Oregon Small Business Development Center Logo - Helping build Oregon's best businesses.

Design a business foundation that provides potential for long-term profit.

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Do you have a great business idea, but aren’t sure how to get started?

Business Design Series gives you the tools you need to turn your idea into a profitable business. You’ll create a solid action plan, make sure you’re financially prepared for a launch, and work with an experienced business advisor to address challenges.

You'll use the GrowthWheel toolbox to tackle the 4 basic challenge areas for every business:

  • Creating an attractive business concept.
  • Building a strong organizational structure.
  • Fostering lasting customer relationships.
  • Ensuring profitable business operations.

Don't risk your new business or personal savings by being unprepared. Ensure your idea, business design, and action plan will set you up for success with guidance from business experts.

What to Expect

Business Design Series is a 4-week program that virtually meets once a week for 2 hours. It is expected that the homework will take 3-5 hours each week. 

At the end of this course, you will have a workable action plan for building a successful and profitable business.

This course will enable you to:

  • Assess your readiness to start a business.
  • Design a successful business model.
  • Select a business entity and start your business.
  • Identify key customers, develop a Customer Persona, and meet consumer needs.
  • Create an effective elevator pitch.
  • Ask the key questions every business owner must answer before starting a business.
  • Determine start up costs and create a basic budget.
  • Consider tax ramifications and tax advantages of owning your own business. 
  • Create an action plan with key milestones and next steps.

Program Overview

  • Introduction to Entrepreneurship:  Is being a Business Owner for you?  We will take a deep dive into your business idea and determine its viability.  Through a series of self assessments, you will be able to decide if entrepreneurship is right for you.  We will use a 360 degree Assessment to help you understand your  strengths and weaknesses as a business owner. 
  • Introduction to Operations: You will develop a profile of your target customer and an elevator pitch that is designed to get their attention and help them make the decision to choose to buy from you.  You will prepare a competitive analysis and discuss time management.
  • Introduction to Finance: You will learn different legal entities, how to register your business in Oregon, review basic financial statements and other money topics such as startup costs, cash flow and fundamental taxes.  You will receive a pre-formulated projection worksheet for developing your first two years of a profit and loss statement. You will also prepare your first internal system, a customer intake form.
  • Introduction to Marketing: You will develop a list of marketing needs, learn how to overcome sales objections, discuss networking strategies, learn marketing fundamentals and create a plan to move forward over the next 30-60-90 days.


Alumni Success Story - Zeitzwolfe Accounting

Zeitzwolfe 1

“If you’re just starting your business the PCC SBDC is a wonderful opportunity to tap into the minds of others and become part of a welcoming and supportive community. If you’ve been in business for a while but have struggled with your entrepreneurial vision, then this program will help you build the framework you need, supply you with tools, and help you get focused.”

Learn more about Zeitzwolfe Accounting’s success here!

The Investment

  • 8 hours in class, divided into 4 weekly, 2-hour sessions

  • Tuition is $125

  • Payments are made through the Portland Community College Student Accounts Dept. 


Upcoming Business Design Series Training Programs - REGISTER NOW to SAVE YOUR SEAT!

April 11th (Live via Zoom)
May 31st (Live via Zoom)
July 10th (Live via Zoom)
August 29th (Live via Zoom)

Although BDS is a stand-alone program, it is most successful when followed by the Business Builders program which is designed to develop each topic more fully and give you the tools you need to build a complete foundation that supports your growing enterprise.  The Business Builders program is very interactive and full of resources, worksheets, handouts and discussion.