Small Business Essentials
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.
Due to server maintenance, online registration will be down starting at 4 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 14. Online registration will become available again the morning of Tuesday, Feb. 18. Thank you for your patience.
- General Small Business Essentials
- Inventors' One-Day Series: Learn, Create, Grow
- Market Spotlight
Class schedules provided below may change.
It happens every so often: classes are rescheduled, moved to a different classroom, etc. Want to see the most up-date information? Simply follow the orange button above to view current class details.
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, recordkeeping 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
P02 Sa 9 a.m.-noon Lynette Watson
Jan. 25-Feb. 1 | MC-BA, 122
P03 Sa 9 a.m.-noon Lynette Watson
April 4-11 | MC-BA, 122
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
BUSS:702 | 4 classes | $109 AGE 60+ | $109 REG
P01 W 6:15-9:15 p.m. | Lynette Watson
Feb. 5 - Feb. 26 | MC-BA, 116
P02 Tu 6:15-9:15 p.m. | Lynette Watson
April 21-May 12 | MC-BA, 122
• NOTE: No class 11/26.
NEW! The Business of Small Business: Understanding Financials
Discover ways to turn financial statements into useful management tools. Understand
where cash comes from, where it’s used in day-to-day business, and learn to identify
and correct cash flow problems and prepare future performance of a business using
a cash budget. Leave feeling more comfortable about decisions to prepare for growth,
and better understand loans and financing, how and when to make affordable purchases
and how much cash can safely be taken out of the business. Designed for business owners,
managers, accountants, bankers and consultants.
BUSS:741 | 3 sessions | $99 AGE 60+ | $99 REG
P04 Th 6:15-9:15 p.m. | Lynette Watson
Feb. 27-March 12 | MC-BA, 122
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 | $39 AGE 60+ | $39 REG
P06 Sa 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | Teri Spector
April 4 | MC-BA, 120
Recordkeeping for the Small Business Owner
As a small business owner, it is important for you to have good recordkeeping procedures
and accurately follow tax guidelines. Taught by a small business tax professional
and CPA, class topics include internal and external financial records, different forms
of business ownership (and their 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
P07 Sa 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | Teri Spector
April 18-25 | MC-SO, 107
DIY Background Check Investigations 101
Protect yourself and your business using public resources and investigative techniques
to legally learn more about the candidates you are ready to hire. From an employee-hiring
manager for a large or small business firm to a homeowner contractor or rental property
manager, it’s good employment practice to learn more about potential individuals you
are hiring and screen candidates to help ensure 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,
learn about free and low-cost options for conducting background checks, when and how
to conduct background checks and red flags to look for before a potential problem
BUSS:765 | 1 session | $27 AGE 60+ | $39 REG
P02 Sa 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | Cheryl Ring
Feb. 29 | FV-B, 120
P01 Sa 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | Cheryl Ring
April 25 | MC-BA, 212
Branding and Search Engine Marketing
Learn to create a strong brand for your new business or organization and also create
a strong search engine marketing plan that gets results.
BUSS:765 | 2 sessions | $59 AGE 60+ | $59 REG
P15 Th 6-8 p.m. | Sarah Guldalian
May 7-14 | MC-BA, 114
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-Forest Park (FP) | MC-BA, 116 | Saturday, April 18
BUSS:765 | each session | $25 AGE 60+ | $25 REG
P09 9-10 a.m. | Ask An Inventor: An Introduction to the Invention Process
P10 10:15-11:15 a.m. | Intellectual Property: Learn How to Protect Your Ideas
P11 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | How to Sell and License Your Product
P12 1:15-2:15 p.m. | Using Cut and Sew Factories to Manufacture Your Product and Fashion Designs
P13 2:30-3:30 p.m. | Local Funding, Resources and Maker Spaces to Bring Product to Market
STLCC-Forest Park (FP) | FP-G, 325 | Saturday, Oct. 26
BUSS:765 | each session | $25 AGE 60+ | $25 REG
P04 9-10 a.m. | Ask An Inventor: An Introduction to the Invention Process
P05 10:15-11:15 a.m. | Intellectual Property: Learn How to Protect Your Ideas
P06 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | How to Research and Understand Patents to Avoid Infringement
P07 1:15-2:15 p.m. | How to Manufacture Your First Product
P08 2:30-3:30 p.m. | Crowdfunding: What’s the Difference Between Crowdfunding Platforms?
