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Events/Workshops

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On Demand

On Demand, available until June 30
Topic: Start-up Assistance
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
On Demand, available until June 30
Topic: Start-up Assistance
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 June 30
Topic: Start-up Assistance
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.
On Demand, available until June 30
Topic: Start-up Assistance
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 June 30
Topic: Financing
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 June 30
Topic: Financing
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 June 30
Topic: Financing
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 June 30
Topic: Financing
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 June 30
Topic: Marketing and Sales
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
On Demand, available until June 30
Topic: Marketing and Sales
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.
Location: Online
On Demand, available until June 30
Topic: Marketing and Sales
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 June 30
Topic: HP LIFE
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

June

Thursday, June 01, 2017 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Topic: Not Set
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
Wednesday, June 07, 2017 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Topic: Not Set
This seminar will focus on getting your bookkeeping system set up correctly by discussing the chart of accounts, general administrative and selling expenses, fixed assets versus operating expenses, and options for inventory management. participants will learn the importance of getting the bookkeeping system set up correctly and how to use their system to make comparisons to industry standards and minimize tax preparation time and expense.
Speaker: Rosalie Lulis
Thursday, June 08, 2017 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Topic: Start-up Assistance
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
Tuesday, June 13, 2017 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Topic: Not Set
Partnerships among complementary businesses have existed for years. Developing partnerships for marketing, resource sharing, or general business camaraderie can be valuable to any business. In this workshop you will learn how to: evaluate your offerings to determine who best to approach for partnership; plan how to best approach potential partners; use best practices for partner marketing and promotion agreements; create joint marketing, promotions, and events; develop referral programs and incentives; and analyze your partnerships.
Speaker: Jeanne Eury - NC Retail Merchant Association
Tuesday, June 13, 2017 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Topic: Not Set
Join us for Grant Writing 101 featuring speaker Calvin Patterson. This seminar is designed for small business owners interested in gaining the fundamentals of grant seeking and grant writing. Through interaction and sharing best practices, you will learn how to identify prospects, how to establish relationships with prospective funding organizations and individuals, how to structure a grant proposal and how to meet deadlines while delivering the best possible product.
Speaker: Calvin Patterson - Earnest Harvest, LLC
Thursday, June 15, 2017 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
Topic: Not Set
Financing continues to be a challenge for many small business owners. Questions range from, Who will give me money for my business idea and what do they need from me? to, How will this business make money and will it be enough to pay back a loan or attract an investor? Get to the heart of business financing in this seminar that answers your questions. Explore the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of funding sources and how to choose the right one for your needs. Discover the keys to financing success.
Speaker: Carolina Small Business Development Fund
Tuesday, June 20, 2017 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Topic: Not Set
How many people visited your website this week? What parts of the world are they visiting from? How long did they stay? What page keeps people's attention the longest? Google Analytics offers the free tool to track and improve business. We will start with setting up an account followed by adding the tracking code to the website. The majority of the class will cover navigating and understanding the basic reports. The main focus of this class will be an introduction to the short and long term benefits of utilizing Google Analytics to help grow website traffic. Mobile activity, social media, and live tracking will also be discussed.
Speaker: Boomer Sassmann
Wednesday, June 21, 2017 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Topic: Not Set
In this seminar, participants will learn best practices to increase and sustain business cash flow using financial information and tax strategies.
Speaker: Mike Sowinski