Business Accelerator Program

Focus on the business

side of doing business

The Chamber has partnered with Blue Ridge Community College to develop a Business Accelerator Course that will kick off Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

This is a 6 month, twelve course program that will train students on the fundamentals of starting a business, preparing a business plan, accounting, IT, marketing, time management, budgeting, and so much more.

Cost for the course is $295. Partial scholarships are available through BRCC. Below and attached is the complete course outline.

If you are interested in registering for the course, registration is being handled through the Small Business Center at BRCC and will open in early December. Please contact the Chamber at 828-692-1413 to have your contact information placed on a list to be called when registration is open.

BUSINESS ACCELERATOR PROGRAM

 

Session One – January 10, 2018

8 am – Noon @ Chamber office, 204 Kanuga Road, Hendersonville

Kick off

  • Entrepreneurship overview and importance, connecting exercises, panel discussion
  • Understanding innovation

Session Two – January 24, 2018

8 am – Noon @ Chamber office, 204 Kanuga Road, Hendersonville

Fundamentals in starting a business

  • To borrow or not to borrow
  • How to get a loan
  •  A line of credit
  • Sources of financing
  • Credit report
  • Legal structure, proprietorship, LLC, other
  • Do you need a business license?
  • Do you have to pay or collect sales tax?
  • What are the building, sign and occupancy permits?
  • Any business permits needed?
  • Do you need a business license?
  • Importance of research
  • Dealing with partnerships
  • Developing operating/pay/income agreements

Session Three – February 7, 2018

8 am – Noon @ Chamber office, 204 Kanuga Road, Hendersonville

Preparing a business plan

  • Idea formation
  • Executive summary
  • Vision statement
  • Mission statement
  • Competitive edge
  • Marketing plan
    -  utilizing research
  • Cash flow planning
  • Preparing P&L and balance sheet statements
  • Break even analysis
  • Human resource requirements (structure, org. chart, job descriptions)
  • Business owner’s credentials
  • Facility requirements
  • Timelines

Session Four – February 21, 2018

8 am – Noon @ Chamber office, 204 Kanuga Road, Hendersonville

Review and critique business plans

  • Executive summaries
  • Open review (questions, suggestions for improvement, path forward to complete
  • Panel with former winners of business plan contest and their success stories
  • Panel with successful local business owners
  • Encourage to participate in Chamber’s Business Plan Contest

Session Five – March 7, 2018

8 am – Noon @ Chamber office, 204 Kanuga Road, Hendersonville

Principles of effective selling

Principles of effective marketing

  • Best websites/software for market research
  • Website developers that provide the best value
  • Effective utilization of social media
  • Effective networking tools
  • Tagline
  • Elevator Pitch
  • Logo
  • Brand Strategy
  • Need for timely creation of trademark and URL

Session Six – March 21, 2018

8 am – Noon @ Chamber office, 204 Kanuga Road, Hendersonville

Accounting and Information Technology

  • The difference between a bookkeeper and an accountant
  • Why and when to use an outside CPA
  • Funding the business
  • The short comings of Quick Books
    - must break out sales by major product/service group
    - must break out cost of goods sold by major product/service group
    - must track gross profit by major product/service group
    - must compare actual results by line item to the monthly and year-to-date budgeted amounts
  • Proper procedures for segregating financial responsibilities to protect against theft
    - invoice approvals
    - payroll approvals
    - collection of receivables
    - Deposits in bank
    - segregating personal check books and credit cards from business checking and credit cards
  • Best financial hardware/software packages software packages for your industry
  • Best firewalls to prevent “ransom”

Session Seven – April 4, 2018

8 am – Noon @ Chamber office, 204 Kanuga Road, Hendersonville

Human resource issues

  • Addressing employee performance issues
  • Holding effective employee performance appraisals
  • Developing effective job descriptions
  • Developing a written employee disciplinary system
  • Establishing employee incentive/bonus programs that work
  • Administration of worker’s compensation (on the job accidents)
  • Administration of unemployment compensation
  • Hiring and firing
  • Record keeping
  • Team building

Session Eight – April 18, 2018
8 am – Noon @ Chamber office, 204 Kanuga Road, Hendersonville

Effective owner time management

  • Three key time management wasters
        - working “in” the business instead of “on” the business
        - not keeping a weekly written “to do list” and improperly prioritizing work
        - using a “band aid” and not solving the root cause of the problem
  • Problem solving
  • Working on the “right stuff”
  • Utilizing written “to do lists”
  • How to properly prioritize your work
  • Efficiency versus effectiveness
  • Conducting effective meetings
  • The crisis of entering the small business “red zone” (strong growth)
  • Effective project management

Session Nine – During Small Business Week: April 29 thru May 5, 2018

Business Plan/Growth/Rising Star awards event

  • Networking with other business owners, advising, putting it all together, Alumni/ongoing network, successful local small business owners, wrap up

Session Ten – May 16, 2018

8 am – Noon @ Chamber office, 204 Kanuga Road, Hendersonville

Preparing an annual budgeted financial operating plan

  • Check list of the operating plan tools to use annually
  • Sales, cost of goods, overhead and profit projections by month
  • Utilizing the monthly financial budget to compare actual results to
  • Developing timely action plans to achieve the financial budgeted profit
  • Establishing operational measurements and quantified, objective goals
  • Establishing timely flash reports on operational measurements compared to goals
  • Developing effective action plans to achieve operational goals

Session Eleven – May 30, 2018

8 am – Noon @ Chamber office, 204 Kanuga Road, Hendersonville

New business development

  • Business development is comprised of three key categories:
    • marketing
    • sales
    • service
  • Non-traditional versus digital marketing programs
    • word of mouth
    • staying in touch
  • Expanding your market
    • widen you price range of offerings
    • widen your product offerings
    • widen your geographic radius
    • widen your served market
  • Non-traditional marketing
    • creating Sources of Sales Leads
    • networking
    • using Service to Generate More sales
    • using Selling to Generate More Business
    • prospecting
    • value
  • Features & benefits
  • Free ways to generate additional business
    • contractors/service/installation businesses
  • Capturing more retail prospects
    • in store
    • street fairs
  • Creating more retail sales
    • “hit” rate
    • add on selling
    • e-mails
  • Generating free loans in retail
    • gift cards
  • Inventory turnover
  • Generating free cash flow
  • Breakeven point
    • knowing and determining required sales

Session Twelve – June 13, 2018

8 am – Noon @ Chamber office, 204 Kanuga Road, Hendersonville

Leadership, communication and Skype interviews

  • Group survival exercise

If you are interested in registering for the course, registration is being handled through the Small Business Center at BRCC and will open in early December. Please contact the Chamber at 828-692-1413 to have your contact information placed on a list to be called when registration is open.

The Business Accelerator Program is an initiative partnership between:

BRCC Logo small and Chamber Logo Blue