February 2009

Writing Effective & Useful Business Plans -SCORE Workshop

“In this workshop, you will get a start on writing your business plan, and how it can be fun and exciting rather than tedious. A straightforward process of “telling your business story” will serve as your writing guide. You will learn about the main components of a good business plan: Position your product or service within your industry; reaching your target customers through methods of guerilla marketing; and how operations, marketing, and sales work together. Then, you’ll hear about the choices you have to legally “form” your business: sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, S or C corporation. Considerable time will be spent on another crucial topic: how to convince an underwriter at a bank to fund your business. We will talk about the entire process from application to managing the loans prudently.”

March 7, 2009 • 9:00am – Noon
SRJC, Emeritus Hall on Elliott Avenue, Room 1522

Information and registration

Interesting Way To Find Venture Capital Firms

Matt Winn has developed a database directory that currently has 492 venture firms, 863 locations, and 6774 professionals. You can keyword search the biographical information, search by city/zip code or by the assets a firm manages, or view an interactive map.

Take a look at VCDB.

2009 BEA Business Leaders’ Breakfast

The Business Environmental Alliance (BEA) is pleased to announce the 8th Annual Business Leaders’ Breakfast to highlight the current and emerging trends in environmental practices and spotlight local businesses that save money with improved environmental practices.

Carl Guardino, President and CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, is the keynote speaker and the BEA is pleased to bring executives from three local Sonoma County businesses together to discuss how the local business community can participate in the emerging “Green” economy. Panelists include Louis E. Capuano, Jr., Co-Founder & CEO, ThermaSource, Inc., Chris Spain, Co-Founder, Chairman and CSO, HydroPoint Data Systems, Inc., and Raghu Belur, Co-Founder and Vice President of Marketing, Enphase Energy.

February 27, 2009 • 7:00 to 9:30 am
DoubleTree Hotel, One DoubleTree Drive, Rohnert Park

Information & Reservations

A Note to Our Email Subscribers

We will be migrating to new email distribution software tomorrow (Wednesday, February 25) – this should be completely transparent for you [hope that doesn't end up in the 'famous last words' file] and we expect no disruption.

The first email post sent by the new software will be in your inbox on Thursday, February 26. If you do not get an email from SCL Biz on Thursday, please email biz@sonoma.lib.ca.us and we’ll try to fix the problem.

Didn’t know you could keep up-to-date on all the latest in business news, events, websites, and great new library materials through email? On Thursday check the top sidebar on the left and click on the email link and posts will be delivered to you four or five times a week.

Importing as a Small Business – SRJC Workshop

[Co-sponsored by the Redwood Empire Small Business Development Center]

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.

February 28, 2009 • 9:00 am – 5:00pm
1288 Barnett Hall, Santa Rosa Campus

Information & Reservations

Promoting Your Small Business Using Websites, E-zines, Blogs, and Podcasts

How to Say It by Claxton If the time has come for your business to catch up with online marketing, Lena Claxton and Alison Woo’s new book, How to Say It: A Guide to Promoting Your Small Business Using Websites, E-zines, Blogs, and Podcasts [Prentice Hall, 2008], will make it easy.Only a few of the many topics:

  • What Can New Media Do for Your Business?
  • Getting Your Message Across…With a Website
  • How to Say It in the Basic Elements of an E-zine
  • Telling Your Audience about Your Blog
  • How to Say It with Your Podcasts and How NOT to Say It with Your Podcasts
  • Ultimate New Media Blueprint

Successfully Planning & Starting the One-Person Business – SRJC Workshop

[Co-sponsored by the Redwood Empire Small Business Development Center.]

Have you been moved out of a career through layoffs or mergers? Longing to be your own boss and follow your dream? Times have changed, and one-person businesses are a permanent part of our new economy. Are you ready to become ‘your business’ and join this fast growing group of entrepreneurs? Let’s enjoy discussing:

  • Learning from others’ successes (books/tapes, workshops, Internet, etc.)
  • Doing your homework/research (markets/competition)
  • Self-assessment (skills, expertise, business idea)
  • Lifestyle changes (working alone, no paycheck, family support, freedom)
  • Legal form of business, licenses, zoning, ID, taxes, write-offs, contracts, etc.
  • Business plan, seed money, working capital, budgets
  • Market research, and target markets
  • Sales/Marketing, cards, Web pages, brochures, networking
  • Setting up shop (supplies, equipment, accounting, etc.)
  • Seven reasons businesses could fail
  • Personal/Professional well-being (support, inspiration, continued learning, time out)”

Presented by Danni Burton.

