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Female business owner, business planning
SmartSTART Basic & Advanced Workshop Series
Attend our SmartSTART Workshop Series

Are you considering starting your own business?  What is it that you need to know to be successful? Jump-start your business idea with the SCORE SmartSTART Workshop Series with fees as low as $65 for 7 classes! Learn more about the series below.

View Our Workshop Calendar

SmartSTART Workshop Series

1 - Startup Basics

Laptop screen that says, Startup New Business.

Should you start your own business? Or perhaps you are already in business and just want a refresher?

By taking the SmartSTART # 1 class “Should you start your own business?”, you will learn about the advantages and disadvantages of owning your own business, and then focus on exploring your business idea and identifying the key factors that will influence your startup success. This class introduces you to the skills and tools you’ll need to start and run a successful business. The most important goal of this class is to give you enough information so that you will know - - what you don't know. Then you can make further plans to learn what you need to be successful. The tuition fee for this class is $10 and take note that SmartSTART #1 is a prerequisite for taking the SmartSTART Advanced Series # 2 thru #7. Taking the Advanced Series will further hone your business expertise.

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Tuition & Fees

Get the most for your money!

Registration fee for SmartSTART #1 “Should you start your own business?” is $10.

  • This class is a PREREQUISITE for taking the SmartSTART Advanced Series.

Registration fee for the Advanced Series #2 thru #7 is $120.

  • For additional guests involved in the same business, their fee will be $60. 
  • HOWEVER, if you complete:
    • All SmartSTART classes &
    • Complete 3 sessions with your Mentor &
    • Complete a rough draft of your business plan,

If you have a guest and they complete the same prerequisites, they will receive a $35 refund, making their final cost $35

Register for the SmartSTART Advanced Series

Advanced SmartStart Series 2-7 Class Descriptions
  • The Advanced SmartSTART Series requires that the student first complete SmartSTART 1 “Start-Up Basics" before enrolling in the Advanced Series. -
  • Classes 2-6 can be taken individually for $25 each, Register Below:

2 - Components of an Effective Business Plan

Black businessman writing business plan on white board.

This workshop focuses on your business concept and provides step-by-step guidance on how to formulate your Business Plan. This is a two-step process. The first step that we discuss is The Business Model Canvas, which is a strategic management and lean start-up template that a business can use when developing new or documenting existing business models. The second step is to discuss how to transfer the information gained via the Business Model Canvas and place it into the "Formal Business Plan", which is the tool you will use to discuss your business with bankers, lenders & investors.

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3 - How to do Market Research

Hands pointing to charts on table.

The Market Research sessions introduce you to marketing research avenues and tools to maximize your business search. The session will begin with instructions that identify the various references available to quantify your industry, your demographics, trends, and business statistics. This will be followed by computer lab work to learn how to use all the references available.

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4 - Marketing Your Business & Driving Sales

Man doing marketing online.

The ability to locate, educate, qualify and sell to new customers is a critical skill for many entrepreneurs.  The fourth workshop first discusses marketing strategies, including product or service pricing, positioning, the difference between features and benefits, and different marketing techniques. It then covers the basics of how to build a solid foundation for sales success using multiple methods and sales models including direct sales, telephone sales and online sales. The instructor will show you how to shorten your sales cycle and motivate prospects to action as well as hire and manage top sales performers.  At the end of this session, you will know how to: test your marketing message, choose the right sales channel, outline and implement your marketing strategy, and create a sales machine that is consistent and effective.

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5 - Basic Financial & Accounting Principles for Business Owner

Man calculating cost on calculator.

This workshop will discuss financial flow and how it operates within a business. Terminology will be defined as well as explanations pertaining to the various business reports. Then a basic financial worksheet will be completed using a case study as an example, with exercises to help you better understand financial concepts. This session reviews sales and prices, financial risks and rewards, true start-up costs, ongoing operating expenses, setting benchmarks for tracking progress and the organization of all your financial information. Using a hands-on approach, you learn how to use our financial model to forecast sales revenue and build solid pro-forma financial forecasts.

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6 - Funding

Woman working at table

This workshop offers information on how to finance your small business. In this session, discussions include funding from Conventional and Non-Conventional sources. Items discussed will include the six C's of credit, interpreting ratio analysis, and review of financial statements.  The instructor will give an inside view of how a banker,  investor, or other lenders assess the merits of the Business Model Canvas and/or the Business plan paying particular attention to the financial section.

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7 - Business Roundtable

Man on video call with four other people.

During this final workshop, clients will have the opportunity to present their proposed business concept(s) and their Business Plan (or Business Model Canvas) not only to their peers but also to a small group of SCORE members.  Discussions will be held to suggest possible improvements to their plan and/or offer different concepts that could be helpful. To end the session, a period of open discussion is made available to all clients to answer any further business questions.

SS 7 Business roundtable can not be signed up for individually it is part of the series only

Don't miss this important information!

Because of the Covid-19 restrictions, all 6 classes will be conducted via Webinars. The SmartSTART Advanced Series is one class per week – 2 sessions per class on Monday and Wednesday from 6:30 until 8:00 PM, except when otherwise specified

You will need a computer available for your use and a WiFi system capable of streaming video. You will also need to have a microphone and a video camera, preferably attached to your computer.  Our SmartSTART Series are now "paperless" and you will be emailed an electronic copy of the files needed for each of the sessions. Please make sure you do not block any emails coming to you from SCORE.

13395 Voyager Parkway, Suite 130-PMB 353
Colorado Springs, CO 80921
(719) 249-1711

Copyright © 2024 SCORE Association,

Funded, in part, through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

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