July 2009

Take Your Business to the NxLevel™

From the Small Business Development Center at SRJC, 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):
August 5, 2009 • 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm or
August 12, 2009 • 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

The course:
12 consecutive Wednesday night sessions, August 19 through November 4, 6:00pm-9:00pm

Redwood Empire SBDC Conference Room
421 Tenth Street, Santa Rosa, CA 95401

Information & online reservations

Free Annual Reports

Looking at the annual report of potential customers or suppliers is a great way to get information about the company. Use AnnualReportService.com and search by company name, ticker symbol, or browse by industry to discover new clients. The database claims thousands of annual reports or 10-K presentations, with both US and Canadian companies, and you can get also get a free printed copy. You will have to create a free account.

Website Owner’s Guide – SBDC Workshop

Got Questions? Get answers in this new workshop offered by the  Small Business Development Center at SRJC. You put up your web site and no one came? You can’t find your web site on Google? Your web developer talks to you in a language you don’t understand?

Advertisements for web site tools make it sound so easy- “Build your web site tonight!”-but the truth is building and maintaining a web site is a lot of work. And, you must keep up with the fast-paced changes on the Internet.

Your web site can be a major component of your business success. You need to understand how it works, even if you use a professional web developer.

The 4 sessions cover:

  • Part 1-Understanding how your web site works
  •  Part 2-How to make your site people friendly
  •  Part 3-How to make your site search engine friendly
  •  Part 4-How to monitor traffic to your site


Web site owners who need to understand their web sites and why it is – or isn’t – working for them. This workshop is designed for beginners. Bring your questions and get them answered in a non-intimidating setting!

Four Sessions, Monday August 10, 17, 24, & 31, 2009 • 6:00 9:00pm
SBDC, 421 Tenth Street, Santa Rosa

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

Point, Click and Wow!

Point, Click & Wow by Wilder Point, Click & Wow!: The Techniques and Habits of Successful Presenters, by Claudyne Wilder  [Pfeiffer, 2008], is useful for everyone from the occasional presenter to the seasoned sales representative. Covering the entire process from concept to finished presentation, this comprehensive resource includes new chapters to help you:

  • Demonstrate executive presence
  • Use tips, tricks and techniques to create presentations in a hurry
  • Design presentations with powerful openings, closings, and executive summaries

How to Get Others to Say “Yes”

Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive by Goldstein In their book, Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive, Noah J. Goldstein, Steve J. Martin, and Robert B. Cialdini [Free Press, 2008] use short, snappy chapters to teach you how to get others to say “Yes.” Here is a taste of the book – the first of fifty chapters:

  1. How can inconveniencing your audience increase your persuasiveness?
  2. What shifts the bandwagon effect into another gear?
  3. What common mistake causes messages to self-destruct?
  4. When persuasion might backfire, how do you avoid the magnetic middle
  5. When does offering people more make them want less?
  6. When does a bonus become an onus?
  7. How can a new superior product mean more sales of an inferior one?
  8. Does fear persuade or does it paralyze?
  9. What can chess teach us about making persuasive moves?
  10. Which office item can make your influence stick?

Search Engine Marketing

Search Engine Marketing by Ramos “Leverage today’s Internet marketing strategies to reach customers, increase sales, and establish performance-based marketing in your organization. Search Engine Marketing explains how to use Web analytics, key performance indicators (KPIs), search engine optimization (SEO), and search marketing-the critical tools for success. Multichannel marketing, which uses radio, TV, and print to broadcast your message, is also covered. The book includes revealing interviews with industry experts as well as valuable tips on vendor selection. Implement an effective, integrated marketing program for your business with help from this definitive guide.

  • Track and measure both digital and traditional marketing with analytics
  • Define and use KPIs to manage campaigns and channels for maximum profitability
  • Employ SEO strategies to increase leads, conversions, and sales
  • Understand how website architecture, keywords, tags, and sitemaps affect search results
  • Use PPC to place ads in search engines, radio, TV, and newspapers
  • Get hands-on strategies for maximizing Google Analytics and Google AdWords”

Search Engine Marketing, by Andreas Ramos and Stephanie Cota [McGraw-Hill, 2009]

Breakthrough Business Ideas From The Harvard Business Review

“This year’s HBR List includes ideas that we think are more useful than fanciful, more immediately practicable than speculative. Although we began compiling and winnowing contenders many months ago, we nonetheless did our best to anticipate the context in which you now read them. Thus some of the articles you’ll find here comment directly on the economic crisis, but most of them address other matters that business leaders must contend with: strategic decision making, tapping new markets, finding and keeping top talent, harnessing network effects, dealing with disruptive technologies and business models.”

