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Events/Workshops

  FREE SEMINARS - From Across the State to Just Down the Road

  
  
    
On Demand, available until January 31
Understanding Intellectual Property defines exactly what a copyright, trademark, and patent are and what kinds of protection they might afford your business. The process of establishing such protection is presented for each kind of property. Also discussed are international intellectual property protection issues, as well as, important legal documents such as non-disclosure agreements. A primer concludes this course which details the prior details to prepare before meeting with intellectual property attorney.
On Demand, available until January 31
This course describes the fundamentals of the most important aspect of any business: marketing. Learn the concepts taught in college-level courses in just a few hours including the "5Ps"--Product, Promotion, Price, Place, and Positioning. At the end of this course, you will be able to create a comprehensive marketing plan for business that encompasses a creative plan, a positioning plan, and a media marketing calendar--the essentials of any good marketing strategy.
Location: Online
On Demand, available until January 31
Finding and Attracting an Investor examines the peculiar nature of investment capital. The course presents practical tactics on how to identify and secure different types of capital including seed capital, angel capital, and venture capital. The process used by different kinds of investors is presented and the tools for completing the fund-raising process are presented. Special focus is given to the federal and state laws that govern the capital and securities process.
Wednesday, November 29, 2017 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
In this fast-paced class you'll learn how to register online, choose the account that fits your goals, and list an item on Amazon to maximize your probability. You'll learn how to ship your items and minimize your expenses. Learn how to make the most money with every sale. Amazon is the fastest way to start selling online. Sell just a few items and pay no monthly fee with the Individual plan or choose the Small Business subscription for unlimited selling.
Speaker: Nick Hawks
Thursday, January 25, 2018 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM
This seminar is primarily geared towards the Baby Boomer Business Owners who are struggling to get a handle on the ever changing landscape of the internet. The class covers topics like: Google, The Cloud, Open Source, CMS, Automating Daily Tasks, Inbox Management, Blogging, etc. You can think of it as an internet sampler platter for those that need to walk before they run.
Speaker: Boomer Sassmann
Saturday, February 03, 2018 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Finding – and keeping – good employees is key to a successful small business. The course will cover proven methods of finding and hiring talented employees suited to your business, and helping those employees develop into the loyal assets you wish them to be. Best for those with an established business.
Tuesday, February 06, 2018 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM
In this course you will learn different ways to form and operate a family business including tax strategies, estate planning, business valuation, and protecting the company and personal assets.
Speaker: Mike Sowinski
Wednesday, February 07, 2018 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
This hands-on workshop will help you set up and customize a new company file using QuickBooks Online. This course will combine an introduction to the program as well as hands-on learning with QuickBooks. We will have PCs for the class, but please feel free to bring your own laptop if you prefer. Participants without QuickBooks Online accounts can sign up for a free trail at the start of class.
Speaker: Rosalie Lulis
Thursday, February 22, 2018 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Do you have a local business and are trying to get the word out about it? Looking for new clients, or trying to show that your business has a new and improved look? From landscaping to catering companies, everybody needs a website and there is no easier platform these days than WordPress. With the ability to easily add content, Google maps, videos and photos, that is no reason why your business should not have an impressive looking website full of details and ways for potential clients to contact you.
Speaker: Boomer Sassmann
Tuesday, March 06, 2018 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Deciding what business entity formation is best for your company is among the most critical early decisions every entrepreneur must make. The legal structure chosen must adequately protect the enterprise's core intellectual property and enhance the appropriate funding structure as well as responding to taxation, regulatory and liability concerns. This seminar will cover the different business entities and the advantages and disadvantages for choosing one type over another for the start-up biotech business.
Speaker: Rosalie Lulis
Thursday, March 08, 2018 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Starting a nonprofit organization can be rewarding and fulfilling. Review the basics on how to start such an organization, how to manage it and what resources are available.
Speaker: Mike Sowinski

