Lisa Dawson has taught Business Foundations for more than ten years, and her students—existing and aspiring entrepreneurs in Baker, Union and Wallowa counties—continue to give her rave reviews. This hands-on class covers the basics of running a successful business: overhead and inventory costs, goal-setting and sales projections, marketing, taxes and licensing, and other considerations, and brings it all together in a business plan.
Best of all, thanks to a Community Development Block Grant through City of La Grande, the classes are offered free of charge! Preference is made to people with low-to-moderate incomes; income verification is required.
The workshops last six weeks, with the following topics:
- Gaining Perspective: Consider your business concept.
- Laying the Foundation: Define line of business and analyze financial essentials, from overhead costs to break-even point.
- Getting into the Flow: Cover the financial essentials of cash flow, sales forecasting, and financial documents.
- Mission & Markets: Mission, discuss market research, identify competitors, determine how to reach target markets.
- Get the Word Out: Discuss creative marketing strategies and give peer feedback on marketing materials.
- Goodbye & Good Luck: Present your business plan, share final pitch, and plan for next steps.
- “This class was just what I needed to start moving forward with my business. Having the steps laid out in front of me has really helped motivate me to start taking the steps needed to launch my business. I now feel I have the tools to start making my business dreams a reality.” – Participant in Enterprise
- “Learning how to do the cost of goods sold, break-even point, variable cost and cash flow was extremely helpful to me! I had no idea what I was doing. and figuring out that my business model wasn’t working and would have led to its failure was huge! Now I’ve got a better way to go.” – Participant in Baker City
- “Writing my business plan was my biggest challenge, because I couldn’t organize all my thoughts and information into a neat format. This class broke that process down and helped me understand what each piece really meant.” – Participant in La Grande
- “I thought it was a really valuable class!! I learned so much, and enjoyed everyone in there! Wouldn’t change a thing!” – Participant in Richland
- “You really hit on all the good things we need to think about in making/running a business. Our businesses were so diverse yet your topics applied to each of us.” – Participant in Union