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

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

Here are the best upcoming events from December 1 through 16.

Northern California/Sacramento

Coffee with a Business Adviser
Date: December 3, 2018 | 2:00 pm PDT – 4:00 pm PDT
Location: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library—SJPL Works 3rd Floor
150 E. San Fernando St. San Jose, CA 95112 (map it)
Contact: sjplworks@sjlibrary.org | (408) 808-2310
Organization: SJPL Works: Career & Business
Fee: Free

Come and meet with expert business advisers with real world experience who help local businesses. These advisers are here to answer any questions and to provide guidance and feedback. Attendees will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis.

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

Click here to register for this event.

Before You Sign That Lease
Date: December 5, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:30 pm PDT
Location: 275 5th St. San Francisco, CA 94103 (map it)
Contact: Erin Morris | emorris@rencenter.org | (415) 348-6227
Organization: Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center
Fee: Free

An experienced business and real estate attorney will help you learn how to make well-informed commercial tenant decisions and prepare for landlord negotiations. Please note: this class does not constitute legal advice.

Click here to register for this event.

Ideas to Assets—A Practical Guide to Patents and Trademarks
Date: December 6, 2018 | 1:00 pm PDT – 3:00 pm PDT
Location: 1887 Monterey Rd.—2nd Floor San Jose, CA 95112 (map it)
Contact: Emily Navarra | emily.navarra@sba.gov | (415) 744-6805
Organization: U.S. Small Business Administration San Francisco District Office
Fee: Free

Join this free workshop to learn legal principles and considerations for converting ideas into assets. Topics include:

  • Understanding requirements and procedures associated with protecting an invention (patent) and a brand (trademark)
  • Securing intellectual property rights (acquiring or conveying ownership or use rights by assignment or license)
  • Working with others in the process, such as manufacturers and distributors
  • Enforcing (or defending against) claims of possible infringement

Please note: this class does not constitute legal advice.

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

Southern California/San Diego

Are You an Entrepreneur?
Date: December 4, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: Moreno Valley Employment Resource Center
12625 Frederick St. Suite K3 Moreno Valley, CA 92553 (map it)
Contact: (909) 890-1242
Organization: Inland Empire Women’s Business Center
Fee: Free

Do you have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur? It’s more than business savvy—it also takes time, commitment, and the willingness to take risks. Join this free workshop to discuss all of the above and help you determine if you’re ready to start a business.

Click here to register for this event.

Women in Business Leadership Series: Making Your Voices Heard by Policymakers
Date: December 6, 2018 | 8:30 am PDT – 10:00 am PDT
Location: San Diego SBDC
880 National City Blvd. National City, CA 91950 (map it)
Contact: Claudia Moreno
Organization: Small Business Majority
Fee: Free

Have you ever wanted to engage in local or statewide policy as a small business owner? Are there issues you’re interested in speaking out about as a small business or community advocate?

The San Diego’s Women Business Center and Small Business Majority invite you to join us for a free presentation on how to become a small business advocate and how entrepreneurs can use their voices to impact local and statewide change.

Learn about ways small business owners have partnered with Small Business Majority and other business groups to move the needle on important legislation. Topics include:

  • Best practices for reaching out to policymakers and legislators
  • Media engagement
  • Tips on tying in your small business story/perspective
  • Current legislation and issues to get involved with, including healthcare, retirement, and access to capital
  • And more

Click here to register for this event.

Taxes
Date: December 13, 2018 | 5:30 pm PDT – 7:30 pm PDT
Location: 5121 Van Nuys Blvd. Ste. 300A Sherman Oaks, CA 91403 (map it)
Contact: info@vedc.org | (818) 907-9922
Organization: VEDC
Fee: Free

Join us for this free session will cover a wide range of state and federal tax issues that confront small businesses. Learn how different types of business entities are taxed (sole proprietorship, partnership, C Corporation, or S Corporation), and the tax consequences of classifying workers as employees or independent contractors. The presentation will also review specific tax and filing requirements imposed by California and the federal government, and how small businesses can comply.

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

What’s Next for Digital Marketing
Date: December 4, 2018 | 9:00 am PDT – 10:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Donna Botti | donna.botti@scorevolunteer.org | (215) 391-1305
Organization: Montgomery County (Penn.) SCORE
Fee: Free

Join this free webinar to discuss digital marketing trends of the past year and take a look ahead to 2019. Learn strategies and tactics to include in your new year marketing plans. Start the new year off right by understanding the the hottest trends to take advantage of to grow your business or nonprofit.

Topics include:

  • Mobile
  • Social media
  • Live video
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Personalization
  • Automation
  • And more

Click here to register for this event.

Nine Key Elements of Success
Date: December 6, 2018 | 1:00 pm PDT – 2:00 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Cindy Doyl | cdoyl@wsu.edu | (509) 358-7890
Organization: Washington Small Business Development Center
Fee: Free

Join us for this interactive talk where we’ll discuss the nine crucial elements of creating success and how to do it a smart manner. Apply specific concepts from the webinar into your business world and draw connections between the modifications in your current actions and increased future success in business.

Click here to register for this event.

What the Healthcare Law Means for your Small Business
Date: December 6, 2018 | 3:00 pm PDT – 4:00 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Xiomara Peña
Organization: Small Business Majority
Fee: Free

This webinar will focus on what the Affordable Care Act means for small businesses and the federal provisions available to help small business owners understand how the law will affect your business. A question and answer period will follow the presentation.

Topics include:

  • Small business tax credits (available to businesses and tax-exempt non-profits)— who’s eligible for them and how to claim them
  • Marketplace updates
  • Shared responsibility
  • Cost containment
  • Tools and resources available for small businesses interested in learning more about the law

Click here to register for this event.

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


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

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


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

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

Your small business’ website is crucial to success. Your potential customers will judge your business by the website, so make sure to make it the best it can be. Read how much building a professional business website really costs and learn what to expect from your different options.

Your small business’ website is crucial to success. Your potential customers will judge your business by the website, so make sure to make it the best it can be. Read how much building a professional business website really costs and learn what to expect from your different options.

