September 2009

The ABCs of Leasing – SBDC Workshop

Presented by Annette Cooper for the Small Business Development Center at SRJC:

“Take Advantage of the Current Economy to Negotiate a Great Deal for Your business

The economy may be lousy but it is a tenant’s market for commercial real estate. Landlords are willing to negotiate but don’t go in unprepared. This workshop will give you the knowledge you need to navigate the tricky waters of leasing your business property.

Learn 6 Keys to a Successful Lease Negotiation

1. Basic Lease Types. Gross, modified, full service, NNN- Understand the most common lease structures.
2. Negotiating Your Lease. Learn what needs to be included in this complex document.
3. Know What You Don’t Know! Learn the new vocabulary you will need.
4. Define Your Priorities. Make sure you are clear on your business must-haves.
5. Read the Document. It sounds basic, but skip this step at your own peril.
6. Make the Market Work For You! Discover how the current market conditions can work in your favor!”

October 7, 2009 • Noon – 1:00pm
SBDC, 606 Healdsburg Avenue, Santa Rosa

Information & Reservations

Negotiation Genius

Negotiation Genius by Malhotra Negotiation Genius: How to Overcome Obstacles and Achieve Brilliant Results at the Bargaining Table and Beyond, by Deepak Malhotra and Max H. Bazerman [Bantam, 2007]“From two leaders in executive education at Harvard Business School, here are the mental habits and proven strategies you need to achieve outstanding results in any negotiation. Whether you’ve “seen it all” or are just starting out, Negotiation Genius will dramatically improve your negotiating skills and confidence. Drawing on decades of behavioral research plus the experience of thousands of business clients, the authors take the mystery out of preparing for and executing negotiations—whether they involve multimillion-dollar deals or improving your next salary offer.” The Library also has an audiobook CD version of Negotiation Genius.

See the SCL Biz Guide to Managing a Business for more help.

Business Travel Made Easier

Every business traveler knows that traveling for business is different than vacationing with the family. TripAdvisor.com, long a help to regular travelers has turned its attention to business trips with a new Business Travel Center. Read hotel reviews with the business traveler in mind, post questions in a discussion forum, check the weather and map meeting locations and nearby services in 750 cities around the world.

TripAdvisor.com Business Travel Center 

True to Our Roots: Fermenting a Business Revolution

True to Our Roots by Dolan True to Our Roots: Fermenting a Business Revolution, by Paul Dolan [Bloomberg Press, 2009], “sets forth the simple but powerful management principles that enabled Fetzer Vineyards under Paul Dolan to become one of America’s biggest and best-know wineries even as it was becoming a model for sustainable business practices everywhere. Dolan and Fetzer led the California wine industry toward profound change in how wineries and grape growers preserve their environment, strengthen their communities, and enrich the lives of their employees, without sacrificing the bottom line.

Filled with personal anecdotes and practical wisdom, this book offers inspiration and guidance to business managers who see the compelling need to build and grow healthy, sustainable organizations.”

Best Places to Work Gala Awards Reception

Did you nominate your company in the North Bay Business Journal’s Best Places to Work? Be sure to attend the wine and hors d’oeuvres reception prior to the awards presentations.

September 30, 2009 • 5:30 – 7:30pm
Doubletree Hotel, Rohnert Park

Information and Reservations

Build an eBay Business Quick Steps

Build an eBay Business QuickSteps by Cronan “Get your eBay business started right away–the QuickSteps way. Color screenshots and clear instructions show you how to establish and run a profitable eBay business in no time. Follow along and learn how to create a business plan, build inventory, set up processing centers, create appealing listings, set up an eBay store, and market your business. You’ll also find out how to become an eBay Trading Assistant, use eBay sales outlets, and even raise money for your nonprofit on eBay. Use these handy guideposts:

  • Shortcuts for accomplishing common tasks
  • Need-to-know facts in concise narrative
  • Helpful reminders or alternate ways of doing things
  • Bonus information related to the topic being covered
  • Errors and pitfalls to avoid”

Build an eBay Business QuickSteps, by John Cronon and Carole Matthews [McGraw Hill, 2009]

Essential Toolkit for Business Success Workshop

In any economy, businesses must work smarter, not harder. The Petaluma Area Chamber of Commerce and North Bay Business Builders present “The Essential Toolkit for Business Success Workshop,” designed to give businesses timely information to improve their bottom line.

Five experts representing different aspects of business and marketing will show workshop attendees how to:

  • Learn the five steps to financial freedom
  • Gain business in 30 seconds
  • Learn the importance of unique branding and how it affects their business
  • Use online social media like Twitter and Facebook to draw traffic and clients to their website
  • Better understand website optimization and the importance of ranking well on Google
  • Become financially organized for success

September 24, 2009 • 9:00am – Noon
Rooster Run Banquet Room, 2301 East Washington Street, Petaluma

Information

Intellectual Property Protection for the Startup Company – SMBC

As part of the Sonoma Mountain Business Cluster‘s Business Essentials Series, Richard O’Hare will present “Intellectual Property Protection for the Startup Company — Developing a Strategy to Protect Your Intellectual Property Assets.”

