Initial Planning Conference Call and Preparation for Visit 1

6 Weeks Prior to Visit 1

A key aspect of this program is the recognition that the students’ learning must benefit the business and that the program represents a significant investment on the part of the sponsor in their employee’s career. Therefore, the program’s goals are owner-directed, developed in partnership with the student and business coach. Each business and each student will have unique goals to achieve through their study, depending on the needs of the business, the student’s areas of responsibility and the abilities of the student.

 Joint Web Conference

In order to develop customized student goals, after the student is accepted into the program and approximately 6 weeks prior to Visit 1, the student, owner (Sponsor) and the business coach will schedule a joint web conference. The purpose of this conference is to discuss various aspects of the program, including:

General Orientation

An overview of the course of study will be discussed, including an introduction to the general expectations, teaching staff, teaching methods, learning management system, location, schedule of visits and accommodations.

Goal Setting

Each owner and student will come to the program seeking different goals. The purpose of this discussion between the business coach, student and owner will be to clarify expectations and clearly define the desired outcomes. These goals will help direct the study plan for each student as they prepare for each visit.

Business Plan

Each student will be required to develop a business plan, specific for their business, during the course of the program and be prepared to present it to the group during the last visit. During the conference, this will be introduced and discussed.

Preparation for Visit 1

The student will be given an outline of the preparation needed for the first visit, including readings, case studies and projects to be completed. Preparation for visits is vitally important; it is each student’s responsibility to be fully prepared to learn, but more importantly to contribute to the interaction during each visit.

Visit 1: Achieving a High Performance Business

Day One

Arrivals, Evening Networking Reception & Opening Dinner

Day Two

Session 1: Orientation

  • Module 1.1: Icebreaker -  Getting to Know the Course & Each Other
  • Module 1.2: A Case Study in Successful Business: What Would You do if You Were the Boss?
  • Module 1.3: Our Changing Industry

Session 2: Management Workshop

  • Module 2.1: Getting Things Done Through Others
  • Module 2.2: Career Transitions
  • Module 2.3: Personal Style: An Exercise in Engaging & Communicating with Team Members

Evening: Closing Networking Reception and Dinner

Day Three

Session 3: Strategy Workshop

  • Module 3.1: Strategic Opportunity/Risk Identification: Prospering in an Environment of Economic Change, Competition and Stakeholder Demands
  • Module 3.2: Growing Your Business: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
  • Module 3.3: Retail Strategy Case Study: The Home Depot Case

Session 4: Improving Your Business Workshop

  • Module 4.1: High Performance Retailing: How to Be the Best of the Best
  • Module 4.2: Your Business Improvement Project

Evening Activity: Bowling Night

Day Four

Morning Departures


Post Visit 1 Webinar

  • Time Management Skills: Making the Most of Your Time & Effectively Delegating


Visit 2: Building Markets and Customers

Day One

Arrivals, Evening Networking Reception and Dinner

Day Two

Session 1: Competitive Analysis Workshop

  • Module 1.1: Retail Pricing & Store Slotting

Session 2: Marketing Workshop

  • Module 2.1: Marketing Strategies
  • Module 2.2: Digital Marketing: Your Store’s Online Presence & Social Media Strategies

Evening: Networking Reception and Dinner

Day Three

Session 3: Environmental and Performance Mechanics

  • Module 3.1: Store Layout, Design & Merchandising Best Practices
  • Module 3.2: Performance Management Metrics: How to Know if the Business is Doing Well
  • Module 3.3: Your Business Improvement Project: Progress Checks

Session 4: Project Management Workshop

  • Module 4.1: Project Management

 Evening Activity: Poker Night

Day Four

Morning Departures

Post Visit 2 Webinar

  • Presentation Skills: Tips & Tricks for Pitching Your Ideas & Speaking in Public


Visit 3: Managing for Success

Day One

Arrivals, Evening Networking Reception and Dinner

Day Two

Session 1: Finance & Operations Workshop

  • Module 1.1: Financial Training for Non-Financial Managers & Cash Flow Analysis
  • Module 1.2: Operations Management

Session 2: Human Resources Management Workshop

  • Module 2.1: Employee Engagement & Difficult Conversations
  • Module 2.2: Implementing and Administering an Effective Employee Training Program

Evening: Networking Reception and Dinner

Day Three

Session 3: Learning Applications

  • Module 3.1: Capstone Case Study Analysis Activity
  • Module 3.2: In-Box Exercise

Session 4: Business Improvement Project Presentations

Evening: Closing Networking Reception and Dinner

Day Four

Morning Departures


Course Wrap-Up Conference Call

Spring 2015 Session: Late August 2015

In this final session, the student, sponsor Ball State Business Coach and NRHA Program Manager will schedule a final conference call to complete the NRHA Retail Management Certification Program. This will cover the following:

  • Completion of Assignments from Visit 3
    The student and Business Coach will go over the coursework assigned from Visit 3 to make sure the student has completed all assigned homework and required reading. The student and Business Coach will also have this final opportunity to answer any remaining questions to make sure the student understands all concepts presented throughout the course.
  • Verify “Quick Wins” Have Been Completed for the Sponsoring Company
    During the conference call, the student, business owner (sponsor) and Business Coach will discuss and verify the completion of the three “Quick Wins” the student has selected to complete before completing the course. The “Quick Wins” can be based on the business plan the student has prepared, or an idea the student learned from the course instruction or from another student. These “Quick Wins” will focus on opportunities where the company can drive value with a short-term return on investment to help cover the cost of the student’s tuition in the course.
  • Awarding of NRHA/Butler University Business Administration Certificate
    At the completion of the conference call, the student will be awarded the NRHA/Ball State University Business Administration Certification, designating that the student has successfully completed the NRHA Retail Management Certification Program. An actual Business Administration Certificate will be mailed to the student upon completion.