February 2008

Why You Need an Employee Handbook & Help Writing One for Your Business

Design Your Own Effective Employee Handbook by Devon According to author Michelle Devon there are four main reasons a company needs an employee manual: legal protection, save time by not having to answer the same questions again and again, helps insure fair treatment of all employees, and it’s a back-up ‘law-handed-down’ for managers when all else fails. With templates on the accompanying CD-ROM, Design Your Own Effective Employee Handbook: How to Make the Most of Your Staff will make writing your own handbook a snap.

For more help, see the SCL Biz Guide to Managing a Business.

Workshops for Retailers

The Sonoma Valley Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Redwood Empire Small Business Development Center, is presenting a series of three workshops for retailers:

March 7, 2008 • 9am – Noon: Merchandising & Store Setup

April 4, 2008 • 9am – Noon: Product Mix & Pricing

April 25, 2008 • 9am – Noon: Marketing & Advertising

For more information or to register contact the Chamber of Commerce, 996-1033.

Organize Your Office: From Chaos to Control – SRJC Short Course

“Discover creative ways to organize and capture all your paper by turning piles into files! Streamline your emails so that you control your inbox. Create foolproof paperflow systems and design personalized and efficient filing systems. Learn the truth about archiving financial documents. Gain control of your time with the 30 second rule and specialized tickler files. From the home office to the corporate office, you’ll leave with strategies to overcome the information overwhelm of today.” Presented by Christine Palen.

March 5, 2008 • 6:30pm – 9:30pm
SRJC, 1592 Emeritus Hall, Santa Rosa campus

Information and registration

SR Chamber of Commerce Launches New Websites

The Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce has added two new areas to its website:

  • Going Green offers conservation tips, information on incentive and rebate programs, links to green building , solar, water, waste, travel resources, a place to share ideas, and even a carbon footprint calculator.
  • Young Professionals Network (YPN) is a professional development program designed to engage and introduce young professionals to the Santa Rosa region’s vast resources and opportunities. YPN members gain access to prominent industry leaders and equally ambitious peers. As the premier organization of its kind in the region, the Young Professionals Network helps members get involved in the regional business scene to impact the current and future marketplace.

Save $ with Business Tax Deductions Help

Deduct It! by Fishman Home Business Tax Deductions by Fishman

Importing as a Small Business – SRJC Short Course

“Learn how you can become an importer in this one-day seminar highly rated for the instructor’s experience, pace, candor and humor. You will be guided through licensing; selecting products; finding suppliers; working with governments, bankers, brokers, carriers; financing, costing and pricing; and gaining orders for your products. This knowledge becomes the basis for an export business as well. ” Presented by John Spiers and Co-sponsored by the Redwood Empire Small Business Development Center.

March 1, 2008 • 9am-5pm
Santa Rosa Junior College, 1692 Emeritus Hall, Santa Rosa campus

Information and online registration

Healdsburg Trade Show

The Healdsburg Chamber of Commerce will host its 21st Annual Business Trade Show & Silent Auction. Admission is free. This year’s fun theme is “Alice: Don’t Be Late For A Very Important Date”. The event is sponsored by the Healdsburg Chamber in partnership with the Healdsburg Tribune and the City of Healdsburg.

March 5, 2008 • 4:00 to 7:00 p.m
Villa Chanticleer, 1248 North Fitch Mountain Road, Healdsburg

More information, including a list of Exhibitors

7th Annual BEA Business Breakfast

This Annual Business Environmental Alliance (BEA) breakfast promotes the profitability of going green, including the second annual Best Practices Awards ceremony recognizing businesses for their economically and environmentally sound best practices. Learn how your business can profit from rebates and speak one-on-one to local representatives about publicly and privately offered business resources.

February 29, 2008 • 7am – 9am
DoubleTree Hotel, One DoubleTree Drive, Rohnert Park

Call (707) 565-7257 for information & reservations.

Hidden Treasure

It’s a win-win-win: help your business, help your community, and help an individual. Becoming Independent is a local organization that works with employers to place people with disabilities in jobs. BI provides job training and coaching specific to the position, and the job coach stays with the employee as long as needed, all at no cost to the employer. Still not sure if the program will work for you? There is a two-week ‘Try-Out’ program – BI pays ALL employee costs, including workers’ comp. Join the over 200 local employers who benefit from hiring productive, dependable, and diligent workers. Call Susan Heskett, Director of Employment Services, (707) 524-6602 or email her for more information.

Hidden Talent by Lengnick-Hall Hidden Talent: How Leading Companies Hire, Retain, and Benefit from People With Disabilities, edited by Mark L. Lengnick-Hall [Praeger, 2008]. “Lengnick-Hall (Univ. of Texas, San Antonio) has edited a highly readable and informative book that attempts to persuade readers of the benefits of hiring people with disabilities. Although employers may be hesitant to hire disabled persons for various reasons, Lengnick-Hall and his academic and research colleagues dispel myths surrounding disabled employees, citing examples of companies that were proactive in hiring the disabled and “thrived as a result.” Choice 2007

2008 Northern California Visitor Industry Outlook Conference

Presented by the SFCVB Foundation (San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau), this promises to be an informative day of insight into the trends affecting 2008 meetings, travel, and tourism in Northern California, with keynote speaker, Ken Goldstein, Economist, the Conference Board (producers of the Index of Leading Economic Indicators and the monthly Consumer Confidence Index). Other conference highlights include:

  • California Tourism Outlook
  • Convention and Leisure Outlooks
  • Key International Market Update
  • The “Chindia” Effect: Preparing for the Impact of Two Global Giants
  • What’s Ahead in Hotel Supply and Occupancy?
  • Luncheon Keynote: PEAK: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow by Chip Conley, Founder/CEO, Joie de Vivre Hospitality

February 21, 2008 • 8:00am – 1:30pm
San Francisco Marriott, 55th 4th Street, San Francisco

Information & registration

Not for Girls Only

Although these books are marketed to women, they will help everyone build and manage a more successful business.

