The advisors at Harper College's Small Business Development Center can't begin to count the number of budding entrepreneurs who've come to them with a novel idea for a business -- but little clue how to execute it.
That doesn't bode well for new ventures, half of which will fail within five years, according to the Small Business Administration.
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Harper's SBDC will launch a Business Plan Boot Camp this month that can help both potential and existing businesses flourish. Participants will come away from the four-session program with everything they need to put together a professional business plan.
"More and more people are considering pursuing their own business because of the economic downturn," said adjunct instructor Sharon Page, who launched her own businesses with major franchise corporations including Subway and Fantastic Sams. "Charting out a road map is critical to succeeding, and it's the first thing a lender or investor will ask for."
Page, who has spent 12 years helping others craft business plans, will guide entrepreneurs as they learn to create financial statements, a marketing plan and a vision for the company. Students also will work on a competitive analysis of the marketplace and develop strategies to grow their business.
The Business Plan Boot Camp runs from 9 a.m. to noon January 15, January 22, January 29 and February 5 at the Harper Professional Center, 650 E. Higgins Road in Schaumburg.
"Putting together an extensive business plan is a lot of work but a must," Page said. "Having the know-how to understand your business venture better, how it will succeed and how it will overcome challenges is crucial."
The cost is $50 per class or $175 for the entire program. To register or for more details, visit harpercollege.edu or call 847.925.6520.