Birds Eye Business Planning Classes



Foundations Class Mountain BizWorks

The Foundations Business Planning Class helps aspiring entrepreneurs and existing business owners to create comprehensive business plans in order to start-up, expand, or enhance their businesses.

This class is a refined version of Mountain BizWorks’ popular “Foundations” course. Delivered to thousands of entrepreneurs over 25 years, the curriculum has been honed to help entrepreneurs build a solid foundation for business growth. Now, the Birds Eye team has has revised this curriculum to make it even more relevant and retainable.

In 18 hours over 6 weekly sessions, participants will gain a clear aerial perspective of their business operations, financials, research and development, and marketing strategies. They will leave the course with a comprehensive business plan, a clear vision for their business, and concrete tasks for future work.

Week 1: Gaining Perspective: We start by viewing our business concepts from a high altitude, in order to define our visions and get a good look at the main topics to be addressed.

Week 2: Laying the Foundation: Next, we return to the ground level to define our lines of business and analyze financial essentials, from overhead costs to break-even points.

Week 3: Getting into the Flow: In the third session, we’ll cover the financial bases of cash flow, sales forecasting, and financial documents.

Week 4: Mission & Markets: Then, we’ll revisit our mission, discuss market research, and identify competitors in order to align with our target markets.

Week 5: Get the Word Out: Next, we’ll discuss creative marketing strategies and give peer feedback on marketing materials.

Week 6: Goodbye & Good Luck: Finally, we’ll present our business plans, share final pitches, and plan for next steps.

Throughout the class, emphasis will be placed on developing the social capital of the group. Participants will be encouraged to gather feedback from their peers, creating a strong network of deep support and synergy.

Birds Eye Alpine

Alpine Class Mountain BizWorks

At Birds Eye Business Planning & Adventures, we recognize that the business planning process doesn’t stop when the doors open. Often we are welcoming past Foundations course participants back into this business planning course once they have actual numbers and market feedback to work with.  Many say that the concepts stick better the second time around. So, we have now designed a course specifically for existing entrepreneurs, Birds Eye Alpine.

This course may be for you if you any of these questions resonate with you:

  • Have you been so caught up in the day-to-day that you have lost sight of the big picture and feel like the business is running you more than you running the business?

  • Do you have a new idea that you would like to put through a business planning process while also considering how it fits into the larger business?

  • Are you sitting at a crossroads, considering whether to scale up or scale back and need to think through the implications of either route?

  • Do you need accountability and support to actually work on your business amidst running your business and know you could benefit from receiving feedback from peers in a confidential environment?

The Alpine course gives you the opportunity to assess how things have been going up to this point, while also visioning for the future. This process will reconnect you to the “why” of your venture and help create in-roads to meeting both your short and long term goals.

Birds Eye Alpine is typically delivered as a five week course and is offered within a peer-to-peer learning environment. This course also provides the opportunity to determine if and when to scale your business model and can serve as an excellent precursor to the Mountain BizWorks Scale Up program.

Week 1: The focus this week is on regaining perspective of your venture today, your mission and vision, and what your goals are for this course and for the future. It is also a chance to get to know your fellow cohort members and begin learning from their entrepreneurial endeavors. We will focus on what is emerging for each participant and how we can support around these challenges and opportunities throughout the course.

Weeks 2 and 3: During these sessions we focus on the numbers and the stories that they tell. In Week 2, we will interpret key financial statements and look closely at each line of business within the venture in relation to units of sale, break-even points, and profit and sales goals. During Week 3, we will utilize Birds Eye Financial Tools to create cash flow projections for the future based on new ideas or opportunities surfacing within the business.  

Week 4: We focus on the marketing efforts to date: how is the venture generating awareness about its products and services and gaining feedback from its audiences? During Week 4 we will review all current marketing materials and revisit core concepts of creating a strong brand identity while gaining feedback from peers. During Week 5 we will brainstorm and create new ideas and pathways for connecting with our clients and customers.

Week 5: Week 5 provides the setting for final presentations of participant’s action plans for moving forward, with time left for a potluck celebration and final reflections.

During weekly focus sessions, each participant will have an opportunity to harness the group’s honest feedback on the portions of their venture that could benefit from critical attention. Focus sessions start week 2 and will feature 2-3 entrepreneurs each week.

Birds Eye Foundations and Alpine Business Planning Courses are offered in the Asheville Area by Mountain BizWorks. For more information and to see upcoming classes, check out the course schedule.

Small businesses, and the organizations that support them, are an essential part of the economic landscape. At Birds Eye, we recognize and understand both the power held within small business communities as well as the struggles they face. To bring the Birds Eye Business Planning Classes to your organization, visit our Canopy Licensing Page.

Journal Feature:
Mirror Mirror


“Your businesses are extensions of you out in the world. They can serve as microcosms of your beliefs, skills, passions, and daydreams.”

The 6-week Birds Eye class helped me sort out the priorities of the business. With Annie’s help, along with the support from others in the class, I was able to view the larger picture—a wider approach to Asheville Goods, which in turn allowed me to see where particular attention was needed. Clarifying and strengthening the core mission was paramount, and from there the various financial aspects came into focus. Itemizing variable costs, break-even points and sales goals finally made sense to me in a way that just seemed nebulous prior to the class.
Celia Naranjo of Asheville Goods
I was astounded by the quality and usefulness of the Birds Eye materials and empowered by my values-driven instructor, Jodi Rhoden, as well as the participative learning process emphasized in the classes.
Susannah Gebhart of OWL Bakery