Start-up Assistance

On Demand, available until January 31
This course describes the available entrepreneurial strategies and how they are applied in the marketplace. For anyone starting or growing a business venture, the knowledge and skills underlying the entrepreneurial strategies are an essential part of any entrepreneur's toolkit. Besides presenting the available strategies and their application, this course presents the sources of innovation and an overview of how decisions are made and how those decisions change over the course of a venture's life-cycle. Most wars are won or lost before they are ever fought. Understanding and applying the entrepreneurial strategies fueled by the sources of innovation is what separates the victors from the defeated.
On Demand, available until January 31
Every new venture has to work the complex decision of what legal structure to choose for the business. This course breaks down this decision into its essential characteristics simplifying the decision -making process. An in-depth discussion is presented about the pros and cons of such structures as the sole proprietorship, partnership, "c" or "s" corporation, and the limited liability company (LLC). As part of this course, a legal structure wizard ranks the best structure to choose for your business based on a series of questions that account for risk, complexity, types of ownership, and so forth. Once you have selected the best structure, the course then presents each of the forms that are necessary to file and set up your business from a legal requirements perspective. A final section of the course deals with employees and the legal implications surrounding this important responsibility. Each of the forms needed to successfully hire and manage employees is presented.
Location: Online
On Demand, available until January 31
This course is about the craft of creating a plan for your business. The business plan is the essential document used to raise money for a business and communicate your business vision and strategy to your management team, suppliers, customers, and other stakeholders. This ten-part course walks you through the details and tactics of creating a comprehensive plan while helping you avoid the critical planning mistakes that plague most business plans. As an added bonus, this course comes with Activeplans Business Planning Software which helps you create a plan narrative and financial projections through a simple step-by-step approach--a $40.00 value by itself!
Location: Online
Thursday, February 01, 2018 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Come and join the A-B Tech Small Business Center and Small Business and Technology Development Center for this collaborative event aimed at preparing small business owners, entrepreneurs, and creative minded individuals for business planning. Find out how to assess your business ownership skills and the feasibility of your idea. Participants will also learn what type of information is needed in order to produce a viable and successful business plan. Session handouts will include the SBTDC Business Startup and Resource Guide, a business plan outline, additional planning documents, and helpful resources to guide the planning process. There will be an opportunity for discussion and to ask questions about specific aspects of business. This session is FREE and open to anyone interested in starting a business, but registration is required in order to secure seating.
Speaker: SBC & SBTDC
Saturday, February 10, 2018 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
This workshop-oriented seminar will provide a framework for analyzing the key areas of your business. During the workshop, we will examine key activities and resources in your business, look at customer relationships and segments, explore the value proposition for your business, identify channels to your customers, examine the cost structure and revenue streams of your business, and determine what partnerships are valuable to your business. This framework is useful in tracking the performance of your business and in making key decisions affecting your business. Suitable for those starting a business as well as those with an established business.
Speaker: SCORE
Monday, February 12, 2018 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Join Dave Trout from Trout Insurance Services to review insurance options for your home-based business and what kind of protections are available. These include liability, products, and inventory at your home and professional coverages.
Saturday, February 24, 2018 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Starting and running a small business can raise a number of legal questions. This seminar is designed to give a small business owner or anyone contemplating starting a business an overview of legal and tax issues they may encounter and how to address those issues. It will cover choosing the right structure for your business, managing risk through proper insurance coverage, and complying with relevant state and federal laws. It will also cover the basics of maintaining proper financial records, the tax implications of various business structures, and the steps needed to ensure tax compliance.
Speaker: SCORE
Saturday, March 03, 2018 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
This fast-paced workshop gives you current best practices on how to build your customer base. You will work through team exercises to get a fresh perspective on how to better position your products/services, target the right customers, and frame your communications to sell more. The Workshop is given by Grace Major a long term small business owner who designed award-winning workshops and authored Take Charge! How To Manage Your Customer Relationships.
Speaker: SCORE
Thursday, March 15, 2018 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Come and join the A-B Tech Small Business Center and Small Business and Technology Development Center for this collaborative event aimed at preparing small business owners, entrepreneurs, and creative minded individuals for business planning. Find out how to assess your business ownership skills and the feasibility of your idea. Participants will also learn what type of information is needed in order to produce a viable and successful business plan. Session handouts will include the SBTDC Business Startup and Resource Guide, a business plan outline, additional planning documents, and helpful resources to guide the planning process. There will be an opportunity for discussion and to ask questions about specific aspects of business. This session is FREE and open to anyone interested in starting a business, but registration is required in order to secure seating.
Speaker: SBC & SBTDC
Wednesday, March 21, 2018 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Social media is a great way for small businesses to get themselves noticed and to drive business. This seminar delves into the basic principles of effective Social Media marketing and explores a wide variety of the sites being utilized today. This seminar is interactive and you will explore various websites while the instructor guides you through market. Students are encouraged to bring their laptop and logins for their social media accounts so they can follow along and ask questions in class. Suitable for those starting as business as well as those with an established business who are new to social media.
Speaker: SCORE

