As a busy entrepreneur, you may not have time to read through long business books or attend classes. However, you can find short periods of time when you could listen to an educational podcast recorded for small business owners. This is your toolbox for five free podcasts.

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable tools that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your toolbox for five free podcasts.

As a busy entrepreneur, you may not have time to read through long business books or attend classes. However, you can find short periods of time when you could listen to an educational podcast recorded for small business owners. This is your toolbox for five free podcasts.

 

Business of Fashion

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Why should you care about a fashion podcast if you aren’t in the fashion industry? Not only does BoF’s podcast tackle business-related topics that can be applied to many small businesses, but they also bring in other industry leaders and entrepreneurs. These 20 minute podcasts are great for listening to while taking a brisk walk, eating your lunch, or on your commute.

“The Business of Fashion has gained a global following as an essential daily resource for fashion creatives, executives and entrepreneurs in over 200 countries. It is frequently described as ‘indispensable,’ ‘required reading’ and ‘an addiction.’”

Available on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, and on Business of Fashion’s website.

Masters of Scale

How much it costs: Free

What it does: This entertaining, half-hour podcast series aims to help you scale your small business. Do you want your business to stay small and stagnate, or do you want it to grow in profits and success? This podcast features interviews with founders who successfully grew their business’ and their stories that will inspire you.

“How do companies grow from zero to a gazillion? Legendary Silicon Valley investor / entrepreneur Reid Hoffman tests his theories with famous founders. Guests include Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg & Sheryl Sandberg, Netflix’s Reed Hastings, Google’s Eric Schmidt, Spanx’s Sara Blakely. With original music and hilariously honest stories, the show sounds like nothing you’ve ever heard. Masters of Scale is a WaitWhat original series in association with Stitcher.”

Available on iTunes, Tunein, Stitcher, and on Masters of Scale’s website.

Online Marketing Made Easy

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Amy Porterfield offers lunch break-sized podcast episodes for small business owners and entrepreneurs to learn digital marketing without spending a lot of their hard-earned money on classes. If marketing your business is not your strongest talent, this podcast can help you improve!

Amy Porterfield is a marketing strategist helping entrepreneurs build their business online.

Available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Amy Porterfield’s website.

Entre Leadership

How much it costs: Free

What it does: This highly rated podcast hosted by Dave Ramsey – a national best-selling author and radio host – and his team aims to help you be a better leader and entrepreneur. Each topic lasts less than an hour and features valuable interviews with hugely successful business people. “Of leaders, by leaders, for leaders.”

Hosted by Ken Coleman, the EntreLeadership Podcast features lively discussions and tips on leadership and business by some of the top minds in the business, like Mark Cuban, Seth Godin, Jim Collins and Simon Sinek.

Available on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, and Entre Leadership’s website.

Business Story of the Day

How much it costs: Free

What it does: This podcast is for the more experienced entrepreneurs who don’t necessarily want to spend their precious free time relearning the basics of business but are interested in keeping up with world events and new developments in the business world.

“NPR’s top stories about business, money, Wall Street, companies, and the economy that you can’t miss. Subscribe to the Business Story of the Day RSS feed.”

Available on TuneIn, Stitcher, and NPR’s website.

 

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.


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

This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from February 15 through 28.

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 February 15 through 28.

Northern California/Sacramento

How Women Can Save Money on Taxes and Prepare for Financial Freedom
Date: February 20, 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

Join JEDI for this free workshop led by Linda Lingo, Financial Coach & CPA. Discuss financial freedom and retirement planning specifically for women and their needs and address your biggest fears in retirement.

Get answers to your questions about retirement and taxes like:

  • What retirement plans are available to business owners?
  • How does contributing to a retirement plan reduce my taxes?
  • How does contributing to a retirement plan create financial freedom?

Click here to register for this event.

Business Plan Writing Workshop
Date: Starts February 20, 2018 | 5:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: 210 North 4th St. San Jose, CA 95112 (map it)
Contact: Janet Garcia | jgarcia@anewamerica.org | (408) 326-2669
Organization: AnewAmerica
Fee: Free

Do you want to start your own business? Do you have an idea but need help exploring options? There are many things to consider before opening a successful business. Knowledge is the key to success.

Our FREE 9-week workshop for start-ups is designed to help you learn about every aspect of starting a business. You will work on the main sections of a business plan and work together as a group to brainstorm and encourage each other. You will develop a bond with your fellow entrepreneurs and have a network you can lean on for the life of your business.

You will walk away with a much greater understanding of what your next steps will be, and you will be closer to cutting that red ribbon to launch your successful new business.

Click here to register for this event.

Social Media Marketing—New Sites and Strategies for Your Business
Date: February 20, 2018 | 6:30 pm PDT – 8:30 pm PDT
Location: Hayward City Hall—Conference Room 2A
777 B St. Hayward, CA 94541 (map it)
Contact: Lee Lambert | seminars@acsbdc.org
Organization: Alameda County SBDC
Fee: Free

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, oh my! These are the go-to social networks for entrepreneurs. But did you realize that there are other networks that may be a better fit with your marketing strategy?

This seminar will explore additional social media marketing alternatives that can help to give you an edge in the digital world.

Topics include:

  • Recent changes to popular networks that can change your approach and usage
  • Other networks and directories to market your business
  • Localized directories (e.g. local online magazines) that can drive business to your website or store
  • Google My Business for maximum exposure for your small business
  • NextDoor for a highly localized presence for your small business

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

Boots to Business Entrepreneurship Course
Date: February 21 – 22, 2018 | 7:30 am PDT – 3:00 pm PDT
Location: 32nd Street Naval Base—San Diego
3455 Senn Rd. Bldg. 3210—Anchors Catering and Conference Center San Diego, CA 92136 (map it)
Contact: Mike Sovacool | michael.sovacool@sba.gov | (619) 727-4881
Organization: SBA San Diego District Office
Fee: Free

Veterans of all eras, Service members (including National Guard and Reserve) and their spouses are invited to enroll in this free two-day classroom course.

