The Alameda County Small Business Development Center offers several no-cost/low-cost interactive seminars to support small business owners. Seminars are offered in management basics for new business owners and specialized subjects for seasoned entrepreneurs.
Seminars are led by experienced professionals who overview their topics, provide several real-world examples and answer questions from the audience. Most seminars finish with a panel of experts that provide additional insight, participate in a lively question and answer session and then stay to speak with attendees one-on-one after the seminar.
You can learn more about the content of each individual seminar by reading seminar descriptions below, or review the schedule of upcoming seminars.
This class is a must for any small business owner interested in securing debt or equity financing. You will learn how a wide range of banks and other lending organizations evaluate your loan application and the types of funding they can provide. You will also learn the difference between debt and equity and why equity might be better for you. Learn how to make yourself stand out to capital providers in a tough economic environment.
Learn how to develop successful Food and Beverage brands from a seasoned executive. Gain a fundamental understanding of how the Food and Beverage markets are segmented, how to gain distribution on local, regional and national levels, how to build your brand's identity and its long-term brand equity and understand how to achieve best practice economics early in the brand's life
Learn how to make eCommerce and web marketing work for your business, including best practices for e-commerce, email marketing, pay-per-click advertising, e-marketing sites, e-community sites and the best use of web based applications
This class is designed for business which have been in business for two (2) years or longer, are profitable, cash flow positive and seeking Expansion Capital with which to buy real estate, expand its facilities, enter new markets, introduce new products and find a way to finance increases in revenues.
The seminar will cover many aspects of capital raising for growing businesses including Angel Investors, Venture Capital, Bank financing, equipment leasing, SBA backed real estate lending and other sources of funds for growing companies.
This seminar will help in selecting, evaluating, and buying your franchise. You will learn the fundamentals of:
- buying a franchise
- determining which franchise to buy
- what to look for when considering a franchise
- understanding the franchise agreement
- financing your franchise purchase
This class will review various certification programs available for small and/or diverse businesses including SBA, NMSDC, WBENC and County of Alameda. At the end of this session, you will have learned how to complete the application and gather supporting documents, have a thorough understanding of the benefits of being certified, and learn how to leverage your certified status to obtain business opportunities with major corporations. In addition, the program will include a panel discussion with Small Business Advocates from several large corporate and governmental agencies plus ample time for networking with the panelists after the program.
This class is designed to assist business owners in better understanding the challenges faced in Human Resource Management and Employment Law. For many companies, especially services businesses which have been and will continue to be about 85%+ of all new business formations, people costs are often the largest single cost and the most difficult to manage. This seminar will cover topics including: (1) how to hire and fire employees (2) understanding California wage requirements (3) working with independant contractors (4) employee benefits (5) and other employee related topics.
Global business operations is one of the fastest growing segments in the economy and, according to experts, expected to continue expanding at rates much higher than the U. S. domestic GDP. This class is a must if you are:
- Expecting to expand internationally in the near future
- Interested in International Finance
- Wanting to learn how to source products overseas
- Needing more information on how to sell internationally or how to structure international partnerships and joint ventures
This class will provide an overview of business law concepts for the small business owner, addressing the general business legal issues that most entrepreneurs face when starting or growing a small business. The seminar will focus on the "Legal Dos and Don'ts" for the small business, entrepreneur or start-up. Topics covered include Legal Entity Formation, Contracts, Trademarks, Copyrights, Patents and Internet Law.
In addition, there will be a panel disucssion with lawyers and a question and answer session with the panel followed by ample time for one-on-one networking.
The class is designed for everyone who is in the retailing business and/or anyone interested in opening a retail store of any kind. The class covers all aspects of retailing best practices including effective merchandising, advertising, marketing and promotion, gross margin calculations and discounting procedures, the role of the e-commerce in brick and mortar retailing, point-of-sale technology and maximizing profits. There will be a panel of experts for a Q&A session that is an integral component of the total program.
Retailing 102 focuses on the operational side of retailing. Participants will learn to translate cost and sales data into management information. Topics covered include: maximizing retail space, how to price your product, inventory management, managing product lines, financing and customer valuation.
This class will review the different choices for organizing, managing, motivating and compensating your company’s sales force. The program will look at several different strategic alternatives for building a sales team including full-time sales people, distributors, manufacturers’ representatives, and independent sales representatives. The class will focus on getting the most out of the company’s investment in sales expenses and linking the sales team’s goals with the company’s overall marketing program and strategy. The class will include a panel discussion with a group of experts in sales force management.
In this class you will learn the importance of social networking as an integrated marketing tool for you business. Find out how to market using social networking tools, and how to establish a true dialogue with your customer base. Find out the best social networking tools to use in a business context, and how to leverage existing social networks to market your business.
This class integrates several aspects of the entrepreneurial experience necessary to all successful new businesses. The seminar will include key business planning, accessing capital, legal, technology, and human resource issues critical to being a successful entrepreneur. This class is a must for anyone interested in starting a business and is designed to work in concert with other Alameda County SBDC classes. There will be a panel discussion as part of the program and time for networking at the end of the program.
This class will cover the following topics:
- Operations Alignment: appropriate concept and equipment for the right market and mission, financial tracking and forecasting, food (consistency, pricing, tast, quality), and staffing (protocol, follow-through, retention)
- Financials: optimal record keeping, reporting and tracking, and best uses for POS systems
- Marketing and Sales: evaluating models and strategies in relation to market demands, customer base, location and other factors
- Adapting and Evolving: staff efficiency models, cost effective sales strategies, vendors and products (price points, taste, customer service, quality, and sustainability)
Learn how conventional media (cable TV, print, yellow pages, radio) and online marketing can be utilized to increase sales, gain market share and build profits. You will gain a better understanding of Advertising, Marketing and Promotions planning, and be positioned to determine the most cost-effective mix of mediums for your business.
This class is a building block for any small business owner or entrepreneur in search of a simple and sure fired way to understand the fundamentals of writing an excellent business plan for their specific business. The Business Plan is the foundation for profitable growth, raising capital, communicating with employees, vendors and customers and without one the business simply isn't being well managed and won't be successful. This class is a must for business in all industries, of all types and at all stages of development.