My Week in the 10KSB: Day One
Day One of the 10ksb found me excited yet somewhat apprehensive.
Although I was immensely gratified to have been given this fabulous opportunity, I was also a little afraid that I wasn’t well prepared for the class and the overall experience. Main concern – the financial analysis!
Would I….could I….take enough away from this experience to send my business soaring into the stratosphere?
Well….maybe. The bottom line is that I firmly believed I could learn a lot from the 10KSB and even if it didn’t make me a millionaire; it would give me invaluable information and assistance in how to grow my family owned and operated business—making a better tomorrow for all of us and our employees.
So, with a little trepidation and a lot of anticipation, Day One found me ready to experience the 10KSB to the max and soak up knowledge like a sponge.
I picked up a few important pointers that first day, which I will share with you.
5 Things I Learned on Day One of the 10KSB
Here are 5 lessons I learned on the first day of the 10KSB:
Lesson # 1: Be prepared! Much of your work involves a partner. Get to know important details about your partner, such as his/her personality, business and background. Be professional but personable when you introduce your partner to the class. A little humor and joking around is okay, but don’t over do it! You will have an allotted time in which to introduce your partner so prepare for it. Practice your intro in advance at least once and preferably two or even three times to make sure you can go through it swiftly and efficiently within the time limit. Keep your partner’s bio professional for the most part and don’t clutter it up with too many extraneous personal details. After all, the 10KSB is for professionals.
Lesson # 2: Breakfast officially starts at 8 am but class starts at 8:30, so this really isn’t much time. Far better to arrive about 7:30 for breakfast and you’ll have some extra time for networking, meeting others in the class and establishing a rapport while enjoying the camaraderie of classmates. You can forge some valuable connections in that extra half hour!
Lesson # 3: If, like me, numbers aren’t your strong suit—don’t panic. You’ll quickly discover that you won’t look like the class dunce if you don’t fully understand the financial aspects of running a business as well as you might, because there will be others in the same boat who don’t excel at numbers and financial matters, either. Just keep an open mind and you’ll at least learn what such terms as amortization and depression mean even if you still don’t totally get how to calculate them from scratch. Remember, that’s what accountants or perhaps your partners are for. Delegate, delegate!
Lesson # 4: Before the first class at Babson College, all participants have to do a Resource Map. The idea is for you to identify areas of opportunity and things you need help with such as an accountant, a PR person, attorney or whatever. Once you identify these key areas on your Resource Map, refer to the list of 10ksb participants to find classmates in those areas. This is a prime opportunity to make connections and create relationships with these people who have the skills you need to grow your business. Once you identify these people, don’t be a shrinking violet! Approach them, introduce yourself and explain why you are introducing yourself to them. I have made myself a promise to touch base with these resources on a regular basis rather than only contacting them when I need their help or advice.
Lesson # 5: The evening reception is a great time to unwind and have a little fun, while networking and making some connections. Don’t be pushy or try to dominate a conversation, but do put your best foot forward and forget being shy—this is your chance to shine and a golden opportunity to not only meet business people whose services might be of use to you; but also to meet people who might one day be able to use your business services, also! I met some truly fantastic people at the evening reception on Day One, as well as some of the outstanding Babson College staff and Goldman Sachs Staff for 10ksb. To say I felt like I just won the lottery doesn’t come close to describing how lucky I felt just being there and attending that reception!
Those are a few tips I might offer to anyone who is ever fortunate enough to be chosen for the 10KSB.
Next, we’ll move along to Day Two!