The ITI Business Development course was developed to help union sheet metal workers who are considering going into business prepare for the challenges involved in becoming a union sheet metal contractor. In this course, participants start by asking themselves some important questions: Am I ready to own my own business? Do I have what it takes? If I do this, what are the risks? What will be the rewards?

Once they decide they’ve got the skills, personality, and support to take on this exciting opportunity, they will learn about the many details they will need to address to get their businesses off the ground. Because planning is an essential part of running a business or a project, ITI Business Development introduces participants to the tools they need to plan for successful business ownership from carefully choosing a business name to hiring the right people, bidding accurately, and keeping track of cash flow. As their final project, students will get a jump start on writing a comprehensive business plan, an essential marketing and financing tool in today’s construction market.

This program is offered in 3 Phases.

Phase 1

This phase will consist of eight weeks of distance learning classes. Each week will follow the same agenda as follows:

  • Self-Study
  • Live Interactive Virtual Classroom
  • Weekly Narratives

Participants should be able to meet the week’s goals with approximately six to seven hours of effort.

Phase 2

This phase will be considered your week in residence.

Each participant will be required to attend in-person classes at a central location. During this week, participants will be exposed to business professionals such as:

  • Legal
  • Financial
  • Labor Representatives
  • Insurance and Bonding
  • Sales Representatives

This phase will encourage open dialogue and deliver information and knowledge from respected industry experts. SMART provides the lodging and meals (not including dinner) during this time while the participant will have to provide their own transportation.

Phase 3

This phase will have the participant (with information reviewed and established during Phase 1 and 2), use the Small Business Association (SBA) website to follow a step-by-step business plan template at your own pace. The use of the SBA website will enable you to interact with many of the templates and topics they offer. This will also act as a moment in time where you can privately choose to continue your journey.

To register your interest, submit an account request at the Business Development Training Portal.

Please note that account registration requires administrative approval, during which we verify your SMART member status. Your interest and participation in this program is kept completely anonymous.