June 2, 2022

Is Your Business Running You? Q&A with Goldman Sachs 10K Small Business Alum

In 2009, Goldman Sachs launched an initiative to provide 10,000 small businesses with assistance including education and access to resources.
Small business owner with logos for Goldman Sachs small business program.

Axis Helps sat down with a Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business alum, Katherine Doble, to get an inside look into the program in order to help business owners, like yourself, decide if they should apply.

Why did you join the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business program?

I took a business owner I admire out to lunch. I had studied his bio and went line by line through the networking groups, organizations, and programs he had been a part of or was affiliated with. Luckily, he was thrilled to share and immediately suggested I sign up for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business program. I remember thinking how it would be great, but any program run by Goldman Sachs was clearly not for me – a small business owner finally getting over start-up mode. Even still, I started to research the opportunity and dig into the alums. It turned out that I knew quite a few, apparently motivated business owners stick together. So, I jumped into the application process.

 

What was the application process like? 

If you have a bookkeeper and know your business’s financials, it’s not hard at all. If you are like me and struggled to understand the numbers, then it takes a little bit longer. Even still, the process isn’t difficult and frankly, you’re going to need to get very comfortable with your books.  

 

Who can apply?

To apply for the Miami cohort, you must own a business in South Florida, have been in business for at least two years, have a revenue of $75k or more, and have at least two employees including the owner.

 

Once accepted, what was the program like?

One of the small business owners in my cohort compared it to “trying to drink out of a firehose in all the best ways.” I’d agree. The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business is an intensive boot camp for business owners and like a great workout, it’s going to be tough yet truly rewarding. Each week is a new topic – marketing, the people, execution, finances, and more. An industry leader guides the cohort through the materials and answers questions along the way. You’re also assigned a business advisor who assists you throughout the course.  Throughout the program, you’re working on thinking bigger, creating a new concept, testing its profitability, and developing a plan to execute. All this while learning how to understand the crucial facets of your business.

 

What was your greatest takeaway?

I realized that (along with most of my peers), I was lacking the education I needed to fully understand my financials. As I admitted previously, I was right there with them. The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business program gave us the ability to ask the questions we were too embarrassed to ask. It provided us with the resources and space to learn.

  

How much does it cost a business owner to join?

The twelve-week course including access to the course material, business advisor, and industry leaders is completely FREE. There is really no excuse to not sign up.

 

How do you think the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business program has benefited you personally?

Being a business owner can feel lonely at times. The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business program gave me an entire group of business owners I can reach out to and commiserate with. Having peace of mind that you’re not the only one going through highs and lows is a blessing.  

 

How do you think the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business program has benefited your business?

Learning how to understand a balance sheet, read your profit and loss, and see the crucial numbers in your business completely changed me and my business. It set us on a growth path and made us focus on where the opportunities were. The program also made me realize that I couldn’t address the core areas of the business just once, I needed to seek out additional learning opportunities to learn more and revisit these areas consistently year-round. I’m proud to say that we’re on track to reach the $1 million in recurring revenue mark this year. For the first time, I feel like I run the business versus the business running me.

 

Click here to learn more about the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program. The deadline to apply for the next cohort is June 16th.

 

Katherine Doble is the founder and CEO of INGAGE, a legal and financial marketing firm. The agency serves as an outside marketing department for highly complex industries and non-profits. The firm prides itself on guaranteeing results for clients through careful data analysis and goal setting.