April 2009

You Can Survive the Current Economy – SDBC Workshop

The  Small Business Development Center at SRJC is offering a new workshop to help you take action now to thrive!

We all know that times are tough, but just hoping to make it through is not enough. Smart business owners are taking action now to ensure they not only survive, but are laying the foundation for long term profitability.
Leave this interactive session with the tools to:

  • Deal with cash issues-payables and receivables
  • Work with your bank for short term financing or loan payment issues
  • Use your financial statements to control expenses, including inventory and fixed/variable costs
  • Develop employee strategies to maximize productivity and cost containment
  • Forecast sales, expenses and cash flow
  • Use marketing techniques to reach existing and new customers
  • Stick to your core business
  • Maintain a positive attitude

April 30, 2009 • 5:30 -8:30pm
SBDC Conference Room,  421 Tenth Street, Santa Rosa

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

Nominate Your Company – Best Places to work in the North Bay

If you love the company you work for and would like everyone to know about it, nominate it for the North Bay Business Journal’s ‘Best Places to Work in the North Bay.’ Winning companies will be featured in a special section devoted to the best companies to work for and will be recognized at the awards celebration in September 2009.  Companies must be in Sonoma, Marin, or Napa counties.

Nominations must be postmarked by May 16, 2009.

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

The The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Santa Rosa Junior College 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
May 4, 2009 • 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Module 2: Marketing & Financing Your Business
May 11, 2009 • 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Module 3: Developing Your Business Plan
May 18, 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!

Quickbooks Solutions Guide

Quickbooks 2009 by Madeira

Quickbooks has long been the electronic accounting choice of small businesses and, Quickbooks 2009: Solutions Guide for Business Owners and Accountants, by Laura Madeira [Que, 2009], helps the intermediate to advanced user make the most of  “every facet of QuickBooks accounting: data files, banking, A/R, undeposited funds, employee advances, inventory, A/P, sales tax, payroll, reporting, sharing data with accountants, and much more. ”

Check our catalog for all of our books that will male you a Quickbooks expert.

Take Your Business to the NxLevel™

From the Redwood Empire Small Business Development Center, this is the premier entrepreneurial training program in the United States: “An intensive 12-session training program designed to encourage business expansion and growth. The course focuses on teaching the art of better business practices while producing a comprehensive business plan to guide business expansion decisions and activities.”

There is a free orientation class (recommended, but not required):
April 29, 2009 • 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm or
May 6, 2009 • 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

The course:
12 consecutive Wednesday night sessions, May 13 through July 29, 6:00pm-9:00pm

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

Information & online reservations

Help in Choosing the Best Accounting Software

There are many, many accounting programs available for small businesses, and now there is a website that can help you choose the best for your business or to recommend to a client. Find Accounting Software is a free service that you can use in either of two ways:

  1. Fill out a short online questionnaire tailored to your type of business, then have a brief telephone conversation about the results and they will match you with ‘trusted partners,’ based on your project requirements. You remain anonymous until you give permission for your contact information to be released to the suggested vendors.
  2. You can browse their Accounting Software Directory that they have  “cataloged, categorized, classified, sliced and diced information on hundreds of applications and thousands of top-notch consultants in your area .”

The is a free service of CPA Online and offers this disclaimer:
FindAccountingSoftware.com is independent. We’re not affiliated with any software developer, nor do we sell any software. We work for you. So you can count on us to find the best accounting software solution.

Find AccountingSoftware.com

Beyond Buzz

Beyond Buzz by Kelly Beyond Buzz: The Next Generation of Word-of-Mouth Marketing, by Lois Kelly [Amacom, 2007]. “Selected as one of Library Journal’s Best Business Books for 2007
Tied for the Gold Medal in the first annual Axiom Business Awards, sponsored by Inc. Magazine.
It’s official: the old marketing model is dead, and word of mouth is king. But while a lot of attention has been paid to the mechanics of creating buzz, only the savviest of marketers have learned to focus on crafting the right kind of message — because without it, even the loudest buzz will soon die down. Beyond Buzz shows readers how to listen to customers, identify what is important to them, and then craft the kind of message that will truly resonate and spark conversation.

Filled with insightful examples of conversational marketing at work, Beyond Buzz gives readers the tools and inspiration they need to create an effective and interesting conversational theme that will engage their customers and take their marketing to a whole new level.

Without the right message in place, word of mouth marketing will never live up to its promise. This innovative and practical book shows readers how to ignite people’s interest…and generate much more than buzz.”

Visit the SCL Biz Guide to Growing A Business  for more on advertising, marketing, and public relations.

Why Biodynamic?

As part of their Contemporary Issues Series, Sonoma Country Day School, in partnership with the Sonoma County Wine Library, presents this panel discussion about biodynamic farming. Jeff Cox, journalist and restaurant critic, will moderate a panel with Paul Dolan, Winegrower and partner in Paul Dolan Vineyards, Parducci Wine Cellars, Truett Hurst Winery; Jeremy Fox, Executive chef of Ubuntu Restaurant in Napa; and Alan York, International Biodynamic winegrower consultant.

Bo Simons, the SCL Wine Librarian, tells SCL Biz that “this program is special because we have some of the most knowledgeable and articulate proponents of Biodynamic methods speaking to the questions that the skeptics among us have been asking.  Then there is the proof of the pudding, the  wines and the foods that are made using the methods that right now are sparking some controversy.  You get to taste not only wines by Paul Dolan, Truett Hurst, Bonterra, Quivira, Benzinger and others, but also indulge in fresh, sassy, sensuous biodynamic foods prepared by Doug Nicasio of Sensuous Farms.”

