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Wednesday, April 30, 2014 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
This course introduces basic accounting concepts and how to apply financial information that helps small business owners manage a business more effectively. Key documents including Cash flow Statement, Profit & Loss, and Balance Sheet are explained, using specific small business examples. The course is designed to help entrepreneurs understand accounting principles and financial statements, and work more effectively with the accounting team.
Speaker: SBDC
Tuesday, May 06, 2014 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM, 5 sessions ending Tuesday, May 20
This money savings series is a real value and includes the following 5 classes: Starting a Business Writing a Business Plan Marketing Your Business Business Legal Issues Financial Management
Fee: $ 169.00
Friday, May 09, 2014 10:00 AM to 1:00 AM
Are you interested in learning how email marketing can help your business grow? Join us for this informative presentation to learn how you can create highly effective and professional emails that get results. Email marketing is an effective, affordable and easy to use way to enhance your small businesses image and communicate with your customers and prospects. Topics covered during this overview of email marketing include: · What is permission-based email marketing · List building · Tips on getting your emails opened · Best practices in email marketing · Tracking results and what to do with this information · And much more!!
Wednesday, May 14, 2014 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
This course presents practical applications of marketing concepts designed to grow small businesses. It covers basic marketing tools including market analysis and research, target marketing, assessing competitors, and key marketing implementation tools. A strategic, well planned approach to marketing is demonstrated, with several examples of effective hands-on marketing techniques. Focus is on the business’s customers – creating and keeping them.
Speaker: Laura Holmes, FineLine Creative Inc.

