Mini-MBA™: Entrepreneurship - Curriculum

Preparing and Pitching for Successful Business Ownership

This module develops a framework for understanding the entrepreneurial process. Here we explore the challenges, problems, and issues faced by entrepreneurs who start new businesses. During the course students will learn to identify and evaluate business opportunities, develop business concepts, assess and obtain the required resources, market themselves, negotiate, and write a business plan. Forms of business ownership (LLCs, Corporations, etc.), fundamental entrepreneurial questions, critical risks, as well as business plan best practices will be covered here.

 

Analyzing Market Opportunities

This module will include:

  • Discussion of how to do an industry overview and Analysis    
  • Porter, and PEST analysis – links to cash flow and risk    
  • Examination of the industry supply-chain structure    
  • Google search for existing products in the product market space    
  • Advanced search techniques    
  • Understanding the key drivers of Gross Margin and Profitability    
  • Understanding the key industry success factors, and supply-chain bottle necks    
  • Industry trends and product market strategies

 

Valuing and Funding Your Enterprise

This module presents a framework for understanding how to raise capital for the new enterprise. Students will learn the basics of fundraising, skills to obtain funds and an overview of various fundraising process. We cover the emerging market of Crowdfunding, the various platforms and unique aspects of crowdfunding planning and pitching.

Topics include:

  • An Overview of Financing Options: Self funding, angel investors, venture capitalists    
  • Determining Company Value: Discounted cash flow, implied value, pre and post money determinations    
  • Crowdfunding: When to use Donation/Rewards and when to seek Equity; Crowdfunding appeals – beyond Return on Investment    
  • A New Phased Capital Raise Structure and the 5 Steps    
  • Pitching Investors and knowing what investors want to hear

 

Agile Marketing

Entrepreneurs typically hate planning, so why tediously plan your marketing when you don't even know what will work? You know that you need to pivot in your business to find success, so why not your marketing, too? Agile marketing gives you the path to success in digital marketing through experimentation and course correction, rather than boring strategizing leading up to a “big bang” launch of a very risky endeavor. One of my books, Do It Wrong Quickly, epitomizes this approach, because one of the difficulties of adopting agile marketing is the need to admit that most of what we do is actually wrong—it’s not the best, it’s not optimized, and sometimes it is not even good. But it is a start. And if you have a feedback loop that tells you how far off you are from success, you’ll eventually home in on an approach that is working. No entrepreneur can make any money without getting attention for their product or service. Learn how to be entrepreneurial as you do it.

Topics include:

  • Digital Marketing best practices: Keywords,  PPC  & Banner advertising,  Google, Bing & Yahoo, Search Engine Optimization (SEO)    
  • How to successful leverage social media to grow your business: Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, Slideshare, Blogs; What to do and not do

 

Business Law

Highlights from business law topics such as:

  • Choice of Entity: The pros and cons of the various types of entity structures through which to operate a business    
  • Business Liabilities: The various types of liabilities a business owner may encounter in running a business and what to do about them    
  • Intellectual Property: The basics of intellectual property law, including patents, trademarks and copyrights and how these rights can help grow a business    
  • Contract: The importance of contracts, how they are formed and a basic understanding of the most critical provisions   
  • Employment Law: the basic dos and don’ts in developing a firm’s human capital   
  • Bankruptcy: Chapters 7, 11 and 13 Bankruptcies and what they mean to a business owner

 

Financial Statement Analysis

Topics include understanding the balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statement and learning how these three statements are interconnected and the idiosyncrasies common to each. The concept of book value versus market value will also be introduced as it relates to the financial statement analysis.

In this module, you'll learn:

  • Direct marketing and how it is applied to digital marketing    
  • The steps to purchase, online and offline    
  • Measuring the value of your marketing    
  • Testing your way to success    
  • Defining your action plan 

 

Idea or Opportunity

There is a huge difference between an idea and an opportunity. What is the business model? Who is the customer? Is there a long run, sustainable comparative advantage? What drives EBITDA in an industry? Forecasting price. Many businesses fail because they are founded on ideas and not opportunities. How can you tell the difference? I’m going to put some structure on it for you.

 

Negotiation

This session will be a high-level session on negotiation strategy. It examines the importance of negotiating the relationship as well as terms, and allows the participants to link business strategy to negotiated outcomes.

 

Performance Selling

You are in the sales business. No matter what you do or what you think you do, you are in the business of marketing and selling. Without sales, no business can survive. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs don’t get this and do not fully understand how to effectively market and sell their products and services. This class covers the fundamentals of sales including effective strategies and tactics that work in any business to encourage buyers to take action.