Planning your business for the REAL ‘World’

Staff Report

September 22, 2013

Richmond Community College Small Business Center, in cooperation with NC REAL, is offering an educational and scholarship opportunity for individuals interested in learning about starting a business.

The first class starts Oct. 8 from 9 a.m. to noon. Interested individuals must pre-register online at, contact Deborah Hardison at 910-410-1687 or email

The REAL World series is a set of eight classes that walk you through the entire business planning process. Each class focuses on one specific part of the business plan and by the end of the eight classes you should have created a rough draft of your business plan.

“The REAL classes are a fun and interactive journey through the business planning process. Instead of lecturing you, we use hands-on activities to teach each topic,” said Shannon Gallagher, Eastern Regional Associate for NC REAL.

“The classes are enriched by the addition of speakers and provides a fantastic opportunity to get your business plan pulled together and network with other individuals in your community,” she said.

Each class addresses a different key to business planning success. The initial classes will assess your skills and readiness as an entrepreneur, the feasibility of your business idea and whether there is a fit for your business idea in the community.

The next classes will address marketing and talk about how to market your products or services and pricing.

The operations classes address the ins and outs of your business; topics include: business legal structure, management/personnel needs, insurance requirements and permits required to open a business.

Finally, business financials will be covered; here you will determine what it will cost to open your business.

“We are very excited to work with Richmond Community College to bring this series to the community. We look forward to new businesses being started and creating jobs for the area,” Gallagher said.

These classes will be offered at the RCC’s Cole Auditorium in Hamlet. Classes start Oct. 8 and go until Nov. 7. Each class is 3 hours and will begin at 9 a.m. and end at noon. While this type of series typically costs $70 plus $25 for the course book, there are scholarships available for participants. Through this grant awarded to NC REAL, scholarship costs will cover the cost of attending the series as well as a book to go along with the classes. A scholarship application will need to be filled out.

The classes are part of a grant awarded to NC REAL through the North American Development Bank. NC REAL is a nonprofit organization that grows entrepreneurship in North Carolina by training teachers, supporting local entrepreneurship programs, and developing timely, hands-on entrepreneurial curriculum.