Small Business Essentials

Professional Development

Offered through Continuing Education

@ Meramec | Corporate College

Whether you’re starting a new business or expanding a current venture, Small Business Essentials will provide the right tools to get your business going in the right direction. Learn how to start your business, and how to market, promote and finance it.

Program Contact

Continuing Education

Phone

314-984-7777

Learn more and register online now

Please call 314-984-7777 to register for classes by phone, or click the button above to register and pay online.

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Starting and Managing a Small Business

Are you thinking about starting and managing a small business in Missouri? Designed for individuals who are considering starting a business, have made the decision to start or who have been in business for less than two years, this program will discuss: the basics of business ownership, planning for success, organizational forms of business, legal and regulatory environment, record keeping and information management, marketing, financing and resources. Program is offered in partnership with the Small Business and Technology Development Center.
BUSS:701 | 2 sessions | $69 AGE 60+ | $69 REG

Understanding Patents, Trademarks and Copyrights

Intellectual property (IP) is often the most valuable asset a business will ever own. Unfortunately, many businesses and entrepreneurs are unfamiliar with IP and are ill-equipped to successfully secure, exploit, and enforce their IP rights. In this course, you will learn the differences between patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets, and discover why they are essential to the health and success of businesses of all types and sizes. Taught by an experienced IP attorney.
BUSS:734 | 1 session | $41 AGE 60+ | $59 REG

Franchising as a Small Business Option

Have you thought about buying a new or existing franchise? Learn the basics every potential franchisee should know, building your knowledge to make a well-informed investment decision. Gain a working knowledge of franchising and how to assess your own suitability as a franchise business owner. You will learn about the main franchise business models, the advantages and disadvantages of franchising, and the fees and royalties applicable in franchising. This class would also be valuable for business consultants and accountants who work with franchise clients.
BUSS:765 | 1 session | $39 AGE 60+ | $39 REG

NEW! Trademarks and Copyrights for Small Business

Intellectual property (IP) is often the most valuable asset a business will ever own. Unfortunately, many businesses and entrepreneurs are unfamiliar with IP and are ill-equipped to successfully secure, exploit and enforce their IP rights. In this course, learn the differences between trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets, and discover why they are essential to the health and success of businesses of all types and sizes. Taught by an experienced IP attorney.
BUSS:734 | 1 session | $26 AGE 60+ | $39 REG

Ultimate Rainmaker: Sales Training for Business Owners and Managers

Are you a business owner struggling to sell yourself and your business to the general public? Are you a manager who is looking for new sales techniques for you and your team? Local author and Sales Manager, Keith Antone Willis, Sr. is sharing his best practices for growing sales exponentially through easy yet effective techniques. This course will teach you how to identify sales opportunities, cultivate old and new contacts that turn into profitable sales relationships, and how to develop a long-term sales strategy for growing revenue. Class includes a signed copy of the book, “10 Laws of the Ultimate Rainmaker.”
BUSS:765 | 1 session | $59 AGE 60+ | $59 REG

DIY Background Checks on Potential Tenants, Contractors, Employees

Protect yourself and your business using public resources and investigative techniques to learn more about the candidates you are about to hire in a legal capacity. From an employee-hiring manager for a large or small business firm to a homeowner contractor or rental property manager, it’s a good employment practice to learn more about potential individuals you are hiring and screen those candidates to help ensure that a potential new hire does not have anything lurking in their past that could potentially harm your business or create a safety hazard for clients and other employees. Taught by a private investigator, come learn about free and low cost options for conducting background checks, when and how to conduct background checks and the “red flags” to look for before a potential problem arises.
BUSS:765 | 1 session | $18 AGE 60+ | $25 REG

Business Plan Development

An intensive, four-session, individually customized course designed to provide new and aspiring entrepreneurs with the tools and resources to create a solid business plan. Experienced business facilitators/coaches will guide group sessions and share practical experiences to enhance your business. Participants learn with and from their peers, creating a powerful network that continues well after the program is complete. These sessions are enriched with guest speakers from various disciplines including the legal profession, marketing, human resources and financing. In addition, each participant will begin by taking the GrowthWheel® assessment and receive customized tools based on this assessment to assist as you build your plan. Weekly homework assignments are given and participation is required to be successful in the class. Continued counseling from a business counselor and certified life coach is available after the completion of the class. Please bring a laptop or electronic device to class for working on your business plan. Program is offered in partnership with the Small Business and Technology Development Center. GrowthWheel® is a registered trademark of GrowthWheel International Inc.
BUSS:702 | 4 sessions | $109 AGE 60+ | $109 REG

Business Start-Up Skills for Artisans and Crafters

Are you ready to take your craft or hobby business to the next level? Is this the year you plan to make a profit with your artisan or craft side business? Are you looking to turn your side hustle into a money-making business? You’ve been developing your talent and finding a demand for your handmade craft or artistic products, but how do you navigate the independent marketplace? Get ready for the upcoming season and learn tips from award winning artist, 40-year veteran in the arts and former Executive Director of Best of Missouri Hands, Mike Ochonicky as she discusses effective marketing techniques, outlets to sell online and in-person, balancing creativity with administrative tasks and more. Bring a notebook and pen to class.
BUSS:701 | 1 session | $25 AGE 60+ | $35 REG

NEW! Inventors’ One-Day Series

Learn, Create, Grow. Learn from the experts as Inventors Association of St. Louis, one of the oldest inventor-assistance organizations in the United States, offers insights and secrets of invention procedures and business-building. Register for each class.

