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Contractor Readiness Resource Center – CRRC

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Education

Lack of access to high quality and affordable education is one of the primary reasons why businesses fail. BiG makes the resources available to entrepreneurs who are either starting or building their businesses and utilize a multi-modal approach to the delivery of seminars, workshops and intensive business training.

Click here to see upcoming training classes.

CURRICULUM BASED TRAINING CLASSES

Our two core offerings are intensive training series to help clients start, strengthen, or expand their businesses. Since 1998, BiG has been licensed to provide the Start Smart entrepreneurial training courses developed and sponsored by the Kaufman Foundation, based upon ten years of research conducted by the Enterprise Institute. This comprehensive business development program equips micro-entrepreneurs and other small business owners with skills to develop and manage successful very small and small business ventures. It is evident that BiG staff paid particular attention to best practices in how adults learn and incorporated them into their training courses, along with solid business education. Additionally, the staff regularly reviewed results and adjusted training as needed. BiG has slightly modified the curriculum to meet our clients’ needs, and as such, uses different course titles to reflect that. BiG’s curriculum was awarded SBA’s Vision 2000 Model of Excellence for entrepreneurial education. Our two core curriculum based courses are:

– Start Smart

Start Smart is a business planning course for start-up entrepreneurs to learn about accounting methods, financial statements, legal information, market research and marketing strategies, and to develop a business plan for their business concept. Clients refer to Start Smart as “boot camp for start-ups.” Start Smart is based on the Kauffman Foundation’s Start Smart I course, designed to serve microenterprises that have been in business for less than two years or micro-entrepreneurs that have a well-developed business idea and want to start a new business. For program participants who have not completed high school, speak English as a second language, or have below average reading or mathematical skills, the program is customized further to provide more attention to the fundamental principles of business and more time for presentation of basic concepts and participant practice. BiG has been recognized for developing innovating training and lending initiatives and contributing to the economic vitality of the Central Texas community through awards, nominations, and press features including Entrepreneur.com and local news reports. For instance, Start Smart, a Start Smart® New VentureTM comprehensive seven-week program was awarded by the Small Business Administration.

– Taking Financial Control

Taking Financial Control of Your Business, which trains existing small business owners to use financial information (financial statements, ratio analysis, breakeven and balance sheet growth) to gain control of their businesses. Participants complete an accurate cash flow statement by the end of the class and learn how to project a balance sheet, evaluate the need for funds and financial management effectiveness, and manage growth. Taking Financial Control is based on the Kauffman Foundation’s Start Smart ll, designed to serve businesses that have been in operation for more than two years. This course focuses on helping existing business owners examine strategies for business expansion, including their need for additional personnel, business space, or capital, and typically results in participant’s updating or revising an original business plan and applying for funding based on new projections.

In addition to these nationally acclaimed educational business programs, BiG offers the following curriculum based courses:

– Marketing Gym

The development of the right Marketing Plan and Marketing Strategies is key to business success. BiG clients have the opportunity to receive intensive marketing planning training that covers tools and strategies, web marketing, concept development of products and services, and build a strong marketing platform, which is of great importance during current economic times. Nowadays, micro-entrepreneurs cut marketing dollars back. They need to rethink their marketing strategy focusing in more cost effective way to attract customers.

– eCommerce

For most micro-entrepreneurs, it is tough to incorporate eCommerce tools into their small businesses. BiG offers an intensive eCommerce series where small business owners can learn about starting their first website. Participants have the opportunity to learn about different resources to build and host business websites. In addition, they will find out about basic techniques for Search Engine Optimization, so that the target customers can find their businesses. Finally, this course covers web advertising on the cheap which helps optimize advertising to drive customers to their website.

WORKSHOPS AND SEMINARS

In addition to the core courses, BiG offers a mix of workshops and seminars geared to the diverse needs of our clients whether they are new micro-entrepreneurs looking to evaluate a business concept or an existing business owner interested in expanding a venture. The main focus areas are:

– Business Planning: BiG recognizes that a business plan is the blue print for building a successful enterprise and encourages its clients to not only do short-term but also long-term strategic and financial planning. Example of classes – Business Planning, Do you have what it takes, etc.

– Financial Foundations: class teaches the client how to read and prepare each of the statements in addition to what they mean to understand his/her business. These classes also introduce fundamental vocabulary and concepts that micro-entrepreneurs need to grow and sustain successful business. Example of classes –Accounting, financial management essentials, cash flow, Quickbooks, financial statements, etc.

– Funding Solutions: through Credit Basics and Funding Solutions, BiG shows clients how to prepare a loan package and secure business credit from all lending sources. Example of classes – Access to capital, funding solutions for small business, SBA programs and services, borrowing basics, credit basics, building a better credit portfolio, etc.

– Legal Assistance: Legal issues are addressed by guest speakers who are Attorneys and have expertise in business management. Topics include legal business structures, understanding contracts and deciphering the confusing array of business tax forms and obligations.

– Marketing: Alternative and cost-effective marketing strategies are presented to micro-entrepreneurs. Marketing seminars are an inspiring environment where participants can explore creative ways to market their business, including guerrilla marketing strategies and new tendencies that social media offers.

Click here to see upcoming training classes.