Small Business Development Center
At Chemeketa Center for Business & Industry
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Category Archives: Uncategorized

New scam for Oregon’s small businesses

By Chemeketa SBDC

If you run a small business in Oregon, please be aware of a scam (mailing) from “Business Filing Services” being sent out this week.

Read all the details here at the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office website:

http://sos.oregon.gov/business/Pages/scam-alert-corporate-minutes-compliance.aspx


Turn Your Hobby into Business

By Chemeketa SBDC

Are you tired of working for someone else? Do you need to make more money? Turn your talents and hobbies into profits at home by learning how to start a home-based business from a successful southern California entrepreneur.

During this comprehensive, informative workshop, you will discover:

* more than 100 home business ideas
* many ways to market your product/service
* how to take tax deductions
* FREE future Q&A opportunities

If you really want to succeed in a home business, this step-by-step workshop is a must!

LeeAnne Krusemark is a journalist, author, and owner of an award winning southern California public relations business since 1988.

Date: Wednesday, November 20
Time: 9 to 11 am
Location: Chemeketa Center for Business & Industry, 626 High Street NE, Downtown Salem
Cost: $79
Registration and Information: 503.399.5088


The Power of Email Marketing

By Chemeketa SBDC

More than 475,000 businesses use Constant Contact to help grow their business! Learn how to build relationships that are the key to the success of your business with easy, inexpensive and highly effective email marketing. Together, we’ll explore the basics of what email marketing is, why it works so well, how it easily integrates with social networking sites, and how to use it in your business planning and marketing strategy to achieve your business goals.

You’ll learn how to master email marketing communications with a comprehensive look at best practices and winning strategies for getting and keeping quality subscribers, increasing deliverability and open rates, writing good headlines and content, saving time, and getting readers to take action:

  • Reach more people with your message
  • Create email campaigns that get results
  • Get your emails opened and read
  • Write compelling subject lines and copy
  • Interpret email campaign results (open-rates, bounce-rates, click-thru rates)
  • Examples of successful email campaigns

This session is suitable for all experience levels. Anyone interested in learning more about email marketing. Participants do not need to be a Constant Contact customer to attend. All information provided can be applied regardless of the system or service you are using for Email Marketing.


Find the Franchise that is Right for You

By Chemeketa SBDC

Start a franchised business using a proven system.  Come and get the answers to the following questions:

■ What are the top executive style franchises to purchase now in today’s economy?

■ Are there good business to business franchises?

■ How do I make a safe decision in purchasing a franchise?

■ What is the right franchise for me?

■ What local resources are available to me?

■ What are the best financing methods for today’s economy?

■ What does it cost to buy a business or a franchise?

Date: Tuesday, October 16
Time: 1 to 2:30 pm
Location: Chemeketa Center for Business & Industry , 626 High Street NE
Cost: $35
Registration: 503.399.5088 or sbdc@chemeketa.edu

Blair M. Nicol, CFE is the President and Owner of FranNet for the Pacific Northwest and Southern California. He is a classic example of a modern day entrepreneur who is living the American Dream and benefits of owning his own business and he wants to help others do the same.

Blair graduated  from Colorado State University with a degree in Finance and Real Estate. He is also a licensed Real Estate Broker for the state of California as well as has earned the premier designation in the franchise industry as a Certified Franchise Executive.


Supervisory Success for Small Business

By Chemeketa SBDC

Supervision is vital in any business organization. It is the most important link between management and employees which is aimed at overseeing work in an effort to meet goals and achieve success. Many in this role have learned by trial and error which is not a very effective strategy.

This series is packed with solid tools and skills to help you maximize your role and provide you with new ideas to manage and motivate your team. Whatever your supervisory experience you can benefit from new ideas and skills that keep you at your peak performance. Topics include:

■ Hiring and retaining the right employees

■ The roles and responsibilities of a owner/supervisor

■ Improving your communication

■ Building a successful team

■ Legal responsibilities, hazards, and law changes

■ Employee/supervisor performance partnerships

■ Separating ways when necessary

Who should attend

■  Small business owners supervising employees

■  Newly promoted or hired supervisors

■  Candidates for upcoming supervisory positions

Benefits of attending this program

■  Reduced stress associated with supervision

■  Increased confidence in your leadership ability

■  Improved team performance

■  Focus on the most important things as a business owner/supervisor

■  Learn best  practices and practical application

Instructors:

Dan Blair, JD
Dan has provided employee relations and HR compliance assistance to employers in the Pacific Northwest and California for more than 12 years. He has worked with employers on a broad range of issues including development and application of policies, job performance standards, leave of absence administration and disability management.

