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 September 18 through 30.

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 September 18 through 30.

Northern California/Sacramento

Finance Your Business
Date: September 20, 2017 | 9:00 am PDT – 10:30 am PDT
Location: Business Assistance Center
270 Frank Ogawa Plaza Oakland, CA 94612 (map it)
Contact: Diana Chavez | diana@workingsolutions.org | (415) 590-0155
Organization: Working Solutions
Fee: Free

Join this panel discussion with Working Solutions, U.S. Bank, Kiva, and Opportunity Fund to learn about key resources for lending for small businesses:

  • Financing options
  • What lenders are looking for
  • Credit requirements
  • Importance of a relationship with a financial institution
  • Eligibility guidelines and loan application procedures

Click here to register for this event.

Business Basics Series
Date: September 26, 2017 | 10:00 am PDT – 1:00 pm PDT
Location: College of Marin—IVC Building 27 Room 112
1800 Ignacio Blvd. Novato, CA 94949 (map it)
Contact: Miriam Karell | miriam@marinsbdc.org | (415) 755-1100
Organization: Marin SBDC
Fee: $25

Learn what it takes to start a business and succeed! This series of 3 classes is perfect for those exploring business ownership and want more information about what it takes to run a business. This workshop series is also helpful for new business owners who want to brush up on strategic planning, finances and marketing.

Business Planning gives you the basic information on business start-up, business planning, and different types of business plans. Explore planning tools to help you define your unique business vision and develop a strategy that works.

Each class can be taken individually or as a series. You save $15 by registering for all 3 workshops.

Click here to register for this event.

Meetup: Escape the Bootstrap Trap with Jenny Kassan
Date: September 27, 2017 | 6:30 pm PDT – 8:30 pm PDT
Location: 1500 MacDonald Ave. Richmond, CA 94801 (map it)
Contact: Bret Sweet | bsweet@rencenter.org | (510) 221-2002
Organizations: Renaissance Richmond
Fee: Free

Join business coach Jenny Kassan for Escape the Bootstrap Trap: How to Get the Money You Need to Grow Your Business Without Maxing Out Your Credit Cards or Putting Your Personal Assets at Risk.

Are you:

  • Tired of not having the resources you need to do what you want with your business?
  • Wearing a million hats in your business instead of getting the right help?
  • Worried about how much of your personal assets you’re investing in your business?

This talk will teach you:

  • Three keys to get clear on your path for bringing the resources you need into your business
  • Ways to find the right investors that allow you to grow your business on your terms
  • Strategies to create a sustainable business that fits with your chosen lifestyle, goals, and values

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

San Diego Small Business Expo
Date: September 21, 2017 | 9:00 am PDT – 5:00 pm PDT
Location: San Diego Convention Center—Hall H
111 W. Harbor Dr. San Diego, CA 92101 (map it)
Contact: clientservices@theshowproducers.com | (212) 404-2345
Organization: Small Business Expo
Fee: Free (upgraded services are available starting at $20)

Small Business Expo is America’s biggest and most anticipated business-to-business networking event, trade show, and conference for business owners, entrepreneurs, start-ups, and decision-makers.

Why you should attend:

  • Network with thousands of business owners, entrepreneurs and start-ups
  • Access to 25+ Business Critical workshops and seminars to help your business grow
  • Join speed networking sessions to make new contacts quickly
  • Learn about new cutting-edge products and services
  • Establish hundreds of new and valuable contacts
  • Interact with the movers and shakers of your industry
  • Leave the show with hundreds of qualified sales leads

Your free admission badge gives you access to the following areas of the Expo:

  • Exhibitor Hall
  • Workshops and seminars
  • ‘Get Dotted’ Business Networking Areas
  • Speed Networking Sessions
  • Business Card Showcase and Exchange
  • #smallbizselfie Contest
  • eLounge
  • Inspiration2020 Theatre Business Presentations, including Bill Walsh – The 7 Keys to Build a 7-Figure Business Presentation from 4:30 PM-6PM, Google’s Main Stage Presentations, the Free Bonus Small Business Workshop presented by our Titanium Sponsor, Powerteam International

Upgraded services are available for additional fees starting at $20. For more information about these services, click here.

Click here to register for this event.

Veteran-Owned Small Business Risk Education Workshop
Date: September 26, 2017 | 8:30 am PDT – 11:00 am PDT
Location: Bob Hope Patriotic Hall
1816 S. Figueroa St. Los Angeles, CA 90015 (map it)
Contact: info@wbc-la.org | (818) 907-9922
Organization: VEDC Women’s Business Center
Fee: Free

DID YOU KNOW you could be held liable for the auto accident of an employee? WHAT WOULD YOU DO if your supplier couldn’t deliver an item you use in your end product? COULD YOUR BUSINESS STAY OPEN if there was a natural disaster or if you had major surgery?

VEDC has partnered with Travelers to bring you this Small Business Risk Education workshop. Join us and learn how to better protect your small business. If you are a veteran or service-disabled veteran entrepreneur, we will teach you safety and loss prevention strategies, and develop a plan to address your business risks.

Topics covered in this workshop:

  • Managing business relationship risk
  • Keeping your business up and running
  • Establishing driver and vehicle safety

Minorities and women-owned businesses are encouraged to participate. Complimentary breakfast and networking begin at 8:30 am with the class following at 9:00 am.

Click here to register for this event.

SCORE’s 5th Annual Women Business Owners Conference
Date: September 28, 2017 | 7:30 am PDT – 4:00 pm PDT
Location: The Great Wolf Lodge
12681 Harbor Blvd., Garden Grove, CA 92840 (map it)
Contact: Debbie Molino | Debbie.Molino@score114.org | (714) 550-7369
Organization: Orange County SCORE
Fee: $79

Dare to Stand Out! Join SCORE for the annual Women Business Owners Conference: an interactive event for the savvy entrepreneur. Learn marketing strategies from women entrepreneurs scheduled to speak:

  • Keynote speaker Nellie Akalp, CorpNet CEO: How to Embrace the “Small” in Small Business
  • Liz Goodgold, REDFire Branding
  • Lisa T.D. Nguyen, Senhoa Jewelry Founder
  • Roni Ramos: Harmony 3 Productions, Founder

Your $79 admission fee includes breakfast, lunch, and parking. Please register before the Sept. 26 deadline.  

