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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 at the end of the Professional Chocolatier Program. During the program, students focus each week on a different section of the plan: management, marketing, operations and finance using the knowledge and research you learned during the Professional Chocolatier Program.

Program Date & Fee

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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.

For registrants of the August Professional Chocolatier Program Plus, the Business Plan portion of the program will run November 6 - December 4, 2015.

For those people who want to register for the Business Plan program but are not taking the Professional Chocolatier Program Plus, the next available Business Plan program is June 19 - July 17, 2015.

Ecole Chocolat STUDENTS OR GRADUATES

Log onto the Master programs through your current program or Graduate Centre in LEARNING CENTRE

Non-Students or Graduates, you should:

  • 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.

Please contact us at: registration@ecolechocolat.com to arrange for enrollment in this program. Registration fee is $195.00 US.

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 at the end of the Professional Chocolatier Program in April, June and November 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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