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Small Business Center

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Small Business Center Seminars

The Small Business Center is a resource provided by the State of North Carolina and by Montgomery Community College to help small businesses succeed. We provide free confidential business counseling, free business skills seminars and free access to vital resources and information. The MCC Small Business Center will be offering the following free seminars this semester. Please note that certificates will be provided to all seminar attendees. Please note that drop-ins are always welcome at these seminars, but advance registration is strongly recommended so handouts and seating arrangements can be prepared. Also, please note that any seminar with no advance registration may be canceled. To register for any of these seminars or to make an appointment for counseling, please contact Connie Parsons by phone at 910-576-6222 Extension 256 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  -  To register online for any of these seminars, please visit our SBCN website at www.ncsbc.net//center.aspx?center=75340

   

So You Think You Want to Start a Business

This seminar is designed for people who want to start a business, but who are not sure if they have the personality, adaptability, drive, determination and all the other talents and resources needed to become a successful entrepreneur. Participants will honestly assess themselves to discover their strengths and weaknesses. They will have the opportunity to present their business idea and will be shown various ways to determine if this idea is feasible. Participants who decide they want to pursue starting their own business will be strongly encouraged to attend more Small Business Center Seminars to develop their business skills and improve their chance of success in their business venture.

Instructor: Bob Moore

Date: February 16

Time: Tuesday, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Fee: Free, Building 100, Room 136

 

Accounting Fundamentals for Business Owners

Gain a workable knowledge of how to properly record financial transactions for your business. Discover the three most important financial reports and how to use them to make smart business decisions. This seminar will provide business owners and entrepreneurs with a basic understanding of business accounting procedures and reports. Learn how to manage money coming into your business and track expenses paid by your business. Learn what documents you need to keep and for how long. Learn what information you need to keep for tax preparation. Learn how the bank uses your financial reports to determine future funding. Learn how knowing what you spend can help you budget more effectively. Learn the importance of cash flow to your business and how to take steps to improve your cash flow.

Instructor: Marie Blankenship

Date: February 17

Time: Wednesday, 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM

Fee: Free, Building 100, Room 136

 

Marketing Your Business

Marketing for the 21st Century small business is more dynamic and challenging than ever. Discover how to most effectively and efficiently use the many marketing tools available. Gain insights to understand and reach your customer, analyze your industry and business environment and differentiate between branding, advertising and grassroots marketing techniques. Learn the basic fundamentals of marketing a business. Evaluate marketing techniques and inexpensive advertising ideas that can help a business grow and prosper. Learn how to evaluate your competition and how to increase your share of the available market. Learn how to develop an effective marketing plan to increase your sales and grow your business.

Instructor: Steve Carver

Date: February 18

Time: Thursday, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Fee: Free, Building 100, Room 136

 

How to Start a Non-Profit Organization

Launching a non-profit organization is much like starting a for profit business, with a few different steps. You register first with the Secretary of State, then, if you want your organization to be tax-exempt, you apply to the Internal Revenue Service for 501(c)(3) status, which is required if you intend for your organization to apply for grants. This seminar will take you step by step through this process at both the state and federal level. You will learn how to apply this systematic approach and how to avoid some of the most common pitfalls. As an added bonus, you will receive a customized checklist to ensure that your applications are complete with all the necessary supporting documentation, so that you get approved the first time around.

Instructor: Marla Coulthard

Date: February 23

Time: Tuesday, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Fee: Free, Building 100, Room 136

 

