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How To Grow Your Small Business or Company Profitably

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If a company does well, it will grow organically. This growth, though, will likely be accompanied by several changes. Market forces, business processes, supply chains, and other business areas may all need to change. How do we ensure all of this change happens in a sustainable, profitable way? After all, profitable growth is what keeps a business viable over time.

In this class, we'll define the categories of decision-making around sustaining profitability in a growing market place: "automation", "scale", and "growth". We will discuss a formal definition of the terms, how they relate to one another, and what you need to know to manage a business’s growth sustainably over time. 

This class is particularly relevant for students who are involved in the process of growing a business; however, it will also be of interest to anyone who enjoys learning about business theory and related topics. No prior knowledge or experience is required. Sign up here.

From Solopreneur to Team Leader: Using Process Storytelling to Delegate Effectively

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As business owners, one of the challenges we face is how to effectively communicate how we do things. This becomes even more crucial as we make the shift from solopreneur to building a team, and need to delegate efficiently. What seems obvious or even instinctive at our level of expertise may not make sense to a more junior hire, and consistency in a process is crucial to reducing unnecessary steps and avoiding increasing cost.

In this class, you will learn the fundamentals of “Process Storytelling”, a framework for effectively understanding, visualizing and communicating business processes in a way that enables anyone to understand and execute the process effectively.  

We’ll cover:

  • why it is necessary to start from a physical frame of reference when documenting a process;
  • how to use the 5 ‘W’ framework (an approach also used by journalists in crafting news articles) in order to identify the information you need to include; and
  • how to visualize process steps in a simple, easy-to-understand way using just 3 shapes.  

By the end of this class, you will be able to identify and document the key processes and process steps in your business (things like onboarding clients, invoicing and bookkeeping, scoping projects etc) in a way which will enable you to both delegate work more successfully and better understand how your business actually works.

This class is most relevant to business owners, particularly solopreneurs looking to scale up. However, it would be helpful to anyone whose role requires them to understand and document business processes.

No specific software is required, however for the purposes of the project access to a tool which allows you to create free-form charts is helpful (i.e. Microsoft Visio, Lucidchart, etc). Sign up here.

Defining Business Value: How to Identify and Measure Your Value Proposition

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Understanding the concept of value and knowing how to apply that knowledge in the real world is an essential element for business success. That’s because value creation is what keeps a business running.

This is often literal: if your business isn’t generating money, and you aren’t able to continue funding operations, it will go out of business. Conversely, if you are clear about how your business is creating value, you can optimize your work to increase output and decrease costs of that value creation, leading to higher revenue and profitable growth.

This class will enable you to answer the questions “what value does my business provide?” and “how can I define my business value in a quantifiable way?”. We will begin with a discussion of the meaning of "value" in a business context, and then talk about how this concept can be applied. Too often, we as business owners believe that “if I build it, they will come” but that’s only one piece of the puzzle -- you need to make sure that you’re building something that people want to buy!

In this class we will cover:

  • What people mean by “value” in a business context
  • New ways of thinking about and visualizing value creation in a business
  • How to use data to understand and measure the value your business is creating...and increase it!
  • How to make sure that you are creating value for your customer rather than using guesswork to determine your growth strategy
  • How to identify your business’s “core value proposition” and why that matters

No prior knowledge or experience is required for this class, and we will cover the topic of how to identify your business’s value if you’re just starting out. However, this class will be particularly useful for those who have already started a business and yet are struggling to figure out where to go from here in terms of growth, marketing, sales, etc. Sign up here.