An introduction to Community Futures: Who we are, what we do, and how we can help you with your business endeavours.
Orientation: Starting Your Business – A Checklist
In this workshop, you will be provided with an overview of:
- An overview of the steps needed for a successful business launch, and the relationship between each step of our program training, including business model development, mentorship, networking, consulting and business plan development.
- An overview of business structures including sole proprietorships, partnerships and corporations.
- An overview of the necessary license and permit requirements for starting and registering a business.
Business Concept Development – Business Model Canvas
Map out your business idea according to the nine major building blocks of the Business Model Canvas: Customer Segments, Value Proposition, Channels, Customer Relations, Revenue Streams, Key Partners, Key Resources, Key Activities, and Cost Structure.
Learn to use a Start-Up Balance Sheet to determine what you already have and what you would need to start your business, including the resources required to finance your business.
Explore the financial viability of your business by using a Break-Even Analysis tool to estimate your break-even point, sales volumes and minimum price point.
Market Research – Validating Your Assumptions
Gain knowledge about your customer segments and value propositions to further develop your business strategy. You are encouraged to bring a laptop or tablet.
- Learn sources and methods for conducting primary and secondary market research, including: industry trends, reports, and benchmarking data, demographic information, determining market size, designing customer surveys, utilizing focus groups, customer segment and target market profiling, competitive analysis and SWOT analysis.
- Use market research to understand your customer segments and design your value propositions.
- Analyze data and interpret information to strategically project sales volumes in your market area.
- Begin exploring industry research and creating customer survey tools in the classroom.
- Incorporate your market research into a business plan.
Marketing and Sales – Right on Target
Focus on your customer relationships and determine the right channels to market and deliver value propositions to your
- Discover the 4 Ps of Marketing.
- Create marketing and delivery channels for your customer segments, with a focus on your target market.
- Use branding to effectively communicate to your customer segments.
- Select the right channels to attain and retain your customer segments, including: advertising (including online), sales promotion, events and experiences, public relations, publicity, direct marketing, interactive marketing, word-of-mouth marketing, personal selling, e-mail marketing, social media marketing, and search engine marketing.
- Learn skills that you can apply to create a digital marketing strategy.
- Incorporate your marketing and sales information into a business plan.
Operations – Your Pathway to Success
Determine and describe your Key Resources, Key Activities and Key Partners.
- Key Resources – Identify the key resources you need to start and grow your business: facilities, equipment, supplies,
software, inventory and more.
- Key Activities – Outline your production or service plan, develop an operating cycle, set goals and milestones, draft
contracts and agreements, learn about risk management and plan contingencies.
- Key Partners – Identify and describe who will help you to leverage and grow your business: is it through the
assistance of professional experts, contractors, suppliers, associations?
- Learn HR management and development, including an overview of employment law.
- Gain insight into succession planning to know your options and prepare your business for an eventual exit strategy.
- Incorporate your business operations information into a business plan
Financial Management – In the Black
Describe your revenue streams and cost structure to prepare for and project your financials for your first year in business.
- Explain your revenue streams and determine your sales forecast assumptions.
- Create monthly cash flow assumptions to determine your cost structure, while learning how to prepare a cash flow statement to outline your monthly financial flow of cash into and out of your business.
- Receive tax tips to prepare you for your first year in business.
- Understand how to analyze an income statement and balance sheet.
- Incorporate your financial assumptions into a business plan and create financial projections using our pre-formulated Excel templates.