Workshops and Classes

Learn new skills to manage your business.

Understanding business fundamentals, such as finance and marketing, as well as staying abreast of the changing business environment, is key to the success of a business.

Harper College SBDC offers low cost seminars and workshops to help you manage your business and to keep up-to-date on new business developments.

Workshop and Class Descriptions

Have you ever considered being a business owner? Do you have the characteristics and fundamentals to run a business? Find out if entrepreneurship is right for you. During the session complete a self-assessment questionnaire to determine if you have the personal characteristics, the financial fitness and the business readiness skills to own a business. Then score and interpret your own results.

Choose one session to attend:..

  • June 15, 8 - 9 a.m.
  • July 6, 8 - 9 a.m.
  • August 3, 8 - 9 a.m.
  • September 7, 8 - 9 a.m.

Where:  650 East Higgins Rd, Schaumburg, in the Harper Professional Center, (not on main campus) Suite 18N

Cost: Free.

Registration: To register for this free seminar please email sbdc@harpercollege.edu.  Please include the following information in your email:  name, contact information (email and/or phone) and class date.

Starting a business requires pulling together many matters such as your strategy, marketing plan, start-up costs and sources of costs and sources of funds, and legal registration and reporting requirements.  And timing matters!  This course provides an overview of these critical tasks and helps the participants to create a timeline of critical tasks to launch.

Prerequisite: Starting a Business: First Steps or having an existing business.

Choose one session to attend:..

  • May 18, 2 - 4 p.m.
  • June 22, 2 - 4 p.m.
  • July 20, 2 - 4 p.m
  • August 17, 2 - 4 p.m
  • September 28, 2 - 4 p.m

Where:  650 East Higgins Rd, Schaumburg, in the Harper Professional Center, (not on main campus) Suite 18N

Cost: Free.

Registration: To register for this free seminar please email sbdc@harpercollege.edu.  Please include the following information in your email:  name, contact information (email and/or phone) and class name and class date.

One of the most challenging parts about starting and growing a business is financial management.  In this series learn about small business financial management, how to “connect the dots” between your business operation and performance – and experience financial success. This consists of four workshops:

Understanding “The Books”:  Next Session - Fall 2016
Learn how to keep the necessary records for your small business, how to set up functional recordkeeping systems and review the financial statements of your business. Understanding “the books” is a key component to knowing how your company is performing, enabling you to spots trends that could be hazardous to your business’ health. We’ll show you the primary tools of financial analysis, and how to use them with ease.

Using QuickBooks to Successfully Manage Your Business:  Next Session - Fall 2016
Attendees will learn to maximize QuickBooks beyond basic bookkeeping. In this workshop, you will learn to how to dig into your company’s numbers to analyze the operating results and learn how they impact your bottom line, how to create effective reports to manage your day to day operations and analyze operating results with financial ratios.

Managing Cash Flow: Your Business’ Survival Depends on It!:  Next Session - Fall 2016
Business owners often focus on top line items such as gross revenue and sales or the bottom line - net profits. Cash flow often gets overlooked, yet is critical to your business’ survival. Rapidly growing, or contracting, companies can encounter serious financial difficulties when cash flow is not managed properly. In this workshop, you will learn how to calculate and accurately project your business cash flow and understand that your survival depends on it.

Budgeting and Forecasting For Small Businesses:  Next Session - Fall 2016
Business owners often neglect to determine their financial goals and objectives. Among the most important aspects of a business plan is the financial plan. Realistic financial goals and a plan for achieving them will keep your business on track for success. We will show you how to prepare a budget against which to measure your achievements, and how to make reasonable, useful forecasts.

Where:  650 East Higgins Rd, Schaumburg, in the Harper Professional Center, (not on main campus) Suite 18N

Cost: $50 each, $175 for all four workshops.

Register Now

So many marketing options!  But marketing can be expensive and time consuming.  Create a marketing strategy and plan for your business.  In this hands-on workshop, you'll work through the key marketing issues of target market and selection of marketing tactics (such as social media, email marketing, direct mail, networking, etc.) with practical applications for small businesses.  Leave with an annual marketing plan, including a calendar for implementation.  Set aside this time to focus on your business's marketing direction.   

Week 1 - Goals, Strategies and Sizing up the Competition- Next Session Fall 2016
What is your company's trying to achieve?  What is the marketplace like for your business's product or service?  This week's workshop focuses on the challenge in front of you.

Week 2 - Selecting your Marketing Tools- Next Session Fall 2016
Many effective ways exist to reach your targeted customers, including email marketing, social media, power partners, networking, direct mail and many more.  Carefully select where to place your money and time.  Develop a plan to measure their effectiveness. 