For more information about Boots to Business including additional business courses for veterans and their families, email boots-to-business@sba.gov or call (202) 205-8381. For more SBA resources for veterans, visit SBA.gov/vets.

Click here to register for this event. This course is also available at Camp Pendleton. Click here for more information or to register.

Stress-Free Business Taxes
Date: February 24, 2018 | 9:00 am PDT – 12:00 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

Take the stress out of preparing for your business taxes! We’ll cover the basics, from business tax requirements through working from home to deductions, credits, and recordkeeping to get you ready for a stress-free tax day.

Click here to register for this event.

Trademark Protection
Date: February 28, 2018 | 3:00 pm PDT – 5:00 pm PDT
Location: 13430 Hawthorne Blvd., Hawthorne, CA 90250 (map it)
Contact: Martha Cisneros | mcisneros@elcamino.edu | (310) 973-3177
Organization: SBDC hosted by El Camino College
Fee: Free

Join this free workshop and learn the basics of how to protect intellectual property in your small business.

Topics include:

  • How trademarks, copyrights, patents, domain names, and business name registrations all differ
  • How to identify the benefits of federal trademark registration
  • Why it is important for any new business to select a trademark that you can federally register and legally protect, highlighting factors critical when choosing a mark
  • How to get free and reduced-price help when filing a federal trademark application

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Turn Facebook Likes into Customers
Date: February 16, 2018 | 8:00 am PDT – 8:45 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Kimberly Donahue | kimberly.donahue@sba.gov | (304) 347-5220
Organization: West Virginia SCORE
Fee: Free

Facebook changed their algorithm again. The platform now targets engagement bait. This means they will now downrank posts that ask you to like or share. Join SBA for a panel discussion with marketing guru Luke Nesler from Impakt Media on how small businesses can turn a Facebook Like into a customer.

Click here to register for this event.

5 Shortcuts to Small Business Success
Date: February 22, 2018 | 10:00 am PDT – 11:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: monmouthscore@gmail.com | (732) 224-2573
Organization: Monmouth (N.J.) SCORE
Fee: Free

Imagine running a successful local business with time on your hands. Stop dreaming about it and make it happen with this free webinar.

Join small business author and speaker Barry Moltz as he shares tips to help you run your business efficiently.

You’ll learn:

  • How to select a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system
  • How to encourage a prospect to respond
  • How to use email marketing effectively
  • How to write emails that get opened
  • How to create a feasible social media strategy

Click here to register for this event.

Ten Tips for Managing Online Reviews and Listings
Date: February 27, 2018 | 4:00 pm PDT – 5:00 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Sarah Espinosa | sespinos@uncfsu.edu | (910) 672-2683
Organization: Fayetteville State University Veterans Business Outreach Center
Fee: Free

Your online reputation can hurt your business. Get some quick tips on how to make sure you are managing what is being said about you on the review sites.

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.


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

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

Northern California/Sacramento

Small Business Meeting with Assemblymember Heath Flora
Date: February 2, 2018 | 10:00 am PDT – 11:00 am PDT
Location: Contact samantha@csba.com for location information
Organization: California Small Business Association
Fee: Free

Assemblymember Heath Flora will be hosting his first annual small business meeting in his district on February 2nd in Modesto. The meeting is comprised of 6 to 8 local small business owners from within the district from a variety of industries. The purpose of the meeting is give small business a voice and to work with the Member to make small businesses in California stronger.

If you live or have a business in the district and would like to attend this meeting please email Samantha@csba.com.

How The New Tax Law Affects Small Businesses and their Owners
Date: February 2, 2018 | 1:00 pm PDT – 3:30 pm PDT
Location: Cal State Center East Bay
1000 Broadway Suite 109 Oakland, CA, 94607 (map it)
Contact: info@eastbayscore.org | (510) 273-6611
Organization: East Bay SCORE
Fee: $35

The tax law passed by Congress in December 2017 makes major changes in how small businesses and their owners are treated for tax purposes. This workshop covers those changes.

Topics include:

  • How major changes made by the new tax law impact your business including changes in tax rates, treatment of pass-through income, and deductibility of certain business expenses
  • How to determine the best type of legal entity for your business and how the new tax law may affect your decision
  • How the new tax law affects the treatment of employees and independent contractors

Join East Bay SCORE for this workshop led by SCORE counselor Neil Rubenstein, a retired attorney with 38 years of experience as a practicing attorney. Your workshop fee includes a free download of SCORE’s 17 chapter guide How to Start & Manage your Small Business.

Click here to register for this event.

Business Start Up
Date: February 8, 2018 | 12:00 pm PDT – 1:00 pm PDT
Location: Tracy Chamber of Commerce
223 E. 10th St. Tracy, CA 95376 (map it)
Contact: sbdc@deltacollege.edu | (209) 954-5089
Organization: NEC Small Business Development Center San Joaquin Delta College
Fee: $15

This informative workshop is a great place to start planning and getting your business started on the right foot.

Topics for this one-hour session include:

  • Legal requirements and regulations
  • Sources of financing
  • Free business resources

At the end of the workshop, you can schedule your first individualized consulting session to work specifically on your business. That session and all subsequent consulting sessions are always confidential and without charge.

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

YouTube 101 for Business
Date: February 6, 2018 | 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 Cinseros | mcisneros@elcamino.edu | (310) 973-3177
Organization: SBDC hosted by El Camino College
Fee: Free

Join the SBDC for a free seminar on understanding Youtube as a social media marketing platform for your small business.

Topics include:

  • How to choose content for Youtube
  • How to optimize and monetize Youtube videos
  • How to increase subscribers
  • How to integrate YouTube with social media to increase revenue
  • How to use Youtube in your marketing strategy

Click here to register for this event.

Lunch & Learn on Small Business Insurance
Date: February 8, 2018 | 11:00 am PDT – 1:00 pm PDT
Location: 700 S. Almansor St. Alhambra, CA 91801 (map it)
Contact: office@rosemeadchamber.org | (626) 288-0811
Organization: Rosemead Chamber of Commerce
Fee: $15 for Rosemead Chamber members | $25 for guests (non-members)

You’re invited to join the Rosemead Chamber of Commerce for a lunch and learn workshop on small business insurance in partnership with CST Insurance Services Inc. Lunch will be provided!