Financing

On Demand, available until January 31
A comprehensive ten-part course on the tactics of how money is really raised for small business formation. The course examines the sources of available capital and an overview concerning the difference between debt and equity. The course walks you through the maze of financial terms and tactics necessary to successfully identify and secure money for a new business venture.
Location: Online
On Demand, available until January 31
Financial projections are a collection of statements that present a numerical model of your business. Any good business plan must pass two separate tests: the story test and the number test. The story test asks, "Does the story make sense?" The number test asks, "Does the story add up?" A well-prepared set of financial projections helps to address that indeed the story does add up, but it also does much more than that. The projections reveal the entrepreneur’s basic assumptions which are usually synthesized together in their mind only. It doesn't matter whether you're applying for your first bank loan or your fifth, or whether you're seeking venture capital or debt financing. Sooner or later, you'll have to prepare a set of financial projections. Lenders will look for a strong likelihood of repayment using your projections. Investors will calculate what they think is the value of your company based upon these numbers. Constructing a set of projections allows you to play with your business model in a safe environment. Playing on paper is a valuable form of prototyping that can raise many questions before you make a decision. Under most conditions, fast learners are going to outperform even the most brilliant planners. The key is not to think of your numbers as a "plan" set in stone, but as a learning environment where you can test out different scenarios and decisions.
Location: Online
On Demand, available until January 31
Take command of a bookstore and coffee bar and see how money moves in and out of a business learning the fundamentals of accounting at the same time. This course provides an in-depth look at each of the primary accounting transactions used in a business demonstrating how "the language of business" works. Without using any accounting jargon to begin with, the course demonstrates how to keep score in a business through a simple scorecard approach. When you are finished, you are shown that each of your scorecards represents one of the three primary financial statements used in managing a business.
Location: Online
On Demand, available until January 31
A comprehensive ten-part course on the tactics of how money is really raised for small business formation. The course examines the sources of available capital and an overview concerning the difference between debt and equity. The course walks you through the maze of financial terms and tactics necessary to successfully identify and secure money for a new business venture.
Location: Online

Managing a Business

Saturday, February 17, 2018 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Productivity is gaining the most reward with the least wasted effort, more success with less stress and struggle, getting things done without sacrificing things we care about. In this seminar, you will explore strategies to increase your productivity; discuss how to make quick and accurate decisions; and learn the Productivity Process. (Bring your Company Values and Missions Statement with you.) You will take away valuable knowledge and tools for success that you will use every day in your business.

Managing Employees

Tuesday, February 20, 2018 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
How important should leadership be to small business owners? With the right leadership model you can engage your entire team, eliminate redundancy, and motivate your people! In this seminar for small business owners, learn the 9-point model to get your employees to engage in the right behaviors, help them surpass their limits, and engage the entire team for multiplier growth. Stop rewarding the behaviors that hurt your business and learn how to change the environment to keep the organization moving forward!

