This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from June 15 through 30.

Every two weeks, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable events that help small business owners run their businesses better.

This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from June 15 through 30.

Northern California/Sacramento

IRS Forms of Ownership
Date: June 19, 2018 | 1:00 pm PDT – 4:00 pm PDT
Location: Veterans Business Outreach Center
4608 Duckhorn Dr. Sacramento, CA 95834 (map it)
Contact: Star Cochran | admin@vbocix.org | (916) 527-8400
Organization: Veterans Business Outreach Center
Fee: Free

One of the most critical decisions for new business owners is to decide which form of ownership will best meet your business needs.

Join this free seminar to learn about the different forms of ownership to choose from. We’ll help you understand the most common legal structures for businesses plus the pros and cons of each form of business entity.

Click here to register for this event.

Writing a Successful Business Plan
Date: June 19, 2018 | 2:00 pm PDT – 5:00 pm PDT
Location: Berkeley Public Library
2090 Kittredge St. Berkeley, CA 94704 (map it)
Contact: Lee Lambert | seminars@acsbdc.org | (510) 208-0410
Organization: Alameda County SBDC
Fee: Free

What makes a good business plan? What are the key components of writing a compelling plan and what are investors looking for in your plan? This free seminar will help you write your best business plan ever!

Topics include:

  • Key components of a business plan
  • Key questions your business plan should answer
  • The importance of financial projections
  • The numbers investors look for in a plan
  • Critical numbers to manage and grow your business
  • Secrets to writing your best business plan

Click here to register for this event.

LinkedIn for Your Business
Date: June 21, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 7:30 pm PDT
Location: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library—Third Floor: SJPL Works
150 E. San Fernando St. San Jose, CA 95112 (map it)
Contact: sjplworks@sjlibrary.org | (408) 808-2310
Organization: SJPL Works
Fee: Free

This free seminar, LinkedIn for Business, teaches you how to create your business brand, promote your business, and identify key prospects.

Topics include:

  • Building your business brand
  • Optimizing your profile
  • Marketing your business
  • Targeting prospects

Registration is encouraged. Parking validation for 4th St. garage will be provided at the program.

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

Pricing for Profitability: Are You Charging What You’re Worth?
Date: June 20, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: 1003 E. Cooley Dr. Ste 109 Colton, CA 92324 (map it)
Contact: (909) 890-1242
Organization: Inland Empire Women’s Business Center
Fee: Free

Are you challenged with how to competitively price your services? How do you know if you’re charging too much—or worse, too little? Pricing your services is one of the most important decisions you will make in your business. Find out what you must know to set your prices appropriately and competitively.

Click here to register for this event.

California Department of Veterans Affairs Veteran Business Forum 2018
Date: June 22, 2018 | 9:00 am PDT – 1:00 pm PDT
Location: San Diego State University—Montezuma Hall: SDSU Student Union
5500 Campanile Dr. San Diego, CA 92182 (map it)
Contact: dvbe@calvet.ca.gov
Organization: California Department of Veterans Affairs
Fee: Free

The California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) presents the Annual Veteran Business Forum sponsored by DGS and San Diego State University. The conference will provide veterans support and services to help them start, grow, and maintain their businesses. This free event is open to all veterans.

Join us for workshops (How to do Business with the State of California + Contracting with the State of California), Q&A panels, networking with California state agencies, and more!

Walkins are welcome, but to ensure a name tag and easy entrance, please register.

Click here to register for this event.

State Basic Payroll Tax & E-Services
Date: June 28, 2018 | 9:30 am PDT – 12:30 pm PDT
Location: BusinessSource Center West Valley
18645 Sherman Way #114 Reseda, CA 91335 (map it)
Contact: (818) 705-9977 | info@bscvalley.org
Organization: VEDC
Fee: Free

Join this free seminar and learn about key tools and resources for filing payroll taxes for your small business.

  • How and when to report state payroll taxes
  • How to distinguish between an employee and an independent contractor
  • What are independent contractor reporting requirements
  • Where to get assistance

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Copyrights, Patents, & Trademarks
Date: June 18, 2018 | 9:00 am PDT – 11:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: tbwbc@thecentre.org
Organization: The Tampa Bay Women’s Business Centre
Fee: Free

Have you protected your invention, unique product or service, or the brand name and logo that you designed? Failure to safeguard your intellectual property can result in someone else infringing or violating what you have taken a great deal of time and capital to develop. Attend this workshop to learn the necessary steps to protect what you have created for the marketplace.

Click here to register for this event.

Business Continuity & Disaster Preparedness
Date: June 19, 2018 | 7:00 am PDT – 8:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Briana Williams | briawill@fiu.edu | (305) 779-9233
Organization: Florida SBDC
Fee: Free

Join this free webinar to learn how you can prepare for disaster and spare your small business lost time, money, property, and more.

Topics include:

  • Business continuity and disaster preparedness
  • Miami-Dade County emergency information
  • Free mobile apps to aid preparedness
  • Resources to protect against business interruption

Click here to register for this event.