Click here to register for this event.

Small Business Meeting with Assemblymember Blanca Rubio
Date: February 9, 2018 | 2:00 pm PDT – 3:00 pm PDT
Location: Contact samantha@csba.com for location information
Organization: California Small Business Association
Fee: Free

Assemblymember Blanca E. Rubio will be hosting her annual small business meeting in her district on February 9 in West Covina. The meeting is comprised of 6 to 8 local small business owners from within the district from a variety of industries. The purpose of the meeting is give small business a voice and to work with the Member to make small businesses in California stronger.

If you live or have a business in the district and would like to attend this meeting please email Samantha@csba.com.

Virtual

Starting a Business While Working Full Time
Date: February 7, 2018 | 8:00 am PDT – 9:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Larry Batten | larry.batten@sba.gov | (304) 623-7447
Organization: West Virginia SCORE
Fee: Free

We know it’s tough to leave a job for the unknown of small business ownership. What if you could start your business while still working? It’s been done before! Join the SBA’s Larry Batten as he guides you through the tools that can help.

Click here to register for this event.

Cybersecurity for Your Business and Value Chain
Date: February 8, 2018 | 9:00 am PDT – 10:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Pam Palazzo | palazzp@sunyit.edu | (315) 792-7547
Organization: Mohawk Valley (N.Y.) SBDC
Fee: Free

The pace of cybersecurity breaches has reached epic proportions. Organizations large and small need to take steps to protect their interests. This webinar will provide an overview of how cybercrime affects your business plus recent legislation, regulations, and frameworks that impact your business.

Click here to register for this event.

Basically Business: Phone & VOIP Know How
Date: February 8, 2018 | 3:00 pm PDT – 3:30 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Kimberly Donahue | kimberly.donahue@sba.gov | (304) 347-5220
Organization: West Virginia SCORE
Fee: Free

Like it or not: we still communicate with customers via phone. How you come across speaks volumes about your business.

Join this 30 minute webinar and learn basic mobile phone, Skype, and Facetime skills to promote your small business.

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.


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

This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from January 18 through 31.

Every two weeks, we’re sharing and promoting free and 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 January 18 through 31.

Northern California/Sacramento

12-Week Business Planning Class
Date: Starts January 23, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 9:00 pm PDT
Location: 275 5th St. San Francisco, CA 94103 (map it)
Contact: Kareen Boncales | kboncales@rencenter.org | (415) 348-6227
Organization: Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center
Fee: $1000—12 week class that meets twice per week. Scholarships up to 50% and payment plans are available, based on household income. For more information on eligibility, see the scholarships page. A $40 nonrefundable application fee is required. This fee will be applied towards the class tuition if your application is accepted.

Take our 12-Week Business Planning Class and develop your business plan with confidence. This intensive class meets every Tuesday and Thursday and focuses on creating a practical and effective business plan—one of the most useful documents an entrepreneur will ever use. It is a critical management tool for feasibility analysis, operations, marketing, and finance and is necessary for accessing capital for business launch and growth.

The 12-Week Business Planning class addresses all aspects of business start up and expansion including:

  • Marketing strategies
  • Industry trend analysis
  • Operations
  • Financial projections and sales assumptions

Participants have access to industry experts, one-to-one consultations, small group interactions, financial coaching, and a business plan review session. Completing this course will help build a strong foundation necessary to embark on the exciting journey of entrepreneurship.

Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to attend a Renaissance SoMa Orientation. Get more information on income verification here.

Click here to register for this event.

Small Business Meeting with Assemblymember Catharine Baker
Date: January 26, 2018 | 9:30 am PDT – 10:30 am PDT
Location: Contact samantha@csba.com for location information
Organization: California Small Business Association
Fee: Free

Assemblymember Catharine Baker will be hosting her annual small business meeting in her district on January 26 in San Ramon. The meeting is comprised of 6 to 8 local small business owners from within the district from a variety of industries. The purpose of the meeting is give small business a voice and to work with the Member to make small businesses in California stronger.

If you live or have a business in the district and would like to attend this meeting please email Samantha@csba.com.

Building a Business Website
Date: Starts January 30, 2018 | 11:00 am PDT – 1:00 pm PDT
Location: 205 Chestnut St. Mount Shasta, CA 96067 (map it)
Contact: Jenny Payton | jpayton@e-jedi.org | (530) 926-6670 ext. 10
Organization: Jefferson Economic Development Institute (JEDI)
Fee: Free with JEDI membership

Do you want to build your own business website? Now you can in this introductory, hands-on, project based website development course for the small business owner.

Join this comprehensive class every Tuesday and plan, format, develop, and publish a basic business website using WordPress web or another web development software.

Skill learned include:

  • Developing copy
  • Adding text, images, media, widget, and navigation elements
  • Linking to other websites

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

Why Your Website Should be Your Top Priority
Date: January 24, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:30 pm PDT
Location: Rancho Santiago Community College District
2323 North Broadway Room 107 Santa Ana, CA 92706 (map it)
Contact: David Calderon | calderon_david@rscc.edu | (714) 564-5200
Organization: Orange County Small Business Development Center
Fee: Free

Wake up your website and drive more business! Join us to learn some of the latest best practices and techniques for making your website an effective sales tool.

Business owners should prioritize their website as the foundation of their online marketing to achieve success. This informative session will cover:

  • Mobile trends
  • Mobile-friendly websites
  • Website best practices
  • Turnoffs for visitors
  • Tips to make your website a more effective sales tool
  • Your site and HTTPS
  • Overview of Google Analytics
  • Resources for tracking and monitoring your website
  • Real world case studies and small business examples

Click here to register for this event.