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

50 Ways to Get More Customers
Date: September 19, 2017 | 9:00 am PDT – 10:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: score.fairfieldcounty@gmail.com | (203) 831-0065
Organization: Fairfield County (Conn.) SCORE
Fee: Free

Join this free webinar to learn simple techniques and discover tools to increase your customer base in the age of the Internet. Together we’ll cover how to develop your presence and showcase your expertise to bring customers to you using a pre-sales nurturing campaign, social media, and email marketing. Get started with free tools and techniques plus get basic templates and then hit the ground running to boost your business.

Topics will include:

  • Learn how sales has changed with the Internet
  • Create to create credibility, authority and trust
  • Set up your device (laptop, tablet, or Chromebook) with the Chrome browser and a Gmail account
  • Get started with Google Analytics for a WordPress website and other website building apps
  • Create nurturing email campaigns with tracking in a Google Sheet with canned emails
  • Understand how to repurpose and plan content for use on social media sites and in email marketing campaigns
  • Discover tools to help research potential clients

Click here to register for this event.

Targets of Opportunity: Recent Study Reveals Best Potentials for Economic Growth in our Region
Date: September 20, 2017 | 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

What could you and your business do if you knew:

  • Which industries show strong economic growth?
  • What occupations will be growing in the future?
  • What entrepreneurial activity will look like in our region?

Start using data to make your business decisions. Join this webinar to learn how the far mountains region of Northern California (specifically Siskiyou, Shasta, Trinity, and Humboldt Counties) fared in the last national recession and which industry areas defied the recession and saw growth. We’ll uncover the industry groups which showed a combination of business growth, job growth, wage growth, and job opportunities. We’ll understand the trends in our region’s entrepreneurial growth and how that growth ties into the region’s industries.

Targets of Opportunity Study:

  • Which industries in your area show economic strength and competitive advantage
  • Which areas of the economy provide growing entrepreneurial opportunities, emerging businesses, increasing employment and rising wages
  • How your local economy links with the larger regional economy
  • Which businesses are economically interdependent yet have common supply chains, labor needs, technologies, and markets

This webinar will be useful for potential entrepreneurs, business owners, and economic development or workforce professionals.

All who register will receive a confirmation email containing information on how to join the webinar, plus a recording of the live event.

Click here to register for this event.

Improve Your Online Presence to Attract More Customers
Date: September 28, 2017 | 10:00 am PDT – 11:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: webinars@score.org
Organization: SCORE
Fee: Free

Can customers easily find your small business online? Is all the information on your website, business listings, reviews, and social media correct and current? Inaccuracy can be costly and detrimental to your business and reputation.

Join this webinar to get started with immediate steps to building an accurate online presence.

You’ll learn:

  • What is an online presence, and why is it important to manage?
  • How to check your online data across the web (website, listing, reviews, social media)
  • How incorrect data can have a negative impact on your business
  • How to correct online business data immediately

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 California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. In fiscal year ‘16, we made $60M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses.  Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.

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

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 August 17 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 August 17 through 31.

Northern California/Sacramento

SimpleSTEPS for Starting Your Business
Date: August 17, 2017 | 6:30 pm PDT – 9:00 pm PDT
Location: Simpkins Family Swim Center
979 17th Ave. Santa Cruz, CA 95062 (map it)
Contact: Edward Fordyce | efordyce@santacruzscore.org | (831) 621-3735
Organization: Santa Cruz SCORE
Fee: $35

This SCORE workshop will help you understand what it takes to successfully start and grow a small business. If you’re a new or early-stage business owner, this workshop is designed for your needs. We’ll present an overview of issues that can impact success or failure for small businesses, drawn directly from real experiences of seasoned entrepreneurs and business leaders:

  • Start-up Myths
  • Business Opportunities
  • Marketing
  • Structure, DBA, Licenses, Insurance
  • Record Keeping & Taxes
  • Cash Needs & Sources
  • Business Plans
  • And more!

Click here to register for this event.

Cash Flow Projections: How to Use Microsoft Excel to Plan Ahead for Your Business
Date: August 23, 2017 | 8:00 pm PDT – 5:00 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 (JEDI)
Fee: $10

Join the Jefferson Economic Development Institute (JEDI) for an intensive one-day session to set your business up for financial success. Together we’ll complete a cash flow spreadsheet and learn some basics of Microsoft Excel.

Get answers to your key questions such as:

  • What is a cash flow projection? Learn what the future may hold by creating the good, the bad and the ugly.
  • Is it all pie in the sky? Learn how to make sales projections based on research, comparison and solid assumptions.
  • When do I need a cash flow? Learn the different uses of a cash flow so you can make better decisions in your business planning.

Click here or call (503) 926-6670 to register for this event.

Marketing For Your Small Business
Date: August 24, 2017 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: 550 E Shaw Ave. Fresno, CA 93710 (map it)
Contact: David Vazquez | davazquez@csufresno.edu | (559) 278-3712
Organization: Fresno State SBDC Fresno/Madera
Fee: $75

Learn about the fundamentals of branding during this two hour intensive workshop. Whether you’re having trouble generating new business or have marketing brand in place, work with us to define and optimize your small business marketing focus.

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

How To Get A Business Loan
Date: August 17, 2017 | 9:30 am PDT – 11:30 am PDT
Location: University of La Verne Campus Center Third Floor
2000 2nd St. La Verne, CA 91750 (map it)
Contact: Fidel Gomez | fgomez@laverne.edu | (909) 448-1573
Organization: University of La Verne SBDC
Fee: Free

Join us at the SBDC for a free seminar on how to prepare your best application for a small business loan. We’ll cover the following topics:

  • SBA loans and loan qualifications
  • Criteria lenders look for
  • Loan package process
  • And more!

Opportunity Fund loan consultant Osbaldo Velazquez is scheduled to attend the event. He will be available to answer your questions about small business loans including how to get started.

Click here to register for this event.

Legal Forms of Organization
Date: August 21, 2017 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: 3780 Market St. Riverside, CA 92501 (map it)
Contact: Dee Ann Chandler | deeann@iewbc.org | (909) 890-1242
Organizations: Inland Empire Women’s Business Center
Fee: $20

Join this workshop featuring an attorney who will educate you about the different forms of business organization and which is most beneficial for your business, including tax consequences and benefits of each type of information.

We’ll also discuss how to protect your personal assets and property from lawsuits plus how to prevent piercing of the corporate veil of protection.

The workshop will close with an overview of legal issues facing a small business from startup to success.

Click here to register for this event.

Social Media Sells: Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram
Date: August 22, 2017 | 9:00 am PDT – 12:00 pm PDT
Location: Menifee Valley Chamber of Commerce—Upstairs Conference Room
29737 New Hub Dr. #102 Menifee, CA 92586 (map it)
Contact: Mary Takavorian | mtakavorian@iesmallbusiness.com | (909) 983-0751
Organization: Inland Empire SBDC
Fee: Free

Social Media is a moving target with constant changes happening every day. Join this free workshop to get the up-to-date information on how you can use social media to grow your business.