 

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Business Website?

Well, that depends on what you want to use your site for and how much you want to pay for it. Once you’ve determined what your website needs and what you aren’t prioritizing,  you can decide if you want to go the DIY route or if you want to invest in a professional designer.

Building a Website Yourself – The DIY Route

If you’ve got some time on your hands and have a shoestring budget, building a website yourself using free templates and a little personalization might be the way to go. But that doesn’t mean it will be free – creating a professional business website will cost money, unlike personal blogs that don’t represent your company’s reputation.

We’ve compiled a short list of free website tools, from resources for optimizing your site to design templates. You can find templates from as little as $20 and can be as easy as copying and pasting the code into your website’s back end. Where and how you decide to host your website can make the cost vary. Never settle for a free web host, it’s worth it to pay a couple hundred a year for paid hosting: you’ll have ads on your website for your competitors; you won’t have a professional, custom domain name; and you are limited to a small bandwidth that will not be able to accommodate a content-heavy website or an ecommerce store.

In addition to the framework, you’ll need to come up with content for your business’ website. When it comes to content, you get what you pay for. Professional photography or videography, logos, ecommerce functions, blog content, cybersecurity, and other add-ons can eat up your project budget. If you can’t afford to hire an expensive agency, see if any of your employees have the skill sets you need or consider hiring a freelancer.

Hiring a Professional Web Designer and Developer

If you don’t have time but your budget has some wiggle room, consider hiring a professional. You can either contract a freelancer to implement and customize a fancy template you found or even find an agency to completely build a custom website from scratch.

Hiring a professional will cost anywhere from $3,000 – $50,000 before any of the web hosting and extras mentioned previously. This can cost so much because you are paying for the skills and time of a computer programmer, designer, and tester. Not to mention their overhead costs to run their own business. You get what you pay for, so take your time researching who you decide to hire to build your business’ website. Support fellow entrepreneurs and look for another small business or freelancer to hire.

What Does Your Budget Look Like?

Whether you decide to spend $500 or $50,000 on your shiny new website, never bankrupt your business trying to build a perfect site. Only invest in your site what fits into your business’ budget. If you’re a little short on working capital but know you should upgrade for the benefit of your small business, talk to us about getting an affordable working capital loan.

 

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

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


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

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

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

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

Here are the best upcoming events from November 15 through 30.

Northern California/Sacramento

Social Media Marketing 101 for Black & Latino Small Businesses
Date: November 17, 2018 | 9:00 am PDT – 1:00 pm PDT
Location: Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Silicon Valley
1887 Monterey Rd. Ste 2105 San Jose, CA 95112 (map it)
Contact: info@hccsv.org | (408) 248-4800
Organization: Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Silicon Valley
Fee: $97

Newspapers, print flyers, and billboards are so 1990! Everyone is on their phones scrolling on Facebook and Instagram. 2018 is calling!

Black and Latino small business owners: join us for this half day workshop on how to strategically market a business and how to attract the right customers through social media. Learn how strategic posting, paid ads, and video marketing can help you get eyes on your product or service. It’s time to get in the game and reach people where they spent their time—on social media.

Click here to register for this event.

Boots To Business: Reboot
Date: November 19, 2018 | 8:30 am PDT – 4:30 pm PDT
Location: Veterans Home of California, Fresno
2811 West California Ave. Fresno, CA 93706 (map it)
Contact: events@vbocix.org | (916) 527-8400
Organization: Veterans Business Outreach Center—Region IX
Fee: Free

Join the Veteran Business Outreach Center in Fresno for a one day introduction to entrepreneurship workshop. This free seminar will help veterans understand the steps, stages, and activities related to launching and growing a business as a post-military career.

Get started with ideas and resources in training modules:

  • Module 1: Introduction to the entrepreneurial experience
  • Module 2: Basics of opportunity recognition
  • Module 3: Markets & your competitive space
  • Module 4: The economics of small business start-up
  • Module 5: Picking the correct legal entity for your business
  • Module 6: Financing your venture
  • Module 7: Moving forward—Business planning
  • Module 8: Moving forward—Resources to support you

Click here to register for this event.

Intellectual Property—Protecting your Ideas, Brand, and Designs
Date: November 28, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: 1325-b Evans Ave. San Francisco, CA 94124 (map it)
Contact: bayview@rencenter.org | (415) 647-3728
Organization: Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center
Fee: Free

This workshop will introduce you to different types of intellectual property—focused primarily on copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets—and will provide you with self-help resource information to start building a simple but solid foundation of protection through rights searches, NDA’s, registrations, licenses, and other tools.

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

Insurance—How to Protect You and Your Business
Date: November 16, 2018 | 1:00 pm PDT – 4:00 pm PDT
Location: 8825 Aero Dr. Suite 102 San Diego, CA 92123 (map it)
Contact: workshop0140@scorevolunteer.org | (858) 283-1100
Organization: San Diego SCORE
Fee: Free

Every business has certain risks related to its operation. Insurance coverage is critical to protect your business and personal assets. Join this free workshop to learn all about insurance for your business:

  • The types of insurance you’ll need
  • The level and amount of insurance you’ll need
  • Ways to get the insurance coverage you’ll need

San Diego SCORE’s expert insurance seminar leader will address key issues:

  • How do I get the most out of my insurance dollar?
  • What insurance is an absolute must to avoid great risk to my business?
  • How do I value my buildings and personal property?
  • How will damage to my property affect my revenue and profit?
  • What about using my own car or employees’ cars in business?
  • What are the issues if I use subcontractors?
  • How do I evaluate the insurance indemnity provisions of contracts?
  • Should I use an insurance agent or broker? How do I find one?
  • Which employee benefits (life, health, 401k) should I consider?
  • Should I consider disability insurance? Buy/Sell? HSAs?

Click here to register for this event.

Stress-Free Business Taxes
Date: November 17, 2018 | 10:00 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: Free

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 record keeping to get you ready for a stress-free tax day.