February 22, 2009 • 9:30am – 4:30pm
2714 Maggini Hall, Santa Rosa Campus

Information & Reservations

Rules to Break and Laws to Follow: How Your Business Can Beat the Crisis of Short-Termism

Rules to Break and Laws to Follow by PeppersRules to Break and Laws to Follow: How Your Business Can Beat the Crisis of Short-Termism, by Don Peppers and Martha Rogers [John Wiley, 2008]

“Customer gurus Peppers and Rogers continue their mantra that customer focus is essential for organizational success. Managers must break away from three common practices that result in a misguided emphasis on what the authors term “short-termism” and instead focus on establishing and maintaining customer trust to achieve long-term success. Peppers and Rogers present illustrative examples of the fate of organizations that fail to understand customer trust, offering practical guidance on how it can be developed. In addition to examining familiar themes (e.g., employee empowerment and innovation) as part of customer trust, they introduce and explore more original issues, e.g., approaches for valuing customer trust and maintaining it in an age characterized by unprecedented access to customer feedback. Summing Up: Highly recommended.” Choice, 2008.

Quickbooks for Start-Ups – SCORE Workshop

“We will set up the chart of accounts for a fictitious small business in front of your very eyes: the 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. Hands-on computers for 12 registrants.” Presented by Ken Norton, a professional Quickbooks consultant.

February 21, 2009 • 8:30am – 12:30pm
3535 Industrial Avenue, (upstairs) in Santa Rosa

Information and registration

How to Successfully Comply with Cal/OSHA Today – SRJC Workshop

“Are you prepared for Cal/OSHA to visit your business? This power-packed workshop will assist you in meeting your Cal/OSHA mandated safety/health compliance responsibilities. You’ll learn how to eliminate potential hazards, how to properly investigate workplace injury/illness incidents, how to avoid safety violations, how to meet record keeping responsibilities and much more. At the end of the day you’ll be better prepared to minimize your potential liability and maintain a safer, more productive workplace for you and your employees.” Presented by Wally Pearce.

February 20, 2009 • 8:30am – 3:30pm
1610 Emeritus Hall, Santa Rosa Campus

Information & Reservations

Pre-Venture Training to Get a Great Start – RESBDC Workshops

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,III and completion of a business plan, 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
February 17, 2009 • 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Module 2: Marketing & Financing Your Business
February 18, 2009 • 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Module 3: Developing Your Business Plan
February 19, 2009 • 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!

Tax Deductions for Freelancers

Did you know that freelancers can deduct their coffee shop expenses? How about deadbeat customers who never pay their invoices? Freelanceswitch.com has a good blog entry with a list of ten IRS tax deductions and information about each:

  1. Unpaid invoices [see IRS Publication 535]
  2.  Niche research
  3. Meetings at the coffee sjop
  4. Job hunting
  5. PayPal fees
  6. Virtual assistants and other freelancers
  7. Your home expenses
  8. Cellphone and Skype
  9. Professional advice
  10. Payments to non-profits

10 Tax Deductions Freelancers Can Make

Pounce Like a Panther: Managing Your Business IT

The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Managing Information Technology by Rhoads“Information Technology (IT) refers to the people, processes, hardware, and software that determine the flow of information within an organization.   Companies today can achieve competitive advantages only by ensuring that their IT strategies align with their overall business strategies and propel their businesses forward. The task of formulating technology plans is a complex endeavor, however, and it is further complicated by the tendency of ineffective IT strategies, including badly timed implementations, to jeopardize current and future income and opportunities and hamper the viability of new entrepreneurships.  Rhoads (business, Kutztown Univ.), president and CEO of a technology consulting firm, uses stories from her experiences and quirky language—e.g., “pounce like a panther,” “the hedgehog concept,” and the “bleeding edge”—to stress the importance of executives continually reexamining their IT strategies, and she provides them with practical guidance and methods to minimize risks and maximize benefits. This book is an essential read for business professionals at all levels and can be used as a textbook alternative for an introduction to the management of technology in academic business programs.” LJ August 2008

The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Managing Information Technology, by CJ Rhoads [Praeger, 2008].

Impact Marin

The North Bay Business Journal is hosting this must-attend conference that will explore how the financial climate and state budget crisis are affecting North Bay businesses and what steps they can take to strategize and reposition themselves for future growth. Local banking, county and other experts discuss the impact of the changing economic environment on businesses.

February 12, 2009 • 8:00 – 10:30 am
Embassy Suites, 101 McInnis Parkway, San Rafael

Information & Reservations

Success Through Invention & Product Development – RESBDC Workshop

“Learn to develop your invention, product, idea or service and get it to market. Research and protection of intellectual property, including patents, trademarks and copyrights.”

Presented by Redwood Empire Small Business Development Center Instructor, Steve Schneider.

The workshop is repeated on these dates:

February 11, 2009 • 9:00am – Noon
March 11, 2009 • 9:00am – Noon

Participants MUST ATTEND Success Through Invention Workshop Prior to Attending Product Development for Inventors. It is repeated on these dates:

February 25, 2009 • 9:00am – Noon
March 25, 2009 • 9:00am – Noon

Redwood Empire Small Business Development Center
606 Healdsburg Avenue, Santa Rosa

Information and Reservations or call 1-888-346-SBDC

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