Starting a Business

Thursday, April 24, 2014 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM
"Venture Start" is a series of workshops that provide introductory overviews of topics that are key to starting a business. "Starting a Business" is the first course in the series, designed for individuals who are considering self-employment, or who may be at the beginning stages of starting a business. Delivered in a workshop format, this introductory session helps aspiring entrepreneurs assess their abilities to lead and manage a company, as well as evaluate market and sales potential for their products/services. Start-up costs, financing options, and business planning are introduced, along with necessary steps to getting started.
Speaker: MI-SBDC Staff
Thursday, April 24, 2014 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
As an introductory session delivered in a workshop format, the course helps aspiring entrepreneurs assess their abilities to lead and manage a company, as well as evaluate market and sales potential for their products. The basics of business ownership are introduced, along with resources available to help launch new ventures in Michigan.
Fee: $ 30.00
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM
"Venture Start" is a series of workshops that provide introductory overviews of topics that are key to starting a business. "Starting a Business" is the first course in the series, designed for individuals who are considering self-employment, or who may be at the beginning stages of starting a business. Delivered in a workshop format, this introductory session helps aspiring entrepreneurs assess their abilities to lead and manage a company, as well as evaluate market and sales potential for their products/services. Start-up costs, financing options, and business planning are introduced, along with necessary steps to getting started.
Speaker: MI-SBDC Staff
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Have you been thinking about starting a business to make and sell that special sauce all your friends rave about? Or some other food product you think would sell in grocery stores? There are a lot of issues to consider in starting and growing a food manufacturing business. “Starting a Food Business” will cover topics such as what you can sell from your home kitchen, how a product gets developed for commercial sales, product pricing, product testing guidelines, food safety, labeling and packaging, dealing with brokers, distributors and retailers, and more. It is designed for “beginners” interested in selling small scale under Michigan’s Cottage Food Law as well as for existing small food companies that are ready to move to a commercial level. Every registered attendee will receive a copy of the 60 page book “Guide to Starting and Operating a Small Business” that provides information and tools to help you navigate startup, management, and operations. There is no fee for the “Starting a Food Business” seminar but advance and separate registration for each individual is required.
Speaker: SBDC Staff
Thursday, May 01, 2014 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Starting a Business: A workshop to help you an aspiring entrepreneur assess your ability to lead and manage a company, as well as to help you evaluate market and sales potential for your products and services. The basics of business ownership and start-up issues are introduced, along with a presentation of the resources available to help you launch your new venture. To attend, please pre-register.
Speaker: SBDC Staff
Thursday, May 01, 2014 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM
You have a passion ... a hidden talent. Do you know what it takes to turn that skill into a successful business? Attend this seminar if you are an entrepreneur, new business owner, innovator or a 'closet' business person. Prepare to be informed, motivated, and focused on your business plan for action. The seminar is FREE and information - PRICELESS! This seminar is designed for individuals who are considering self-employment, or who may be at the beginning stages of starting a business. This introductory seminar helps aspiring entrepreneurs assess their abilities to lead and manage a company; as well as, evaluate market and sales potential for their products/services. Start-up costs, financing options, and business planning are introduced, along with necessary steps to get started. For more information about the Michigan SBDC, business resources and other seminars, go to www.SBDCMichigan.org or call (989) 686-9597. Pre-registration is strongly recommended. This same seminar is offered multiple times and at different locations across the Great Lakes Bay Region to accommodate most everyone's schedule. You’re invited to find us on facebook at www.Facebook.com/MISBTDC.GreatLakesBay.
Speaker: MI-SBDC Certified Business Consultant and Grace A Dow Memorial Library Reference Librarian
Friday, May 02, 2014 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
"Venture Start" is a series of workshops that provide introductory overviews of topics that are key to starting a business. "Starting a Business" is the first course in the series, designed for individuals who are considering self-employment, or who may be at the beginning stages of starting a business. Delivered in a workshop format, this introductory session helps aspiring entrepreneurs assess their abilities to lead and manage a company, as well as evaluate market and sales potential for their products/services. Start-up costs, financing options, and business planning are introduced, along with necessary steps to getting started.
Speaker: MI-SBDC Staff
Tuesday, May 06, 2014 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM
As an introductory session delivered in a workshop format, the course helps aspiring entrepreneurs assess their abilities to lead and manage a company, as well as evaluate market and sales potential for their products. The basics of business ownership are introduced, along with resources available to help launch new ventures in Michigan.
Fee: $ 30.00
Thursday, May 08, 2014 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
As an introductory session delivered in a workshop format, the course helps aspiring entrepreneurs assess their abilities to lead and manage a company, as well as evaluate market and sales potential for their products. The basics of business ownership are introduced, along with resources available to help launch new ventures in Michigan.
Fee: $ 30.00
Monday, May 12, 2014 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
"Venture Start" is a series of workshops that provide introductory overviews of topics that are key to starting a business. "Starting a Business" is the first course in the series, designed for individuals who are considering self-employment, or who may be at the beginning stages of starting a business. Delivered in a workshop format, this introductory session helps aspiring entrepreneurs assess their abilities to lead and manage a company, as well as evaluate market and sales potential for their products/services. Start-up costs, financing options, and business planning are introduced, along with necessary steps to getting started.
Speaker: MI-SBDC Staff
Monday, May 12, 2014 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
This course is designed for individuals who are considering self-employment, or are at the beginning stages of starting their business. Delivered in a workshop format, this introductory session helps aspiring entrepreneurs assess their abilities to lead and manage a company, as well as evaluate market and sales potential for their products/services. The basics of business ownership are introduced, along with resources available to help launch new ventures in Michigan.
Speaker: Tom Donaldson, Capital Region Director, SBDC
Tuesday, May 13, 2014 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Participants will learn the fundamentals of starting and owning a small business in Michigan and how to write a comprehensive business plan. Business plans are important to help you set goals, pinpoint resources needed to carry out your plan, and determine feasibility and profitability. This three-hour course will discuss each section of a business plan including: Executive Summary, Business Description, Marketing, Operations, Management, Sales, and Financials.
Speaker: SBDC consultant, Bob Jones
Fee: $ 35.00
Thursday, May 15, 2014 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
This course is designed for individuals who are considering self-employment, or who may be at the beginning stages of starting a business. Delivered in a workshop format, this introductory session helps aspiring entrepreneurs assess their abilities to lead and manage a company, as well as evaluate market and sales potential for their products/services. Start-up costs, financing options, and business planning are introduced, along with necessary steps to getting started.
Speaker: SBDC and Fifth Third Bank
Wednesday, May 21, 2014 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
You have a passion ... a hidden talent. Do you know what it takes to turn that skill into a successful business? Attend this seminar if you are an entrepreneur, new business owner, innovator or a 'closet' business person. Prepare to be informed, motivated, and focused on your business plan for action. The seminar is FREE and information - PRICELESS! This seminar is designed for individuals who are considering self-employment, or who may be at the beginning stages of starting a business. This introductory seminar helps aspiring entrepreneurs assess their abilities to lead and manage a company; as well as, evaluate market and sales potential for their products/services. Start-up costs, financing options, and business planning are introduced, along with necessary steps to get started. For more information about the Michigan SBDC, business resources and other seminars, go to www.SBDCMichigan.org or call (989) 686-9597. Pre-registration is strongly recommended. This same seminar is offered multiple times and at different locations across the Great Lakes Bay Region to accommodate most everyone's schedule. You’re invited to find us on facebook at www.Facebook.com/MISBTDC.GreatLakesBay.
Speaker: MI-SBDC Business Consultant and Hoyt Library Reference Librarian
Thursday, May 22, 2014 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM
"Venture Start" is a series of workshops that provide introductory overviews of topics that are key to starting a business. "Starting a Business" is the first course in the series, designed for individuals who are considering self-employment, or who may be at the beginning stages of starting a business. Delivered in a workshop format, this introductory session helps aspiring entrepreneurs assess their abilities to lead and manage a company, as well as evaluate market and sales potential for their products/services. Start-up costs, financing options, and business planning are introduced, along with necessary steps to getting started.
Speaker: MI-SBDC Staff

