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Western Piedmont Community College SBC
Foothills Higher Education Center
Morganton, NC 28655

Phone: 828-448-6719
Email: Send

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SBC Director - Eddie C. McGimsey 
Welcome to Western Piedmont Community College's Small Business Center!

 The mission of the Small Business Center is to increase the number and success of viable small businesses in North Carolina by providing high quality, readily accessible assistance to prospective and existing small business owners which will lead to job creation and retention. Our Small Business Center is here to assist you by offering one-on-one confidential business counseling plus workshops and seminars on a variety of business topics. We are a community-based provider of education and training, counseling, networking and referrals.  All of our services are free!  Let our Small Business Center help you develop a plan of action to turn your dreams into a reality!


Western Piedmont Community College's (WPCC) Small Business Center, located in the Foothills Higher Education Center in Morganton, provides many resources for entrepreneurs and small businesses located in Burke County, including:

  • Free, confidential, one-to-one counseling; Click Here Free One-on-One Confidential Business Counseling
  • Free seminars, workshops and programs on critical aspects of starting a new business and managing a small business
  • Business plan and feasibility study development
  • Marketing strategies and tactics
  • Licensing, permit, and tax requirements 
  • Review and analysis of financial performance
  • Financing options and opportunities for small businesses
  • Resources (books, videos, on-line publications and research tools) to help you successfully start and grow your business
  • Send us your requests and we will provide answers!   


More Training Events & Seminar Listings Click Here for the latest event Schedule
                 Locations - Descriptions - Times - Registration Information


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Start-up Assistance

On Demand, available until December 31
The Entrepreneurial Strategies Topic: Managing a Business On Demand, available until December 31 Online 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. Topics covered by this course include: What is entreprenuerial strategy? Begin first with the most Hitting them where they ain't Occupying a specialized niche Changing the economic characteristics Sources of innovation What makes an entreprenuer How entreprenuers craft strategy Strategic entreprenuerial decisions Social entreprenuership and innovation
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. Course is approximately 3.0 hours to 3.5 hours in length and provides over 192 animated slides complete with voiceover narration.

Business Basics

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! Topics covered by this course include: What is a business plan? The questions you must answer Determining your audience Crafting your mission and vision Setting goals and objectives The structure of your business plan Industry aspects and considerations Sources of research information Bringing the plan together The most common mistakes Course Objectives To help you understand exactly what a business plan is. To help you decide if you need a formal, written business plan and how to cater it toward different audiences. To give you an understanding of what questions a business plan must address. To illustrate the content and structure of a well-developed plan. To help you avoid the common mistakes most business plans make.
On Demand, available until December 31
Buying A Business is a comprehensive course on how to buy the right business at the right price. Developed by entrepreneurs who buy businesses for a living, this course offers advice and wisdom in such areas as: the key questions to ask of any seller, the due diligence process, valuing a business and determining the offer, negotiation steps and tactics, and sample legal agreements. Course is approximately 3.5 hours to 4.5 hours in length and provides over 221 animated slides complete with voiceover narration.
On Demand, available until December 31
Este curso se basa en el arte de crear un plan para su negocio. El plan de negocio es un documento esencial utilizado para recaudar fondos. También comunica su misión y visión estratégica al equipo administrativo, proveedores, consumidores, y acreedores. Los 10 temas de este curso le enseña detalles y tácticas en la creación de un plan comprensivo mientras que le ayuda a evadir errores críticos de planificación que plagan la mayoría de planes de negocio. Como valor agregado, este curso incluye Activeplans, un software que le permite crear la parte narrativa y proyecciones financieras de su plan mediante la utilización de un enfoque simple que detalla paso a paso el proceso. Este software por si solo tiene un valor de $40.00. Los temas que se tratan en este curso son: Que es un plan de negocio? Diez preguntas que debe responder Determinando sus posibles lectores Elaborando su misión y visión Definiendo metas y objetivos La estructura de su plan de negocio Aspectos de la industria y sus consideraciones Fuentes de información e investigación Consolidando su plan de negocio Los errores más comunes al elaborar el plan de negocio Course Objectives Ayudarle a entender lo que es exactamente un plan de negocios. Ayudarle a decidir si necesita un plan de negocio formal y escrito, además como crearlo para persuadir a diferentes audiencias. Darle a entender las preguntas que un plan de negocio debe responder. Ilustrarlo en cuanto al contenido y estructura de un plan correctamente desarrollado. Ayudarlo a evitar los errores comunes que se encuentran en la mayoría de planes de negocio. El curso dura aproximadamente de 2 a 2.5 horas y provee más de 135 diapositivas animadas y narradas completamente.
On Demand, available until December 31
Positioning starts with a product. A piece of merchandise, a service, a company, or even a person. But positioning is not what you do to a product. Positioning is what you do to the mind of the customer. That is, you position the product in the mind of the prospect. Strategy is therefore planned in the mind, not the marketplace. Marketing then becomes a battle of perceptions not products. All successful positioning strategies must start with the mind of the consumer and then work backward. This is true because the answer is not contained within the product or service itself. No amount of creative thinking or analysis will result in the insights needed to successfully position your company, product, or service. The answer rests instead in the mind of your customer. You must begin with what’s already there and then work backwards--outside-in--to create your strategy. There are only a few generic positioning strategies you can employ: Getting into the mind first--finding the niche, positioning yourself to the leader, or repositioning the competition. This course describes each of the three strategies and tactics used to bring them to life. Topics covered by this course include: What is positioning? The assault on the mind The ladders in your head Getting into the mind Owning a word in the mind The positioning of a leader The positioning of a follower Repositioning the competition The line extension trap A positioning case study Course Objectives To define what positioning is and how it works as a communications tool in marketing. To put forth and describe the available positioning strategies including the positioning of a leader, the positioning of a follower, and the tactics for repositioning the competition. To present the easiest way of getting into the prospect’s mind. To help you prevent the most common positioning mistakes including the line extension trap. Course is approximately 2.0 hours to 2.5 hours in length and provides over 108 animated slides complete with voiceover narration.
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. Topics covered by this course include: What is a legal structure? The different types of legal structures The sole proprietorship The general partnership The "c" corporation The "s" corporation The limited liability company (LLC) Selecting your legal structure The forms that you will need Employee issues and requirements Course Objectives To help you understand the different legal structures that are available when starting a business. To help you understand the advantages and disadvantages between the different legal structures. To help you choose what legal structure is most appropriate for your business. To provide you with the forms that you need for the formation of your selected structure. To inform you about employee issues and provide you with the forms that every employer needs. Course is approximately 2 hours to 2.5 hours in length and provides over 129 animated slides complete with voiceover narration.
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2128 South Sterling Street
Morganton, NC 28655
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