Creativity at Work: Why Creative Thinking Matters and How to Tap It
Date: June 20, 2018 | 12:00 pm PDT – 1:30 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: info@e-jedi.org | (530) 926-6670
Organization: Jefferson Economic Development Institute
Fee: Free

Small business owners—think about these questions for your business:

  • Do you have challenges in your business because traditional methods and strategies aren’t working?
  • Are there areas of your business where you need to think outside the box?
  • Is your business doing well, but you’re feeling creatively starved?
  • Do you want to see new opportunities and resources for your business?

This free webinar on creative thinking for your small business can help you find answers to these questions. To evolve our work, we need to see beyond our current mindset, systems, and methods. Business owners often get trapped in formulas that can become limiting. Traditional goal-setting methods don’t always work when pioneering new things.

Together we’ll learn how to look at your small business with a different, more expensive perspective plus find opportunities, resources, and methods to become a more creative thinker.

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 $600 million and helped 20,000 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

“People don’t quit jobs, they quit managers.” Being (or hiring) a poor manager can cost your small business more than you think. Read how much bad management really costs.

“People don’t quit jobs, they quit managers.” Being (or hiring) a poor manager can cost your small business more than you think. Read how much bad management really costs.

What it Means to be a Bad Boss

Some entrepreneurs have a difficult time delegating tasks to their employees and letting go of the business they worked so hard to build. Your business is like a baby, and it may be hard for you to relinquish control.

This can make you a bad boss and cost you business if you aren’t aware of the problem and how to better manage your employees.

Gone are the days of bosses who give orders and micromanage every aspect of their employees’ work. Today, people want to work for managers who lead by example, inspire them to grow, and enable them to take charge of their own responsibilities.

Creating the Wrong Work Atmosphere

We’ve written before about how important it is to hire the right employees that will be productive and work well with the team, but it is just as important for you or the managers you’ve hired to be responsible for setting the right work atmosphere.

Managers set the tone for the whole team. Even the most dedicated, hard-working employee will feel burned out and unappreciated if management is poor. Your business can lose productivity and revenue if your employees no longer feel motivated to work hard for a boss who they feel doesn’t deserve the loyalty.

High turnover is costly for businesses, in terms of wasted money, time, and reputation –  Glassdoor is the Yelp for job seekers. If a qualified candidate sees a review of your small business saying the managers are bad, they’ll look elsewhere.

Invest in Better Management

Here are a few important characteristics to develop in yourself or look for when hiring a new manager:

  • Being able to be wrong. Employees say it is important to them that a boss can own up to their mistakes. When they see this kind of behavior, they don’t feel safe to take innovative leaps in their work and may learn to hide their own costly mistakes.
  • Express gratitude and share success. It’s easy to criticize someone for their mistakes, but not remembering to acknowledge their success will lower morale and productivity. The same applies to pointing out their errors in front of others more often than publicly praising them.
  • Not micromanaging their work. You hired someone because you think they’ll do their job well, so let them prove you right. Give them some freedom to do their work in a way that makes them the most productive they can be. You don’t need to dictate their schedules down to the minute or demand that they count cash a certain way.
  • Respecting work-life balance. When employees aren’t on the clock, don’t reach out to them with work matters. Your employees need time off to recharge and will be more productive when they come in to work.
  • Listening to problems or new ideas. If they disagree that your new idea will bring in more sales, listen to them! Value their advice and they’ll want to come up with new cost-saving or sales-generating ideas.

 

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 $600 million and helped 20,000 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

This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from June 1 through 14.

Every two weeks, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable events that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from June 1 through 14.

Northern California/Sacramento

Building Business Websites
Date: Starts June 5, 2018 | 1:15 pm PDT – 2:45 pm PDT
Location: College of the Siskiyous—Yreka Campus TTC 32-101
2001 Campus Dr. Yreka, CA 96097 (map it)
Contact: registration@siskiyous.edu | (530) 938-5500
Organization: Jefferson Economic Development Institute (JEDI)
Fee: Free

Learn to create and maintain your own business website using the full range of designs and features available for CMS like WordPresswithout coding!

Join this free course offered by the College of the Siskiyous to learn how to build your business website. During this ten week course that meets twice per week, you’ll create a fully functional business website without studying programming language.

Topics include:

  • Online basics: websites, CMS, websites-as-a-service, hosted websites, domain names, hosting accounts
  • Major WordPress functions: posts, pages, plugins, themes, and users in this CMS environment
  • Components: evaluate, select, install, and use components for your website
  • Your content: add text, images, media, widgets, navigation elements, and links to a website
  • Live website: Secure and maintain your new website

The only requirement to attend this course is an internet browser. Bring your laptop and get ready to learn!

Register through College of the Siskiyous website or register in person at the office of enrollment Weed or Yreka campus.