Dan regularly assists employers address disciplinary situations, including the termination process. He also helps employers navigate those tricky situations where HR practice and legal concerns (OFLA, FMLA, ADA, etc.) collide.  Dan has performed investigation services for employers on a range of issues including discrimination and harassment complaints. He has also assisted employers in union bargaining, grievance administration, and arbitration hearings.

Deborah Jeffries, PHR, CPC
Vice President, HR Answers, Inc.

Deborah Jeffries serves as Vice President for HR Answers, Inc.  She has 27 years  experience in the human resources field (21 in consulting), focusing on employment, employee relations, and training.  Currently Deborah directs the organization’s Advantage Plan Program (retained HR services), spends time on business development/marketing, as well as offering consulting and training assistant to clients.  Additionally, she is the editor of multiple newsletters for HRA, clients and several Northwest Associations.

Deborah’s past experience includes recruiting, training, education, sales and marketing, as well as HR in retail, restaurant, staffing, and manufacturing environments.  She holds a BS in Psychology and a teaching certificate from Willamette University, and is a Certified Professional Consultant (CPC).

Clients often comment on her no nonsense practical approach, as well as the positive attitude and her humor she brings.  Those that know Deborah have described her as energetic with a quirky sense of humor, a passion for HR, and a contagious laugh.

Date: Wednesdays, 9/18, 10/2, 10/16, 10/30, 11/13 and 11/27
Time: 8:30 am to 12:30 pm
Location: Chemeketa Center for Business & Industry – 626 High Street NE
Cost: $395
Registration: 503.399.5088 or sbdc@chemeketa.edu


Getting Your Business Ready for the Upcoming Holidays

By Chemeketa SBDC

For some businesses, particularly those in the retail sector, the holiday season can be an important period. By now, most businesses owners already have thought about the inventory side for the season. But here are a few added things that might need to be on your planning list.

• Make sure you know your target market. Has your customer base shifted over the years or does it shift a little during the holiday season? Do you need to adjust your marketing to include a slightly different type of consumer or focus?

• Get social. The holidays will be busy, so plan ahead on how to handle social media. Make sure to check online reviews so you can take action if it appears a problem is brewing. Do you need to add a festive picture or let people know you have this year’s “hot” item in stock? Do your product descriptions need a little fine-tuning? How are you going to communicate specials? How and when are you going to allocate the time to update Facebook or Twitter?

• Evaluate your staffing needs and have a staffing plan. Decide whether you will need some temporary help. Know how much a new hire really costs when you take into account hiring, training, employment taxes, etc. Is it better to pay some overtime? This also may be a busy time for your existing employees, and being forced to work a lot of overtime might lead to a disgruntled staff.

• Give great service. It is all about customer service at the holidays, and here is where a small business truly can excel. Go out of your way to provide a personal touch. If you are hiring extra help, look for friendly people who won’t get rattled by tired and stressed-out customers who may not be exhibiting the season’s joy.

• Get found. Check your website, Facebook page, Google Places, Yelp.com and other online places where your company information can be found. Does it still show the correct address, telephone number, store hours, etc.? If you have satisfied customers, you can subtly encourage them to do online reviews — but don’t be pushy.

• Get ready. Create a warm and welcoming atmosphere in your store that encourages customers to linger. Use creative window displays to lure people in, and music, scents and décor to keep them browsing inside. “Read” your customers — providing good customer service doesn’t mean being overly pushy or always looking over the customer’s shoulder. Some people find this annoying and will try to rush out rather than leisurely lingering and looking.

• Think safety and convenience. Try to keep sidewalks clear from ice and snow, both for your customers’ and your employees’ safety and convenience. Think ahead and plan on who will be responsible for snow removal.
With the shorter daylight hours, make sure outdoor lights are working.

