes – Which must my business pay?
Graduation – Can I bring my friends and family? Yes!
(Tonight is a potluck!)
1. Recognitions – Congratulations!
This is graduation and you will receive a beautiful certificate suitable for framing in your place of business or for valuable placement inside your business plan! The certificate is especially important when trying to get a business loan. It is also a certificate that is recognized by Mile High United Way for their Individual Development Account opportunity. In order to receive their certificates participants must be present.
2. Motivation – I’ve finished the course, now what?
Special invited guests that are sure to motivate you will speak about how they have been able to self-motivate in order to become successful business owners through this training. Prizes and gifts are provided by sponsors such as Comcast Hispanic Business Services and FirstBank.
– Paulo Freire