Massachusetts Small Business Development Center (MSBDC)
     

 

 

Business Workshops

The Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Northeast Regional Office conducts free and low-cost workshops addressing a wide range of concerns for both start-up and existing businesses. Many programs are cosponsored with local chambers of commerce, colleges and universities, community development organizations, trade associations, banks and corporate sponsors.

All workshops are held in Massachusetts and offered free of charge unless otherwise noted. Pre-registration is required. Click here to view our cancellation policies.

Registration closes at noon on the day prior to the seminar. Unless a seminar is full, walk-ins are welcome.

audio  Audiocasts are available from previous workshops.
snow    Click here for weather cancellation information

For a complete listing of statewide MSBDC training, please visit www.msbdc.org.

2014 Calendar of Events
  OCTOBER
2 Pricing Your Products and Services (Salem)
3 The Business of Social Entrepreneurship: How and Why to Create a B-Corp (Salem)
7 Six Points of an Effective Marketing Strategy (Salem)
9 Your Business Plan: Soup to Nuts (Beverly)
16 Money Basics: Start Off on the Right Financial Foot (Salem)
17 Food Regulations: Important Information for Food Businesses (Salem)
21 Business Technology Update: What You Need to Know (Salem)
21 Hiring and Managing Employees and Contractors (Lawrence)
23 Hiring How-To's for Business Owners (Salem)
 
  NOVEMBER
6 Business Insurance: What Kind and How Much Do You Need? (Salem)
13 The Art & Science of Sales and Marketing (Beverly)
14 Local Food - How to Find and Work With Distributors (Salem)
18 Planning a Crowdfunding Campaign: Do's and Don'ts From Those Who Did It (Salem)
18 Internet Marketing (Lawrence)
20 Sales: How to Turn a "Maybe" Into a "Yes" (Salem)
 
  DECEMBER
2 Cash Flow Your Way to Breakeven (Salem)
4 Blogging: How to Make It Work For You (Salem)
5 Packaging & Labeling Food Products (Salem)
9 People Skills Matter: Being Powerful, Positive and Professional (Salem)
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Program Descriptions

Pricing Your Products and Services

Learn about pricing concepts, the role of pricing in a company's strategy, and an easy four-step process to determine pricing for your services or products on the basis of costs, customer goals, trends, and competition.

The speaker will be Paul Shaughnessy with the Lincoln Consulting Group, Inc. 

Date: Thursday, October 2, 2014
Time: 8:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Location: Enterprise Center at Salem State University, 121 Loring Avenue, Suite 106, Salem (directions)
Cost: Free
Contact: Laurel Costello at 978-542-6343 or sbdc@salemstate.edu

register online

Cosponsored by the Enterprise Center at Salem State University

The Business of Social Entrepreneurship: How and Why to Create a B-Corp

Companies are increasingly choosing to operate in a way that benefits society or the environment while also being financially profitable.  From a legal perspective, owners should consider creating (or retooling) their companies as a benefit corporation.

Our speaker has founded benefit corporations and is coming from Philadelphia to tell us about why you should set one up -- and how. If you are a corporate attorney or if you have been thinking about how your business can do good while doing well financially, this session is for you.  

The speaker will be William H. Clark, Jr., partner with Drinker, Biddle & Reath, LLP.

Date: Friday, October 3, 2014
Time: 8:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Location: Enterprise Center at Salem State University, 121 Loring Avenue, Suite 106, Salem (directions)
Cost: Free
Contact: Laurel Costello at 978-542-6343 or sbdc@salemstate.edu

register online

Cosponsored by the Enterprise Center at Salem State University and YENS (Young Entrepreneurs of the North Shore)

Six Points of an Effective Marketing Strategy

Before you can decide how to get the word out about your business, you have to know who you are trying to reach, what they want or need, when and where they start seeking help, and why they should work with you instead of someone else.

This information-packed workshop will help you develop a marketing strategy that is simple, effective, and plays to your unique strengths.

The speaker will be Erica Holthausen, chief instigator with the Honest Marketing Revolution.

Date: Tuesday, October 7, 2014 
Time: 8:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Location: Enterprise Center at Salem State University, 121 Loring Avenue, Suite 106, Salem (directions)
Cost: Free
Contact: Laurel Costello at 978-542-6343 or sbdc@salemstate.edu

register online

Cosponsored by the Enterprise Center at Salem State University

Your Business Plan: Soup to Nuts

Learn an easy approach to developing a business plan to manage all aspects of your business, including marketing, finance, operations, personnel, and overall strategy. Existing business owners and pre-ventures will learn to test the feasibility of a new company or a new direction, and discover how to use their plan to raise capital. Participants will receive a copy of the SBDC Business Planning Guide.

