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Business Plan for Chocolatiers

Business Plan Program

The Business Plan for Chocolatiers Program is an intensive, part-time program in developing a business plan delivered 100% online over a one-month period. During the program, students focus each week on a different section of the plan: management, marketing, operations and finance. Whether you're just starting out or need to re-engineer your current business, this program will keep you focused and on track to the completion of a realistic business plan.

Program Date & Fee

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Next program: July 10 - August 7, 2015

$195.00 US/CAD (Canadian residents – plus GST by Province)

The Business Plan for Chocolatiers Program is the LAST STEP in preparation for opening your business. I just want to make sure that you're not expecting this program to be the first step in the process of understanding what a chocolatier is and does. That first step would be our Professional Chocolatier Program.

If you are registering for this program you should:

  • Already be a graduate of the Professional Chocolatier Program;
  • Or already be working in the industry so you know the business and your target market;
  • Or feel you have completed all your research into the business aspects of owning and operating a chocolate shop.

Pre-requisite preparation: In order for you to get the most benefit from the program, you'll want to have all your preliminary research completed for your business plan before the program starts. You should research: the chocolate industry in your country, your chosen business model, location and facility costs for your chocolate laboratory, equipment purchases needed to support your production, recipe development and costing, chocolate and ingredient costs from your suppliers, sales projections based on your price points and market research, marketing/promotional plans and financial assets allocated for the business. We can then help you to put those disparate pieces together in a coherent business plan.

If you are NOT currently an Ecole Chocolat student or graduate but do have experience in chocolate work plus have complete the work outlined in the Pre-requisite Preparation section above, please contact us at: registration@ecolechocolat.com to arrange for enrollment in this program.

Ecole Chocolat STUDENTS OR GRADUATES DO NO REGISTER HERE - instead log onto the Master programs through your current program or Graduate Centre in LEARNING CENTRE

Committing to a business plan forces you to do your homework and focus on what you know and don't know about your business. This practical curriculum covers all the elements of a business plan while at the same time focusing on those issues of importance to a chocolatier. The curriculum touches on all chocolatier business models selling through the following sales channels: retail, wholesale, Internet and/or events/markets.

Mentoring is as important as the curriculum. Our Ecole Chocolat Business Instructor and Tutor Rachel Sawatzky will be there right with you, giving advice and tips to make sure you don't forget anything. Besides writing the majority of the curriculum, Rachel pens a Tales from the Frontline in each module relating her direct experience in compiling – and then later revising – her own business plan.

Curriculum at-a-glance

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Understanding entrepreneurship

  • Understand the issues and challenges of entrepreneurship.
  • Chart the steps to actually starting your business and develop milestones.
  • Prepare for the financial and management obligations you'll incur over the course of opening your business.

The business plan and management

  • Review the importance of having a good, realistic business plan.
  • Understand the options for structuring your business legally.
  • Develop a comprehensive management plan.

The marketing plan

  • Develop your own unique selling proposition that differentiates you from your competitors.
  • Communicate your vision succinctly to your target market.
  • Build a strong business model around your most important sales channel.

The operations plan

  • Finalize your location and facilities, including legal obligations and financing.
  • Navigate health codes and licensing.
  • Realistically estimate expenditures on labor, ingredients, equipment and packaging.

The financial plan

  • Understand the financial obligations that you are taking on in the business.
  • Project your income and profit into the future, based on your research and assumptions.
  • Develop a realistic cash-flow projection and a break-even analysis so you can track your business day by day.

Program objectives

This is a non-certificate course, so there are no graded assignments. You'll be working through your plan, step by step, each week using a guided worksheet focused on each module. Our goal is that you have your business plan in first-draft form by the end of this one-month program. You should plan to set aside at least six hours per week for research, thinking and writing.

Protecting your plans

All students are anonymous to each other in this program to protect your privacy and intellectual property. We do strongly encourage questions for the tutor and discussions in our forum, but, again, anonymously.


Our Graduates

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What our graduates have to say

"I kept thinking I needed to take a business plan course, but having the opportunity to take such a course specifically geared to chocolate is so fantastic!"
- Kim, Aug. ’14 Graduate

"I was expecting a simple overall business plan course, but your attention to detail was very good. Coming up with a business plan isn't a simple project, and this class has helped me understand what I need to focus on from a financial perspective."
- Steve, Aug. '13 Graduate

"I especially liked that the curriculum. . . followed the business plan format and detailed every aspect that should be included in planning a chocolate business."
- Laura, Jan. '13 Graduate

"I really loved hearing the voice of the chocolatier. Knowing that Rachel has been in our shoes and has succeeded gives me confidence that I can do the same. I am so grateful she has documented her missteps so we can all learn from them. . . Just when I thought I was being buried in business and accounting terms, her stories lightened the mood and reminded me why I'm here. More than just the business aspect – I was INSPIRED."
- Mary, July '12 Graduate

More comments from our graduates

More About Our School

Ecole Chocolat

How do we teach chocolate making online?

Click here for a more information about our learning experience. »

Our faculty

Click here to read more about our instructors and tutors. »

When is the Business Plan for Chocolatiers Program offered during the year?

We offer sessions of the program starting in January and July each year.

Is there a restriction on the number of students you take each session?

Even though the curriculum is online, we do cut off registrations when we reach the maximum number of students our instructor and online tutor feel they have adequate time to be able to work with properly.

Cancellation policy

You can cancel from the Business Plan for Chocolatiers Program up to three days before the start of the program. A refund of your registration fee, minus a 10% administration fee, may take approximately 10 working days to process. Because our programs are usually full, and in order to make sure all students are committed, on the start date of your program your registration fee becomes non-refundable and non-transferable to another session (except in extraordinary circumstances).

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