This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person events in California and virtual events you can join from anywhere. Here are the best upcoming events from February 1 through 14.

Every two weeks, we’re promoting affordable events that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in California.

Here are the best upcoming events from February 1 through 14.

Northern California/Sacramento

Other People’s Money
Date: February 6, 2019 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: 1325-B Evans Ave. San Francisco, CA 94124 (map it)
Contact: bayview@rencenter.org | (415) 647-3728
Organization: Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center
Fee: Free

Whether you are using loans, equity, trade credit, prepaid revenue, donations, or some combination of funding sources, using other people’s money to launch or grow your business carries risk of unpleasant surprises and legal disputes.

This workshop will survey the risks and opportunities of different small business funding types, and help you understand how to clearly define your legal rights and obligations in advance in writing to protect yourself against future problems with business creditors and investors.

Although taught by an experienced business attorney and presented by The San Francisco Community Business Law Center,  this class does not constitute legal advice.

Click here to register for this event.

Master Your Business Financials and Make Them Work for You—A 3 Part Series
Date: Starts February 11, 2019 | 12:00 pm PDT – 1:00 pm PDT
Location: 1670 Market St. Ste. #112 Redding, CA 96001 (map it)
Contact: info@e-jedi.org | (530) 926-6670
Organization: Jefferson Economic Development Institute
Fee: $20

Join this three-part workshop to learn how to master your business financials and make them work for you—even if you break into a sweat just thinking about them! The hour-long class meets every Monday for three weeks starting February 11.

This series of accounting/financial classes will help you get peace of mind and the confidence to manage your business financials:

The Basics of Bookkeeping: Demystify and simplify the duties of bookkeeping and accounting for your business:

  • Demystify the bookkeeping process:
  • Learn the best and quickest ways to automate your bookkeeping processes, creating tons of time to get back to working “on” your business
  • Gain techniques and tools to relieve the headache of bookkeeping without hiring a full-time bookkeeper

The Power of Metrics: Analyze the health and efficiency of your business through the use of financial metrics:

  • Gain the tools to easily analyze and project income and expenses
  • Learn how to calculate gross and net profitability accurately and with confidence
  • Understand what a financial metric is and how it’s used to value a business

Succession Planning: Ensure the longevity of your business:

  • Learn how to properly value your business
  • Understand what an EBITDA Multiplier is and how to determine yours
  • Start developing your exit plan to secure your business (even if you never plan on leaving it)

Click here to register for this event. A webinar version of this course is also available starting Wednesday, February 13 at 6pm.

Payroll Taxes 101
Date: February 6, 2019 | 11:00 am PDT – 1:00 pm PDT
Location: 234 E. Gish Rd. Ste 100 San Jose, CA 95112 (map it)
Contact: info@svscore.org | (408) 453-6237
Organization: Silicon Valley SCORE
Fee: $45 for general admission | $20 for students | Free for veterans

You’ve hired your first employee! Now what? They need to get paid and you want to stay in compliance.  

This is an introductory course in understanding payroll taxes, workers compensation, and how to go about paying them.  In this course, you will get a checklist of all payroll requirements and learn key topics such as:

  • Steps for hiring your first employee and paying them
  • Payroll taxes
  • Workers comp integration with payroll
  • Payroll liabilities: a chart
  • Methods for handling payroll
  • Workers comp audits
  • Compliance with California laws

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

Podcasting for Small Businesses
Date: February 5, 2019 | 1:00 pm PDT – 3:00 pm PDT
Location: El Camino College Business Training Center
13430 Hawthorne Blvd. Hawthorne, CA 90250 (map it)
Contact: Martha Cisneros | mcisneros@elcamino.edu | (310) 225-8277
Organization: South Bay SBDC
Fee: Free

With more time in the car stuck in traffic commuting and the decline of good music on the radio we are forced with a dilemma of what to do in the car. According to Edison Research, online radio including podcasts has grown 61% in the past ten years and NPR data reported in last two years has risen from 3.5 to 5.4 million listeners.

Entrepreneurs can strategically use podcasting to position their brands and build rapport with prospects to convert more sales.

