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

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 May 16 through May 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 May 16 through May 31.

Northern California/Sacramento

Empowering Women Business Owners: Inspiration – How To Get It And Keep It
Date: May 19, 2017 | 12:30 pm PST – 2:00 pm PST
Location: San Francisco SBA Entrepreneur Center
455 Market St. Suite 600 San Francisco, CA 94105 (map it)
Contact: SFOmail@sba.gov | (415) 744-6820
Organization: U.S. Small Business Administration
Fee: Free

With all the advancements for women in business over the last several decades we have much to celebrate, but we also have a long road ahead. Inspiration is the key ingredient.

The empowerment of women in business is critical to the success of the overall economic fabric of our communities. This workshop will provide you with critical information you can put to use in your business endeavors immediately following the session.

Two of San Francisco’s most admired business women, Gwen Kaplan and Emily Wirowek, will share ‘real-world’ challenges and inspirations and ‘real-life’ solutions to propel your business forward as the leaders of this seminar. Now is the time to be inspired!

Click here to register for this event.

Small Business IT Best Practices
Date: May 24, 2017 | 9:00 am PST – 12:00 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: SCORE East Bay
Fee: $35

Organizations that embrace and leverage technology have a significant competitive advantage.  A modern business integrates technology with business processes to deliver security, control data, improve productivity, and quickly resolve issues.

In this seminar, you’ll learn best practices for future-proofing your organization’s IT including:

  • Risk Mitigation
  • Data Governance
  • Productivity
  • Maintenance & Support

Click here to register for this event.

SCORE Content Marketing Workshop
Date: May 25, 2017 | 10:00 am PST – 12:00 pm PST
Location: 801 R St. Suite 201 Fresno, CA 93721 (map it)
Contact: Chunny Boosa | chunny.boosa@scorevolunteer.org | (559) 492-9709
Organization: Central Valley SCORE
Fee: Free

You’ve heard of “Location, Location, Location” for real estate. For online marketing, it’s “Content, Content, Content!”

In this seminar, you’ll learn the building blocks of great content that engages customers:

  • The words: what to say and the way you say it (tone, date & time, frequency)
  • Audience engagement: attract, engage, and encourage sharing
  • Structure and tools: how to make content creation fast, easy, and effective
  • Content management made easy: time-saving tips, techniques, and apps to boost your content
  • Writing for different platforms: better email subject lines and repurposing content the right way
  • Visual aids: images, graphics, videos, and much more

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

Transform Your Business
Date: May 16, 2017 | 6:00 pm PST – 8:30 pm PST
Location: 77806 Flora Rd. Suite A Palm Desert, CA 92211 (map it)
Contact: Kim Scanlan | kscanlan@cvwbc.org | (760) 345-9200
Organization: Coachella Valley Women’s Business Center
Fee: $20

During this highly interactive and insightful workshop, you’ll discover how consistently attracting high-quality clients and relentless money management is the real keys to profitability. You’ll also learn that proper planning and energy utilization is the foundation of a balanced work and personal life. And, perhaps most important of you’ll find out and appreciate just what it is that you truly love about your transformed business.

Click here to register for this event.

Murrieta-Area Business Roundtable
Date: May 17, 2017 | 8:00 am PST – 9:00 am PST
Location: Murrieta Innovation Center
26442 Beckman Ct. Murrieta, CA 92562 (map it)
Contact: Diana Cescolini | diana.cescolini@scorevolunteer.org | (951) 652-4390
Organization: Inland Empire SCORE
Fee: Free

Come join business leaders and guest speakers in a great networking opportunities at a business roundtable meeting. This is a wonderful way to meet other business owners and discuss important topics crucial to the success of your business. Don’t miss out on this great networking opportunity.

Click here to register for this event.

Snapchat for Business
Date: May 17, 2017 | 6:00 pm PST – 8:00 pm PST
Location: Inglewood Public Library—Gladys Waddingham Lecture Hall
101 W. Manchester Blvd. Inglewood, CA 90301 (map it)
Contact: Martha Cinseros | mcisneros@elcamino.edu | (310) 973-3177
Organization:  SBDC hosted by El Camino College
Fee: Free

Snapchat is one of the fastest growing social networks of the decade. Since its inception in 2011, it has grown to 8 billion daily video views (head to head with Facebook) and 100+ million daily active users.