Click here to register for this event.

Start Up Workshop
Date: November 20, 2018 | 10:00 am PDT – 12:00 pm PDT
Location: 2900 S. Crenshaw Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90016 (map it)
Contact: Cathleen Hy | chy@pacela.org | (323) 293-6284
Organization: PACE Finance Corporation
Fee: Free

Learn how to properly launch your business to ensure success in this free workshop. Topics include:

  • Legal forms of ownership
  • Licensing and tax requirements
  • Capital and labor costs
  • Lease versus purchase
  • Insurance options
  • And more business start-up issues

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Differences and Similarities of Nonprofits and For-Profits Entities
Date: November 26, 2018 | 6:30 am PDT – 7:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: (804) 771-2400
Organization: U.S. Small Business Administration Virginia District Office
Fee: Free

Join this free webinar to learn the similarities and differences of nonprofit and for-profit entities. The course will demonstrate how the two entities are similar and the major differences that distinguish them apart. Participants will learn about the governance structure and important factors that distinguish the two under legal requirements.

Click here to register for this event.

Let’s Talk Business! Top 20 Online Tools for Small Business Owners
Date: November 28, 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

Join the Washington Center for Women in Business for this free webinar that will help you find the best online tools to grow your small business.

Click here to register for this event.

How the Tax Reform Affects Your Small Business
Date: November 29, 2018 | 10:00 am PDT – 11:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: (678) 335-5600 ext. 3
Organization: Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs
Fee: Free

Join ACE SBA Women’s Center for their latest Lunch & Learn webinar and learn how the tax reform affects your small business:

  • What key business tax revisions are included in the bill?
  • How do I apply changes in the new bill to my business?
  • How does the tax reform impact my income tax return?
  • What can I do before the end of the year to save on income taxes?

Click here to register for this event.


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

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

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


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

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

Whether you are building a small business website from the ground up or feel it’s time to update yours, here some of the essentials, wishlist ideas, and things to avoid.

Whether you are building a small business website from the ground up or feel it’s time to update yours, here some of the essentials, wishlist ideas, and things to avoid.

 

The number one thing your business website needs is a plan. Before you talk to a web developer or pick out a design template, you need to sit down and create a detailed plan. What is the purpose of your site?

Determining if you need an ecommerce website, a portfolio, an online menu and business hours, or something else entirely will help you figure out exactly what you need and don’t need. Each business will have different needs for a website, but here are the essentials everyone should have and the things most don’t need to include.

Small Business Website Essentials

You need a clean design. Carry your business’ branding guideline of colors, fonts, and voice through to your website as well. Keep it consistent and easy for customers to navigate. Use hamburger menus to minimize the number of navigation tabs, keep the amount of pages down, and make sure your text is simple and readable.

A good domain name is almost as important as a good business name. If your domain name is long, doesn’t match your business name, or doesn’t end with “.com” then customers are likely to forget your website and not be able to find your business.

SEO is hard to master but important to incorporate into your website. Consider hiring a freelancer to set up your site’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This includes page formatting, alt text for photos, meta tags and metadata, descriptive URLs, site index, and even more. It it likely that most of your online traffic will come from search engines, so it is important to make it as easy as possible for your small business to appear on the top of searches.

Implementing security measures is vital for any business website. Make sure your site is compliant with the GDPR and HTTPS certificates.

Having reviews both on your website and on popular review sites will establish trust with potential customers. More than 80% of people look for reviews before making a purchase decision. That’s a lot. Maintaining a positive digital reputation will help your business succeed.

Your business information should be prominent and easy to find. Include contact information, business location, hours of operation and customer support, holiday schedule, and anything else a customer needs to know about your small business.

About Us is a page where you can tell your story. Customers want to know that there are real people behind the company, and connecting on a more personal level can build trust and brand loyalty. Briefly describe how and why you started the business, who you and your employees are, what your brand mission and vision is, and what makes your business unique.

Privacy Policy and Terms of Service are both important to include. You can link to a page in your footer that leads to your privacy policy and terms of service. Privacy policies are legally required, and you can find free templates online. Always make sure to run these by your lawyer to ensure your business is protected.

Wants But Not Needs

Consider hiring a web developer to create a beautiful, clean website for you. You can find a freelancer for this one project and keep their contact info on file for when you need to make changes later. Having a professional website is just as important as a brick-and-mortar storefront – it adds credibility to your business, and it attracts customers and sales.

Make your website mobile friendly. More and more people are shopping and browsing the internet on their mobile phones. If your web host doesn’t already offer dynamic layouts that automatically adjust to a mobile orientation, hire a freelancer to build one. When you make updates to your site, always make sure it looks good on mobile.

Offer an incentive for signing up for a newsletter. If they give they sign up with their email on your site, you could send them an exclusive coupon for your restaurant, an ebook teaser for your consulting service, or something else that would entice potential customers. Now you have customers to email with company updates, promotions, news, or new releases.

Invest in professional, paid hosting. If your website gets a lot of traffic, is the main portal for your business, or is media heavy (images and videos take a while to load) you should invest in a paid web host. Free sites like WordPress or Wix may be fine for a while, but if your site takes longer than 3 seconds to load, you will lose most visitors.

Collect the most asked questions you get from your customers and create an FAQ. If a potential customer can’t find what they want quickly, they might move on. Not only will this minimize customer service inquiries and free up your associate’s time, but employees can also keep themselves knowledgeable about the business.

Things You Should Really Avoid

Avoid using multiple fonts, colors, and graphics that aren’t cohesive and make your website look busy. Customers who look at your business website don’t want to strain their eyes to read your site. Keep it clean, simple, and cohesive. A general rule of design is to stick to two fonts and font colors throughout your site.

Minimize the amount of text and photos on your informational pages. Try to keep the page length to two page scrolls – or less than a 3 minute read. As an entrepreneur, you are rightfully proud of your business’ story and the products you’ve developed, but you don’t want to overwhelm prospects with too much content. If you want to go into detail, a great way to share with your customers without turning off potential customers is to start a blog on your site.

