November 2007

The Business of Sustaining Santa Rosa

Presented by the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce, and co-sponsored by PG&E, Northbay Corporation and the Sonoma County Water Agency:

  • Session 1: Sustaining Our Environment
  • Session 2: Sustaining Our Economy

December 7, 2007 • 7:30 to 11:00 am
3033 Cleveland Avenue, Santa Rosa

Information & Registration

Opening & Operating a Restaurant – SCORE Workshop

“You will be guided through every step required to open a restaurant and receive pointers about leases, concept, design and equipment, financing, hiring your personnel, menu, food production, as well as details about formalities such as taxes and licenses.

In the second half, you will learn how to operate a restaurant: how to prepare quality food, how to provide efficient service, and how to create a pleasant ambiance – and make a living. You will be treated to several bits of wisdom acquired over decades in the business: No free Come-ons, no Two-for-One coupons, no personal checks, no unproductive advertising gimmicks.”

December 8, 2007 • 8:30am – Noon
SRJC, Emeritus Hall on Elliott Avenue, Room 1597

Information & online reservations

restaurant.jpg As part of your planning for opening your own restaurant, you will find Restaurant Success by the Numbers: A Money-Guy’s Guide to Opening the Next Hot Spot, by Roger Fields, [Ten Speed Press, 2007] a valuable tool – there are no recipes here: Fields looks at the business end of eateries. Part 1, Dreaming for Success, will help you evaluate whether you are ready and able to open your own business; Part 2, Developing the Details will help with staffing, style, even how to set menu prices; and Part 3, Getting Down to Business looks at financing, advertising, and details on Opening Day.

The Portland Connection

Now that Horizon Air has added non-stop flights to and from Portland SCL Biz thinks that many local businesses will be expanding operations into that beautiful city and the Library can help.

Insiders’ Guide to Portland by Drusbeck

Take-No-Prisoners Marketing

Street Fighter Marketing Solutions by SlutskyStreet Fighter Marketing Solutions: How One-On-One Marketing Will Help You Overcome the Sales Challenges of Modern-Day Business, by Jeff Slutsky [Free Press, 2007], “… focuses primarily on local business strategies of owners, managers, and employees at an individual location who are seeking neighborhood or community customers. Stressing the necessity of tangible results in the development, execution, and continuation of marketing programs, the author explains in detail the important calculation of ROMI (Return On Marketing Investment). With hundreds of low-cost opportunities that can be implemented locally, he describes his Street Fighter methods as a neighborhood-by-neighborhood, grassroots, in-your-face, take-no-prisoners type of approach.” Booklist, 2007

For more marketing help visit the SCL Biz Guide to Growing Your Business.

Top Projects in the North Bay

The North Bay Business Journal presents the Top Projects in the North Bay Reception and Awards Gala, honoring commercial building projects in many categories: green building, conference facilities, industrial, senior living, wineries, and more.

December 6, 2007 • 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Sheraton Sonoma County, 745 Baywood Drive, Petaluma

Information and Reservations

Thanksgiving 2007

SCL Biz would like to thank all of you for reading this blog, spreading the word to new readers, and contributing to it. May you, your families, and your employees have many things in your lives to be grateful for today. And may your business flourish this holiday season!

Get Human

There is some debate about who invented voicemail, but no doubt that it is often frustrating almost beyond endurance to reach a human voice at many corporate numbers. GetHuman.org has a database of 500 companies, with a phone number and sequence to use to get to a human as directly as possible. Trying to call Experian, the credit reporting company? Try 800-493-1058 and then: Say “yes”; enter report #; enter social security #; say “yes”; say “agent” then “yes” to confirm at prompts thereafter. Bookmark this website and have 500 company phone numbers and shortcuts at your fingertips.

Biz After 50

If you are interested in starting your own business to boost retirement income or just because you want to be your own boss, read Annie Fisher’s column, “Launch a business after 50 – 7 tips to help you start the right company, without risking your financial security,” from Fortune Magazine online and then take the CNNMoney.com quiz to see if you are ready to Start Your Own Business.

Check out the SCL Biz Guide to Starting a Business for more help.