Topics include:

  • Define marketing goals and strategies using free and subscription tools
  • Get started with social media analytics from gathering data to interpreting results
  • Set marketing goals based on analytics to optimize impact
  • Identify the latest trends with social media tools including Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Linkedin, and Twitter
  • Analyze the demographics of who uses different social media platforms
  • Understand how and why Pinterest and Instagram choose to purchase products or services directly from a post
  • Discover how to use social media for non-profit and business to business marketing

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Essential Elements of Every Small Business Website
Date: August 17, 2017 | 10:00 am PDT – 11:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: (732) 224-2573
Organization: Monmouth (New Jersey) SCORE
Fee: Free

Your website is the hub of your entire online presence and must function as a marketing asset. In this webinar, Duct Tape Marketing founder John Jantsch will cover the key features every small business website must have in the world of marketing-activated websites.

Topics include:

  • Draw visitors in with a compelling promise
  • Include key trust-building elements prospects look for
  • Create a “Call to Action” that gets clicks
  • Develop content to attract search engines
  • Build a homepage journey for your ideal client

Move your business beyond brochures and make the leap to digital!

Click here to register for this event.

Smart Borrowing Practices
Date: August 30, 2017 | 10:00 pm PDT – 11:00 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: workshops@sba.gov | (206) 553-7310
Organization: SBA Seattle District Office
Fee: Free

If you’re considering a major financial decision like purchasing a car or house, or looking to borrow money, this free webinar is your starting point on the journey.

Topics include:

  • Smart borrowing tips
  • Your rights as a borrower
  • Signs of predatory lending
  • And more!

Click here to register for this event.

The Hidden Benefits of Going Green
Date: August 31, 2017| 10:00 am PDT – 11:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: (732) 224-2573
Organization: Monmouth (New Jersey) SCORE
Fee: Free

You probably already know the benefits of improving the environmental sustainability of your small business. Did you know that these initiatives go beyond preserving scarce resources like water and energy to helping lower your costs and gain customers?

Get tips for retailers looking to advance their sustainability efforts in this free webinar, including:

  • Low and no cost steps to take that will result in near-term savings
  • Special tips for food service establishments
  • Ways to share your efforts and appeal to your increasingly socially and environmentally conscious customers
  • 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.


Opportunity Fund is California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. In fiscal year ‘16, we made $60M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses.  Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.

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 July 31 through August 16.

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 July 31 through August 16.

Northern California/Sacramento

Modesto: Business Start Up
Date: August 8, 2017 | 8:00 am PDT – 10:00 am PDT
Location: Kirk Lindsey Center
1020 10th St. Suite 102 Modesto, CA 95354 (map it)
Contact: Peni Hogwood | phogwood@stanbusalliance.com | (209) 422-6416
Organization: Valley Sierra SBDC Modesto
Fee: Free

If you dream of owning your own business and think you have what it takes to be successful, this free two hour workshop is for you.

Join us for an entrepreneur’s introduction to the basics of starting a new business. Bring your ideas for your business model—rough ideas are okay too! Get answers to your questions like:

  • Is your idea viable?
  • What kind of financing will it take to open your business?
  • Why do you need a business plan?
  • What are the risks, pitfalls, and requirements of opening a new business?
  • And more!

Click here to register for this event.

California Small Business Insurance Requirements Seminar
Date: August 3, 2017 | 2:00 pm PDT – 3:00 pm PDT
Location: 4608 Duckhorn Dr. Sacramento, CA 95834 (map it)
Contact: Catrina Avila | admin@vbocix.org | (916) 527-8400
Organization: Veterans Business Outreach Program
Fee: Free

California law mandates employers to have certain types of insurance, including workers’ compensation, unemployment, and (contingent on the business location) disability insurance, and others depending on your type of business. Join this seminar to learn the difference between the types of insurance and how to get started for your business.

Click here to register for this event. This seminar is also available as a webinar. Click here for more information.

WE Thrive Together on Tuesday: Being Bold With Heart – Networking Success Tips You Can Implement Now
Date: August 5, 2017 | 12:00 pm PDT – 1:30 pm PDT
Location: Moseley Family Cellars
4713 Mountain Lakes Blvd. Suite 300 Redding, CA 96003 (map it)
Contact: info@e-jedi.org | (530) 926-6670
Organization: Jefferson Economic Development Institute (JEDI)
Fee: Free

Join the Jefferson Economic Development Institute (JEDI) for this networking opportunity that will help you create a story for your small business.

Women share a desire to connect. We value our relationships. Together, let’s explore why our female assets are admirable in business development.

Discover these building blocks for small business success:

  • Define what “convenience” means for you in business development
  • Create a personal asset inventory
  • Engage your top 3 personality assets for successful marketing ideas

Click here or call (503) 926-6670 to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

How to Start Your Business Financials in Excel
Date: August 9, 2017 | 12:00 pm PDT – 2:00 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

Overcome your fear of starting with an empty Excel spreadsheet. Learn the basic Excel functions necessary to develop your financials and then build a basic Profit and Loss statement for your business in this workshop.

For maximum impact you may bring your laptop to follow along, but it is not required. Basic computer knowledge is required for this class.

Click here to register for this event.

Demystifying the Commercial Leasing Process
Date: August 9, 2017 | 1:30 pm PDT – 4:30 pm PDT
Location: Mission Viejo City Hall—Saddleback Room
200 Civic Center Mission Viejo, CA 92691 (map it)
Contact: (714) 550-7369
Organizations: Orange County SCORE
Fee: $35 via pre-registration online  $45 at the door (cash or check only)

Commercial building owners and their agents each have a strong background in negotiating leases, which most commercial tenants lack. This course can help you even the score with skills on how to lease the right office, industrial, or retail space for your business.

Leasing commercial property takes knowledge and skill. Whether you are planning to lease a commercial property on your own or use the services of a qualified broker, this seminar will guide you through the steps of the process and prepare you for signing your lease with confidence.

Click here to register for this event.

