June 2009

So You Want to Start a Business – SBDC Workshop

Presented by the Small Business Development Center at SRJC, this 3-part series provides small business start-up information to people who have developed a business concept and have initiated the planning process to start their business. Upon finishing all 3 modules, you may begin working individually with a Business Advisor.

  • Module I- Planning & Legal Structure
  • Module II-Marketing & Financing
  • Module III-Business Plan

July 6, 13, and 20, 2009 • 6:00 9:00pm
SBDC, 421 Tenth Street, Santa Rosa

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

Thinkertoys

Thinkertoys by MichalkoThinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques, by Michael Michalko [Ten Speed Press, 2006], “will teach you how to generate new ideas for businesses, markets, sales techniques, and products and product extensions. Packed with fun and practical tools and exercises, it outlines 30 practical linear and intuitive techniques that can be used by individuals or groups to tackle and solve business problems in fresh, creative ways.

An updated edition of the best-selling business creativity book, with more than 30 brainstorming techniques and hundreds of creative-thinking tips and tricks. Revision includes new techniques, examples, and sections on group brainstorming and endgames.”

NorthBayBiz 2009 Best of Lists Announced

The eagerly awaited annual Reader’s Poll Best of  list has been published in the July 2009 issue of NorthBaybiz and is also available online:

2009 North Bay’s Best

Congratulations to the Winners!

$$ for Veteran Entrepreneurs

Here are three programs to helps vets:

Winning Results With Google AdWords

Winning Results With Google AdWords by Goodman “Reach millions of targeted new customers at the precise moment they’re looking for the products and services you’re selling with help from this hands-on guide. Winning Results With Google AdWords, by Andrew Goodman [McGraw Hill, 2009],  reveals the latest strategies for writing successful ads, selecting and grouping specific keywords, increasing conversion rates, and maximizing online sales. You’ll also learn how to expand your ad distribution, test and tweak your ads, track results, and much more. Find out how boost visibility and increase profits with a Google AdWords campaign!

  • Create strategic groups of ads and keywords
  • Understand Google’s Quality Score ad ranking system and quality-based bidding
  • Use the keyword tool to your advantage
  •  Develop a successful bidding strategy
  • Write, test, and refine winning ads
  • Filter out inappropriate prospects
  • Expand proven ad campaigns
  • Measure success using Google Analytics and other methods
  • Increase conversion rates”

Rules of Thumb

Rules of Thumb by Webber “Webber, entrepreneur and columnist, offers advice and inspiration with 52 practical lessons gleaned from more than 40 years of working with extraordinary leaders in a variety of endeavors. He sets out to help today’s professional men and women stay focused, productive, and inspired even in our most turbulent times of change relating to globalization, technology, and the knowledge economy.

The author kept records of his experiences and describes them along with the lessons he learned, showing us how these lessons can be applied to our business or personal life. His rules? When the going gets tough, the tough relax; don’t implement solutions, prevent problems; the difference between a crisis and an opportunity is when you learn about it; every start-up needs four things: change, connections, conversation, and community; entrepreneurs choose serendipity over efficiency; knowing it ain’t the same as doing it; and great leaders answer Tom Peters great question: How can I capture the world’s imagination? This excellent book offers valuable, thought-provoking ideas.” Booklist, April 2009.

Rules of Thumb: 52 Truths for Winning At Business Without Losing Your Self, by Alan M. Webber [Collins Business, 2009]

Women in Business 2009 Awards Dinner Gala

Regular readers of SCL Biz may remember a call for nominations for the North Bay Business Journal Women in Business awards posted here on March 25, and now it is time celebrate the winners – women who are “outstanding in the North Bay for their success and contributions to the business community as leaders, innovators, and visionaries.”  Sheila Murray Bethal, Ph.D., is the keynote speaker.

June 25, 2009 • 6 – 9:00pm
Sheraton Sonoma County, 745 Baywood Drive, Petaluma

Reservations Seating is limited – Registration Deadline is June 19!

Hiring Your First Employees – Steps to Ensure You Are In Compliance – SMBC Workshop

Part of the Sonoma Mountain Business Cluster (SMBC) Business Essentials Series & Brown Bag Lunch, the presenter is Brenda Gilchrist, the Co-Founder of The HR Matrix.

Going from being the only person in your business to hiring your first employee is a big step, involving numerous compliance issues that must be handled correctly to avoid costly legal claims.

Please bring your questions and join us to learn about:

  • What state and federal laws should concern you
  • The real difference between employees and independent contractors
  • Exempt v. non-exempt employees
  • Workers’ compensation
  • Required paperwork… and more

June 23, 2009 • 12:30 – 1:30pm
SMBC Conference Room B, 1300 Valley House Drive, Suite 100, Rohnert Park

RSVP: Email Kari Zimmerman  or call 707-664-6200

Congratulations to Our Very Own Press Democrat

The San Francisco Peninsula Press Club recently announced its Greater Bay Area Journalism Awards, with winners selected from 424 entries from media professionals in the 11 Greater Bay Area counties.

