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Small Business Essentials

Professional Development

Offered through Continuing Education

@ Forest Park | Meramec | Corporate College | Online

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

Register online now

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Class schedules subject to change.

Classes offered in-person may be rescheduled, canceled or transitioned to an online format based on COVID-19 guidelines. Students are required to follow COVID-19 guidelines for classroom participation, which may include, but is not limited to, use of masks and social distancing requirements. For the latest requirements, review STLCC’s COVID-19 Information page.

Unless otherwise specified in the course description, registration for online classes closes three business days prior to the class start date.

General Business

Business Start-Up Skills for Artisans and Crafters

Take your craft or art business to the next level. Learn tips from an award-winning, 40-year veteran in the arts and former Best of Missouri Hands Executive Director as she discusses effective marketing techniques, outlets to sell online and in-person, methods to balance creativity with administrative tasks and more. Bring a notebook and pen to class.
BUSS-701 | 2 sessions | $33 AGE 60+ | $45 REG
F01 Th 7-9 p.m. | Mike Ochonicky
Sep. 16-23 | Online
F02 Th 7-9 p.m. | Mike Ochonicky
Oct. 7-14 | Online

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 or 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, recordkeeping and information management, marketing, financing and resources. This program is offered in partnership with the Small Business and Technology Development Center.
BUSS-701 | 2 sessions | $75 AGE 60+ | $75 REG
F03 Sa 9 a.m.-noon | Lynette Watson
Sep. 18-25 | Online
F04 Sa 9 a.m.-noon | Lynette Watson
Oct. 16-23 | Online

Business Plan Development

This intensive, individually customized, four-session course is designed to provide new and aspiring entrepreneurs with tools and resources to create a solid business plan. Experienced business facilitators/coaches will guide group sessions and share practical experiences to help enhance your business. Learn with and from peers, and create a powerful network that continues well after the program is complete. Gain enrichment from guest speakers of various disciplines, including the legal profession, marketing, human resources and financing. Start the course by taking the Growth Wheel® assessment and receive customized tools based on your individual outcomes to assist as you build your plan. Weekly homework assignments are given and participation is required to be successful in the class. Program is offered in partnership with the Small Business and Technology Development Center.
BUSS-702 | 4 sessions | $125 AGE 60+ | $125 REG
F03 T 6:15-9:15 p.m. | Lynette Watson
Oct. 19 -Nov. 9 | Online

Investigation Basics

Do you need to know information about a person for personal or professional purposes? From hiring managers to property owners to homeowners, learn the techniques and discover free online resources to get the information you need to make an educated decision. Gain insights that will assist you, your family, or the organization you represent.
BUSS-765 | 1 session | $23 AGE 60+ | $29 REG
F07 Sa 10 a.m.-noon | Cheryl Ring
Dec. 4 | MC-BA 212

Public Relations I

Familiarize yourself with basic principles of public relations, stakeholders, and code of ethics in today’s global economy. Gain knowledge of the process that includes research, planning, action, communication, monitoring and evaluation (M&E). The following textbooks are not mandatory but are essential for reference and more comprehension and understanding: “Introduction to Public Relations: Strategic, Digital, and Socially Responsible Communication 2nd Edition” ISBN 9781544392004 and “Discovering Public Relations: An Introduction to Creative and Strategic practices: Karen Freberg: 1st Edition” ISBN 1544355378.
BUSS-702 | 6 sessions | $65 AGE 60+ | $95 REG
F01 Th 4-6 p.m. | Joyce Nganga
Sep. 2-Oct. 7 | Online

Public Relations II

Familiarize yourself with basic principles of public relations, stakeholders, and code of ethics in today’s global economy. Gain knowledge of the process that includes research, planning, action, communication, monitoring and evaluation (M&E). Prerequisite: Public Relations I. The following textbooks are not mandatory but are essential for reference and more comprehension and understanding: “Introduction to Public Relations: Strategic, Digital, and Socially Responsible Communication 2nd Edition” ISBN 9781544392004 and “Discovering Public Relations: An Introduction to Creative and Strategic practices: Karen Freberg: 1st Edition” ISBN 1544355378.
BUSS-702 | 6 sessions | $65 AGE 60+ | $95 REG
F02 Th 4-6 p.m. | Joyce Nganga
Oct. 21-Dec. 9 | Online
• NOTE: No class Nov. 11, Nov. 25.