STLCC-Meramec (MC) | MC-BA, 116 | Saturday, Sept. 7
BUSS:765 | each session | $25 AGE 60+ | $25 REG
F13 9-10 a.m. | Ask An Inventor: An Introduction to the Invention Process
F04 10:15-11:15 a.m. | Intellectual Property: Learn How to Protect Your Ideas
F05 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | How to Research and Understand Patents to Avoid Infringement
F06 1:15-2:15 p.m. | How to Manufacture Your First Product
F07 2:30-3:30 p.m. | Crowdfunding: What’s the Difference Between Crowdfunding Platforms?

STLCC-Forest Park (FP) | FP-G, 325 | Saturday, Oct. 26
BUSS:765 | each session | $25 AGE 60+ | $25 REG
F08
9-10 a.m. | Ask An Inventor: An Introduction to the Invention Process
F09 10:15-11:15 a.m. | Intellectual Property: Learn How to Protect Your Ideas
F10 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | How to Sell and License Your Product
F11 1:15-2:15 p.m. | Using Cut and Sew Factories to Manufacture Your Product and Fashion Designs
F12 2:30-3:30 p.m. | Local Funding, Resources and Maker Spaces to Bring Product to Market

Ask An Inventor: An Introduction to the Invention Process

Gain valuable lessons and tips to avoid common mistakes when becoming an inventor. Ask questions from a twice-patented inventor as she shares her experience about the steps she took and the challenges she faced in developing her idea into a prototype, creating a finished product and desktop app, identifying a manufacturer, selecting a patent attorney, bringing her product to market, and more. Offered at MC and FP.

Crowdfunding: What’s the Difference Between Crowdfunding Platforms?

Thinking about starting a crowdfunding campaign to launch a product but don’t know which to use? Many factors should be considered before launching a campaign to fund your idea, inventions, business, cause or organization. Learn the general differences and requirements, pros and cons, and benefits and risks associated with the most popular crowdfunding websites. Also, explore samples of the most successful and failed campaigns launched right here in St. Louis! Offered at MC.

How to Manufacture Your First Product

Learn the dos and don’ts of manufacturing and how to select the best manufacturer for your product based upon your product type. This session explores the product manufacturing process in the U.S., China, Mexico, India, etc. Learn the different requirements for obtaining a product sample and placing initial orders; inherent risks, inconveniences, and timelines associated with average production runs; expenses involved in manufacturing in the U.S. versus abroad and more. Inventors Association St. Louis will also provide valuable tips to avoid costly manufacturing mistakes during production and insights on local and international companies that provide U.S. clients with product sourcing and translation services along with facilitation of off-shore manufacturing in China, Mexico, Taiwan and other countries for free or at a low cost. Offered at MC.

How to Research and Understand Patents to Avoid Infringement

Attempting to read and understand a patent can be daunting. However, it is important for inventors to conduct basic patent research to determine if their idea already exists (e.g. under another name or category) and is, in fact, patentable. This class helps inventors better read and understand the contents and key parts of a patent and to gain knowledge about the requirements for and meaning of terms like dependent/independent claims, prior art, patent infringement, and more. Students will also learn how to improve their research inquiries on free websites and extract valuable information from various patents that will aid in devising their own patents. Offered at MC.

How to Sell and License Your Product

Learn the pros, cons and differences between licensing and self-production of a new product. Benefit from tips about how to approach potential licensees (e.g. retailers, major brands, big box stores, etc.) and how to best structure your sales pitch to be impactful and secure a deal! Offered at FP.

Intellectual Property: Learn How to Protect Your Ideas

This course introduces participants to the different types of intellectual property (IP) available (i.e. patents, trademarks and copyrights) to provide protection for their inventions and other original work. Information will be provided about the length and type of protections granted under each filing and how to avoid infringing on existing IPs or losing patent protection. Offered at MC and FP.

Local Funding, Resources and Maker Spaces to Bring Product to Market

Did you know that St. Louis ranks as one of the top three cities in America with the best entrepreneurial community? A number of local entities have created programs and raised money to extend to start-up entrepreneurs and inventors. However, many of these resources are underutilized. Learn how to take advantage of these available training, resources, funding and mentoring opportunities! Offered at FP.