Be careful with copyrighted material. Make sure you are legally allowed to use any content you add to your website (icons, photos, logos, etc.) If you need free stock photos, take a look at this list of free website tools.

Resist the urge to place ads on your website. While you could make a few extra dollars by having ads on your page, you really don’t want to let your customers go to a competitor. The companies who pay for this advertising space are targeting the same demographic you are.

Don’t forget to update your site periodically. Just because you have a website doesn’t mean it should collect dust. Keeping information up-to-date, including menus and store hours, is important. Consider freshening the look for holidays or seasons. Change typos and broken code as soon as you find them.

 

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 November 1 through 14.

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

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

Northern California/Sacramento

Basics of Starting a Business
Date: November 7, 2018 | 5:30 pm PDT – 7:30 pm PDT
Location: Sierra SBDC
10183 Truckee Airport Rd. Suite 202 Truckee, CA 96161 (map it)
Contact: nnvclassesscore@gmail.com | (844) 232-7227
Organization: SCORE Northern Nevada
Fee: Free

This free workshop will introduce you to the basic issues to address before you venture into the world of business. Begin the process with success with these topics:

  • Critical success factors
  • Your idea: Evaluate, test, and protect
  • Legal structures
  • Marketing
  • Finances
  • Launch your business

Click here to register for this event.

Celebrate Veterans Small Business Week: Turning Contacts into Contracts
Date: November 8, 2018 | 10:00 am PDT – 12:00 pm PDT
Location: 455 Market St. Suite 600 San Francisco, CA  94105 (map it)
Contact: sfomail@sba.gov | (415) 744-6777
Organization: San Francisco SBA Entrepreneur Center
Fee: Free

You are invited to a very special National Veterans Small Business Week event celebrating Veteran Entrepreneurs. Come learn how to do business with the government (state and federal) and how to fund your business venture through different term loan programs.

Agenda:

  • 10 am – Registration and Networking
  • 10:15 am – Opening statement and Brief introductions
  • 10:30-11:30 am – Contracting with the Federal Government and the State of California
  • 11:30-12:00 pm – Financing Your Business

Click here to register for this event.

Women’s Empowerment Night
Date: November 12, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: Moseley’s Hilltop Tasting Room
2158 Hilltop Dr. Redding, CA 96002 (map it)
Contact: info@e-jedi.org | (530) 926-6670
Organization: Jefferson Economic Development Institute
Fee: Free

AWE Redding California, WE Thrive Women’s Business Center at JEDI Group, and Women of Vision Movement invites you to an evening of networking, wine, and fun at Escape Redding.

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

Small Business Legal Academy
Date: November 3, 2018 | 10:00 am PDT – 3:00 pm PDT
Location: VEDC Women’s Business Center
5121 Van Nuys Blvd. Ste. 300A Sherman Oaks, CA 91403 (map it)
Contact: info@vedc.org | (818) 907-9922
Organization: VEDC
Fee: Free

Bet Tzedek’s Small Business Legal Academy, sponsored in conjunction with the VEDC’s Women’s Business Center, is a free workshop bringing the top lawyers from various law firms to help guide and counsel the Los Angeles small business community. In addition to receiving critical legal information via a presentation, attendees will have the opportunity to receive one-on-one legal consulting—all free of charge.

Presentation topics include:

  • Entity formation
  • Small business tax considerations
  • Intellectual property
  • Employment law basics
  • Contracts basics
  • And more!

Click here to register for this event.

Time Management: Secrets to Boosting Productivity & Managing Stress
Date: November 6, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: 1003 East Cooley Dr. Suite 109 Colton, CA 92324 (map it)
Contact: (909) 890-1242
Organization: Inland Empire Women’s Business Center
Fee: Free

Does it seem like you never have enough time? Are you frustrated by not finishing tasks and seeing more progress in your life and in your business? You don’t need more time, you need great time management! Learn to define your non-negotiables to set priorities that truly reflect what’s important to you and your business.

Click here to register for this event.

Start Up Workshop
Date: November 8, 2018 | 10:00 am PDT – 12:00 pm PDT
Location: 5450 Sepulveda Blvd. Culver City, CA 90230 (map it)
Contact: Nate Nguon | nnguon@pacela.org | (323) 293-6284
Organization: PACE Finance Corporation
Fee: Free

Learn how to properly launch your business to ensure success in this free workshop. Topics include:

  • Legal forms of ownership
  • Licensing and tax requirements
  • Capital and labor costs
  • Lease versus purchase
  • Insurance options
  • And more business start-up issues

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Finding New Business Opportunities
Date: November 6, 2018 | 7:00 am PDT – 7:30 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: (304) 623-5631
Organization: U.S. Small Business Administration West Virginia District Office
Fee: Free

Spotting new market opportunities is key for business growth. We’ll cover ways to stay on top of business trends, whether it’s growing your current business or starting a new one.

Click here to register for this event.

Create A YouTube Account for Small Business
Date: November 6, 2018 | 11:00 am PDT – 12:00 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Sarah Espinosa | sespinos@uncfsu.edu | (910) 672-2683
Organization: Fayetteville State University Veterans Business Outreach Center
Fee: Free

Video marketing is the best way to promote your business online. This workshop is designed to give business owners an advantage over their competitors by learning how to setup a YouTube account, how to upload videos, and how to use YouTube to promote their company.

Key points that will be covered:

  • Create an account 
  • Choose the right thumbnail
  • Write effective titles and descriptions
  • Utilize keywords and taglines to promote videos

The workshop will consist of a step by step walk-through of all of the topics, written step by step instructions, and access to the workshop replay for 48 hours for registered participants.

Click here to register for this event.

The Science Behind Sales
Date: November 14, 2018 | 9:00 am PDT – 10:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: (678) 335-5600 ext. 120
Organization: Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs
Fee: Free

Tap into the world of neuroscience to explain the science of trust to improve your ability to make a sale in this free webinar. Learn strategies for how to better communicate with your customers.

