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Prospera and the Montana Women's Business Center created the Power Up Course: Create Your Business, Financials, and Marketing Plan to better serve the demand for start-up assistance in our region, and to reduce wait times for one-on-one counseling appointments. After the completion of the Power Up class, you can schedule as many one-on-one appointments as you need! Business counseling is a free service.
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Solid first draft of your Business Plan
Clarity and fresh perspective about starting a new business; and understanding of your industry and competition
Projected cash flow for one year
Shared experience with other local entrepreneurs and subject matter experts
Documented sales projections and marketing strategy based on industry research & geography
Valuable resources and processes that support your business planning journey
The Power Up course consists of three classes. Each class meets once a week for three weeks, for three hours. Registration is $200 for Prospera Members, $250 Non-Members. This fee covers all three class days and course material.
Power Up is offered almost every month, on different days and at different times to try and accommodate busy schedules.
By MT Women’s Business Center | Sept. 26, 2018
Starting or growing a business can be daunting and even isolating. Fortunately, hundreds of business owners have discovered a local training program that has solved this issue. Power Up, a course offered by Prospera Business Network and The MT Women’s Business Center, has become the ideal solution for people planning to launch a business, as well as for existing business owners looking to grow or expand to a second location or even to offer a new program.
Power Up: Create Your Business, Financial and Marketing Plan, is a course launched over a year ago with the focus on helping emerging entrepreneurs develop and plan their new business in a supportive, small-group training program. Since its inception, this class has now trained more than 150 budding entrepreneurs. The curriculum includes how to write a business, financial and a marketing plan but also builds community and offers support.
Jessica Dehn, the owner of Dino Drop-In, went through the Power Up training, initially to open a second location. “[Prospera and the WBC] added a third-party analysis that you can’t see as a business owner in the process of starting a business,” says Jessica. Jessica has since taken advantage of financing, bought out her partner and has recently opened her 5th location. She added that “If you’ve made the leap...you will get tremendous value from the experience [of working with Prospera and the WBC].”
While individual business counseling is offered by Prospera and the WBC, counselors kept finding that there were fundamentals that every person entering into business counseling was in need of, and that was when the class Power Up was born. Now, Power Up is the first step on a comprehensive path of services offered by Prospera and the WBC. There has been a huge shift in the effectiveness of one-on-one counseling now that business owners are coming in with well thought out business plans and financial projections.
Karen Lum, the owner of K Lum Consulting, has been leading Power Up since its inception. Karen continually gets five-star reviews for her Power Up instruction. Karen moves at the pace of the class and is there to answer any questions that might be on the entrepreneurs’ mind whether it be lending, cash flow projecting, engaging the customer, or thinking through the marketing plan. One student shared, “I enjoyed the three-hour block of time each week to dedicate to my business. The time to actually work and then get support when I had questions really helped me along.”—H.M.
Existing business owners also benefit from Power Up. If an owner is looking to add a revenue stream, change their business model or look toward financing for expansion, then Power Up can aid in looking at the financials to assess the viability of the change. The class is tailored to help entrepreneurs get through those roadblocks and stuck points so they can move forward.
Power Up is the first step on a path toward support from Prospera and the WBC. Whether you are still in the planning stages or have been in business for years, in addition to one to one counseling, business owners can take advantage of financing assistance, networking, job creation grants, a mentorship program for women and numerous pieces of training. Training ranges from 1.5 hours in length to 6 hours. Topics have ranged from accounting, social media, marketing, human resources, business law, and more.
While training typically lasts a half-day, occasionally a more in-depth training is offered. For example, this November, an intensive training called, “Managing with a Coach Approach,” will be held. This training is geared for owners and managers who will be able to come together to share experiences and gain strategies to effectively lead one’s team.
Another offering this fall is a mentoring program called “Link Up Accelerator for Women.” This program is a 6-week program offered quarterly. Link Up was launched last winter and frequently sells out. Link Up provides the ideal incubator for women business owners looking for community, information on special business topics and support.
With the many tools and resources of Prospera Business Network and the Montana Women’s Business Center, business owners can save themselves time, energy and money. They often are also able to reach higher levels of success by reaching out for support. And for people just beginning their entrepreneurial journey, Power Up may be just the place to start.