2018 Tax Law Changes for Small Businesses–What You Need to Know
Date: June 6, 2018 | 6:30 pm PDT – 8:30 pm PDT
Location: DeVry University
8000 Jarvis Ave. Ste 220 Newark, CA 94560 (map it)
Contact: Suzanne Schafer | seminars@acsbdc.org | (510) 208-0410
Organization: Alameda County SBDC
Fee: Free

The new tax law represents the biggest overhaul of the tax code in 30 years. Many provisions have a significant impact on small businesses. Don’t wait until the end of the year to understand how these laws impact you! Advance planning may save significant amounts in your taxes.

In this seminar, we will discuss the following:

  • Tax implications of different business structures (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)
  • Pass-through deductions impact on small businesses
  • Changes in personal and corporate tax rates
  • Changes in the treatment of certain business expenses
  • Planning opportunities to prepare for tax season

Click here to register for this event.

Fashion Series: Fashion Manufacturing: Bridging Concept with Reality
Date: June 7, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: 275 5th St. San Francisco, CA 94103 (map it)
Contact: Fatimah Aure | faure@rencenter.org | (415) 348-6217
Organization: Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center
Fee: $15

In this Fashion series workshop meet business consultant and fashion business owner Lenore Espanola, who will walk you through manufacturing options including overseas, domestic, and local options.

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

Money Smart for Small Businesses
Date: Starts June 2, 2018 | 9:00 am PDT – 3:00 pm PDT
Location: Cathay Bank
9650 Flair Dr. El Monte, CA 91731 (map it)
Contact: Colleen Seto | cseto@ltsc.org | (213) 473-1605
Organization: Asian Pacific Islander Small Business Program
Fee: Free

Join this introductory 2-day business course on June 2 and 9 designed for new business owners, self-employed individuals, and aspiring entrepreneurs. Get started on better money management skills for your small business with this curriculum developed by the FDIC and SBA. Breakfast, lunch, and course materials will be provided by Cathay Bank. Limited seating is available–advance registration is required. Free parking is available behind the Cathay Bank building.

Topics include:

  • Time management
  • Startup planning
  • Recordkeeping
  • Banking services
  • Risk management
  • Insurance

Click here to register for this event.

Entrepreneur Training Program
Date: Starts June 8, 2018 | 2:00 pm PDT – 3:30 pm PDT
Location: 5701 S. Eastern Ave. Ste 108 Commerce, CA 90040 (map it)
Contact: Alex Alvarez | alex.alvarez@operationhope.org | (323) 697-6202
Organization: Operation Hope
Fee: Free

This 12-week course for entrepreneurs will help you succeed in business with practical tips from subject matter experts. Join us every Friday starting June 8 for this free course and get on your way to being the boss of your business.

Topics include:

  • Market research
  • Feasible business
  • Start-up funding
  • And more!

Contact Alex Alvarez at (323) 697-6202 to register for this event.

Small Business Accounting for Non-Accountants
Date: June 9, 2018 | 9:00 am PDT – 12:00 pm PDT
Location: 1003 E. Cooley Dr. Ste 109 Colton, CA 92324 (map it)
Contact: (909) 890-1242
Organization: Inland Empire Women’s Business Center
Fee: Free

Are you earning money and paying bills, but don’t know how to make sense of your numbers? Do you want to understand your finances and feel confident to make strategic decisions that will benefit your business and your future? Join us to make sense of your numbers and create a greater impact in your business and life.

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Using Census Data to Size Up Your New or Existing Business
Date: June 5, 2018 | 7:30 am PDT – 8:30 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: (470) 891-5576
Organization: U.S. Small Business Administration Georgia District Office
Fee: Free

Census data is an essential tool for entrepreneurs at any stage to get started or grow their business. Join this free webinar to get smart about your business through census data.

Topics include:

  • How to use industry terms to successfully plan, jump start, and run your business
  • How to use NAICS codes to locate and zoom in on business opportunities
  • How to use verifiable industry analysis census data to accelerate your business
  • How to use census data to measure your business and find growth opportunities

Click here to register for this event.

Let’s Talk Business! How to Multiply Yourself as a Brand with Social Media
Date: June 6, 2018 | 12:00 pm PDT – 1:00 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Ryan Norskog | rnorskog@thurstonedc.com | (360) 464-6060
Organization: Washington Center for Women in Business
Fee: Free

Learn how to use social media to market yourself as a brand and multiply your encounters with the marketplace.

Click here to register for this event.

Payday Loans & Predatory Lending
Date: June 12, 2018 | 10:00 am PDT – 11:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: (414) 263-5450
Organization: Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation
Fee: Free

Borrowing money can be intimidating. Join us to learn smart borrowing practices, your rights as a borrower, and how to avoid being a victim of predatory lending.

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 $600 million and helped 20,000 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

Marcia built a successful boutique in Los Angeles on a long career in fashion. When she needed a small business loan, she got a high interest rate that almost crippled her business. Opportunity Fund was there to help her refinance the loan and set her on the path to financial success.