Free Small Business Growth Workshop
Date: January 25, 2018 | 9:00 am PDT – 11:30 am PDT
Location: Ovitt Family Community Library
215 East C St. Ontario, CA 91764 (map it)
Contact: Denise Marquez | (909) 481-6474
Organization: Office of Norma Torres
Fee: Free

Join Congresswoman Norma Torres for a free small business growth workshop to learn how to gain access to loans in order to grow or start your business. The following organizations will be presenting at this event:

  • Opportunity Fund
  • CDC
  • Accion
  • AMPAC
  • Wells Fargo
  • SBA
  • SBDC
  • Inland Empire Women’s Business Center

Click here to register for this event.

Small Business Meeting with Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes
Date: January 26, 2018 | 9:30 am PDT – 10:30 am PDT
Location: Contact samantha@csba.com for location information
Organization: California Small Business Association
Fee: Free

Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes will be hosting her annual small business meeting in her district on January 19 in Corona. The meeting is comprised of 6 to 8 local small business owners from within the district from a variety of industries. The purpose of the meeting is give small business a voice and to work with the Member to make small businesses in California stronger.

If you live or have a business in the district and would like to attend this meeting please email Samantha@csba.com.

Virtual

Money Matters: Accessing Capital for Asian American Small Business Owners
Date: January 18, 2018 | 2:30 pm PDT – 2:45 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Geri Agilpay
Organization: Small Business Majority and National ACE
Fee: Free

Small Business Majority and the National Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce & Entrepreneurship (National ACE) invite you to join us for a free webinar on responsible ways to access capital for Asian American small businesses.

Through this webinar, Geri Aglipay of Small Business Majority and Emily Nordquist of LISC Small Business will help you understand the funding landscape to start and grow your business. Learn about safe forms of small business financing – from alternative to traditional methods –including how to navigate the growing online lending space. Dr. Karen Eng, National ACE Advisory Board member, will provide introductory comments and insight into growing a small business. This webinar is suitable for small business owners with less than 10 employees, startups, home-based operations and sole proprietors.

Topics of discussion include:

  • An overview of alternative and traditional lending options, including microloans, SBA loans, and reputable online lender
  • 5 C’s of credit
  • Key questions to consider when seeking funding
  • The Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights
  • Helpful tools and resources

Click here to register for this event.

How To Use Change Management In A Small Business Webinar
Date: January 23, 2018 | 8:00 am PDT – 9:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: (810) 767-8387
Organization: VetBizCentral
Fee: Free

Improve your small business productivity and reduce costs with change management principles in this webinar.

Join host Salahuddin Ali, a client of VetBizCentral and CEO of SLA Business Solutions, to learn how to implement industry leading change management models in your business and keep up with the changing business world.

Topics include:

  • Information technology
  • Process improvement
  • Enterprise resource planning
  • Project management
  • Change management solutions

Click here to register for this event.

Digital Marketing Trends in 2018
Date: January 23, 2018 | 10:00 am PDT – 11:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: monmouthscore@gmail.com | (732) 224-2573
Organization: Monmouth (N.J.) SCORE
Fee: Free

Digital marketing is changing due to widespread ownership of smartphones, ever-increasing data and video streaming, and a cultural desire for digestible and personalized content. Do you know which trends will impact your organization in 2018?

Join us as we explore the top trends that small businesses should be paying attention to and some simple ideas for incorporating them into your overall marketing strategy:

  • Marketing automation
  • Content marketing
  • Video
  • Mobile

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.


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

This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from January 8 through 17.

Every two weeks, we’re sharing and promoting free and 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 January 8 through 17.

Northern California/Sacramento

Developing Your Own Food Business—10 Part Seminar
Date: Starts January 10, 2018 | 6:30 pm PDT – 8:30 am PDT
Location: Ruggieri Senior Center
33997 Alvarado-Niles Rd. Union City, CA 94587 (map it)
Contact: Lee Lambert | seminars@acsbdc.org | (510) 208-0410
Organization: Alameda County SBDC
Fee: Free

Thinking of launching a food product or opening a restaurant/cafe? Learn the critical aspects of how to start and succeed in the specialty food business!

The Alameda County SBDC and the Alameda County Community Development Agency offer a free 10-part seminar series: “Running Your Own Food Business” This series is for entrepreneurs interested in launching and growing food businesses in Alameda County.

Join us for this free 10 class series that meets every Wednesday and Thursday. Participants who attend eight of the ten sessions will receive a Certificate of Completion.

1/10/18 Class 1: Concept (mission/vision/values)     
1/11/18 Class 2: Operating Models    
1/17/18 Class 3: Consumer Packaged Goods & Food Service Models
1/18/18 Class 4: Understanding Costs (cash/profit)
1/24/18 Class 5: Operations                   
1/25/18 Class 6: Marketing Communications                                                       
1/31/18 Class 7: Financial Projections
2/01/18 Class 8: Legalities & Resources                               
2/07/18 Class 9: Funding Your Company                                                                 
2/08/18 Class 10: Your Business Plan

Click here to register for this event.

Own Your Negotiations – Women Mean Business
Date: January 10, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: 275 5th Street San Francisco, CA 94103 (map it)
Contact: Fatimah Aure | faure@rencenter.org | (415) 348-6217
Organization: Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center
Fee: $15

Learn three powerful tools to get ahead and get along in your business negotiations with customers, vendors, and your team.

Enjoy a light dinner and learn from and be inspired by successful women business owners, industry experts, and thought leaders.

Women Mean Business is Renaissance SoMa’s monthly women’s networking meetup. This event strives to help local business women and emerging women entrepreneurs learn from successful women business owners’ experiences, make new contacts, build their networks, and grow their businesses. Examples of topics include setting goals, accessing capital, and industry-specific sessions in fashion, jewelry, retail, and food.

Click here to register for this event.

Exploring Business Ownership – What It Takes To Start a Business
Date: January 17, 2018 | 5:30 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: 205 Chestnut St. Mount Shasta, CA 96067 (map it)
Contact: Jenny Payton | jpayton@e-jedi.org | (530) 926-6670 ext. 10
Organization: Jefferson Economic Development Institute (JEDI)
Fee: Free with JEDI membership

Starting a business can be scary, but like any other successful adventure, the more prepared you are the higher chance of a positive outcome. If you are considering starting a business, join this workshop and get informed!

