Simple Steps for Starting Your Business
Thursdays, 6–8 p.m. in meeting room B. Is starting a business right for you? Attend this comprehensive workshop series to help you test your new business idea and get started on the right path. These five, free two-hour sessions will help you understand the basics of assessing a business idea, marketing your product or service, business financials and how they work, and how to fund and finance your business. Free, one-on-one mentoring will also be available. Sponsored by Southwest Missouri SCORE. Call 417-986-4730 to register
• March 7: Session 1 — Start-up Basics. This introductory workshop focuses on the basics of testing your business idea and identifying the key factors that influence start-up success, and provides you with an overview of the skills and tools you need when deciding to start a business. You’ll learn about the advantages and disadvantages of owning a business, the most profitable form for your business and the fundamentals of formation, organization, marketing, cash flow and funding sources. Registration starts February 21.
• March 14: Session 2 — Business Concept. Get step-by-step guidance in researching your idea, your market and your competition. You will learn to identify your target markets, describe your products and services and collect key competitive information to support your feasibility plan. Registration starts February 28.
• March 21: Session 3 — Marketing Plan. This workshop will introduce you to marketing communication methods and tools to maximize your customer reach. Topics include pricing strategies, positioning, the difference between features and benefits and different marketing strategies. You’ll learn to outline your marketing strategy, test your marketing message, choose the right sales channel and exercise your marketing strategy. Registration starts March 7.
• March 28: Session 4 — Financial Projections. This session includes hands-on exercises to help you better understand financial concepts, how to use the SCORE financial model to forecast sales revenue and build solid pro-forma financial forecasts. Topics include sales and prices, financial risks and rewards, true start-up costs, ongoing operating expenses, setting benchmarks for tracking progress and organizing your financial information. Registration starts March 14
• April 4: Session 5 — Funding Sources. Learn how to finance your small business with information on funding sources, accounting, the six C’s of credit, banking relations, ratio analysis and monthly preparation and review of financial statements. A bank loan officer will give an inside view of how a banker assesses the merits of business plans and loan applications. Registration starts March 21.