The speaker will be Paul Shaughnessy with the Lincoln Consulting Group, Inc.

Date: Thursday, October 9, 2014
Time: 8:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Location: North Shore Community College, 100 Cummings Center 181 Elliot Street, Suite 121-E (Room C01), Beverly (directions)
Cost: Free
Contact:
Laurel Costello at 978-542-6343 or sbdc@salemstate.edu

register online

Cosponsored by North Shore Community College and the Greater Beverly Chamber of Commerce

Money Basics: Start Off on the Right Financial Foot

Your new business has an awesome logo and a sweet website. But how much time have you spent on your financial systems? Poor planning can create major headaches later, especially at tax time.

Do you need an accountant? A separate business bank account? Which expenses are tax-deductible and how do you track them?

Money Basics answers these questions and provides examples of how to do it right--and what to avoid--by managing the three C's: consistency, controls and cash.

The speaker will be Steve Schultz, vice president of franchise development with Supporting Strategies.

Date: Thursday, October 16, 2014
Time: 8:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Location: Enterprise Center at Salem State University, 121 Loring Avenue, Suite 106, Salem (directions)
Cost: Free
Contact: Laurel Costello at 978-542-6343 or sbdc@salemstate.edu

register online

Cosponsored by the Enterprise Center at Salem State University

Food Regulations: Important Information for Food Businesses

If you're in the food business, you need to know which food laws apply to you. A better understanding of the fundamental laws associated with food production, service, and distribution makes it easier of managers and owners to create and enforce a culture of food safety and quality.

Learn about local as well as federal requirements and the pending rules associated with the Food Safety Modernization Act. We'll also discuss the importance of a documented plan and appropriate records.

The speakers will be Cathy Crawford, senior food safety consultant with Quality Support Group, Inc. and  Charles Gioglio, consultant with Quality Support Group, Inc. 

Date: Friday, October 17, 2014
Time: 8:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Location: Enterprise Center at Salem State University, 121 Loring Avenue, Suite 106, Salem (directions)
Cost: Free
Contact: Laurel Costello at 978-542-6343 or sbdc@salemstate.edu

register online

Cosponsored by the Enterprise Center at Salem State University, the North Shore Alliance for Economic Development and YENS (Young Entrepreneurs of the North Shore)

Business Technology Update: What You Need to Know 

The technology landscape for small and medium business is changing rapidly. You need to align your business and technology goals to impact your business positively. It is imperative to manage the economics of what and how you spend on technology.

Come learn what's available now and what to plan for in the years ahead. Topics will include build vs. buy, cloud computing, infrastructure as a service (IaaS), software as a service (SaaS), and business solutions like customer relationship management (CRM) and voice over Internet protocol (VOIP).

The speaker will be Peter Karlson, CEO and founder of NeuEon, Inc.

Date: Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Time: 8:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Location: Enterprise Center at Salem State University, 121 Loring Avenue, Suite 106, Salem (directions)
Cost: Free
Contact: Laurel Costello at 978-542-6343 or sbdc@salemstate.edu

register online

Cosponsored by the Enterprise Center at Salem State University and YENS (Young Entrepreneurs of the North Shore)

Hiring and Managing Employees and Contractors

Hiring, firing, independent contractors, state and federal law, time off, performance…..everyday challenges for business owners and managers. Most owners list managing employees as the toughest part of their job. Learn to manage compliance, paperwork, and productivity while avoiding legal issues.

The speaker will be Laurie LaBrie of Integrated Human Resources, Inc.

Date: Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Time: 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Location: Northern Essex Community College, Riverwalk Campus, 360 Merrimack Street, Building 9, Lawrence (directions)
Cost: Free
Contact: Laurel Costello at 978-542-6343 or sbdc@salemstate.edu

register online

Cosponsored by Northern Essex Community College

Hiring How-To's for Business Owners

Having the right team in place can ensure greater success for any business. Hiring and retaining top talent is not just HR's problem, and every business owner should be aware of the legal, financial, and best-practice topics associated with this critical function. This workshop will review all aspects of hiring, and what you, as the employer, need to know.

Topics to be covered include employment classifications, job descriptions and competencies, and best practices in recruiting, interviewing, hiring, and benefits.

The speakers will be Mike Ward, president of Insight Performance and Rebecca Blake, director of client services at Insight Performance.