Business Plan

Monday, April 28, 2014 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM
"Starting a Business and Writing a Business Plan" is designed for individuals who are considering self-employment, or who may be at the beginning stages of starting a business. Delivered in a workshop format, this introductory session helps aspiring entrepreneurs assess their abilities to lead and manage a company, as well as evaluate market and sales potential for their products/services. Start-up costs, financing options, and business planning are introduced, along with necessary steps to getting started. The workshop will discuss each section of the business plan and how to start developing a start up cash flow.
Fee: $ 35.00
Thursday, May 01, 2014 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Designed for individuals who want to increase their chances for successful self-employment, the course covers business planning in detail. Specifics of marketing and finance, legal and regulatory issues, operations, and information based planning and management are key components of the workshop. The first steps for creating a business plan draft will be included along with a demonstration of the MI-SBDC online business plan tool.
Fee: $ 40.00
Thursday, May 08, 2014 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Designed for individuals who want to increase their chances for successful self-employment, the course covers business planning in detail. Specifics of marketing and finance, legal and regulatory issues, operations, and information based planning and management are key components of the workshop. The first steps for creating a business plan draft will be included along with a demonstration of the MI-SBDC online business plan tool.
Fee: $ 40.00
Tuesday, May 13, 2014 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
This course covers business planning in detail for individuals who want to increase their chances for successful self-employment or new business launch. Specifics of marketing, finance, legal, regulatory issues, operations, information based planning and management are key components of this workshop. The first steps for creating a business plan draft will be included. Live examples of effective business plans are used as course material.
Speaker: Kellie Hanford, Certified Business Consultant
Wednesday, May 14, 2014 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM
"Venture Start" is a series of workshops that provide introductory overviews of topics that are key to starting a business. "Writing a Business Plan", second in the series. For those at startup or early stage in their business, a pre-requisite to this class is "Starting a Business," which provides the tools, information, and instructions on preparing to write a plan, which may take several weeks prior to starting on a business plan. After attending “Starting a Business” it generally takes 4-6 weeks to complete the preparation needed to be ready for the “Writing a Business Plan” workshop. These and other “Venture Start” workshops are offered at multiple locations and dates around the region and the state. "Writing a Business Plan" is designed for individuals who want to increase their chances for self-employment success, this course covers business planning in detail. Specifics of marketing, finance, legal, regulatory issues, operations, information based planning and management are key components of this workshop. The first steps for creating a business plan draft will be included. Live examples of effective business plans are used as course material. "Writing a Business Plan" is designed for individuals who want to increase their chances for self-employment success, this course covers business planning in detail. Specifics of marketing, finance, legal, regulatory issues, operations, information based planning and management are key components of this workshop. The first steps for creating a business plan draft will be included. Live examples of effective business plans are used as course material.
Speaker: MI-SBTDC Staff
Location: Online

