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Small Business Essentials

Professional Development

Offered through Continuing Education

@ Forest Park | Meramec | 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 provided below may change.

Click the orange button above to view the most up-to-date class details, including dates, classrooms, etc.


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 includes, but is not limited to, use of masks and social distancing requirements.


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

 

Business Foundations

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, 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 | $69 AGE 60+ | $69 REG
P02 Sa 9 a.m.-noon | Lynette Watson
Feb. 6-13 | Online

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. You’ll 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 | $99 AGE 60+ | $99 REG
P01 Th 6:15-9:15 p.m. | Lynette Watson
Feb. 25-March 11 | Online

DIY Background Checks Investigation 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 arises.
BUSS-765 | 1 session | $19 AGE 60+ | $25 REG
P01 Sa 10 a.m.-noon | Cheryl Ring Mantinband
Feb. 27 | Online
P02 Sa 10 a.m.-noon | Cheryl Ring Mantinband
April 24 | Online

Business Skills for Artisans and Crafters

Are you ready to take your craft or art 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? 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 | $27 AGE 60+ | $39 REG
P01 W 6-8 p.m. | Michelle Ochonicky
March 3-10 | Online

Business Plan Development

This intensive, individually customized 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. These sessions are enriched with guest speakers from various disciplines, including the legal profession, marketing, human resources and financing. You’ll start the course by taking the GrowthWheel® assessment and receive customized tools based on your individual outcomes to assist as you build your plan. Program is offered in partnership with the Small Business and Technology Development Center.
BUSS-702 | 4 sessions | $109 AGE 60+ | $109 REG
P01 Tu 6:15-9:15 p.m. | Lynette Watson
April 20-May 11 | Online

GrowthWheel® is a registered trademark of GrowthWheel International Inc.

Payroll for Small Business

Payroll is an integral activity of an organization’s operations. During this course, you’ll explore introductory payroll laws and terminology, payroll system flow and wage/salary computations for small and medium-sized businesses. Bring a sack lunch.
BUSS-741 | 2 sessions | $51 AGE 60+ | $75 REG
P07 Sa 9 a.m.-1 p.m. | Stacy Moore
May 1-8 | FP-D, 215

Accounting and Taxes

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 your 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 professor. Bring pencils, calculator and notebook paper. All other class materials provided. Bring a sack lunch.
BUSS-741 | 2 sessions | $51 AGE 60+ | $75 REG
P04 Sa 9 a.m.-1 p.m. | Stacy Moore
Feb. 27-March 6 | FP-D, 215

Accounting Boot Camp: Beginning II

This boot camp builds Accounting Boot Camp: Beginning I 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. Course will include numerous hands-on case studies for practical application, shared by 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 | $51 AGE 60+ | $75 REG
P05 Sa 9 a.m.-1 p.m. | Stacy Moore
March 27-April 3 | FP-D, 215

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. 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 | $51 AGE 60+ | $75 REG
P06 Sa 9 a.m.-1 p.m. | Stacy Moore
April 17-24 | FP-D, 215

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
P03 Sa 9 a.m.-1 p.m. | Teresa Spector
March 6 | MC-BA, 118

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
P02 Sa 9 a.m.-1 p.m. | Teresa Spector
April 3-10 | MC-BA, 118

Inventors’ Series: Learn, Create, Grow

Discover secrets of invention procedures and explore valuable business-building techniques. Presented by Invent-ED Network Connection, this series will help you put your best foot forward as you step into the world of inventorship. Register for each class.

