Small Business Center Free Seminars

These 90 minutes to three-hour seminars cover a wide range of small business topics. Most of these seminars are held at Durham Tech’s Small Business Center, located in the SOUTHBank Building in Durham or at the Orange County Campus in Hillsborough.

Small Business seminars are free. Registration is strongly encouraged. Registration allows the SBC to contact you regarding any changes (inclement weather, location, cancellations, etc.). Registration will open no later than four weeks prior to each seminar or workshop. We also encourage you to come early to secure your seat, since seating is limited.

Business Over Lunch (BOL) seminars or webinars are offered from 11:30 am–1:30 pm.

Food Business seminars (and workshops) will have a focus on the agriculture and food processing industry yet are open to all entrepreneurs.

Starting a Business Series

10 Steps to Starting Your Own Business

Starting your own business may seem like a daunting task, but it’s not too hard if you take it step by step. Learn the steps you need to take to make your dream become a reality. Our consultant has trained hundreds of entrepreneurs across the state in starting, marketing, and managing a business. Taught by Jess McLamb, Roper Bookkeeping.

SBC16012 T 2/15 6:30 –9 p.m. SBB 312

Manage Your Debt and Credit Prior to Starting Your Business

Start or grow your business into strong financial shape by learning how to obtain, review, and understand your personal credit report; how to significantly increase your credit score in as little as 90 days; how to rapidly reduce or eliminate debt; and how to successfully negotiate with creditors to lower your interest rates. Leave eady to play the credit game to win. Taught by Greg Frank, Financial Fitness Cente.

SBC16013 M 2/29 6:30 –9 p.m. SBB 312

Thinking of Starting a Nonprofit?

This seminar provides information including, but not limited to, whether or not you are ready, questions to answer prior to starting the business, where business ideas come from, governmental requirements, and available resources. This session is the perfect place to bring all your nonprofit startup questions. Taught by LaShon Harley, Durham Tech’s Small Business Center.

SBC16014 T 4/19 6:30 –9 p.m. SBB 312


Business Planning Basics for Entrepreneurs Series

The Best Small Business to Start Right Now

What would be the best small business for you to start right now? Focus on three areas: how to create a business idea that fits you, “hot” businesses that will grow in coming years, and five easy-to-use steps to starting a business. Learn about more than 30 types of businesses with growth potential. Taught by Mike Collins, Perfect Workday Inc.

SBC16015 M 2/1 6:30 –9 p.m. SBB 312

Creating a Winning Business Plan

If you think the time is right to start a business, you must create a winning business plan. Learn how to easily create a simple business plan by reviewing which parts of the plan that must be created in specific ways, which parts of the plan bankers focus on, and what the overall plan must look like. Taught by Mike Collins, The Perfect Workday Company.

SBC16016 T 2/23 6:30 –9 p.m. OCC

Entrepreneurs Avoiding Common Business Modeling Mistakes

Have new business idea? Seeking new customer segments? Come and learn the common mistakes entrepreneurs can make when developing their business ideas, the potential effects on the business planning process, and ways to avoid them. Taught by Carl Baumann, Chapel Hill SCORE

SBC16017 W 2/24 6:30 –8:30 p.m. OCC

Introduction to Business Modeling

Are you a startup or existing entrepreneur wondering how you should develop your business idea? Building and understanding your business model is a critical first step in the business planning process. Learn how to design and analyze your business model into a one-page document. With your one-page business model, you can develop your business plan more efficiently and effectively. Taught by Carl Baumann, Chapel Hill SCORE.

SBC16019 Th 2/25 6:30 –9 p.m. OCC

Supercharged Goal-Settings for Entrepreneurs

Come learn the four most important characteristics necessary for success, how to effectively motivate yourself, and keep the motivation going. Participants will developed their own personal, written, five-year plan of goals to accomplish, when to accomplish them by, and the steps you need to take in order to achieve them. Taught by Warren Greshes, Speaking of Success.

