The Financial Crisis and Small Business in the Classroom – Part 4

October 29, 2008 at 5:37 pm 5 comments

This is the last of a 4-part series on the financial crisis, small business, and exercises that can be used to teach about the importance of both of these topics.  This series is based on specific takeaways from SBA Acting Administrator Sandy Baruah.  See post #1post #2, and post #3.

VIDEO – SBA Chief on Small Business and the Financial Crisis

The topic for today: Business Planning

Business planning is a popular topic in business schools and entrepreneur-inhabited garages, basements, and corporate boardrooms across the world. Why is it particularly important now? In discussing how to address the challenge of obtaining credit, Baruah suggests the number one thing a business owner should do is provide a solid business plan. Show sound thinking behind your business and the approach to your market.

Suggested Exercises:

Level A: Lead an overview discussion in class about the importance of business planning.  Without any background or research, just using common sense, what might students want to see in a business plan if they were an investor or banker? (Next: Compare answers to business plan template from “Level B”).

Level B: Engage students in an EITC business plan exercise discussion (3-3)and, as an even more advanced step, allow students to build their own business plan (3-4).  Reference: Business planning: Module 3, Slides 4 to 43. (EITC free curriculum):

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5 Comments Add your own

  • [...] Professional Finance Article Site: On this site, you can find all the related finance articles. You … wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptThis is the last of a 4-part series on the financial crisis, small business, and exercises that can be used to teach about the importance of both of these topics.  This series is based on specific takeaways from SBA Acting Administrator Sandy Baruah.  See post #1,  post #2, and post #3. [...]

    Reply
    • 2. kathykormanfrey  |  March 4, 2009 at 1:30 pm

      Dear Credit Crunch – thanks for the direct link

      Reply
  • 3. zaggededge  |  October 29, 2008 at 11:36 pm

    There’s been a lot of talk lately about the Irrelevant Business plan. I think it’s highly critical to be able to express your ideas but it seems there are better ways out there. This article talks about it on Mind Frenzy http://mindfrenzy.com/mindfrenzyblog/?p=92

    Reply
    • 4. kathykormanfrey  |  March 4, 2009 at 1:29 pm

      Zagged Edge – you know we love you, but, there is pretty decent research that shows doing a business plan does enhance a business’s chance of success. However, let’s look into that a bit. It is CLEARLY the team behind the plan, all coming together, with a unified view, that is one factor in the success. Not the plan itself, but the PROCESS. Also, the business plan is the “bad guy.” It makes sure you know your market, and your numbers, and your competitors, and the “deal” you are offering your investors, and the attractiveness of your team. It makes you do things you might not normally do, like my mean trainer Jenny at the gym who I love/hate. So – while we ALL KNOW it’s about the people, people, people – at a certain point those people need to come together, get their ducks in a row, and sell. To me – that’s what a business plan is about. It’s not the document itself.

      Reply

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