“Back of the Napkin Numbers” session launches entrepreneurship week
Troy University’s IDEA Bank kicked off Entrepreneurship Week Monday with a coffee and collaboration session followed by a presentation on Creating Financial Projections for Start-up Businesses by Will Pouncey, a dual graduate of TROY and company owner.
President and Senior Financing Consultant of Optics Consulting, Pouncey assists business owners in three key stages of the business lifecycle: start-up, growth and sale. In his session titled “Back of the Napkin Numbers” he explained how to accurately form financial projections in the start-up phase.
“Good financial projections can help entrepreneurs increase their confidence in starting a business, present themselves effectively to founding partners and team members, and maximize their chances of receiving funding and investments,” said said Pouncey. “At the pre-sale stage, entrepreneurs don’t have historical data to use for financial analysis. Instead, they have to be creative and resourceful. This form of financial projection is commonly referred to as “back of towel numbers”.
To do this correctly, entrepreneurs need to make accurate assessments in three key areas: opportunity, performance, and cost. Pouncey said to define your target market and assess the demand for the idea / product, how the business or idea compares to competitors, what supplies will need to be purchased in advance and how much will need to be spent monthly. to keep the business going.
Pouncey said the main takeaway from his presentation is to be really specific about the data points that matter and not to worry too much about the ones that don’t.
“You are really focusing on how to assess the total possibilities for something and not looking into places like the total market or what the idea is over 10 years,” he said. “Being specific about what matters now and what we are going to be able to do in the short term is the main point. “
Pouncey graduated from TROY in 2018 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Economics. In 2020, he obtained a Master of Arts in Economics. After a brief stint in economic consulting alongside one of his graduate professors, Pouncey decided to start a business consulting firm and said that what he had learned through his masters program and the support of his teachers was what helped him succeed.
“Dr. (Phillip) Mixon gave me a lot of advice to think about the original idea. I was going to sit in his office and we were just talking,” he said. “He did things. similar and has the experience for that, so it was really great to be able to learn from it, but the main thing was just the education I received through my masters program, learning a lot of quantitative skills and how to do good research.
Located on South Court Square in downtown Troy, IDEA Bank’s mission is to develop Troy University and Troy, Alabama into a regional center of economic growth by creating entrepreneurial resources and collaborative opportunities for our student community. , faculty, staff, alumni, local businesses, and leaders.
IDEA Bank aims to support student-centered entrepreneurship and new ventures in the Southeast Alabama region by providing students with the knowledge, resources, and support system needed to launch their ideas locally. Pouncey, who is also an SBDC advisor, said young small business entrepreneurs are going to be the cornerstone of future innovations and solutions.
“New ideas and new innovations will not come from big giant companies. In terms of consumer markets where you really need boots on the ground to identify problems and gaps and be able to find solutions to that, I think most of the good ideas in history have come from small entrepreneurs who have identified a problem, ”he said. “On a smaller scale, if you don’t have the dream of doing something huge, just being able to create more jobs and improve the community, like the new downtown cafe, it will be another good thing that people will have access to. to that is a quality of life thing. If the right people are trying to improve their quality of life, are young, hungry, and want to do a good job, even better.
With the creation of the IDEA Bank, a whole new group of budding entrepreneurs will have more opportunities beyond the classroom to have one-on-one interviews with professionals who can guide them in the right direction. direction.
“For anyone who knows that they want to be their own boss or that they want to make their own way and their own opportunities, having people here to talk to and to bounce ideas off with is essential,” he said. said Pouncey. “If I hadn’t surrounded myself with the right people, I wouldn’t have found 90% of the things I imagined. Being able to have a community around you and not be alone in a vacuum is huge. It can be difficult to do this on your own.
Entrepreneurship Week lasts until September 24 with free public programs every day.
On Tuesday, September 21, three guests from the community who have started businesses will share their experiences and what they would have liked to know from the start during a roundtable. The event starts at 4 p.m.
On Wednesday, September 22, Graphic Design Professor Chris Stagl will walk attendees through the process of creating a logo for their business and branding strategies from 2 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.
Two sessions are offered on Thursday, September 23. The first is a virtual session on the strategic and authentic storytelling of the brand. The owner of Chayil Media Publishing, Danielle Wallace, will present “Bridging the Digital Gap with Brand Storytelling” from noon to 1 pm. From 6 pm to 8 pm, award-winning filmmaker, student entrepreneur and author of “You’re Just a Statistic” Ty Rickard will present the week’s main presentation at a reception in his honor. Rickard built a profitable media production business at the age of 15 and acquired a national clientele of celebrities, musicians and global brands before graduating from high school.
The IDEA Bank will close the week with an open house from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday.
Although the sessions are free, space is limited, so reservations are required for all sessions except the open house and coffee and collaboration. Register online or contact Director Lynne Firmin-George George by email at [email protected]