Content Area

Class 1—General Information and Business Planning Basics
This initial class of the program will contain an overview of the loan program, the program requirements, timelines and what the class participants can expect throughout the loan process. The loan application and required attachments will be reviewed with the participants for completion at a later date.

Class 2—Branding 101  
Class participants will learn the process for developing a successful brand including developing the brand position, promise, personality, story and associations. Examples of successful brands, their messaging and how the messaging is utilized in the sales and marketing efforts of the companies are demonstrated. Participants will also begin the process of identifying their brand and the marketing messaging that they will bring to market. 

Class 3—Customer Service Basics
Participants will be taught the basics of Customer Service, including how to communicate with customers (telephone, online and in person), handling customer complaints, and handling customer feedback. Strategies and best practices for providing excellent customer service will be discussed and each participant will be expected to develop the Customer Service strategy for their business. 

Class 4—Legal Fundamentals  
A legal expert will teach and discuss with class participants the legal fundamentals for small businesses including: business entity review, business contracts, commercial leases, and insurance issues. Class participants will be provided with an opportunity to ask questions relevant to their particular proposed business. 

Class 5—Prioritizing and Time Management 
Participants will learn the marketing process for their future businesses including: identifying potential customers, analyzing market size, analyzing market trends, pricing strategies, niche development and developing marketing and advertising strategies to reach those target customers. In addition, the class participants will learn the concepts behind a direct sales effort including prospecting, qualifying, needs/benefit selling, closing the sale and maintaining the customer. 

Class 6—Internet Marketing 
Participants will be taught how internet marketing is relevant to their business and Internet marketing, anatomy and relevancy of websites, how to generate web traffic, web analytics (what are they and how to use them). Class participants will have an opportunity to review with the instructor the Internet needs of their proposed business. 

Class 7—Cash Flow Management 
Participants will learn how to develop a Cash Flow Projection for their proposed business including: forecasting revenues, Cost of Goods Sold percentages, estimating expenses, debt repayment, profit/loss, and cash position. Class participants will also be taught how to use the Cash Flow Projection as a budgeting and profitability tool in their daily business operations.

Class 8—Business Red Flags 
A serial entrepreneur takes the participants through the highs and lows of starting, operating and closing a small business. Through the course of the discussion the entrepreneur shares with the participants the lessons learned, and how to avoid many of the pitfalls that small business owners face.