Ask An Inventor: An Introduction to the Invention Process
Learn valuable lessons and tips to avoid common mistakes when becoming an inventor. Ask a twice-patented inventor questions as she shares experiences and challenges faced while 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 what platform to use? Many factors should be considered before launching a campaign to fund your idea, invention, business, cause or organization. Learn the general differences and requirements, pros and cons, and benefits versus risks associated with the most popular crowdfunding websites. 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 on your product type. This session explores the product manufacturing process in the U.S., China, Mexico, India and more. 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. Also, gain 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 (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 gain knowledge about the requirements for and meaning of terms like dependent/independent claims, prior art, patent infringement and more. Learn how to improve research inquiries on free websites and extract valuable information from various patents that will aid in devising new 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
Learn the different types of Intellectual Property (IP) available (i.e. patents, trademarks and copyrights) to provide protection for inventions and other original work. Explores 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 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, to distribution. Gain an understanding of how these factories can convert designs and sketches into finished products, providing services such as design development, pattern creation and digitization, assembly and manufacturing that can help launch products within a shorter period of time than most manufacturers. Offered at FP.
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
P05 Sa 9 a.m.-1 p.m. | Bill Dorr
March 7 | MC-BA, 124
Accounting Boot Camp: Beginning I
Designed for individuals and entrepreneurs who desire 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. This course includes a variety of hands-on case studies for practical
application and is taught by a tenured accounting professor. Bring pencils, calculator
and notebook paper. All other class materials provided. Bring a sack lunch.
BUSS:741 | 2 sessions | $44 AGE 60+ | $69 REG
P01 Sa 9 a.m.-1 p.m. | Stacy Moore
Feb. 29-March 7 | FP-G, 113
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 boot camp is designed for individuals and entrepreneurs
who desire to learn and master basic accounting. This course includes a variety of
hands-on case studies for practical application and is taught by a tenured accounting
professor. Bring pencils, calculator and notebook paper. All other class materials
provided. Bring a sack lunch.
BUSS:741 | 2 sessions | $44 AGE 60+ | $69 REG
P02 Sa 9 a.m.-1 p.m. | Stacy Moore
March 28-April 4 | FP-G, 113
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.
Bring pencils, calculator and notebook paper. All other class materials provided.
BUSS:741 | 2 sessions | $44 AGE 60+ | $69 REG
P03 Sa 9 a.m.-1 p.m. | Stacy Moore
April 18-25 | FP-G, 113
Introduction to Data Analytics Using Microsoft® Excel®
Continue enhancing data-informed decision-making by exploring the use of data analysis
tools in Microsoft Excel. Introduces pivot tables, data tables and comparison bar
graphs. Learn how to use the conditional formatting function and sort feature to further
analyze data. Please bring a flash drive.
BUSS:765 | 3 sessions | $49 AGE 60+ | $69 REG
P03 Th 7-9 p.m. | Stacy Moore
April 16-30 | FP-D, 313
Take your Excel® skills to the next level. We offer a range of classes for beginners, advanced users, and anyone in between.
Business Start-Up Skills for Artisans and Crafters
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 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 | $29 AGE 60+ | $39 REG
P01 Th 6-9 p.m. Mike Ochonicky
March 5 MC-BA, 203
NEW! Starting a Dessert Business: Menu Building and Pricing
Ready to go pro? Pricing your baked goods to sell is the hardest part of a cake or
cookie business. Build a drool worthy menu and learn how to properly cost all that
goes into your final product so you can effectively price. By the end of this course
you will have a unique menu and the knowledge to price properly with confidence. Text
required; bring to first class: “The Flavor Bible” ISBN 978-0316118408.
BUSS:765 | 4 sessions | $39 AGE 60+ | $59 REG
P14 W 6-8 p.m. | Deva Williamson
April 8-29 | MC-SO, 206