Topics include:

  • Interacting with the three layers of the brain
  • Creating connections
  • Establishing credibility
  • Handling customer objections

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

This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from October 16 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 October 16 through 31.

Northern California/Sacramento

Market Research
Date: October 23, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 9:00 pm PDT
Location: 234 E. Gish Rd. Suite 100 San Jose, CA 95112 (map it)
Contact: info@svscore.org | (408) 453-6237
Organization: Silicon Valley SCORE
Fee: $45

Join this workshop on the basics of market research and learn how to develop the knowledge and skills to find the information you need for your small business through developing a prepared question set and modeling. This class addresses primary and secondary research: the questions to ask, who to ask, and what to do with the answers. Key topics and learning outcomes include:

  • Your market: How large is it? Is it growing or shrinking?
  • Your customers: Who are they? What are they looking for?
  • Your competitors: What are the segments they’re targeting? How can you compete?
  • Your data:  What are the sources of primary and secondary market data? How do you get them?
  • Your markets: How do you model markets where you can’t find data?

Click here to register for this event.

2018 West Contra Costa Economic Summit
Date: October 24, 2018 | 10:30 am PDT – 2:30 pm PDT
Location: The Craneway Pavilion
1414 Harbour Wy. Richmond, CA 94804 (map it)
Contact: staff@rcoc.com | (510) 234-3512
Organization: Richmond Chamber of Commerce
Fee: $20 for Richmond Chamber of Commerce members | $30 for non-members

Join the West Contra Costa Economic Summit and learn about the West Contra Costa business climate and resources for local businesses. Enjoy a business expo and networking plus a panel discussion with West Contra Costa County mayors from El Cerrito, Hercules, Pinole, Richmond, and San Pablo. Lunch will be provided.

Click here to register for this event.

Women of Color: Scale Your Business and Succeed
Date: October 30, 2018 | 11:00 am PDT – 3:00 pm PDT
Location: Federal Reserve Bank
101 Market St. San Francisco, CA 94105 (map it)
Contact: (415) 333-2130
Organization: National Association of Women Business Owners
Fee: $35 for NAWBO members | $45 for non-members

Inc. magazine reports that every year corporations in the United States spend more than $2 trillion buying services and products from small businesses. The Women’s Business Economic Council reports that typical women entrepreneurs see revenue increases of 266% within a two-year period of winning their first corporate client.  

Women like you make dynamic business leaders, but many female entrepreneurs are unaware of opportunities that can help them scale their business, increase their revenue and grow their business. Winning contracts with large corporations can be key to overcoming barriers in entrepreneurship—we’ll show you how at this event.

Join us to meet local business women just like you who have transformed their businesses, industries, and communities by securing lucrative contracts with large corporations and government agencies.

Enjoy lunch, networking opportunities, and a presentation and panel discussion on how to make key connections for your small business.

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

How to Use Video to Elevate your Business and Message Online
Date: October 22, 2018 | 5:30 pm PDT – 7:30 pm PDT
Location: VEDC Women’s Business Center
5121 Van Nuys Blvd. Ste. 300A Sherman Oaks, CA 91403 (map it)
Contact: info@vedc.org | (818) 907-9922
Organization: VEDC
Fee: Free

It’s essential to use video to engage your online audience, especially on mobile and social media. Once you have a game plan, video production can be a fun and creative endeavor in your business journey. Join this this free workshop to learn the steps of your video strategy and production.

Click here to register for this event.

Legal Aspects of Business
Date: October 24, 2018 | 6:30 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: The Big House
180 E. 35th St. Los Angeles, CA 90011 (map it)
Contact: Cathleen Hy | chy@pacela.org | (323) 293-6284 ext. 242
Organization: PACE Finance Corporation
Fee: Free

Join PACE Business Development Center for this free workshop on the legal aspects of business. Meet one-on-one with business experts to discuss specific questions and legal issues relating to the creation and running of a small business including the following topics:

  • Choice of entity
  • Contracts and leases
  • Intellectual property
  • Employment

Click here to register for this event.

Accounting for Non-Accountants
Date: October 26, 2018 | 10:00 am PDT – 1:00 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: 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 so that you can feel confident and in charge, making 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

Ten Best Free/Affordable Social Media Management Tools
Date: October 18, 2018 | 4:00 pm PDT – 5:30 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Sarah Espinosa | sespinos@uncfsu.edu | (910) 672-2683
Organization: Fayetteville State University Veterans Business Outreach Center
Fee: Free

There are way too many things to do on social media for small businesses to deal with. Let’s talk about the best options for businesses to eliminate hassles that won’t break the bank.

Click here to register for this event.

Midterm Election Alert: How to Deal with Political Discussions in the Workplace
Date: October 23, 2018 | 11:00 am PDT – 12:00 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: info@nw-njsbdc.com | (908) 269-8475
Organization: NJSBDC of Northwest Jersey
Fee: Free

As midterm elections near, the political debates taking place across the country are likely to spill over into the workplace. As a result, employers may encounter heated discussions around the water cooler about the candidates and issues, or explicit statements about employees’ political stances.

This places employers in a tricky situation. You want your workers to be comfortable expressing themselves, but you also have a right to a peaceful, productive work environment. To complicate matters further, some of the topics being debated can lead to claims of harassment.

Attend our free webinar to learn:

  • How office politics can lead to a harassment lawsuit
  • The definition of a hostile environment, based on real-life scenarios
  • What you can and can’t do about employee use of social media
  • Tips to legally limit on-the-clock political discussions
  • Practical approaches to keeping the peace and restoring productivity

Click here to register for this event.

Simple Social Media Graphics: Make Your Posts Visual
Date: October 30, 2018 | 8:00 am PDT – 9:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: help@score.org | (800) 634-0245
Organization: SCORE Association
Fee: Free

A visual content campaign or infographics to promote your products and services can be time-consuming and overwhelming for small businesses, especially if you don’t have graphic design experience.

Bite-sized infographics and images used through social media can be just as compelling as long scrolling infographics. Your customers are busy too, and more likely to consume and engage with visual content they can quickly process, digest, and share with their networks.