Our customers inspire us every day, and we want to regularly share those stories to inspire you, too.

Marcia built a successful boutique in Los Angeles on a long career in fashion. When she needed a small business loan, she got a high interest rate that almost crippled her business. Opportunity Fund was there to help her refinance the loan and set her on the path to financial success.

Starting a Career from Scratch

Marcia Charles has worked in fashion all her life. She started out working at department store warehouses in the Bronx at age 15. Over the next 35 years she grew into a self-taught fashion designer and merchandiser and self-made small business owner.

Marcia opened Pinky Rose Boutique in 2003 in Los Angeles. She works with wholesalers to stock up her boutique with the latest styles in clothes and accessories, plus she showcases her own designs.

“I created the Nadda dress,” Marcia said. “it’s not a dress but like a jumpsuit, comfortable with built in pockets that work as a belt and can be worn five different ways.”

Marcia’s leadership extends beyond her innovative fashions. She helped establish the business neighborhood around her boutique. “I work with people in the community to improve the neighborhood for small businesses,” she said. “I was the first boutique on the street. Along with two other restaurants, we were the first businesses here. When I started, there was nothing on the street.”

Now in her 60s, Marcia is using her experience and wisdom to keep her business going in a tough industry while building up her own fashion brand. She needed a small business loan to help with working capital. She ran into problems with her first lender Kabbage, a company that charged her a 45% interest rate that killed her business cash flow.

She needed a trustworthy and transparent lender who understood her business. Opportunity Fund was there to answer her call.

Finding the Right Fit for Financing

Marcia came to us through our community partner BusinessSource LA. After connecting with Marcia, our loan consultant Robert Zapata helped her understand what we do for small business owners and how we’re different from high interest alternative lenders. It helped her make the choice to work with us for her small business financing needs. Robert was able to close a loan for $7,500 in October 2015.

“It helped me pay off the Kabbage loan and get a lower interest rate,” she said. “That helped me stay in business, because the Kabbage loan would have probably put me out of business.”

Marcia - Pinky Rose Boutique

Our small business loans are helping Marcia keep the latest fashions in stock (photo courtesy of Michael Microulis)


She came back to us for three more loans to help with her wholesale expenses:

  • $15,000 in September 2016
  • $18,000 in February 2017
  • $25,000 in January 2018

“It’s helped me grow over the past three years,” she said. “Without Opportunity Fund I wouldn’t have the money to do it.”

Marcia’s vision for the future of Pinky Rose Boutique includes expanding to a second location that houses only her original designs and establish her comfort couture brand.

We’re excited to see the next designs coming from Pinky Rose and we’re honored to support hard working entrepreneurs like Marcia.


We hope this story has inspired you, too.  At Opportunity Fund, we offer easy-to-get, fast, and affordable small business loans to help small business owners succeed.  Visit our home page to find out more.

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 $600 million and helped 20,000 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.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from May 17 through 31.

Every two weeks, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable events that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from May 17 through 31.

Northern California/Sacramento

From Kitchen to Market
Date: May 17, 2018 | 1:00 pm PDT – 4:00 pm PDT
Location: College of Marin—Indian Valley Campus
1800 Ignacio Blvd. Novato, CA  94949 (map it)
Contact: (415) 485-9305
Organization: Marin SBDC
Fee: $25 (includes a take-home packet with worksheets and resource guides)

Have you thought of taking that delicious family recipe and turning it into a business? Do you already own a food manufacturing business and want to expand?

Join this workshop to gain a competitive edge and learn about the rapidly growing specialty food industry. SBDC Specialty Foods Business Advisor Anni Minuzzo presents this three hour workshop. Gain insights from her 30 years of experience in the food and beverage industry, 20 of which were spent owning a wholesale baking company.

Topics include:

  • Planning and production process
  • Contacts to help get you started
  • Capitalization options

Click here to register for this event.

Take Better Photos for Your Business With the Camera You Already Have
Date: May 18, 2018 | 8:30 am PDT – 10:00 am PDT
Location: 455 Market St. Ste. 600 San Francisco, CA 94105 (map it)
Contact: sfomail@sba.gov
Organization: SBA San Francisco District Office
Fee: Free

If you’re struggling to connect with your audience or your photography isn’t meeting the results your business needs, this free workshop can help.

Join us for a 90 minute workshop and learn how to create storytelling images that will make your brand stand out—using the equipment you already own! From cell phones to DSLRs, chances are you already own a great camera. Learn and techniques that will immediately improve the results your photos produce.

Click here to register for this event.

CCT Business Plan Workshop 2018
Date: May 22, 2018 | 10:00 am PDT – 12:00 pm PDT
Location: Seminary Campus—B.C. Lounge
4815 East Butler Ave. Fresno, CA 93727 (map it)
Contact: Carlos Huerta | Carlos.Huerta@fresno.edu | (559) 453-2374 or Jeanatte Jaurena | Jeanette.Jaurena@fresno.edu | (559) 453-2367
Organization: Center for Community Transformation—Fresno Pacific University
Fee: Free

Can you make a difference and make money?

