July 2008

WomenNetwork presents “Strategic Business Solutions”

“This intimate networking event focuses on:

  • New client acquisition
  • Marketing and promoting your business
  • Connecting you with needed resources
  • Providing help and guidance to your business”

August 7, 2008 • 10am – Noon
Smith Barney, 750 Lindaro Street, Suite 300, San Rafael

For more information contact: Jennifer LeBrett, Executive Managing Director, (707) 544-6504, jlebrett@eWomenNetwork.com

Shrink Your Cell Phone Bill

Try this nifty website to help shrink your cell phone plan bill: enter your zip code, number of anytime minutes you use, estimate your text message and data usage, and your current monthly bill and the calculator will “automatically analyze every plan, from the major wireless carriers and you can easily compare plans and view your personalized recommendations.”

Billshrink.com

Getting Ready to Start a Business? Learn from the Experts

The Redwood Empire Small Business Development Center offers these three low-cost workshops for everyone considering their own business venture:

“Pre-Venture training is a series of training sessions on business fundamentals for people who have developed a business concept, and initiated the planning process to start their business. Upon completion of modules I & II, the attendee will be assigned a core counselor.”

Upcoming dates:

Module 1: Planning and What to Consider When Starting a Business & Legal Aspects of Starting Your Business
August 11, 2008 • 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Module 2: Marketing & Financing Your Business
August 18, 2008 • 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Module 3: Developing Your Business Plan
August 25, 2008 • 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Redwood Empire Small Business Development Center, Conference Room
421 Tenth Street, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
1-888-346-SBDC

Online Reservations Reservations Required!

For Family Farms, Farmer’s Markets, Businesses That Sell Locally Grown Products

With the increasing emphasis on locally grown products it is important to get your business in the pubic eye. Here are two websites that consumers are using to find businesses like yours:

  • Sonoma County Farm Trails: Your membership fee will promote your farm and you will receive an annual listing in the Map & Guide with over 100,000 distributed each year. Additional benefits include a free listing on the Farm Trails Web Site and a free link to your personal web site. You will receive wide exposure through media contacts and representation at numerous fairs, festivals and trade shows.
  • LocalHarvest.org: You can create a free listing if you are a direct marketing family farm that does not grow GMO’s, a producers’ farmers’ market, a business that sells products made from things grown locally by family farms, or an organization dedicated to promoting small farms and the “buy local” movement.

What’s Stopping You?

What’s Stopping You by Barringer Are any of these ideas stopping you from your dream of starting your own business?

  • only extraordinary people start businesses
  • it is very risky
  • it takes a great deal of money and experience
  • the best ideas are already taken
  • you can’t compete against big-box retailers
  • a new business cannot get noticed

What’s Stopping You? Shatter the 9 Most Common Myths Keeping You from Starting Your Own Business, by Bruce R. Barringer & R. Duane Ireland [Financial Times Management, 2008] will dispel these myths and set you on the path to business success.

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

Fortune 500 Global Companies

Fortune Magazine printed its annual list of the 500 largest global companies in the July 21, 2008 issue – you can view the list online. The top five: Wal-Mart, Exxon, Royal Dutch Shell, BP, and Toyota. You can see the full list, with revenues and profits for the year, or lists of corporations by location, top companies, CEOs, or top industries.

Build Your Business Website in One Week!

Design and Launch an Online E-Commerce Business in a Week by Rich “Have you fantasized about your own retail store-selling your own specialty items, showcasing unique products or better promoting existing products? Or have you dreamed of working from home, setting your own hours and still making great money? Today’s technology makes it easier than ever to take your retail dreams to the world’s largest marketplace-the Internet. In just days, you can build your own eCommerce website, reach potential customers by the millions, process orders 24/7 and accept payments from all over the world-with no technical background or graphic design skills!

  • Design a professional eCommerce site using inexpensive, turnkey solutions from established companies like Google, Yahoo! and Go Daddy that require no programming or graphic design knowledge
  • Create content and online deals that capture shoppers and keep them coming back
  • Use surefire online tools that work 24/7 to handle payments and accept orders
  • Drive traffic using Search Engine Optimization and other marketing and advertising techniques
  • Skillfully handle inventory, order fulfillment, customer service and all other operations”

Design and Launch an Online E-Commerce Business in a Week, by Jason Rich [Entrepreneur Press, 2008]

Social Security News for Your Employees (and You)

Thank you to Steve Alcorta for alerting SCL Biz to the new Social Security Administration online retirement calculator that is much easier to use – you no longer have to type in your earnings. After you put in your name, SSN, mother’s maiden name, and date and place of birth, you will see your earnings history and be able to juggle various numbers to get an idea of what your benefit will be at retirement age.

