This is an 8-session program that walks through every element of a business from the founder’s personal mission to filing your licenses & taxes. Each session includes worksheets and homework for the participants. We accept both individuals and teams for the program. Participants are expected to attend all sessions and submit completed work.
Business Lab Syllabus
What’s your Baseline?
This section covers the processes, documentation, reports, and tools every business owner needs to succeed. We’ll determine exactly where participants are starting from today and identify what achievements and outcomes we’ll be focused on over the duration of the course.
Planning and Goal Setting
Participants will prioritize their focus for the next year, and learn how to set realistic, measurable goals. We’ll cover business plans, strategic planning, and the framework for creating a 90-day plan.
Participants will review their current revenue streams and sales model to determine what is making money, what adds value, and what might be causing their business to bleed. We’ll cover what it takes to achieve goal revenue, how to create a pro forma, make financial projections, and the activities necessary to generate sales.
Getting the Word Out
Participants will learn how to build their network, communicate their brand, and speak directly to their target audience. We’ll create strategies for marketing and social media that are actionable and tailored to each participant’s business.
This section focuses on basic bookkeeping, necessary financial and operating documents, and tax preparation. In addition, we will talk about projections and how to support those ideas with actions.
Working with Other People
Participants will learn the way to plan for and create the right team to expand their company’s capacity through contractors or employees. It’s important to remember that you are building an organization, not just a set of tasks.
Other People’s Money
This section will cover crowd-funding, private loans, investment, government grants, how to effectively bootstrap and integrate this with Session #5 on tracking money. Participants will examine how they think about money and create plans for growth and learn how to categorize financial obligations for those plans; - sometimes you need money and sometimes you can trade your expertise or products for someone else’s expertise.
Keeping Your Business Legit
Participants will learn best practices and basic information regarding licensure, typical legal issues, contracts and partnerships. It’s important to know the standards, and our focus is to help participants create what works for their business and their plans.
Participants in the program will also receive help from mentors, introductions to loan programs and customized coaching, if needed.