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Business Ownership Initiative

Page history last edited by Kim Brand 12 years, 1 month ago

A curriculum for the Business Ownership Initiative


  1. Leveraging Internet resources for your business
  2. The truth about borrowing money, financing, taking credit cards, etc.
  3. Free everything: Doing much more with much less
  4. Ratios, Trends and Stupid Stuff - Where the accounting rubber meets the road.
  5. Federal, State & Local Calendars, Forms, Compliance & Agencies that matter
  6. Insurance you don't want but must have
  7. Minimum HR Competence (from interns to non-competes)
  8. Fatal mistakes small businesses make
  9. When, how and why to work with lawyers, CPAs and other high priced professionals
  10. Marketing: Branding, Networking, Elevator Pitches, Selling, CRM, Advertising


More correspondence with Tricia regarding the BOI's Mkt/Sales curriculum: (11/25/2008):


  • The Sales/Marketing Series is called the 'Glacier Series' or somesuch.  The idea being that you're only going to get 10% (or less) of the available material on the subject.
  • There will ALWAYS be a web based syllabus/outline/class notes - maybe video/audio/podcast - of the lecture so students can review later.
  • There will ALWAYS be testing at the end of each session to make sure key points were communicated and absorbed.
  • There will ALWAYS be a detailed bibliography available with web resources - but particularly books and we can/should get input from IMCPL - require every student to get a library card....have them sign up right in class.


And she responded (in part):


"...I fully believe that marketing is art as well as science."


And I said: 


I believe the 'art' is a result of randomness or uncontrolled variables in small sample sizes generally dealt with by small businesses.  It may also be the result of relationship bias in local markets...the influence of charisma, likeability or social connections that lead to sales where the products from multiple vendors are approximately equal.  Small markets are actually not very discriminating in the face of those factors.  That's also what makes scaling to a larger business so difficult for entrepreneurs who have found success in a small market.


Here's my outline for a 2 hr interactive course in Sales/Marketing: notice these are only questions.   This is really half baked but the concept might be close.



  1. What are you selling and why?  What/why do customers buy what you are selling?
  2. What makes you/your product/your service better than the competition?
  3. In a market dominated by 'message frenzy' how will yours stand out?  What is your 'Brand' (promise to deliver.)
  4. How do products and services in your area get sold: direct, on credit?, through distributors, salesmen, telemarketing, etc. (Leads to distribution concepts)
  5. What is your marketing & sales budget?  (See 8 for Cost of Sales concepts)
  6. What does 'success' look like if you totally nailed the sales/marketing thing?  What do you do if you get 0.0001% of that, 0.1%, 10% of that?  How would you know?  (Leads to CRM, concepts of scale, sensitivity analysis, etc.)
  7. How are you going to protect key elements of your brand?  (leads to TM, IP, domain name, etc.)
  8. Is this going to just be you - or are you going to have salesmen, distributors, agents??  How will you find/compensate them?



Must read: 



My course script


BOI Understanding Your Marketing Presentation & Addendum


New ventures for BOI:


     Marketing Professional Services: Lawyers, Accountants, Consultants

     Intellectual Property Concerns for Tech Startups: Patents, Trademarks & Copyrights, Assignments, Secrets

     Financing options: Credit Cards, Loans, Prepayments, Leases, Trade Credit, etc

     Must have CRM - relationships are your primary asset


The 'Entrepreneur Center at BOI' should be:


1. Common infrastructure

2. Bookkeeping service, Banking relationship

3. Mandatory attendance at education events for Entrepreneurs conducted by Entrepreneurs

4. Grades, Bookkeeping Review meetings

5. Personality Testing, Mental Health Screening, Family Counseling


We can start with about anybody: Risk Embracing, Writing Skills, Basic Math, Sales Ability, Vision, Domain Skills


Most important elements of successful entrepreneurship:


1. Enthusiasm

2. Energy

3. Personality

4. Clean

5. Confident

6. Personable

7. Confident

8. Inspiring


A presentation on Tricks & Cues.  (An entrepreneur must give good cues.)


Luck 101: Luck is more important than preparation


Pivot Points that drive curriculum:


  • Indirect selling
  • A/R & Inventory
  • Employees
  • Investors & lenders
  • Family enterprises
  • Web commerce
  • Service industries
  • Manufacturers
  • Regulated businesses
  • Selling by accident no longer works 


Whiteboard image from BOI Curriculum brainstorming session. 


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