SS Retirement Calculator

Importing as a Small Business – SRJC Workshop

“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. After the seminar help via email with instructor and past students is available (and included in the course fee).” Co-sponsored by the Redwood Empire Small Business Development Center.

July 26, 2008 • 9am-5pm
1275 Barnett Hall, Santa Rosa Campus

Information & Reservations

People are Talking About Your Business Online

Radcally Transparent by Beal

“What are they saying? How do you find out? How do you respond? And how can you use the conversation to your benefit? The explosion of social media—blogs, social networking sites, video sharing sites—has ushered in a new era of digital transparency that puts the power to enhance or destroy a reputation in the hands of the consumer. This timely and practical book shows you how to harness the power of social media with crucial, proven tactics and strategies for every phase of online reputation management.

Using step-by-step instruction and tested techniques, the expert authors unveil a detailed blueprint for building, managing, monitoring, and repairing your reputation. They detail important public relations, search engine optimization, research, and online content creation strategies and provide a seven-step action plan so that you can develop the skills necessary to monitor and manage your reputation. You’ll learn how to:

  • Navigate the new rules of engagement in a transparent world
  • Define who you are and develop your personal or corporate brand
  • Create positive PR buzz with your online content
  • Gain visibility in web search results and harness SEO tools
  • Understand the pros and cons of e-mail before you hit “Send”
  • Use the latest Internet tracking methods and understand how information spreads online
  • Apply solid strategies for reputation repair when things go wrong”

Radically Transparent: Monitoring and Managing Reputations Online, by Andy Beal and Judy Strauss

Thinking About Expanding Overseas?

Forbes Magazine has published their new ‘Best Countries For Business’ list. Start with a chart of 121 countries (top 5: Denmark, Ireland, Finland, US, UK) with GDP Growth, GDP Capital, Trade Balance, Population, and Unemployment. Click on any country for a brief description of their business climate and rankings in various areas from corruption to the corporate tax rate.

Best Countries for Business

Pricing Your Product or Service

Especially helpful for business start-ups this online tutorial will help you determine the variable, fixed, and mixed costs of your product which will help you determine the sales price. The tutorial uses examples to make it easier to apply the formulas to your own business.

Cost Behavior Tutorial

Getting Diners in the Door

The City of Santa Rosa’s Downtown Program and the Santa Rosa Chamber of
Commerce
invite you to a business development workshop for Downtown restaurants. This intensive workshop will cover topics from menu creation, press relations, and upcoming trends, to online advertising and increasing your “yelpability.” Materials will address devising a successful menu format, web and graphic pointers, and getting diners in the door without breaking the bank.

Presenter Joan Simon, of Full Plate Restaurant Consulting, is a concept development
and restaurant marketing specialist with 20 years of experience in northern
California. Often quoted by the press and recently featured on CBS 5 and in Japan’s
Cuisine magazine, Simon’s well regarded client list spans the spectrum from San
Francisco hot spots to local country clubs and even Snoopy’s Warm Puppy Café.
Recent startups such as Sol y Largo at Lake Tahoe, Graffiti in Petaluma, The Wild
Fox in Novato, and Cucina in San Anselmo are part of Full Plate’s collective list.

If you are outside of the Downtown District and interested in the workshop, please email Autumn Buss or call her at 543-4338.

July 21, 2008 • 1:30 – 4:30pm
City Hall Annex, 90 Santa Rosa Avenue, Santa Rosa

Information & Registration

Finding Keepers – Your Business Depends on Them

Finding Keepers by Pogorzelski Finding Keepers: The Monster Guide to Hiring and Holding the World’s Best Employees, by Steve Pogorzelski [McGraw-Hill 2007].
How to Hire a Champion by Snyder How to Hire a Champion: Insider Secrets to Find, Select, and Keep Great Employees, by David Snyder [Career Press 2007].

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

Tip of Our Hat to Clois du Bois and Robert Mondavi Wineries

SCL Biz is always happy to see local businesses honored in the national press: congratulations to Clois du Bois & Robert Mondavi for recognition of their pinot grigio wines in the Consumer Reports Smart Shopper July 2008 article on “Crisp Summer Whites.” The article tested twenty-one wines from Australia, Italy, and California and Clois du Bois’ 2007 Pinot Grigio was the winner. Robert Mondavi Private Selection 2006 was included in the top eight wines.

Clois du Bois Winery, Geyserville
Robert Mondavi Winery, Oakville

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