Using Cut and Sew Factories to Manufacture Your Product and Fashion Designs

Need help developing, constructing, and/or launching a product or clothing collection but don’t know where to start? Learn how cut and sew factories can help you through the entire process from design… to sales… and distribution! Participants will gain an understanding about how these factories can convert their designs and sketches into finished products by providing services such as design development, pattern creation, pattern digitization, assembly, and manufacturing and can aid in launching their products within a shorter period of time than most manufacturers. Offered at FP.

Accounting

Understanding Accounting: An Introduction

Designed for individuals with non-financial backgrounds who work with budgets or those wanting to enter an office manager position, this introductory course provides an overview of accounting terminology and processes, analyzing financial activities and statements and applying the fundamentals of accounting. Course covers debits, credits, general ledgers, assets, liabilities, balance sheets, profit and loss statements and more. Students may bring a sack lunch/drink to class.
BUSS:741 | 1 session | $21 AGE 60+ | $39 REG

Accounting Boot Camp: Beginning I

Designed for individuals and entrepreneurs who desire to learn and master knowledge about basic accounting, this rigorous, fast-paced, hands-on boot camp provides an introduction to accounting business terminology, accounting principles, the accounting cycle and the preparation of financial statements. This course includes a variety of hands-on case studies for practical application and is taught by a tenured accounting professor. Students are required to bring pencils, calculator and notebook paper. All other class materials will be provided. Bring a sack lunch.
BUSS:741 | 2 sessions | $44 AGE 60+ | $69 REG

Accounting Boot Camp: Beginning II

This boot camp builds upon an introduction to accounting business terminology and accounting principles with discussion of the accounting cycle and preparation of financial statements. This rigorous, fast-paced, hands-on boot camp is designed for individuals and entrepreneurs who desire to learn and master knowledge about basic accounting. Course will include lots of hands-on case studies for practical application. Taught by a tenured accounting professor. Students are required to bring pencils, calculator and notebook paper. All other class materials will be provided. Bring a sack lunch.
BUSS:741 | 2 sessions | $44 AGE 60+ | $69 REG

Accounting Boot Camp: Beginning III

This rigorous, fast-paced, hands-on extension of Accounting Boot Camp: Beginning II is designed for individuals and entrepreneurs who desire to advance their accounting knowledge. Course introduces subsidiary ledgers, special journals and internal controls. Students are required to bring pencils, calculator, and notebook paper.
BUSS:741 | 2 sessions | $44 AGE 60+ | $69 REG

NEW! Excel® for Accounting

This course is design to enhance students’ knowledge by using Microsoft Excel to create financial statements, pie charts, bar graphs and tables by working with multiple worksheets. Learn to create more complex formulas using the function feature in Excel, analyze results to examine various financial activities and develop a professional-looking worksheet for internal and external use. Please bring a flash drive.
BUSS:765 | 2 sessions | $39 AGE 60+ | $59 REG

NEW! Introduction to Data Analytics Using Excel®

The course is design to continue enhancing students’ knowledge by exploring the use of data analysis tools in Microsoft Excel. Students will be introduced to pivot tables, data tables, and comparison bar graphs. Students will learn how to use the conditional formatting function and sort feature to further analyze data. Please bring a flash drive. Prerequisite: introductory-level Microsoft Excel experience.
BUSS:765 | 2 sessions | $49 AGE 60+ | $69 REG

We have more!

We offer an array of Excel® classes ranging from beginning to advanced.

Record keeping for the Small Business Owner

As a small business owner, it is important for you to have good record keeping procedures and accurately follow tax guidelines. Taught by small business tax professional, T. Spector, CPA, class topics include internal and external financial record s, different forms of business ownership (and their specific record keeping requirements), setting up your own books, management reporting, travel and entertainment expenses, home office expenses, and methods for tracking and deducting vehicle expenses. The instructor welcomes a two-way discussion and questions about your specific situation.
BUSS:741 | 2 sessions | $79 AGE 60+ | $79 REG

Small Business Tax Seminar

If you are thinking of starting a small business or have already done so, this program is designed for you. Join a small business tax professional and CPA to learn the tax-related essentials of starting a business: business use of the home, record keeping, independent contractor versus employee, hobby versus business, federal income tax and employment tax requirements. This program is designed for sole proprietors, but much of the information relates to all forms of business ownership. The instructor welcomes a two-way discussion and questions about your specific situation.
BUSS:741 | 1 session | $39 AGE 60+ | $39 REG

NEW! Payroll for Small Business

Payroll is an integral activity of an organization’s operations. In this course, explore introductory payroll laws and terminology, flow of a payroll systems and wage/salary computations for small- and medium-size businesses.
BUSS:741 | 2 sessions | $44 AGE 60+ | $69 REG

 

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