Planning a new business can be the scariest part of starting a business, which is why the Madisonville-Hopkins County Economic Development Corporation will help you by offering a free two-part course.
The first class will be from 10 a.m. to noon on Friday, January 21 at the Kentucky Innovation Station, 38 West Arch Street.
Ruthann Padgett, vice president of operations for economic development, said the class will guide new businesses through the process of creating a business plan.
“We had several small businesses contact us, and they wanted information on how to get started, so we just decided to put this class together,” she said.
The first lesson will explain the need for a business plan and all the tools needed to develop one. She said it would help owners work on financial plans, get to know their customer base, get marketing information, decide on a name for the business and what type of legal structure the business should have.
“A lot of people don’t understand the purpose of a business plan and why it’s so important,” Padgett said. “It really helps put the whole foundation in place, and it’s essential for anyone starting a business.”
She said if one of the businesses decides that they need to borrow money, they can present the business plan to any bank and it helps the bank know that the owner has drawn up his plan.
“It just lays the groundwork for what you’re trying to do,” Padgett said.
The second part of the course will take place from 10 a.m. to noon on February 11 and will focus on financial projections.
Padgett said the second part will be where landlords research potential weaknesses in the business and estimate how much of a product they’ll need to sell to pay for utilities, insurance and rent.
“You’re going to try to estimate over three years, and some people think that’s really hard to do, but once you start doing it and putting it on paper, it’s a lot easier to go through that process. than people think,” she said.
There’s so much time between part one and part two to give people time to find the information they might need for the financial part.
“It’s going to be tough for someone to sit down right away and lay out all their financial stuff,” Padgett said.
Classes will be taught by Professor Chris Wooldridge, Program Director of the Center for Economic and Entrepreneurial Development at Murray State University.
“I am honored to partner with the Madisonville-Hopkins County Economic Development Corporation for this seminar,” he said.
A business plan is more than a single document. He said it’s part of successful planning that helps eliminate surprises, flesh out ideas and cost assumptions.
“It can become the business owner’s operational manual,” Wooldridge said.
Currently, Economic Development plans to offer these courses once a year to help new businesses develop a plan. She said that if it looks like classes are needed more than once a year, they will be happy to offer more.
Padgett said they ask people to register ahead of time, so they know what to expect.
To register for the free course, visit https://tinyurl.com/28yhxtrb.