SBC16020 Th 3/31 3 –6 p.m. SBB 312

Entrepreneurs Avoiding Common Business Plan Mistakes

Are you writing a business plan? How can you make your business plan better? Come and learn the common mistakes entrepreneurs can make in their business plans, the potential effects of these mistakes and ways to avoid them. Taught by Carl Baumann, Chapel Hill SCORE

SBC16018 Th 4/28 6:30 –8:30 p.m. SBB 312


Finance for Entrepreneurs Series

Manage Your Debt and Credit Prior to Starting Your Business

Start or grow your business into strong financial shape by learning how to obtain, review, and understand your personal credit report; how to significantly increase your credit score in as little as 90 days; how to rapidly reduce or eliminate debt; and how to successfully negotiate with creditors to lower your interest rates. Leave ready to play the credit game to win. Taught by Greg Frank, Financial Fitness Center.

SBC16013 M 2/29 6:30 –9 p.m. SBB 312

Basic Bookkeeping for Business Owners

Do you know your products or services? Do numbers scare you? What about accounting terms such as cash versus accrual; debits and credits; depreciation, assets, and liabilities; owner’s equity; or liquidity? In this course, get hands-on experience preparing a financial statement, including cash flow, income statements, and balance sheet. Taught by Jess McLamb, Roper Bookkeeping.

SBC16021 M 4/4 6:30 –9 p.m. SBB 312

Introduction to Budgets for Businesses

Learn the importance of business budgeting. Entrepreneurs will learn how to create simple budgets along with tips on how to manage cash flow and payroll. Taught by LaShon A. Harley, SBC.

SBC16026 Th 4/7 6:30 –9 p.m. SBB 312

Fundamentals of Grant Writing

This seminar focuses on how to research and identify potential funding sources, how to effectively write the key elements of a proposal, and how to submit applications to foundations and federal sources. Learn the techniques of preparing, writing, and winning grants from various funding agencies. Taught by Rick Leggett, Excellence By Choice Inc.

SBC16022 T 4/12 6:30 –9 p.m. SBB 312

Entrepreneurs Getting an Understanding of Their Financial Statements

So you have your accountant or accounting software program generate your financial statements, but what do they mean? This seminar helps entrepreneurs understand balance sheets, income or profit/loss statements, and statements of cash flows, as well as the secrets they may hold to your business’s success. Taught by Joe Battle, Success 360i.

SBC16023 M 4/18 6:30 –8 p.m. OCC

Grants Research Workshop for Entrepreneurs

Have you ever wondered How can I find grants for my business? This workshop will provide information on how to search and identify grants for your business (for-profit and nonprofit) and to navigate the grant seeking process. Participants should have understanding of basic computer and Internet skills. Taught by Rick Leggett, Excellence By Choice Inc.

SBC16024 T 4/26 6:30 –9 p.m. OCC

Preparing The Loan Package for Your Business

Using real-life examples, learn how to put together a loan package for a lender including business plan and financial statements. Receive an overview on how a lender will evaluate your loan request. Taught by Joe Battle, Success 360i.

SBC16025 M 5/2 6:30 –8 p.m. SBB 312


Legal Issues for Entrepreneurs Series

The Most Important Legal Questions Facing a Startup Business

Get answers to your startup questions about business formation, financing, contracts, employment issues, and leasing commercial property, as well as practical advice on best practices and minimizing business risks. Learn the advantages and costs of the different business entities, including sole proprietorship, partnership, C Corp, S Corp, LLC, and L3C. Taught by Donna Ray Berkelhammer, The Legal Direction.

SBC16029 Th 2/18 6:30 –9 p.m. SBB 312

Copyright Law for Entrepreneurs

Website? Original artwork? Secret recipe? Have you written a book? Learn the crucial points of protecting a business’s or an organization’s valuable intangible assets through basic information about copyrights. Taught by Donna Ray Berkelhammer, The Legal Direction.

