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Start-up Assistance

On Demand, available until December 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!
Speaker: Small Biz U, On-Line Training
On Demand, available until December 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.
Speaker: Small Biz U, On-Line Training
On Demand, available until December 31
This course provides the advice and strategies of the some of the leading entrepreneurs concerning what it really takes to start a new venture. Starting A New Business moves you through the important tasks of building a strong foundation for a business to the more tactical aspects concerning marketing, managing, and money. This course will also show you how to protect your ideas, how to hire employees, how to find out what licenses and regulations may apply, as well as, provide more than 50 resources of free information that are available to you in making your new business a reality.
Speaker: Small Biz U (On-Line Training)
Monday, September 25, 2017 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM
One way to expand your market is to sell products online. This session will explore the features of well-known e-commerce hosts such as the eBay Store and, as well as other options for creating an online store. PayPal and other payment gateways will also be discussed.
Thursday, September 28, 2017 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Amazon and Etsy provide strong platforms for on-line sales, with infrastructure to support many business functions. This seminar shows attendees the pros and cons of working with Amazon and Etsy, and provides direction for getting started with these well-established platforms.
Friday, September 29, 2017 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
QuickBooks is the most popular accounting software for small businesses. Join QuickBooks Pro Jeff Weathers for some time-saving tricks for using QuickBooks for your small business. A segment of this session is reserved for participant.
Tuesday, October 03, 2017 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
You've heard it all before, the 5 P's of marketing: product, price, people, place and promotion. Yes, these are core marketing principles you will have to master, if you are going to attract your target customer. In this session you will learn how to reach your customer targets -- and a bit about the art of the selling.
Thursday, October 05, 2017 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
A WordPress blog can add to your existing Website or become your business Website. For small business owners without the time to learn how to use CSS or HTML or the money to hire a graphics designer and web developer, WordPress blogs offer an inexpensive method to get your company’s name and stories published through the internet. Business blogs provide your small business with a chance to share your expertise and knowledge with a larger audience. Publishing stories and interesting content thru a blog is a powerful companion to your Facebook Page, LinkedIn Profile and Twitter stream. This three hour sessions shows participants how to get started on WordPress, choose a template, develop content, and connect to other social media.
Friday, October 06, 2017 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
A business plan is not a document that should be put away on your shelf to collect dust. A business plan is your map to laying out the actions you need to take to achieve profits and success. It’s also something that must be updated to reflect changes in your business and changes in the competitive environment. This three-hour workshop shows participants the significance of a well-written business plan, focusing on the audience for the plan, and key elements which should be included such as a marketing plan and financial projections.
Tuesday, October 10, 2017 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
You don't have to be schooled in credits and debits to run a business, but you do have to understand how money flows to a company's bottom line. This session introduces you to tools that companies use to track income, expenses and forecast their needs for cash.
Friday, October 13, 2017 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
The Catawba County Library offers many resources to assist small businesses, from research tools to producing prototypes and samples. This seminar will cover NC Live, a database available to NC library patrons Small Business as well as equipment to assist small business owners and entrepreneurs including 3-D printing, computer printing, and cut/sew equipment. Join us to find out what FREE resources you can access through the Catawba County library system.
Tuesday, October 17, 2017 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
This seminar deals with all that has to be in place once the phone starts ringing: facility, equipment, inventory, people, policies, credit lines, operating capital. It also covers risk management, what it takes to be official and legal, and simple steps to Stress Free business planning.
Thursday, October 19, 2017 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
You believe your small business has a product or service the Federal Government can use – but how do you sell to Uncle Sam? Where do you begin? What about the forms and red tape? Selling to the Federal Government can be an overwhelming endeavor through a maze of agencies and regulations. This information packed workshop will provide attendees with first step priority actions to identify and create opportunities, and begin their adventure into the Federal market.
Thursday, October 26, 2017 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
There are many digital fundraising opportunities for non-profit organizations, but leaders of these organizations must still build and maintain personal relationships to sustain their funding. Real money is raised through personal contact, through cultivation, through planning and preparation--personal means, as opposed to texting, e-mail, and other more digital forms of communication. This seminar will review the basics of personal fundraising and the “art of the asking” people for money to support their non-profit organization.
Friday, November 03, 2017 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Ready to get your business started, but want to make sure you’re properly handing your taxes? This seminar presented by the NC Department of Revenue covers the basics of tax compliance ranging from registering your business, to withholding from employees, and sales and use tax requirements. Information will be provided on a program for businesses that have fallen behind on sales and use, withholding, and other trust taxes. At the end of the seminar, there will be a question and answer session and networking possibilities with other business owners.
Thursday, November 16, 2017 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Starting a business is a daunting task that can be overwhelming. Where do you start, and what do you need to know? This two-hour program provides an in-depth walk-through of the mechanics of developing a business concept, evaluating business feasibility, licensing and basics of startup costing.
Tuesday, November 28, 2017 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
To be successful a non-profit should always have a detailed strategic plan. Participants will learn key components in the strategic planning process and how to engage the appropriate board members, staff, volunteers, and/or stakeholders in the process. This workshop offers a roadmap for non-profits who want an overview of strategic planning from start to finish as well as some practical tools to use along the way.