Communicating & Negotiating Effectively Across Cultures
Date: August 10, 2017 | 10:00 am PDT – 12:00 pm PDT
Location: San Diego Public Library—Mary Hollis Clark Conference Center
330 Park Blvd. San Diego, CA 92101 (map it)
Contact: Cynthia Harris | cynthia.harris@sba.gov | (619) 727-4885
Organization: SBA San Diego District Office
Fee: Free

In today’s global environment, we must work with people from other cultures. Communicating with people with different cultural groups can be challenging, whether they are colleagues we are working with, suppliers and clients we are doing business with, or direct reports we are supervising. Each culture has its own rules and norms, which prescribe the attitudes and behaviors considered normal within that culture.

Our cultural background programs the way we view and interpret the world around us. Few of us are aware of our own cultural biases and baggage. This workshop will help you develop effective communication skills with people from other cultures through mindful and conscious learning.

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Low Cost Marketing Ideas
Date: August 3, 2017 | 9:00 am PDT – 10:30 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Melissa Terrell | mterrell@theinstitutenc.org
Organization: The Women’s Business Center of North Carolina
Fee: Free

Learn how to create a marketing strategy that supports your business goals. This seminar will cover the best free and low-cost marketing tools and help promote your business without breaking the bank.

Click here to register for this event.

Demystifying Business Insurance
Date: August 10, 2017 | 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

You’ve embarked on the incredible journey of starting your own business. You completed your business plan and worked with a top notch attorney to set up the right business structure for your new business. You found a prime location and space for your business and you’re ready to launch. There’s just one little thing left: insurance.

You have no idea what types of insurance coverage you need. The information your friends or family members tell you about insurance is confusing and may not be accurate.

This webinar from the SBA will help you get started with business insurance. Get answers to your questions:

  • Why do I need insurance?
  • What is the difference between first party and third party insurance coverage?
  • What are the common types of insurance coverage for business owners?
  • Why should I select available “optional” coverage?
  • How do I find the right business insurance agent?
  • What are the common myths about insurance?
  • And more!

The SBA Seattle District Office offers free workshops the second and fourth Tuesday of each month. Here’s an upcoming slate of free August events:

  • Webinar | August 10 | 9 – 10:30 a.m. | Make the World’s Biggest Buyer Your Customer through Government Contracting
  • Webinar | August 10 | 12:30 – 1 p.m. | Demystifying Business Insurance
  • Webinar | August 10 | 2:15 -3:45 p.m. | DIY Market Research with the U.S. Census Bureau
  • Seattle (in-person event) | August 24 | 9 – 10:30 a.m. | Meet the Lenders: How to Finance Your Small Business
  • Seattle (in-person event) | August 24 | 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. | Your Business Plan: Do the Financials Add Up?
  • Seattle (in-person event) | August 24 | 1 – 2:30 p.m. | Best Financial Practices for Your Business

Click here to register for this event and to get more information on upcoming seminars from the SBA Seattle District office.

Small Business Mentoring for your LGBT Business
Date: August 15, 2017| 7:00 am PDT – 8:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Valerie Maher | Houston@sba.gov | (713) 773-6500
Organization: SBA Houston District Office
Fee: Free

Join this free webinar for entrepreneurs. You’ll get information about:

  • How to get business counseling through SCORE, Small Business Development Center (SBDC), and Women’s Business Center (WBC)
  • How to grow your business
  • How the Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce can help your business
  • How small businesses benefit from SBA programs

Speakers will include:

  • SBA Houston District Office Experts
  • GHLGBTCC Chamber Leadership
  • SCORE
  • LGBT Business Owner

This workshop is open to all and we encourage the following groups to attend:

  • LGBT business owners (or prospective business owners)
  • Currently certified LGBTBEs seeking new growth strategies
  • Local business leaders
  • Supplier Diversity and procurement professionals
  • Anyone committed to the economic advancement of LGBT community

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 California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. In fiscal year ‘16, we made $60M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses.  Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.

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 organization 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 organization tools.

From invoices to inspiration, being a small business owner can be overwhelming. You need a way to remember and keep track of your business without going crazy. We’ve compiled this list of tools and resources that will help you organize your workload.

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Evernote is a really popular tool for creating and organizing notes in the cloud. With Evernote’s free plan, you can synch up your notes across two devices, with 60MB storage, and can even store web pages and photos for reference. Paid plans offer premium non-essential services such as forwarding emails, accessing notes across unlimited devices and even offline, scanning and storing business cards, annotating PDFs, and browsing through your notes history. If you’re the kind of person who has a million things to remember but can’t keep a list all in one place, Evernote might be the free tool for you.

How much it costs: Free

What it does: We’ve recommended a free Google product before, but here’s another one that can really benefit your small business. Google Drive is a completely free service that you can use with or without your gmail account, and you can purchase additional cloud storage space if you need. Upload files, documents, and powerpoints into your Drive and share it with anyone you want easily.

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Producteev is a great way to organize your projects. You can easily keep track of to-do lists, collaborators, priorities, and deadlines for any project your small business has. Don’t bother paying for their premium plan that only adds custom colors and online support; their free plan has everything you need to orangize and track your business operations.

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Some people love to remember things by snapping a photo of it with their smartphone and looking at it later. Genius Scan offers a business-oriented approach to this same idea. Download the app on either Android or iPhone and easily take quality photos and scans of receipts, invoices, notes, and other documents. For an affordable one-time fee, you can add on other features including exporting your scanned items to cloud storage systems if you want to access them on a desktop.

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Pinterest can be used for more than recipes and DIY project ideas. Businesses sometimes use Pinterest to promote their products and blog posts, but you can also use it to organize inspiration for your small business. A unique use for this completely free website and app is to create private boards and pin instructional blog posts you want to read or ideas you like for anything from menu designs to decor for your business’ redecorating plan. Download their free tool to instantly grab content from the web for faster organization.

 

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 California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. In FY16 year, we made $60M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses.  Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.

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

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 July 3 through July 16.

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 July 3 through July 16.

Northern California/Sacramento

Drive New Business with Social Media
Date: July 6, 2017 | 10:00 am PDT – 12:00 pm PDT
Location: Simpkins Family Swim Center
979 17th St. Santa Cruz, CA 95062 (map it)
Contact: John Yost | jyost@santacruz.score.org | (831) 621-3735
Organization: Santa Cruz SCORE
Fee: $35

Join Santa Cruz SCORE for this workshop that will teach you how to get started with social media for your business or non-profit.

This session will answer your key questions, including:

  • Which social media platform(s) will have the biggest bang for your buck?
  • How to create content to grow your followers?
  • How to advertise on social media?
  • And more!

Click here to register for this event.