Join this free seminar led by Deborah Deras, creator of the Be A Paid Speaker Now Podcast, and learn how Deborah started her podcast how you can too. Topics include:

  • Why podcasting is a great tool for your business
  • What equipment to get
  • What are the steps to go from concept to actually podcasting
  • Who will host your podcast
  • How to edit the podcast
  • How to avoid amateur mistakes
  • How to get your podcast to the ears of your listeners

Click here to register for this event.

The Keys to Effective Guest Complaint Management
Date: February 5, 2019 | 5:30 pm PDT – 7:30 pm PDT
Location: VEDC Women’s Business Center
5121 Van Nuys Blvd. Suite 300A Sherman Oaks, CA 91403 (map it)
Contact: info@vedc.org | (818) 907-9922
Organization: VEDC
Fee: Free

Join this free workshop and learn how to manage customer complaints effectively. Topics include:

  • The true cost of guest complaints for your business
  • Typical restaurant or food service complaints
  • Strategies for crafting responses to complaints that will build loyal customers
  • Methods for effectively responding to online feedback

Click here to register for this event.

Business Plan Boot Camp: Introduction to Business Planning
Date: February 12, 2019 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: 1003 East Cooley Dr. Suite 109 Colton, CA 92324 (map it)
Contact: (909) 890-1242
Organization: Inland Empire Women’s Business Center
Fee: $20

Shape up your business plan! Get started with an overview of the plan elements and a discussion of your business description and how to conduct an analysis of your industry.

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

How to Start a Home-Based Business
Date: February 5, 2019 | 3:00 pm PDT – 4:30 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: info@TheInstituteNC.org | (919) 956-8889
Organization: The Institute (N.C.)
Fee: Free

Learn the requirements for getting started with a home-based business, including finding your niche, legal requirements, and developing a business plan. This free webinar is presented in partnership with the Veterans Business Outreach Center.

Click here to register for this event.

Credit Reports & Scores Explained
Date: February 7, 2019 | 8:30 am PDT – 9:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Kimberly.Donahue@sba.gov | (304) 623-5631
Organization: U.S. Small Business Administration West Virginia District Office
Fee: Free

Your credit score can impact everything from where you live to how much you pay for insurance. Isn’t it about time you learned how credit reports and scores really work? This free webinar covers the factors that influence credit scores, how to dispute errors, and more.

Click here to register for this event.

Marketing with Snapchat
Date: February 11, 2019 | 6:30 am PDT – 8:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: entrectr@hartford.edu | (919) 956-8889
Organization: University of Hartford Entrepreneurial Center & Women’s Business Center
Fee: Free

Learn the key elements of a successful business plan, how to develop one, and why it’s important! Find out how to outline your plan, craft a mission statement, analyze the market and the industry, create a financial plan, and locate resources.

Click here to register for this event.

We’re looking for upcoming events to promote to small business owners like you. If you have an event you’d like to share with fellow business owners, contact us at sblending@opportunityfund.org.


For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.

Loans are subject to credit review. Additional documentation may be required for credit approval. We are an Equal Opportunity Lender. Loans will be made or arranged pursuant to California Department of Corporations Finance Lenders License #6050609.


Opportunity Fund is tackling economic inequality so that hard work and perseverance means a shot at getting ahead, not just struggling to get by. Our programs are supported by a community of donors and investors whose contributions help to fund small businesses, support college students, and build stronger families and vibrant neighborhoods. Since 1994, the team has deployed $700 million and helped thousands of families earn, save and invest in their own futures. Opportunity Fund has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, for our commitment to accountability and transparency.

Visit us online at opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter

This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person events in California and virtual events you can join from anywhere. Here are the best upcoming events from January 15 through 31.

Every two weeks, we’re promoting affordable events that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in California.

Here are the best upcoming events from January 15 through 31.

Northern California/Sacramento

El Pajaro CDC Commercial Kitchen Incubator Program Orientation
Date: January 17, 2019 | 6:00 pm PDT – 7:30 pm PDT
Location: El Pajaro Commercial Kitchen
412 East Riverside Dr. Watsonville, CA 95076 (map it)
Contact: (831) 722-1224
Organization: El Pajaro CDC
Fee: Free

El Pajaro Community Development’s non-profit commercial kitchen provides entrepreneurs with the opportunity to start and grow a food business with the support of professional consultants and trained staff. Attend an orientation and learn how you can benefit from our services.