This platform is a content and storytelling haven. With an engaged user base, Snapchat delivers a marketing channel for the fast pace world we live in. As its user base continues to skyrocket, there is ample opportunity for businesses to take advantage of the attention on Snapchat. Brands like Taco Bell, Burberry, Sephora, Amazon and even Presidential candidates like Bernie Sanders are using it and seeing impactful results.

This interactive Snapchat for business class will provide step by step guidance:

  • How to navigate Snapchat: basic functionality
  • How to create content and build your tribe
  • How to develop a content strategy
  • How to repurpose your Snapchat content for other platforms
  • How to build a cross promotion strategy and plan of action for your business

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Time Management: Maximize Profitability, Achieve More by Doing Less
Date: May 16, 2017 | 8:00 am PST – 9:00 am PST
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Ian Rogers | rogersia@gvsu.edu | (616) 331-7262
Organization: Michigan Small Business Development Center
Fee: Free

The demands that take you away from focusing on your most important work cost you time, money and stress. Some research has found that with the many interruptions in our schedule on a daily basis, we lose 28% productivity! That equates to almost one full day a week!

The models discussed in this webinar are designed to assist busy professionals with organization, prioritization, and narrowing their focus to achieve more and take back their time allowing more time with themselves, family and friends.

Click here to register for this event.

How and Why You Should Track Your Cash Flow Weekly
Date: May 18, 2017| 10:00 am PST – 11:00 am PST
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: webinars@score.org
Organization: SCORE
Fee: Free

Managing your cash flow can be a stressful endeavor for small business owners. But you don’t need an accounting degree to track this key metric.

In this webinar, you will learn the fundamentals of cash flow management, including how to:

  • Develop a cash flow budget on your own
  • Use the budget to make critical business decisions
  • Forecast the future of your business with more certainty

Click here to register for this event.

Can Your Business Keep Up with Today’s Customer?
Date: May 30, 2017 | 10:00 am PST – 11:00 am PST
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: webinars@score.org
Organization: SCORE
Fee: Free

As social and mobile technologies change, businesses and customers interact differently. Customers are more sophisticated and knowledgeable than ever, but many small businesses don’t know how to adapt and keep up.

Join Laurie McCabe, six-time Small Business Influencer Award winner and Cofounder at SMB Group for this seminar where you will to learn:

  • Customer expectations: how and why they’re changing
  • Implications and challenges for small businesses
  • Tactics for sales, marketing, and service: keep pace with your 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. 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 May 1 through May 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 May 1 through May 15.

Northern California/Sacramento

National Small Business Week: Grow Your Business Online Workshop
Date: May 1, 2017 | 10:00 am PST – 11:00 am PST
Location: 801 R St. Suite 201 Fresno, CA 93721 (map it)
Contact: Chunny Boosa | chunny.boosa@scorevolunteer.org | (559) 492-9709
Organization: Central Valley SCORE
Fee: Free

Learn the basics of how customers find your business online and how to promote your online presence with methods like search engine optimization (SEO) and online advertising. We also introduce tools to help you run your business online, including Google Analytics and Google Apps for Work.

Click here to register for this event.

The Veterans Business Outreach Center Presents: Business Basics Seminar
Date: May 11, 2017 | 2:00 pm PST – 5:00 pm PST
Location: Veterans Business Outreach Center
4608 Duckhorn Dr. Sacramento, CA 95834 (map it)
Contact: Catrina Avila | admin@vbocix.org | (916) 527-8400
Organization: Veterans Business Outreach Center
Fee: Free for VBOC clients | $49 for non-VBOC clients: register here

This training is designed for individuals interested in starting a business or currently in business for two or less years. Course includes business evaluation, market research, licensing and permit requirements, start-up cost, financing sources, insurance, cash flow analysis, legal structure, self-employment analysis, cash management, customer profile, protecting your business idea, and the reality of operating a business.