How Smart Business Owners Use Credit Cards
Date: July 13, 2017 | 9:30 am PDT – 10:30 am PDT
Location: 455 Market St. Suite 600 San Francisco, CA 94105 (map it)
Contact: sfomail@sba.gov | (415) 744-6820
Organization: U.S. Small Business Association
Fee: Free

Credit cards can be a great tool for managing cash flow or can be helpful as a short-term loan option. Join the SBA for this free seminar to learn how to use credit cards for your business to earn some sweet rewards while avoiding costly pitfalls.

We’ll discuss:

  • Pros and cons of credit cards for entrepreneurs
  • Different types of credit cards and how they can affect your credit scores
  • Common credit card mistakes many small business owners make
  • The one piece of plastic you should not use in your business
  • Key differences between personal and business cards
  • Qualifying for the best business credit cards
  • And more!

Click here to register for this event.

Meet the Lenders Workshop
Date: July 13, 2017 | 12:30 pm PDT – 3:30 pm PDT
Location: Mt. Shasta Community Building
629 Alder St. Mt. Shasta, CA 96067 (map it)
Contact: info@e-jedi.org | (530) 926-6670
Organization: Jefferson Economic Development Institute (JEDI)
Fee: Free

Join us at Meet the Lenders and get answers to your questions on financing options for startups and expanding businesses, veteran entrepreneurs, and others through local and JEDI partner organizations.

We will cover:

  • Financing options available to small businesses
  • Loans for real estate, equipment, or machinery
  • Funding sources and services for veterans

Find the financing that fits your business needs! Click here or call (503) 926-6670 to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

Introduction to QuickBooks
Date: July 6, 2017 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: 1003 East Cooley Dr. Suite 109 Colton, CA 92324 (map it)
Contact: Dee Anna Chandler | deeann@iewbc.org | (909) 890-1242
Organization: Inland Empire Women’s Business Center
Fee: Free

Learning a new software package can be scary. Join this free seminar and replace the fear with excitement.

Quickbooks can help you build, maintain, and grow your business by providing automated bookkeeping and accounting procedures that help you stay on top. Learn ways to customize the software to your specific needs and create quality reports that keep you on track, including:

  • Tracking income and expenses
  • Maintaining your accounts receivables and payables
  • Creating quality financial statements

Want more Quickbooks? Register for the 3-part hands-on Quickbooks training at IWEB, which starts July 27. Call Dee Anna Chandler at (909) 890-1242 for more information.

Click here to register for this event.

Bring Attention To Your Website and Your Business With Video!
Date: July 11, 2017 6:00 pm PDT – 9:00 pm PDT
Location: Bellflower City Hall
16600 Civic Center Dr. Bellflower, CA 90706 (map it)
Contact: (714) 550-7369
Organization: Orange County SCORE
Fee: Free

Video is becoming the content of choice to showcase your business, your product, or your service online! Learn how to create and publish do-it-yourself video throughout your website, social media, and email with the tools you already have!

Haven’t you always wanted to direct? Join us for this free workshop and learn: 

  • Brand standards and consistency on your website, social media, and video.
  • Tools and techniques for making your own videos look polished and professional.
  • Information on apps that make it easy.
  • Actionable steps to market your video online with email and social media.

Click here to register for this event.

Access to Capital Workshop
Date: July 12, 2017 | 5:00 pm PDT – 8:30 pm PDT
Location: Downtown Anaheim Community Center—Assembly Hall
250 E. Center St. Anaheim, CA 92805 (map it)
Contact: Martha Cisneros | mcisneros@elcamino.edu |(310) 973-3177
Organization: The Center and Orange County SBDC
Fee: Free

Join Opportunity Fund at Access to Capital Small Business Workshop, hosted by The Center and the Orange County Small Business Development Center (SBDC).

Come meet non-profit and government organizations committed to supporting small business:

  • Orange County SBDC
  • SBA
  • Anaheim Small Business Organization
  • CIELO
  • Opportunity Fund
  • And more!

These organizations can help you with challenges ranging from lowering your cost of capital to preparing your loan application package.

Enter to win a $1,500 Business Advancement Grant! At registration, simply tell us your story—why you run a small business & some of your challenges and successes—to be eligible.

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Small Business Owners: Access Financial Resources to Boost Your Bottom Line
Date: July 6, 2017 | 9:00 am PDT – 10:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Mary Overbey
Organization: Small Business Majority
Fee: Free

If you need help accessing financial, health, or retirement resources to boost your bottom line and provide robust employee benefits, join this free webinar to learn about resources that can benefit your small business.

This free interactive event series will expand your knowledge of various topics such as optimizing your credit score, improving your health literacy, and exploring convenient retirement saving options. Register for one event, or sign up for the whole series for the most impact on your business!

  • Presentation #1 – Financial Resources (7/6/2017)
    Optimize your credit score, spot signs of predatory and payday lending, and easily access capital for your business.
  • Presentation #2 – Retirement Resources (7/13/2017)
    Discover the U.S. retirement savings gap and a summary of common retirement paths for entrepreneurs to help you and your employees save for the future and secure your finances.
  • Presentation #3 – Health Resources (7/20/2017)
    Learn what healthcare laws means for small businesses, and how repealing the ACA (or “Obamacare”) could impact employer-sponsored coverage for small firms and individual coverage for the self-employed. Additionally, we’ll provide examples of easy and affordable wellness programs that can benefit the health of your business and employees, and provide you with a guide to increase your health literacy.

Click here to register for this event.

Financial Calculations That Answer Key Business Questions
Date: July 11, 2017 | 10:00 am PDT – 11:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: (626) 585-3106
Organization: Pasadena SBDC
Fee: $25

Business owners can struggle with questions that affect the financial health of the company:

  • Are we selling at the right price?
  • Are we making money?
  • Can we afford to hire someone?

In this webinar, learn about Performance Measurements—simple mathematical calculations that can monitor sales, overhead, and profitability. Use them for business, independent of size and scope.

Click here to register for this event.

5 Cheap Ways to Market Your Business Online
Date: July 13, 2017| 10:30 am PDT – 11:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Kimberly Donahue | kimberly.donahue@sba.gov | (304) 347-5220
Organization: U.S. Small Business Administration
Fee: Free

Getting your business online isn’t as complicated—or expensive—as you might think. Join this free webinar and discuss ways to promote your business online without breaking the bank or driving yourself crazy.

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 California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. Last year, we made $60M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses.  Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.

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

A huge key to the growth of your small business is whether your customers can easily do business with you from their cell phones. Read more to find out why a mobile-friendly business is important and how you can achieve this with minimal time and cost.

A huge key to the growth of your small business is whether your customers can easily do business with you from their cell phones. Read more to find out why a mobile-friendly business is important and how you can achieve this with minimal time and cost.