Date: Thursday, October 23, 2014
Time: 8:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Location: Enterprise Center at Salem State University, 121 Loring Avenue, Suite 106, Salem (directions)
Cost: Free
Contact: Laurel Costello at 978-542-6343 or sbdc@salemstate.edu

register online

Cosponsored by the Enterprise Center at Salem State University

Business Insurance: What Kind and How Much Do You Need?

Is liability insurance all you need? What about Workers Comp? Do you have enough insurance? Minimize your investment of time in this area by understanding the whole insurance picture. A good insurance plan can provide peace of mind.

This workshop will  help you learn how to protect your business and personal assets, and how to select the right plan to manage potential risks and contract needs. It will also cover property, liability, workers compensation, vehicle and other commercial insurance products.

The speaker will be Marc Slafsky, vice president & insurance broker with Salem Five Insurance Services. 

Date: Thursday, November 6, 2014
Time: 8:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Location: Enterprise Center at Salem State University, 121 Loring Avenue, Suite 106, Salem (directions)
Cost: Free
Contact: Laurel Costello at 978-542-6343 or sbdc@salemstate.edu

register online

Cosponsored by the Enterprise Center at Salem State University

The Art & Science of Sales and Marketing

Innovative and practical approaches to sales will quickly improve your company's bottom line. 

Learn about cold calling, closing sales, getting that first appointment, making presentations and developing positive long-term relationships with customers.

The speaker will be Jay Wallus of JayWallus.com.

Date: Thursday, November 13, 2014
Time: 8:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Location: North Shore Community College, 100 Cummings Center 181 Elliot Street, Suite 121-E (Room C01), Beverly (directions)
Cost: Free
Contact:
Laurel Costello at 978-542-6343 or sbdc@salemstate.edu

register online

Cosponsored by North Shore Community College and the Greater Beverly Chamber of Commerce

Local Food - How to Find and Work With Distributors

Finding the right distributor to work with and understanding the distribution process, costs, and decisions are critical issues for many food businesses. The right distributor is key to a business's ability to get products on the shelf to consumers or into the kitchens in restaurants.

In this workshop, food professionals will talk about the distribution process and what food businesses need to know.

The speakers include:

  • Laura MacPhail, principal with The Hale Group
  • Peter Minich, owner of Fresh City
  • Daniel Wright, National Food Service sales manager at Teatulia Organic Teas

Date: Friday, November 14, 2014
Time: 8:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Location: Enterprise Center at Salem State University, 121 Loring Avenue, Suite 106, Salem (directions)
Cost: Free
Contact: Laurel Costello at 978-542-6343 or sbdc@salemstate.edu

register online

Cosponsored by the Enterprise Center at Salem State University, the North Shore Alliance for Economic Development and YENS (Young Entrepreneurs of the North Shore)

Planning a Crowdfunding Campaign: Do's and Don'ts From Those Who Did It

Savvy entrepreneurs are turning to crowdfunding platforms as ways to raise money for new ventures. But, there are a lot of different platforms to use and--despite all that people hear--there are some real do's and don'ts to running a successful crowdfunding campaign.

 Come listen to two people who used Kickstarter and Indiegogo to run their own efforts. Learn how they did this, what they did right and wrong, and the advice they are eager to share to help others who are venturing into this territory.

Then listen to a trailblazer in the world of crowdfunding speak about a new "circle giving" platform that helps people of all ages crowdfund their personal dreams or support someone else's dreams.

The speakers will be:

  • Connor Buso-Jarnis, Documentary Film Production at Emerson College
  • Peter J. Crosby, CMO of DreamFund
  • Greg Stone, president and founder of Stone Communications

Date: Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Time: 8:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Location: Enterprise Center at Salem State University, 121 Loring Avenue, Suite 106, Salem (directions)
Cost: Free
Contact: Laurel Costello at 978-542-6343 or sbdc@salemstate.edu

register online

Cosponsored by the Enterprise Center at Salem State University, the North Shore Alliance for Economic Development and YENS (Young Entrepreneurs of the North Shore)

Internet Marketing

Proven online strategies can help you launch your company's web presence, e-mail newsletters or blog, and help you sell goods and services online. 

Learn how to track your marketing and sales progress through web analytics. The workshop will touch on natural and paid search engine marketing, developing keywords, shopping carts, web graphics and building your e-mail list to reach your target market.

The speaker will be Charlene St. Jean of Purple Diamond, LLC.

