Business planning course starts March 21

Mar 07, 2013
Photo by: Donated photo Skipper Russell

Mountain BizWorks will offer an Express Foundations business planning course from 6 to 9 p.m. beginning March 21, at the Oak Park Inn, 196 S. Main St., in Waynesville.

The six-session weekly course helps entrepreneurs to evaluate and estimate start-up and overhead costs, determine profit goals, project cash flow, develop marketing plans, and learn about necessary licensing and record keeping. Additional material will be provided for those in agricultural enterprises.

For more information or to register, contact Ashley Epling, at 253-2834, ext. 27,, or course facilitator John Woods at 551-2095, or email

Mountain BizWorks has helped many in diverse fields, including the agricultural business. One success story is Skipper Russell, who has been farming his entire life, butbecame a full time farmer in 2008. His 35-acre farm in Bethel, Seasonal Produce Farm, sells tomatoes, bell peppers, beans, lettuce, basil, broccoli, potatoes, cucumbers and sweet corn to clients such as Ingles Markets and Haywood County Schools. His farm employs up to 30 people seasonally, and he has worked hard to obtain certifications that allow him to provide produce to larger institutions such as schools and hospitals.

Russell also owns Canton Corn Maze, an agri-tourism family-fun business open annually from mid-September to Halloween. Surviving the sluggish economy has been a challenge, but

Mountain BizWorks training has helped Skipper to diversify hisofferings and plan for expanded direct marketing efforts.

To learn more about business loans, classes, and coaching from Mountain BizWorks, visit