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The CORE FOUR Business Planning Course®

Table of Contents

CORE 1: Success Planning

I Am an Entrepreneur
Define Your Business, Your Dream
How do you define your business?
Case Study
The Nightmare: Mike the Mechanic
What Are The Characteristics Of A Successful Business Owner?
Know Yourself and What You Need
Capitalize on your strengths
Business Owner Resume
WORKSHEET – Business Owner Resume
Compensate for your weaknesses
WORKSHEET – Professional Development Plan
What Do You Want Your Business To Do For You?
What is a personal financial goal?
How to set personal financial goals
Owner draw
What is a business failure?
WORKSHEET – Personal Income and Expenses (Monthly)
What do you have to use or to lose?
WORKSHEET – Personal Financial Statement
Your Credit Report
How to get your credit report
How Will Your Life Change?
WORKSHEET – What do you want to do? What don’t you want to do?
Contingency Planning
“When” Instead Of “If”
Business Planning
Why write a business plan?
Due diligence
How other people look at your business plan
Sample Business Readiness Assessment Checklist
Business Plan Outline

CORE 2: Market Planning

The Master Plan   
Market Planning   
What is marketing?   
What is a marketing plan?   
What does the successful marketing plan focus on?   
Have you ever prepared a marketing plan?
How do you build a marketing plan?   
Identify your niche  your market position   
Create an appealing image/package   
Develop a promotional plan   
Price your products/services
Sell your products/services
Identify Your Products or Services
What do you sell? What do customers buy?   
What is a feature?   
What is a benefit?   
Benefits – People Want or Need to:
WORKSHEET – Features and Benefits   
Identify Your Distribution Process   
What are your choices of distribution?
What should you consider before choosing your distribution method?   
WORKSHEET – Distribution   
Market Research: Industry, Customers and Competition   
What types of market research should you do?   
Market Research Chart   
Market Research Sources   
WORKSHEET – Market Research   
QUESTIONNAIRE – For Interviewing a Business Owner   
Identify Your Industry   
WORKSHEET – Industry
Section A – Individual Customers   
WORKSHEET – Individual Customer Needs Survey   
WORKSHEET – Individual Customer Profile   
Section B – Commercial/Industrial Customers
WORKSHEET – Commercial/Industrial Customer Profile
Section C – Existing businesses – customer profile   
WORKSHEET – Individual Customer Satisfaction Survey   
WORKSHEET – Commercial/Industrial Customer Satisfaction Survey   
Identify Your Competition   
Who are your competitors?
WORKSHEET – Competitive Analysis   
Competitor Evaluation Criteria   
WORKSHEET – Competitor Evaluation 1   
WORKSHEET – Competitor Evaluation 2   
Position Your Products/Services   
Find your market niche   
Rate your competitive evaluations
Prepare a Competitor Evaluation Worksheet for your business   
Example – Competitive Analysis Chart – Flower Shops   
Example – Marketplace Position – Flower Shops Part 1
Example – Marketplace Position Worksheet – Flower Shops Part 2   
WORKSHEET – Competitor Evaluation Summary   
WORKSHEET – Market Position   
Create an Appealing Image/Package
What is packaging?   
Why is packaging so important?   
What types of packaging issues should you address?   
WORKSHEET – Location   
WORKSHEET – Image/Packaging/Signage   
Create A Marketing Plan   
Why do customers buy? What’s in it for them?   
How do you use benefits to motivate customers?   
Motivation Chart   
What are the three basic objectives when promoting your product?   
Advertising, Marketing, Promotion – What’s the difference?   
What is Marketing?   
What is Advertising?   
What is Promotion?   
How much should you spend on Marketing? (Promotion, Advertising, Etc)   
Where, when and how often?
Marketing options
Types of paid advertising
Low cost marketing ideas
E-Commerce and Your Website   
Marketing Your Website   
WORKSHEET – Marketing Plan   
Example – Marketing Plan   
WORKSHEET – Create Your Marketing Plan   
Pricing Your Products or Services   
What should you consider when pricing your products or services?   
Basic Pricing Formula   
What are variable costs?
What are fixed costs?   
What are value costs?   
WORKSHEET – Pricing:  Identify Your Cost Types   
Direct Selling: The Sales Presentation   
Who will you be selling to?   
How do you feel about selling your products or services?   
Example – Sales Presentation   
How can you be more successful at selling?
WORKSHEET – Creating Your Sales Presentation   
Build Your Marketing Plan   
How do you build your marketing plan?   
What do you do now that your marketing plan is done?