How to Raise Your Credit Score to 740 Points

This seminar is strongly recommended for business owners and entrepreneurs who want to learn how to improve their credit score so they can borrow money when the need arises. A good credit score is now considered to be 740 points or higher. Should you have one credit card or four? Should you pay off your balances every month or carry a balance? Should you carry a credit card even though you have not used it in years? The answers to these questions may surprise you when it comes to increasing your credit score. Now more than ever, having good credit is important in being able to obtain a loan for your business or to obtain a personal loan. Your credit score is also important in determining the interest rate of your loans, your insurance premiums and deposits required for phone and utility services. As of October 1, 2005, every adult in North Carolina has been able to receive a free credit report from each of the three credit reporting bureaus. Do you understand these reports and how to read them? In this seminar we will discuss the history of credit scoring, how to read a credit report and what factors are used in calculating your FICO or Beacon score. You will learn the legal tricks credit bureaus do not reveal on how to raise your score simply by the way you use your credit cards, treat inquiries, make your payments and carry balances. This seminar will also include information about the importance of maintaining good credit and the positive financial consequences it produces. Using several proven methods, your credit score could increase by 50-100 points or more within 60 days. Bob Moore is a successful entrepreneur who is very knowledgeable on this subject. Bob truly wants to help people succeed in their business venture and in life. He will address your credit score concerns and provide you with a plan to improve your credit score in a short period of time.

Instructor: Bob Moore

Date: February 24

Time: Wednesday, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Fee: Free, Building 100, Room 136

 

How to Start a Business

Understand the basics of starting a business in this seminar that takes you from idea to opportunity. Learn key strategies for start-up, financing and marketing as well as important information about legal issues, licensing, zoning, operations and more. Realize the importance of a self-assessment and how to evaluate the feasibility of your business idea. Discover the resources available to help you start and successfully operate your business. Learn the best way to start a business with minimum risk and limited investment, by starting your business venture on a small scale with existing resources. Analyze potential opportunities to utilize your skills and resources to start a business. Learn the importance of developing a written business plan before starting your business venture. Evaluate the benefits of starting your business without quitting your present job, so you can pay your bills as your business grows.

Instructor: Steve Carver

Date: February 25

Time: Thursday, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Fee: Free, Building 100, Room 136

  

Grant Writing for Non-Profits and Government Agencies

This seminar is strongly recommended for non-profit business owners and non-profit entrepreneurs who want to learn how to obtain grants to support their programs. Millions of government, foundation and corporate dollars are available to help non-profit, local governments and agencies accomplish their missions and carry out special projects and programs for their communities. Learn how to tap into these dollars by developing your own system for grant writing in 3 comprehensive steps. Step 1: How to conduct grant research and identify grantors with funding priorities that match your project needs; Step 2: How to develop persuasive narratives that make a compelling case for your project and prepare proposals that get funded; Step 3: How to develop valuable relationships with corporate, foundation and government funders. An added bonus – the seminar workbook contains an extensive resource list of major funders.

Instructor: Marla Coulthard

Date: March 1

Time: Tuesday, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Fee: Free, Building 100, Room 136

  

Effective Sales Strategies for Business Owners

Discover exciting new ways to generate revenue for your business through increased sales. Learn how to network in your community to develop more personal relationships that can increase your customer base. Examine ways to integrate sales into your everyday activities. Learn how to use a variety of sales techniques to attract new customers and expand your business. This seminar will help both new and experienced business owners discover how to market their business more effectively.

Instructor: Lisa Mashburn

Date: March 2

Time: Wednesday, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Fee: Free, Building 100, Room 136

  

How to Find Your Customers

Market research is not just for start-ups. It is an important ongoing process for every small business. Developing a focused and effective marketing plan requires up-to-date market analysis. Discover the variety of market research tools that will give you critical information about your industry and customers. Get the data you need to test the feasibility of a new business, to evaluate your competition and to identify potential customers who may be interested in your product or service.

Instructor: Steve Carver

Date: March 3

Time: Thursday, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Fee: Free, Building 100, Room 136

 

How to Start a Business

Understand the basics of starting a business in this seminar that takes you from idea to opportunity. Learn key strategies for start-up, financing and marketing as well as important information about legal issues, licensing, zoning, operations and more. Realize the importance of a self-assessment and how to evaluate the feasibility of your business idea. Discover the resources available to help you start and successfully operate your business. Learn the best way to start a business with minimum risk and limited investment, by starting your business venture on a small scale with existing resources. Analyze potential opportunities to utilize your skills and resources to start a business. Learn the importance of developing a written business plan before starting your business venture. Evaluate the benefits of starting your business without quitting your present job, so you can pay your bills as your business grows.