VBOC members can register for this event here. Non-VBOC members can register here.

Business Accounting
Date: May 12, 2017 | 1:00 pm PST – 4:00 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: SCORE East Bay
Fee: $35

Financial management, including management of the inflow and outflow of money, is critical to the effective operation of any business.

In this class, we will learn and discuss:

  • Financial management concepts
  • Setting up and managing your accounts
  • Understanding the usefulness of financial reports
  • Essential financial tasks
  • Using QuickBooks templates

The course is taught by a SCORE counselor with over 40 years experience in financial management of organizations ranging in size from start-ups to Fortune 50 companies. Workshop fee includes FREE download of our 17 chapter guide “How to Start & Manage your Small Business”.

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

City of Azusa Small Business Week – Social Media Marketing
Date: May 3, 2017 | 6:00 pm PST – 8:30 pm PST
Location: Azusa Woman’s Club
1003 North Azusa Ave. Azusa, CA 91702 (map it)
Contact: (909) 448-1567
Organization: SBDC hosted by University of La Verne
Fee: Free

In this workshop you will learn key how-to lessons:

  • How to use Social Media Marketing platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for business
  • How to use SEO for Mobile Marketing Success
  • How to promote your online presence

Click here to register for this event.

Women in Business Breakfast Series – 5 Secrets to Bust Your Burnout
Date: May 5, 2017 | 7:30 am PST – 10:30 am PST
Location: The Center Club
650 Town Center Dr. Costa Mesa, CA 92626 (map it)
Contact: Iris McCammon | wib@score114.org | (714) 550-7369
Organization: Orange County SCORE
Fee: $35.00 advance registration before May 3, 2017 | $40 after May 3, 2017 and at the door (cash or check only)

Ever feel like you have entrepreneurial ADD? As business owners we find ourselves buried in more paperwork and “to do” lists than we can handle. It can cause us to spin our wheels, being forever busy, yet not productive. However, that does not have to be the case!

Join Dr. Elisa Magill as she shares stories of successful business owners and uncovers a formula to help you change your own perceptions, mindset, and belief systems. Let us help you set a strong foundation to be your own best leader!

Register Today and Learn How To:

 

  • Go from Distraction-to-Action: Double, triple, and 10X your business
  • Eliminate overwhelm and burnout
  • Develop new perceptions and belief systems
  • Discover new possibilities and entrepreneurial out-of-the-box thinking
  • Live life by design! Not default. Find more time for YOU!


Click here to register for this event.

2017 Free Asian Business Seminar
Date: May 10, 2017 | 8:30 am PST – 12:30 pm PST
Location: New STC Center
1040 South Otterbein Ave. Rowland Heights, CA 91748 (map it)
Contact: marketing@stcmanagement.com | (562) 695 1513 Ext. 117
Organization:  San Gabriel Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce
Fee: Free

Are you in the restaurant business? Are you an entrepreneur? Are you a small business owner? When you have a question, do you know where to find out your answers? If you say yes to any of the above questions, this seminar is for you! You will be talking face to face to the people who set and enforce the rules. Find your answers here!

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

How to Write Your Email Content in 15 Minutes or Less
Date: May 4, 2017 | 12:30 pm PST – 1:30 pm PST
Location: Online—Webinar
Organizations: U.S. Small Business Administration and SCORE
Fee: Free

Struggling to find the words, images and the right calls-to-action that make the biggest impact with your email marketing?

With just about 15 minutes and an easy-to-follow formula, you can kick writer’s block to the curb and be confident that you’ll know exactly what to say to create an effective email marketing message.

Join us for a free workshop where you will receive:

  • A worksheet to help you write your marketing email in 15 minutes or less
  • Advice on how to use your writing worksheet
  • A guide on keeping your email marketing focused on your business goals
  • A simple checklist to reference before you hit send
  • An opportunity to ask questions and interact with our workshop presenters

Click here to register for this event.

