The American dream is two-fold: That of owning a home and starting a business. We know that small businesses are the lifeblood of the American economy and build generational wealth as well as power neighborhoods. Entrepreneurship can be both an exciting and rewarding experience. It can offer numerous advantages such as being your own boss, setting your own schedule and making a living doing something you enjoy. But, becoming a successful entrepreneur requires thorough planning, creativity and hard work. On the flip side of the coin, it can be a daunting and difficult journey. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), most small businesses fail in the first three years. One of the reasons is lack of preparation and knowledge. That’s why our Chamber started the Small Business Boot Camp. The Small Business Boot Camp Series is a five-week, two-hour program on five different topics designed help new and current entrepreneurs start, grow, market, finance and certify their small businesses.
Session 1: Business Plan Basics
Your business is the resume for your business. It’s an essential roadmap for business success and generally projects 3-5 years ahead and outlines the direction a company intends to take to grow and succeed. Your business plan is your vision and should be dynamic. This session takes at the different components of the business, such as the executive summary and financial projections.
Session 2: Financing Your Business (Traditional & Non-Traditional)
The idea of entrepreneurship has to financed and sustained. This session gives a basic understanding of a business’s financial needs as well as the various options to start, manage and grow your business.
Session 3: An Intro to Marketing & Social Media
Marketing for a business can be compared to the heart pumping blood in the body. It’s central and critical to any business success. This session explains what marketing is, its importance and provides an overview of social media.
Session 4: Small Business Solutions (Legal, Tax & Accounting Issues and QuickBooks Basics)
Many businesses fail because of a lack of or poor business structure. The business structure you choose will have legal and tax implications. This session covers the different types of business structures and to help you decide the one that is best suited for your business. There is also an overview of the number one software used by small businesses, QuickBooks.
Session 5: Minority Certification & the 8A Program
Before you can begin doing business with the government or corporate America, your business must obtain the proper certifications. Small business certifications are like professional certifications; verifying that you are operating a business legally. Certification can be an important step to help a small business get to the next level in terms of contracts and expansion.
Although the SBA doesn’t certify minority-owned businesses, it does certify small businesses considered to be socially and economically disadvantaged under its nine-year 8(a) Business Development Program. This session provides insight into this program to help small businesses gain access to federal contracting opportunities as well as doing business with corporate America.