Join this free webinar and learn:

  • Start with design—even for beginners
  • Ten types of images you can create and share through social media
  • Branding your visuals on social media

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

This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from October 1 through 15.

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 October 1 through 15.

Northern California/Sacramento

Women’s Lunch & Learn: Life Work Balance
Date: October 4, 2018 | 11:30 am PDT – 1:30 pm PDT
Location: Foothill Event Center
400 Idaho Maryland Rd. Grass Valley, CA 95945 (map it)
Contact: Gilda Perez | gilda.perez@sba.gov | (916) 735-1704
Organization: California Capital Women’s Business Center
Fee: Free

Everyone wants a happy and productive life. A balanced life is essential to happiness, but it’s not one size fits all. As we try to juggle everything in our lives and find a balance, we can feel overwhelmed. This presentation will help you learn key skills for establishing a life work balance:

  • How to track where your time goes now and complete a goal sheet for focusing your time
  • How to find your personal balance for your needs today
  • How to define what’s important for your life today
  • How to balance your work and personal life on your terms

Click here to register for this event.

Small Business Series: Reduce Your Business Taxes
Date: October 4, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 7:30 pm PDT
Location: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library—SJPL Works 3rd Floor
150 E. San Fernando St. San Jose, CA 95112 (map it)
Contact: sjplworks@sjlibrary.org | (408) 808-2310
Organization: SJPL Works: Career & Business
Fee: Free

Join this free workshop to learn how to structure your small business taxes correctly. You can ensure tax time is a little less burdensome for your business by learning the differences between business structures.

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

Click here to register for this event.

Creating Business Success: Mastering the Art of Scaling Your Business
Date: October 13 or 14, 2018 | 10:00 am PDT – 4:00 pm PDT
Location: 7543 N. Ingram Ave. #106 Fresno, CA 93711 (map it)
Contact: hello@herspacefresno.com | (559) 776-2004
Organization: Her Space Fresno
Fee: $50

Join Her Space Fresno for this interactive event. A dozen expert speakers will coach you on how to scale your business. The program is offered on two days over one weekend and includes:

  • Live speaker interviews
  • Panel discussion with Q&A time
  • Speed networking
  • Vendors
  • Swag bags
  • Valuable raffle prizes
  • Lunch

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

Social Media Club
Date: October 2, 2018 | 5:30 pm PDT – 7:30 pm PDT
Location: VEDC Women’s Business Center
5121 Van Nuys Blvd. Ste. 300A Sherman Oaks, CA 91403 (map it)
Contact: info@vedc.org | (818) 907-9922
Organization: VEDC
Fee: Free

Facebook Live is one of the most powerful tools for a small business owner. Join this free workshop to learn how to use Facebook Live, feel comfortable on camera, and look amazing while building your brand and business.

Click here to register for this event.

How to Avoid a Loan Shark
Date: October 4, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: 1055 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 900B Los Angeles, CA 90017 (map it)
Contact: Phuong Le | ple@pacela.org | (213) 353-9400
Organization: PACE Finance Corporation
Fee: Free

Join us for this free workshop where PACE Business Development Center’s Phuong Le will discuss the basics of loan programs offered through PACE Finance Corporation and how to avoid loan sharks. The workshop will begin with a brief overview of SBA programs and services:

  • Counseling
  • Access to capital
  • Contracting
  • Disaster assistance

Click here to register for this event.

Annual Asian Small Business Expo
Date: October 6, 2018 | 9:00 am PDT – 1:00 pm PDT
Location: Quiet Cannon
901 Via San Clemente Montebello, CA 90640 (map it)
Contact: smallbiz@apisbp.org
Organization: Asian Pacific Islander Small Business Program
Fee: Free

Join APISBP for Growing Your Business Online: Standing Out in the Digital World—a free small business expo!

The Asian Small Business Expo is the only business-to-business Expo that engages the Asian business community and brings this growing economic force into the mainstream to connect and utilize your company and its services.

Don’t miss the opportunity to connect with small businesses, market your business pr organization, and tap into a network of entrepreneurs, service providers, financial organizations, franchises, and governmental and legislative representatives.

Everything is free:

  • Admission
  • Workshops
  • Parking
  • Networking
  • Business advice

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Credit Reports & Scores Explained
Date: October 4, 2018 | 8:30 am PDT – 9:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Kimberly Donahue | Kimberly.Donahue@sba.gov
Organization: U.S. SBA West Virginia District Office
Fee: Free

Your credit score can impact everything from where you live to how much you pay for insurance. Join this free webinar to learn how credit reports and scores really work. This webinar covers the factors that influence credit scores, how to dispute errors, and more.

Click here to register for this event.

An Insider’s Guide to Business and Franchise Ownership
Date: October 4, 2018 | 10:00 am PDT – 11:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Mary Takavorian | (909) 983-0751
Organization: Inland Empire SBDC
Fee: Free

Many aspiring business owners give up on their dream before getting started as they feel overwhelmed by the idea of building a business from the ground up.

Franchise ownership can help you realize those dreams by going into business for yourself but not by yourself. Attend this free webinar to get answers to these questions about franchising as the right opportunity to achieve your business dreams:

  • What is franchising?
  • What are some of the benefits and responsibilities of franchise ownership?
  • What kind of franchise opportunities are out there?
  • What factors should I consider when selecting a franchise?
  • How can I evaluate my potential to become a successful franchisee?
  • How do I investigate different franchise opportunities?
  • Can I afford it?

Click here to register for this event.

Website & Social Media Strategies Webinar
Date: October 4, 2018 | 11:00 am PDT – 12:00 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: rnsbdc@business.rutgers.com | (973) 353-5950
Organization: Rutgers Newark (N.J.) SBDC
Fee: Free

Social media is essential to grow your business and brand. The same goes for your website. Position yourself online with a strong internet presence that reassures and strengthens the consumers trust in your business and motivates them to engage more with your business. This free webinar will help you get started with tools and actionable strategies to optimize your website and online infrastructures through social media. Start promoting and growing your 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.

