Small Business Development Center
At Chemeketa Center for Business & Industry
chemeketa students

Developing Your Business Plan

By Chemeketa SBDC

Covers the elements of a business plan and its purpose. Participants would come out with a basic outline for their business plan.

Date: Thursday, May 18
Time: 12:30 to 2:30 pm
Location: Chemeketa Center for Business & Industry, 626 High Street NE, Downtown Salem
Cost: $59
Registration and Information: 503.399.5088


Marketing Basics

By Chemeketa SBDC

A basic marketing class that focuses on:

  • What is your target market?
  • How do you determine your target market?
  • How do you reach your target market?
  • How do you know if your marketing is working?

Date: Thursday, June 22
Time: 12:30 to 2 pm
Location: Chemeketa Center for Business & Industry, 626 High Street NE, Downtown Salem
Cost: $49
Registration and Information: 503.399.5088

Business Loans – Preparing a Loan Package

By Chemeketa SBDC

Provides basic overview of loan packaging and important information about the factors that lenders take into consideration when reviewing loan applications.

Date: Thursday, April 27
Time: 12:30 to 2 pm
Location: Chemeketa Center for Business & Industry, 626 High Street NE, Downtown Salem
Cost: $49
Registration and Information: 503.399.5088

Running a Profitable Business Using QuickBooks 2016

By Chemeketa SBDC

A profitable business with improper cash flow can mean the death of a business.  Join us to review important topics you need to know for cash flow management and analysis.

Each class is on a Thursday morning from 8:30 to 11:30 am in the Computer Lab at Chemeketa’s Small Business Development Center. Each sessions costs $149. Join us for a hands-on, practical class using QuickBooks 2016.


Thursday, April 20
QuickBooks – Understanding Cash Flow
Why am I profitable but have no cash? This session will cover:
 Understand Financial Statements
 Analyzing the Cash Flow Statement
 Choosing Profitable Tactics for Cash Flow


Thursday, April 27
QuickBooks – Estimating and Invoicing
How can estimating improve cash flow in your business? This session will cover:
 Estimating Job Revenue & Expenses
 Invoicing & Collecting for Work Done
 Tracking Jobs for Better Decisions


Thursday, May 11
QuickBooks – Receivables & Payables
How can I manage receivables and payables profitably? This session will cover:
 Setting Up Customer & Vendor Records
 Tracking Receivables & Payables Effectively
 Collecting Receivables


Thursday, May 25
QuickBooks – Tracking Time & Payroll
How do I pay employees and payroll taxes on time and legally? This session will cover:
 Setting Up Payroll & Employee Records
 Paying Employees & Payroll Taxes Accurately and on Time
 Tracking and Billing Time Worked


Thursday, June 8
QuickBooks – Inventory Management
How can I manage inventory and not let it manage me? This session will cover:
 Setting Up Items for Detailed Information
 Purchasing & Selling Items Effectively
 Tracking & Adjusting Inventory without Overwork


Thursday, June 15
QuickBooks – Reports
How can I get accurate and timely feedback on results? This session will cover:
 Using Standing Reports for Management, Investors, and Lenders
 Creating Customized Reports for Management


Thursday June 22
QuickBooks – Budgeting
How can I plan for the future and track my results? This session will cover:
 Using QuickBooks only
 Using Spreadsheets & QuickBooks
 Tracking Results Compared to Budget


Date: Thursdays, April 20 – June 22
Time: 8:30 to 11:30 am
Location: Chemeketa Center for Business & Industry, 626 High Street NE, Downtown Salem
Cost: $149 each session
Registration and Information: 503.399.5088



Group Therapy for Social Media

By Chemeketa SBDC

Join us for a monthly group-advising session where you:

  • Bring your questions about website strategies, social media, online marketing, and sales writing
  • Learn from other awesome business owners
  • Benefit from group brainstorming about your questions
  • Set marketing goals for the coming month
  • Meet the third Thursday of the month (January through June)

There’s no cost to attend.