SCL Biz is pleased to share The Press Democrat award winners with you, especially Kevin McCallum for his business story “Bad Loans, Big Losses” :

  • Editorial
    FIRST PLACE: “Hasty Change,” Press Democrat Staff
  • Columns-News/Political
    FIRST PLACE: “Columns by Paul Gullixson,” Paul Gullixson
  • Columns-Sports
    SECOND PLACE: “Columns by Lowell Cohn,” Lowell Cohn
    THIRD PLACE: “Columns by Bob Padecky,” Bob Padecky
  • Business Story
    FIRST PLACE: “Bad Loans, Big Losses,” Kevin McCallum
  • Sports Story
    THIRD PLACE: “Running on Courage,” Bob Padecky
  • Spot News Photography
    FIRST PLACE:  “Daughter Shot by Police,” John Burgess
  • Feature Photography
    FIRST PLACE:  “Artificially Inseminate,” John Burgess
  • General News Photography
    FIRST PLACE: “Marine Rose,” Kent Porter
  • Sports Action Photography
    FIRST PLACE: “St. Vincent Defense,” Crista Jeremiason
  • Sports Feature Photography
    THIRD PLACE: “Running Antlers,” Scott Manchester
  • New Media: General Excellence
    THIRD PLACE: “pressdemocrat.com,” Press Democrat Staff

Complete list of award winners

Selling Online 2.0

Selling Online 2.0, by Miller “It’s time to move beyond eBay and first-generation online selling and start Selling Online 2.0. Second generation online selling means migrating from eBay to other online marketplaces, including craigslist, Amazon, and your own e-commerce website. You’ll need to make some new plans, learn some new skills, and change some of the things you do–but you’ll find that there’s more money to be made on your own than relying on traditional eBay online auction sales.

  • Put together a plan to maintain your sales level and profitability–to counteract eBay’s changes
  • Discover how to shift from auction sales to fixed-priced listings on the eBay marketplace
  • Find out if running an eBay Store or selling on Half.com makes sense for your business
  • Learn out how to sell locally on craigslist and other online classifieds sites
  • Discover how to sell fixed-price merchandise on the Amazon marketplace
  • Find out how to launch your own e-commerce website–and promote your online store
  • Learn how to sell products across multiple channels–and manage multichannel conflicts”

Selling Online 2.0: Migrating from eBay to Amazon, Craigslist, and Your Own E-Commerce Website, by Michael Miller [Que, 2009].

2009 Sonoma County Economic Briefing Breakfast

Hosted by the Sonoma County Economic Development Board, Dr. Steve Cochrane, Senior Managing Director of Moody’s Economy.com, provides his annual outlook analyzing the primary business sectors that affect the local economy.

Join us for a hot breakfast and Dr. Cochrane’s analysis of the measures underway to rebuild the U.S. economy and indicators to watch in the U.S. and global market.

June 25, 2009 • 7:00 -9:00am
Hyatt Vineyard Creek Hotel, 170 Railroad Street, Santa Rosa

Information & Reservations  – Reservation Deadline June 19

Wine Entrepreneurship 3-Day Summer 2009 Intensive

Sonoma State University instructor Ray Johnson, industry expert and author of The Good Life Guide to Enjoying Wine serves as the Assistant Director of the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.  He will lead one of the Wine Business Program’s most popular professional development courses Wine Entrepreneurship in an intensive 3-Day Series. It’s a very difficult time for many in the industry with seemingly endless bad news.

If you want to launch a new venture, from developing a new vineyard to building a new brand, this intensive course could make a significant difference to your success. The course features a high caliber of experts and successful entrepreneurs who will share their real-world experience on the important components of a successful wine business.

June 18  to June 20, 2009 • 8:00am – 5:00pm
Sonoma State University, Darwin Hall 103

For further information please call Renée Thompson at 707-664-2260 or Extended Education at 707-664-2394 to register.

Cloverdale Business to Business Meeting

The Cloverdale Chamber of Commerce is working hard for its members and they are hosting a meeting, “An Honest Discussion About the Challenges of Doing Business in Cloverdale.”  The meeting is open to everyone, but will focus on Cloverdale business.

“Please come to participate in an honest discussion about doing business in Cloverdale. Bring your ideas; share what is working for your business, what isn’t, and how we as a business community an better support each other during these difficult economic times. If you are unable to make this meeting please, send your comments in an email to chamberceo@cloverdale.com to be shared at the meeting.”

June 18, 2009  • 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Cloverdale Chamber of Commerce Meeting Room,105 North Cloverdale Boulevard

50 Secrets to Customer Loyalty – SBDC Workshop

The Small Business Development Center at SRJC presents this workshop that will get your managers and employees doing the little things that can make all the difference in business. Put these simple yet powerful concepts to use and you will see impressive improvements in service, customer loyalty and profits.

Let’s face it: customers who have a negative experience with your company can produce devastating ripple effects, and in this economy can quickly drag your business down. But, if you creatively apply a constant flow of small, customer-centered innovations, you will see consistent and persistent strengthening of your customer base.

During this interactive session, you learn the “50 Secrets” and leave with a ready-to-implement Customer Service Plan for your business!

June 16, 2009 • 6:00 – 9:00pm
SBDC, 421 Tenth Street, Santa Rosa

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

Thank God It’s Monday! Seriously, Monday?

Thank God It’s Monday! by Emmerich “In this book, nationally known business transformation agent Roxanne Emmerich teaches you a complete system for bringing more of both to your business: more fun, and more money. This book combines the human elements of a great business parable with an intensely focused and realistic system that has been proven in dozens of the Midwest’s most successful financial institutions–a system that repeatedly delivers major business performance improvements in just months. In the great tradition of Ken Blanchard, Emmerich introduces you to two CEOs: one desperately struggling to stay afloat and another who’s discovered a better, more fulfilling route to growth and profitability.”

Thank God It’s Monday!: How to Create a Workplace You and Your Customers Love, By Roxanne Emmerich [FT Press, 2009]

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