Building Small Business Acumen

Building Small Business Acumen introduces the business-related concepts and terminology that will help your organization’s small business bankers and branch managers have knowledgeable, meaningful conversations with small business owners.

Building Small Business Acumen begins with a one-module eLearning course that emphasizes the importance of “thinking like a small business owner” when considering the challenges and opportunities that business owners encounter.

It explores four topics that are key to understanding how a small business operates and, therefore, how your financial institution might be able to meet its borrowing and cash management needs. The topics include:

  • The operating cycle and capital investment cycle
  • Common forms of business organization, including sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, and limited liability companies
  • Business growth stages, including the options for—and risks involved in—lending to businesses at each particular stage
  • The key components of financial statements, business tax returns, and Schedule C of personal tax returns

After they have successfully completed the eLearning course, participants are eligible to attend Building Small Business Acumen: Skills Application Lab, a one-day, facilitated training event during which they focus on applying the knowledge they’ve acquired to formulate and ask effective questions.

Using “mini case studies,” participants have the opportunity to explore how a business’s unique qualities—from the way it operates to the way it’s legally organized—will drive the kinds of questions they’ll want to ask.

Emphasis is placed on being able to understand, and even diagram, a business’s operating cycle, and using that information to identify where there may be opportunities for your financial institution to be of service.

The day ends with a capstone activity during which participants prepare a questioning strategy for one of their real-world clients.

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Download the Building Small Business Acumen brochure to learn more about this course.

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