8-Week Business Planning Course

Join us for some real world business planning. Learn what you need to know to start and run a successful small business with our 8-week intensive training course, now offered virtually. Class topics include: developing a business plan, strategic planning, marketing, sales forecasting, financial management and analysis, legal, insurance and tax issues. The course provides fundamental planning concepts and tools to help existing and potential business owners.

Dates: Saturdays, January 22 – March 12, 9am-12pm

Class will be offered in conjunction with the STEAM Garden, but will be held virtually on Zoom.

Please let us know if you have connection issues or wish assistance setting up Zoom.

The tuition for the course is $240 and includes class materials. *Scholarships may be available and you should reach out directly to rose@mycommunityloanfund.org.

The class covers:

8 sequential 3 hour sessions presented by community experts in business topics

Sessions include business plan writing, legal issues, marketing, credit and financing, bookkeeping, financial management, social media marketing and website development.

An online resource page is available anytime during the course to provide weekly resources (content depends on the session) such as: handouts, links, slide-decks, and replays.

Community Loan Fund staff are available throughout and after the course to provide 1:1 assistance and facilitate you taking your individual business project to the next level.

*If you or your organization would like to sponsor a scholarship, please inquire directly to rose@mycommunityloanfund.org.


To register for this upcoming Small Business Planning Course, please complete the form below and one of our team members will follow up with you.


“The continued commitment toward mentoring me, and the genuine concern for my success has been the continuing legacy of the Community Loan Fund. There has been a partnership and a belief that I can succeed.”

Susan Dunckel, Sweet Sue’s Copper Pot

“The Community Loan Fund provided the platform that I needed to write my business plan. They are teaching me how to grow a sustainable business. Their ongoing technical assistance is helping me identify the resources that I need to take my business to the next level.”

Karen Maxwell, Kema’s Kreations

“The Community Loan Fund really helped me to fine tune and take a deep dive into certain aspects of my business plan, such as financials and marketing…”

Charlotte Guyton, Bard and Baker Board Game Café

Course Outline

This outline is subject to change 

Session 1: Introduction to Entrepreneurship & Business Plans, January 22

Presenter: Rose Bordett


  •  To be able to summarize ones’ business project for the purpose of business networking.
  • To be able to apply common pitfalls of entrepreneurship to yourself and your project.
  • To discuss the basic outline of a business plan and identify your own objectives in business planning in relation to the coming course.

Session 2: Legal Issues: Business Formation, Contracts, and Intellectual Property, January 29  

Presenter:  Nancy Delain, Esq.


  • To be able to identify and compare the four types of business formation: sole-proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, and corporation.
  • To be introduced to definitions of intellectual property terms such as trademark and copyright.
  • To be introduced to the definition of a contract.

Session 3: Marketing Concepts & Market Research, February 5

Presenter: Khamel Abdulai


  • To be introduced to a variety of marketing terms and discuss how marketing activities are a central part of any business.
  • To identify 2-3 sources of primary and secondary market research in relation to your business project.
  • To discuss how to use competitive analysis; to identify competitive strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for your business.

Session 4:  Credit (Personal/Small Business) and Banking, February 12

Presenter: Destiny Watkins


  • To be able to identify the five assessment areas that make up your personal credit score.
  • To be able to identify ways to improve or maintain your personal credit in assisting your business project.
  • To discuss the different ways a person can finance a start-up or existing business, including bootstrapping, and alternative and conventional means of financing.

Presenter: John Staugitis


  • To be able to discuss the general ways in which conventional banks and credit unions, and alternative lenders like CDFIs look at potential businesses for loans.
  • To be able to identify common types and uses of commercial loans for small businesses.

Session 5: Commercial Real Estate and Insurance Concepts, February 19

Presenter: Felton McLaughlin


  • To be able to identify and distinguish between the common types of commercial leases.
  • To be able to identify alternatives to traditional commercial leasing for many startup businesses.

Presenter: Neal Brady


  • To be able to identify several common types of insurance used by businesses.
  • To be able to identify the types of insurances required by NYS before hiring employees.

Session 6: Social Media Marketing & Web Sites, February 26

Presenter: Aimee Tweedie


  • To be able to understand the pros and cons of social media marketing vs. other methods.
  • To be able to identify 1-2 social media channels which match your business’ demographic and psychographic use patterns.

Presenter: Michael Roach


  • To be able to identify the common parts of a webpage and distinguish domain, address, and host.
  • To be able to identify and distinguish several website builders and commonly used tools.

Session 7: Accounting Issues and Small Business issues, March 5

  • To be able to identify the records needs commonly kept in record keeping.
  • To be introduced to the standard financial statements of cash-flow statement, profit and loss statement, and balance sheet.
  • To be introduced to common bookkeeping and accounting terms.

Presenter: Karen Schupack

  • To be able to discuss different issues a small business might encounter at different stages of being in business.

Session 8: Financial Management, March 12

Presenter: Keith Kaplan, CPA


  • To be able to discuss the cash-flow statements of two different businesses.
  • To be able to discuss the income statements of two different businesses.
  • To be able to discuss the balance sheets of two different businesses.

Graduates of the 8-Week Business Planning Course in Schenectady

Graduates of the 8-Week Business Planning in Delmar