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InstructionsEach student will interview a small business owner with a firm that generates at least$1 million a year in revenues. (if you have a question about this and your ‘target’interviewee please contact your instructor as soon as possible). Local media accounts,number of locations, employees, etc should allow you to determine if your targetmeets the $1 million threshold.Your goal is to learn about their experiences and compare and contrast what youlearn from them and observe with what we are learning via course materials andclassroom discussions. You will write a paper on their experiences and theirbusinesses, analyzing elements of each.Some specificsStudents should plan to spend at least one hour with this person and if possibleinterview them in their place of business. You may also spend time on theirwebsite/social media accounts and with some of their other leaders or employees.If they have a public facing firm (eg shopping center owner or restaurant orentertainment venue) extra visits to the firm to observe how it operates, thecustomers, the flow of business (the business model in action!) are very beneficial.Your final product will be a 4-6 page document that at a minimum explores how thissmall business owner arrived where they are (from opportunity identification tovision/mission, operations, growth, failure/mistake, current state) and how theyenvision the future (Growth? Exit? Legacy?). The paper should also address theirbusiness model, and connections to concepts in our course.The information you provide in your write of this small business owner should have alogical flow (as should your interview -- see below). It should be professional includingheaders, footnotes, and images/charts/graphs where appropriate.Some tips on interviewingGenerally you want to follow a funnel, starting very broad, and then narrowing downas the interview proceeds. Try to listen and let them lead the way.Some sample questions….What led you to being a business owner? (follow with questions around where theidea came from? Questions on early days?)Background/education/industry experience?How long have owned/operated?Positives of owning/operating?Challenges of own/operation?Key(s) to having a sustainable business?How has your understanding of being an owner/leader changed over the years?Major lessons learned?Major mistakes?Outlook on planning? Short term vs Long term?Specifics of money (other people’s? Borrow? Partners? Equity Investors?)Goals for exits?Goals for legacy?Reminder -- start broad and general to get context and understanding of smallbusiness owner operator and their venture then get more narrow/specific as theinterview progresses. For example, there may be no need to get into human resourcemanagement interviewee doesn’t go that way or it doesn’t fit flow or appear to bekey element of their small business story.

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