OEN Startup Series

10 weeks of nuts-and-bolts training for early-stage entrepreneurs

Do Excel spreadsheets make your heart skip a beat? Are you embarrassed to admit that you’re not sure what a hashtag is?

No entrepreneur can be expected to know it all. Our 10-week Startup Series covers the nuts and bolts of the areas in which you may lack expertise, including business structure, financial management, sales & marketing strategies, fundraising, and more.

If you’re an entrepreneur who has launched a business that is pre-revenue or bringing in less than $250,000 annually, this workshop series is for you!



Welcome + Goal Setting

Session Focus Points:

  • OEN welcome/overview of program
  • Introduce cohort attendees to each other:  who are you/company name, why did you come and what do you hope to get out of it  (1 minute each)
  • Mentor introductions
  • Identify the organizations and resources in the Oregon Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
  • Introduction to strategic planning
  • Reception

Suggested Books: “Mastering the Rockefeller Habits”

Deliverable: Create a one-page strategic plan. MUST turn this in next week.


Your Business Structure Checklist

Session Focus Points:

  • Identify the correct entity structure for your business
  • Determine the correct documents you need to establish your business structure
  • Review the financial tasks you need to complete to establish your business
  • Review the tax requirements for your business
  • What it takes to switch from one entity to another

Deliverable: Complete the Business Structure Checklist


Marketing Strategy

Session Focus Points:

  • Identify their current marketing practices and assess them for results.
  • Clarify the ideal customer profile.
  • Use reflections and expertise shared by speakers to develop a 6-month marketing strategy with monthly and quarterly milestones.

Book: “Traction”

Deliverable: Create a one-page marketing plan.


Building a Sales Strategy

Session Focus Points:

  • Analyze past customers to clarify their best ideal customer profile
  • Determine your sales cycle
  • Create a sales strategy that outlines weekly, monthly and quarterly tasks to drive sales
  • Use the information from the session to adjust sales goals and create sales projects

Suggested Resources: “The Accidental Salesperson”

Deliverable: Create a one-page sales plan.


Developing a Healthy Financial Structure

Session Focus Points:

  • Review the current structures in place to track and manage their financial information
  • Learn how to read your P/L and Balance Sheet to make informed financial decisions
  • Determine healthy margins for your business based on your industry
  • Identify tools to help you manage your finances
  • Identify the professionals you need to hire to assist you with creating a healthy financial routine

Suggested Books: “Simple Numbers, Straight Talk, Big Profits!”

Deliverable: Complete a one-page financial plan.


Finding an Office Space Beyond Your Garage

Session Focus Points:

  • Review your spatial needs
  • Consider spatial options: co-working spaces, offices, remote working, incubators and accelerators
  • Learn how to find a realtor
  • Review the most important factors in making real estate decision
  • Review requirements for insurance
  • Create a plan that details the best real estate option

Deliverable: Create an office action plan.


Working with Third-Party Vendors

Session Focus Points:

  • Review the concepts of lean manufacturing
  • Learn about how to read and use contracts with third party vendors
    • Software
    • Warehousing
    • Copacking
    • Artisans
    • Vendors
  • Create a strategy for identifying the best vendors for your business
  • Determine the best terms for your third party vendors
  • Commercial contracts

Deliverable: Create a one-page plan to improve strategy for working with third-party vendors.


Funding Your Company

Session Focus Points:

  • Becoming bankable
  • Review different funding options
  • Determine which funding options are best for you
  • Create a plan for funding your business
  • Strategies for managing personal and professional debt while running a business
  • Review balance sheets, current debt and financing needs to determine the kind of financial assistance needed to grow the business

Deliverable: Create a one-page funding plan.


Hiring and Firing A Team

Session Focus Points:

    • Create a hiring strategy with job descriptions, creative compensation, structures (1099 vs W2) and onboarding
    • Create company policies for sick leave, vacation, equipment, etc.
    • Create a firing strategy to process terminated employees
    • Review strategies to mitigate risks
    • Review payroll and insurance requirements:
      • Minimum wage
      • Worker’s Comp
      • Equity Compensation
      • IP
    • Explore tools for managing employees and contractors
    • Receive training about sexual harassment

Suggested Books: “Topgrading”

Deliverable: Develop an HR Starter Kit.


Wrap Up Session

Session Focus Points:

  • BRING a revised one-page strategic plan based on information learned during the first nine sessions
  • 5 minute presentation on each business
    • Business overview
    • What you will do next:
      • Attend another educational program
      • Apply for an incubator or accelerator
      • Attend an event
      • Find a mentor
      • Seek professional service
      • Seek investment
  • Meet with mentor to review feasibility of new strategic plan

Deliverable: Create a revised one-page strategic plan.

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