Accounting and Taxes

Accounting Boot Camp: Beginning I

Designed for individuals and entrepreneurs who want to learn and master basic accounting, this rigorous, fast-paced boot camp provides an introduction to accounting business terminology, accounting principles, the accounting cycle and the preparation of financial statements. Explore a variety of hands-on case studies for practical application and learn from a tenured accounting professor. Bring pencils, calculator, notebook and a sack lunch. All other class materials provided.
BUSS-741 | 2 sessions | $55 AGE 60+ | $79 REG
F02 Sa 9 a.m.-1 p.m. | Stacy Moore
Sep. 18-25 | FP-D Tower 217A

Accounting Boot Camp: Beginning II

Build on Accounting Boot Camp: Beginning I business terminology and accounting principles, and explore more information about the accounting cycle and preparation of financial statements. This rigorous, fast-paced boot camp is designed for individuals and entrepreneurs who desire to learn and master basic accounting. Work through hands-on case studies for practical application, with guidance from a tenured accounting professor. Prerequisite: Accounting Boot Camp: Beginning I. Bring pencils, calculator and notebook paper. All other class materials provided. Bring a sack lunch.
BUSS-741 | 2 sessions | $55 AGE 60+ | $79 REG
F03 Sa 9 a.m.-1 p.m. | Stacy Moore
Oct. 9-16 | FP-D Tower 217A

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. Discover subsidiary ledgers, special journals and internal controls. Prerequisite: Accounting Boot Camp: Beginning II. Bring pencils, calculator, and notebook paper. All other class materials provided. Bring a sack lunch.
BUSS-741 | 2 sessions | $55 AGE 60+ | $79 REG
F04 Sa 9 a.m.-1 p.m. | Stacy Moore
Oct. 30-Nov. 6 | FP-D Tower 217A

The Business of Small Business: Understanding Financials

Discover ways to turn financial statements into useful management tools. Understand where cash comes from and where it’s used in day-to-day business. During this course designed for business owners, managers, accountants, bankers and consultants, you’ll learn to identify and correct cash flow problems and prepare future performance of a business using a cash budget. Gain comfort about decisions to prepare for growth, a better understanding of loans and financing, a deeper knowledge of how and when to make affordable purchases and a comprehension of how much cash can safely be taken out of the business.
BUSS-741 | 3 sessions | $109 AGE 60+ | $109 REG
F07 Th 6:15-9:15 p.m. | Lynette Watson
Sep. 2-16 | Online

Recordkeeping for the Small Business Owner

As a small business owner, good recordkeeping procedures and accurately followed tax guidelines are critical. During this course taught by a small business tax professional and CPA, you’ll explore internal and external financial records, different forms of business ownership (and specific recordkeeping 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
F06 Sa 9 a.m.-1 p.m. | eri Spector
Nov. 13-20 | MC-BA 120

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, recordkeeping, 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 | $49 AGE 60+ | $49 REG
F05 Sa 9 a.m.-1 p.m. | Teri Spector
Nov. 6 | MC-BA 120

Inventors’ Start-Up Series: Learn, Develop and Launch!

Gain valuable information from The Invent-ED Network Connection (The I.N.C.) about the inventing process and starting a business. The series will provide immediately actionable tips to help launch your product idea and new business and enter into the world of inventorship and entrepreneurship fast. Register for each class.

Saturday, Aug. 28 | Online
BUSS-765 | each session | $29 AGE 60+ | $29 REG
F08 9-10 a.m. | Inventing 101: The Inventing Process
F03 10:15-11:15 a.m. | Patents, Trademarks and Copyrights
F04 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. | Research, Read and Understand Patents
F05 1-2 p.m. | How to Manufacture Your First Product in the U.S. and Abroad

Saturday, Sep. 18 | Online
BUSS-765 | each session | $29 AGE 60+ | $29 REG
F06 9-10 a.m. | Business Start-Up 101: Become an Entrepreneur
F09 10:15-11:15 a.m. | Show Me the Money! Explore Start-Up Funding
F10 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. | Crowdfunding: Kickstarter®, Indiegogo® and GoFundMe®
F14 1-2 p.m. | Launch Your Product(s) or Home-based Business Immediately

Saturday, Sep. 25 | Online
BUSS-765 | each session | $29 AGE 60+ | $29 REG
F11 9-10 a.m. | How to License Your Product or Idea Yourself
F12 10:15-11:15 a.m. | Launching a Crowdfunding Campaign? It’s Not as Easy as You Think
F13 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. | Quickly Find Valuable Inventor Help and Resources via USPTO
F15 1-2 p.m. | Using Cut and Sew Factories to Manufacture Products and Fashion Designs

Inventing 101: The Inventing Process

Have a great idea for a product, app or other invention? Not sure where to start? Explore the inventing process and methods to bring your idea to market. Examine factors to consider when sharing your idea and ways to navigate relationships with patent attorneys, product developers, industry professionals, and others. Learn about non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), prior art, public disclosure risks, ways to protect your idea (prior to patent) and more. Gain cost-saving tips to address common challenges during the phases of product development. These short-cuts can save you time and set you on an accelerated path to inventing.

Patents, Trademarks and Copyrights

Explore the different types of Intellectual Property (IP) (e.g., patents, trademarks, copyrights, etc.) that provide protection for inventions, writings, art, and other original and creative work. Learn about the length and type of protections granted under each filing and gain tips on how to avoid infringing on existing IPs, losing patent protection, and more. Discover how to submit some filings yourself for under $100 via the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO’s) website through their “pro-bono” and “self-help” services and how to easily become “Patent Pending!”.

