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NEWS

January 23, 2009

RSU to Host Business Planning Workshop in Claremore on January 29

Many entrepreneurs desperately look for assistance when they begin to encounter problems in their business. These enterprise owners in trouble may find themselves low on capital, losing most of their customers to competition, or being unable to attract customers in the first place.

To help businesses avoid the pitfalls of entrepreneurship the Rogers State University Innovation Center is holding a small business workshop designed to teach business owners how to create a well-developed business plan.

The workshop, "Six Steps to a Winning Business Plan," will be held at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 29, at the RSU Innovation Center, located at 2000 University Drive on the Claremore campus.

The workshop is designed to help entrepreneurs learn the basics of writing a business plan and improving the odds of entrepreneurial success. The majority of failed businesses could have been avoided by simply developing a business plan, said Dr. Ray Brown, vice president for Economic and Community Development at Rogers State University. The business plan would have compelled them to evaluate the amount of money needed to open the business, the amount of cash reserves needed to cover their expenses in a timely manner, and proper evaluation of their competition, he added.

Unfortunately, many of these businesses are already deeply troubled by the time problems begin emerging.

"These businesses are like a ship setting sail that is riddled with holes," Brown said. "It's sad to say, but most of these crafts will sink, because by the time they seek help, they are already a lost cause."

This workshop is an effort to assist entrepreneurs in developing plans for a "seaworthy" business.

There are many reasons for business failures, Brown said, and business research has shown that the top five reasons are:

  • Lack of a well-thought business plan. A researched plan is the blueprint for a business. Many entrepreneurs skip this essential step.
  • Not enough capital. Businesses, particularly in the early stages, need to have enough reserves to make it through the tough times.
  • No market research. Before starting the business, owners need to identify who their customers will be—if there are any—and how the product or service will get to them.
  • Failure to identify competition. Owners need to analyze competition to determine how it will affect marketing and other strategies.
  • The true cost of product or service is not known. Owners must know how much their product costs to deliver, or else they will not be able to accurately set prices and make proper budgets and income forecasts.

Attending "Six Steps to a Winning Business Plan" will help entrepreneurs avoid these missteps.

Advance registration is required.  The registration fee of $15 must be paid at the time of registration. Payment by phone with a credit or debit card is welcome.

To learn more about the upcoming business plan workshop or other small business workshops and services offered by RSU's Innovation Center call (918) 343-7533 or send an e-mail to innovation@rsu.edu.