The Biz Smart program includes all of the business areas crucial to planning and running your business. It incorporates not only the crucial areas, but helps you apply them to a business plan that you can then use as a roadmap for your business. 

This program is meant for entrepreneurs who are just starting out, need a refresher of the business basics or need to update or create a plan to use as a guide for running your business. It is also the course participants in our Entrepreneurial Training Program take. Each class includes 75-90 minutes of expert advice followed by 60 minutes of practical application.  

See sessions tab for more information


  • SBDC
  • SUMMIT C.U. 

Tom Hershberger
Axiom Group, LLC

Introduction Business Model Canvas and Business Plan

Janet Hartung Renfert 
Partners from Porter & Sack, CPAs

Record Keeping, Accounting & Taxes

Israel Lopez
Attorneys from Neider & Boucher, S.C. 

Legal issues and requirements

Greta Wood
UW 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

Robin Finco & Julie Spitzack
Summit Credit Union

Obtaining a Business Loan

Introduction and Ideation

  • Introduction to the course
  • Business Model Canvas – Ideation
  • What is 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
    • Who is your Target Customer?
    • Competitive advantage and interviewing potential customers
  • Understanding your industry
    • Introduction to business library databases
    • NAICS code, 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

  • Review of the business plan sections –putting it all together
    • Executive summary
    • Pitch decks
    • Resources as you work on your business
  • Next Steps


  • Location: Grainger Hall, UW-Madison
  • Schedule: 6:00-8:30 pm
  • Dates: Thursdays, February 8 - March 29, 2018 or April 19 - June 7, 2018
    Fee: $349 

Click to REGISTER ONLINE  for February class
Click to REGISTER ONLINE  for April class

or you may call to register at 608-262-3909

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.

Thanks to our small buisness partners:

Neider and BoucherP&S  logo