The curriculum, designed by Babson College and facilitated by Sinclair College staff, focuses on practical business skills that can immediately be applied to business owners, including negotiation, marketing, and employee management.
Participants receive scholarships for a 14 session training program on how to grow their business, as well as one-on-one business advising and the the opportunity to learn from other like-minded business owners.
Module 1: You and Your Business
The opening module introduces small business owners to the program and the growth plan they will be working toward. After meeting faculty, business service providers and fellow small business owners, participants will immediately begin working with their peers and participate in exercises that stretch their visions for growth. We’ll discuss the predictable and unpredictable problems associated with growing a business and help participants identify which specific metrics are best for measuring their business’s success.
Module 2: Growth and Opportunities
Refine and articulate the business growth opportunity
In our second module, we will introduce techniques for identifying and creating opportunities for business growth. Participants will identify sources of innovation for their businesses; develop, analyze and understand the competitive landscape for their businesses and industries; and learn how to determine if a new business concept is a “good idea,” or a viable business opportunity.
Clinic: Financial Statements
This hands-on session helps participants become more comfortable with the three basic financial statements and how to understand and interpret key numbers. In preparation for Module 3, participants will have the opportunity to conduct a financial analysis.
Module 3: Money and Metrics
Develop and forecast financial statements for growth
Financial literacy is essential to growing a business. In this module, we build on the fundamentals of financial statement design and construction. Participants will then assess their business’s financial and operational realities and develop analyses and forecasting methods to plan and monitor their business’s growth.
Clinic: You Are the Lender
Participants take a step into the lender’s shoes to evaluate small business loan applications. We show participants the red flags that lenders look for and help them prepare the necessary numbers and documents for a loan application. The clinic also includes a panel session with local lenders who can answer specific small business questions.
Module 4: You Are the Leader
Develop and enhance leadership skills
Many small business owners are looking to step out of the day-to-day operations of their business to become a more strategic and effective leader. In this module, participants gain a better understanding of how their personal leadership style influences their team and business and then identify opportunities to enhance or adjust their approach to achieve even stronger business results.
Knowing when to stand your ground and when to budge can make a good deal great. In this clinic, participants learn the dynamics of negotiation and develop effective strategies to create value though collaboration.
Module 5: It’s the People
Build and sustain a healthy organization
Module 5 focuses on developing employees and building an organization that can both support growth and sustain the participant’s vision for their company. In addition to recruiting and hiring best practices, we offer advice on how to develop a positive business culture that reflects the values and goals of the small business owner.
Module 6: Marketing and Selling
Understand your customers’ needs
Growth can only occur with a strong marketing and sales effort. This module focuses on understanding customers’ needs, target markets, and the competition. We will study the fundamentals of sales and marketing and discuss how to develop and execute an effective marketing plan. This highly interactive module also includes exercises to help participants prepare and deliver a sales pitch and how to market their business with social media.
Module 7: Strategic Growth Through Operations
Increase operational efficiencies, improve profitability
Processes are central to everything a business does. In this module participants will evaluate their current operational processes, including workflow and logistics, to better understand and map key components of their business’s operations. Participants will also learn how to empower employees to take responsibility for certain processes within operations.
Module 8: Being Bankable
In this module we will review the different types of financing available to small businesses, and help participants understand which funding sources are most appropriate for their business. We discuss the value of maintaining important financing relationships with local institutions and help participants become more “bankable.” In addition to examining the intricacies of raising capital, we take a step back to provide guidance on how to assess and value their company and the resources required for future business growth.
Module 9: Action for Growth
Sharing the growth plan
During the final session of the 10KSB curriculum, participants have the opportunity to present their growth plans and receive feedback from their business advisors and peers as they hone and prepare to implement their strategies. In this session we will discuss the role of external business advisors (e.g., mentors, consultants, advisory boards) and introduce 10,000 Small Businesses alumni program. Many small businesses encounter external barriers to their growth, this module also teaches participants how to be effective and compelling advocates for small businesses in their communities. We will also revisit possible exit strategies and provide guidance on how to choose among them and execute an exit strategy.
Questions about the 10,000 Small Businesses Program at Sinclair College? Contact Kandise Bobo, Senior Project Manager, at 937-512-2220 or firstname.lastname@example.org.