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Entrepreneurship

Business Accelerator Program -This Fall 2019

The Accelerator Program is for entrepreneurs/business owners who want to take their business to the next level.  NEDCO, SFASU, Angelina SBDC and The Chamber of Commerce provide this program to exisiting business owners of at least 6 months. During the program, business owners will learn about managing finances, attracting customers, customer service, and have the chance to ask successful business owners for advice. Below is the general curriculum for the 6 week program, but the class is subject to change based on students' needs. To sign up: Email nedco@nedco.org to request a registration form, or call 936-559-1255. Registration is free to Chamber members and first 10 registrants! Cost is $25 for non-members. Registration deadline is September 20th, 2019

*Note: These programs are not eligible for college credit. 

 

Week 1 – Orientation, Idea Validation (October 1, 2019)

  • Welcome and introductions – get to know the instructors as well as other participants
  • Review of business plan – where you are with meeting your goals
  • Market validation – where the market growth will come from
  • Customer segments – who is the ideal customer, who is your customer now
  • Develop goals – identify and set strategic goals needed to grow the business

Week 2 – Customer Base (October 8, 2019)

  • How to get, keep and grow your customer base
  • Customer Acquisition - new product, new marketing, price vs quality, how delivered? 
  • Customer Relationships and Retention – what keeps you, what like/dislike?
  • Grow customers -  product upgrades, incentives for referrals
  • Distribution and Marketing – identify which products and customers promise to be most profitable and which markets have the greatest potential for growth
  • Social Media

Week 3 – Meaningful financials and raising capital (October 15th, 2019)

  • How to show real metrics and tie to meaningful financials
  • Where does my money go – analysis of existing expenditures and revenues
  • Identifying leakages
  • Identifying most promising revenue streams
  • Translating customer data to potential revenue
  • Costs and Operating best practices
  • Investor options
  • What must be in place to obtain additional financing through a bank

Week 4 – Building your team (October 21st, 2019)

  • When to make the first hire
  • When to make the first fire
  • When to hire a manager
  • Building a Culture

Week 5 – Graduation (October 29th, 2019)

  • Elevator Pitch – and contest (?)
  • Strategic Growth Plan
  • Graduation

Entrepreneurship Certification Program - Next Class Fall 2020

The Entrepreneurship Certification Program is for people interested in or planning to open a business. NEDCO, SFASU, Angelina SBDC and The Chamber of Commerce combine efforts to help new entrepreneurs navigate the beginning stages of opening a business. During the program, students will learn how to write a business plan, perform an "elevator pitch," apply for loans, and ask questions to business owners who were once in their shoes. Upon completeion, students will received an "Entrepreneurship Certificate." Below is the general curriculum for the 6 week program, but the class is subject to change based on students' needs.

SESSION I: INTRODUCTION 

What is Entrepreneurship? How do I turn my idea into a business?

Local entrepreneurs will tell their story of how they started their business and got on the road to success. You will learn how to get your idea on paper; improve and refine your idea throughout the classes.   If you have multiple ideas, pick one to focus on throughout the class.

SESSION II:  REALITY CHECK 

 You’ll also hear about businesses that didn’t succeed, when to move on, and how to turn failure in to success. You’ll learn to identify the symptoms that lead to adversity and recognize the need to make changes.

SESSION III: CONNECTING THE DOTS 

Learn why you need a business plan, and how to write one. Understand who your customers are, and resources available to help you through the process. You’ll receive materials to help you get started, provided by the SBDC.

SESSION IV:  THE HUMAN FACTOR 

Everything from customers, to employees. You’ll learn about hiring and firing, customer service, training, and human resources. Hear from local entrepreneurs about how they made the jump from being the sole operator to hiring the first employee. 

SESSION V: MONEY MONEY MONEY 

Initial financing, cash flow, accounting. Learn the differences between LLC and a sole proprietorship, and employment versus contract labor.  

SESSION VI: WRAP IT UP

You will learn how to identify your target audience, and which media platform is the best way to target your market.

Give your elevator pitch and receive critique and advice.

Hear from city officials on pre-development and permitting to make the process as easy as possible.