Date: January 19, February 16, March 16, April 20, May 18 and June 15
Time: 3 to 4:30 pm
Location: Chemeketa Center for Business & Industry
626 High Street NE, Downtown Salem (free parking at Marion Parkade)
Cost: No Charge
Information: 503.399.5088

Advanced QuickBooks 2016

By Chemeketa SBDC

QuickBooks can be as simple or complex as you wish to make it.  The success of QuickBooks is essentially based on your ability to set up the system in the most effective way to help you derive the information you want.

Tuesday, February 28
Introduction and Expectations
Customer and Vendor Review
Setting Up Employees
Recording Time and Payroll

Tuesday, March 7
Report Center
Standard Reports
Customizing Reports
Excel Spreadsheets

Tuesday, March 14
Banking and Borrowing
Inventory Management
Customizing Forms

Date: Tuesdays, February 28 – March 14
Time: 8:30 am to 12:30 pm
Location: Chemeketa Center for Business & Industry, 626 High Street NE, Downtown Salem
Cost: $195
Registration and Information: 503.399.5088

9 small business solutions to the Oregon minimum wage increase

By Chemeketa SBDC

Planning for an increase in the Oregon minimum wage

Oregon’s minimum wage will begin increasing this summer, and gradually over the next six years. If you’re not sure how to respond to this news, our business advisers have created this checklist of practical actions to take.

1. Make sure each employee knows what is expected.

A job description is a minimum requirement to accomplish this. Better yet, create “Position Manuals” which are job descriptions on steroids. In addition to listing essential duties, they contain the tips and tricks that have been learned by experienced employees over time; they become a “How to Drive this Desk” booklet for each position. As a side benefit, this will save a ton of money when you experience (the inevitable) employee turnover, by getting the new employee up to speed quickly.

2. Clarify what each employee is NOT responsible for.

This avoids needless duplication of effort within the company, which will become increasingly costly under the new wage regulations. A good way to accomplish this is with a proper organization chart (where each position has its own “position manual”.) An “all-hands meeting” around such a chart will show each employee how they fit into the various systems that comprise the company operation as a whole.

3. Invest in training.

An employee who is not well trained would very likely contribute to higher costs per unit and lower quality. Training is always important, but it will be especially critical as the cost of employees goes up.

4. Delegate more effectively.

As a business owner, it can be tempting to meddle with employee tasks, adding to the amount of time he or she spends on a project. It takes self-discipline to hand off the work, but it’s more efficient and less costly.

5. Get your financial statements current.

You can’t plan if you don’t have solid numbers to work with. If your books aren’t up to date or you haven’t run a P&L statement lately, do it. These will show you the raw facts about where your business is losing and making money. With them, you can create an informed strategy.

6. Avoid creeping cost of goods.

If you have employees who are part of your variable cost structure, production will cost more per item. The wage increase must be passed on to the customer. If the customer balks, then you’ll have to decide whether that product or service is viable long-term.

7. Market better.

Though it might be hard to see, there’s a huge opportunity for your business with this news: your customers will have more cash in their pockets to spend on products and services. The more effective your marketing, the greater your profits.

8. Focus on options.

Don’t waste time dwelling on how awful it is. Focus your energy on how you want to respond, and get yourself out of the loop of negativity. You just need a plan.

9. Get support.

If you’re stumped or overwhelmed, sit down with one of our small business advisers at the SBDC. Together, we can look over your business numbers and help you decide how to respond to this gradual increase in costs. This change doesn’t have to break your business.

Organize Your Business Systems for Fun and Profit

By Chemeketa SBDC

Have you ever torn your office apart looking for something vital?

Running a business is hard work—with a staggering amount of complexity. From financial documents and taxes to customer information and marketing systems, there’s a lot that can get lost without good systems for keeping track of it all.

We’re here to help

At the SBDC, we understand what it’s like to trying to keep all the balls in the air while watching your profit margin and keeping your customers happy.

By request, we’ve created a new class to help business owners get organized.

