Your class project will be an exciting project. You will build your OWN company. A company of your dreams. I have been consulting for a number of years. People do not start paying attention to “Finance stuff” until they open a business. However, that is really the wrong time to learn how to financially architect a company. So this project will come as close to reality as possible. The more serious you take this project, the better equipped you will be to run your company or someone else’s.
What is your passion? What is your dream company? More importantly, how much profit will it generate? How much cash will you need to start your company? Will enough money be generated to take care of you and your family? Whatever company you want to start, you must be able to identify 3 public companies that can act as BENCHMARKS. You will extract so much information from these companies that you will be able to build a very precise financial company. Not convinced yet? This is exactly how I am building my brother’s printing company that is currently seeking bank financing. More on that when we start our classes.
Your final class project will need to be submitted. However, based upon previous students’ time tracking, you will need to invest anywhere from 2-3 hours to complete this project. Project Management and time management are very serious in this class. Those are 2 of the most important critical competencies company look for in new hires. Need more convincing? Let’s look at Apple. They innvovate a new product. They get the planet excited. Then they communicate the RELEASE DATE. For the next 18 months (assuming 18 month timeline), people’s careers will be in the balance based on their ability to HIT that release date. Want to earn high six-figure salaries? Do NOT let another day go by without becoming a MASTER at project and time management.
Here are your mini-release dates:
#1 decide on your startup company. Identify 3 public companies that will be your financial benchmarks.
#2 – download benchmark PDF template and start building your benchmark shell. Oh, BTW, you will get very good at Excel in this class 🙂
#3 – you should be completed your 3 financial benchmarks. you should be reviewing the template for Industry Overview.
#4 – you should be completed your Industry Overview. you should be reviewing the 5 Year Projection template.
#5 – you should be completed your 5 Year Projection template. It is during this class you must bring in FINAL questions and challenges.
#6 – you must submit to me your completed Class Project. Additionally, you should be prepared to do a 6-10 minute presentation to class.
Some Guidance for your Class Presentation
Ordinarily, I do not allow students to do any type of Powerpoint presentations. But I am rethinking that strategy. Before you develop your presentation, I want you to watch 3 episodes of SHARK TANK. And ask these questions to yourself:
1. How well do they know their market?
2. How well do they know their competition?
3. How well do they know their target audience?
4. What is their selling price? What is their markup? How much are their direct costs? What are their primary cost components?
5. What kind of funding do they need? How much equity? How much debt?
6. Do they know their NUMBERS?
Here is how I am grading your presentation. This is what a SOLID A+ looks like:
1. Information presented is thorough, complete, organized and professional looking.
2. You demonstrate a high working knowledge level of the industry.
3. You know your benchmarks and key ratios — backwards and forwards.
4. Your demonstrate a DEEP INSIGHT of your 5 Year Projections and what it all means.
5. At the end of your presentation, your classmates (the sharks) will decide if they want to invest in YOUR company.
Hmmm .. that sounds interesting right. I like it. Great idea Rich 🙂 Each student will be given $100,000 of virtual dollars. At the end of each presentation, students will be asked if they want to invest in your company. Top 3 companies (with largest capital contributions) get bonus points. Top 3 students that generate the highest IRRs will get bonus points. If FINANCE is the art and science of managing money — then LEARNING should be one part experiential and one part entertainment. I wish I was in this class! Oh right – I am the teacher ….