Small Business Development Center
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Confidential Business Advising Offered to Business Owners in Yamhill County

By Chemeketa SBDC

The Chemeketa Small Business Development Center (SBDC), with support from the McMinnville Area Chamber of Commerce, is pleased to announce the hire of a McMinnville-based business advisor Larry Strober who will be counseling business owners in Yamhill County. There is no cost to business owners for this service.

“We are thrilled to have an advisor on board to serve business owners in Yamhill County,” Marcia Bagnall, Chemeketa SBDC Director, said. “While the SBDC has worked with many businesses in Yamhill County over the years, it will be nice for the Yamhill business community to have support closer to home.”

Mr. Strober will be meeting with business owners one-on-one to discuss business strategies, expansion, hiring and other HR matters, financial issues, marketing needs, and other business-related issues. He has over thirty years of senior management experience with emerging companies, and has expertise in business planning and business turnaround. “I’m looking forward to helping strengthen local businesses and seeing them thrive,” he said.

Business owners may contact Mr. Strober directly at 415-720-8262 to set up an appointment, or call the McMinnville Chamber to be directed to him.

“We are excited to partner with the Chemeketa SBDC to bring this very valuable resource to Yamhill County,” Nathan Knottingham, President/CEO of the McMinnville Chamber, said. “The McMinnville Area Chamber of Commerce is committed to building a strong local economy and supporting resources like business advising, which is free of charge to businesses thanks to the support of Chemeketa, and fills a very real need for many of our small businesses and entrepreneurs in this area.”

The Chemeketa SBDC is 1 of 19 SBDCs throughout Oregon that provide assistance to new and established small businesses.  The Chemeketa SBDC is a part of the Chemeketa Center for Business & Industry, located at 626 High Street NE in Salem. Over the past 30 years they have provided training, resources, and advising to thousands of business owners in Marion, Polk, and Yamhill counties.   For more information about the SBDC, visit http://sbdc.chemeketa.edu, call 503-399-5088, or email sbdc@chemeketa.edu.

 


Five Steps to Project Your Business’ Sales

By Chemeketa SBDC

Every business owner should be forecasting sales. You may use actual numbers if you have historical financial records. But what do you do if you have nothing to refer back to? You will need to determine how many potential customers are there and how many of these potential customers are likely to buy from you, decide the average sale per customer, and then project this out for the year. Try this:

First, determine the total number of potential customers living in your territory. (Don’t forget — the more clearly you can define your customer — the more realistic your research!)

If you sell to the general public, you need to find the information from the new U.S. Census data for your market area. You can find this information on the Web (www.census.gov) or at the library. If you sell to other businesses, there are many potential sources of information. One of the best is a trade association that represents your industry. You can also find this information through a Web search or at the public library.

Once you have determined the total number of potential customers living within your geographical area, you have the base to begin narrowing down your target market.

Second, determine the number that will likely buy from you. You need to be realistic. Consider your competition (both in number and quality), consider that some of the people will not buy from you or your competition, and consider people will find substitutes for your product. What percentage of the total available population will you be able to attract?

Third, determine your average customer sales per year. How many purchases will your average customer make in a year? How much will they spend on each purchase? Is this a repeat business or once and only once? Does the average customer buy the same product/service, or will they need other complementary services? Trade associations are good sources of information to help answer these questions.

Fourth, determine your annual sales volume. You have determined the number of customers and determined the average amount each customer will spend per year. Multiply these two numbers together to calculate your expected annual sales volume.

Finally, evaluate the annual sales volume figure. Does the number you calculated make sense? If not, go back and work the numbers again. What assumptions have you made about your customers? How accurate or risky are these assumptions? You can guess, and this is not a bad place to start. But — then — you need to back up your assumptions with actual figures to gain the greatest degree of reality for your projections.


Networking: Beneficial Relationships, Not Sleazy Sales People

By Chemeketa SBDC

When you hear the word “networking,” what do you think of? I used to think it meant sleazy sales people trying to manipulate others into buying their junk. Boy was I wrong! Networking is really another way of saying you’re going to establish a mutually beneficial relationship with other business people and potential customers.

The key here is mutually beneficial. The relationship has to work for everyone concerned. It has to benefit everyone. And that sounds like a good thing to me.

So why do this? Well, networking with individuals and groups is a great way to become more attuned to the issues that affect you and your business. From your own managerial issues and questions to your customers — their needs, concerns, and preferences — you don’t have to be alone in your business. There are a lot of knowledgeable people out there, so tap into them.

For the purposes of this article, I’m not going to include the organizations where you share leads (although they have a place in your consideration as well). I’m going to focus on the places and groups designed to help business owners network with one another, and to use these peer networks for both personal development and to grow their company.

Here are several types of national networking groups:

Professional Societies: Nearly every type of business has a national association that represents their members’ interests. Most have local chapters with regular meetings and activities. Along with providing a great source of contacts, professional societies offer volunteer opportunities where you can demonstrate your initiative, cooperative spirit, and leadership qualities.

Target Specific: There are several groups that promote networking among specific types of businesses or different types of business owners. Examples would include the National Association of Women’s Business Owners (www.nawbo.org.)

Chambers of Commerce: These groups offer valuable exposure in a particular community or region. While other members may (or may not) be in your target market, they can provide valuable opportunities for you to “show their stuff” via trade fairs, demonstrations, and media features. There are nine Chambers in Marion, Polk and Yamhill counties. Seek out the closest one and learn about the benefits of membership.

Remember, being in business for yourself doesn’t have to mean by yourself. Seek out like-minded business owners and put the power of networking to work for you. Today!


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