Patents, Trademarks, & Copyrights Webinar
Date: May 4, 2017| 6:00 pm PST – 7:00 pm PST
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Kim Scanlan | kscanlan@cvwbc.org
Organization: Coachella Valley Women’s Business Center
Fee: $10

Want to know how to protect your business’s intellectual property? This webinar will show you how! Discover what is considered an intellectual property of your business and the steps you need to take to protect them. Learn key concepts:

  • How to tell the difference between a trademark and copyright
  • How copyrights can produce income
  • How a patent can protect your business

Click here to register for this event.

Promote Your Business with AdWords Express
Date: May 11, 2017 | 8:00 am PST – 9:00 am PST
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Ian Rogers | rogersia@gvsu.edu | (616) 331-7262
Organization: Michigan Small Business Development Center
Fee: Free

Did you know that 97% of consumers research products online before purchasing, and 89% of consumers use Internet search engines to make purchasing decisions?

It’s important that your business appears on the search results page when potential customers are looking for you.

Join us as we introduce you to advertising on Google and show you how to promote your business online.

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 April 18 through April 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 April 18 through April 30.

Northern California/Sacramento

San Francisco Paid Parental Leave Ordinance Fundamentals
Date: April 20, 2017 | 3:30 pm PST – 5:00 pm PST
Location: 455 Market Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, CA 94105 (map it)
Contact: sfomail@sba.gov | (415) 744-6777
Organization: Small Business Administration
Fee: Free

Come learn about the newly enacted San Francisco Paid Parental Leave Ordinance, requiring employers to provide paid leave for new parents.

Topics include:

  • Who is covered
  • Employer responsibilities
  • How to apply
  • How to calculate benefit amount
  • Interaction with related state and federal law
  • And more!

Click here to register for this event.

Disruption Recovery Plan for Your Business
Date: April 27, 2017 | 9:00 am PST – 12:00 pm PST
Location: NEC SBDC at Butte College
202 Mira Loma, Oroville CA 95965 (map it)
Contact: Sophie Konuwa | konuwaso@butte.edu | (530) 895-9017
Organization: Northeastern California SBDC
Fee: Free

These are the times! With upswings in cyberattacks, and natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, and hurricane, business continuity planing has suddenly moved to the front of the line as more businesses are being forced to complete their disaster recovery plans.

This training will help you complete a workable plan that you and your employees can easily follow and visit regularly to ensure usefulness, relax from the stress of unplanned activities that cause your profit to drop, teach you how to complete a plan to address your business operation for disruption, and prepare you for funding when available.

To register for this event, click here.

10 Best Practices for Business Success on Facebook & Twitter
Date: April 27, 2017 | 1:00 pm PST – 4:00 pm PST
Location: 455 Market Street, Suite 600 San Francisco, CA 94105 (map it)
Contact: (415) 937-7232
Organization: San Francisco SBDC
Fee: Free

In this class, you will learn how Facebook and Twitter work, best practices, success stories from other businesses who are winning it, and tools to save you time. Connect the dots from social media to sales! This class is part of a series called “Social Media and Online Marketing Made Simple.”

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

Leveraging Video Marketing to Engage Your Target Audience, Drive Traffic, and Generate Leads
Date: April 18, 2017 | 9:00 am PST – 12:00 pm PST
Location: United States University
7675 Mission Valley Road San Diego, CA 92108 (map it)
Contact: workshop0140@scorevolunteer.org | (619) 727-4874
Organization: SCORE San Diego
Fee: $20

Nearly all business owners understand the need to have a digital or online presence. But did you know:

  • Online video has increased 8-fold in the past 5 years
  • Video content is shared 1200% more often on Facebook alone than traditional posts or graphics
  • The average website visitor will stay 5 times longer on a site with video
  • Nearly 80% of consumers say watching online videos influence their decision making

Other than face-to-face meetings, video is by far the strongest connection you can make with your target audience. This workshop goes far beyond simple video production to helping your videos reach your audience and engage them. You will learn key skills and strategies like:

 

  • Essential research in pre-production
  • Basic equipment to start on a small budget
  • Scripting your videos for greatest impact and conversion
  • Optimizing videos to rank and be found on Google, YouTube, and major social media channels
  • Social video marketing vs. search
  • Live video streaming
  • Copywriting and creating a video Call-To-Action (CTA)
  • Lead generation with video
  • Video data and analytics: measuring your video campaigns


Click here to register for this event.

