My book consist of 301 pages and 11 chapters filled with case studies and other research as a way to confirm or refute basic core tenets about entrepreneurs and general advice on becoming an entrepreneur.
The first two chapters deal with self-assessment exercises to determine whether the reader/learner has the “Right Stuff” to become an entrepreneur. The subsequent nine chapters follow a sequential order of preparing to become an entrepreneur, as described in the syllabus and curriculum module below including venture selection, marketing, business logistics, business plan preparation and presentation, capital formation, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) fund raising offerings and options and exit strategies.
The book is filled with my personal case studies gathered from my career as an entrepreneur and later as a bank executive-lending money to entrepreneurs and of course teaching the subject as my signature course combined with my research on entrepreneurship in pursuit of my Ph.D., which I have yet to complete. My book may be purchased direct from this site or from Barnes and Noble, Amazon or most retail book sellers in standard book or eBook formats.
You will now be called the “Learner” as in the “Online Distance Learner” education medium concept.
The learner will focus on studying all eight of the above modules, interacting with me via email, phone and ;Skype with a COHORT GROUP working through “GO-TO-MEETING” upon completion of the modules, the learner will then prepare his/her feasibility plan according to their choice of an entrepreneurial venture. The learner will then submit their plan via regular mail or email attached, to me, for a critique of the venture and the plan’s level of proficiency. I will then make recommendations, again via email and/or any of the above medium.. The learner can then revise the plan and resubmit, only once as part of the original cost of the course, otherwise, I will charge on a per hour basis for further assistance in perfecting the plan. This approach will most probably only apply to the learner, who is serious about starting his/her own business and wants to continue the dialogue to actually launch the venture.
FYI: I will only accept a feasibility plan (financial section excluded) not a business plan, which includes a detailed financial section as part of the basic course cost. If a learner wishes to submit a business plan, there would be an extra cost for my review, which will be determined based on the complexity of this section (re: module 5 item 4 for more detail).
Note: All learners must purchase my book titled Entrepreneurial Decision Making before enrolling in this online course. This can be done through this site
CURRICULUM (To develop a knowledge base for the learner to benefit from my own experiences)
IDENTY SEARCH (Chapters I &, II)
Engage in rational cognitive thought in determining his/her career path as an entrepreneur
1. Introduction to the course and the instructor, including student participation and stated objectives 2. Case study analysis
THE RIGHT STUFF (Chapter II)
Time to look into the mirror and see who you are and what makes you unique
1. Self-analysis, character assessment, preparatory to a venture selection, which will include personality match-ups (fitting the right venture with the right personality, interest and skill level)
DEVELOPING THE VENTURE (Chapters II & III)
Be able to match his/her venture with both their inherited and acquired skills for a better fit and a “risk avoidance” analysis
1. Exploring the business opportunities existing in the market place; such as, start-ups-existing businesses and franchises 2. Subdividing the above three categories into specific potential; such as, if a learner wishes to explore a “start-up” then what kind? A dot COM company or a cookie company etc. 3. Making the match fit the venture
LEGAL STRUCTURING (Chapters IV)
Employ my “building block” approach to create and structure an organization as the platform with which to launch the venture
1. A study of the legal definitions of forming a business (proprietorship, S or C corporation et al.) 2. Selecting the right organizational structure/form for each student’s venture (what is the best structure for you)
STRUCTURING THE ORGANIZATION (Chapter V)
Implementing the legal structuring with organizational objectives
1. Deciding whether your medium and long term goals; such as, going public is in your best interest and exploring the alternatives and other options.
ORGANIZATIONAL PLANNING (Chapter VI)
Acquire tactical and strategic skills in organizational planning
1. You have worked very hard assembling all of the components of your company, now it is time to hire and/or appoint a hierarchy beginning with you and then your co-helpers or associates.
2. Who will be President and VP? Who will be in charge of sales or accounting et al?
PREPARATION OF THE BUSINESS/FEASIBILITY PLAN Chapters (VII)
Develop a business/feasibility plan and presentation skills for a successful reception from the various target audiences the entrepreneur will need to address
1. Chronology and review of building a business/feasibility plan 2. Reviewing a business/feasibility plan model 3. Fitting and first draft in class learner editing of their business/feasibility plans preparatory to their presentations (module eight) 4. Note: The difference between a business plan and a feasibility plan is the lack of a financial section inheritant in a feasibility plan vs. a complete financial section on a business plan. We will be preparing a feasibility plan with the option to add a financial section per the information cited below.
MARKETING THE VENTURE (Chapter VIII)
Bring to market their vision, be it product or service (module 6-chapter
1. A study of the basic principles of marketing 2. Matching the most effective marketing approach with the learner’s venture selection (store fronts vs. dot coms for example) 3. Creating a service or product specific marketing plan as part of the whole business/feasibility plan 4. Creating the marketing plan 5. Product pricing 6. Advertising & promotion
CAPITAL FORMATION) (Chapter IX)
Develop a knowledge base to successfully raise capital and explore the many venues available for capital formation
1. Exploring the many sources and the evolution of capital 2. Preparing for the search for capital
PUBLIC FUNDING (INITIAL IPO) (Chapter X)
3. SEC fund raising offering(s), options and descriptions 4. Explaining Capital markets
EXIT STRATEGIES (Chapter XI)
Understand the exit strategies as part of the “risk/reward” effort in building an entrepreneurial venture including potential investors
1. Winding down the business from strength 2. Liquidating the business from weakness 3. Other reasonable options (to acquire or be acquired) 4. Safety nets for investors
PRESENTATION OF THE BUSINESS PLAN (FINAL EXAM)
1. Though not an exam in the literal sense, it is a serious critique 2. The learner can send his/her plan via email attached or regular mail 3. I will then critique the plan as presented and we will then discuss the various aspects and recommend improvements to the plan, which can be re-submitted only once as part of the initial course 4. Note: It is my intention to have a visual critique of the presentation skills of the learner in presenting the plan to intended audiences as I continue to add technologies that will allow this to happen; otherwise if the learner is serious he/she could always video tape a mock presentation and sent it to me for valuation.
FINANCIAL STATEMENT PREPARATION
1. Overview and introduction 2. Review and interpret existing models 3. Design a simple financial plan to fit a feasibility plan thus converting the former into a business plan. 4. Note: This segment is an option that the learner can exercise to enhance their understanding of preparing and presenting a financial plan as part of the feasibility plan, which will then truly become a business plan (re: pricing schedule for details)
FYI My consulting services are available priced on a per project basis or by the hour. Please call me for a quote and/or for questions on my program) (612-715-9217)
This is not an accredited course and will not be accepted by any accredited institution of higher learning. However, this same course, created by me, was fully accredited when I taught it at the accredited universities referenced in my bio (re: about the author)