Everyday your company is creating various types of “intellectual property” which provide value to your business. Some types of intellectual property, like new inventions, may be obvious; while others, such as customer lists or business methods, may not be so apparent. Learn how to identify, inventory, and protect these valuable assets to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Please bring your questions and join us to learn about:

* Patents
* Trademarks
* Copyrights
* Trade Secrets
* Developing an intellectual property protection strategy

September 24, 2009 • 12 NOON – 1:30pm
The Sonoma Mountain Business Cluster, 1300 Valley House Lane, Suite 100, Rohnert Park

Information & Reservations

The World’s Most Powerful Consumers

Why She Buys by Bridget Brennan Why She Buys: The New Strategy for Reaching the World’s Most Powerful Consumers, by Bridget Brennan [Crown, 2009].

“The founder of Female Factor Strategic Consulting is a convincing cheerleader for marketing more effectively to women. She points out that women purchase or are the key influencers in about 80% of all consumer product sales in the U.S. alone—but 90% of marketing execs trying to reach them are men.

In her crusade to teach marketers to become female-literate, Brennan offers very practical advice, urging readers to think twice before using overtly “masculine” competitive messages, to avoid violent images and language, and to realize that women, focused on practicality rather than cool bells and whistles, require fairly sophisticated marketing: “pink is not a strategy,” she reminds us tartly. The five important global demographic changes affecting female consumerism—more women in the work force; delayed marriages and therefore more spending on self; lower birthrates resulting in fewer kids (but more stuff); a divorce economy, which translates into needing two of everything; and the growing rate of active older women—mean that the female market must be well catered to.

Brennan’s style is smart and straightforward, and her pragmatic advice is spot-on; marketers should take note.” PW 2009.

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!

August 24, 2009 • 6:00 – 9:00pm
SBDC, 421 Tenth Street, Santa Rosa

Information & Reservations

Don’t Let Turbulent Times Stop You

Hosted by the North Bay Business Journal and moderated by Editor-in-Chief Brad Bollinger, this is a panel discussion focused on how to obtain business financing in the current economy including:

  • How to select, approach and successfully work with a lender
  • How the recently enhanced SBA lending programs can benefit your business
  • The advantages of non-bank financing alternatives
  • The 10 most important steps to get prepared for a successful business financing on “Financing Your Business in a Challenging Environment

September 17, 2009 • 4:00 – 6:30pm
Sheraton Sonoma County, Petaluma

Information & Reservations

The E-Myth Enterprise: How to Turn a Great Idea into a Thriving Business

E-Myth Enterprise by GerberThe E-Myth Enterprise: How to Turn a Great Idea into a Thriving Business, by Michael E. Gerber [HarperBusiness, 2009]

Gerber, entrepreneur and consultant, offers his perspective on inventing an original company and becoming successful in our free-market system in an atmosphere in which most companies fail and 6 out of 10 venture-capital-funded businesses also fail.

His is a book about the rare people he has met, passionate and persevering, who imagined and then created businesses unlike any they had seen. We learn that succeeding in a free market requires a company to continually beat the competition in satisfying the essential needs, expectations, and perceived preferences of four critical constituents: employees, customers, suppliers, and lenders (only serving customers is not sufficient). Collectively, these four groups determine a company’s life span.

In concluding, Gerber reflects, “Great companies . . . are headed by great people who are possessed by a burning hunger to create something perfect in the world that they can’t find in themselves.” They are driven by ideas. Everyone will not agree with all of Gerber’s beliefs, but he makes a compelling case for his views. This excellent book is a must-read for current and aspiring entrepreneurs.  Booklist Reviews, 2009

Who’s Getting Funded: a VC & Angel Perspective – SMBC

As part of the Sonoma Mountain Business Cluster‘s Distinguished Speakers Series, Steve Weiss, co-founder of the North Bay Angels and General Partner of Medical Technology Partners, will moderate a distinguished panel of investors representing both VC firms and Angel groups on current issues and trends in early-stage investing and how you can best position yourself to get funded.

Please join us following the panel discussion at Sally Tomatoes for networking with light appetizers provided – dinner and bar available.

September 10, 2009 • 4:00 – 6:00pm
The Sonoma Mountain Business Cluster Event Center Board Room, 300 Valley House Lane, Building 1100

Information & Reservations

Ready to Export?

A basic guide to exporting From the U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, A Basic Guide to Exporting: the Official Government Resource for Small and Medium-sized Businesses [2008], will help you from start: Determining Your Products’ Export Potential to finish: Providing After-Sales Service.

The Library has other books about exporting to help you get started.

Internet Marketing for Small Business – SCORE Workshop

This workshop, presented by SCORE, is about selling on the internet: use the internet as a tool to provide more value than you could otherwise accomplish with traditional methods. So important for increasing sales in a down economy. Seminar presenter Master Marketer Jeffrey Schmidt has 40 years experience in Marketing.

September 12, 2009 • Registration is 8:30 AM–9 AM; Class from 9 AM–Noon
SRJC, 1597 Emeritus Hall on Elliott Avenue, Room 1520

Information and online reservations

See the SCL Biz Guide to Starting a Business for more help.