Click here to register for this event. Registration is required.

Marketing on the Internet
Date: January 22, 2019 | 6:00 pm PDT – 9:00 pm PDT
Location: 234 E. Gish Rd. Suite 100 San Jose, CA 95112 (map it)
Contact: info@svscore.org | (408) 453-6237
Organization: Silicon Valley SCORE
Fee: $45 | Free for veterans

Join this class to learn key topics for top-performing professional business websites. Effective business websites must address visitors and search engines. Get started with best practices for all types of business and e-commerce websites. Key topics include:

  • Establish website goals
  • Define best platforms for different audiences
  • Deploy basic website conversion techniques
  • Explore search engines, traffic, and keywords
  • Learn search engine optimization basics
  • Optimize advertising, budgets, and testing
  • Utilize social media outlets
  • Understand the role of online reputation
  • Find connections between budget and ROI
  • And more!

Click here to register for this event.

Writing a Successful Business Plan
Date: January 24, 2019 | 6:00 pm PDT – 9:00 pm PDT
Location: Napa Valley College
2277 Napa-Vallejo Hwy Building 3300 Napa, CA 94558 (map it)
Contact: SBDCclientservices@napavalley.edu | (707) 256-7250
Organization: Napa Sonoma SBDC
Fee: $30

Join this workshop and learn how to start a successful business with a strong business plan. Learn how to establish realistic goals and objectives, determine startup costs, as well as various methods of financing your startup.

Topics include:

  • Organize your business plan
  • Understand what the bank/investor expects to see
  • Prepare projections of revenue and expenses
  • Discuss of each business plan section, step by step
  • Examine a sample business plan

Click here to register for this event. Each participant will receive a business plan checklist and sample plan template.

Southern California/San Diego

Demystifing Business Expenses
Date: January 22, 2019 | 1:00 pm PDT – 3:00 pm PDT
Location: Arlanza Public Library
8267 Philbin Ave. Riverside, CA 92503 (map it)
Contact: Mary Takavorian | mtakavorian@iesmallbusiness.com | (909) 983-0751
Organization: Inland Empire SBDC
Fee: Free

Tax season is right around the corner. Attend this free workshop to learn which business expenses you can legally deduct on your taxes, and how to file your taxes the right way from the start.

Click here to register for this event.

The Art of Networking
Date: January 28, 2019 | 5:30 pm PDT – 7:30 pm PDT
Location: VEDC Women’s Business Center
5121 Van Nuys Blvd. Suite 300A Sherman Oaks, CA 91403 (map it)
Contact: info@vedc.org | (818) 907-9922
Organization: VEDC
Fee: Free

Join this free workshop to discuss what to expect at networking events. We will focus on how to position yourself at networking events, how to prepare, the art of small talk, and give you an opportunity to network with fellow entrepreneurs.

Click here to register for this event.

Marketing 101: Strategies for Small Businesses
Date: January 31, 2019 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: Moreno Valley Employment Resource Center
12625 Frederick St. Suite K3 Moreno Valley, CA 92553 (map it)
Contact: (909) 890-1242
Organization: Inland Empire Women’s Business Center
Fee: Free

Help your small business get big results from marketing through an effective marketing plan. Join this free seminar to learn how to increase your sales and profitability while efficiently managing your marketing dollars. Learn where to spend your time and money to get the most out of your marketing budget and target your best prospects.

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

How to Double Your Sales (Without More Marketing!)
Date: January 16, 2019 | 12:00 pm PDT – 1:00 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: info@e-jedi.org | (530) 926-6670
Organization: Jefferson Economic Development Institute
Fee: Free

Many service-based business owners think they need to do more marketing to make more money. They end up wasting time, energy, and money on marketing efforts that don’t positively move the bottom line.

In this free webinar, you’ll learn how to turn 80% of your prospects into great, long-term clients, get off the income roller coaster, and build predictable revenue in your business – without more marketing.

