Business owners and entrepreneurs who need assistance are encouraged to attend seminars offered by the Oakland County Business Center. Unless otherwise noted, all programs take place at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road, west of Telegraph in Waterford. For pre-registration and location map, visit www.AdvantageOakland.com/expand or call 248-858-0783.
Marketing Your Business
Wednesday, Feb. 6, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
This course presents practical applications of marketing concepts designed to grow small businesses. It covers basic marketing tools including market analysis and research, target marketing, assessing competitors and key marketing implementation tools. A strategic, well-planned approach to marketing is demonstrated with several examples of effective hands-on marketing techniques. Focus is on the business’ customers – creating and keeping them.
Tuesday, Feb. 5 through Tuesday, April 9, a 10-week series on Tuesdays, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Venture Plan is an intensive program that helps evaluate business opportunities and develop an action plan for owning or growing a business. It offers essential business information to help develop entrepreneurial skills and build your business on a strong foundation or help to prepare for expansion. The program utilizes text and online training materials from a nationally recognized program proven through use with thousands of businesses.
Full cost for the Venture Plan 10-week series is $700, however scholarships are available to reduce the cost to $140.
You must submit a Venture Plan application and attend prerequisite workshops to qualify for the scholarship. Class size is limited to 30 people.
Business Research: Feasibility to Expansion
Thursday, Feb. 7, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Location: Novi Public Library, 45245 W. 10 Mile Road, Novi
Thinking of starting a business and want to research your business idea? Are you a business owner who wants to benchmark your profit margin and other measures against similar size businesses? Do you want to identify market trends and opportunities to grow your sales? Are you looking for new customers or to diversify your market base? Business Research shows you ways to find your ideal customers, your competitors, perform competitive analysis and more. Presented by Oakland County Market Research and an Oakland County Public Library business reference librarian. This workshop is free, but pre-registration is required.
CEED Microloan Orientation
Wednesday, Feb. 13, 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Discover the requirements and process necessary to apply and obtain a microloan. Many small businesses face obstacles when trying to obtain 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. If you have a need for alternative financing consider the Microloan Program. This workshop is free, but pre-registration is required.
Team SBA Financing Roundtable
Thursday, Feb. 14, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Before you apply for a business loan, attend the Small Business Association Forum on Small Business Lending. This is a free loan orientation conducted by a business banker, a business consultant from the SBA’s network of Small Business Development Centers, and an SBA representative. During the roundtable, we’ll debunk the myths and demystify the process of small business financing. You’ll learn how the lending process works and what is expected of you and you’ll understand how the SBA can assist with our SBA Guaranteed Loan Program. This session is best suited to those who have good credit, a solid business idea, and some money to invest in their business. Because the SBA does not provide loan guarantees to real estate investment firms, including purchasing and rehabbing houses for sale, this type of financing is not discussed at the roundtables. This workshop is free, but pre-registration is required.
Twitter for Business (Beginner)
Thursday, Feb. 14, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Introduction to Social Media Marketing and using Twitter for Business. Millions of people are using Twitter 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. You will learn how to sign yourself and/or your business up for Twitter, how to navigate Twitter, Twitter lingo, how to find the right people and businesses to follow, and more. Fee: $40
Starting a Business
Wednesday, Feb. 20, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
This course is designed for individuals who are considering self-employment or are at the beginning stages of starting their business. Delivered in a workshop format, this introductory session helps aspiring entrepreneurs assess their abilities to lead and manage a company, and evaluate market and sales potential for their products/services. The basics of business ownership are introduced along with resources available to help launch new ventures in Michigan. Fee: $30
Twitter for Business (Intermediate)
Thursday, Feb. 21, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Create your Twitter Strategy. In this Intermediate session of Twitter for Business you will establish your social media objectives and goals for Twitter. You will learn core strategies and tactics businesses are using to get customers talking through Twitter, how to use social media management tools and how to schedule tweets in advance. Prerequisite is Twitter for Business (Beginner). Fee: $40
Women’s Business Certification Orientation
Wednesday, Feb. 27, 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Learn the benefits and process of becoming a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE). Benefits include certification to private sector WBE’s and access to procurement opportunities with major national companies. For additional information on what it means to be certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise visit www.miceed.org. Fee: $25
Writing a Business Plan
Wednesday, Feb. 27, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
A business plan is a document that serves your needs and the needs of others (investors, bankers, etc.) that may require information from you about your business. Workshop participants will learn what elements are commonly found in effective plans and will work on developing each of these for their business. Assistance in the process as well as information on resources will be provided. Fee: $40
Twitter for Business (Advanced)
Thursday, Feb. 28, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Create and Launch your Twitter Campaign. In this advanced session of Twitter for Business you will establish objectives and goals for a Twitter campaign, create and launch a Twitter campaign, learn advanced strategies for reaching influencers and building a long-lasting online community and explore ways to take Twitter beyond social media marketing. Prerequisites are Twitter for Business (Beginner) and Twitter for Business (Intermediate) Fee: $40