Instructor: Mike Bowyer

Date: March 15

Time: Tuesday, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Fee: Free, Building 100, Room 136

  

How to Enhance Your Negotiating and Forecasting Skills

Learn how to use advanced negotiating tactics involving body language, facial expressions, tone of voice and silence to obtain more favorable sales and purchase prices to increase your profits in your business transactions. Learn how professional forecasting strategies can generate more inventory turns and improve your cash flow. Learn how highly successful seasonal product promotions can increase the profits of your business. Discover how to develop your business skills in these very important areas to help you develop better relationships with your customers, allowing your business to be more successful.

Instructor: Steve Carver

Date: March 17

Time: Thursday, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Fee: Free, Building 100, Room 136

  

Financing Your Small Business

Financing continues to be a challenge for many small business owners. Questions range from, “Who will give me money for my business idea and what do they need from me?” to, “How will this business make money and will it be enough to pay back a loan or attract an investor?” Explore the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of funding sources and how to choose the right one for your needs. Discover the keys to financing success. Learn how a strong business plan can help you obtain financing for your business start-up. Learn the steps required to obtain assistance and information from the SBCN, the SBTDC and the SBA. Learn how to evaluate your options for financing your business start-up and how to improve your chances of obtaining the funding necessary to allow you to start and operate your own business.

Instructor: Mike Bowyer

Date: March 22

Time: Tuesday, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Fee: Free, Building 100, Room 136

  

Record Keeping Options for Business Owners

Gain a workable knowledge of how to properly record financial transactions for your business. Discover the three most important financial reports and how to use them to make smart business decisions. This seminar will demonstrate several different record keeping options available to business owners. Excel Spreadsheet record keeping options will be compared to QuickBooks record keeping options. Accurate and complete record keeping is extremely important to the success of any business. Resources for record keeping support will be provided during this seminar, so please bring a USB Flash Drive so you can copy this data for future use. Determine which record keeping system will work best for your business and learn best practices for using that record keeping option. 

Instructor: Marie Blankenship

Date: March 23

Time: Wednesday, 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM

Fee: Free, Building 100, Room 136

 

How to Write a Business Plan

This seminar is strongly recommended for business owners and entrepreneurs who want to learn the basic procedures for developing a business plan. Learn how to turn your ideas into a solid plan for financing and long-term success. This seminar teaches you the important components of a business plan and helps you lay the foundation for a winning plan. Find out how marketing, operations, and finance are interrelated. Discover how a business plan is used by potential lenders, the procedures for writing a plan and steps for making the process easy. Learn how to evaluate your special talents and skills and coordinate them with your basic habits and lifestyle preferences to determine if your business idea will work for you. Learn how to create a marketing plan and a cash flow analysis for your business to evaluate the potential success for your business idea. Learn how to prevent financial disaster in your business venture by starting your small business without quitting your present job to allow you to pay your bills while your business grows.

Instructor: Mike Bowyer

Date: March 29

Time: Tuesday, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Fee: Free, Building 100, Room 136

  

How to Make Money with a Worm Farm Business

This seminar is strongly recommended for entrepreneurs and business owners who want to learn how to make money with a worm farm business. Learn how this business venture can generate income for you in several different ways. Learn the basics of raising and harvesting worms and worm products. Learn the importance of internet marketing to this business endeavor. Learn how to design your website to provide potential customers with the opportunity to evaluate and order your products. Learn the procedures for shipping worms and worm products to ensure the safe and prompt delivery of your orders. Steve Little operates a very successful worm farm business in Lexington. Steve will display examples of worms and worm products and explain the best practices to use to generate income from a worm farm business.

Instructor: Steve Little

Date: March 31

Time: Thursday, 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM

Fee: Free, Star Town Hall Conference Room

  

How to Find Your Customers

Market research is not just for start-ups. It is an important ongoing process for every small business. Developing a focused and effective marketing plan requires up-to-date market analysis. Discover the variety of market research tools that will give you critical information about your industry and customers. Get the data you need to test the feasibility of a new business, to evaluate your competition and to identify potential customers who may be interested in your product or service.

