Owner-2-CEO

Grow your business leveraging expert guidance. Sales, Finance, Digital Marketing and more! Scholarships funded through Sikich, US Bank and Innovation DuPage.
October 16th, 2021
Date
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Recommended Eligibility

  • Business Criteria:
    • 2+ years in operation
    • $200,000 revenues in the most recent fiscal year
    • 2+ employees (owners may be included in this count)
    • 1,000+ followers on a social media platform

Commitment

  • Attend regularly
  • Out-of-class assignments will be required
  • Participate fully—leave your cell phone at the door
  • Create an Accelerator Strategic Action Plan over the course of the program
  • Complete an initial assessment and follow-up assessments
9 Weeks

Curriculum

Leadership Self & Style

Know who you are as a leader. Your strengths and weakness are the basis for developing a growth mindset and moving from working in the business to working on the business.
  • Perfect an effective elevator pitch
  • Understand your personal BOSI DNA and how it impacts your performance
  • Delve into your employee’s mindset and intrapreneurial skills
  • Improve your own personal performance & develop personal objectives
  • Create effective delegation strategies, including monitoring and performance management

Strategic Planning

  • Review the foundation of your business, mission, vision and values, SWOT
  • Understand scalability and how it impacts your business  
  • Identify methods and opportunities for growth
  • Develop skills to create an effective strategic plan for growth
  • Examine current business plan, business situation and organizational structure for best fit with your business model.

Management in a Digital Environment

Irrespective of the type of business we operate, there is no escaping the impact of technology in almost every aspect of running our businesses. Whether it is accepting payments, managing the financials or using the full gamut of social media options, technology is a critical part of business growth.
  • Plan your digital environment, knowing what processes should and could be digitized
  • Market your business in a digital environment, when to use social media, what to use and how to monitor the effectiveness of your marketing efforts
  • Handle financial transactions in a virtual environment
  • Understand how to develop automations that allow your systems to communicate with one another

Content & Communication

Go beyond the normal concept of marketing to evaluate the importance of developing and managing strong marketing content and solid methods of communicating your marketing message to your clearly identified customer base.
  • Understand how your purpose and your customer’s needs interact
  • Know how to create and use meaningful value propositions to increase sales
  • Learn how buyers make purchase decisions  
  • Determine the appropriate media for your market
  • Create effective communications for use in a variety of media
  • Discuss how digital and traditional marketing approaches interact to get the best out of both in a changing business environment

Sales & Lead Generation

No sales, no business. In this session we will be building on the content and communication session to create a plan for the development of a solid pipeline of sales leads and how to implement the plan to maintain the pipeline and close sales.
  • Leverage tools to develop a sales pipeline
  • Review procedures for tracking leads and secrets on how to act on those leads
  • Learn techniques for opening and closing a sale
  • Use methods for delivering exemplary client care and generating repeat sales
  • Create an effective sales and lead generation operational plan
  • Consider an internal sales team vs an external sales force. What are the factors that need to be considered?

Human Resources

Growing companies require people. Employees are the most expensive resource most companies will have, so hiring decisions are amongst the most important and potentially costly decisions a business owner will have to make. Look at the HR function and understand how it impacts business growth.
  • Understand how to create the company culture for your business and how it can impact growth
  • Appreciate the legal background to employment activities
  • Identify critical issues related to the Human Resource function and the potential traps for business owners
  • Assess your current workforce situation
  • Develop appropriate job descriptions, policy manuals and compensation plans
  • Learn how to develop an effective management team
  • Receive insights into generational issues, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace

Financing a Growing Business

You will need to finance the business at some point it you haven’t already. Learn from a commercial lender.
  • Discuss what banks are looking for when they make lending decisions
  • Learn what criteria they use to evaluate a business for lending
  • Prepare to present yourself and your company to a lender
  • Develop an understanding of how to present your company’s financial information to make the lending decision easy

Understanding & Using Financial Information for Growth

Established businesses have a CPA to create financial statements and manage tax reporting. Growing a business, however, requires review of company financial data as a tool to manage day to day business transactions for growth and profitability.
  • Know how to use financial information from your accounting software to manage business growth, effect change and improve performance and profits
  • Appreciate the value of budgets, costs and pricing strategies to manage people and processes in the business
  • Understand break even analysis and ratios and how they are used to plan growth
  • Identify cash flow bottlenecks before they arise and know how to resolve them if they do happen

Growth Market Opportunities: Government Contracting

The US government is largest purchaser of goods and services in the USA making it a perfect business expansion opportunity. It’s a complex marketplace and this session focuses on the opportunities it presents and how to access them.
  • Understand how to navigate the maze of government contracting
  • Learn how to maximize your opportunities
  • Find methods of maximizing your exposure to government agencies and large corporations
  • Know how to access, research and respond to government contract opportunities

Using and Managing Social Media Platforms

We hear a lot about social media and their value for growing business. The key to success is know which, what and how and how to manage and monitor results.
  • Using social media platforms in your overall marketing strategy (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, TikTok, etc)
  • Social media tools overview (Hootsuite, Buffer, Later, Agorapulse, Sprout Social, Sendible, etc.)
  • Curating content and creating a content calendar
  • Understanding social media analytics and the KPIs for each platform
  • Advertising

Driving Business Decisions with Data Analytics

Customer engagement is only as good as the data that is gathered. Understand how to leverage tools that can better inform business decisions.
  • Introduction to Google Analytics (GA) and Google Tag Manager (GTM)
  • Understanding the GA/GTM Interface
  • Setting up conversion goals and events
  • Monitoring KPIs and interpreting reports
  • Creating actionable steps based on reports

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