Creating a Successful Business Plan
Turn your business ideas into a solid plan for financing and long-term success. Committing your idea to paper in the form of a business plan not only increases your chances of obtaining financing, but also in keeping your business strategically focused. With the support of your instructor and a network of like-minded students, you'll work through all of the major components of a business plan and emerge with your first draft in hand. And most importantly, you will have completed the first--and most difficult--step on the path to small business success.
To enroll in this course, click the Enroll Now button below:
Microsoft Word or other word processing program, Internet access, e-mail, and the Microsoft Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox Web browser.
All courses run for six weeks, with a two-week grace period at the end. Two
lessons are released each week for the six-week duration of the course. You do
not have to be present when the lesson is released, but you must complete each
lesson within two weeks of its release.
A new section of each course starts on the second or third Wednesday of each month. If enrolling in a series of two or more courses, please be sure to space the start date for each course at least two months apart.
|Wednesday - Lesson 01|
|In this first lesson, as you take that first step
along your entrepreneurial path, you'll meet your instructor and learn
about her childhood, growing up in ChocolateTown USA. You'll meet
several leading entrepreneurs and determine if you have similar passions
and skill sets. And, you'll 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).
|Friday - Lesson 02|
|Today, you'll start to mold your business. You'll
develop a vision and a mission for your enterprise. You'll 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!
|Wednesday - Lesson 03|
|We'll focus on the customer in this lesson. Today's
successful companies focus not on the products and services that they
offer, but on the customers that they serve—on many levels. Together,
we'll position your company to be customer-centric. And, you'll learn
how to move that customer from satisfied to loyal (and perhaps even an
advocate for your business).
|Friday - Lesson 04|
|In this lesson, you'll structure your organization so
it's in the best position to provide your product or service to your
targeted customers. I'll help you create a board of experts to guide you
along your journey. You'll discover the role that change plays in your
entrepreneurial evolution. Change is good—it shows that you're thinking!
|Wednesday - Lesson 05|
|Today, we’ll explore the plan within the plan—the
marketing section of your business plan. We'll lay the foundation for
your marketing efforts and we'll define sales and marketing (there is a
difference!). We'll also explore the features and benefits of your
product or service, and we'll begin the ongoing task of market research.
This is where you can differentiate your product or service from that of
|Friday - Lesson 06|
|For today's lesson, we'll explore three separate
areas of marketing. First, you'll learn about your competitors so that
you can better position yourself and discover just how solid your
business ideas are. We'll discuss one of the most difficult issues of
new business—pricing. Finally, we become the SWOT team—analyzing
strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
|Wednesday - Lesson 07|
|Today, you'll join a panel of outstanding marketing,
public relations, and graphics experts who are also entrepreneurs and
believe in the power of networking. We'll explore graphic design, logos,
image, public relations, and guerrilla marketing. And you'll also
discover marketing in action in this lesson.
|Friday - Lesson 08|
|Today, we'll start by hearing Alice in Wonderland
explain to the Mad Hatter that, in a topsy-turvy world, it seems like
(you) have to do something wrong first, in order to learn from what not
to do. And then, by not doing what (you're) not supposed to do, perhaps
(you'll) be right. But (you'd) rather be right the first time, wouldn't
you? Confused? We'll tackle manufacturing and operations concerns in
this not-so-topsy-turvy lesson.
|Wednesday - Lesson 09|
|In this lesson, you'll learn that both successes and
failures can be tremendous teachers—but you'll have to apply those
lessons learned to other life or business ventures. For today's lesson,
we'll take a bird's eye view of the financial section of a business
plan. We'll also briefly explore the capital equipment list, the balance
sheet, and break-even analysis.
|Friday - Lesson 10|
|In this lesson, we'll discuss three additional
financial components of the plan. We'll explore the projected income
statement (always a fun area!), 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
|Wednesday - Lesson 11|
|Today, we'll continue our focus on money, but from a
different perspective than in the previous two lessons. We'll focus on
funding and financing opportunities, and by the end of this lesson, you
should have a better understanding of financing. You'll also find out
where to locate traditional (and not so traditional) sources of funding.
|Friday - Lesson 12|
|In our final lesson, you'll end one journey while
beginning another. First, you'll write an outstanding executive summary.
We'll discuss a few important document formatting tips, and you'll 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.
To enroll in this course, click the Enroll Now button below:
Students who enrolled in Business Plan, Creating a Successful were also interested in the following courses:
Start Your Own Small Business
Business Marketing Writing
Employment Law Fundamentals
Introduction to Business Analysis
Introduction to Microsoft Excel 2007
Legal Nurse Consulting
Marketing Your Business on the Internet
Start and Operate your own Home-Based Business