The Small Business Center at Sandhills Community College offers free seminars to local entrepreneurs. The mission of the SBC  is to increase the success rate and numbers of viable small businesses in our area by providing high quality, readily accessible assistance to prospective and existing small business owners leading to job creation and retention.

Small Business Development Series

Understand the basics of starting a small business in “Start Your Business.” Turn your idea into an opportunity. Learn key strategies for start-up, financing and marketing, as well as information about legal issues, licensing, operations and more. Realize the importance of a self-assessment and how to evaluate the feasibility of your business idea. Presented by the Sandhills SCORE Chapter which offers mentoring and counseling for aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners.

“Start Your Business” will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 6 from 6-9 p.m.

Financing continues to challenge many small business owners. Who will give you money for your business idea and what information do they need? How will your business make money and will it be enough to pay back a loan or attract an investor? Explore the advantages and disadvantages of different types of funding sources and how to choose the right one in “Finance Your Business.”

“Finance Your Business” will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 13 from 6-9 p.m.

Gain an understanding of taxes required for small business owners to develop a tax strategy for your business in “Understanding Business Taxes.” Become familiar with the latest tax forms and procedures for state and federal taxes. Discover how everyday business decisions can have tax implications that can affect your bottom line.

“Understanding Business Taxes” will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 20 from 6-9 p.m.

Get a thorough overview of marketing principles and applications in “Intro to Marketing.” Develop a focused and effective marketing plan to help you comprehend strategic marketing, the marketing mix, and consumer behavior. Join Michael Barbera, Strategy Consultant and Consumer Psychologist, for this dynamic seminar.

“Intro to Marketing” will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 27 from 6-9 p.m.

Branding Your Business with Brian – Hands-On Workshops

Back by popular demand! Don’t miss these hands-on workshops presented by Brian Sykes, Owner and Chief Creative Officer of AdJourney. Attendance to all four (4) workshops results in a Branding Certificate of Completion.

Create the visual anchor of your Brand and develop the basis for a new logo in “Developing Your Logo.” Don’t fret over lack of drawing skills or non-existent graphic ability. This hands-on seminar will be a creative exercise to uncover the name, images and visual cues that best represent the business you desire to communicate. Discover your brand identity and how to visually express it. Bring your thinking caps!

“Developing Your Logo” will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 5 from 6-8:30 p.m.

Build your business’s brand on purpose in “Building Your Brand with Intent.” Learn the importance of defined communication channels and how the brand elements—logo, collateral, and consumer touch points—all play a role in your company’s communication and its bottom line. Bring samples of any current material—website, social media posts, brochure, business cards, etc. If you don’t have these yet, come anyway! Bring a notebook.

“Building Your Brand with Intent” will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 12 from 6-8:30 p.m.

A big part of branding is the story that sets your business apart from the rest. “Telling Your Story Like No Other” shares how to (1) develop a strategy for each consumer touch point, (2) define the job description for each channel engaged, and (3) determine the voice and content for communicating your brand story. A creative and fun exercise that will impact all your marketing efforts moving forward. Come ready to get excited about your brand!

“Telling Your Story Like No Other” will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 19 from 6-8:30 p.m.

For an in-depth look into “SEO & Google Management for Business: What you need to Know About Your Business SEO in 2019” this seminar explores Google My Business manager, linking websites to Google My Business and Social Media accounts for the largest impact.

“SEO & Google Management for Business: What you need to Know About Your Business SEO in 2019” will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 26 from 6-9 p.m.

Government Contracting

Topics included “Doing Business with the Federal Government: Contracting 101” include: how the federal government buys products, construction and engineering and non-personal services; marketing a business to the federal government; socio-economic small business programs; registering as a federal contractor; locating, identifying and responding to federal business opportunities; and resources available to assist federal contractors in North Carolina.

“Doing Business with the Federal Government: Contracting 101” will be held on Monday, Feb. 4 from 2-4 p.m.

“Finding & Understanding Federal Solicitations”focuses on identifying federal websites used by government agencies to advertise current opportunities for goods and services and long-range procurement forecasts. Examples include FedBizOpps, FedBid, GSA, DoD Email, Army, Navy, Air Force, and other agency-specific websites. Learn to connect with prime contractors and web-based resources to identify current federal contractors and potential teaming partners.

“Finding & Understanding Federal Solicitations” will be held on Monday, Feb. 11 from 2-4 p.m.

Business Accounting

In “QuickBooks Online I” QuickBooks expert and certified bookkeeper, Crystal Wambeke, introduces small business owners to the cloud-based software QuickBooks Online and suggests ways this popular software can help small business owners save time, simplify bookkeeping and avoid costly errors.

“QuickBooks Online I” will be held on Monday, Feb. 18 from 1:30-4:30 p.m.

Small business owners learn even more about using the cloud-based software QuickBooks Online. Discover more advanced topics on how to manage accounts receivable and accounts payable, reconcile bank accounts, manage inventory, and create financial reports.

“QuickBooks Online II” will be held on Monday, Feb. 25 from 1:30-4:30 p.m.

Agricultural Entrepreneurship

“NC Real Agricultural Entrepreneurship” is for small business owners who grow crops or trees, raise livestock, or make sauces, pickles or jams with items from a farm or garden. Participants learn how to strengthen their business savvy to gain the highest profit margin; consider pricing challenges and the logistics of getting products to the best market; and how to generate income between growing seasons.

“NC Real Agricultural Entrepreneurship” will be held on Saturdays, Feb. 2-March 9 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Agritourism

Welcoming visitors to your farm may be your next agribusiness and bring in supplemental farm income. The Small Business Center and Moore County Cooperative Extension are offering a free eight-session Agritourism Short Course. Learn about types of agritourism ventures, legal and risk management requirements, and discover available agribusiness resources. Register for each module separately.

“Module 1: Intro to Agritourism” defines what agritourism is and analyzes its benefits and best practices. “Module 1: Intro to Agritourism” will be held on Monday, Feb. 4 from 6-7:30 p.m.

In “Module 2: Is Agritourism Right for Me?” participants assess their personal suitability for agritourism and how agritourism aligns with personal goals. “Module 2: Is Agritourism Right for Me?” will be held Monday, Feb. 11 from 6-7:30 p.m.

“Module 3: Developing the Agritourism Business Concept” explores the importance of agritourism and assists participants in developing: a one paragraph concept; a 2-3 sentence elevator speech; and a mission statement. Participants will also determine who their customer segment is, as well as assess their competition. “Module 3: Developing the Agritourism Business Concept” will be held on Monday, Feb. 18 from 6-7:30 p.m.

In “Module 4: Sustaining the Agritourism Business” participants learn how to price their agritourism activity and discover the building blocks for preparing financial projections, including start-up costs, cash flow and break-even analysis, balance sheet, and profit and loss statements. “Module 4: Sustaining the Agritourism Business” will be held on Monday, Feb. 25 from 6-7:30 p.m.

For information about Modules 5-8 that begin in March, visit sandhills.edu/sbc.

Registration

Small Business Center seminars meet in 102 Van Dusen Hall. To register online, visit our website at sandhills.edu/sbc. For more information or to place your name on a waiting list for seminars that are full, please contact Teresa Reynolds at (910) 695-3938 or email reynoldst@sandhills.edu.

 

Contributed article. Photo credit/SCC

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