Harvard Business Review 2009 List of 20 Breakthrough Business Ideas

Anatomy of a Business Plan

Anatomy of a Business Plan by Pinson

“It has often been said that, “You can run your business by the seat of your pants–but you will probably end up with torn pants.”  One of the principal reasons for business failure is the lack of an adequate business plan.  In today’s world, both small and large businesses have come to understand that they need to take the time to evaluate their business potential and map a plan for the future.  It is also understood that lenders and investors no longer risk their money on a business unless they have good reason to think that it will be successful (i.e., profitable).”  Includes four sample business plans.

Anatomy of a Business Plan: A Step-by-step Guide to Building the Business and Securing Your Company’s Future, by Linda Pinson [OM.IM, 2008]

Thinking of Starting a Business? 10 Things to Think About

If you’re contemplating becoming an entrepreneur this article will help you evaluate your chances of success:

10 Things to Be Clear About Before You Start a Company

Sonoma County Leadership on Climate Protection and the Opportunities for Business

As part of the Sonoma Mountain Business Cluster‘s Distinguished Speakers Series, Ann Hancock, Executive Director of the Climate Protection Campaign, and Susan Briski, founder of Sustainable Progress Consulting, will discuss Sonoma County’s role as a  national leader in climate protection through the trailblazing efforts of local business and government in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, launching the green economy, and inspiring other communities. They will also talk about how local businesses are stepping up to be part of the solution, and the steps your business can take to be part of the solution, too, by analyzing your best strategies for reducing emissions and saving on operations.

July 14, 2009 • 12:00 – 1:30pm
The Sonoma Mountain Business Cluster, 300 Valley House Lane, Conference Rooms A&B
Information & Reservations

Go Green–But Do It Right! – SBDC Workshop

This is a new workshop from the Small Business Development Center at SRJC, presented by Noah Harris.

NxLeveL’s Guide to Green Solutions gives you a comprehensive look at current green business options. Learn to conduct feasibility studies and create an action plan that allows you to reach appropriate, affordable and attainable goals.

Core topics include:

  • Why go green?
  • Is it feasible?
  • Weighing advantages and disadvantages
  • Project management
  • Saving money by saving resources
  • Pollution prevention and product redesign
  • Green branding and marketing
  • Green export/import
  • Staying green
  • The NxLeveL feasibility study outline
  • The NxLeveL green action plan

This program gives you the tools to make choices that are appropriate, affordable and attainable. The emphasis is on the practical economic side of green business and no distracting detours into political or theoretical issues.

July 14 and 21, 2009 • 6:00 9:00pm
SBDC, 421 Tenth Street, Santa Rosa

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

Not Everyone Gets a Trophy – Managing Gen Y

Not Everyone Gets a Trophy by Tulgan “Compiling years of research, including interviews with Gen Yers (those born between 1978 and 1990) and the organizations that manage them, Tulgan (Managing Generation X) crafts insightful lessons on how to manage the newest generation to enter the workforce. With extensive quotes from members of Gen Y and their more experienced managers, Tulgan successfully dispels popular myths (e.g., that managers of Gen Y staff need to present their work as fun) and offers practical advice for recruiting, retaining, and managing this new crop of young workers.

While conceding that Gen Yers are more high maintenance than their predecessors, Tulgan also argues that these new recruits have the potential to be the most highly productive generation in history. The author’s assessment is far from sugarcoated; he describes Generation Y as “Generation X on fast-forward and with self-esteem on steroids” and dissects a diverse range of case studies to help managers overcome possible Gen Y obstacles. This book will serve as an effective tool for both veteran managers and self-evaluating Gen Yers. ” LJ , 1/09

Not Everyone Gets a Trophy: How to Manage Generation Y, by Bruce Tulgan [Jossey-Bass, 2009]

How to Start and Manage a Small Business – SCORE Workshop

This three and a half-hour seminar to help prospective and current owners of small businesses to succeed. Subjects include guide for seeking financial aid, writing a business plan, marketing, advertising, and sales promotion. Other topics: record keeping, taxes, insurance and legal needs. This workshop is taught by business attorney Roy Johnston, who has a huge body of experience with small business.

July 11, 2009 • 9:00am – Noon
SRJC, Emeritus Hall on Elliott Avenue, Room 1522

Information and registration

Success Through Invention & Product Development – SBDC 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 Small Business Development Center at SRJC Instructor, Steve Schneider.

The workshop is on July 8, 2009 • 9:00am – Noon.

Participants MUST ATTEND Success Through Invention Workshop Prior to Attending Product Development for Inventors. The workshop is on July 22, 2009 • 9:00am – Noon.

Small Business Development Center
606 Healdsburg Avenue, Santa Rosa

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

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!

July 7, 2009 • 6:00 – 9:00pm
SBDC, 421 Tenth Street, Santa Rosa

Information & Reservations

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