Date: Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Time: 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Location: Northern Essex Community College, Riverwalk Campus, 360 Merrimack Street, Building 9, Lawrence (directions)
Cost: Free
Contact: Laurel Costello at 978-542-6343 or sbdc@salemstate.edu

register online

Cosponsored by Northern Essex Community College

Sales: How to Turn a "Maybe" Into a "Yes"

Getting undecided prospects who are almost ready to buy to say "Yes" is unlike attracting new prospects or selling to existing customers. And, it can be one of the most difficult parts of running a business. They haven't said "No", but they seem stuck in limbo.

This workshop provides practical insights, best practices, and strategies to convert your prospects to customers, and your customers to lifelong relationships.

The speaker will be David Hemenway, president and founder of Persuase, Inc.

Date: Thursday, November 20, 2014
Time: 8:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Location: Enterprise Center at Salem State University, 121 Loring Avenue, Suite 106, Salem (directions)
Cost: Free
Contact: Laurel Costello at 978-542-6343 or sbdc@salemstate.edu

register online

Cosponsored by the Enterprise Center at Salem State University

Cash Flow Your Way to Breakeven

Why do bankers say "cash flow is king"? How is cash flow different from profit? This workshop and its simple but realistic class exercise will help you understand cash flow, assess when you will need capital, and position your business for bank financing.

The speaker will be Paul Shaughnessy with the Lincoln Consulting Group, Inc.

Date: Tuesday, December 2, 2014  
Time: 8:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Location: Enterprise Center at Salem State University, 121 Loring Avenue, Suite 106, Salem (directions)
Cost: Free
Contact: Laurel Costello at 978-542-6343 or sbdc@salemstate.edu

register online

Cosponsored by the Enterprise Center at Salem State University

Blogging: How to Make It Work For You

A good blog can bolster your business, enhance your visibility with search engines, drive traffic to your website, build strong relationships with your audience, and fuel your social media.

Come learn tips and tricks to enrich your brand and discover how to make your blog work for you. Whether you are just getting started with blogging or looking for ways to strengthen your digital presence, this workshop is the place to ask questions and boost your blogging IQ. 

The speaker will be Jeannine O'Neil, owner of JO Social Branding.

Date: Thursday, December 4, 2014
Time: 8:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Location: Enterprise Center at Salem State University, 121 Loring Avenue, Suite 106, Salem (directions)
Cost: Free
Contact: Laurel Costello at 978-542-6343 or sbdc@salemstate.edu

register online

Cosponsored by the Enterprise Center at Salem State University

Packaging & Labeling Food Products

Labeling your food product is not about mouth-drooling design that attracts customers. Instead there is a great deal of information required by the FDA and other governmental groups, as well as information that helps position your product with customers.

This workshop will review those requirements, what food businesses need to know, and where to go for help.

The speaker will be announced later.

Date: Friday, December 5, 2014
Time: 8:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Location: Enterprise Center at Salem State University, 121 Loring Avenue, Suite 106, Salem (directions)
Cost: Free
Contact: Laurel Costello at 978-542-6343 or sbdc@salemstate.edu

register online

Cosponsored by the Enterprise Center at Salem State University, the North Shore Alliance for Economic Development and YENS (Young Entrepreneurs of the North Shore)

People Skills Matter: Being Powerful, Positive and Professional

All businesses are based on relationships, whether interacting with customers, employees, suppliers, or lenders. having key emotional intelligence skills, aka "people skills", impacts your effectiveness and your success, whether you're the boss, work alone, or are part of a team.

This interactive workshop, taught by an expert who has trained thousands on how to build key emotional intelligence skills, will give you the tools and strategies to improve your people skills, handle conflict, and ultimately be a more effective communicator and leader.

The speaker will be Carrie Stack, founder of the Say Yes Institute and author of The Dream Boss: Powerful, Positive, Professional.

Date: Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Time: 8:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Location: Enterprise Center at Salem State University, 121 Loring Avenue, Suite 106, Salem (directions)
Cost: Free
Contact: Laurel Costello at 978-542-6343 or sbdc@salemstate.edu

register online

Cosponsored by the Enterprise Center at Salem State University and YENS (Young Entrepreneurs of the North Shore)




Cancellation Policy
Cancellations received by noon the day prior to the seminar will be entitled to a refund. No refund will be given on notifications received after that time or in any no-show situation.
 
This policies do not apply when the Enterprise Center collects the registration fees. Please contact the Enterprise Center for further information.
 
The MSBDC reserves the right to cancel or reschedule a seminar due to insufficient enrollment. Registration fees will be returned or credited towards a future program.
Weather Cancellations
If a host school closes due to inclement weather, SBDC workshops at that location are canceled. If possible, we will try to reschedule workshops.

Please refer to the host school websites for schedule changes and weather alerts.

 

 
     
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