• Get involved with Small Business Saturday. Started in 2010 and sponsored by American Express, this nationwide initiative is aimed at encouraging consumers to buy local and support small independent businesses.
Occurring on the Saturday after “Black Friday” (November 24th this year),
promote this event and concept at your business. Over one hundred million people were part of Small Business Saturday in 2011, and the initiative is supported by President Obama and SBA Administrator Karen Mills. Find out more about this event at www.smallbusinesssaturday.com or www.facebook.com/SmallBusinessSaturday

Marcia Bagnall is Director of the Chemeketa Small Business Development Center and instructor of Small Business Management Program . The Small-Business Adviser column is produced by the center and appears each
Sunday. Questions can be submitted to SBDC@chemeketa.edu. Visit the SBDC at 626 High Street NE in downtown Salem or call (503) 399-5088.


Notary Training

By Chemeketa SBDC

For all first-time Oregon Notary applicants, and prior Oregon Notaries renewing after commission expiration - a mandatory 3-hour training course is required along with the application, exam and filing fee.

For all Oregon Notaries renewing with a current commission – submit the application, exam and the filing fee. For more information visit http://filinginoregon.com/pages/notary/training/index.html


Home-Based Business Group

By Chemeketa SBDC

Join other home-based business owners who want to get out, get together, and work on strengthening their businesses. This month Jennifer Hofmann will lead a discussion on social media tips for small business.

Date/Time: December 11, 11 am – Noon
Location: Chemeketa Center for Business & Industry, 626 High Street NE, Downtown Salem
Cost: FREE


How to Audit Your Marketing Plan

By Chemeketa SBDC

It’s always a good idea to audit your marketing plan to see how its working, and update as needed. Here’s a systematic way to do that.

Start with ROI (return on investment). Are you getting the results you are looking for from your plan? Can you track the dollars coming in to specific marketing campaigns or pieces? Can you quantify results in some other way (“likes” on Facebook, referrals from existing customers, etc.)? Can you tie results to specific marketing efforts?

Next, take a look at all the marketing materials you use, brochures, website, ads, etc. Are they fresh? Are they working for you? Do they speak well for you? Does anything need to be reworked? Marketing is a continual process, and that includes bringing your materials up to date on a regular basis. What’s on the hit list?

How are your employees assisting in your marketing efforts? Do they clearly understand what you’re trying to achieve through marketing? Do they have the tools and knowledge to be able to assist with this? Do you need to invest in them in some way to make this happen? They can be wonderful marketing assistants, but you need to be intentional about getting that from concept to reality.

Are you making good use of your current customers to help spread the good word about your business? Are you keeping in touch with them on a regular basis? Are you asking them for referrals and incentivizing this process? Have you asked them lately for feedback about what you’re doing well and where your challenges are? Perhaps it’s time for a survey, or a simple request for their opinions.

What are you competitors doing these days? Watching them go about marketing can help you spot trends in your industry, provide ideas for your own campaigns, and give you leads to their customer bases. Where are your competitors getting their information, industry associations or trade groups? Industry publications? Are you following these things too? They can be a powerful source of inspiration.

Go back to your plan and start reworking it with the new information you’ve just gathered. Map out the activities you’re going to engage in, and set deadlines and goals. Watch what happens and measure results over the next three to six months. Then start this process all over again!

Marcia Bagnall is Director of the Chemeketa Small Business Development Center and instructor of Small Business Management Program. The Small-Business Adviser column is produced by the center and appears each Sunday. Questions can be submitted to SBDC@chemeketa.edu. Visit the SBDC at 626 High Street NE. in downtown Salem or call (503) 399-5088.


Construction Contractor Training

By Chemeketa SBDC

Construction Contractor Training

Prepare for the Construction Contractor Exam with this 2-day live class which meets the State of Oregon education requirements. Get the added benefit of learning from the instructor with 35 years of construction experience. This class will prepare you for the exam and teach you how to set up your business for success.

The registration fee of $325 includes all class sessions, class materials, a copy
of the current edition of the Oregon Contractor’s Reference Manual, chapter quizzes, and two 80-question Practice Exams.

Comments from past participants:

  • “Judy was practical and presented information with ease and with all pertinent details.”
  • “Knowledge of instructor. All the handouts and key points.”
  • “Easy to follow. Well organized.”
  • “Concrete, specific application to practicing and passing exam.”
  • “The ability of the instructor to answer questions.”

Dates:
Friday, August 8 and Saturday, August 9
Friday, September 26 and Saturday, September 27
Friday, October 24 and Saturday, October 25

Time: 8:30 am to 6 pm
Location: Chemeketa Center for Business & Industry, 626 High Street NE, Downtown Salem
Cost: $325 (includes the manual)
Registration and Information: 503.399.5088