 

You may be thinking to yourself, “Why bother?” We understand that your time is precious as a small business owner, but investing in taking your business mobile is worth it.

More and more people are using their mobile devices to surf the web and make purchases online. In fact, mobile usage is surpassing traditional desktop use. What this means for your business is that your customers want to be able to interact with you from their cell phones and tablets. The benefit of increased traffic to your website and increased purchases of your product/service far outweighs the time it will take you to set up a more mobile company.

These four tips will help you develop a great mobile strategy to attract more customers.

Build and Optimize Your Website

If your business doesn’t already have a website, you need to create one. Having a digital presence is vital to succeeding in today’s business environment.

Check your website on your mobile device to see how it looks to your customers. Your website hosting service might have a place to configure how your site looks on mobile. If it doesn’t, you will have to figure it out yourself by doing research or hiring someone to do it. The time spent on making your website mobile-friendly will be worth it when you get more conversions.

Here’s a Tip: Make your phone number a click-to-call link so visitors who are interested in contacting you can easily tap on their screen and call you. Removing the extra step of manually dialing in your phone number is a surprising way to get more interaction.

Engage in Social Media

Smart phones and social media go hand-in-hand. A Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook page are a great way to reach out to potential customers. You can post deals, opening hours, promotions, and related content that you want to share with your followers. Customers can find out how to contact you, read and post reviews, and get the latest news on new items or sales. Check out our blog post for some resources for making quality social media content.

Even if your small business isn’t in retail or food service, social media can benefit you. Think of Facebook and Instagram as a mobile portfolio for your previous work. Seeing quality photos of your products or services, as well as you and your staff, can offer reassurance to potential new customers that your business is legitimate.

Here’s a Tip: Use a scheduling service to space out your social media posts for consistent exposure. It is easy to set up a post from your own cell phone and have it published at the optimal time. While your customers may be glued to their phones, you don’t have to be.

Expand Into E-Commerce

If you only offer your products and services in a brick-and-mortar store, you are missing out on a lot of sales. Selling online is not as scary as it may seem, and it will definitely boost your bottom line.

Just posting regularly updated photos and pricing for what your business offers – to both your website and social media – will help customers looking on their devices know right away if you have what they’re looking for.

Here’s a Tip: Participate in delivery and mobile ordering apps. This list has eight popular apps that you might consider joining. If you aren’t a restaurant, Postmates and Delivery.com will also deliver other items from your business.

Move Communications to Mobile Phones

Mobile communication applies to both your employees and your customers. Ask customers for their preferred method of communication whether that is email, phone calls, or texting. Log into your email on your phone, and check it regularly.  If you don’t have two separate phones, you’ll have to learn to balance work and personal communication, but being able to answer a client’s question or follow up with them on an offer within seconds cuts out unnecessary time for both of you.

Use group instant messaging to keep your employees on the same page. Some business owners ask their employees use this to call in sick, to find out who wants to trade shifts, or to give quick updates.

Here’s a tip: Texting really is a growing method of customer service and marketing. Don’t get too promotional, but you can easily ask simple poll questions, provide easy customer service, offer text-only sale or discount opportunities, and develop a personal relationship with your customers so they’ll come back to you. Just remember in certain states, like California, you must get permission up front to use their mobile phone for text communications.

 

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 California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. In FY16, we made $60M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses.  Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.

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

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 June 16 through June 30.

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 June 16 through June 30.

Northern California/Sacramento

Planning for Profit
Date: June 16, 2017 | 9:00 am PST – 12:00 pm PST
Location: Diablo Valley College Humanities Building Room H119 (adjacent to Parking Lot 7)
321 Golf Club Rd. Pleasant Hill, CA 94523 (map it)
Contact: info@eastbayscore.org | (510) 273-6611
Organization: East Bay SCORE
Fee: $35

Join East Bay SCORE for this seminar on the financial concepts and reports that allow a business owner to understand the financial health of his/her business and plan for profitable growth in this seminar.

You will learn and discuss:

  • Profits
  • Financial planning
  • Key financial terms

Learn key skills for your business:

  • How to determine the start-up funds your business requires and put together a funding plan
  • How to prepare sales projections
  • How to plan for ongoing operating expenses
  • How to understand the three major financial statements (balance sheet, profit and loss statement, and cash flow statement)
  • How to interpret the importance and impact of your financial statements on your business
  • How to prepare a breakeven analysis
  • How to build a financial projection that will determine if your business is viable

Click here to register for this event.

Keeping Track of Your Numbers
Date: June 21, 2017 | 5:00 pm PST – 8:00 pm PST
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

In this seminar, you’ll learn how to easily create an income (profit and loss) statement, a balance sheet, and a cash flow forecast, plus what all of the financial records mean. This business seminar will also show You’ll also learn about how to manage tax regulations and make business decisions directly from your financial numbers.

Click here to register for this event.

Employment Law for Small Business
Date: June 28, 2017 | 2:00 pm PST – 4:00 pm PST
Location: Oakland City Hall
1 Frank Ogawa Plaza Hearing Room 2 Oakland, CA 94612 (map it)
Contact: Lee Lambert | lee@acsbdc.org | (510) 208-0410
Organization: Alameda County SBDC
Fee: Free

Owners of small businesses are challenged to create and maintain a positive, high functioning working environment within a maze of federal, state and local regulations. Legal requirements are present whether you’re hiring, firing, disciplining, evaluating performance, promoting, considering requests for leave or dealing with any of dozens of other employee issues.

What are the laws and regulations that pertain to you, and what are the best practices to manage your business while staying in compliance? This seminar will help you to understand federal, state and local requirements for your business, including:

  • Latest information on wage and hour legislation and regulations
  • How to manage your business to comply with these laws and regulations
  • Highest risk areas where your business is most vulnerable to employee lawsuits
  • Measure FF, the City of Oakland minimum wage, sick pay and PTO requirements

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

Back to Business – 45 Ways to Grow Your List
Date: June 20, 2017 | 9:00 am PST – 12:00 pm PST
Location: City of San Bernardino Training Center
201 North “E” St. San Bernardino, CA 92401 (map it)
Contact: Mary Takavorian | mtakavorian@iesmallbusiness.com | (909) 983-0751
Organization: Inland Empire SBDC
Fee: Free

Having an interested and qualified list of contacts that you can stay top of mind with is vital to every business. Continuing to grow that list is just as important. This workshop will show you 45 easy ways to grow your contact list today! We will cover:

  • Why someone should join your contact list
  • How to create “What’s In It For Me?” for your prospects
  • How to ask people to join your list “face-to-face”
  • How to use social media to grow your list
  • How to grow your list on your website or blog
  • How to use print material to get people to sign up
  • How to use events to help grow your list
  • How to use incentives and giveaways to grow your list

Plus, you’ll have a chance to network with other attendees and grow your contact list live during the workshop!

