Designed by Babson College, one of the nation’s top business schools, the
10,000 Small Businesses curriculum is delivered so that it can be immediately applied to a business owner’s plan for growth.
Orientation and the opening module will be delivered in person. Module one will introduce scholars to the program and the growth plan they will be creating. After meeting the faculty, business advisors, and fellow small business owners, scholars will immediately begin working with their peers and participate in exercises that stretch their visions for growth. During this module we discuss the predictable and unpredictable challenges associated with growing a business. Each participant will also identify which specific metrics are best for measuring their business’s success.
Module two will introduce techniques for identifying and creating opportunities for business growth. Scholars will identify sources of innovation for their businesses. They will develop, analyze, and understand the competitive landscape for their businesses and industries. Additionally, this module will guide scholars in determining if a new business concept is a “good idea” or a viable business opportunity.
This hands-on session is designed to help scholars become more comfortable with the three basic financial statements, as well as how to understand and interpret key numbers. Business owners will have the opportunity to conduct a financial analysis in preparation for module three.
Financial literacy is essential to growing a business. Module three begins with the goal of developing and forecasting financial statements for business growth. In this module we will build on the fundamentals of financial statement design and construction. Scholars assess their business’s financial and operational realities. They develop analyses and forecasting methods to best plan and monitor their business’s growth.
Many small business owners are looking to step out of the day-to-day operations of their business to become a more strategic and effective leader. In this module, scholars gain a better understanding of how their personal leadership style influences their team and business. They also identify opportunities to enhance or adjust their approach to achieve stronger business results.
"It’s the people" focuses on developing employees, and building an organization that can support growth and sustain the vision of the company. In addition to learning best practices in hiring and recruitment, this module also covers how to manage performance and coach for growth. Scholars also examine their organization’s culture and assess its capability to drive growth.
Understanding your customers’ needs is central to a strong marketing and sales effort. Module six focuses on understanding customers’ needs, target markets, and the competition. We will study the fundamentals of sales and marketing, as well as discuss how to develop and execute an effective marketing plan. This highly interactive module also includes exercises to help scholars prepare and deliver a sales pitch.
Processes are central to everything a business does. In this module, participants will evaluate their current operational processes, including workflow and logistics, to better understand key components of their business’s operations. This also gives scholars an opportunity to identify operational issues that can inhibit growth. Scholars also learn how to empower employees to take responsibility for certain processes within operations.
In this module, we review the different types of financing available to small businesses. Scholars will gain an understand of which funding sources are most appropriate for their business. We discuss the importance of maintaining strong relationships with local financing institutions and help participants become more “bankable.” In addition to examining the intricacies of raising capital, scholars will develop a financial forecast and use comparable analysis to value their business.
During the final session of the 10,000 Small Businesses curriculum, participants will come back together in person and have the opportunity to present their growth plans. After their presentation, they receive feedback from their business advisors and peers as they prepare to implement their strategies. In this session, we discuss the role of external business advisors (e.g., mentors, consultants, advisory boards) and introduce the 10,000 Small Businesses alumni program . Because many small businesses encounter external barriers to their growth, this module also teaches participants how to be effective and compelling advocates for small business in their communities. We will also revisit possible exit strategies and provide guidance on how to choose among them and execute an exit strategy.
Clinic: You Are the LenderThis clinic allows scholars to take a step into the lender's shoes to evaluate small business loan applications. We will show participants the red flags that lenders look for, as well help them prepare the necessary numbers and documents needed for a loan application. The clinic will also include a panel session with local lenders to answer specific small business questions.Clinic: NegotiationsKnowing when to stand your ground and when to budge can make a good deal, a great deal. In this clinic, scholars learn the dynamics of negotiation and develop effective strategies to create value though collaboration.
Clinic: You Are the LenderThis clinic allows scholars to take a step into the lender's shoes to evaluate small business loan applications. We will show participants the red flags that lenders look for, as well help them prepare the necessary numbers and documents needed for a loan application. The clinic will also include a panel session with local lenders to answer specific small business questions.
Clinic: NegotiationsKnowing when to stand your ground and when to budge can make a good deal, a great deal. In this clinic, scholars learn the dynamics of negotiation and develop effective strategies to create value though collaboration.
Ready to take your business to the next level?