Oakland County offers April business workshops

By Mike Fossano

Local business owners and entrepreneurs who need assistance are invited to attend seminars in April offered by the Oakland County Business Center. Business Basics workshops are now offered in the evenings on alternating months.

All programs will take place at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road, west of Telegraph, Waterford. For pre-registration and location details, visit online at oakgov.com/peds/calendar, or call (248) 858-0783.

The Business Research: Feasibility to Expansion workshop provides participants with a rundown on how to research their business ideas prior to launching. Members of Oakland County’s Business Center Market Research Division and an Oakland County Public Library business reference librarian will conduct lessons on how to understand which research sources to use and show business owners where they can look to find the information they need. The workshop will take place on April 4 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The workshop is free, but pre-registration is required.

The CEED Microloan Orientation is geared toward small business owners who are having difficulty obtaining a business loan. The recognition of the serious need for working capital for existing businesses, start-up or expansion, equipment purchases, and job creation is not the priority it once was. Presented by the Center for Empowerment & Economic Development (C.E.E.D.), participants will be shown the ropes on the requirements and process necessary to apply and receive a microloan. The workshop will take place on April 4 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. The workshop is free, but pre-registration is required.

Small business owners who are developing a business plan are encouraged to check out the Fundamentals of Writing a Business Plan. Participants learn what elements are commonly found in effective plans and work on developing each of these for their own business. Assistance in the process as well as information on resouces is provided. The workshop will take place on April 18 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. There is a $40 non-refundable fee for this workshop.

The Fundamentals of Marketing Your Business seminar offers instructions for on how attendees can target their audience with a wide-ranging marketing mix. Counselors will guide participants through successful techniques and marketing principles in order to help them promote their products and services to the most promising customers. Presented by the Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center, this workshop takes place on April 4 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. There is a $40 non-refundable fee for this workshop.

Need help procuring a small business loan? The Service Corps of Retired Executives will guide participants along the path to developing a winning proposal with the Small Business Loan Workshop. This workshop takes place on April  5 from 9 a.m. to noon. There is a $20 non-refundable fee for this workshop.

Millions of people are using Facebook and social media for fun, but it is also a powerful business tool that can connect you with your customers, potential customers and the world. The Facebook for Business workshops offer guidance on how to best utilize the vast marketing channel to open up conversations with your customers and increase your brand visibility and reach. The beginner, intermediate and advanced workshops take place on April 10th, 17th, and 24th respectively, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. There is a $40 fee for these workshops.

Fundamentals of Starting a Business is a seminar for anyone thinking about going into business. Participants examine their entrepreneurial skills, learn how to implement their ideas and receive a list of pitfalls to avoid when starting a business. This workshop takes place on April 11 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. There is a $30 non-refundable fee for this workshop.

Oakland County Venture Forward is an intensive, 11-week program designed for owners, CEOs and top management team members of businesses with at least two years of operating experience. Focused on issues most important to business health and growth, attendees gain knowledge to make critical decisions about their business and strategy, investigate next-stage growth and opportunity, plan for strategic growth, build and maintain a competitive advantage and maximize cash flow for profitability. This workshop takes place from April 13 to June 15 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. There is a $299 fee for this workshop.

The Oakland County CRA Association: Small Business Money Smart (Banker’s) Forum offers entrepreneurs up to date information on sources of funds and valuable business support resources. Presenters include: representatives from the City of Pontiac, Pontiac Regional Chamber of Commerce, Oakland County CRA Association members (bankers), Oakland County Business Consultants, Oakland County Business Finance Corporation Loan Officers, Oakland County CEED Microlender and Detroit Micro-Enterprise Fund lender. This workshop takes place on April 20 from 8 a.m. to noon. Admission is free, but pre-registration is required.

Legal & Financial Basics for Small Business provides new and existing Michigan entrepreneurs an understanding of the “key” legal and financial considerations when starting and operating a business in Michigan. Presented by Witzke Berry & Carter PCCL, this program addresses “how to” select the best legal entity for your business, “how to” protect your business interests when dealing with customers, suppliers or independent contractors and important information and guidelines for establishing short and long term succession plans for your business. This workshop takes place on April 24 from 9 a.m. to noon. Admission is free, but pre-registration is required.

The 5 Keys to Achieving Fiscal Fitness workshop provides business owners with an in-depth look at the essentials of using financial information to make effective decisions about improving their business performance. This workshop takes place on April 26 from 8 a.m. to noon. There is a $25 fee for this workshop.

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