Click here to register for this event.

Create Your #SocialBusiness Plan
Date: June 23, 2017 9:00 am PST – June 24 12:00 pm PST
Location: 1003 East Cooley Dr. Suite 109 Colton, CA 92324 (map it)
Contact: Dee Ann Chandler | deeann@iewbc.org | (909) 890-1242
Organization: Inland Empire Women’s Business Center
Fee: $139

It’s up to you as a small business owner to tell the story about your company online.   

In this 2-day, hands-on workshop, you will receive instruction plus a blueprint to get you on your way to creating a digital marketing plan that works for YOUR business. Get ready to roll up your sleeves and work on your plan!

Get answers to these issues and more:

  • Digital marketing defined
  • Identify the next 3 steps you need to take to make your mark online
  • Create a content plan to show your audience that you are the leader in your industry
  • Win with engagement: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest
  • Decide how you will measure success

Click here to register for this event.

Instagram 101 for Business
Date: June 29, 2017 | 1:00 pm PST – 3:00 pm PST
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

Learn the basics of how to get started with Instagram for your business in this free seminar:

  • How to set up your profile
  • How to get followers
  • Choosing the right hashtags
  • Creatively designing pictures

All participants will get a bonus ebook how to convert social media likes to sales.

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

How to Borrow Money for Your Business and Avoid Abusive Lending
Date: June 21, 2017 | 12:00 pm PST – 1:00 pm PST
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: info@e-jedi.org | (530) 926-6670
Organization: Jefferson Economic Development Institute
Fee: Free

Would a little money make a big difference in your business?

Have you thought about borrowing money, but don’t know where to start?

Are you stuck paying on high-interest loans or credit?

Understanding alternative small business lending and gaining access to responsible and transparent capital can help any business grow more quickly towards success.

We have partnered with JEDI to present this webinar to help small business borrow money responsibly. In this hour long session you will learn:

  • How to avoid the abusive practices of many alternative small business lenders today
  • How we and JEDI help small business owners grow responsibly
  • How to prepare and apply for a loan with a JEDI counselor
  • What it takes to get a loan with us

The webinar is hosted by Opportunity Fund Community Development Officer Robert Zapata. All who register will be sent a recording of the presentation. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information about joining the webinar.

Click here to register for this event.

SBA Radio Show
Date: June 22, 2017 | 11:00 am PST – 12:00 pm PST
Location: Online—Radio broadcast
Contact: wsRadioStaff@gmail.com
Organization: SBA San Diego
Fee: Free

SBA Radio is a weekly small business advisory show built to assist and inform small businesses with the latest information from the Small Business Administration. The government has many programs to help small businesses and this is the show that keeps you informed.

Tune in every Thursday at 11am for this weekly radio show and start improving your business!

Click here to access the broadcast and to find archived shows online.

Options for Small Business Healthcare
Date: June 26, 2017| 10:30 am PST – 11:30 am PST
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Martin Short | martin.short@sba.gov | (803) 253-3753
Organization: U.S. Small Business Administration—South Carolina District Office
Fee: Free

Effective in 2017, Small Businesses can utilize Health Spending Accounts (HSA) to fund coverage for their employees through the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—a real benefit for higher paid, white collar workers.

In this webinar, you’ll get answers to your questions about health care for your small business:

  • What is the ACA and how does it work?
  • What are the differences between business and individual coverage options and requirements?
  • Is my business required to do anything?
  • Can I get tax credits of up to 50% for small businesses offering group health insurance through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP)?
  • What are COBRA alternatives and I may never have another COBRA enrollee?

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 California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. Last year, we made $60M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses.  Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.

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

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 June 1 through June 15.

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 June 1 through June 15.

Northern California/Sacramento

Internet Marketing For Business Owners
Date: June 2, 2017 | 11:30 am PST – 1:30 pm PST
Location: One Capitol Mall Suite 700 Sacramento, CA 95814 (map it)
Contact: Jessica Weeks | jweeks@metrochamber.org | (916) 319-4268
Organization: NEC SBDC – Capital Region
Fee: Free

Join the Northeastern California Capitol Region SBDC for this Executive Series seminar on internet marketing for small business owners.

Topics will include:

  • Website Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Local SEO using Google Places, Yelp, and other review sites and directories
  • Social Media platforms like Facebook and Twitter
  • Video creation, optimization, marketing and advertising
  • Google pay per click (PPC) advertising

Click here to register for this event.

SimpleSTEPS for Starting Your Business
Date: June 8, 2017 | 6:30 pm PST – 9:00 pm PST
Location: Santa Cruz County SCORE @ Simpkins Family Swim Center
979 17th St. Santa Cruz, CA 95062 (map it)
Contact: Edward Fordyce | efordyce@santacruzscore.org  | (831) 621-3735
Organization: Santa Cruz SCORE
Fee: $35

This SCORE workshop helps people understand what it takes to successfully start a small business. Real life experiences from small business owners helped us create this workshop to help new and early-stage businesses by presenting a broad brush overview of the subjects that may impact their success or failure, such as:

  • Start-up Myths
  • Critical Factors to Success
  • Business Opportunities
  • Marketing
  • Structure: DBA, Licenses, and Insurance
  • Record Keeping & Taxes
  • Cash Needs & Sources
  • Business Plans
  • Next Steps

Click here to register for this event.

Retail Basics – Seminar for Online and Brick & Mortar Retailers
Date: June 13, 2017 | 3:00 pm PST – 5:30 pm PST
Location: East Bay SCORE @ 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

This interactive seminar is tailored to answer your questions about online, brick & mortar, and other retail-oriented selling. The seminar will focus on subjects important to the participants, including:

  • Merchandise selection and assortment strategies
  • Inventory management and flow tactics, turnover and budgeting
  • Expenses to consider
  • Vendor support and compliance
  • Sales and seasonal forecasting techniques
  • Buying and selling merchandise while making a profit

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

Built By She: Speaks – with Natasha Case
Date: June 6, 2017 | 6:00 pm PST – 8:00 pm PST
Location: 10250 Constellation Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90067 (map it)
Contact: Kim Scanlan | kscanlan@cvwbc.org | (760) 345-9200
Organization: Built by She
Fee: $5

Built By She is hosting its second event called Built By She – Speaks to connect and inspire women entrepreneurs.

