Friday, September 12, 2008

classes, workshops, seminars . . .

Whatever you want to call them, I've had enough for one week. I recently learned about Wake Tech's Small Business Seminars, and they're FREE. Wake Tech has a Small Business Center at their Western Campus in Cary, NC that provides training and assistance to new and existing business owners through workshops, seminars, and one-on-one counseling. They have free seminars each week at both their Western Campus and the new Northern Wake Campus. The seminars include lots of different topics including, marketing, sales, tax issues, business plans, legal info, loan info, and even selling on ebay.

Wednesday evening I went to a seminar about taxes presented by the NC Women's Business Center at Wake Tech's North Campus. They brought in a guy that works at the NC Department of Revenue and he spent two hours talking about tax. ahhh. Seriously, it was super straight forward and really helpful.

Last night I went back to the same exact room for a seminar about "Choosing the Proper Legal Form for Your Business." They brought in a lawyer that does business and international law to explain some of the different legal entities for business. (I'm not sure I'm even using these terms correctly.) It was info about corporations and limited liability companies and others, and figuring out what is the best for your business--for two hours.

I didn't figure out what was the best for my business, and neither did my friend Becca who went with me last night. We even stayed after the class to get some clarification, and he suggested we talk with an accountant. hmmm. But the class was very informative, and it saved me either a lot of time and frustration trying to learn that stuff myself, or a lot of money paying a lawyer to explain it all to me one-on-one.

So YEA! for free resources.

But wait, that's not all. Wednesday at lunch I attended the first "Downtown Smithfield Market Street Matters." The seminar topic was Banking and Investing for Working Women. When I signed up to go, I knew the food was going to be good, because we have so many good restaurants downtown. What I was very unsure about was the content of the presentation. I was half not knowing what to expect, and half expecting to hear sales pitches for loans from SunTrust, and sales pitches for investing with Edward Jones. I guess these names could be repalced with many other banks and investing advisors, but from my experience these two are good examples of companies that always seem to be trying to recruit business.

So what I did get was great. The lunch seminar was for female business owners and employees working in the Downtown Smithfield Business District. We met at the Lampe Training Center/Conference Room, and lunch was provided by locally owned Riverside Cafe. The event was sponsored by KS Bank and Market Street Advisors. They're going to host 5 more of these events. For this seminar, people from KS Bank talked generally, in a non-sales-pitch way about what they do and offer for businesses, but more for individuals. Then people from Market Street Advisors told us about the stuff they offer, and had a stock guy to talk generally about the stock market and investing. I thought the entire presentation was helpful to learn more about these local businesses. It's always good to know about your resources with insurance, investing, retirement, banking, etc. One of the many things I love about working with smaller businesses in a small town, is that I can go in and ask for help, and expect them to do their job and help me. I don't have to feel like I already need to know everything about what I want to do before I ask. Ok, that was a bit of a tangent there, sorry about that.

I also received a big red "Market Street Advisors" tote that I'll be able to use for groceries, with of course pens and business cards and flyers from various downtown businesses, but also a nice gift from Market Street Advisors, and a cute box of matches from Sam & Cate.

If you want any info about either the Wake Tech seminars or the Market Street Matters, let me know, and I'll help as much as I can. And, I'm doing a real photography post later today--with real Studio 310 photography. I promise.

Amanda Dengler

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