We will discuss the following:

  • The mindset and characteristics of successful entrepreneurs
  • The different types of businesses and legal structures
  • Common business terminology as it applies to start-ups
  • Why conducting a feasibility study is like packing the right supplies for a trip

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

Basic Accounting for Your Business
Date: January 9, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: 77-806 Flora Rd. Suite A Palm Desert, CA 92211 (map it)
Contact: Kim Scanlan | kscanlan@cvwbc.org | (760) 345-9200
Organization: Coachella Valley Women’s Business Center
Fee: $20

Because everything in business revolves around money, proper money management will be key your small business’s success. Your ability to understand and follow a few basic accounting practices is what will make the difference between success and profitability or headache and heartache. This workshop will show you the bare minimum accounting practices and procedures for any small business and how to implement them.

Click here to register for this event.

Women’s Networking Breakfast
Date: January 12, 2018 | 7:45 am PDT – 11:00 am PDT
Location: Sheraton Mission Valley
1433 Camino del Rio South, San Diego, CA 92108 (map it)
Contact: score140@scorevolunteer.org | (585) 283-1101
Organization: San Diego SCORE
Fee: $20

Join us for this networking breakfast planned around the theme: Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile for Profit.

Rhonda Sher, The LinkedIn Diva, leads the seminar. She’s an expert in creating LinkedIn profiles and knows how to leverage the platform for business success. Rhonda will show you how to optimize your profile so that it speaks to your ideal clients and referral partners and stands out from the competition. You will also learn how to make connections on LinkedIn and how to go from offline to online in today’s digital world.

Your registration fee includes breakfast: scrambled eggs with chives, spinach and cheese, potatoes, bacon, sliced fruit, orange juice, regular and decaf coffee and tea.

Click here to register for this event.

Time Management – Work Smarter, Not Harder
Date: January 16, 2018 | 3:00 pm PDT – 5:00 pm PDT
Location: Highgrove Public Library
530 Center St. Riverside, CA 92507 (map it)
Contact: Dee Ann Chandler | deeann@iewbc.org | (909) 890-1242
Organization: Inland Empire Women’s Business Center
Fee: Free

If you’re doing more and enjoying it less, it’s time to make real choices about how and when to spend your time. This workshop gives you the tools to find balance, achieve your goals and be more effective and productive.

Join us and learn how to:

  • Plan your week so you can reduce stress and save time
  • Organize your master project and to-do lists so they are doable
  • Break down your personal or business goals into bite-sized pieces, and make the time to work on them

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Energize Your Enterprise
Date: January 11, 2018 | 8:00 am PDT – 9:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Stephen Konkle | stephen.konkle@sba.gov | (312) 886-4208
Organization: SBA Illinois District Office
Fee: Free

Owning and operating a small business is both rewarding and challenging. Over time, things change: markets, economic conditions, and people. What seemed like a great product or service when you started may need to be discarded or modified. Perhaps the market for the product or service you provide no longer exists. Financing methods can change. Your target market may evolve.

In this webinar, we’ll show you how to perform a systematic operational review. If you own a small business and have been operating for at least two years, it may be time to review the history and set the direction for the future. This free webinar can be your start.

Click here to register for this event.

Beyond Google: Free Market Research at Your Library
Date: January 11, 2018 | 12:30 pm PDT – 2:00 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: workshops@sba.gov | (206) 553-7310
Organization: SBA Seattle District Office
Fee: Free

It’s vital to stay ahead of the competition during any stage in your business. Information is key to success, but it can be expensive or time-consuming if you don’t know where to look. Find out how to navigate various databases available through your local library to help you make informed decisions in your business planning, marketing, site location and market analysis. Also, gain valuable information and insights to better understand local economic conditions, customers, and more.

Click here to register for this event. If you’re in the Seattle area, you can attend the class in person at SBA Education & Training Center, 2401 4th Ave, Suite 450 Seattle, WA 98121 (map it).

Managing Cash Flow
Date: January 16, 2018 | 6:00 am PDT – 7:30 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Savannah Wilburn | savannah.wilburn@sba.gov | (803) 765-5377
Organization: SBA South Carolina District Office
Fee: Free

Money Smart for Small Business (MSSB) provides a practical introduction to topics related to starting and managing a business. Developed jointly by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), this instructor-led curriculum consists of 13 modules.

This module, “Managing Cash Flow” is the third module of the series. Subsequent modules will be presented every month. Participants do not need to complete previous modules to participate in future modules.

After completing this module, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the purpose of cash flow management in a small business
  • Make cash flow projections based on the cash cycle
  • Identify some ways to manage cash flow, including receivables and payables
  • Work more effectively with technical experts

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.


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

Yelp is often the only place a food truck business is listed on the internet. Our content partner Nav explains how you can use Yelp to get people talking about your business—and how to avoid typical pitfalls that can sink your business.

Yelp is often the only place a food truck business is listed on the internet. Our content partner Nav.com explains how you can use Yelp to get people talking about your business—and how to avoid typical pitfalls that can sink your business.

 

Word-of-mouth marketing has always been a valuable tool to business owners, but in recent years, social media has upped the ante. In fact, 82% of adults in the U.S. turn to online reviews before making a purchase. For Yelp, that translates into 84 million desktop users, 73 million mobile web users and 26 million mobile app users.

For small business owners across the U.S., those numbers should translate into a definitive need to factor Yelp into your marketing strategy. If you’re a new business owner, or simply new to Yelp, your next question is likely, “but how?” And while there are multiple ways you can use Yelp to your advantage, perhaps the best way to shape your approach is to look at these all-too-common Yelp mistakes.

1. Not Claiming Your Business Page

It’s free, it’s easy, and it can help you increase your revenue. Customers can review a business regardless of whether or not it’s been claimed, but claiming your business is a must, and if you haven’t done it yet, you need to do it now. It’s OK … I’ll wait right here.

