Be Strategic: What is it and why should I apply?

Entrepreneur Fund

July 11, 2023

Are you a growth-oriented business owner? Are you ready to take the next steps in growing your business but feel like you don't have the time or resources to focus on strategy?

If this sounds like you, the Entrepreneur Fund’s Be Strategic program was designed with you in mind. Applications are now being accepted for five courses across EFund’s service region this fall. Business owners who have been in operation for at least a couple of years and are located near the Iron Range, Duluth, Mora, Hayward or Ashland areas are encouraged to apply.

Learn More & Apply Today!

Nick and Robyn Olson, owners of Anderson and Hammack Construction Company, completed the six-week program in the fall of 2022 with a cohort of fellow Superior-based business owners. Having bought the company four years prior to taking the course, the Olsons were looking to expand into a new market but needed the guidance and resources to do so.

The Be Strategic program equipped the Olsons with a framework for growth. Upon completion of the course, they had a comprehensive strategic business plan for the next five years, which included an outline of how and when to expand their services further into northern Wisconsin.

“It’s a think tank on every aspect of your business with other business owners,” said Nick Olson. “The Entrepreneur Fund spearheads topics and goes through an agenda each week, but it’s also a conversation with other business owners in different markets, but they have the same problems. So, it’s thinking through those things, realistically, and coming up with solutions, whatever they are. It was fantastic and invaluable.”

Still on the fence? Here are five reasons why you should consider participating in our Be Strategic program:

  1. Work on your business, not just in it.
  2. One of the biggest challenges for business owners is finding time to focus on growth and strategy when they're busy managing the day-to-day operations. The Be Strategic program provides a unique opportunity to set aside time to work on your business, not just in it. Participating in this program will allow you to step back, analyze your business from a strategic perspective, and create a plan for growth.
  3. Collaborate with non-competing businesses.
  4. The program allows business owners to work alongside one another to create a strategic business plan for growth, make meaningful connections, and improve their business within a supportive group setting. This collaboration can lead to valuable insights and learnings from other non-competing businesses in the program.
  5. Benefit from experienced business advisors.
  6. The Be Strategic program is designed by Entrepreneur Fund business advisors who have years of experience helping businesses grow. These advisors facilitate the interactive sessions and provide guidance throughout the program, helping business owners create a strategic plan that is tailored to their specific needs.
  7. Create a strategic business plan for growth.
  8. The ultimate goal of the Be Strategic program is to create a strategic business plan for growth. Over the course of six weeks, business owners will work through various topics, including defining their mission, vision, and core values, identifying trends in their industry, creating a marketing plan, and refining their 10-year target. By the end of the program, each business owner will have a strategic plan in place to help them achieve their growth goals.
  9. Gain business confidence.
  10. Many Be Strategic participants, including Nick Olson, have said their confidence increased after completing the course. With more business knowledge comes more business confidence. By the end of this program, it’s our goal for you to feel confident in your strategic plan and in yourself as a business owner to execute that plan.

Ready to apply?

The Be Strategic program allows business owners to work on their business, collaborate with non-competing businesses, benefit from experienced business advisors, create a strategic business plan for growth and build business confidence. Don't miss out on this opportunity to take your business to the next level.

Apply for the program and start working on your business strategy today.

* The cost of the course is $600 per business. Grant funding will cover the cost for 2023 Be Strategic participants located in Wisconsin. Scholarships may be available for Duluth and Iron Range classes.

*No payment information is needed to apply. Upon selection you will be sent an invoice, which must be paid prior to attending the class.

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