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BBE Summer 2016 Syllabus


We will welcome everyone to class. Introductions and overview of the class expectations. We will discuss the Entrepreneurial Journey. We will go over software tools to be used in the class. Discussions will include topics such as Visual Thinking, Design Thinking, Entrepreneurism and business plan development. Participants will introduce their business idea.

Class Time


Introduce Yourself

  • Name
  • Background
  • One Interesting Thing

Class Overview


  • Safe Environment
  • Respect for Everyone
  • This is a facilitated class, not a lecture series


  • Review
  • Live Document

Business Planning Overview

  • The Entrepreneurial Journey
  • Why do we plan?


  • Class Gingko Site
  • PitchThenPlan
  • Financial Worksheet
  • HP Life
  • Speakers

Idea Development

Visual Thinking

  • Look
  • See
  • Imagine
  • Show


Design Thinking

  • Examine/Empathize
  • Understand/Define
  • Ideate
  • Experiment/Prototype
  • Distil/Test

View Point

  • Desirability
  • Feasibility
  • Viability

Lab Time

Software Introduction

  • Gingko
  • Pitch then Plan
  • Financial Worksheet
  • HP Life
  • Small Biz U


Start work on “The Idea” in Pitch then Plan and be ready to talk about it in detail for the next class.



This week we want to look hard at the business idea and try to define what the business is going to be. We want to make sure that we can be confident that the business has an opportunity for success. Risk will be considered in the start of a business. Market research resources and techniques will be discussed.

Class Time

Homework Review

Business Idea Introductions

Discuss Your Idea and Get Feedback on your Idea

The Idea

Talk about the opportunity you have discovered and the big idea you have for the business.

All good ideas share at least one of three goals:

  • They make life for the customer easier. (efficiency)
  • They make life for the customer better. (effectiveness)
  • They allow the customer to do new things. (innovation)

Desirability, Feasibility, Viability

Basic questions about the business:

  • Is there some desire for the product/service?
  • Can I produce the product or provide the service?
  • How many people/businesses want what I have to offer and be willing to pay a sustainable amount for it?


  • Profit = Total Revenue (sales) - Costs
  • Revenue = how many did I sell times the unit price
  • Costs = what did each unit cost + what is my “overhead”

Market Research

Tools to help keep track of research:

The Industry

Business Model

How does your company make money?

  • Business Model Canvas

Lab Time

Industry Research

Take some time in the lab to look at the industry and see what you can learn about it. Make notes and put in your “Industry” section in Pitch then Plan.


  • Conduct some preliminary market research on the industry - use one or more of the tools to inform yourself about your market.
  • Do a basic Viability calculation - How much/many do you have to sell to make money considering your costs. Use guesstimate numbers.
  • Start writing in the Business Model Section.


Week 3 - 5/17/2016


We will delve into more about how the business is going to work this week. Questions will include: How is your business going to make money? Why does your business exist? What are your products and services? We will work on answering these questions and more to make sure this can be a sustainable enterprise.

Class Time

The Business Model

  • A business model describes the purpose of the business and how it makes money.
  • Talk about the timeless reason why your business should exist beyond just making money.
  • Complete this sentence, “The purpose of our business is to…”
  • Talk about how you make money and how you deliver your idea to the customer.


Funding is difficult to come by for start-ups. We will discuss the Dollars for Dreams Micro Loan program. Pricing of products and services can be difficult to determine. Eric Marcus of the Sustainable Economic Development Initiative will discuss pricing strategy.


Eric Markus

  • Dollars for Dreams
  • Pricing Strategies
  • Handouts

Revenue Streams

This building block elaborates the earnings a business gets by subtracting the costs from the revenue generated from each customer segment. Where customers are generally considered the heart of the business, revenues are automatically likened to the arteries. Organizations must evaluate the worth of the value they provide to each customer segment. An accurate evaluation of this worth will result in multiple revenue streams being gained from a single customer segment.

Define the Product or Service

Design Thinking/Human Centered Design

We will take a little time to talk further about Design Thinking. We want you to effectively design your business to be successful and the Design Thinking Tools will help you solve many problems along the way.

