Small Business Course Offerings

ABC’s of Starting a Business

This seminar is designed to assist individuals in understanding the basic steps to starting and operating a small business.  Topics to be covered include:  understanding yourself, researching your market, defining your business structure, determining fees and licensing requirements, developing a marketing plan, pricing, bookkeeping and budgeting, preparing financial statements, components of a business plan, and implementing the plan.                                                               

How to Create a Winning Business Plan

Business planning is a prerequisite for success!  Business plans are a requirement to get a business loan and are recommended for all businesses.  This seminar will show you how to write a concise yet complete plan for your business.  Information to be covered will include: a business plan outline, a model business plan from a retail business, and a worksheet for generating financial information and cash flow projections.

How to Survive, Thrive and Grow Your Business during Tough Economic Times

This class will provide practical tips for small business owners on making it through an economic slowdown. Now is not the time to stop advertising, but you can do smart marketing.


First-Time Landlord: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Thinking About Becoming a Landlord?

If so, this seminar will teach you the essentials that you should know before buying your first property. Taught by an experienced landlord, the course will help you complete a cash flow analysis, establish procedures for repair and maintenance, develop your leases and rental agreements, avoid legal trouble and effectively attract and select good tenants and terminate bad tenants. A sample lease agreement will be provided.


Other Small Business & Entrepreneurial Seminars and Programs Available

Business Start-up and Survival in Tough Economic Times
Business Success in Tough Times: How to Cut Costs and Improve Cash Flow
The Myths of Government Grants: How to Really Finance Your Business
Show Me the Money: Funding for Your Small Business
First Time Landlord: Steps to follow in renting out a Single-Family Home
Guidelines for Investing in Rental Property for Maximum Profit
How to get out of Debt and improve your cash flow in tough economic times

Leadership and Management Development

Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team©

Based on the New York Times Best-Seller, this course for leaders, managers, consultants and facilitators offers practical guidance, tools, exercises, assessments and real-world examples to get teams up and running (or re-directed) quickly and effectively.
1 day

Conflict is Inevitable; COMBAT is Optional

At work and in life, conflict happens. This course will help you identify your personal conflict style; equip you with tools for avoiding combat; and provide a four-step plan for resolving conflicts in the workplace and at home.
3 hours (can be expanded to 4 hours)

Behavioral Interviewing: How to Hire the Right People

Whether you are hiring or interviewing for a job, understanding the behavioral interviewing approach will increase your interviewing effectiveness, enhance your confidence in the selection process, help keep interviews legal, decrease bad hiring decisions and their associated costs, and create an equitable assessment process for candidates. This course is an interactive "how to."
3 hours

Conducting Meaningful Employee Performance Reviews

Designed for anyone who must conduct job performance reviews and discussions, this course will prepare and equip you to do it well. You'll learn a structured approach to creating meaningful employee dialogue about performance; preparing for the conversation; how to deal with poor performers and calibrating unrealistic ones.
3 hours

Creating a Performance Measurement System and Process

Most companies need all employees focused on helping the organization meet its primary goals and objectives. This course will teach leaders and managers how to establish a systematic approach to assessing capabilities, performance and potential. You'll learn how to focus all employees on accomplishing the organization's goals, and learn best performance management practices from companies such as GE, Microsoft and Merck.
3 hours


Entrepreneurship Training

FastTrac® NewVenture™
Entrepreneur Training Program (33 hours)

( Community Colleges and Institutions must meet the FastTrac® NewVenture™ licensing requirements)

Do you have a great business idea? The FastTrac® NewVenture™ program, an initiative of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation of Kansas City, provides the tools to develop your business concept and outlines the critical steps to a successful business launch. The program facilitator and coaches lead you through identifying and reaching your target market, setting financial goals, building an effective team, and more. At the end, you have a business plan to help you determine whether or not starting the business is feasible.

REAL Entrepreneurship Program
(Community Colleges and Institutions must meet the NC REAL Licensing requirements)

Rapid Response Entrepreneurship Modules

Rapid Response Entrepreneurship Modules (RREM) are 14 modules designed for adults on the go who need help with a specific topic related to small business planning or management. Topics include:

1. Am I Cut Out to Be an Entrepreneur?
2. Pricing Products and Services
3. Can My Business Idea Support Me?
4. Let Your Numbers Do the Talking!
5. Achieving Sales Projections through a Viable Marketing Plan
6. Tax Planning and Reporting
7. Taking Care of Taxes
8. Bookkeeping Basics
9. Accounting Basics
10. Determining a Legal Form of Operation
11. Enhancing Customer Service: A Practical Approach
12. Human Resources Concerns
13. Managing Time and Stress in Business
14. Business Use of Your Home


1. Am I Cut Out To Be An Entrepreneur?

In this module participants identify the personal qualities and skills of successful business owners and other factors that contribute to the success of small businesses. Participants assess their current skills and knowledge of small business ownership and develop a learning plan to assist them in growing successful enterprises. Participants will:

• identify the personal qualities and skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur,
• build knowledge of factors that contribute to the success of small businesses,
• evaluate their ability to be successful entrepreneurs,
• understand the purpose and uses of the business plan, and
• identify their personal learning needs.

