Monday, July 19, 2010

Learning how to be a business owner

I was reading the UW-Madison Business Alumni Magazine Update for Spring/Summer and I was excited to see the educational opportunities available for entrepreneurs. The fourth annual Wisconsin Entrepreneurial Boot camp was held at the School of Business. This event brings together graduate students from engineering, law and sciences to learn more about running a business by attending interactive sessions led by Wisconsin School of business faculty and real-world professionals. The university also offers two formal certificates in entrepreneurship-one for undergraduates and one for graduate students. The School of Business hopes to assist students in engineering, liberal arts, sciences, law and other majors learn the fundamentals necessary to run a successful business.

This all shows that having a great product or service isn’t enough to have a successful business. Business owners need to be able to read their financial statements and understand cash flow. They need to know what the trends are in their industry and in their market. They need to focus less on minimizing income taxes and more on building adequate equity and capital for their company. The economic downturn showed that businesses which had a plan and had proactive management and had adequate capitalization were able to weather the storm with much less pain than those companies without these essentials.

For those of you starting out or those who survive the latest recession, now is the time to get your business in good shape. Write a business plan, figure out what business knowledge or skills you lack and do something about it. There are classes available at local universities and plenty of books available, such as the E-Myth series. There are software programs available to help you write a business plan, or you can work with the many consultants out there who provide this service.

Entrepreneurs aren’t afraid of hard work so now is the time to take charge.

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