Business & Entrepreneurship Fundamentals | Seattle


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


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.


  • 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

We take an ideas-driven critical thinking approach to our entrepreneurship course to explore other creative businesses such as studio practices, design firms or launching startups.


Fridays, 9:00am – 11:00am / $399
Summer: June 7 – July 12, 2019

Fridays, 11:30am – 1:30pm / $599
Fall: September 27 – November 1, 2019

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