WELCOME TO PROTOTYPE'S START-A-BIZ TRAINING! 

START-A-BIZ: BUSINESS STARTUP TOPICS

Fridays are START-A-BIZ days at Prototype. We’re presenting 4 business startup topics, with an instructor-guided lab included in the price. Each class includes 2 hours of instruction, followed by a self-paced hour to work on your own business startup. Since each session is “standalone,” you can come to any or all, according to your interest and need.

 

The price per session is $150 (includes the lab), or $495 if you sign up for all four sessions at once. As with all Prototype workshops, the sessions include in-class exercises and discussion, resource lists, and take-home materials.

 

Click the REGISTER button below to access the registration page; click the PDF icon to access a calendar showing all available sessions.

 

 

Shaping Your Business (setting goals)

 

When you start a business, you’re making a commitment to something outside of yourself, an alter-ego of sorts. Now there are two of you: You, and your business. The question is, what do you want from this relationship, and how do you want your business to impact you? (Not to mention, your family, your finances, your lifestyle, and your overall career.)

 

In this session we’ll explore how to keep you in the driver’s seat from the beginning, so your business doesn’t become the 800 lb. gorilla in your life. Topics include:

 

-Evaluating personal, financial, family and career goals related to your business idea

 

-Identifying the best form for your business: sole proprietor, partnership, LLC, etc.

 

-Deciding the business lifespan – Is this a long-term business to be passed on to family members? An interim business to help you make the leap to another level in your career? An intermittent business that provides income now and then? A lifestyle business that lets you achieve other goals, such as travel or working from home?

 

After the 2-hour session, stay on for the one-hour lab (included in the session price) to work on your own business planning process. Bring your laptop or notebook – we’ll supply the coffee and wifi!

Making Money $$ (pricing your products and services)

 

Most business owners expect to earn part or all of their living from their effort. To do so requires more than hard work – it demands a plan based on multiple factors. In this session we’ll discuss key elements for setting the price of your service or product, including:

 

-competitive analysis

-labor and overhead inputs, and/or cost of goods sold

-your desired income from the business

-basic formulas for setting rates

-setting take-home expectations for the 1st year

-cash-flow strategies for when the cash isn’t actually flowing

After the 2-hour session, stay on for the one-hour lab (included in the session price) to work on your own business planning process. Bring your laptop or notebook – we’ll supply the coffee and wifi!

 

Reaching Your Customers (marketing and sales)

 

You may have a great idea or service, but does anyone else know that? Marketing and sales is so much more than publicizing your business – although that does matter. But first you need to define your customers and identify how to reach them with your message. In this session you’ll learn about:

 

-Understanding the difference between the buyer and the end-user

 

-Determining your customer volume-vs-retention set point

 

-Identifying your marketing and sales tools, including social media, referrals, leads, pricing strategies, etc.

-Creating your pitch (hint: what problem are you solving?)

-Selling to your first customer

After the 2-hour session, stay on for the one-hour lab (included in the session price) to work on your own business planning process. Bring your laptop or notebook – we’ll supply the coffee and wifi!

Pulling It All Together (a 6-month launch timeline)

How will you know when it’s time to launch your business? For that matter, are you going to have a “soft” launch, serving just one customer to see how it goes? Or a major leap into the water, with a marketing rollout or grand event? However you make the actual launch, you’ll feel more in control if you’ve created a timeline to predict and track steps, expenses and outreach. In this session, we’ll discuss plans for:

 

-The 3 months before launch, including weekly to-do lists customized to your business

-The launch itself

-The 3 months after the launch, including steps to track and troubleshoot your progress

-A one-year timeline to help with cash flow and budgeting

 

After the 2-hour session, stay on for the one-hour lab (included in the session price) to work on your own business planning process. Bring your laptop or notebook – we’ll supply the coffee and wifi!

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR

Amy Lindgren, founder and president of Prototype Career Service has owned and operated 8 businesses, including a home-cleaning service (1 year), a house-painting/bathroom tiling service (1 year), rental properties (5+ years), two publishing imprints (20+ years), a freelance writing and teaching business (30+ years), an executive-lodging facility (2 years) and a career strategies firm (Prototype, since 1985). She also helped initiate and then manage an outstate conference center as an employee of a local university (3 years).

 

Amy is an experienced business operator and career counselor who understands the importance of synching business and lifestyle goals, while staying tuned to the bottom line, industry trends, and customers’ needs. Through Prototype Career Service, she has counseled dozens of clients in the process of starting or revising their businesses.