Claiming your business allows you to add photos, a detailed description and up-to-date information. This is important for two reasons. The first, and arguably the leading reason you’re reading an article about Yelp in the first place, is that this information will help you convert potential customers to existing ones and grow your business.

Secondly, providing thorough and specific descriptions (think keywords) can have a big impact on your local SEO efforts, helping your business land in the top results for relevant searches. (Here’s a quick guide to how to do good local SEO.)

Speaking of SEO, by claiming your Yelp page, you’ll gain ability to respond to reviews as the business owner, which helps create content. You’ll also be able to access Yelp Metrics, which provides valuable analytics about how Yelp users interact with your page. Both of these things are valuable tools when it comes to increasing visitors to your store or site.

As an added bonus, if you’ve claimed your business, you’ll have the opportunity to create Yelp Deals, which are prepaid vouchers that customers can buy at discounted rates. It’s an additional marketing tool that may be worthwhile for businesses. If you don’t have a marketing budget dedicated to some of those promotions already, using a tool like this can help you dip your toes in. (Growing a business can require significant resources, and many business owners even turn to financing options to get new acquisition channels started. You can check your business credit profile for free at Nav to see where you stand before you apply.)

2. Disregarding Yelp Metrics

As I mentioned, one of the reasons you should claim your business on Yelp is so that you can gain access to Yelp Metrics. Yelp Metrics can help business owners to make educated decisions about their efforts on the popular review site.

Among the interesting analytical tidbits included in Yelps analytical reports are traffic to you businesses page (over a month, a year, or two years) as well as how many times your establishment appeared in their organic search results. You’ll also be able to view information about user actions with regards to your business, specifically things like mobile check-ins, mobile calls, visits to your URL and Yelp Deals performance.

Analyzing this information can lead to a strong presence among consumers as well as the ability to better leverage Yelp for business growth. For example, if you find that your business is not showing up in relevant organic searches, it may mean that your business info/descriptions need some tweaking.

3. Assuming Your Business Isn’t Relevant on Yelp

There is this common belief that Yelp is just for restaurants and eating establishments, and while they do make up a big piece of Yelp businesses, they certainly don’t account for all of them. In fact, Shopping is the biggest business category on Yelp, accounting for 22% of reviews, with the Restaurants category coming in at 18% of total reviews.

Included among the industries listed on Yelp are Home and Local Services, Beauty and Fitness and even Auto. It’s true that they may not make up the biggest portion of the pie, if your business falls into them, it’s important to, at the very least, look into how you can leverage reviews and gain a positive presence among potential customers.

4. Not Responding to Reviews

Engaging with your customers is an absolute must if you want to increase loyalty and positive word of mouth. And while it’s true that this engagement strategy is helpful for both positive and negative feedback, responding to negative feedback can really help your branding.

The old cliché that there are “three sides to every story” is important to keep in mind here, especially when it comes to review responses, which are seen by the reviewer, the business owner and all Yelp users who look at your business profile.

Obviously, if you can remedy or smooth over a bad experience by reaching out to the affected customer, then that’s a win; it may even result in a change of heart (aka a revised review). But as a business owner, the way you respond has a much more significant impact on potential customers.

The 1/9/90 Rule, which is highly endorsed in the social media marketing world, is also highly endorsed by Yelp. This rule suggests that 1% of users are responsible for creating content, 9% are of them will engage with that content, and 90% of them will sit back and silently digest and make decisions based on that content.

When it comes to responding to negative reviews, the Search Engine Journal suggests that business owners focus on that 90% when responding to negative feedback on their Yelp page. Why? Because that huge chunk of viewers are potential customers, and even if your response doesn’t appease the 1%, it can go a long way in helping a Yelp user decide if your business is worthy of their patronage.

5. Ignoring the Competition

When it comes to putting your finger on the pulse of local competition, Yelp becomes an invaluable tool.  If you’re not doing a little competitive research on Yelp, then you’re leaving dollars on that dreaded table.

By doing a little good-hearted digging in the name of competitive analysis, you’ll tap into a wealth of knowledge, particularly when it comes to reviews and Yelp Deals. In the end, you can gather information on some of your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses, helping you identify reasons you may be lacking clients, or perhaps why their customers are in search of a new place to grab a bite, drink a beer, or pin down a reliable contractor.

With millions of regular users, Yelp is a serious force in consumer reviews, and when properly leveraged, Yelp can be an excellent, low maintenance tool with a huge impact.  By avoiding these common mistakes, you can make the most out of your listing and increase your customers without breaking your back or your bank account.

 

This article originally appeared on Nav.com and was re-purposed with their permission.

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.


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

Once your small business is up and running, you need to increase brand awareness and reach out to a larger audience to draw in customers. This is where marketing comes in! Read these five steps for building and executing a successful marketing plan.

Once your small business is up and running, you need to increase brand awareness and reach out to a larger audience to draw in customers. This is where marketing comes in! Read these five steps for building and executing a successful marketing plan.

 

1. Determine Your Marketing Goal and Measurable Objectives

The first step towards creating a successful marketing plan is to determine what your plan is supposed to do – what you want to achieve – get more customers, keep your customers or win back former customers.  This would be your goal.  Determine the objectives that help you achieve the goal: increase your business’ social media following, drive more sales to your ecommerce site, bring in more foot traffic to your brick-and-mortar location.  Make your objectives SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time bound).  .

If you need help figuring out what goal and objectives would best benefit your small business, take a few minutes to sit down and do a SWOT analysis for your business. Then talk to your business advisor to get an expert opinion. While a mentor won’t know your business better than you, they are industry experts who can help you figure out the best marketing goals and objectives for your small business.

2. Create a Budget

Marketing does not come free. While there are great free resources online to help you with your marketing plan, even free tools take time to learn and use effectively. Make sure to count for the time your paid employees will need to use tools and create content!

Sit down with your business mentor and your accountant to find a healthy amount of your budget to allocate to your marketing plan. You should create a budget large enough to effectively execute your plan without hurting your cash flow. If your business is struggling, pouring more money than you can afford into a desperate marketing attempt is not going to help. Always prioritize maintaining a positive cash flow.