Proceeds from this event will benefit the Sonoma County Wine Library, a special service and collection of the Sonoma County Library, housed in the Healdsburg Regional Library, and comprising 5,000 plus books on wine and related subjects, subscriptions and backfiles to over 80 wine-related periodicals.

April 24, 2009 • 7:00pm
Jackson Theater at Sonoma Country Day School, 400 Day School Place, Santa Rosa

Information & Order Tickets

How To Make Your Sales Go UP in a Down Market – SCORE Workshop

SCORE and DeepSky Seminars is presenting this special one time only presentation. In this 3- hour seminar Master Marketer, Jeffrey Schmidt, will help you plan a strategy for success that will make your sales soar.

  • Learn the single most important ingredient to boosting sales.
  • View real-life examples of how to construct buy-ready messaging.
  • See how you can build a profit model that works for your unique situation and come away with ideas on how you can tap the power of the Internet in your busines
  • If you need more revenue in your business make a beeline for this fact- filled event.

April 25, 2009 • 9:00am – Noon
Volunteer Center of Sonoma County, 153 Stony Point Circle, Santa Rosa

Information & Reservations

Start: How to Get Your Business Underway

How to Get Your Business Underway by Duncan Start is a one-stop guide to getting your business of the ground. Written by someone who has actually been there and done it, it gets straight to the heart of launching your business, with no-nonsense ideas to help you start out with confidence and a clear direction. Pick up some essential tips like:

  • Start with the idea. What is it and how will it realise your ambitions?What is the long-term plan? If you don’t know where you are going then you won’t get there.
  • Simplicity is the key. Don’t overcomplicate things so that the idea is pecked to death by ducks. If you can write it on a postcard and explain it to your mum, then you can get started.
  • Make clear plans. Draw up One-page business and personal plans to work out what you want in the simplest and clearest possible way.
  • Decide what you want. Flush out whether you are building to sell, or just want the business to fund your lifestyle, then take the leap of faith and get it underway. Work hard, but don’t confuse being busy with being effective.
  • Learn from experience. Realise when you are gaining speed but losing altitude, and have the courage to change things when they aren’t working well.

Start: How to Get Your Business Underway, by Kevin Duncan, with cartoons by Gray Jolliffe [Capstone, 2008] and there’s more help in the SCL Biz Guide to Starting a Business.

Online Communities & Their Impact on Business

Rubicon Consulting, a Los Gatos company, has produced an interesting report on business and the proliferation of online communities: Twitter, Facebook, Plurk, Yelp, Wikipedia – fanciful names, but can they help (or hurt?) your business?

Online Communities & Their Impact on Business: Ignore at Your Peril

Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It

Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It by Ressler Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It: No Schedules, No Meetings, No Joke–the Simple Change That Can Make Your Job Terrific, by Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson [Portfolio, 2008].

  • “Do you hate cramming all of your errands into the weekend?
  • Do you resent having to beg permission to watch your kid’s weekday soccer game?
  • Are you tired of seeing people who aren’t very good at their jobs get promoted because they arrive early and stay late?

There’s got to be a better way—and there is! Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson show that everyone benefits when we change the focus from hours to outcomes. It’s just that our traditional definition of work—Monday through Friday, nine to five—doesn’t make sense in the always-on global economy.

So, Ressler and Thompson created the Results-Only Work Environment. In a ROWE, you control when, where, and how long you work. As long as you meet your objectives, the way you spend your time is entirely up to you.

Suddenly, work isn’t a place you go, it’s a thing you do. In a ROWE, there are no mandatory meetings or fixed schedules. You stop doing any activity that wastes time, and no one criticizes you for “leaving early” or “coming in late.” If you do your best work at midnight or on Sundays, go for it!

ROWE sounds like a fantasy, but Ressler and Thompson have already made it a reality at Best Buy, a Fortune 100 company. They have proven that ROWE not only makes employees happier but also delivers better results. And now the authors are helping companies implement ROWE nationwide.”

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

Success Through Invention & Product Development – RESBDC Workshop

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
April 14, 2009 • 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Module 2: Marketing & Financing Your Business
April 15, 2009 • 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Module 3: Developing Your Business Plan
April 16, 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!

Chance to Win a Small Business Grant of $25,000

Intuit, Inc, the makers of a variety of small business software, including QuickBooks, is offering small business owners a chance to win over $300,000 in grants and more:

Share your small business story with us, send to your friends to get rated, and you get the following:

  • A chance to win a share of over $300,000 in Intuit Small Business Grants
  • The Intuit Small Business Word of Mouth Marketing Toolkit
  • A profile page to promote your business to our over 100,000+ members on our Intuit Community website

Ask everyone you know to read and rate your story. The more ratings you receive, the more likely you are to win.

Intuit Share Your Story and Win – You must enter by April 24!

2009 Forty Under 40 Awards Reception

The North Bay Business Journal will recognize 40 extraordinary professionals under the age of 40 at an awards reception – come meet this impressive group of young professionals impacting the future of business in the North Bay. Don’t miss the opportunity to celebrate and network with 40 of the North Bay’s most remarkable up-and-coming leaders of the next generation, as you enjoy the wine bar and hors d’oeuvres.

April 16 • 5:30 – 7:30pm
Fountaingrove Inn, 101 Fountaingrove Parkway,  Santa Rosa

Reservations 

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