Marketing and Sales

On Demand, available until January 31
Pricing is the moment of truth--all of marketing comes to focus in the pricing decision. And yet, pricing is one of the least understood of all the activities in marketing. Evidence of the eclectic approach taken by entrepreneurs can be found in an Inc.com executive survey which polled CEOs from across the county. More than half of the respondents said they incorporated the cost/plus method for pricing, while 40 percent said they simply matched what their competitors charged, and 9 percent admitted they "guesstimated." The difference between successful and unsuccessful pricing strategies lies in how they approach the process. The entrepreneurs who squeeze the maximum profits out of their businesses are the ones who make pricing an integral part of strategy, not merely an after-thought. Strategic pricers do not ask, "What prices do we need to cover our costs and earn a profit?" Instead, they ask, "What costs can we afford given the prices achievable in the market, and still earn a profit?" You should not ask, "What price is the customer willing to pay?" rather, "What is our product worth to this customer and how can we better communicate that value, thus justifying the price?" From the fundamentals of pricing to advanced discussions on psychological theories focused on pricing formulation, this course is essential to anyone responsible for making the price decision.
Location: Online
On Demand, available until January 31
Creating Buzz is one of the most comprehensive courses on how marketing is actually executed in a small business. Your marketing agenda as an entrepreneur is vastly different than that of a member of the Fortune 500. Some of the principles may be the same, but the details are different. The theory of creating buzz is that your primary investments should be time, energy, and imagination. In other words, you are shooting for a high return on imagination as opposed to return on investment. But buzz just doesn't happen by itself. Instead, it must be carefully cultivated and strategically crafted with an underlying architecture. Most of today's marketing still focuses on how to use advertising and other tools to influence each customer individually, ignoring the fact that purchasing is part of a social process. The most expensive marketing expenditure for any organization usually comes in educating your market-in placing your message into the targeted group of consumers you have chosen. Yet, your customers have already self-organized themselves into networks at the micro level. By tapping into these self-organized networks you can inject your message directly into the bloodstream of your targeted market. What you are really trying to do when you are marketing a concept is to have it spread in much the same way as an epidemic does through a network. Networks have properties, hidden in their construction, that limit or enhance our ability to do things with them. Creating Buzz details exactly how customer networks operate and how to select and leverage your marketing weapons to best turn your message into action. Creating Buzz is packed-full of hundreds of strategies, checklists, and tips across the realms of network theory, positioning, advertising media, word-of-mouth campaigns, publicity, and public relations. From informal, easy-to-do tactics to full-fledged formal marketing plans, the lessons taught in this course are paramount to anyone growing an organization.
Location: Online
Wednesday, March 07, 2018 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Creating a strong Internet presence can help a small business get started and grow. This seminar is perfect for any beginner that wants to learn the basics of how to promote a website. Students will gain a better understanding of website usability and all the different tools available online. This is a hands-on seminar and students will see these tools in action. Students are encouraged to bring their laptop and logins for their social media accounts so they can follow along and ask questions in class. Best for those new to internet marketing.
Speaker: SCORE
Saturday, March 10, 2018 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Strong brand messaging is a key part of getting your customers and prospects to understand who you are and why they should do business with you. In this interactive workshop, you will learn how to identify the most important ideas you need to convey to your customers and prospects and how to deliver them in a way that supports your brand, engages their interest, and compels them to take action. Suitable for those starting as business as well as those with an established business.
Tuesday, March 13, 2018 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Divi - the Ultimate WordPress Theme and Visual Page Builder - has changed the way that websites are designed and built. Divi’s drag and drop capability allows for rapid page design and easy edits. Participants will learn to create a unique site design by installing and customizing the theme. Attendees will also play around with a number of page layouts that come pre-loaded with the theme and look at creating reusable site elements.
Wednesday, March 14, 2018 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Making sure your customers can find you on the Internet is one of the key challenges for small business. This seminar delves into SEO optimization (the art of getting higher rankings on Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.), building links with online public relations, increasing exposure through social media, options for advertising on the Internet, blogging strategies, and e-newsletter best practices. Students are encouraged to bring their laptop and logins for their social media accounts so they can follow along and ask questions in class. Best for those in business who already have an understanding of internet marketing.
Speaker: SCORE

HP LIFE

On Demand, available until December 31
HP Learning Initiative for Entrepreneurs (HP LIFE) is a global program that offers aspiring entrepreneurs and small business-owners valuable business skills. HP LIFE offers participants a path to realizing their business dreams. The NC Small Business Center Network, in partnership with the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE), is pleased to offer this innovative program to NC entrepreneurs and small business owners free of charge! This program is self-paced, making it possible for more aspiring entrepreneurs to participate. All you have to do is register to start.
Speaker: Various
Location: Online