An EZ Trip Through Your Financial Statements
Date: April 24, 2017 | 6:00 pm PST – 9:00 pm PST
Location: Orange Public Library
407 E. Chapman Ave., Orange, CA 92866 (map it)
Contact: (714) 550-7369
Organization: Orange County SCORE
Fee: Free

If you’ve ever wanted to know where financial statements come from and how to make them work for you, this workshop is for you. The session includes basic accounting principles and an interactive case study where you’ll learn about the following tools and skills to create a healthy, profitable business:

  • Balance sheets
  • Income statement
  • Cash flow
  • Ratio analysis

Click here to register for this event.

Business Communications
Date: April 26, 2017 | 6:00 pm PST – 8:00 pm PST
Location: 6160 Van Nuys Blvd  Van Nuys, CA 91401 (map it)
Contact: (818) 894-8800
Organization: ICON CDC
Fee: Free

This workshop will help you develop and refine your brand and practice your sales pitch. This training will give everybody the opportunity to practice their pitch before the SFV Marketplace event on May 2.

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Process Improvement & Working Smarter
Date: April 18, 2017 | 2:00 pm PST – 3:30 pm PST
Location: Online—Webinar
Organization: Women’s Business Center
Contact: Martha Ocasio | mocasio@thecentre.org | (813) 251-8437
Organization: The Helen Gordon David Centre for Women
Fee: Free

How do you improve the work processes in your office or small business? This class focuses on applying “lean” process improvement to add efficiencies to your business and improve your bottom line potential. You’ll learn ideas to make your work processes flow better, faster, and cheaper, plus problem solving and identifying “value added” activities.

“Lean” thinking applies to any business process, regardless of your industry. In many cases, this can result in improved customer service, saved labor, better inventory control, and reduction of expenses.

Click here to register for this event.

Radio Show: Business Basics VEDC
Date: April 20, 2017| 5:00 pm PST -5:30 pm PST
Location: Radio show on KKVV Las Vegas (Nev.)
Organization: VEDC Nevada Business Opportunity Fund
Fee: Free

Do you want to become an ENTREPRENEUR? Need FUNDING for your business? Have questions about MANAGING your business? Tune into “Business Basics VEDC Radio Show” on KKVV Radio 1060AM at 5:00pm to listen and learn about the basics of being a business owner. Listen via LIVE stream at www.kkvv.com.

Click here to register for this event.

Get Found on Google Search and Maps
Date: April 26, 2017 | 8:00 am PST – 9:00 am PST
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Ian Rogers | rogersia@gvsu.edu | (616) 331-7262
Organization: Michigan Small Business Development Center
Fee: Free

It’s important your business’ information appears correctly when people search online. Did you know:

  • 4 out of 5 people use search engines to find local info like business hours and directions
  • Businesses with complete listings (with updated photos and hours of operations) are twice as likely to be considered reputable by customers
  • 37% of businesses have claimed a local business listing on a search engine

This workshop will explain how to setup Google My Business as your one-stop-shop for managing your business info as it appears across Google Search and Maps. Your potential customers will find important info for your business like your phone numbers, hours of operation, and driving directions.

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

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting free and/or affordable events that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your monthly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events in March.

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting the free and/or affordable events that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your monthly calendar for in-person and virtual events in Northern and Southern California. Here are the best upcoming events in March.

Northern California/Sacramento

Protect Your Business – Understand Employment Law
Date: March 9, 2017 | 6:00 pm PST – 9:00 pm PST
Location: Simpkins Family Swim Center
979 17th Avenue Santa Cruz, CA 95062  (map it)
Contact: John Yost | score0688@santacruzscore.org | (831) 621-3735
Organization: Santa Cruz SCORE
Fee: $35

Are you considering hiring employees? Don’t let yourself get caught on the wrong side of legal issues regarding employment. Join SCORE and employment Law Attorney Carmela Woll to learn about the following important legal issues in employment:

  • Hiring
  • Terminating
  • Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid
  • And more!