3. Research Marketing Channels and Methods

The channel through which you advertise and promote your business will vary depending on your goals. If you want to drive traffic to your social media profiles and your ecommerce, then using inexpensive social media tools and email newsletters will be easy. If your budget allows, spend a little on ads on either Instagram, Facebook, or Google Adwords.

Don McPeck from Mess Hall Canteen considers social media to be vital to marketing, especially food trucks, because clean, creative, and consistent branding is what sticks in people’s minds.

However, if your goal is to attract in-person sales and new clients at your physical location, consider coupons or specials handed out in your store and listed online (such as on Groupon or Living Social). This way you can easily track how many sales and new clients are associated with your marketing efforts.

There are many inexpensive marketing methods you can use depending on your goals and budget. Spend some time researching different ideas online to see what you can realistically use to market your small business. Talk to your business advisor before you commit to a plan – remember that having a second opinion never hurts!

4. Create Content and Execute Plan

This is the part that can be the hardest or easiest step in your marketing plan. Once you’ve done your due diligence researching, planning, and budgeting, it is time to create your content and execute the plan.

If you aren’t a creative person or don’t have an employee who can take on this work, consider outsourcing tasks to freelancers. They can help with the legwork of creating the ads, graphics, and other content that you might need created.

Create a project timeline for when you need the work done by, when you will put your plan into action, when/if it will finish, and when you will take the time to look at the effectiveness of your marketing campaign.

5. Analyze the Outcome of Your Marketing Efforts

Analytics appeal to a very special kind of person, and you may be less inclined to pour over data and metrics. However, crunching the numbers and evaluating if your marketing plan achieved your goals is important.

If your plan didn’t achieve your goals and benefit your small business, then try a different method or a different goal. Effective marketing takes time to work, but you should see some positive effect after a few months if you’ve decided on the right way to market your small business. Talk to your mentor to dig deep into the data and see why your plan didn’t work and how to do it better.

If it did, then congratulations! We hope your small business grows and thrives.

 

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.


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 December 15 through 31.

Every two weeks, we’re sharing and promoting free and 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 December 15 through 31.

Northern California/Sacramento

CommUNITY Cafe
Date: December 19, 2017 | 9:30 am PDT – 10:30 am PDT
Location: 2150 Allston Way Suite 400 Berkeley, CA 94704 (map it)
Contact: Berkeley@Impacthubbayarea.com | (510) 649-7700
Organizations: Impact Hub Berkeley
Fee: Free

Impact Hub Berkeley is excited to announce CommUNITY Cafe, on the first and third Tuesdays of each month at 9:30am.

Each CommUNITY Cafe session will allow one group to present about their business or project and receive feedback, suggestions, and connection with the wider community. The main purpose is to get everyone to know the projects that are going on in the area, gain new connections, and discover new opportunities.

All are welcome and we look forward to seeing you there. RSVP to reserve your spot and make sure there are enough doughnuts for everyone.

Click here to register for this event.

Financial Literacy Workshop
Date: December 19, 2017 | 7:00 pm PDT – 9:00 pm PDT
Location: Oakland Financial Center
7901 Oakport St. Suite 2800 Oakland, CA 94621 (map it)
Contact: info@worldsystembuilder.com | (408) 941-1838
Organization: World System Builder
Fee: Free

World System Builder is a community of financial professionals on a mission to deliver the best financial education and revolutionize the financial service industry through a reliable, build-able system.

Join the World System Builder team for a free financial literacy workshop every Tuesday. Topics rotate each week and include:

  • Increase cash flow, debt management, emergency funds
  • Build strong financial foundation, proper protection
  • Build wealth, asset accumulation, saving for your child’s education
  • Retirement planning
  • Long-term care, Medicare basic, wealth preservation

Click here to register for this event.

Starting a Small Business – Lodi
Date: December 21, 2017 | 12:00 pm PDT – 1:00 pm PDT
Location: Lodi Chamber of Commerce
35 S. School St. Lodi, CA 95240 (map it)
Contact: sbdc@deltacollege.edu | (209) 954-5089
Organization: Northeastern California Small Business Development Center – San Joaquin Delta College
Fee: $15

This informative workshop is a great place to start planning and getting your business started on the right foot.

Topics for this one-hour session include:

  • Legal requirements and regulations
  • Sources of financing
  • Free business resources

At the end of the workshop, you can schedule your first individualized consulting session to work specifically on your business. That session and all subsequent consulting sessions are always confidential and without charge.

Click here to register for this event. This workshop is also offered in Stockton on December 27. Registration is $25. Click here for more information.

Southern California/San Diego

Work Smarter, Not Harder – WordPress for Small Business
Date: December 18, 2017 | 10:30 am PDT – 1:30 pm PDT
Location: Webster University
32 Discovery #250 Irvine, CA 92618 (map it)
Contact: workshops@score114.org | 714-550-7369
Organization: Orange County SCORE
Fee: Free

WordPress is the fastest growing and most popular website platform for all levels of business, but especially small business. The amazing selection of features, options and benefits that attracted Samsung, Ford, EBay, GM and CNN to WordPress are the same for Small Business Owners everywhere.

We will discuss the following topics during our fact filled WordPress presentation:

  • What is WordPress?
  • Why is WordPress Perfect for Small Businesses?
  • What is Responsive Design & Why Do You Need It?
  • What are Website Best Practices?
  • Why Convert Your Site to WordPress?
  • What is Google Analytics?—An Overview
  • How to “Do it Right”?—Case Studies
  • What are the Top 10 WordPress Plugins?

Click here to register for this event.

Small Business Meeting with State Senator Joel Anderson
Date: December 20, 2017 | 9:00 am PDT – 10:00 am PDT
Location: El Cajon—Contact samantha@csba.com for location information
Contact: samantha@csba.com
Organization: California Small Business Association
Fee: Free

State senator Joel Anderson will be hosting his annual small business meeting in his district on December 20 in El Cajon. The meeting is comprised of 6 to 8 local small business owners from within the district from a variety of industries. The purpose of the meeting is give small business a voice and to work with the Member to make small businesses in California stronger.

