So yesterday was my first day at what I’m calling Entrepreneuse School. I’m going to like it a lot, I think. It’s boot camp on opening your own business.
For those who have been asking – it’s a program called the Ontario Self Employment Benefits Program, administered by the Ministry of Colleges, Training and Universities and run out of the Toronto Business Development Centre,
It’s tough to get in. And it takes time, and teaches you patience (something I don’t have much of). In June I went to JobStarts which is where your paperwork begins, as you need to be recommended to this program.
Then I went to an info session in July. A week later I sent in my business proposal (your proposal must demonstrate not only a viable business idea, but need for the program).
Then I waited.
In August I heard back that my proposal was indeed successful and I had been invited to the next stage which was a full on presentation of said proposal, which required me to expand upon my previous proposal. (Years of grant writing certainly came in handy!) So I expanded upon my previous proposal. And went and made a presentation of my viable business idea.
Then I waited.
Two weeks ago I got a call that I had been accepted and went to sign my contract. What have I committed to?
Essentially, a ten week boot camp on opening establishing and running a business from the ground up. We started yesterday with the most basic things like your business name, will you register for HST, where is your office, what is your fax number, you name it. I attend school two days a week from 9:00 – 4:00 and then do my homework – a milestone a week ( sales analysis, the marketing plan, your ops plan, setting up your books – everything). And at the end of ten weeks – you have a completely solid business plan, and another 32 week s of support from the Ministry while you work on your business. It’s a great program. And a serious commitment.
There are 30 of us in the class (over 120 attended that first info session) and we run the range from dog walkers to video surveillance to scarf designers to relationship coaches. I[‘m looking forward to working with my new colleagues – I think we’ll learn a lot from each other, and I think it’s going to be an excellent ten weeks. We’re already in this together a few people mentioned yesterday they didn’t register the wad of stress they’d been feeling about this endeavor until yesterday when it was gone. I agree. Two months feels like a long time when it’s about your future.
Which brings it to the schedule part – I’m a Virgo – I do love schedules. So I’m enjoying the fact that I can now have a schedule that puts me in school two days a week, and leaves three days a week at CSI to work with my current clients and do my homework. My google calendar is full again and I spent last night getting very, very organized.
I’ll keep you posted when we’re doing interesting stuff.
One of the better Mondays in the world.