Financial and Accounting

Tuesday, April 29, 2014 1:00 PM to 4:30 PM
The purpose of Know Your Numbers: Five Keys to Using Financial Statements is to assist business owners to understand and use their financial information to change and grow their company. The ideal participant in Know Your Numbers: Five Keys to Using Financial Statements will have 2-3 years of financial history and either be pursuing financing or having challenges with cash flow. Who should attend: CEOs and owners of businesses with three or more years of financial history who want to have a better understanding of how to use their financial statements to make better business decisions. Topics include how to: • Use your Balance Sheet and Income Statement in managing your business • Use breakeven analysis to improve decision-making • Find the source of cash flow problems • Increase your company’s cash flow • Get the banker on your side
Speaker: MI-SBDC Staff
Fee: $ 25.00
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Many small businesses face obstacles when trying to obtain a business loan. The recognition of the serious need for working capital for existing businesses, start-up or expansion, equipment purchases, and job creation is not the priority it once was. If you have a need for alternative financing consider the MicroLoan Program. Discover the requirements and process necessary to apply and obtain a microloan.
Friday, May 09, 2014 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
"Venture Start" is a series of workshops that provide introductory overviews of topics that are key to starting a business. "Financial Management" introduces basic accounting concepts and how to apply financial information that helps small business owners manage a business more effectively. Key documents including Cash flow Statement, Profit & Loss, and Balance Sheet are explained, using specific small business examples. The course is designed to help entrepreneurs understand accounting principles and financial statements, and work more effectively with the accounting team.
Speaker: MI-SBDC Staff
Tuesday, May 13, 2014 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM
The purpose of Fiscal Fitness is to help business owners better understand and utilize their financial information to improve their company's performance. The ideal participant will have 2-3 years of financial history, be pursuing financing, perhaps experiencing challenges with cashflow, and/or positioning to sell/transition ownership of the company. Who should attend? Owners, CEOs, and/or CFOs Session will take place in Room 124
Speaker: MI-SBDC Tony Fox & Ross Miller
Fee: $ 25.00
Tuesday, May 13, 2014 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Know Your Numbers: Five Keys to Using Financial Statements to Maximize Cash Flow and Increase Access to Capital Who Should Attend: Business owners and key staff who want to have a better understanding of how to use their financial statements. The ideal participant in Know Your Numbers will have 2-3 years of financial history and be pursuing financing or having challenges with cash flow. Topics include how to: • Use your Balance Sheet and Income Statement in managing your business • Use break even analysis to improve your decision-making • Find the source of your cash flow problems • Increase your company’s cash flow • Get the banker on your side
Speaker: SBTDC Staff
Fee: $ 25.00
Tuesday, May 13, 2014 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM
"Venture Start" is a series of workshops that provide introductory overviews of topics that are key to starting a business. "Financial Management" introduces basic accounting concepts and how to apply financial information that helps small business owners manage a business more effectively. Key documents including Cash flow Statement, Profit & Loss, and Balance Sheet are explained, using specific small business examples. The course is designed to help entrepreneurs understand accounting principles and financial statements, and work more effectively with the accounting team.
Speaker: MI-SBTDC Staff
Location: Online
Wednesday, May 14, 2014 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM
The purpose of Know Your Numbers: Five Keys to Using Financial Statements is to assist business owners to understand and use their financial information to change and grow their company. The ideal participant in Know Your Numbers: Five Keys to Using Financial Statements will have 2-3 years of financial history and either be pursuing financing or having challenges with cash flow. Who should attend: CEOs and owners of businesses with three or more years of financial history who want to have a better understanding of how to use their financial statements to make better business decisions. Topics include how to: • Use your Balance Sheet and Income Statement in managing your business • Use breakeven analysis to improve decision-making • Find the source of cash flow problems • Increase your company’s cash flow • Get the banker on your side
Speaker: MI-SBDC Staff
Fee: $ 25.00
Wednesday, May 14, 2014 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Many small businesses face obstacles when trying to obtain a business loan. The recognition of the serious need for working capital for existing businesses, start-up or expansion, equipment purchases, and job creation is not the priority it once was. If you have a need for alternative financing consider the MicroLoan Program. Discover the requirements and process necessary to apply for and obtain a microloan.
Tuesday, May 20, 2014 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM
As an introductory seminar, the course covers the basics of financial management, including how to start an accounting system and how to apply the information from key financial statements to help you manage your business. Accounting language including debits and credits, preparation of the balance sheet and profit & loss statement are explained. Cash flow analysis and breakeven are also covered with specific small business examples.
Fee: $ 40.00
Thursday, May 22, 2014 8:30 AM to 12:00 PM
Financial Management introduces basic accounting concepts and how to apply financial information that helps small business owners manage a business more effectively. Key documents including Cash flow Statement, Profit & Loss, and Balance Sheet are explained, using specific small business examples. This workshop is designed to help entrepreneurs understand accounting principles and financial statements, and work more effectively with the accounting team.
Thursday, May 22, 2014 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Before you apply for a business loan, we recommend that you first attend this Financing Roundtable. The roundtables are a free loan orientation conducted by a business banker, a business consultant from the SBAs network of Small Business Development Centers, and an SBA representative. During the roundtable, we'll debunk the myths and demystify the process of small business financing. You'll learn how the lending process works and what is expected of you and you'll understand how the SBA can assist with our SBA Guaranteed Loan Program. This session is best suited to those who have good credit, a solid business idea, and some money to invest in their business. Because the SBA does not provide loan guarantees to real estate investment firms, including purchasing and rehabbing houses for sale, this type of financing is not discussed at the roundtables.
Speaker: SBA/Business Banker/Oakland County Business Counselor