Join Opportunity Funded small business borrower Natasha Case, co-founder of Coolhaus. Natasha has grown her ice cream business to include four trucks and two storefronts in Los Angeles, two trucks and one cart in New York City, and four trucks in Dallas, Texas, plus Coolhaus pre-packaged ice cream sandwiches, hand-dipped bars, and hand-packed pints in over 5,000 grocery stores around the U.S. and internationally in Asia and the Middle East. Networking begins at 6:00pm with wine and ice cream before Natasha takes the stage to speak at 6:30pm.

Click here to register for this event.

Change Management for Small Businesses
Date: June 7, 2017 | 6:00 pm PST – 8:00 pm PST
Location: 1003 East Cooley Dr. Suite 109 Colton, CA 92324 (map it)
Contact: Dee Ann Chandler | deeann@iewbc.org | (909) 890-1242
Organization: Inland Empire Women’s Business Center
Fee: $20

Change happens! As the only constant in business today and the new “business as usual” cjange can be scary, but if you learn how to identify change and then maneuver through it, you can continue operational success.

This workshop will address your most important questions such as:

  • Where do I start?
  • Whom do I involve in the change process?
  • How do I stick to the change?

Click here to register for this event.

Business Essentials for Entrepreneurs
Date: June 8, 2017 | 10:30 am PST – 12:30 pm PST
Location: West Los Angeles Business Source Center
13160 Mindanao Way Suite #240 Marina del Rey, CA 90292 (map it)
Contact: Daniel Ing | ding@pacela.org | (213) 353-9400
Organization:  PACE LA Business Development Center
Fee: Free

This new FREE workshop provides entrepreneurs with information to get your business started on the right path. You’ll learn:

  • Entrepreneur Keys to Success
  • Introduction to Business Planning
  • Choice of Business Entities
  • Basics of Financing Your Business

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Small Business, Big Threat: Is Your Business Protected?
Date: June 6, 2017 | 8:00 am PST – 9:00 am PST
Location: Online—Webinar
Organization: U.S. Small Business Administration
Fee: Free

Small businesses are most at risk for cyber attack because they are not aware of the unique cyber threats that target small businesses. Learn best practices for protecting your small business during this one-hour webinar, hosted by the Small Business Administration District Offices of Michigan and Ohio.

Click here to register for this event.

Social Media for Small Business Webinar
Date: June 7, 2017| 8:00 am PST – 8:30 am PST
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Karol Ikeda | karol.ikeda@sba.gov | (316) 269-6273
Organization: U.S. Small Business Administration
Fee: Free

Get answers to your questions about how to maximize social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snap Chat, Indeed, and many more in this free webinar. Learn how to use social media to help your small business grow.

Click here to register for this event. You will receive login instructions for the webinar via email.

Small Business Success Virtual Conference
Date: June 8, 2017 | 9:00 am PST – 2:00 pm PST
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: webinars@score.org
Organization: SCORE
Fee: Free

Login June 8th for the Small Business Success Virtual Conference powered by SCORE and Verisign. This half-day event offers educational webinars, one-on-one mentoring sessions, exhibitor booths, and networking chat rooms to give you the information you need to succeed as a small business owner.

Attend all or part of this conference to learn:  

  • How to build a strong credit profile to get funding for your business
  • New trends in social media, websites, and technology
  • New laws that will affect how you hire new employees
  • Little-known factors to consider when choosing the right location for 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.


Opportunity Fund is California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. Last year, we made $60M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses.  Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.

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

You’ve probably heard of the U.S. Army’s mantra “Army Strong.” Military branding is famous for consistency and success. Your small business can really benefit from marketing tactics used by the Army. Keep reading to find out how you can make your business strong.

You’ve probably heard of the U.S. Army’s mantra “Army Strong.” Military branding is famous for consistency and success. Your small business can really benefit from marketing tactics used by the Army. Keep reading to find out how you can make your business strong.

 

Nearly ten percent of businesses in the United States are owned by veterans. All of these veterans took valuable skills and attitudes from their military service into a journey of starting their own businesses.

The U.S. Army teaches service members skills that are essential to successfully running a small business: leadership, teamwork, perseverance, resourcefulness, and a variety of concrete industry skills.

Some of these traits are what Don McPeck of Mess Hall Canteen brought to the table – or rather, to the food truck – when he opened his mobile food business themed around the military. Previously, we wrote a success story about how Opportunity Fund helped Don realize his entrepreneurial dreams.

We asked Don about how he used his military experience in running his business and how other small business owners can use the same techniques to improve marketing.

 

Grilling Cheese in Full Battle Rattle

Don and his son Jake McPeck always wanted a military theme. This theme is rare, and the decor could be really cool. The idea of a mess hall on wheels was a good concept that really took off.

The military theme extends from the image to the way Don runs his business. Although there is a long list of traits he picked up from serving in the Army that helps him better serve his customers, he believes that work ethic and dedication to the mission is huge.

On any given morning, a walk into the truck would reveal a spotless, brand new kitchen. Every evening, the kitchen is “GI’ed from top to bottom” and ready for inspection at any time. Using leadership and teamwork refined by his military experience, Don makes sure his employees know his expectations of higher standards of preparedness.

“If you want to be the best, you have to outwork everybody.”

 

Marketing is Mission Critical

Marketing is important for growing a small business, and theme is crucial. Don has seen many food trucks come and go with poorly thought out names that are sometimes offensive to customers. He and his son are thinking about starting a television show where they help save failing food trucks by rebranding them.

Branding, especially for food trucks where space and visibility is limited, is essential to getting your message out to potential customers. From the decorative wrap that covers the truck to the names of menu items, everything about Mess Hall Canteen is dialed into the theme.

In addition to a consistent and unique theme, Don offers another piece of advice to other small business owners. To him, social media is mandatory. He sees a lot of food trucks that don’t use social media to get to build interest, and his secret is promoting his business “all day, every day.”

 

Army Marketing Tips You Can Use For Your Small Business

The U.S. Army has an interesting challenge of re-branding itself to younger generations using social media and digital marketing, something you are probably facing as well.

Check out these two social media handbooks for help making the most out of social media to promote your business.

The first one is published by the U.S. Army. While the messaging is catered to soldiers and officers, the advice will also benefit your small business’ digital marketing plan: The United States Army Social Media Handbook 

This second handbook was created by us, for you. While not as detailed, this handbook is geared specifically to small business marketing: Get and Keep More Customers with Better Digital Marketing – Today

 

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 California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. In FY16, we made $60M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses.  Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.

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

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