Instructor: Mike Bowyer

Date: April 5

Time: Tuesday, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Fee: Free, Building 100, Room 136

  

Fifteen Common Mistakes That Will Undermine Your Business

This seminar is strongly recommended for all business owners and entrepreneurs. We have all heard the old saying that we should learn from other’s mistakes so we do not make the same ones. Opening and operating a business normally involves a great deal of time and a substantial financial investment. During this seminar, you will examine the fifteen most common mistakes made by entrepreneurs and business owners that will ultimately undermine their business. If you are a current business owner or if you plan to start a business soon, this seminar will prove to be very valuable in helping you develop a legal and profitable business with an excellent chance for future growth. Make a solid investment in the survival of your business by learning how to avoid these fifteen common mistakes. Bob Moore is a successful entrepreneur who is very knowledgeable on this subject. Bob truly wants to help people succeed in their business venture and in life. He will address your business concerns and provide you with a plan to help your business venture succeed.

Instructor: Bob Moore

Date: April 7

Time: Thursday, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Fee: Free, Building 100, Room 136

  

Basics of Bookkeeping

Gain a working knowledge of how to properly record financial transactions for your business. Discover the three most important financial reports and how to use them to make smart business decisions. This seminar will provide business owners and entrepreneurs with a basic understanding of business accounting procedures and reports. Learn how to manage money coming into your business and track expenses paid by your business. Learn what documents you need to keep and for how long. Learn what information you need to keep for tax preparation. Learn how the bank uses your financial reports to determine future funding. Learn how knowing what you spend can help you budget more effectively. Learn the importance of cash flow to your business and how to take steps to improve your cash flow.

Instructor: Mike Bowyer

Date: April 12

Time: Tuesday, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Fee: Free, Building 100, Room 136

  

How to Set Up a Business Website

This seminar is designed to show business owners and entrepreneurs how to develop a business website. Numerous options concerning website design will be explained. Learn the basic concepts of effectively marketing your products or services online. Learn how to set up a shopping cart to allow internet customers to purchase your products or services. Discover how several different payment processors work and learn the advantages and disadvantages of each one. Evaluate the major factors of a business website that you will want to include in your website to maximize your impact on the internet. Learn the basic principles of Search Engine Optimization and how they can help you attract more potential customers to your website. Please do not miss this opportunity to learn how to make your website an effective marketing tool for your business.

Instructor: Teresa Broadway

Date: April 13

Time: Wednesday, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Fee: Free, Building 100, Room 143

 

Your Small Business Taxes

Gain a solid understanding of taxes required for small business owners and develop the best tax strategy for your business. Become familiar with the latest tax forms and procedures for both state and federal taxes. Discover how everyday business decisions can have tax implications that can affect your bottom line. This seminar is important for both new and experienced business owners.

Instructor: Mike Bowyer

Date: April 19

Time: Tuesday, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Fee: Free, Building 100, Room 136

  

Hands–On Facebook Marketing Strategies

This seminar is designed to show business owners and entrepreneurs how to successfully market their products using Advanced Facebook Marketing Strategies through hands-on demonstrations. During this class, Internet Marketing Expert Teresa Broadway will set up a Facebook page for your business and demonstrate all the basic procedures for establishing the identity of your business, listing your products or services and providing potential customers with an opportunity to place orders and make payments with your business. Teresa will explain the various options available for using Facebook to effectively market your products or services on the Internet. Learn how Facebook Marketing can help your business to generate sales by reaching a multitude of Facebook users all over the country.

Instructor: Teresa Broadway

Date: April 20

Time: Wednesday, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Fee: Free, Building 100, Room 141

 

Why Successful Businesses ARE Successful

Too often we hear that “luck” is the main reason a business fails or succeeds. This could not be further from the truth as successful businesses share common traits and luck is not one of them. After researching hundreds of small businesses in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia for the past 10 years, Bob Moore created this seminar which reveals common traits that successful small businesses possess. Small businesses that possess these traits have shown growth and produced handsome profits for their owners. This seminar is designed for individuals thinking of opening a new business as well as existing entrepreneurs who seek the inside secrets of how to make their business more profitable. Opening and operating a small business involves a huge investment of time, talent and resources. Insure the success of your business and your personal success by attending this informative and enlightening seminar.