Organize Your Business Systems for Fun and Profit

A fun, fast-paced organizing class for entrepreneurs

In two hours, you’ll learn the ten best things to organize in your business to help you save time, make more money, and possibly save your sanity too.

Our instructor, Jennifer Hofmann, is a professional organizer with a decade of experience working with creative entrepreneurs to get their stuff and systems in order.

Dates and details

Tuesday, January 26 from 10am – 12pm
626 High St NE, Salem OR, 2nd floor, follow signs to classroom

Great coffee and fresh, warm cookies will be served.

Bring a notebook and pen.

Free parking available at Marion Parkade across from our building

Register today!

Sign up before January 22 and get a special price of $45!

Call 503-399-5088 to register.

The Importance of Entrepreneurs

By Chemeketa SBDC

If you’ve studied economics, you might have learned that there are four basic types of resources.

These are: land (which encompasses all natural resources), capital (meaning tools and machinery), labor (people) and entrepreneurship. Yes, that last one means business owners who take a risk to start and grow a business. This may even be you!

Entrepreneurs do wonderful things for our economy. They take initiative (read: risks) to create and sustain businesses that produce goods and services for the rest of us.

They create new goods and services that help us all now and in the future. They create jobs. They change the way society looks at solving problems.

Sometimes they create and foster positive social change. In short, we couldn’t exist without the entrepreneurs among us.

In September 2015, the United Nations adopted a list of 17 Sustainable Development Goals ( that start with “No Poverty” and “Zero Hunger.”

Right in the middle of the pack is goal No. 8, which is “Decent Work and Economic Growth.” The description reads: “Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.”

Guess who is going to step up to the plate and get that done? Entrepreneurs, of course!

If you are one of these important people, then pat yourself on the back. And if you know someone else who is, give them a shout-out and thank them for their work. We all depend on them.

Home Based Business Issues

By Chemeketa SBDC

If you work from home, you already know that running your business out of your home is a great way to save on office and commuting costs. It also affords you the chance to be closer to your young family or older parents (if these are part of your daily responsibilities). But being at home also makes you vulnerable to interruptions and distractions that you need to consider — maybe even more than you might face at a traditional office. The most common pitfalls you are likely to encounter are usually the following. Consider these strategies to avoid letting distractions get in the way of getting business done.

Household responsibilities: Don’t let errands and household activities become a regular part of your workday. Cultivate the attitude that even though you are physically at home, you are mentally at work. If the vacuum cleaner is calling your name, you are probably avoiding some work task that you don’t want to do. Relegate chores to their own time — schedule them in if you have to. Emergencies do happen but keep in mind how you organized your personal time when you worked in the office and approach errands the same way working at home.

Family and friends: Talking to your spouse, your children or friends can potentially consume much of your time. Instead, work out a clear plan with your family and get their support. Let them know when you will be working so they will avoid disturbing your concentration. Hang a “Genius At Work” sign at your office area and when the sign is out — you’re not available.

Many mothers of infants and young children chose to work at home only to find that the care and nurturing of the children consume their full daylight hours. If that is the case, and the tender age of the child prevents the “Genius” sign from working — change your office hours, perhaps after the children are asleep or early in the morning before other activities have started.

Losing focus: Don’t interrupt yourself with office minutia or extraneous telephone calls. Set up your working environment to help you stay focused on the job at hand. Put temptations out of sight as much as possible. Make a list of tasks and/or projects to complete and check them off as you complete them. If non-business telephone calls (either welcomed or not) disrupt your work consider getting a separate line or letting your answering/voice mail pick up. And, don’t initiate personal calls during your office hours. If disruptions continue to be the bane of your workday, consider relocating your office to a different part of the house.

The luxury of working at home comes also from the flexibility of setting your schedule. If your job requires you to put in eight hours a day, consider breaking your “work day” into two shifts of four hours and maybe very odd hours, say from 5 to 9 a.m. and again from 7 to 11 p.m. Be flexible, be creative but be dedicated to your schedule.