As a business owner, you will be thinking about the successful operation of your business just about every waking moment of your day. Every successful business requires continuous business planning. A well-crafted plan allows your company to stay on course and have a yardstick against which to measure its progress.

The Think Business Series is comprised of four (two hour) seminar sessions that serve as guidance in developing a business plan, including market research; marketing and sales; operations and startup costs; as well as financials.

Whether you are growing your business, or simply launching a startup, a business plan is a key tool that may provide a significant competitive advantage. A well-written business plan may be utilized to achieve company goals, as well as obtain funding.

Participating in the Think Business Series will help you identify and avoid costly mistakes that may arise in the future. Register today! 

1. Think Business – Market Research

This session will assist you to achieve a candid assessment of your business concept and your market.
You will analyze your industry, competitors and target market customers. It is critical to understand your market so that you can improve and strengthen your business.
You will learn how to conduct both primary and secondary market research so that you can find the answers to the following questions:

• Who will pay you for your product/service?
• How much are they willing to pay for your product/service?
• What are your competitors charging for your product/service?
• How often will your target market purchase your product/service?
• What is your product/service's position in the marketplace?

2. Think Business – Marketing & Sales

This session will help you determine how you will reach your target market and create strategies to promote the business including pricing, product/service presentation, web & social media presence as well as a consistent brand image and messaging. Through this session you will learn how to identify your "ideal customer" through your marketing strategies and help you find the answers to the following questions:

• How are you going to tell people about your product/service?
• What are you going to tell them about your product/service?
• How much will you budget for marketing?
• What marketing strategies will you be using?
• What are your metrics to measure effectiveness?

3. Think Business – Operations & Start Up Costs

This session will help you provide an overview of the "nuts and bolts" of your business.
During this session you will provide details on how and where your business will operate including a breakdown of production costs and risks, as well as human resource considerations and more. Legal issues impacting your business will also require consideration along with the several systems you will have in place for a successful operation. You will want to identify all start up costs associated with your business from the largest piece of equipment to the smallest (A to Z) so that you can find the answers to the following questions:

• From where will your business operate? (Online, Home, Brick & Mortar)?
• Will you be hiring employees or independent contractors?
• What legal issues are concerning to your business?
• How will you fulfill customer orders?
• What administrative/accounting/inventory/POS systems will you be utilizing?
• What costs will you incur to start your business?

4. Think Business – Financials & Wrap Up

This session will help you address the financial numbers of your business. You will learn to provide realistic and detailed financial projections for your business. This includes sales forecasts providing a detailed outline of key sales assumptions and estimates which will allow you to complete both a projected cash flow and income statement. A Break-Even Analysis will assist you to calculate how much you will need to sell to cover your expenses. Through this session you will learn how to forecast projections to determine whether your business model will be profitable and help you find the answers to the following questions:

• Is there a seasonality to your business that will impact your sales projections either positively or negatively?
• What will your monthly expenses be?
• Are your expenses aligned with the fluctuations of your business?
• At what point will your revenues cover your expenditures?

Cost to attend is $100 (plus HST), including materials. 

* Note - The time of these sessions alternate from 2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. or 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. depending on the month. 

Registration Information:

Registration for this series being held in January includes registration for all four sessions: January 9th (2:30 - 4:30), January 16th (2:30 - 4:30), January 23rd (2:30 - 4:30), and January 30th (2:30 - 4:30).

Registration for this series being held in February includes registration for all four sessions: February 6th (5:30 - 7:30), February 13th (5:30 - 7:30), February 20th (5:30 - 7:30), and February 27th (5:30 - 7:30).

NOTE: For your convenience free parking passes will be provided for all four seminar days upon registration.