Girls’ Guide to Building a Million-Dollar Business by Solovic The Girls’ Guide to Building a Million-Dollar Business, by Susan Wilson Solovic [Amacon, 2008]. “Solovic lays out the steps to success: chutzpah, determination, managing changing relationships, keeping employees and customers happy, getting and maintaining credit, overcoming gender bias and creating a successful business plan and a solid brand.” PW, 2007.
What Men Don’t Tell Women About Business by Flett What Men Don’t Tell Women About Business: Opening Up the Heavily Guarded Alpha Male Playbook, by Christopher V. Flett [John Wiley & Sons, 2008]. “An admitted alpha male, Canadian businessman Flett goes straight for the jugular with his contention that women are their own worst enemies in business. As support, he delves into more details by first painting word pictures and perspectives of his species-There isn’t an alpha male in the Western world that isn’t completely driven by his insecurities-and analyzing why women fail. Provocative, and frequently grammatically challenged, Flett does make intriguing points, such as men fear women in the marketplace, women show vindictiveness when trust is breached, and men want to take the lead on everything-but not necessarily do the work. His typologies of businessmen and -women are remarkably accurate-and occasionally offensive and funny.” Booklist, 2007.
Through the Labyrinth by Eagly Through the Labyrinth: The Truth About How Women Become Leaders, by Alice H. Eagly [Harvard Business School Press, 2007].”Despite real progress, women remain rare enough in elite positions of power that their presence still evokes a sense of wonder. In Through the Labyrinth, Alice Eagly and Linda Carli examine why women’s paths to power remain difficult to traverse. First, Eagly and Carli prove that the glass ceiling is no longer a useful metaphor and offer seven reasons why. They propose the labyrinth as a better image and explain how to navigate through it. This important and practical book addresses such critical questions as: How far have women actually come as leaders? Do stereotypes and prejudices still limit women’s opportunities? Do people resist women’s leadership more than men’s? And, do organizations create obstacles to women who would be leaders? ” B&N, 2007.

Visit the SCL Biz Guide to Women in Business and Guide to Managing a Business for more resources.

International Demographic/Economic Statistics Online & One More US Source

It is hard to know where to begin to describe Nationmaster.com – there is an overwhelming wealth of information available. Want to compare the electric consumption per capita in 132 countries? Which country exports the most grapes per year to the US? How many Internet Service Providers there are in 229 countries? An overview of Bermuda? A map of Estonia? The flag of Mayotte? Compare the kilometers of paved and unpaved roads around the world? If you are considering expanding your business anywhere in the world, this is an incredible resource to begin researching a country or determining where your product might find the best new markets or maybe you would just like to know that 55% of the folks in Venezuela are ‘very happy’ and 73% of those in Poland are ‘quite happy.’

Statemaster.com claims to compare the 50 states in 3,000 categories. Topic areas include health, labor, lifestyle, trade (Texas leads in the overall value of exports, California is second, but we have the highest GSP!), crime, education, energy, transportation, etc. There is also an overview, maps, and a picture of the state flag for each state. Here’s a great opportunity for a denture maker: West Virginia has the highest percentage of people who have lost their natural teeth (42.8%).

Santa Rosa Chamber Annual Dinner

Join the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce at their Annual Dinner. Bob Blanchard, the Mayor of Santa Rosa, is the evening’s speaker and there will be special presentations for the Citizen of the Year and the Business of the Year.

February 21, 2008 • 5:30, Cocktail Reception and 6:30, Dinner
Flamingo Conference Center & Spa, 2777 Fourth Street, SR

Information and online reservations

From Planting to Harvest, Grow Your Business

Connections presents a one-day conference: From Planting to Harvest, Grow Your Business – from the first kernel of your idea through nurturing, growing, and reaping the harvest of your healthy business, learn how to succeed at each stage of your growth. Connections is a non-profit organization that serves women in business through networking at our monthly breakfast and dinner meetings, education and community service in Sonoma and Marin Counties.

Dynamic women speakers will take the stage:

  • Keynote speaker Barbara Gruber has started six profitable businesses and is the author/product developer of over 150 products for five publishers, so she knows how to ‘Boost Profits by Analyzing Your Business and Yourself’
  • Helen Bradley, an artist and lifestyle journalist lives and works by the concept of ‘Working Smarter Not Harder’
  • Elise Groves takes on ‘Direct Target Marketing’
  • Jamie Spooner knows how to avoid ‘Dangerous First Impressions – Through Auditing Your Website’

March 1, 2008 • 10am – 4pm
Volunteer Center of Sonoma County, 153 Stoney Circle, Suite #100, Santa Rosa

Information & reservation form

Bookkeeping & Quick Books for Start-Ups – SCORE Workshop

“First, we will explain the main concepts and the terminology of bookkeeping for a small business: what a balance sheet contains, the difference between cash and accrual basis, income statement (also called profit-loss), cash flow, and how these different aspects of recording and controlling your money interact.

In the second part, we will set up the chart of accounts for a fictitious small business in front of your very eyes: which information you need to get started, how to pay bills, how to enter accounts payable and receivable, and how to know whether you are making money or just moving monies around. ”

February 16, 2008 • 8:30am – 12:30pm
SRJC, 1596 Emeritus Hall, Santa Rosa campus

Information and registration

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