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Coursera Launch Strategy: 5 Steps to Capstone Experience

Michigan State University via Coursera

  • Overview
  1. Coursera
    Platform:
    Coursera
    Provider:
    Michigan State University
    Length:
    7 weeks
    Effort:
    2-4 hours/week
    Language:
    English
    Credentials:
    Paid Certificate Available
    Part of:
    How to Start Your Own Business | Coursera
    Overview
    This course is the last course in this specialization before its capstone experience where you, the learner will launch your business. Consider all the activities associated with the final preparation for a NASA launch before the final countdown takes place. Those are the type of activities with respect to launching a business that will be covered in this course. The goal of the course is for you to have a document that details all the actions you need to take, and all the things that you need to think about before launching your business, with instructions on how to do those actions and how to thing about those things.

    Specifically the course will provide you with five benefits or outcomes. First your attitude will be finely focused and tuned to the mindset concepts covered in course one that are likely to have the greatest impact on your business launch. Second in a similar fashion you will become keenly aware of those aspects of your business that directly impact its ability to create and deliver value on day one; and have actions plans to address each aspect. With your 'mind right' and your 'business right' the third and fourth outcomes of the course are actions plans to get your 'market connections' right. The course will allow you to explore strategies and tactics to engage the market, communication your message, and generate sales; and select those which give you the best opportunity to learn and establish a foundation for growth. Finally the course will walk you through a final checklist of operational issues that will allow you to enter the capstone course and your business launch ready to go on day one.

    Throughout the course we have emphasized the importance of market engagement, allowing the market to provide feedback that sharpens your business and maximizes its chances for success. As with the entire specialization the feedback you will get through the peer review assignments for this course and the capstone course are an invaluable opportunity for for such engagement.

    Syllabus
    Gearing Up Mindset: Strategy Focus
    This module initiates a series of steps to prepare you for actually starting your business in the capstone experience of this course. The first step is to ready your mindset. To prepare yourself to take on a specific state of mind which will orientate your business startup activities in a way that will maximize its chances for success. We suggest this preparation take place in two parts: a focus on strategy, and a focus on resources. This module guides your focus on strategy. At the end of this module you will have a formalized and finalized vision, mission, objectives and goals, and a detailed documentation of these factors in a strategy statement.

    Gearing Up Mindset: Resource Focus
    This module continues the series of steps to prepare you for actually starting your business in the capstone experience of this course. Helping to complete the first step to ready your business for launch, 'to ready your mindset', this module guides your focus on resources. At the end of this module you will have formalized and finalized a resource inventory. This document details all resources at your immediate disposal or within your reach that can be dedicated towards your business.

    Gearing Up Business: Funding Focus
    This module continues the series of steps to prepare you for actually starting your business in the capstone experience of this course. This module is step two in that series. Having completed the first step, 'to ready your mindset', this module guides you in gearing up you business so that it is capable of creating and delivering value at launch. This required capability is threefold: finding funding to augment available resources; finalizing business model detailing execution strategy, and finalizing the operational tasks necessary to insure the business's product or service can actually be produced and delivered. This module deals with the first of these requirements. At the end of this module you will have a greater understanding of non-traditional funding sources to augment the traditional ones, putting you in the best position possible to find any additional funding you may need to launch your business.

    Gearing Up Business: Design Focus
    This module continues step two of the five steps to prepare you for actually starting your business in the capstone experience of this course. Step two is gearing up business. The focus of step two is insuring that your business is capable of creating and delivering its product or service at launch. As stated earlier this required capability is threefold: finding funding to augment available resources; finalizing business model detailing execution strategy, and finalizing the operational tasks necessary to insure the business's product or service can actually be produced and delivered. This module focuses on the second of these requirements. At the end of this module you will have a a business model adjusted to fit available resources that will guide your actions in starting your business.

    Gearing Up Business: Execution Funding
    This module completes step two of the five steps to prepare you for actually starting your business in the capstone experience of this course. As discussed in modules three and four there are three areas that must be addressed to help insure that your business is capable and ready to create and deliver its product or service at launch. As stated earlier this required capability is threefold: finding funding to augment available resources; finalizing business model detailing execution strategy, This module focuses on the third and final of these requirements: finalizing the operational tasks necessary to insure the business's product or service can actually be produced and delivered. Finalizing these operational tasks not only provides a checklist for launch, but a budget for launch as well. At the end of this module you will have a production plan and accompanying budget along with a startup budget.

    Gearing Up For Market Creation & ABC Plan
    This module addresses the third (Get Market Created) and fourth (Get 'ABC' Game Plan) steps of the process to prepare for your capstone experience and business launch. These two steps prepare the business to connect with individuals and organizations in its market, form and nurture relationships and create customers. There is a saying in sports that winning cures all ills. There are several reasons that lead to business failures, most if not all can be cured with enough customers. Peter Drucker, who many describe as the father of modern business consulting, is famously quoted as saying, “Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two–and only two–basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business.” In essence a business is to create value, then create a customer. At the end of this model you will be able to develop a marketing plan and sales plan outlining the specific tools you will use to connect with and create customers.

    Checklist for Launch
    This module presents the fifth and last step to prepare for your capstone experience and the launch of your business. At the end of this module you will have a completed a formalized final launch plan laying out the execution steps for your capstone experience.

    Taught by
    Ken Szymusiak

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