CORE 3: Cash Flow Planning

Figure It Out!   
Cash Flow Planning   
What is cash flow?
What is a cash flow plan?   
What does the successful cash flow plan focus on?   
Why do cash flow planning?   
Business Financial Goals   
Primary business financial goals   
How to set business financial goals   
How Do You Create A Cash Flow Plan?   
Go Figure!   
Basic cash flow planning steps   
Think, research, analyze, calculate, decide   
Summarize your assumptions:   
Record the results on your cash flow foRM   
Then ask yourself…   
Your cash flow projection is a working tool   
People have friends, Businesses have customers   
People have wants, BusinessES have needs
Assumptions to Your Cash Flow Projections   
Projecting Startup Cash   
What is startup cash?   
Staging Risk   
WORKSHEET – Startup Cash Assumptions   
Projecting Cash for Goods or Services   
What is cash for goods or services?   
WORKSHEET – Cash for Goods or Services Assumptions   
Projecting Cash for Operations   
What is cash for operations?   
WORKSHEET – Cash for Operations Assumptions   
Projecting Sales   
Key components of sales projections   
Breakeven Method for projecting sales   
How to project sales using the cash breakeven method   
WORKSHEET - Sales to Cash Breakeven   
Cash and Profits are Not the Same   
Calculating profits versus ending cash   
Profit Breakeven versus Cash Breakeven   
Breakeven Analysis   
Cash Breakeven Example: The Pie Bakery and Brilliant Cleaning Service   
Cash Breakeven Worksheet: The Salsa Company   
Sensitivity Analysis   
Projecting Other Sources and Uses of Cash   
How Much Money Do You Need to Start Your Business?
WORKSHEET – Projected Sources and Uses of Funds   
WORKSHEET – Cash Flow Projections

CORE 4: Operations Planning

A problem: is it a crisis or an opportunity?   
Form of Business   
What Does Form of Business Mean?   
Forms Of Business   
How Should You Choose?   
The Partnership Toast   
Prepare a Conflict Resolution Plan
Forms of Business Chart   
Assumed Name
Intellectual Property   
Home-Based Businesses   
Tax Identification Numbers
You are authorized, responsible, and accountable to determine your business responsibilitIes   
Tax Identification Numbers   
Four Principal Types of Identification Numbers
State Tax Identification Number   
Workforce Identification Number   
Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN)   
State Sales and Use Tax ID
About Taxes   
Five Principal Types of Business Taxes   
Business Income Tax   
Self-Employment Tax
Excise Tax   
Employment Taxes   
Federal Income Tax Withholding   
Social Security and Medicare Taxes   
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)   
State Income Tax Withholding   
State Unemployment Tax   
Sales And Use Taxes   
Estimated Taxes   
Depositing Tax payments   
Information Tax Returns   
Licenses and Permits   
Pollution Control Programs   
Issues for Employers   
Types Of Employment Relationships   
Other Employment Issues   
Minimum Wage Requirements   
Overtime Pay Requirements
Workers' Compensation   
Occupational Safety And Health (OSHA)   
Other Considerations   
Employee Manual
Managing Risk   
Types Of Insurance   
General Liability   
Product Liability   
Property Damage   
Workers' Compensation   
Health and Medical   
Disability or Long-Term Income Continuance   
Key Person or Life Insurance   
Business Interruption   
Managing Insurance Costs   
WORKSHEET – Insurance   
Legal and Accounting Professionals   
How To Find An Accountant Or Attorney   
Your Business Bank Account   
How To Shop For MONEY   
Loans and credit line   
Merchant status   
Opening Your Account   
Types of Funding Sources   
Recordkeeping, Bookkeeping and Accounting   
Two Fundamental Rules of Bookkeeping   
Computerized accounting systems   
Why We Keep Records   
Things Your Record keeping System Should Help You Know, Do, or Monitor   
Audit Trail   
What should you consider?   
Keep Your Promises   
Goals, Functions, Policies and Procedures
Policies & PRocedures   
So What?   
An Example of How They All Fit Together   
Customer Service   
Defining Customer Service   
Telephone Etiquette   
Email Etiquette   
Requests for Information   
Repairs and Service   
Internet Ratings   
Cell Phones   
E-mail and Internet   
Computer-Enhanced Equipment   
Business Dress Rehearsal
WORKSHEET – Operations Planning Checklist
What Next?
WORKSHEET – Work Plan Outline
Helpful Website Addresses


Training Schedule


Trainer Certification for Core Four: Business Planning Course

Coming soon via video and web

Please call Maggi Cowlan, 301 891 1558  or

e-mail to reserve a spot.

Web training is $400 per person and includes an Instructor manual and a student manual ($243 value). tube8 spycamera