SBDC Class participant

Biz Smart Training for Entrepreneurs

Real World Training for Entrepreneurs

Chris Hansen



“Fun, light-hearted – but heavy information. I didn’t feel like I was being talked at. I was part of everyone else being included.”  Chris Hansen, Aptus LLC



The Biz Smart Training for Entrepreneurs class is the launch point for your business. This 8-week class provides you with everything you need to develop a clearly articulated business plan – an essential tool that you can use to seek bank funding, clarify your vision for the future, and begin to put structure to your goals.

By providing you with access to a team of expert instructors, the Biz Smart course is like hiring a dream team for your business. You’ll hear from professionals in marketing, law, human resources, accounting, risk management, financing, and more – a value of $2,250 for their time and expertise. Their expertise will also help you learn – and avoid! – common mistakes new business owners make.

This course is an excellent touchpoint for:

  • Entrepreneurs who are just starting out
  • Participants who need a refresher on business basics
  • More established businesses looking to formalize or revamp their business plan

Biz Smart is also the class that participants in our Entrepreneurial Training Program attend. The class provides participants with structured content and plenty of opportunity to ask questions.

Testimonials from our Spring 2020 participants:
  • “[Our instructor’s] presentation today was so eye-opening. I feel like this is in reach!”
  • Great presentation, examples and information. Looking over websites and giving feedback was awesome!”
  • “I didn’t expect to enjoy a talk about risk management and insurance. Thanks for an informative presentation on what on the surface is such a dull topic.”


Location: Grainger Hall, UW-Madison
Schedule: 6:00-8:30 pm
Dates: Thursday’s  October 1 – November 19, 2020

Fee: $399

Click to Register

Registration policy: Payment will be required at time of registration. You must have either a credit card or valid UW-Madison funding string to be able to register.

Cancellation policy: If you cancel before the program begins, there is a $25 cancellation fee. If you cancel after the program begins you will be charged for the full program fee. To cancel, call registration at 608-262-3909. If there is inclement weather, please call 608-263-2221 for a recorded message after 6:30 am for day classes or after 3:30 pm for night classes.

Disability Statement: Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact the UW-Madison SBDC office at to request accommodations.

BizSmart Training for Entrepreneurs Course Content

Introduction and Ideation:
  • Introduction to the class
  • Business Model Canvas – Ideation
  • Writing a Business Plan – why both Business Model Canvas and Business plan?
  • Business mission statement, vision, products & services
Understanding your Market and Industry:
  • Define your market using the Value Proposition Canvas
  • Understand your industry (introduction to business library databases, NAICS codes, industry status, and trends)
Marketing Your Product or Service:
  • The basics of marketing
  • Developing a market communications plan including how to communicate benefits and competitive advantages
  • Promotional components to help reach target customers including estimated costs
  • The internet side of marketing
Legal and Operations:
  • Understanding the different legal entities and pros and cons of each
  • Basics of employment law, workers’ compensation & unemployment compensation, the difference between independent contractors and employees
  • Basics of patents, copyright, trademarks & trade secrets
  • Buying a business or franchise
  • An overview of business operations (technology needs, location, risk management)
Human Resource Management and Operations:
  • Management/personnel regulations and job descriptions
  • Hiring the first employee, including recruiting & interviewing
  • Operations Continued (process, customer service)
Accounting and Record Keeping:
  • Type of records to track and options for doing so
  • Cash vs accrual accounting methods
  • Balance sheets and income statements and how they relate
  • Basics of income tax and other taxes
  • Deductible expenses and how they need to be documented
  • Start-up costs, financial projections and accounting basics
  • Options for financing a business including bank loans, crowdfunding, angel and venture capital
  •  Importance factors including credit for bank financing
  •  Steps for applying for a loan
  • Different reasons for borrowing money (start-up, cash flow, capital equipment, expansion, etc.)
Putting it all together:
  • Executive summary
  • Resources as you work on your business
  • Next Steps


Michelle Somes-Booher, Director SBDC

Obtaining a Business Loan

Tom Hershberger, Mandli Communications

Introduction Business Model Canvas and Business Plan

Final Review of your Business Plan and Next steps

Justin Johnson, Mark Krebsbach & Janet Hartung Renfert, Partners from Porter & Sack, CPAs:

Record Keeping, Accounting & Taxes

Joe Camilli & Danielle Johnson, Attorneys from Neider & Boucher, S.C.

Legal issues and requirements

Peggy Smith, UW-Madison School of Business Librarian

Understanding your market and industry

Adrianne Machina, Tornado Marketing

Using the Web and social media for your business

Karen Bender SPHR; SHRM SCP, HR Consultant

Human Resources side of Business

Jim Costanzo, Robin Finco, Dana Hoffmann, Jim Holden, Mike Jones & Julie Spitzack, Summit Credit Union

Obtaining a Business Loan

Rollie Boeding

Insurance Basics