Click here to register for this event.

Money Matters: Cash Flow
Date: March 16, 2017 | 1:30 pm PST – 3:30 pm PST
Location: 455 Market Street 6th Floor San Francisco, CA 94105 (map it)
Contact: Angelique Gosse | angelique.gosse@sfgov.org | (415) 937-7232
Organization: San Francisco SBDC
Fee: Free

The second class of this three part training provides an in-depth coverage of business finances. Using adult learning techniques with the most modern tools the course will explain the four parts of a Cash Flow Statement and how to use it to run your business. The outcome of this training will allow the participants to make better informed business decision based on clear understanding of money matters and be able to increase profitability.

To register for this event, click here.

Small Business Tax and Record Keeping Workshop
Date: March 30, 2017 | 9:00 am PST – 12:00 pm PST
Location: 4990 Stockton Blvd Sacramento, CA 95820 (map it)
Contact: DHA-Stockton-Blvd-BIC@saccounty.net |(916) 875-3280

Organization: Sacramento County DHA Business Information Center
Fee: Free

Join Brenda Duran EA, BS Principal Tax Advisor BD Tax & Finance Group, Inc. for this free workshop on how to improve your tax and record keeping strategies.

Topics covered will include:

  • Setting up and running your business the right way
  • Federal taxes and your new business
  • Deductions and business related expenses
  • Filing and paying your taxes on time to avoid penalties
  • Essentials of running your home based business
  • Federal Unemployment Taxes

Click here to register for this event.

Southern California/San Diego

Free Small Business Seminar
Date: March 9, 2017 | 8:00 am PST – 1:00 pm PST
Location: Centro Maravilla Service Center
4716 East Cesar E Chavez Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90022 (map it)
Contact: Xiomara Peña | (818) 470-0377
Organization: Small Business Majority
Fee: Free

The Small Business Development Center in East LA, Small Business Majority, and the Small Business Finance CDC invite you to participate in this one-of-a-kind event. Join several business experts and speakers on topics that can help you grow and expand your business, including Opportunity Fund loan consultant Osbaldo Velazquez.

This FREE resource fair and event will include information about procurement opportunities, access to capital, social media and marketing, human resources and much more!

Multiple workshops will be offered during various time frames so that you can join the topics most important to your small business! Complimentary breakfast & lunch will be provided.

Click here to register for this event.

Guided Business Plan
Date: March 13, 2017 | 10:00 am PST – 2:00 pm PST
Location: 3255 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 1501, Los Angeles, CA 90010 (map it)
Contact: (213) 674-2696
Organization: SBDC Pacific Coast Regional
Fee: $75

Is your banker, investor, or partner requesting your business plan? Attend the GUIDED Business Plan™ workshop to write a plan that engages your reader.

During the 4-hour session, you will write the first draft of the Executive Summary of your business plan. We prompt you to write the first words that come to mind. We remove the focus of trying to craft the perfect sentence for your business plan via brainstorming.

Our facilitators are able to quickly analyze a range of business models to provide constructive advice. Create your business plan the easy, simple and GUIDED way.

Click here to register for this event.

Credit Recovery
Date: March 21, 2017 | 1:00 pm PST – 3:00 pm PST
Location: 2075 Las Palmas Drive, Carlsbad CA 92011 (map it)
Contact: centerinfo@miracosta.edu | (760) 795-8740
Organization: North San Diego SBDC
Fee: Free

Join North San Diego SBDC for this workshop especially intended for anyone who has questions about their credit and credit reports.

Here’s how this seminar can help you:

  • Reading and interpreting your credit report
  • Defining and improving your credit scores
  • Identifying and correcting errors in your credit information.
  • Repairing your credit
  • Understanding the use of credit in the loan process
  • Taking next steps after being denied credit

Click here to register for this event.