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

This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from September 13 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 September 13 through 30.

Northern California/Sacramento

Business Basics: Turning Ideas into Action
Date: September 18, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: Willits City Hall
111 E. Commercial St. Willits, CA 95490 (map it)
Contact: info@westcompany.org (707) 964-7571
Organization: West Company
Fee: Free for West Company members | $25 for non-members

Join this workshop for start-up guidance and a general overview of elements to consider when starting and owning a business. Topics Include:

  • Business licensing requirements
  • Business taxes
  • Legal forms of organization
  • Components of a business plan
  • Financial readiness
  • Business loans
  • Marketing messages
  • Target markets
  • Technology tools for business productivity

Click here to register for this event.

Networking Mixer
Date: September 19, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: Caremore Health
255 N. White Road #200 San Jose, CA 95127 (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 a small business networking mixer hosted by CareMore Health. Enjoy light refreshments, network with other members, and meet your next great client.

Click here to register for this event.

Checklist to Opening a Restaurant—Part 1
Date: September 26, 2018 | 6:00 am PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: Napa Valley College—Building 3300
2277 Napa-Vallejo Hwy Napa, CA 94558 (map it)
Contact: Valerie Bible | (707) 256-7250
Organization: Napa-Sonoma SBDC
Fee: $45

Join us for this free two-part seminar led by SBDC Restaurant Specialist Louise Dawson. Together we’ll review how to prepare for your restaurant business opening. Topics include:

  • Writing a restaurant business plan—required by most landlords and investors
  • Discovering strategies and organizational techniques
  • Developing your concept
  • Creating a marketing plan
  • Understanding financial projections
  • Finding financing for restaurant projects—including a Q&A session led by finance industry leaders on SBA loans, micro-loans, investor packages to attract private funders, and more.

Click here to register for this event. To register for Part 2 on Oct. 3, click here.

Southern California/San Diego

Business Plan Boot Camp: Marketing, Organization, & Operations
Date: September 18, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: Community Action Partnership of Riverside County
2038 Iowa Ave. Suite B-102 Riverside, CA 92507 (map it)
Contact: (909) 890-1242
Organization: Inland Empire Women’s Business Center
Fee: $20

Shape up your business plan! Learn how to identify your best customers and craft an effective marketing plan to reach them, and how to set your marketing budget. We’ll show you how to create your organizational plan and operational flow as well.

Click here to register for this event.

Business Loan Opportunities for Everyone
Date: September 20, 2018 | 2:00 pm PDT – 4:00 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

Join this free workshop to learn where to get capital for your young business. Make sense of the options out there for entrepreneurs, startups, and growing small businesses in the complex world of capital access.

Click here to register for this event.

Feed! Lead! Profit! Restaurant Expo
Date: September 22, 2018 | 1:00 pm PDT – 5:00 pm PDT
Location: West Valley Warner Center Chamber of Commerce
6100 Topanga Canyon Blvd. Woodland Hills, CA 91367 (map it)
Contact: info@vedc.org | (818) 907-9922
Organization: VEDC
Fee: Free

If you have a restaurant or food business or dream of opening one, join us for this free expo designed specifically for restaurant entrepreneurs:

  • Meet vendors that can support your success
  • Attend a series of mini workshops targeted on growing your business
  • Hear a seasoned panel of owners share their secrets to success
  • Hang out with other restaurant people
  • And more

Agenda:

  • 1:00 PM: Register and Mingle with Restaurant Owners and Restaurant Service Providers
  • 2:00 PM: Opening Introduction of the WBC/ VEDC and the Restaurant Resource Council
  • 2:15 PM: Workshop: How to Avoid The Top 5 Common Mistakes Restaurant Owners Make
  • 2:45 PM: Raffle and Food Sampling
  • 3:00 PM: Perfectly Seasoned Restaurant Owner and Operator Panel
  • 3:45 PM: Raffle and Food Sampling
  • 4:00 PM: “Ask An Expert” Speed Ask Breakout: Get all your questions answered by the experts

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Basic Bookkeeping for Entrepreneurs
Date: September 18, 2018 | 1:00 pm PDT – 3:00 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Cindy Doyl | cindy.doyl@wsbdc.org | (907) 687-9928
Organization: Washington SBDC
Fee: Free

Join this free webinar to learn the fundamentals of financial record keeping with automated software platforms like QuickBooks Online, Sage Peachtree, and Xero. Prior experience with accounting software is not required.

Topics include:

  • Accounting matters for your business
  • Types of businesses
  • Types of accounting software
  • Bookkeeping terminology
  • Accounting practices
  • Payroll
  • Accounts receivable & accounts payable
  • Inventory
  • Chart of accounts
  • Trial balances
  • Bank reconciliation
  • Major financial statements

Click here to register for this event.

G-Suite for Business: Save Time and Money While Collaborating with Others for Success
Date: September 26, 2018 | 12:00 pm PDT – 1:00 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: info@e-jedi.org | (530) 926-6670
Organization: Jefferson Economic Development Institute
Fee: Free

Join this free webinar to learn how to leverage technology to work when and where you want to. Stay relevant in the changing economy by using technology, social media, and digital tools for your business.

This webinar focuses on how to use the G-Suite to work from wherever you are in the world–even while traveling or on vacation–from a netbook and smartphone with internet access. Learn tips and tricks of how to use Google’s online, cloud-based version of Microsoft Office to manage your workflow effectively.

Topics include:

  • The cloud vs. local storage
  • Gmail, Google docs, and Google sheets
  • File sharing
  • Google calendar
  • Social media integrations
  • Costs and other considerations
  • G-Suite best practices for organization and time management

Click here to register for this event. The webinar will be available as a recording if you are not able to attend live.

National Preparedness Month Webinar—Business Continuity for Small Businesses
Date: September 27, 2018 | 11:00 am PDT – 12:00 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Peter D. Smith | peter.smith@sba.gov | (317) 226-7272 Ext. 119
Organization: U.S. Small Business Administration Indiana District Office
Fee: Free

September is National Preparedness Month. Learn how to prepare, prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from the threats and hazards that pose the greatest risks to your 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.

