You thought of a great business idea. For most entrepreneurs, the idea is just the beginning of the journey to starting a business. You also need to determine your business model and how you will make money with this business model, and you must confirm that your idea works by completing a financial model.
Before an entrepreneur can do financial modeling, they need to have a business plan completed. Business plans today are not the lengthy documents that they were in the past, but rather, can be achieved with one page. The modern-day business plan is called a Lean Canvas, which is adapted from Alex Osterwalder’s book Business Model Canvas. This one-page template helps entrepreneurs deconstruct their idea into nine different sections of the canvas. Entrepreneurs will determine the top three problems they are trying to solve as well as solutions to those problems and how they measure success, among other metrics. While this may seem a daunting task, BRF’s Entrepreneurial Accelerator Program (EAP) is here to help entrepreneurs with this process.
The number one question received by EAP is if we can help entrepreneurs create a financial model. Not only can we help, but we have a team of people who have extensively studied this type of modeling and can share wisdom and experience. EAP views the exercise of financial modeling as an educational opportunity and walks through each step with entrepreneurs. It would be easy for EAP’s analysts to complete the model for the entrepreneurs, but that would prevent entrepreneurs from understanding the why behind the final output of the model, which is critical to understanding the financial viability of the business.
Community partners such as SBDC, Cohab, and MS KICK also play a critical role in helping entrepreneurs with the early stages of starting a business. These community partners get entrepreneurs to a point where they can be referred to EAP for assistance with the financial modeling. What is so special about the entrepreneurial community in North Louisiana is that many entrepreneurs start by calling EAP for help, but EAP refers them to a community partner to receive the initial education or training they need. Once they have completed the programs provided by these community partners, they then come back to EAP to continue the journey. It is this entrepreneurial ecosystem that allows collaboration to occur and makes North Louisiana so appealing for entrepreneurs.
Have you thought of a great business idea and need to create your business and financial models? EAP will be partnering with Cohab to host our third Spring into Summer Startup Series event on July 9. At this event, Cohab will be offering tips on how to fully develop an idea, followed by EAP providing entrepreneurs with an accelerated course in creating a Lean Canvas. This event will provide entrepreneurs the opportunity to walk in the door with an idea and leave with a better understanding of what next steps they need to take, and which community partners would be the right fit to help them reach their goal of making money from their great idea.
Brett Brown is a FinanciaL Analyst III for EAP