Written by Dave Erickson, business instructor
The Small Business Management class at Minnesota School of Business-Blaine on Dec. 15 delivered a promised business plan toLoAnn Madden, the owner of Thrive for Wellness, whose small business strives to provide weight-loss techniques, coaching and nutritional counseling to clients in the north metro area.
Focusing on green products, Thrive for Wellness offers its clients a wide variety of health shakes and snacks that promote energy and healthy living for consumers of its products.
“What differentiates Thrive for Wellness from other weight-loss and better living programs is that ours is not a workout facility with expensive personal trainers, but rather a program with coaches who are committed to help their clients become and stay motivated to becoming healthier individuals with nutrition,” said Madden, whose business is located at 1573 154th Ave. NW in Andover.
She notes that similar Thrive for Wellness facilities are located in Anoka, Fridley and Shoreview, as well.
In order to provide a basic framework to Madden, the class of 10 business students each took a section of the business plan to research, write and deliver during a special presentation in their class on Monday, Dec. 15. The plan included:
- Business description
- Marketing strategies
- Management section
- Operations section
- Critical risks section
- Harvest Strategy
- Milestone schedule
- Mission statement executive summary
The class selected Madden and her business from a large number of small companies that appeared on campus earlier in the term as part of the school’s Small Business Expo. Expressing her interest in discussing business in a more academic, yet also practical, forum intrigued her. She accepted the offer.
Subsequently, the class geared up for the project as part of its ongoing small-business activities in the class, which included a rigorous set of assignments designed to meet their objective and learn about how small businesses work.
In addition to using a business-planning process on a regular basis to help continue the success Thrive for Wellness has already achieved, the class made a number of other recommendations for Madden to consider, including:
- Identifying, researching and expanding her customer market
- Separating herself from her competition through quality customer service
- Hiring additional key sales and management staff in order to meet her growth targets
- Becoming more familiar with her financial statements to provide some forecasting knowledge going forward
“I was very impressed with the entire effort,” said business instructor Dave Erickson following the plan’s delivery to Madden. “The class took on an additional challenge that I added to their work for the quarter, without any criticism or complaint. I commend them all for how they came together as a team to complete this project so effectively in a relatively short span of time.”