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

This is your bi-weekly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events from September 1 through 13.

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 September 1 through 13.

Northern California/Sacramento

Women Mean Business
Date: September 5, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: 275 5th St. San Francisco, CA 94103 (map it)
Contact: Erin Morris | emorris@rencenter.org | (415) 348-6227
Organization: Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center
Fee: $15

Join us for our monthly Women Mean Business series. This month, meet Renaissance client and success story Judi Henderson, the founder and owner of Mannequin Madness in Oakland. She will share her unconventional entrepreneurial journey and her tips for success to aspiring business owners. Enjoy networking and a light dinner catered by Love and Hummus—another Renaissance program graduate!

Click here to register for this event.

Minority Women’s Business Conference
Date: September 6, 2018 | 9:00 am PDT – 3:00 pm PDT
Location: Forager Tasting Room & Eatery
420 S. 1st St. San Jose, CA 95112 (map it)
Contact: (916) 446-7883
Organization: CalAsian Chamber of Commerce
Fee: $35

Did you know: 70% of Women-Owned Businesses have annual receipts of less than $25,000 and only 10% have employees – and minority women-owned businesses only account for 14% of the revenue.

Join the CalAsian Chamber of Commerce and National ACE as we bring together professional women throughout the State of California for interactive panel discussions from successful entrepreneurial women of color.

Participate in our discussion on methods and strategies towards strengthening leadership skills in business, career, and life from an entrepreneurial perspective. Network with a group of minority women business owners, political figures, and community and non-profit leaders all empowering one another.

Industry titans are joining us to create change for minority women business owners:

  • Political leaders including California State Controller Betty Yee
  • Business leaders including Walmart U.S. eCommerce Senior Vice President and General Counsel Jamie Chung
  • Tech leaders including Google TDM Program Manager Lucy Tice

Click here to register for this event.

Exploring Business Ownership: What Does it Take to Start a Business?
Date: September 12, 2018 | 5:30 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: 205 Chestnut St. Mt. Shasta, CA 96067 (map it)
Contact: info@e-jedi.org | (530) 926-6670
Organization: Jefferson Economic Development Institute
Fee: Free

Starting a business can be scary. Like any other successful adventure, the more prepared you are the higher chance of a positive outcome. First, ask yourself these questions:

  • Have you ever wondered what makes a successful business owner?
  • Are entrepreneurs born with special skills or are they something you can learn?
  • Are you thinking about starting a business or turning a hobby into an income?
  • Do you wonder if you have what it takes or if your idea or service would sell?

Next, join this free course to prepare your roadmap for business start-ups. Together we’ll achieve:

  • Understanding the mindset and characteristics of successful entrepreneurs
  • Exploring the different types of businesses as well as legal structures
  • Comprehending common business terminology as it applies to start-ups
  • Discovering 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

Restaurant Resource Council: Winning Restaurant Marketing Plans
Date: September 4, 2018 | 5:30 pm PDT – 7:30 pm PDT
Location: 5121 Van Nuys Blvd. Ste 300A Sherman Oaks, CA 91403 (map it)
Contact: info@vedc.org | (818) 907-9922
Organization: VEDC
Fee: Free

Join this free workshop to learn how to establish a restaurant marketing plan through email advertising campaigns and Facebook advertising.

Click here to register for this event.

Legal Forms of Organization
Date: September 5, 2018 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: 1003 East Cooley Dr. Suite 109 Colton, CA 92324 (map it)
Contact: (909) 890-1242
Organization: Inland Empire Women’s Business Center
Fee: $20

The legal structure of your business impacts the time and the cost to launch, as well as ongoing compliance requirements. Learn from an attorney about which form of organization your business could take and the tax consequences and benefits of each type of structure.

Click here to register for this event.

Access to Capital
Date: September 12, 2018 | 6:30 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: The Big House
180 E. 35th St. Los Angeles, CA 90011 (map it)
Contact: Cathleen Hy | chy@pacela.org | (323) 293-6284 ext 242
Organization: PACE Finance Corporation
Fee: Free

If you’re confused by the options for where to get capital for your new business and looking for answers join PACE Business Development Center for this free workshop. Entrepreneurs, startups, and growing small businesses are welcome to join us as we navigate the complex world of access to capital.

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Using Census Data to *SizeUp* Your New or Existing Business
Date: September 4, 2018 | 10:30 am PDT – 11:30 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: 404-331-0100
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 and learn: 

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

Click here to register for this event.

Establish Your Business Brand Online and In the Community—Part 1
Date: September 6, 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

“I didn’t know you existed!” If you have ever heard this—or never want to hear this—from your customers, this free webinar is for you. Join us to discuss:

  • Branding: What it means and how to create an effective brand for your business
  • Marketing: How to promote your brand using a marketing plan
  • Promotion: How to find affordable methods to establish your business brand online and in your community

Click here to register for this event. To register for part 2 all about content marketing, click here.

Grow Smart: Wealth Building Tactics for Small Business Owners
Date: September 11, 2018 | 11:00 am PDT – 12:00 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Mary Overbey
Organization: Small Business Majority
Fee: Free

Entrepreneurship can be a path to wealth and prosperity. However, it’s important to remember that wealth is not just income—it also includes financial assets like stocks or bank accounts and non-financial assets like cars and property.

Small Business Majority invites you to a free interactive webinar to help you navigate your retirement options and discover wealth building tactics for your small business.

In this presentation, we will discuss topics to help build wealth as a small business owner:

  • Growing your business’s cash reserves
  • Setting up a small business retirement plan
  • Fostering a culture of savings at your business
  • Identifying financial planning tools
  • Building wealth as a small business owner using key tactics
  • Addressing the U.S. retirement savings gap and how small business can be part of the solution
  • Utilizing guides to workplace-based retirement plans for small business owners and the self-employed
  • Locating helpful tools and resources
  • And more

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

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