2. Pricing Products and Services

Participants identify internal and external factors to consider in setting prices for products and services and learn to estimate potential market share. Business examples demonstrate how to evaluate pricing methods, develop sales forecasts, and measure market potential for products and services. Participants learn to apply these practices to their own businesses by:

• identifying strategies used to price products and services,
• evaluating different pricing methods for sample businesses, and
• identifying connections between pricing and sales forecasting.

3. Can My Business Idea Support Me?

In this module participants develop an understanding of personal budgeting and its relationship to business planning. Exercises identify the kinds of data needed to project the revenue, start-up, and operating costs of a business, and the module introduces breakeven analysis as a tool to assist the entrepreneur in measuring financial feasibility. Participants will:

• use personal assessment tools to help assess the “fit” between themselves and their business ideas,
• identify financial concepts (overhead costs, cost of goods sold, profit contributed per sale) that measure financial feasibility, and
• practice using personal budgeting and breakeven analysis for a sample business.

4. Let Your Numbers Do the Talking

In this session participants learn how to construct realistic cash flow statements by developing good financial assumptions. In addition, participants learn about the role of basic financial ratios in financial analysis and business decision-making. Participants will:

• identify factors involved in developing good financial assumptions,
• construct a projected cash flow statement for a sample business, and
• practice using basic financial ratios to analyze financial statements.

5. Achieving Sales Projections through a Viable Marketing Plan

In this session, participants focus on the marketing plan and the importance of market analysis in projecting sales. Market research information for a sample business demonstrates the connection between a marketing plan and a cash flow statement. Participants identify market segments and use market segmentation to project sales. Participants will:

• analyze the connection between a business’ marketing plan and cash flow statement,
• use market analysis to evaluate the ability of a marketing plan to produce sales, and
• develop a “Marketing/Cash Flow Analysis Worksheets” for a sample business.

6. Tax Planning and Reporting

An important step in staying out of trouble as a business owner is understanding tax reporting responsibilities. In the government’s eye ignorance of the law is no excuse for failing to comply. In this module participants become familiar with tax procedures and forms that owners must file to comply with state and federal regulations for reporting business activity. Participants will:

• learn the importance of tax planning throughout the year,
• understand how careful tax planning and record keeping can make tax reporting less stressful, and
• practice filing state and federal tax forms for a sample business.

7. Taking Care of Taxes

Tax compliance is an essential part of business management. In this module participants become familiar with the procedures and forms required to report sales and payroll tax liabilities. Specifically, participants will:

• experience the process small business owners undertake to comply with sales and payroll tax reporting,
• identify resources available to entrepreneurs regarding tax reporting, and
• prepare tax forms for a sample business.

8. Bookkeeping Basics

Keeping good financial records is a critical step in managing a successful enterprise. This module addresses the financial records needed for good business management. Participants develop systems and practices for collecting necessary information for tax reporting and business decision-making. Participants will:

• demonstrate the connection between cash flow projections and the bookkeeping system created for a business,
• practice posting business transactions to monthly cash receipts and disbursements journals, and
• demonstrate how good bookkeeping practices give a clear snapshot of a business’ health.

9. Accounting Basics

Understanding the importance of basic accounting terms and procedures is essential knowledge necessary for tracking a business’ cash flow. This module helps participants understand basic accounting terms and their relationship to a chart of account. Participants will:

• discuss basic accounting terms,
• discuss basic accounting statements, and
• examine basic journal entries.

10. Determining a Legal Form of Operation

Determining the best legal structure for a business is important because of the varying legal and tax implications. In this module participants will examine the legal structures to determine the one most appropriate to their needs, including Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Corporation, S Corporation, and Limited Liability Company. Participants will:

• discuss the different forms of legal structures for business enterprises,
• discuss key advantages and disadvantages of each type of structure, and
• identify the process for filing for a particular legal structure

11. Enhancing Customer Service: A Practical Approach

Understanding the importance of overall customer satisfaction is critical to the sustainability of any business. In this module, participants will define strategies needed to get and keep customers satisfied with products and services. Participants will:

• identify the difference between customer service and customer satisfaction and
• develop strategies for enhancing customer service and customer satisfaction.

12. Human Resources Concerns

There are legal ramifications of small business owners not following the laws that apply to hiring and managing employees. In this module participants will identify key human resource concerns, accompanying laws, and essential supervisory skills required as part of an effective set of human resource policies. Participants will:

• discuss basic human resources concerns,
• discuss the impact of HR concerns on a small business,
• discuss which laws apply to a small business, and
• establish guidelines for hiring employees.

13. Managing Time and Stress in Business

As a small business owner who typically must manage every aspect of operations on a daily basis, it is important to manage one’s time efficiently, thus reducing organizational stress. In this module participants will learn about effective and efficient time management strategies. Participants will:

• discuss time management issues for the small business owner,
• discuss time management strategies,
• discuss organizational stress, and
• discuss strategies for handling organizational stress.

14. Business Use of Your Home

In home businesses are becoming popular with small businesses. This module will help you become familiar with procedures and forms required to figure and claim the deductions for business use of your home. Specifically, participants will:

• learn the requirements for qualifying as a home based business,
• identify types of expenses you can deduct,
• learn how to figure the deductions including depreciation,
• identify what records should be kept, and
• receive practice in the preparation of tax forms for simple home based business