In this webinar, you’ll learn:

  • 5 step framework to attract the right prospects and turn them into great long-term clients
  • Strategies to stop wasting time on people that are not fully committed to your service
  • Things you should never say in a consultation with a prospective client, and what to say instead
  • Service packages for better client results, more satisfied clients – and higher profit for you

Click here to register for this event.

How Can Small Businesses Comply with OSHA Standards?
Date: January 17, 2019 | 11:00 am PDT – 12:00 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: minneapolis@score-mn.org | (952) 938-4570
Organization: SCORE Minneapolis (Minn.)
Fee: Free

A safe and healthy workplace not only protects employees from injury and illness, but can lower costs, reduce absenteeism, boost morale, and increase productivity and quality. How can your small business stay safe? OSHA can help!

Join this free webinar to learn how The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) assures safe and healthful working conditions for U.S. workers through setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education, and assistance.

Topics include:

  • An overview of OSHA
  • OSHA requirements for small businesses
  • OSHA’s no-cost, confidential On-Site Consultation Program
  • Ways to show your commitment to safety and reduce costs

Click here to register for this event.

Business Plan Overview
Date: January 23, 2019 | 9:00 am PDT – 10:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: info@TheInstituteNC.org | (919) 956-8889
Organization: The Institute (N.C.)
Fee: Free

Learn the key elements of a successful business plan, how to develop one, and why it’s important! Find out how to outline your plan, craft a mission statement, analyze the market and the industry, create a financial plan, and locate resources.

Click here to register for this event.


We’re looking for upcoming events to promote to small business owners like you. If you have an event you’d like to share with fellow business owners, contact us at sblending@opportunityfund.org.

For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.

Loans are subject to credit review. Additional documentation may be required for credit approval. We are an Equal Opportunity Lender. Loans will be made or arranged pursuant to California Department of Corporations Finance Lenders License #6050609.


Opportunity Fund is tackling economic inequality so that hard work and perseverance means a shot at getting ahead, not just struggling to get by. Our programs are supported by a community of donors and investors whose contributions help to fund small businesses, support college students, and build stronger families and vibrant neighborhoods. Since 1994, the team has deployed $700 million and helped thousands of families earn, save and invest in their own futures. Opportunity Fund has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, for our commitment to accountability and transparency.

Visit us online at opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Networking is often a blind spot for small business owners. It’s also essential for personal and professional growth. Here are some free and low cost resources to help you get started with networking and to build your new skill.

Networking is often a blind spot for small business owners. It’s also essential for personal and professional growth. Here are some free and low cost resources to help you get started with networking and to build your new skill.

 

Meetup

What it costs: Free

What it does: Meetup is a free social networking website that allows you to join groups of all different kinds: hobbies, classes, and of course, business networking events! Join local groups and meet up with other entrepreneurs near you.

eWomenNetwork

What it costs: Free to join

What it does: With over 500,000 members and 100+ local chapters, eWomenNetwork has workshops and events all across the country for you to meet with other women entrepreneurs. Women small business owners have many resources available to them, and you can check some others out here.

Linkedin

What it costs: Free

What it does: Linkedin is the largest social networking site specifically oriented towards business. Follow hashtags and join groups to discover other entrepreneurs (and future talent!) Post insightful business tips or updates from your own account to get your name out to small business owners who might want to connect and network with you.

YEC Next

What it costs: Free to apply

What it does: If you’re a more established small business owner younger than 45 with at least 250k in annual revenue, you should apply to join YEC Next. You get access to great online networking resources, including an entrepreneurial think tank, increased business exposure, business mentors, exclusive events, and members-only discounts on lots of business products and software.

Opportunity Fund Blog

What it costs: Free

What it does: You are probably already aware that we have a blog dedicated to our small business readers if you’re reading this, but did you know that we publish bi-weekly event roundups? Find local and online networking events and workshops that interest you.

 

We’re always looking for the best affordable online resources including tools to promote to small business owners like you. If you have a tool you’d like to share with fellow business owners, contact us at sblending@opportunityfund.org.

For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.

Loans are subject to credit review. Additional documentation may be required for credit approval. We are an Equal Opportunity Lender. Loans will be made or arranged pursuant to California Department of Corporations Finance Lenders License #6050609.