Instructor: Bob Moore

Date: April 21

Time: Thursday, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Fee: Free, Building 100, Room 136

  

Marketing Your Business

Marketing for the 21st Century small business is more dynamic and challenging than ever. Discover how to most effectively and efficiently use the many marketing tools available. Gain insights to understand and reach your customer, analyze your industry and business environment and differentiate between branding, advertising and grassroots marketing techniques. Learn the basic fundamentals of marketing a business. Evaluate marketing techniques and inexpensive advertising ideas that can help a business grow and prosper. Learn how to evaluate your competition and how to increase your share of the available market. Learn how to develop an effective marketing plan to increase your sales and grow your business.

Instructor: Mike Bowyer

Date: April 26

Time: Tuesday, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Fee: Free, Building 100, Room 136

  

Social Media Marketing Strategies – Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and More!

This seminar is strongly recommended for business owners and entrepreneurs who want to learn the latest marketing strategies to attract more customers and increase your sales with less work and expense through the power of Social Media on the Internet. Learn how to connect with customers and prospects, how to generate more leads and how to be perceived as the expert in your field. Learn how to increase your revenues, reduce your marketing expenses and get the word out about your business with social media marketing. Learn how to create a following with Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other social media sites that will have people talking about your business. Internet Marketing Expert Teresa Broadway is an excellent speaker who will show you how you can utilize social media to expand your business by reaching more prospective internet customers.

Instructor: Teresa Broadway

Date: May 25

Time: Wednesday, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Fee: Free, Building 100, Room 105 – Blair Auditorium

  

How to Start an Ecommerce Store

This seminar is strongly recommended for business owners and entrepreneurs who want to learn how to market their products online by starting their own Ecommerce Store. Learn how to expand your market by opening online stores or selling your products through Amazon and other online channels. Learn about the various platforms that are available for starting an Ecommerce Store and determine which one is right for your business. Evaluate strategies for developing your Ecommerce Budget, examine the legal aspects of operating an Ecommerce Store and discover ways to streamline and automate your online order processing procedures. During this seminar, Internet Marketing Expert Teresa Broadway will explain the advantages of using Amazon and several other online marketing channels to explode the marketing opportunities of your business. She will also share a wide range of highly successful Ecommerce Marketing Strategies that you can adapt to your online business venture. She will share several real world case studies so you can decide which strategies you need to employ to maximize your chances for success in Ecommerce. Please do not miss this seminar if you are thinking about selling your products online.

Instructor: Teresa Broadway

Date: May 31

Time: Tuesday, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Fee: Free, Building 100, Room 105 – Blair Auditorium

 

To register online for any of these seminars,please visit our Small Business Center Network website: www.ncsbc.net//center.aspx?center=75340

  

To register for any of these seminars by phone or email, please contact:

Connie Parsons, Continuing Education Administrative Assistant

910-576-6222, Extension 256

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Continuing Education Team | (910) 576-6222

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Clare Cagle

Instructor, Adult Literacy

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Lewis Edwards

Continuing Education Coordinator

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Abraham Encinas Torres

J. Abraham Encinas-Torres

ESL Lead Instructor-Recruiter

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Andrew Gardner

Andrew Garner

Coordinator,
Business & Industry Services

ext. 532

Kathy Garner-Smith

Kathy Garner-Smith

Coordinator,
Career & College Readiness

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Richard Hinson

Richard Hinson

Coordinator, Small Business Center

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Maria Inman

Maria Inman

Assessment/Retention Specialist

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Angela Kennedy

Ashlie Martin

Assistant to the Dean of Continuing Education

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Connie Parsons

Connie Parsons

Administrative Assistant

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Kaye Taylor

Receptionist/Data Entry

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Jonathan Thill

Dean of Continuing Education

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