SBC16027 Th 3/17 6:30 –8:30 p.m. SBB 312

Key Contracts: Protecting Your Business from Legal Liability

One of the best ways to protect a business from legal liability is to have contracts in place, including confidentiality agreements, service contracts, sales contracts, etc. Learn tips for creating contracts as well as what makes a contract valid. This seminar is a must for startup and existing business owners. Taught by Jonathan Seiglie, Attorney – Meier Law Group

SBC16028 T 3/22 6:30 –8:30 p.m. OCC

Trademark Law for Entrepreneurs

Have a logo? Slogan? Sound? Learn the crucial points of protecting a business’s or an organization’s valuable intangible assets through basic information about trademarks. Taught by Donna Ray Berkelhammer, The Legal Direction.

SBC16031 Th 4/21 6:30 –9 p.m. SBB 312

Patent Law for Entrepreneurs

Developed a new product? Learn the crucial points of protecting a business’s or an organization’s valuable intangible assets through basic information about patents. Taught by NC LEAP Attorney.

SBC16030 T 5/10 6:30 –9 p.m. SBB 312

Marketing for Entrepreneurs Series

Introduction to Marketing

Who are your customers? How will potential customers find your product? How should you price your product? Learn the basics of marketing (product, pricing, placement, and promotion) along with an overview on customer development and marketing strategies. Taught by Alecia Lawrence, Durham Tech.

SBC16033 Th 3/10 6:30 –8:30 p.m. SBB 312

Price It Right!

Determining the right price for a product or service can be one of the most difficult challenges small businesses face. This seminar presents various strategies entrepreneurs can use to determine the “right” price for their product or service. Taught by Yvette Bonaparte, Bonaparte Consulting, LLC.

SBC16034 T 4/5 6:30 –8 p.m. SBB 312

Branding Your Business

Building, managing, and protecting your personal brand are as important for each of us as they are for a large corporation or celebrity, and it’s key to positioning yourself and your business for success. Through discussions and short exercises, you explore what you want your personal brand to be and how to create it. Taught by Yvette Bonaparte, Bonaparte Consulting, LLC.

SBC16032 T 4/19 6:30 –8:30 p.m. SBB 312


Facebook Made Easy

Every business should have a Facebook page! Learn how to use your page to brand your business and engage your customers. This hands-on workshop will teach you the following:

  • How to start a page from scratch
  • How to schedule messages that save you time
  • How to automate your marketing and keep people on your page

Taught by Chisa D. Pennix-Brown, Lady Bizness, Inc.

SBC16035 M 3/14 6:30 –8:30 p.m. SBB 312

A Social Media Guide for the Rest of Us

Still avoiding social media? Trying it out but failing to see the value? Or simply wondering what the hype is about? Learn how your business may (or may not) benefit from using sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Yelp. We’ll cover best practices and potential strategies, and we’ll look at a few case studies. Bring your unanswered questions, as there will be plenty of time for Q&A. Taught by David Mooring, BurlapSky Inc.

SBC16037 M 3/7 6:30 –9 p.m. SBB 312

Twitter Made Easy

Twitter is a great resource and marketing tool for small businesses that know how to use its power. This hands-on workshop will teach you the following:

  • How to start a page from scratch with an enhanced profile
  • How to use hashtags to garner attention for your brand
  • How to create lists and engage influencers
  • How to gain new followers with proven applications

Taught by Chisa D. Pennix-Brown, Lady Bizness, Inc.

SBC16039 M 4/11 6:30 –9 p.m. SBB 312

Seven Tips to Online Marketing on a Tight Budget

Establishing an online presence for your business doesn’t have to break the bank. Whether you’re just getting started or are ready to take your strategy to the next level, there are cost-effective solutions for you. Come find out what’s new in the world of online marketing, how you can take advantage of the changing landscape, and even tips you can use immediately. Taught by David Mooring, BurlapSky Inc.

SBC16038 M 4/25 6:30 –9 p.m. OCC

Periscope Made Easy

Periscope is the newest social media that is changing the way brands communicate via video. Combining your live audience presence and getting immediate feedback is the future of social engagement. In this two-hour workshop students will learn the following:

  • How to start a Periscope account for your business
  • How to gain followers and best practices for video development
  • How to share your Periscope videos on multiple social platforms

Taught by Chisa D. Pennix-Brown, Lady Bizness, Inc.

SBC16036 M 5/9 6:30 –8:30 p.m. SBB 312