Opportunity Fund is tackling economic inequality so that hard work and perseverance means a shot at getting ahead, not just struggling to get by. Our programs are supported by a community of donors and investors whose contributions help to fund small businesses, support college students, and build stronger families and vibrant neighborhoods. Since 1994, the team has deployed $700 million and helped thousands of families earn, save and invest in their own futures. Opportunity Fund has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, for our commitment to accountability and transparency.

Visit us online at opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook  and Twitter

Women-owned businesses are on the rise, but access to financing can be a barrier to launching and growing a business. Steer clear of risky funding options, and seek out supportive advisors who can help you get a loan that works for your business.

Women who start and grow small businesses face many barriers, particularly when it comes to funding and financing – and specifically in comparison to men who launch businesses. According to a recent study by the Federal Reserve Banks of New York and Kansas City, women-owned businesses are more likely to operate at a loss and have higher credit risk than are men-owned firms.

In addition, women-owned firms are more likely to experience financial challenges. For example, they’re less likely to receive loans, and often have to deal with “funding gaps” – that is, they don’t receive all of their requested funding. The study also shows that women entrepreneurs are also less likely to apply for loans because they fear (rightly, it turns out) getting turned down.

In spite of their financial struggles, more and more women are stepping up to launch their own businesses: Women are starting an average of 849 new businesses per day, and the number of women-owned businesses has doubled in the past 20 years, according to American Express OPEN’s State of Women-Owned Businesses report.

It’s clear that women aren’t letting roadblocks like financing and credit stand in the way of their entrepreneurial dreams. But in their quests for financing, they should avoid funding sources that could cause problems down the road, such as painfully high interest rates. In addition, some lending sources (such as Opportunity Fund) can be more helpful to women who are just starting out, since these sources will look at information beyond a credit score when considering a loan application. If you’re in the market for a small-business loans, here are some dos and don’ts to consider.

Do look beyond the big banks.

The Federal Reserve Banks study found that women-owned businesses were more likely to apply to large banks than to small banks as compared to men-owned businesses – yet, they were more likely to be approved for loans by the small banks. In addition, women who worked with small banks showed the highest levels of financing satisfaction.

Opportunity Fund considers different criteria from small-business borrowers, and we see your business in a different way than large banks typically do. We likely have the right loan* for you. Email us at loans@opportunityfund.org for more information about how we can help your small business.

Don’t get bogged down in loans that can hurt your business.

According to the bank study, women are more likely to use unsecured debt (that is, without collateral) to fund their businesses. This might include using credit cards, or Merchant Cash Advances (MCAs) and payday loans. These forms of financing can be risky because they take a percentage of your sales to pay off your debt, which can hurt cash flow.

In loans studied in the Opportunity Fund report Unaffordable and Unsustainable: The New Business Lending on Main Street, the average alternative loan carried an annual percentage rate (APR) of 94% (one loan was even at 358% interest). These lenders are not regulated as closely, and they often use deceptive marketing tactics and have hidden fees. For the health of your business, it’s best to avoid them.

Don’t be afraid to apply for loans – and do take advantage of advice and counseling.

At the moment, women-owned businesses don’t get approved as often as men-owned businesses do – but women should strive to close this gap! When women work with organizations like Opportunity Fund, they can get help at every step of the loan process. For example, we offer borrowers a loan preparation checklist so they know which documents to prepare before they apply.

For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.

Loans are subject to credit review. Additional documentation may be required for credit approval. We are an Equal Opportunity Lender. Loans will be made or arranged pursuant to California Department of Corporations Finance Lenders License #6050609.


Opportunity Fund is tackling economic inequality so that hard work and perseverance means a shot at getting ahead, not just struggling to get by. Our programs are supported by a community of donors and investors whose contributions help to fund small businesses, support college students, and build stronger families and vibrant neighborhoods. Since 1994, the team has deployed $700 million and helped thousands of families earn, save and invest in their own futures. Opportunity Fund has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, for our commitment to accountability and transparency.

Visit us online at http://opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Opportunity Fund. Working Capital for Working People. opportunityfund.org