Learn how to become financially sustainable and accomplish your social mission in this free Social Business Plan Workshop. Join like-minded entrepreneurs interested in Social Enterprise, a rapidly-growing category of business nationwide.

The best idea of the day will also win a $100 cash prize!

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

Time Management
Date: May 23, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: 1003 E. Cooley Dr. Suite 109 Colton, CA 92324 (map it)
Contact: (909) 890-1242
Organization: Inland Empire Women’s Business Center
Fee: $20

If you’re doing more and enjoying it less, it’s time to make real choices about how and when to spend your time.

Join professional organizer Donna Buckner of Organizing Solutions and learn to analyze your day and prioritize your time based on what you really need to accomplish. Find balance, achieve your goals, and be more productive and efficient.

Click here to register for this event.

Start-Up Workshop
Date: May 24, 2018 | 3:00 pm PDT – 5:00 pm PDT
Location: 1055 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 900B Los Angeles, CA 90017 (map it)
Contact: Daniel Ing | ding@pacela.org | (213) 353-9400
Organization: PACE Finance Corporation
Fee: Free

If you are planning to start your business and you want to start on the right track, please join us at our next Small Business Start up workshop.

Topics include:

  • Start-up costs of your business
  • Your target audience
  • Your client base
  • 5 Cs of the loan application process
  • Business plans
  • Credit counseling
  • Loan packaging
  • Basic licenses and permits including business license, DBA, Seller’s Permit. EIN
  • Types of business entities

Click here to register for this event.

Basic Web Design
Date: May 24, 2018 | 5:00 pm PDT – 7:00 pm PDT
Location: 13420 Van Nuys Blvd. Ste. 121 Pacoima, CA 91331 (map it)
Contact: info@bscvalley.org | (818) 834-0577
Organization: VEDC
Fee: Free

Learn the basic elements of a high converting website and walk through two drag-and-drop platforms that make it easy and inexpensive to create a website your customers will love. Understand why SEO matters and website navigate settings to customize your site. Then learn how to source the royalty free images and write the content that you will plug into your template. Hit publish and you’re done!

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Online QuickBooks for Beginners I
Date: May 18, 2018 | 9:00 am PDT – 10:30 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Shaunda Gates | shaundagates@boisestate.edu | (208) 426-3875
Organization: Idaho Small Business Development Center
Fee: $25

Join other small business owners and entrepreneurs and learn how to get started with Online QuickBooks in this webinar.

Participants in this workshop will be taught lessons on the following topics:

  • Getting Started and Setting up QuickBooks
  • Syncing Bank Accounts and Recording Transactions
  • Adding New Customers
  • Entering Sales Information (including the basics of invoicing)
  • Receiving Payments and Making Deposits

Please note: registrants will be emailed instructions on the login procedure one-day prior to the workshop. This class applies to QuickBooks for Online users only.

Click here to register for this event.

Essentials for Starting a Small Business
Date: Starts May 21, 2018
Location: Online—Webinar on demand
Contact: sbdc@sunyocc.edu | (315) 498-6070
Organization: Onondaga (N.Y.) SBDC
Fee: $35

The Essentials for Starting a Small Business is an online on demand course designed to create awareness for people who are interested in starting their own business with an emphasis on risk management.

Topics include:

  • Different types of entities
  • Legalities that go along with starting a business
  • Business plan development
  • Financials associated with starting a business

This course is a 6 week (approximately 10 hour) commitment, and uses the Blackboard management learning system for anytime, anywhere learning.

Click here to register for this event.

Inspire Innovation in Your Small Business
Date: May 31, 2018 | 10:00 am PDT – 11:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: contact.northeastnj@scorevolunteer.org | (201) 336-6090
Organization: SCORE Northeast New Jersey
Fee: Free

Do you know why your company struggles with innovation? What obstacles stifle your creativity? How can you develop your next product or sell your next service?

During this webinar, award-winning inventor, entrepreneur, and author Lon Safko will show you how to get creative and inspire innovative thinking to make your small business thrive.

You will learn:

  • How your brain functions (or doesn’t)
  • Why creative thinking is difficult
  • How to use random association exercises that teach your brain to generate new ideas
  • How to overcome obstacles and excel at creativity everyday
  • How to become your own innovation thought leader

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 $600 million and helped 20,000 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

Bust a Nut is a snacking hotspot at one of the largest swap meets in Southern California. When owner Hector Sandoval needed to purchase a trailer for his roasted nuts business, Opportunity Fund was there to help with our fast, easy-to-get, and affordable small business loans.

 

Our customers inspire us every day, and we want to regularly share those stories to inspire you, too.

Bust a Nut is a snacking hotspot at one of the largest swap meets in Southern California. When owner Hector Sandoval needed to purchase a trailer for his roasted nuts business, Opportunity Fund was there to help with our fast, easy-to-get, and affordable small business loans.