The steps are:

  • Examine/Empathize
  • Understand/Define
  • Ideate
  • Experiment/Prototype
  • Distil/Test

Value Proposition -

Define your product or service specifically

  • What do you do?
  • Where do you do it?
  • When do you do it?
  • How do you do it?

Worksheet -

Lab Time

Presentation by Eric Marcus

Pricing Strategies for your products and services


Continue working on the Business Model, The Product and Pricing sections based on what you learned in class this week. Start working on your “Customer” Section in Pitch then Plan. Be ready to talk about your customers next week.


Week 4 - 5/24/2016 - THE CUSTOMER

This week we will take some time to more precisely define our customer. For this section, talk about the groups of customers that you will target and that will be attracted to your idea. Ask yourself, “Who has my money in their pockets?” Topics will include customer segments, customer relationships and continuing to engage customers.

Class Time


City of Flagstaff Business Support and Research Tools - John Saltonstall, Business Retention and Expansion Manager

Define the Customer

Customer Segments -

Specifically define your customer

  • Demographics
  • Region
  • Industry

Worksheet -



Market research is critical to making sound business decisions. Conducting a market research survey will help you better understand your target audience so that you can increase leads, sales, customer awareness, and retention.

Insight on how your product or service is perceived compared to your competitors will help you determine the direction you need to take to improve and grow your business.

Customer Releationships

This building block dictates the nature of the relationships that an organization will develop with its various customer segments. A company could choose to communicate with its customers through people or automated means. The customer relationships that an organization opts for are based on the company’s business model and greatly impact the overall customer experience.

  • Ask yourself, “Who has my money in their pockets?”
  • Talk about the groups of customers that will be attracted to your idea.
  • Who do we serve?
  • What do we know about them?

Lab Time

Research, working on plan, John Saltonstall’s presentation.


Continue working on your Customer section, Market Research Section and Sales Forecast. Start working on the Competition.


Week 5 - 5/31/2016 - THE COMPETITION

The Competition

Competition is this week’s topic. We will look around in the market and see who we are going against both directly and indirectly. It is very rare that you have no competition. If you don’t, make sure there is a market for what you are doing. Take a look at what your competition does well and what they do not do well. Are they serving the whole market or are there segments that you can go after.

Class Time

Talk about the three to four main competitors trying to win your customers.

  • Never dismiss the competition. Everyone wants to hear why your good, not why the competition is bad.
  • Talk about the story each competitor tells and then talk about how your story is either different or more important.


  • Who else is doing this?
  • Are they doing it well?
  • Who are their customers?

Lab Time

Progress Review

  • Where are you at?
  • Discuss plans
  • Work on research
  • Review/Retrace


The Message

This is where things get a bit more fun. Start working on “The Message”. This is where we get to do some marketing and branding.


Week 6 - 6/7/2016 - THE MESSAGE

Every successful business has a message that is the basis for all of the branding and marketing. Who are you as a business? What do you mean to your customers? What is your story? We will spend our time this week building your brand in preparation for developing your marketing. Logos, taglines, copy, colors and branding look will be discussed.

Class Time

  • Talk about the message you will deliver to your customers.
  • Messages that are made to stick are simple, unexpected, concrete, credible, emotional, stories.
  • A great message is like a great story only in miniature.

Lab Time

Work on Message for discussion in 2nd half of class.


Work on your plan

Continue on each section - work on your message. Tell your story.


Week 7 - 6/14/2016 - THE SALES APPROACH

Knowing your market is important to your business. This week we will be discussing the environment surrounding your business and how it will affect your sales. This week we will dive further into branding and marketing. We will also start to work on our sales forecast. Marketing your business is something that needs to be done well and done all of the time. We will continue our marketing discussions with a speaker who does marketing for companies.

Class Time


  • What will social media and digital marketing mean to your business?

The Plan


This building block defines how an organization communicates with and provides value to its chosen customer segment. Channels are the touch points through which an organization liaises with its customers and as such, play a huge role in defining the customer experience. Channels can be categorized as marketing, sales or distribution channels.

