Oakland County center offers business workshops in August

Business owners and entrepreneurs who need assistance are encouraged to attend seminars offered by the Oakland County One Stop Shop Business Center. Unless otherwise noted, all programs take place at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford. The building is west of Telegraph Road. For pre-registration and location specifics, visit www.AdvantageOakland.com/expand or call 248-858-0783.

--Fundamentals of Marketing Your Business

Wednesday, Aug. 1, 6 to 9 p.m.

Marketing is essential to business success. All products/services must be sold to well-targeted audiences with a wide-ranging marketing mix. Counselors will guide you through successful techniques and marketing principles that help you promote your products and services to the most promising customers--your target audience. Presented by Oakland County and The Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center (MI-SBTDC).

Fee: $40

--Business Research: Feasibility to Expansion

Thursday, Aug. 2, 6 to 9 p.m.

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, Aug. 8, 9 to 11 a.m.

Many small business owners face obstacles when trying to obtain a business loan. You must understand the importance of working capital for existing businesses, start-up or expansion, equipment purchases, and job creation. If you need alternative financing, you should consider the Microloan Program. The orientation is presented by Oakland County and the Center for Empowerment & Economic Development (C.E.E.D.)

This workshop is free, but pre-registration is required.

--Twitter for Business (Beginner)

Wednesday, Aug. 8, 6 to 9 p.m.

Millions of people use Twitter and social media for fun, but it is also a powerful business tool that can connect you to customers and the world. Social media is a two-way marketing channel--a conversation with your customers. With social media marketing and Twitter you can leverage these conversations to: increase brand visibility and reach, establish yourself as an expert in your field, give real-time customer service, stay on top of industry trends and conduct competitive research, build brand advocates and see a measurable ROI. You will learn how to create a Twitter account and profile, choose the best user name, learn Twitter lingo, find the right people and business to follow, how to protect yourself and your brand, and how to use lists to manage who you follow as well as your followers. You will also learn about hash tags and Twitter privacy, how to establish and track your digital footprint.

Fee: $40

--FastTrac® GrowthVenture

Thursdays, Aug. 9 through Oct. 11. (10 sessions), 6 to 9 p.m.

FastTrac® GrowthVenture is an intensive, 10-week program designed for owners, CEO's and top management team members of small businesses with at least two years of operating experience, minimum of two employees, and annual revenue of between $100,000 and $749,000. FastTrac® GrowthVenture is normally $700 per participant. Sponsor support allows us to offer a scholarship-reduced rate.

Fee: $140

--Team SBA Financing Roundtable

Wednesday, Aug. 9, 9 a.m. to noon.

Before you apply for a business loan, we recommend that you attend the Financing Roundtable. This session is best suited to those with good credit, a solid business idea and money to invest in their business. The session will demystify small business financing. You'll learn how the lending process works and what is expected of you. You'll see how the Small Business Administration (SBA) can assist with our SBA Guaranteed Loan Program. (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.) Presented by: Oakland County, an SBA representative, a MI-SBTDC consultant and business banker.

This workshop is free, but pre-registration is required.

--Fundamentals of Starting a Business

Thursday, Aug. 9, 6 to 9 p.m.

This seminar is for anyone thinking about going into business. Participants examine their entrepreneurial skills, learn how to implement their ideas and receive a list of pitfalls to avoid when starting a business.

Fee: $30

--Twitter for Business (Intermediate)*

Wednesday, Aug. 15, 6 to 9 p.m.

Create your Twitter strategy, learn tactics businesses are using to get customers talking through Twitter, establish social media objectives, create your Twitter social media schedule, and integrate Twitter into your marketing strategy. You will learn how to schedule tweets, respond ethically and effectively to brand supporters and detractors, and manage your digital footprint--connecting Twitter with your website and other social media platforms. You will optimize the timing and reach of your tweets, and find and track people talking about your company, product and industry. *Prerequisite for this class is Twitter for Business (Beginner.)

Fee: $40

--Fundamentals of Writing a Business Plan

Thursday, Aug. 16, 6 to 9 p.m.

For small business owners who are developing their plan to success. Workshop participants discover the elements commonly found in effective plans and develop these for their own business.

Fee: $40

--Twitter for Business (Advanced)*

Wednesday, Aug. 22, 6 to 9 p.m.

Create and launch your 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. Build a complete multi-channel, social media marketing strategy, integrate Twitter and traditional marketing channels to deliver a competitive advantage, establish a social media Twitter timeline, grow your follower base and engage participants, learn how to advertise with Twitter-promoted tweets, ensure a reasonable rate of return on your social media investment and acquire the tools you need to deputize your employees for organization-wide Twitter engagement. *Prerequisites for this class are Twitter for Business (Beginner and Intermediate.)

Fee: $40

Published: Mon, Jul 16, 2012