A Breakout Success

Hector Sandoval started Bust a Nut, his roasted peanut cart, in 2012. Hector takes his cart to the Vineland Swap Meet in La Puente, Calif. six days a week to sell fresh roasted peanuts. The well known swap meet has been a major key in Bust a Nut’s success, with large crowds every weekend and entertainment like live music every day.

Hector took his chance to become an entrepreneur following the latest recession. After working in road construction for several years with opportunities dwindling, he chose to go into business for himself.

“I was always interested in selling,” Hector said. “I picked this business because not many people do what I do in mobile food.”

Hector buys raw peanuts in bulk and roasts them on the spot at his nut cart. The fresh, hot peanuts are a huge hit at every stop he makes: the swap meet and church events, where he donates all profits to his church.

Bust a Nut was a success from the start, but Hector still had some roadblocks to growth. “When I started roasting peanuts I had a lot of problems with the health department,” he said. “They required me to build a trailer and put my machines inside the trailer. It was a huge project.”

Primed for Growth

The new direction for Bust a Nut was difficult for Hector to handle alone. “It was too much for me to afford all at once,” he said.

Working with Kareem Carts helped Hector what he needed: a new trailer for his business and a financing connection. Our mobile food vehicle partner Kareem Carts connected Hector to Opportunity Fund loan consultant Salvador Lopez, who helped close a $26,000 loan for the trailer purchase in November 2013.

Hector - Bust a Nut

Our small business loans helped Hector upgrade his roasted nut business (photo courtesy of Michael Microulis)

“Salvador made everything easy,” Hector said. “There was never any pressure to get into a loan. Salvador explained everything and the terms were reasonable.”

With the new trailer, Bust a Nut can go anywhere and do anything. Hector is planning to purchase a second trailer to travel to special events around Los Angeles and hire help to run the new trailer.

“I’m nothing but grateful for Opportunity Fund for giving me that kick start I needed,” he said.

We’re happy to support entrepreneurs like Hector and we’re proud to watch his business grow.


We hope this story has inspired you, too.  At Opportunity Fund, we offer easy-to-get, fast, and affordable small business loans to help small business owners succeed.  Visit our home page to find out more.

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 $600 million and helped 20,000 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.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Sharing the burden of starting a business can be a smart decision for entrepreneurs who share the same dream, but the wrong partner can cost the business more than they are worth. Read how much choosing the wrong business partner really costs.

Sharing the burden of starting a business can be a smart decision for entrepreneurs who share the same dream, but the wrong partner can cost the business more than they are worth. Read how much choosing the wrong business partner really costs.

 

The Benefits of Having a Business Partner

Let’s be honest when we say that nobody can do everything. You may have a creative vision for your small business but lack the financial skills to get it up and running, or vice versa. Having a business partner can really benefit the business by combining the skills and management of two entrepreneurs.

If you’ve been considering structuring your business as a partnership, you could save yourself money and risk when it comes to taxes or liabilities because you aren’t the only one responsible for the entire business – if you have the right partner.

If You and Your Partner Aren’t Compatible

Kids dream of starting a business with their best friend, but in reality it is so much more important to develop a level of trust and compatibility beyond being friends. If your potential business partner wants the business to go a different direction or doesn’t put in as much effort into running it as you do, you could lose time and money that could have been spent building your business.

If your business partner has poor credit, huge personal debt, a gambling problem, or generally gives you a bad vibe about their financial capabilities – you can avoid a costly problem if you decline the partnership. An untrustworthy partner can cost you more than missed profits – think about embezzlement, tax fraud, misallocation of capital, theft. Don’t risk your business and your reputation on the wrong partner.

How to Choose the Right Partner

Finding the right business partner is much harder than finding a wrong one, simply because you have to do your due diligence analyzing them as a person and as a long-term potential partner. Ask yourself these questions to help you decide if your potential business partner is a good choice:

  • How well do you know them? If you don’t know them beyond their career history, then this might be a sign that you don’t know them well enough to truly trust them.
  • Have you worked together in the past? It’s good to have a trial run with a business partner – similar to how you test if you should move in with a romantic partner – whether you were coworkers, classmates, or successfully ran a low-risk project.
  • Does their personality and working style complement yours? You don’t have to be best friends forever to be good business partners, but you shouldn’t be bickering over every business decision.
  • Have you had the money talk yet? This one is so important – if you argue or they don’t want to talk about how to divide the money at length, that’s a bad sign.
  • Have you spent time together outside of work? Are they fun to be with? Can you have deep conversations about your dreams and aspiration together? You might learn more about them than you’d think!
  • Can you really let go of control? It’s important not to get into a partnership just because you can’t afford to hire someone. A business partner isn’t an employee, they are an equal owner. You need to be able to trust them with making business decisions with or without you.
  • Have you decided on a “way out” contract? If the partnership goes south, there needs to be a predetermined agreement for buying out your partner or dividing assets.