Saturday, Feb. 6 | Online
BUSS-765 | each session | $25 AGE 60+ | $25 REG
P03 9-10 a.m. | Inventing 101
P04 10:15-11:15 a.m. | Patent, Trademark and Copyright: Protect Your Idea or Invention
P05 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. | Research, Read and Understand Patents
P06 1-2 p.m. | How to Manufacture Your First Product in the U.S. and Abroad

Saturday, Feb. 20 | Online
BUSS-765 | each session | $25 AGE 60+ | $25 REG
P07 9-10 a.m. | Business Start-Up 101: Become an Entrepreneur
P08 10:15-11:15 a.m. | Show Me the Money! Explore Start-Up Funding
P09 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. | Crowdfunding: Kickstarter®, Indiegogo® and GoFundMe®
P10 1-2 p.m. | Launch Your Product
P11 2:15-3:15 p.m. | Manufacture Your Clothing Products and Fashion Designs

Saturday, Feb. 27 | Online
BUSS-765 | each session | $25 AGE 60+ | $25 REG
P12 9-10 a.m. | How to License Your Product or Idea Yourself
P13 10:15-11:15 a.m. | Launching a Crowdfunding Campaign? Not as Easy as You Think
P14 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. | Quickly Find Valuable Inventor Help and Resources Online
P15 1-2 p.m. | Don't Blow It: Best Practices to Maximize NSF i-Corp™ Funding

Inventing 101

Have a great idea for a product, app or other invention? Explore a broad overview of the inventing process and methods to bring your idea to market. We’ll discuss 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, prior art, public disclosure risks, ways to protect your idea prior to patent, cost-saving strategies and more.

Patent, Trademark and Copyright: Protect Your Idea or Invention

Need to know how to easily become “Patent Pending?” Explore the different types of Intellectual Property (IP), including 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 or losing patent protection. Discover how to submit filings yourself for under $100 via the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s website.

Research, Read and Understand Patents

The jargon and legalese of patents can be daunting. But, as an inventor, it’s critical to conduct basic patent research to determine if your idea already exists. Discover how to better read and understand the contents and key parts of a patent. Learn the meaning of and requirements for 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 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, how to select the best manufacturer based upon your product type, and how the manufacturing process works in the U.S. and internationally. Explore the considerations for obtaining a product sample, initial order requirements, and troubleshooting tips for issues and bad production runs. Uncover tips about how to avoid costly manufacturing mistakes during production and discover local and international companies that provide clients with product sourcing, translation services and facilitation of offshore manufacturing.

Business Start-Up 101: Become an Entrepreneur

There are many different types of entrepreneurship; you can become a traditional entrepreneur (selling a product, service or idea), a “techpreneur” (technology inventor + entrepreneur), a “socialpreneur” (social worker + entrepreneur), an “edupreneur” (educator + entrepreneur) and more. Learn about the different paths 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. Learn how to take advantage of funding, training programs, networks, mentoring and other opportunities 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 crowdfunding platforms and explore each of their differences, requirements, advantages, disadvantages and risks.

Launch Your Product

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. With the knowledge gained in this course, you could save time and many overhead expenses associated with running a retail business.

Manufacture Your Clothing Products and Fashion Designs

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 aid in launching your products within a shorter time than most manufacturers.

How to License Your Product or Idea Yourself

Discover the pros and cons of licensing versus the self-production of a new product. Learn how to secure a licensing deal yourself and gain tips to approach potential retailers, major brands, big box stores and other licensees. Also find out 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? Not as Easy as You Think

Before you launch your first crowdfunding page on Kickstarter®, Indiegogo®, or GoFundMe®, there are many factors you need to consider. Explore crowdfunding websites, review past and present pages launched by inventors and discuss factors to consider prior to launch. Learn about the risks and components involved in setting up and managing a new or launched page. We’ll help find the best crowdfunding fit for your new idea and discuss what happens if your campaign succeeds or fails.

Quickly Find Valuable Inventor Help and Resources Online

Researching and collecting general data about your invention is daunting. 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 you need to gain a better understanding of the different forms of IP. Explore the various forms of IP (e.g., patent, trademark, trade secret and copyright), as well as the costs and filing processes.

Don’t Blow It: Best Practices to Maximize NSF i-Corp™ Funding

Explore the ins and outs of National Science Foundation’s (NSF’s) Innovation Corps (I-Corps™) program. The instructor, an I-Corps graduate, will share strategies to maximize the program’s benefits and information about business expenses, requests and reimbursements it will fund.


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