Virtual

Two-Page Business Plan
Date: March 8, 2017 | 8:00 am PST – 9:00 am PST
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Stephen Konkle | stephen.konkle@sba.gov | (312) 886-4208
Organization: SBA Illinois District Office
Fee: Free

Writing a business plan might seem intimidating, but it’s an essential tool for any entrepreneur. Attend this webinar to learn how to craft and hone your two-page business plan. We’ll share best practices and answer your questions. Join SBA Economic Development Specialist Stephen Konkle for this webinar.

Click here to register for this event.

How Business Owners Can Get and Keep Strong Personal Credit Scores
Date: March 8, 2017| 8:00 am PST – 9:00 am PST
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Ian Rogers | rogersia@gvsu.edu | (616) 331-7262
Organization: Michigan SBDC
Fee: Free

When you’re a business owner, strong personal credit scores can be an asset by helping you qualify for a business credit card, an SBA loan, or other types of funding that take the owner’s personal credit into account. But if you’re not careful, your business can hurt your credit scores.

Join Nav Head of Market Education Gerri Detweiler for this webinar, where you’ll learn:

  • The big credit score mistake many small business owners make
  • The ways to protect your credit from your business
  • The fastest ways to boost your personal credit scores
  • And much more!

Click here to register for this event.

Basically Business: Social Media Know-How
Date: March 9, 2017 | 12:00 pm PST – 12:30 pm PST
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Kimberly Donahue | kimberly.donahue@sba.gov | 304-347-5220
Organization: SBA
Fee: Free

This basic webinar helps you choose social media platforms, and get the most out of them while securing your privacy, connecting with peers, and showcasing your expertise. You do it anyway, so let us help you do it right!

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 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 opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook  and Twitter

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

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

Marketing is vital to growing a business. In today’s digital world, it isn’t enough to rely on street traffic. Marketing your small business has expanded to include social media, blogging, email, online ads, and many other electronic methods. We’ve compiled this list of tools and resources that will help you attract and retain customers to your small business.   

 

How much it costs: Free

What it does: If you have a smartphone, you should check out Google’s new Primer app. As a small business owner, time is precious. Primer is an easy-to-read, completely free resource for learning how to market your business. It offers topics such as advertising, content creation, business strategy, and success measurement. These five-minute lessons will help you grow your business without breaking the bank on a specialized marketing team or spending hours trying to figure out marketing techniques from scratch.

 

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Smartsheet offers a dozen free Excel templates that you can download for free. Among the different templates, you can find digital marketing, monthly marketing budget, social media editorial calendar, competitive analysis, and other templates that will help you organize your business. Creating a marketing strategy is important for growing and engaging with your small business’ audience, and using Excel spreadsheets is an easy way to effectively manage that strategy.

 

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Advertising costs money, and small businesses like yours don’t have extensive marketing budgets like big corporations do. One way to compete for local business is through offering deals online through services like Living Social. How it works is that you work with Living Social to create an offer for customers. When someone purchases your deal, Living Social takes a small percentage for marketing your offer and pays you the rest. This is a great opportunity for small business to attract local customers without paying up-front costs unless you make a sale. Living Social also offers a free ebook for marketing basics.

 

How much it costs: Free with premium plans starting at $29 a month

What it does: If your business posts to social media—which it should—then you have probably shared links to other websites. The problem with this is that you might lose your potential customer if they don’t visit your website after checking out the link. Sniply offers a unique, easy-to-use tool that pops up a customizable button that visitors see when they visit a web page you link to. This helps drive traffic to your business’ website and increase sales opportunities. The free plan supports 1,000 clicks a month, and offers valuable tracking and analytics.

 

How much it costs: Free

What it does: This resource is two-in-one — or a ten-in-one if you prefer! We have created two other lists of five free online tools that will help you market your small business. The two biggest aspects of digital marketing involve email and social media. Take a look at each blog post for marketing tools for scheduling newsletters, reaching out to customers, creating effective social media posts, expanding your target audience, and more.

 

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, 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

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