Internet & Social Media

Thursday, May 22, 2014 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Attend the webinar that demonstrates Google’s most valuable tools for understanding, tracking, and connecting with your customers online. • Find out how to take advantage of online tools to run and promote your business • Learn more about Google's top tools for small businesses, including Google+, Google AdWords, Google Analytics, and Google Apps • Discover how to get found and attract customers
Speaker: Joanne Fowler
Location: Online
Thursday, May 22, 2014 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Learn the basics and etiquette of social networking for your small business. Content will include how to leverage social networks to help grow your business while reducing your marketing costs. Benefits, disadvantages and tricks of the major social networks (FaceBook, Twitter, and Linked-In) will be discussed.
Speaker: Staff
Fee: $ 45.00

Legal

Tuesday, April 29, 2014 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Legal Basics for Small Business provides new and existing Michigan entrepreneurs an understanding of the key legal and financial considerations when starting and operating a business in Michigan. The program addresses how to select the best legal entity for your business, how to protect your business interests when dealing with customers, suppliers or independent contractors and important information and guidelines for establishing short and long term succession plans for your business.
Speaker: John Carter, Esq. Witzke Berry Carter & Wander PLLC
Fee: $ 20.00
Thursday, May 15, 2014 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM
The course provides an introduction to the different types of legal entities that are appropriate for structuring and starting a new business. Tax and liability issues are covered, along with basic elements of a contract, collections, licenses, registrations, employment and property issues, leasing and insurance. It is designed to guide prospective business owners in setting up the organizational structure that will help protect them from unnecessary legal challenges.
Speaker: Staff
Fee: $ 40.00

