The post was written by Marie at Family Money Values where she wants to help families understand the potential consequences of wealth. She encourages visitors to take the long view and pull all family generations together to nourish the family legacy and wealth.
Family Money Values is a website about wealth to help families maintain and build wealth for generations by helping visitors learn about wealth issues; wealth transfer tools; family structures to consider; and family and business governance concerns.
Thomas Stanley and William Danko, in The Millionaire Next Door, state that 2/3 of the millionaires they surveyed have their own business. If you want to be a millionaire, perhaps you are dreaming of starting your own business.
Did you know that about half of new businesses fail within the first five years, according to the Business Dynamics Statistics put out by the Census Department. What is the best investment you can make to give your new business better odds?
My best money tip for business start ups is to invest in yourself by attending a FastTrac New Venture course.
What Is FastTrac New Venture?
FastTrac programs were first launched through the University of Southern California’s Entrepreneur Program. In 1993, the Ewing Marion Kaufmann Foundation launched it’s first FastTrac class and became the major funder and supporter of the program. In 1997 they bought it. The program continues to evolve and innovate and has been utilized by more than 300,000 people across the nation. There are currently several courses that can be taken in various locales, including New Venture, Growth Venture and Tech Venture. New Venture and Growth Venture can even be taken online now.
When I went through the program in 2010, the cost was $400 for ten weekly sessions, each 3.5 hours long. It was offered in the evenings so working folks could attend. That works out to about $13 per hour of instruction.
Now at least one location is, according to the online website http://fasttrac.org/ is offering 5 weeks of coursework with each weekly session being 7 hours long for $495.
What You Get
- Meet ups in a class full of entrepreneurs of all ages and experiences
- Multiple experienced coaches and teachers
- Actual business or professional people from your geographic area as a speaker for almost each session
- A step by step program to explore your goals, your idea, the feasibility of your idea, and to develop each piece of your business plan for your idea
- Practice with unfamiliar concepts
- Review of your business plan at each stage of it’s development and a final review of the entire plan by your coach
- Practice presenting your business plan, your elevator speech and your business concept
- Networking opportunities with your classmates, your teachers and coaches, and the speakers coming into the sessions
- Resources to use now and later:
- You get an Entrepreneur Manual – which has all ten of the modules included. Each module has instruction of concepts, homework sheets and worksheets to use on your own business idea.
- You get online resources for each module via the web application that goes with the class. It has sites such as these to give you added information:
- Evaluating Business Ideas:
- 10 Questions to Ask When Writing a Business Plan Competitive Analysis:
- 10 Reasons for a Bare Bones Bootstrap Startup:
Why Spend the Money or the Time?
The course is centered around building a business plan. The jury is out on whether or not business plans actually help with success of a business. Why would you plunk down $400 or more dollars and spend many hours in a classroom for this?
Does it ensure that you make money? Does it make you stay in business? Does it even guarantee a killer business plan? The answer to all of those questions is no.
What it does give you, however, is an in depth look at yourself and your business idea – helping you get that “laser focus on what results you want.” as Marin Kate put it on March 8, 2011 in The Three Best Investments You Can Make in Your Virtual Startup . Although centered around building a business plan, the course gives you so much more. It gives you the chance to take a good hard look from all angles and the opportunity to say, “Oh, no, that really won’t work.” It can grow your original idea into an offshoot with a better chance of succeeding or it can save you all of the start up costs you might have had for a really bad idea.
I still refer back to the resources and plans I developed in my FastTrac class. My research and documentation, including the plan, still guide my activities and help me set my quarterly goals.
Would You Spend the Money?
For my business, Fast Trac was worth the cost and the time. What do you think?
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.