 

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 $600 million and helped 20,000 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

This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from May 1 through 16.

Every two weeks, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable events that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from May 1 through 16.

Northern California/Sacramento

5th Annual Small Business Summit
Date: May 3, 2018 | 8:00 am PDT – 12:00 pm PDT
Location: Chambers of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors
70 West Hedding St. San Jose, CA 95110 (map it)
Contact: info@hccsv.org | (408) 248-4800
Organization: Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Silicon Valley
Fee: Free

Join the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Silicon Valley for the 5th Annual Small Business Summit of Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Get access to informative and inspirational workshops, networking, and resources for you and your business. Celebrate National Small Business Week with us at this free event.

Click here to register for this event.

We Thrive Together: Change Your Money Mindset
Date: May 15, 2018 | 12:00 pm PDT – 1:30 pm PDT
Location: Shasta County Office of Education
1644 Magnolia Ave. Redding, CA 96001 (map it)
Contact: info@e-jedi.org | (530) 926-6670
Organization: Jefferson Economic Development Institute
Fee: Free

How do you stop making financial decisions that sabotage what you really want? How can you navigate multiple financial priorities?

Women especially struggle with emotional responses when making financial decisions or confronting financial situations. In this free seminar, we’ll discuss the emotional aspects and equipping women to step into their power role with their finances.

Join us and learn how to:

  • Dispel your beliefs about money that have been holding you back
  • Identify your financial habits that are not aligned with what matters most to you
  • Clarify the impact that your desire to make money has in your life

Click here to register for this event.

Business Basics 101 – Oakland Small Business Week
Date: May 2, 2018 | 5:00 pm PDT – 6:30 pm PDT
Location: Oakland City Hall
1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza Oakland, CA 94612 (map it)
Contact: (510) 444-CITY
Organization: East Bay SCORE
Fee: Free

Join East Bay SCORE at Oakland Small Business Week for this free seminar on planning for success, finding money, and marketing to your audience. This session will be available in English, Spanish and Cantonese.

For the full slate of Oakland Small Business Week events, click here.

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

Are You Covered? Insurance Basics for Small Businesses
Date: May 9, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: 1003 E. Cooley Dr. Suite 109 Colton, CA 92324 (map it)
Contact: (909) 890-1242
Organization: Inland Empire Women’s Business Center
Fee: $20

Is your business insurance providing all the coverage you need? Join us for a discussion about the many aspects of business insurance and get the tools to help you understand and evaluate the types of coverage available. Learn how to manage your risk and make sure your policy covers what you need.

Click here to register for this event.

Business Plan Essentials
Date: Starts May 11, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: 1055 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 900B Los Angeles, CA 90017 (map it)
Contact: Daniel Ing | ding@pacela.org | (213) 353-9400
Organization: PACE Finance Corporation
Fee: $60 for 3 classes

This complete workshop will take you through the step-by-step process of developing a business plan. During this three-day workshop you will analyze your business, develop the plan, and on the last day present it to 3 bankers who will assess your plan and provide you feedback. The plan also serves as an effective communication tool for financing proposals.

Get more information on the program curriculum here.

Click here to register for this event.

3rd Fashion Entrepreneur Expo
Date: May 12, 2018 | 11:00 am PDT – 4:00 pm PDT
Location: New York Life
801 N. Brand Blvd. 3rd Floor Glendale, CA 91203 (map it)
Contact: info@vedc.org | (818) 907-9922
Organization: VEDC
Fee: Free for general admission | $30 for VIP admission (includes parking, breakfast and lunch, and VIP Mixer)

Fashion enthusiasts: Do you want to start a business in the fashion industry? Do you already have a line of products that you need help promoting? Do you want to learn how to increase your sales?

Join us for our 3rd Fashion Entrepreneur Expo! We will have dozens of booths offering their products/services; speakers on selling, blogging, and starting a fashion line, plus a runway showcase.

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

National Small Business Week Virtual Conference
Date: May 1-3, 2018 | 9:30 am PDT – 3:30 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: smallbusinessweek@sba.gov
Organization: U.S. Small Business Administration
Fee: Free

The U.S. Small Business Administration and SCORE Association will host a free 3-Day Virtual Conference during National Small Business Week May 1 through 3 starting at 9:30 am PDT each day.

The Virtual Conference offers all the best parts of an in-person conference, but without the hassle of traveling. You will also have the opportunity to meet other business owners and chat with industry experts.

