Small Business Development Center
At Chemeketa Center for Business & Industry
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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.

Delegation Vital to a Business’ Growth

By Chemeketa SBDC

One of the harder chores that a business owner faces is delegation. While there may be immediate gratification when someone takes a task off your overwhelmingly full plate, the fact is that once you feel the relief, you may very well begin to question whether it has been done as well as you expected, as fast as you could do it, or even done right.

No one can do everything alone. We know that intellectually. But whether we can accept it personally is another step. Delegation is vital to the growth of a business. It is also important in developing the sills and abilities of your staff. It allows you to groom your staff for higher-level positions and to take increasing important roles in decision-making.

While delegation, the assignment of part of your work, is the reason you add staff, often we don’t fully understand that with delegation also must come authority and accountability. Three steps are generally needed for the delegation process to be successful.

First you must assign responsibility to someone. You must ask someone to do a job or perform a task.

Second, you must give that person the authority, the power, to accomplish the task or job. This may include the power to get specific information, order supplies, authorize expenditure and make some decisions.

Finally, you must create accountability, the obligation to accomplish the task. (Note that while you can create accountability – you cannot delegate it away. You remain accountable to your business. If your staff fails to complete the job – you are accountable.)

Communication, good communication, is the key to successful delegation. First you have to know what you want to accomplish and you need to clearly communicate the task or project. If there are any absolutes you also need to let you staff know what they are and how these absolutes must be accomplished. You need to think of the tools (including information) the person will need and let them know where they can access these tools. You should be very clear about the expected outcomes, deadlines and deliverables.

And then you need to get out of the way. And remember, it is always a learning process. If you cannot afford mistakes, you cannot avoid training. Set your staff up for success, not failure.

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, call 503-399-5088, or email


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 ( 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 (

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:

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

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


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