Startup Nation

Entrepreneurs Jeff and Rich Sloan believe that everyone should own their own business and they have built an extensive website to help you do that. Startup Nation is a free resource with:

  • step-by-step advice on opening a business, managing your money, marketing your website, etc.,
  • almost 100 short articles on topics in business financing, models, planning, technology, inventing, web-based, life planning, home-based businesses, marketing, running a business, and sales,
  • community forums, newsletters, and much more.

For more resources, visit the SCL Biz Guide to Starting a Business.

Hire the Best – Get Rid of the Worst (Legally)

Hiring the best employees will carry your business to a great bottom line – these are just a few of the books in the Library to help you.

high.jpg Smart Hiring by Wendover Hiring People by Shwiff Hiring And Firing by Paetkau

High-Impact Interview Questions: 701 Behavior-based Questions to Find the Right Person for Every Job, by Victoria Hoevemeyer [Amacom 2006].

Smart Hiring: The Complete Guide to Finding and Hiring the Best Employees, by Robert W. Wendover [Sourcebooks, 2007]

Hiring People: Recruit and Keep the Brightest Stars, by Kathy Shwiff [Collins, 2007]

Hiring and Firing, by Tyler M. Paetkau [Entrepreneur Press, 2007]

For more on recruiting and hiring the best employees, and legally firing when your business depends on it.

Grantseekers’ Workshop

SCL Biz begs your indulgence – knowing that many Sonoma County business people are also involved in local nonprofits we are using SCL Biz to spread the word about a free Library workshop for nonprofit organization grantseekers – learn how to get started in the grantseeking process; find grants on the Internet and from the government; and use the Foundation Center database of 250,000 grants at the Central Santa Rosa Library. (For more information, please call 545-0831, x517.)

The next workshop is Wednesday, November 28, 10:30-Noon, at the Central Library.
Schedule of upcoming workshop dates/times

How to Make Money with a Home Based Typing/Word Processing Business – SRJC Short Course

This is a Santa Rosa Junior College Community Education short course, co-sponsored by the Redwood Empire Small Business Development Center:

“If you can type, then you can make money at home using your typewriter, word processor, or computer. Discover the secrets to making profits in the typing/word processing business, including: how and where to find clients; 50+ ways to advertise/market your services; effective home office equipment choices; FREE national networking information; and FREE future individual Q&A opportunities. There really is a need for your services, so why not have the freedom to be your own boss, set your own hours, and have the opportunity to make more money than you ever did before by attending this workshop? Additional reference material will be offered in class.”

November 30, 9:30 AM-12:00 PM
1597 Emeritus Hall, Santa Rosa Campus

Online Registration

Small Business Advice from Experts

Visit the Studio One Networks: Real Small Business™ website for articles from small business experts on Building a Business (starting & structuring), Sales and Marketing (PR, B2B, pricing your product), Managing (hiring, insurance), and Money Matters (employee compensation, tax season, your company’s credit rating). Lots of “practical advice and solutions for today’s small business.”

Sonoma County Business Spirits

The Sonoma County Economic Development Board will host the 7th Annual Spirit of Sonoma County Awards Luncheon recognizing honorees from 23 major chambers and trade organizations throughout the county “who contribute to the economic development and enhancement of the communities in which they live and work through donations of their time and expertise in support of local business and in helping others.”

November 29, 2007 • 11:30am – 1:30pm
Doubletree Hotel, One Doubletree Drive, Rohnert Park

Information, including the list of this year’s honorees, and online reservations or call 565-7298.

North Bay Business Barometer

The Sonoma County Economic Development Board, under the Direction of Ben Stone, continues to produce invaluable reports on the economic health and trends of Sonoma County. The latest is the first annual North Bay Business Barometer. The EDB has generated annual reports for Sonoma County, but this report, recognizing that many local business operate in and draw customers from neighboring counties “provides a North Bay composite of Marin, Mendocino, Napa and Sonoma counties, as well as individual information for those counties in alphabetical order.”

Complete list of EDB Reports & Statistics, including Industry Sector Reports (tourism, construction, technology, wine, etc.), Business Confidence Reports, Local Economic Reports, Business Barometers, and Economic and Demographic Profiles.

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