Research, Read and Understand Patents

The jargon and legalese of patents can be daunting. But, as an inventor, being able to conduct basic patent research to determine if your idea already exists (e.g., under another name or category) and is patentable is critical. Discover how to better read and understand the contents and key parts of a patent. Gain knowledge about the requirements for and meaning of terms such as “claims,” “prior art,” “infringement” and more. Uncover how to improve your research inquiries on free websites and how to use what you learn from other patents to aid in the development of your own.

How to Manufacture Your First Product in the U.S. and Abroad

Learn the “do’s and don’ts” of manufacturing and how to select the best manufacturer based upon your product type. Examine the manufacturing process in the U.S. and internationally. Learn how to obtain a product sample and make initial orders. Discover ways to address the inherent risks, inconveniences, and timelines associated with average production runs, and expenses involved in manufacturing in the USA versus abroad. Uncover tips about how to avoid costly manufacturing mistakes during production and survey local and international companies that provide clients with product sourcing, translation services and facilitation of offshore manufacturing.

Business Start-Up 101: Become an Entrepreneur

Want to start a business but don’t know how? Do you know what type of entrepreneur you are and the type you’d like to become? Are you an inventor who plans to become an entrepreneur by launching or selling your own product? This class is for you! There are many different types of entrepreneurship. For instance, you can become a traditional entrepreneur (selling a product, service or idea), a “techpreneur” (technology inventor + entrepreneur), a “socialpreneur” (socially conscious + entrepreneur) or an “edupreneur” (educator + entrepreneur), and more. Learn about the different types and start your journey to entrepreneurship with knowledge and resources to help you launch your enterprise.

Show Me the Money! Explore Start-Up Funding

St. Louis ranks third in the U.S. in terms of best entrepreneurial communities and offers access to a wealth of funding and start-up resources. Our city boasts several new inventor and business programs, services and incubators designed to help you get started. However, many of these resources remain untapped because entrepreneurs don’t know about them. Get on the fast track to funding for your new idea, invention or business and gain access to inventor and business start-up funding and valuable resources. Learn how to take advantage of free training programs, networks, mentoring and other opportunities (many now available online) to help get your product or idea off the ground.

Crowdfunding: Kickstarter®, Indiegogo® and GoFundMe®

Crowdfunding campaigns can help you raise funds for your new product or idea, launch or grow a business, assist a non-profit organization or support a personal project or community cause. Learn about three of the most popular platforms: Kickstarter, Indiegogo and GoFundMe. Explore the differences, requirements, advantages, disadvantages and risks associated. See samples of the most successful and failed campaigns launched here in St. Louis. Examine the many factors to consider before launching a campaign.

Launch Your Product(s) or Home-based Business Immediately

Have a finished product, artwork, literature, craft or design you’re ready to launch or sell? Not sure how or where to do it without a storefront? This class is for you! Gain valuable information about where you can immediately create your own storefront and begin selling your merchandise for free or at a very low cost online and/or at local retail outlets. Save time, money and many overhead expenses associated with running a retail business. Learn the ease of becoming a new entrepreneur or business owner. Discover how to bring your product or idea to market in 24 hours.

How to License Your Product or Idea Yourself

Learn the pros and cons of licensing versus the self-production of a new product. Examine how to secure a licensing deal yourself and tips to approach potential retailers, major brands, big box stores and other third parties. Discover how to structure and submit a video or one-page sales pitch online directly to targeted licensees to gain their interest and secure a licensing deal.

Launching a Crowdfunding Campaign? It’s Not as Easy as You Think

Before you launch your first crowdfunding page on Kickstarter®, Indiegogo®, GoFundMe®, there are many factors you need to know. Without this knowledge, you could put your invention at risk in more ways than one! Explore several crowdfunding websites, review past and present pages launched by inventors, and discuss factors to consider prior to launch. Find the best crowdfunding fit for your new idea. Learn about the risks with crowdfunding pages (with or without a patent) and the many components involved in setting up and managing a new or launched page. Examine what happens if your campaign succeeds or fails.

Quickly Find Valuable Inventor Help and Resources via USPTO

Researching and collecting general data about your invention is daunting enough. You need to know more [e.g., how and when to protect your idea with some form intellectual property rights (IP)]. Learn how to quickly gather inventor information, forms and videos from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website. Discover how to extract the valuable content, information, videos, and/or forms that you need. Gain a better understanding of the different forms of IP (e.g., patent, trademark, trade secret, and copyright) as well as the costs and filing processes (with or without an attorney).

Using Cut and Sew Factories to Manufacture Products and Fashion Designs

Need help developing, constructing or launching a product or clothing collection? Learn how cut and-sew factories can help you through the entire process— from idea to design to product to sales to distribution. Gain an understanding about how these factories can convert your ideas and sketches into finished products through design development, pattern creation, pattern digitization, assembly, packaging and manufacturing. Discover how cut-and-sew factories can prototype and aid in launching your products within a shorter time than most manufacturers.


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