If you live or have a business in the district and would like to attend this meeting please email Samantha@csba.com.

Costing, Pricing, & Break Even
Date: December 7, 2017 | 6:00 pm PDT – 9:00 pm PDT
Location: Fullerton Public Library Main Branch
353 W. Commonwealth Ave. Fullerton, CA 92832 (map it)
Contact: (714) 550-7369
Organization: Orange County SCORE
Fee: Free

How do you price your product or service? Is it at a level that generates a profit or are you losing money and burning through cash?

All businesses face this challenge. Before establishing prices it is necessary to understand your specific marketing goals, the factors that influence pricing strategy, and all possible pricing strategies.

Pricing is only part of the issue. Are you aware of the costs of your product or service?  How much do your employees cost and how do they impact pricing? How do your costs behave as sales increase or decrease?  

This workshop also addresses the following questions:

  • What annual sales level is required to achieve a sustainable cash flow position?
  • What annual or monthly sales do I need to achieve my targeted cash flow?
  • Is it a good idea to invest in a larger or nicer facility?
  • Should I hire full time or part time employees?  

This workshop is designed for entrepreneurs who are preparing business plans or financial projections.  Information from this workshop is also helpful if you are introducing a new product or service and want a more thorough understanding of pricing strategy.  Knowledge of financial statements would be useful but not necessary.

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Been There, Done That! Podcast # 54 Maximize Twitter Advertising ROI
Date: On Demand Download
Location: Online—Podcast
Organization: SCORE
Fee: Free

Learn how to increase website clicks and conversions by tweeting during live events and by tapping into followers of thought leaders for a particular genre that resonates with your target audience.

In this episode, Mical Johnson of Omen Interactive, a veteran of the Navy and nearly two decades in digital marketing, shares best practices to maximize the return on your Twitter advertising investment including geo-targeting, use of Twitter Cards, automatic bids, and more.

SCORE is proud to partner with Sarasota County Libraries and Historical Resources and the speaker to offer this program. FREE to download and listen.

Click here to listen and download.

Simplifying Social Media for Solopreneurs – Live Webinar
Date: December 19, 2017 | 10:00 am PDT – 11:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Organization: SCORE
Fee: Free

Social media might be the last thing on the minds of time-strapped solopreneurs and freelancers. But with a well-planned strategy, even the self-employed can make the most of these powerful and free marketing tools.

Join us for this seminar where we will discuss:

  • Which social media platforms to use if you are crunched for time
  • How to get the most out of your social media activities
  • How to align your social goals to business goals

Click here to register for this event.

Access to Capital 101: Funding Options to Start and Grow Your Business
Date: December 27, 2017 | 11:00 am PDT – 12:00 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contacto: Xiomara Peña
Organización: Small Business Majority
Fee: Free

Are you having trouble obtaining funding for your business? Join Small Business Majority for a free national webinar where we will help you navigate the funding landscape and connect you with resources to help you obtain the capital you need to start and grow your business.

For entrepreneurs, getting a loan could mean the difference between success and failure, whether it’s used for renovation, purchasing equipment or working capital. However, one of the biggest challenges facing small business owners and entrepreneurs has been and continues to be the inability to access sufficient credit and capital. If you’ve been turned down by a bank, don’t feel bad. You’re far from alone.

Topics of discussion include:

  • An overview of alternative lending options including microloans, SBA’s loan guarantee program, community banks and credit unions, CDFIs, reputable online lenders and crowdfunding
  • Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights
  • Key questions to consider when seeking funding
  • Tips to help determine the best option for your small business
  • Helpful tools and resources

A question and answer period will follow.

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.


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

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable tools that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your toolbox for five free ecommerce tools.

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable tools that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your toolbox for five free ecommerce tools.

Online retail is an important, exciting step in the growth of your small business. Once you’ve decided how you want to start selling online, look for free resources that will fit your needs.We’ve compiled this list of tools and resources that will help you build, manage, and sell your products online.

 

Bonanza

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Whether or not you are already selling online, Bonanza is an easy way to get your items out to an even greater market with minimal effort. You can start selling immediately for free or upload an inventory list from your current ecommerce platform. This service only charges fees when you sell your item, you don’t have to front any money just to get your items listed. Their 9% fee is low-cost compared to other bigger ecommerce platforms, and it includes Google advertising!

Prestashop

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Prestashop is really great for launching your small business’ own ecommerce website. If you don’t want to pay another company to host your items, this is a good route to go. Choose from shop templates and tools to build your ecommerce site through Prestashop, accept credit cards and Paypal securely, capture customers on mobile, take advantage of built-in SEO tools, track stock inventory, get the latest legal and tax changes, and even more. Here are some free design tools to help you build your ecommerce site. Everything is free with no selling fees, but you can pay for additional widgets to expand your selling power.

Woocommerce

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Woocommerce is a plugin for WordPress to enable you to sell on your business’ existing website. In addition to standard hosting features, you get to keep control of your customer’s data with secure passcodes. This free service also offers a storefront template so you don’t have to worry about your WordPress theme conflicting with optional paid widgets that you can add to your account.

Cubecart

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Cubecart is a completely free, open source ecommerce tool for more tech-savvy business owners. However, if you like what they offer but don’t know how to set it up, look into hiring a low-cost freelancer to help you out. Cubecart’s free features are extensive with fully customizable code for coupons, catalogs, template skins, social plugins, item categories, shipping quotes, sales statistics, language options, newsletters, Google Analytics, foreign currency support, contact forms, database backup, affiliate program trackers, and dozens more!

Opencart

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Opencart is an open source tool with easy setup for business owners with limited coding knowledge. Set up your shop with multiple languages and currencies, built-in affiliate programs, basic sales reporting and analytics, automatic mobile responsiveness, and more extensions that you can buy in their marketplace to advance your ecommerce site or integrate your brick-and-mortar business with your online storefront.

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.


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.

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