Choose the webinars that interest you the most (click here for a full description of each webinar):

  • How Changing Consumer Behavior Impacts Your Business – May 1 at 1:00 PM ET/10:00 AM PT
  • Addressing Discrimination and Harassment in the Workplace – May 1 at 2:30 PM ET/11:30 AM PT
  • Get New and Repeat Business On Autopilot with Email Marketing – May 1 at 4:00 PM ET/1:00 PM PT
  • Creating and Sustaining a Strong Social Presence – May 1 at 5:30 PM ET/2:30 PM PT
  • The U.S. Economic Outlook and Its Impact on Small Businesses – May 2 at 1:00 PM ET/10:00 AM PT
  • Managing Your Finances in the Cloud – May 2 at 2:30 PM ET/11:30 AM PT
  • Grow Your Business in 2018 – May 2 at 4:00 PM ET/1:00 PM PT
  • Simple Steps to Choosing the Right Financing – May 2 at 5:30 PM ET/2:30 PM PT
  • Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints & Keep Your Customers – May 3 at 1:00 PM ET/10:00 AM PT
  • Sharing Your Story Through Video – May 3 at 2:30 PM ET/11:30 AM PT
  • Pop & Play: How Opening a Pop-Up Shop Can Help Launch Your Retail Brand – May 3 at 4:00 PM ET/1:00 PM PT
  • Fusion Marketing: The Next Generation of Marketing – May 3 at 5:30 PM ET / 2:30 PM PT

Click here to register for this event.

Facebook Marketing for Small Business
Date: May 2, 2018 | 9:00 am PDT – 9:45 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: (678) 335-5600 Ext 120
Organization: Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs
Fee: Free

Join this free webinar to learn how to use Facebook for your small business. Increase the visibility of your business and connect with new customers through effective social media tactics:

  • 10 Do’s and Don’ts
  • Basic Fan Page Setup
  • Insider Tips and Tricks

Click here to register for this event.

Discovering What Works in Social Media
Date: May 11, 2018 | 9:00 am PDT – 10:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: John Merlino | jmerl018@live.kutztown.edu | (973) 879-3549
Organization: Kutztown (Penn.) SBDC
Fee: Free

Join John Merlino, KUSBDC social media guru, for this free webinar and learn about the 5D social media program that was developed to help existing entrepreneurs navigate the ever-changing world of social media marketing. Through the KUSBDC 5D model you will be able to develop best practices for your business by learning new ways to integrate your goals, design, and track the performance of content that is relevant in your industry. This will help ensure that you are getting your fair share of customers through your social media postings. Be the first to attend this webinar and learn about the opportunity to gain additional student internship resources to support your social media marketing campaigns.

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 $600 million and helped 20,000 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

While a food truck may be small, it is just as mighty as a brick-and-mortar restaurant when it comes to health inspections. Some people think mobile food businesses are unsanitary, so keeping up with local health codes is vital. Keep reading to get familiar with the best way to prepare for health inspections.

While a food truck may be small, it is just as mighty as a brick-and-mortar restaurant when it comes to health inspections. Some people think mobile food businesses are unsanitary, so keeping up with local health codes is vital. Keep reading to get familiar with the best way to prepare for health inspections.

 

Know Local Health Codes Backwards and Forwards

As with any small business venture, you’ll need to do a lot of research to stay on top of current regulations. With health departments spanning county-wide, you’ll need to know each county’s health codes where your food truck will be operating.

Train your employees regularly and keep them up-to-date on health codes. They may be quizzed by an inspector, so they need to know as much about the food preparation, storage, and safety as you do. Here are some example questions you or your employees may be asked:

  • Do you prepare any food in advance of service? How are these foods cooked, cooled, and reheated?
  • Do you have temperature records? Who records them? Where are the thermometers? How do you calibrate them?
  • What is your hand-washing and glove-use policy?
  • Who does your pest control?
  • What is your process to train new employees? Are your managers certified in food safety?
  • Do you have a written policy for an employee reporting illness or injury?

Speaking of employee illness, make sure you send them home if they show signs of being sick. Keep records of sick days and symptoms you see – if a customer gets sick and traces the illness back to your food truck, you should be able to produce these records to the inspector. You don’t want your business to be shut down until everyone is healthy and the area is completely sanitized.

Constantly Prepare For Inspections

Because your yearly health inspections could happen unannounced – especially if they received a complaint and come in for a surprise visit – you need to always be prepared.

Ask the county’s health department for a checklist so you know exactly what an inspector will be looking for when they visit. Then take that knowledge and self-inspect your truck on a regular basis. Surprise your employees with random inspections of your own for hand washing, cleanliness, food labeling, and everything else on that list. You know your vehicle better than anyone else, so make sure that the health inspector doesn’t find something that you missed.

Keep food purchase records, permits, temperature and storage processes, and any other paperwork that you may be asked for in your food truck. The more you are prepared for an inspection, the faster it will go, and the more likely it is your business will pass with flying colors.

Use a Top-Notch Food Truck

Equipment gets old and breaks down, that’s nothing new. When it comes to keeping your mobile food business sanitary and in proper working order, make sure to replace parts and equipment that are no longer up to standard.

If you’re buying your first food truck or need to upgrade to a new vehicle because your old one doesn’t meet health regulations, consider getting a food truck loan with Opportunity Fund.

 

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 $600 million and helped 20,000 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