Key Partners

A business partnership is when two commercial entities form an alliance, which may either be a really loose relationship where both entities retain their independence and are at liberty to form more partnerships or an exclusive contract which limits the two companies to only that one relationship.

Lab Time


  • Download the Financial Plan and begin to work on Sales Forecast.
  • Continue to work on narrative in business plan section.
  • Send draft of plan to Bret.


Week 8 - 6/21/2016 - THE INNER WORKINGS

This week’s topic – how is your business going to operate? Will you have employees? Will you have contractors? If you make things, how does that happen? If you have service teams, how do you schedule them? Where do your products, resources and supplies come from? Who does what? These will all be discussed and worked on this week.

Class Time

Presentation: Joe Bodin - Web Designer.

Talk about the work you do and how you make things.
Talk about:

  • People: How many? What skills? Full-time or part-time? Salaried or hourly? Pay ranges? Roles and responsibilities?
  • Places: What kinds of facilities do you require to get your work done?
  • Things: What kinds of machinery, equipment, furniture, or fixtures do you need?
  • Time: How long does it take to complete an order? What are your hours of operation?
  • The Location -

Lab Time

The Plan

  • The Inner Workings

The Financial Plan

  • Start Up
  • Salaries and Wages
  • Fixed Operating Expenses


Work on your plan and spreadsheet. Please send me a current draft of your plan and spreadsheet by the end of Sunday.


Week 9 - 6/28/2016 - THE MANAGEMENT TEAM

This week we will be talking about who will be running the show. Are you best suited to run your own company or would someone else be better? If you are looking for investment, your management team will be extremely important to your investors. This discussion also includes high level support people such as accountants, lawyers and marketing professionals.

Class Time

Talk about the key players who will manage your business.

  • Talk about any board of directors, advisory boards, consultants, or major investors that you may use in rounding out your management team.
  • Talk about any professionals like lawyers, accountants, bankers, or insurance agents that will assist you in running the business.

Understanding the most advantageous legal structure, the need for insurance, salaries and wages and required start-up funds all impact your business from the start. This week will will discuss LLCs, Sole Proprietorship, liability insurance, hiring employees and start-up funding.


Personal Finance and how it fits with business finance.

Risk Management

Required Start-Up Funds

Lab Time

Financial Plan

  • Work on costs in the financial spreadsheet


Write, write, write, spreadsheet! I need to see your drafts - keep it going!


Week 10 - 7/5/2016 - THE MONEY FORECAST

Many businesses fail because they don’t understand the accounting and financial side of their business. This week we will spend some time with a local CPA and talk about how accounting works for your business. We will also get deeper into our numbers on our forecast.

Class Time

Talk about how much money you need to get started. At this stage, list the major categories of start-up costs and estimate their amount.

  • Talk about the money you expect to take in during the first year. Show how you came up with that number (units times prices).
  • Talk about the money you expect to spend out during the first year. Think about people, product costs, space, equipment, etc.
  • How much is left over?

Business Finance

  • The class will have a discussion of business finance and accounting.

Lab Time

Financial Plan

  • Review of financial spreadsheet for plan. Work on financial plan in lab hour.


Continue working through the Pitch Then Plan sections. Also continue to develop the financial spreadsheet. Turn in drafts by Sunday night.


Week 11 - 7/12/2016 - THE NEXT STEPS

So, now what? We have a plan pretty well complete by this time. We will talk about launching the business and the steps it will take.

This week is also about getting things ready for presentation and finishing the plan. We will have lab time, answer questions and get you ready for next week.

Class Time

Talk about the next five to ten steps that need to be completed in the next 90 days to consider yourself a success. Attach dates to each step.

  • Talk about the two or three big things that you want to accomplish in the next 2-3 years to consider yourself a success.

Lab Time



Week 12 - 7/19/2016 - PRESENTATIONS

This week is all about you talking about your business. You will have 10 minutes to present your plan and will have the opportunity to get feedback from the group.