Managing a Business

Monday, May 05, 2014 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
You’ve made all of your initial start-up decisions, hired some good employees, fine-tuned initial operations, and are enjoying some well-deserved growth. Your initial strategies, systems and processes seem to be working “just fine,” but the day-to-day operations and related issues arising from growth seem to be consuming more and more of your time and that of your key employees. During this phase of a company’s life-cycle some organizations fall into the trap of perpetuating growth for growth’s sake, spending more and more time on on-going operational issues and being less and less thoughtful or purposeful about strategy, innovation, maximizing human, intellectual and financial resources and participating in forward-thinking activities. Join us and presenter Jason Warren for a box lunch workshop to discuss why that happens, what it looks like and what it can mean for an organization. During the presentation, Jason will also share some tools or strategies that you might find helpful in making important decisions during this crucial phase of your business’s life cycle. Throughout the presentation Jason will use real-world examples and will share strategies that have worked for other companies that are still going strong today.
Speaker: About our presenter: Jason Warren was raised on a 5th generation cherry farm on Old Mission Peninsula. He began his career as a partner in a CPA firm guiding hundreds of small business owners through the ups and downs of business ownership. He later served as the CFO, Director of Human Resources and Head of Procurement for Shoreline Fruit and worked with a senior management group to guide the Company through a period of tremendous growth and expansion. Currently, Jason serves as COO for Delta Industrial Valves; a manufacturing company based out of Niles, MI and is the managing partner of a $10 million private investment company holding real estate and business investments mostly in the Grand Traverse area.
Fee: $ 20.00
Wednesday, May 21, 2014 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM
If you have a product or service that you would like to market to American corporations, here is your chance to explore certification as a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE). Learn what is involved in the certification process, how to complete the application package, how to become part of a national database of certified WBE’s, and more. The WBEC-GL is a program of the Center for Empowerment and Economic Development (CEED), an SBA Women’s Business Center. For additional information visit www.miceed.org.
Speaker: Women’s Business Enterprise Council-Great Lakes (WBEC-GL)
Fee: $ 25.00

