As part of the Tabor School of Business core curriculum, all Millikin business students are required to take a course called ‘Business Creation’. This course acts as a base for all business courses by helping students build strong business skills right off the bat. These students are asked to find a problem and create a business as a solution to that problem. After spending an entire semester, and numerous hours on their business plans, these students must pitch their plans.
One group understood the demand for sport specific training facilities for middle school through high school aged kids. The goal in creating a facility like this is to help athletes in this age group to get an edge over other students and perform better in their chosen sport. While this market is huge and filled already with a variety of gyms, there is a lack of places young athletes can go to get individualized and specific training that fulfills their goals.
While it is easy to identify a problem, there are many things that go into creating a successful business plan that can pose a solution to that problem. In order to create a successful plan for their facility, these students first had to do an Industry and Market analysis to understand what they need to do to make their business successful. They also had to create a marketing plan to reach their desired audience, an operations plan to understand the goals & objectives of the company and how it needed to be run, and they also had to identify and budget their finances. After taking an entire semester to complete the various parts of their business plan, these students had to create a PowerPoint highlighting each section of the plan. They were required to pitch their plan to their class for their final, just as they would to a board of investors.
Brandon Profeta, a member of this group, shared a little bit of his experience: “I thought the whole thing was very cool, and as my first introduction to Millikin’s idea of “Performance Learning”, it made me appreciate the concept and realize that performance learning is something that the whole school takes very seriously.” Students get to experience what it takes to create a business from the ground up which makes the idea of creating a business less daunting and gives students confidence to go on to their next courses.
Highlights of this course included learning how to use modern techniques for marketing to reach a desired audience, such as Facebook’s advertising system. Students also learned how to do an industry research project using a database ,and they learned basic business terms such as gross profit, profit margin, cost of goods sold, etc. Most importantly, students learned that consumers don’t buy products, they buy solutions to their problems.
BU 100’s performance learning project at Millikin University empowers students to start building their career now. Students walk away from this course with a true understanding of the time and effort put in to creating a business and gives them the confidence need to do it themselves.