Friday, October 20, 2017 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
Securing funding for a small business remains a top challenge in this turbulent environment. This three hour program consists of panel discussions with local bankers, financial organizations, and public and private resources to help small business owners and prospective business owners understand the current lending environment and identify options available for funding. Each session will be followed with Q&A sessions for participants to ask questions and interact with panel members.

Business Accounting and Budget

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Gain a workable knowledge of how to properly record financial transactions for your business. Discover the three most important financial reports and how to use them to make the best-informed business decisions. If you’re a new business owner or need a refresher on the basics of accounting, this seminar is designed for you.
Thursday, November 30, 2017 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Intro to QuickBooks gets new and prospective small business owners started using QuickBooks, focusing on navigating the home page, using QuickBooks lists, and the chart of accounts. In this hands-on session, participants work through using QuickBooks to create a company file and practice recording sales and managing expenses. The session provides an overview on how QuickBooks can be used to manage a small business’ finances.

Marketing and Sales

On Demand, available until December 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.
Speaker: Small Biz U, On-Line Training
On Demand, available until December 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.
Speaker: Small Biz U, On-Line Training
On Demand, available until December 31
Market research is the systematic process entrepreneurs use to gain insight into market problems and opportunities. The term market includes not only customers, but all players who are responsible for bringing certain products and services to market including suppliers, competitors, producers, wholesale distributors, retailers, logistics, and so on. To conserve time and money, successful entrepreneurs minimize the resources they devote to researching their ideas. Unlike the corporate world, the entrepreneur only does as much research and analysis to justify the next action or investment. This course presents scores of best practice concerning how entrepreneurial research is actually implemented. Answers to questions about market segments, consumer and business markets, market size, and sales forecasts are all addressed through step-by-step processes. Any entrepreneur should want to know as much as possible about any market they participate in. This course provides the guidance and resources necessary to develop just such a working knowledge.
Speaker: Small Biz U, On-Line Training
On Demand, available until December 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.
Speaker: Small Biz U, On-Line Training
Wednesday, October 11, 2017 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Using LinkedIn to Contribute, Collaborate, Connect, and Cram (research) is different than just “having a profile.” In this three-hour workshop participants learn to setup their profile, fine-tune their profile to create maximum marketing impact, and develop strategies for using LinkedIn to create networks and build partnerships to grow business.
Monday, October 23, 2017 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM
With so many social media options and sites, what is right for your business? This three hour seminar reviews the popular social media sites covered in previous seminars and helps small business owners identify what is appropriate for their business to move to the next level. Participants learn tips and tactics to use social media wisely and productively and develop a social media marketing plan tailored for their individual business.
Wednesday, October 25, 2017 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Facebook is used by millions to communicate and share information. And now more small businesses are using Facebook as a way to get on-line and share information. This seminar shows small business owners how to set up a Facebook business page, as well as use Facebook promotions and advertising to make an impact for their business on-line.
Monday, October 30, 2017 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Participants will learn about different options to advertise our business using online resources. These options are often easier and much less expensive than traditional advertising. We will discuss social media advertising through major platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, as well as Google adwords and other options.
Wednesday, November 01, 2017 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM
The use of online videos, primarily those on YouTube is making a huge impact on the way we do business today. Videos are seen by millions of people and business owners use them to make an impact online and bring customers to their stores. This seminar shows small business owners how to set up their YouTube account and make great videos with a small business budget. You will learn tactics that will work best for your business


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