Marketing and Sales

Tuesday, May 06, 2014 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
This course presents practical applications of marketing concepts designed to grow small businesses. It covers basic marketing tools including market analysis and research, target marketing, assessing competitors, and key marketing implementation tools. A strategic, well planned approach to marketing is demonstrated, with several examples of effective hands-on marketing techniques. Focus is on the business’s customers – creating and keeping them.
Speaker: Rob McCarty, The Image Shoppe
Wednesday, May 07, 2014 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
• Are you thinking of starting your own business and want to research your business idea? • Are you a business owner who wants to benchmark your profit margin and other measures against similar size businesses in your industry? • Do you want to know about market trends and opportunities to grow your sales? • Are you looking for new customers or to diversify your market base? Takeaways: • Find your ideal customers • Find new customers • Find your competitors • Perform competitive analysis • Identify new site locations • Target direct mail campaigns • Reveal untapped markets • Expand into appropriate new markets
Speaker: Oakland County Business Center, Oakland County Research Department and an Oakland County Public Library
Wednesday, May 07, 2014 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Learn how to research your market, customers, and competitors in this series on market research. What is market research and why is it necessary? We will cover the basics of market research, including a demonstration of how to prepare a market profile.
Friday, May 09, 2014 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
This workshop is designed to help business owners who are struggling with their existing social media efforts or for those who want to start an effective social media campaign from scratch. Focus will be on understanding the needs of your specific target audience. We will discuss methods for developing passionate followers, and provide tips for converting those followers into increased sales.
Speaker: SBDC Staff & Guest Speakers
Location: Online
Tuesday, May 13, 2014 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM
The course presents practical applications of marketing concepts designed to help small businesses grow. It covers basic marketing tools including market analysis and research, target marketing, assessing competitors, and key marketing implementation tools. A strategic, well planned approach to marketing is demonstrated with several examples of effective hands-on marketing techniques.
Fee: $ 40.00
Wednesday, May 14, 2014 9:30 AM to 12:00 PM
This course presents practical applications of marketing concepts designed to grow small businesses. It covers basic marketing tools including market analysis and research, target marketing, assessing competitors, and key marketing implementation tools. A strategic, well planned approach to marketing is demonstrated, with several examples of effective hands-on marketing techniques. Focus is on the business's customers - creating and keeping them.
Speaker: Laurie Lonsdorf, Senior Business Consultant
Wednesday, May 14, 2014 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Learn how to research your market, customers, and competitors in this series on market research. Learn how to use the Business Decision database to find customer demographics and how to prepare a customer profile.
Thursday, May 15, 2014 9:30 AM to 12:00 PM
• Are you thinking of starting your own business and want to research your business idea? • Do you want to know about market trends and opportunities to grow your sales? • Are you looking for new customers or to diversify your market base? Takeaways: • Find your ideal customers • Find new customers • Find your competitors • Perform competitive analysis • Identify new site locations • Target direct mail campaigns • Reveal untapped markets • Expand into appropriate new markets
Speaker: A business counselor.
Thursday, May 15, 2014 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Learn the differences between the most popular social media platforms and how they affect our business marketing efforts. In this seminar, we will cover demographics, popularity and time involved with making each social platform a success. By choosing the right social media for your industry, you are able to save time and resources while becoming successful. Who should attend: Business owners with little or no experience using any social media platform for business. This is a lecture-seminar only and doesn’t allow for hands-on practice.
Speaker: Candy Jones-Guerin, Owner, Web World Advantage
Fee: $ 10.00
Thursday, May 15, 2014 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
It’s no secret that Facebook has become a huge part of how people interact with each other, share ideas and recommendation and interact with the brands they like. But too many businesses aren’t seeing results from their Facebook marketing efforts because they are posting content without a plan for turning “fans” into customers and advocates. This course is designed to give small businesses some simple ideas for growing their organizations using email marketing and social media. Topics include what to write about, how to get more people to stop and read our messages and how to get more action, or reaction to your messages and offers. We will discuss what it means to run a campaign and tactics for measuring success. Participants will leave full of ideas for timing their messages, how to write a winning subject line, what kinds of offers or content they want to try and how best to approach their next outreach project. We will touch on using images for higher impact and even cover the importance of mobile-friendly content for higher engagement. This class is for beginners and smaller organizations needing to accomplish more in less time and with a small budget. This is a lecture only seminar and doesn’t allow for hands-on practice.
Speaker: Candy Jones-Guerin, Owner, WebWorld Advantage
Fee: $ 10.00
Tuesday, May 20, 2014 5:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Social Media and Website marketing can be confusing and is often an overused term in business. But when utilized correctly and efficiently, they can be a POWERFUL marketing tool. This seminar will provide you with an overview of the basics along with some tools and strategies for developing your social media marketing plan. The seminar will provide ongoing Q&A opportunities and will cover the following topics: The value of an effective website for your business The latest website development technologies and how businesses are benefitting from them How to truly gauge the traffic and success of your website Effective digital marketing, branding, and promotion Social media marketing and each one's possible value to your business Search Engine Optimization facts and fiction What is a blog and should I be doing it. (Hint: Yes!) Free and low cost web tools for business process automation and enhanced engagement with your clients
Wednesday, May 21, 2014 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Learn how to research your market, customers, and competitors in this series on market research. Learn how to research your competitors using the Reference USA database and how to prepare a competitor profile.

Venture Plan Online

Wednesday, May 07, 2014 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM, 8 sessions ending Wednesday, June 25
Venture Plan Online is an eight-week business plan training program. From the initial steps of clarifying your goals and business concept to setting up your marketing and financial plans, this online workshop-based course guides you through the business planning process. If you are starting a business or already running one, Venture Plan can help you shape your company for growth. Online access to small business experts, business planning software, and a pipeline of resources are key to this unique online learning opportunity. Fee includes Palo Alto LivePlan software, access to a MI-SBDC business consultant, online resources through Palo Alto and webinar access. An Online Orientation will be held on the Monday before each start date. For questions please email sbdc@gvsu.edu. All registrations must be received one week prior to the start date of the course. NOTE: NO REFUNDS WILL BE PROCESSED 7 DAYS PRIOR TO PROGRAM START DATE.
Speaker: Cathy Kaiser
Location: Online
Fee: $ 149.00