Spot Ways to Grow Profits


Each half-day workshop includes students from several enrolling partners. Workshops include extensive practice using a workbook retained by students for future reference and use. We encourage using the practice portions of the workshop to apply the workshop techniques to your own business issue.

Click on the workshop title below for its description. To view our schedule, click here.

A. Techniques for Defining the New Business
[accordion] [toggle title=”Module 1: Small Business Basics: The Entrepreneur and The Opportunity”]

Understand the basics of managing a small business, skills and resources needed for success, and how to assess the business idea. Practice defining the opportunity with a Business Model. Learn about ownership, incorporating, and using your numbers to grow profits. Design your own roadmap to turn the idea into reality. Get the step-by-step sequence of launch activities.

[/toggle] [toggle title=”Module 2: Competitive Analysis and Sales Forecast (The Business Plan)”]

Learn the components of the Business Plan. Write your business description, and assess your customer needs and your value vs. the competition. Choose your differentiation and positioning. Learn how to forecast sales, outline your operations, and structure your financial forecast.

[/toggle] [toggle title=”Module 3: Finding Financing”]

Practice using cash flow to find how much financing you need. Learn sources of financing and types of lenders and loans. Assess your own attractiveness as a borrower. Understand types of investors, from family to angels to crowdfunding, and then develop your own financing plan.

[/toggle] [toggle title=”Module 4: Marketing: The Quest for Customers”]

Learn to design your product, pricing, distribution plan, and communications to support your differentiation and positioning. Practice designing product bundles and a product roadmap. Choose a pricing structure and level to fit your product’s value. Select marketing communications tools, and design an integrated campaign.

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B. Techniques for Managing a Small Business
[accordion] [toggle title=”Module 5: Sales, Negotiating, and Decision-Making”]

Understand sales force compensation, some selling techniques, and how to find and attract distributors. Learn how to prepare for a negotiation, and practice role-playing negotiating techniques. Learn a framework for making good decisions: defining the problem, assessing alternatives, analyzing advice and recommendations, using your moral imagination for ethical outcomes, and dealing constructively with resistance. Practice solving your own issue.

[/toggle] [toggle title=”Module 6: Leading a Culture of Service”]

Understand the importance of service-focused leadership and how to cultivate a culture of service at all levels of the organization. Learn to build and maintain relationships by incorporating TRUE© Results, aligning employees to the values of the organization, and using proven techniques to engage and influence employees toward a service culture mindset. Practice building your own vision and cultural tools for leading and maximizing strong working relationships.

[/toggle] [toggle title=”Module 7: Positive Communications Techniques”]

Learn how to improve your communication skills by understanding how your DISC style*(additional $65.00 fee) affects you every day, and how to adapt your communication techniques to others. Practice techniques for communicating to get results, active listening, and constructive rather than destructive communications. Learn and practice coaching and conflict management techniques, such as setting objectives, dealing with shortfalls, and personal conflicts.

*The DISC model is a simple tool that’s been helping people to connect better for over thirty years. This report uses your individual assessment data to provide information about your workplace priorities and preferences. In addition, you’ll learn how to connect better with colleagues whose priorities and preferences differ from yours.

[/toggle] [/toggle] [toggle title=”Module 8: Managing People in a Small Business”]

Learn techniques for motivational behaviors, effective pay treatment and incentives, removing obstacles, setting up employees for success, joint goal-setting, delegation, and handling new and family employees. Practice motivational behaviors, the “breakthrough conversation,” finding missing success tools, and designing a framework to enable employee success.

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C. Techniques for Growing a Small Business
[accordion] [toggle title=”Module 9: Improving Operations”]

Understand the effect of operations improvement on profit and loss. Learn to see the business opportunities as an outsider would: how to spot signals for improvement opportunities, the 7 principles of process design, over 20 tools for process improvement, how to get started on mapping a key business process, and key questions to trigger improvement ideas. Use real cases to practice identifying improvements and predicting bottom-line impact, and then get started with one of your own processes. Get some tips on staffing, scheduling, and managing suppliers.

[/toggle] [toggle title=”Module 10: Growing Revenue”]

Learn how to set your profit goals and use 10 levers to grow your business profits. Compare risk and timing for different growth methods, from current customers and quick wins to new aggregators, new markets, and new products. Practice predicting bottom-line results, and choose your own business growth strategy.

[/toggle] [toggle title=”Module 11: Turning Around the Distressed Small Business”]

Learn to spot early warning signs of a business drifting into distress. Practice spotting your own signs. Understand the turnaround process, and how to use turnaround tools. Practice choosing turnaround solutions. Return to the office armed with techniques to turn your business around.

[/toggle] [toggle title=”Workshop 12: Selling Your Small Business”]

Understand the stages in the process of selling a small business. Learn how a selling price is determined, how to make your business ready for sale, the kind of deal to expect, due diligence requirements, the role of advisors, and key deal terms. Compare deal terms vs. owner goals. Practice assessing your own business value and the deal terms you would accept.

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