Birds Eye Business Planning Classes
The Foundations Business Planning Class helps aspiring entrepreneurs and existing business owners to create comprehensive business plans in order to start-up, expand, or enhance their businesses.
In 18 hours over 6 weekly sessions, participants will gain a clear aerial perspective of their business operations, financials, research and development, and marketing strategies. They will leave the course with a comprehensive business plan, a clear vision for their business, and concrete tasks for future work.
- Week 1: Gaining Perspective: We start by viewing our business concepts from a high altitude, in order to define our visions and get a good look at the main topics to be addressed.
- Week 2: Laying the Foundation: Next, we return to the ground level to define our lines of business and analyze financial essentials, from overhead costs to break-even points.
- Week 3: Getting into the Flow: In the third session, we’ll cover the financial bases of cash flow, sales forecasting, and financial documents.
- Week 4: Mission & Markets: Then, we’ll revisit our mission, discuss market research, and identify competitors in order to align with our target markets.
- Week 5: Get the Word Out: Next, we’ll discuss creative marketing strategies and give peer feedback on marketing materials.
- Week 6: Goodbye & Good Luck: Finally, we’ll present our business plans, share final pitches, and plan for next steps.
Throughout the class, emphasis will be placed on developing the social capital of the group. Participants will be encouraged to gather feedback from their peers, creating a strong network of deep support and synergy.
Birds Eye Foundations Business Planning Courses are offered in the Asheville Area by Mountain BizWorks. For more information and to see upcoming classes, check out the course schedule.
Ascent Business Network delivers the Foundations Business Planning Course in the High Country. To sign up for courses in the Boone, N.C., area, visit their website.
Birds Eye Alpine
At Birds Eye Business Planning & Adventures, we recognize that the business planning process doesn’t stop when the doors open. Often we are welcoming past Foundations course participants back into this business planning course once they have actual numbers and market feedback to work with. Many say that the concepts stick better the second time around. So, we have now designed a course specifically for existing entrepreneurs, Birds Eye Alpine.
This course may be for you if you any of these questions resonate with you:
- Have you been so caught up in the day-to-day that you have lost sight of the big picture and feel like the business is running you more than you running the business?
- Do you have a new idea that you would like to put through a business planning process while also considering how it fits into the larger business?
- Are you sitting at a crossroads, considering whether to scale up or scale back and need to think through the implications of either route?
- Do you need accountability and support to actually work on your business amidst running your business and know you could benefit from receiving feedback from peers in a confidential environment?
The Alpine course gives you the opportunity to assess how things have been going up to this point, while also visioning for the future. This process will reconnect you to the “why” of your venture and help create in-roads to meeting both your short and long term goals.
Birds Eye Alpine is a six week course offered within a peer-to-peer learning environment. It is coupled with one-on-one coaching support to address challenges and opportunities directly related to your venture. This course also provides the opportunity to determine if and when to scale your business model and can serve as an excellent precursor to the Mountain BizWorks Scale Up program.
Week 1: The focus this week is on regaining perspective of your venture today, your mission and vision, and what your goals are for this course and for the future. It is also a chance to get to know your fellow cohort members and begin learning from their entrepreneurial endeavors. We will focus on what is emerging for each participant and how we can support around these challenges and opportunities throughout the course.
Weeks 2 and 3: During these sessions we focus on the numbers and the stories that they tell. In Week 2, we will interpret key financial statements and look closely at each line of business within the venture in relation to units of sale, break-even points, and profit and sales goals. During Week 3, we will utilize Birds Eye Financial Tools to create cash flow projections for the future based on new ideas or opportunities surfacing within the business.
Weeks 4 and 5: We focus on the marketing efforts to date: how is the venture generating awareness about its products and services and gaining feedback from its audiences? During Week 4 we will review all current marketing materials and revisit core concepts of creating a strong brand identity while gaining feedback from peers. During Week 5 we will brainstorm and create new ideas and pathways for connecting with our clients and customers.
Week 6: Week 6 provides the setting for final presentations of participant’s action plans for moving forward, with time left for a potluck celebration and final reflections.
During weekly focus sessions, each participant will have an opportunity to harness the group’s honest feedback on the portions of their venture that could benefit from critical attention. Focus sessions start week 2 and will feature 2-3 entrepreneurs each week.
To find out about upcoming Alpine Business Planning courses, view the course schedule at Mountain BizWorks.
Small businesses, and the organizations that support them, are an essential part of the economic landscape. At Birds Eye, we recognize and understand both the power held within small business communities as well as the struggles they face. To bring the Birds Eye Business Planning Classes to your organization, visit our Canopy Licensing Page
“This class has given me the confidence to go for it in my business plan, but it has also given me a new way to look at life in general. Reminded me to take small steps towards realizing buig ideas. That all things in life: relationships, big decisions, creative endeavors, what not - this class has slowed me down and reminded me to work in small steps, while keeping priciples in mind.”–Jenny Lucak, Birds Eye class participant winter 2015
“Having the tools and understanding how to use them has been the biggest advantage for me. Knowing how to calculate profit margins, gross profits, and break even points is something I know will help me in any business.”–Justin Mashburn, Birds Eye class participant fall 2015
“The Birds Eye Business Planning class not only gave me the necessary tools (finance, planning, etc.) to envision & create my business, but also the confidence to take myself seriously as an entrepreneur. As the sole owner of my business, I feel like I have someone else on my team, and that is so valuable.”–Jess Epsten, Birds Eye class participant spring 2016