Business & Entrepreneurship Fundamentals | Portland

Course Description

Covers the fundamentals of starting and running your own design business that is uniquely tailored to define and meet your personal goals.

Course Overview

In this course, you will create a strategic plan that is based on your unique capabilities and helps you to define and measure your goals culminating in the development and presentation of a business plan for your first year of business.

Course Objectives

  • Develop a detailed understanding of your unique personality type and strengths and how they direct the course of your business
  • Develop a one page strategic plan including core purpose, core values, mission statement, key strategic objectives and financial objectives
  • SMART Goals: Define your personal business objectives and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for measuring your first year
  • Develop your businesses positioning statement including target market, key qualifiers, distinctive offering, compelling reason to buy, and competitive differentiators
  • Develop your marketing communications and demand generation plan
  • Create a sales forecast and plan. Learn how to track and forecast your leads and opportunities and convert leads into revenue.
  • Develop your first-year budget
  • Understand key financial concepts and terms including how to read an income statement, balance sheet and statement of cash flows
  • Develop your business organizational plan including chart of accounts, tax structure, capital structure and organizational plan. Learn practical tools for tracking and measuring your business.
  • Create and present your business plan to your class for final grade and feedback


vintage design      


Mondays, 5:30pm – 7:30pm
Fall: Sept. 25 – Oct. 30, 2017
Winter: Jan. 15 – Feb. 19, 2018
Spring: Apr. 16 – May 21, 2018

Week 1 – Know Thyself

Personality Profile – what drives you and makes you different; what challenges must you overcome and organize for?

Define and document your personal why – defining your core values, core purpose and mission statement

SMART Goals – defining your personal business objectives including financial objectives and how to measure success

Week 2 – Know Your Customer

Defining your target market: who and why?

Defining key qualifiers

Defining your unique offering

Understanding and mapping your buyer’s journey

Differentiation – Why buy from you? Your unique offering and distinct message.

Creating a positioning statement

Week 3 – Reaching Your Potential Customer

Mapping your buyer’s journey to your “breadcrumbs”

Innovative ways to attract potential buyers

Define and develop your communication assets

Create a marketing plan – who, what, when and how much – build your model

Week 4 – Turning Potential Customers into Buyers

Tracking potential customers

Understanding and documenting needs and tying to value

Creating proposals

Overcoming objections

Creating invoices and managing accounts receivable

Creating a sales forecast and model

Week 5 – Plan the Work, Work the Plan

Incorporating Your Sales and Marketing Plan

Organizational plan – choosing your type of company and tax structure

Organizational structure – managing employees and contractors

Chart of accounts –tracking and managing revenue and expenses, what to track and how to track it Income Statement – revenue, expenses, gross margin, overhead, EBITDA and profit

Balance Sheet –understanding investments, loans, depreciation

Managing Cash flow – accounts receivable, deposits, collections, managing returns

Quiz – basic accounting terminology and concepts

Week 6 – Present Your Business Plan

“The starting point of achievement is desire.”