Updated: Nov 28, 2018
SME (Small to Medium Enterprise) Case Studies
Learning Strategies Group is pleased to be able to provide a course customized to meet the needs of Alberta based employers looking to take advantage of the Canada-Alberta Job Grant. Drawing on many years of experience in delivering commercial lending courses, we have designed a course tailored to the Alberta financial services marketplace. With a mix of theory and relevant case study exercises, this course helps every financial institution in the Alberta market improve the skills of their front-line lending employees.
Using a mix of theoretical lecture with group work and robust case study work, this course provides participants with the skills necessary to assess Alberta based business borrowers. This three-day course encompasses six modules that are delivered over 24 hours of in-class training.
The overall aim is to improve the decision-making skill set of Alberta based lenders. Specifically, the course aims to develop and enhance the skills, knowledge and techniques required for business and credit assessment and loan structuring. Developing the skill set of your lending team will increase funding opportunities for Alberta based businesses while also working to reduce loan losses.
By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:
Complete a full assessment of a borrower’s management abilities.
Assess the current state of a borrower’s business sector.
Identify the factors likely to affect and shape a borrower’s business sector in the future.
Determine if a business has competitive advantage and if it is sustainable.
Assess individual company performance in context of a peer analysis.
Identify critical success factors and key risks.
Conclude on the appropriateness of a business’s stated strategy.
Build a picture of a borrower’s financial position.
Analyze a borrower’s working capital requirement.
Complete a financial spread and interpret the ratios produced.
Measure a borrower’s repayment capacity.
The workshop is delivered over three days. Each day is comprised of 8 hours of in-class training.
Each participant will be assessed through the completion of an in-class quiz at the end of the three-day workshop. The quiz will cover topics addressed throughout the workshop.
Day one content Introduction and course overview 30 minutes
Trainer and participant introduction.
Course overview and objectives.
Module 1: Industry analysis 1:30 hours
Identifying industry specific characteristics, benchmarks and trends.
Determining industry stability/forecasts.
Identifying industry specific risks and mitigation strategies.
Indicators of business performance that can be drawn from sector profiles.
Developing sector excellence.
The importance of selecting the correct industry classification.
Sources of industry information.
Groups are assigned an industry for analysis. Within the group, participants undertake an analysis of the industry and present the assessment to the other participants.
Module 2: Business analysis 3:00 hours
Peer group analysis including investigation of variances.
What’s going to make people buy your product/service? (sources of competitive advantage)
Business life cycles and exit strategies.
Matching business strategy with the sector life cycle.
Identifying critical success factors, key risks and company specific mitigation strategies.
Evaluating proposed/existing strategy.
Groups are assigned a company outline. Based on the company outline, groups will benchmark the company against a peer group and assess the sustainability of their proposed/stated strategies.
Module 3: Assessing management 3:00 hours
Determining management’s strength and weaknesses.
Assessing business and financial acumen.
Management’s approach to their own personal financial affairs (as an indicator of how they may handle business affairs).
Evaluating management’s approach to customers, suppliers and competition.
Management’s approach to contingencies (e.g. supply shortages, changes in market, etc.).
Management’s approach to growth and required changes from sole owner to management team.
Groups are assigned a company outline. Based on the company outline, groups will assess the company’s management team.
Day two content
Module 4: Loan structuring 2:00 hours
Key lending purposes.
Borrowing requests (Stressing the difference between loan purpose and borrowing need).
Debt structures and product types.
Determining the appropriate facility based on:
- Lending purpose
- Repayment ability
- Timing of cash flows.
The importance of lending guidelines.
Determining appropriate security and valuation.
Determining appropriate covenants and conditions.
Groups are presented a set of financing needs for various companies. Based on the particulars of each scenario, the group will suggest an appropriate loan structure.
Module 5: Cash Flow and Financial analysis 2:00 hours
Working capital, historical movements and the impact on cash.
Cash flow projections.
Linking financial analysis to sector and management assessment.
Assessing working capital issues.
- High growth businesses and overtrading.
Managing working capital levers and cost control.
Trend, ratio and cash flow analysis.
- Operational efficiency and profitability.
- Working capital trends.
- Leverage (debt/equity).
- Debt servicing/interest coverage.
Determining reasons for ratio variance and trends.
Groups are introduced to the cash flow tool. Within their group, participants will use the tool to perform financial analysis on a set of financial statements.
Module 6: Case Study Exercises 4:00 hours
The final day and a half of the course reflects the culmination of the theoretical work participants studied the first half of the course. In this module, participants are separated into groups. Each group is presented with summaries of Alberta based businesses with unique needs and circumstances typical of Alberta based small and medium sized enterprises. Working in their assigned group, participants must assess the financing and business needs of the Alberta based company using the tools and techniques learned throughout the course.
At scheduled times throughout the case study module, participants will present their assessment to the other groups and provide the rationale supporting the conclusion. Participants are then encouraged to discuss the presenting group’s conclusion and offer additional perspectives. Discussion between the participants will foster peer learning within all groups.
Day three content
Module 6: Case Study Exercises – continued 7:15 hours
Day three content continues with the case study exercise. Participants assess additional Alberta based companies using the tools and techniques developed throughout the course.
Assessment and course wrap up - planning for action 45 minutes
Participants take a final quiz to assess the knowledge gained throughout the workshop.
Important learning points to take away.
Building a personal plan for action.
Chris is VP Learning and Development with Learning Strategies Group. Chris has over 20 years working in the financial services profession and has experience in commercial lending, private banking and retail banking.
Chris is a Canadian Chartered Professional Accountant (CMA), a Certified Internal Auditor and a Certified Risk Management Assurance Professional.
This three-day Credit Analysis and Loan Structuring course is offered only to those employers operating in Alberta. The three-day course is offered for $11,000.
Class size is limited to twenty-six participants. There is no constraint to the number of course offerings that may be delivered.
For more information on this, or any other program that Learning Strategies Group may be able to offer under this grant, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call toll free at +1(866) 632-0686.