Week 3 - Establishing Your Marketing Plan and Calendar- Next Session Fall 2016
During this class, develop a plan that converts your target market to customers and customers to repeat customers.  Establish an executable timetable so you leave this workshop ready to begin!

Where:  650 East Higgins Rd, Schaumburg, in the Harper Professional Center, (not on main campus) Suite 18N

Cost: $50 each, $125 for all three workshops.

Register Now

More details coming soon.  Seminar is being planned for September 2016

WHO: for small business owners and entrepreneurs and their marketing staff

Where:  650 East Higgins Rd, Schaumburg, in the Harper Professional Center, (not on main campus) Suite 18N

Cost: TBD

Hands-on class designed for entrepreneurs with little experience working with QuickBooks. Topics include: setting up a new company, accounts receivable and accounts payable transactions, bank reconciliation, credit card reconciliation, running basic financial reports, tracking and paying sales tax. Entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to work on their QuickBooks file during the session.

When:  June 16, 2016   9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where:  650 East Higgins Rd, Schaumburg, in the Harper Professional Center, (not on main campus) Suite 18N

Cost: $150 (includes box lunch and QuickBooks manual)

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Email is a cost-effective way to stay connected to customers.  Increased referrals, repeat sales and greater customer loyalty are benefits.  Are you effectively using this marketing tool?  In this 3 session seminar, you will learn

  • Email best practices and strategies
  • Hands-on use of Constant Contact in our computer lab to build emails and templates, including template selection, formatting, inserting links and images
  • Peer review and idea-sharing of email content development and strategies

Topics covered:

Week 1 – Email marketing strategy

Week 2 – Using email marketing software (Constant Contact)

Week 3 – List building and management

WHO: for small business owners and those responsible for marketing small businesses

When:  Next session Fall 2016

Where:  650 East Higgins Rd, Schaumburg, in the Harper Professional Center, (not on main campus) Suite 18N

Cost: $50 for all three sessions

Register Now

Automate Your Marketing! Learn how to inspire your new subscribers to take action NOW! 

Ever wish you had a way to reward new subscribers and inspire them to take action NOW, when their interest is RED HOT?  Ever send the same information out over and over again?  Ever forget to follow up with new subscribers or customers on anniversaries/birthdays?  Need a convenient way to share success stories and customer testimonials? 

Automate your email campaigns!  Use them to follow up, inform, entertain, & provide incentives for action & engagement.  Set up a plan to work automatically while you focus on your business.  In this seminar, Vanessa Cabrera of Your Social Media Mentor, Inc., will help you: 

• Decide which emails you should automate 
• Understand how to automate your emails the RIGHT way 
• Share real-life examples of how businesses are automating their emails 
• Show you how to combine social media with an automated email marketing plan

It's easier than you think!

WHO: for small business owners and marketers

When:  Next session Fall 2016

Where:  650 East Higgins Rd, Schaumburg, in the Harper Professional Center, (not on main campus) Suite 18N

Cost: FREE

Registration: To register for this free seminar please email sbdc@harpercollege.edu.  Please include the following information in your email:  name, business name, contact information (email and phone) and seminar name and seminar date.

Whether you've been recently downsized or dream about being your own boss and using your skills and knowledge to assist a multitude of companies rather than just work for one, this seminar will address the positive and the negative of working on your own.  It will give the novice entrepreneur and the experienced consultant details they will need to make the decision to build their business model and act on it.  Join Bob Podgorski who has taken the journey of executive to small business owner and consultant as he shares his formula for success.

 When:  Next Session TBA

The ability to sell a business' product or service effectively is key to its success.

Strong selling skills are key.  But Sales isn't rocket science!  You can do this! Learn the basics of consultative selling.  It's not pushy or annoying.  It is need-based, conversational and will be welcomed by your prospects. 

Topics include:
• Preparation
• Presentation
• Objections
• Closing

Role-playing exercises will also be offered to help you experience different sales scenarios.

Instructor Dennis LaPorta of Sales Planning Services, LLC will discuss ways to make the sales process more effective and more enjoyable.

WHO: For small business owners and their sales/marketing staff

When:  Next session Fall 2016

Where:  650 East Higgins Rd, Schaumburg, in the Harper Professional Center, (not on main campus) Suite 18N

Cost: FREE

Registration: To register for this free seminar please email sbdc@harpercollege.edu.  Please include the following information in your email:  name, contact information (email and/or phone) and seminar name and seminar date.

To optimize the selling price of a business, exit planning ideally begins approximately five years before a small business owner retires.  Join us June 7 when attorney James Voigt of Lavelle Law and Anthony Contaldo of CFA Chicago, an investment banking firm serving middle-market companies, will guide you through the exit planning process and how to avoid common pitfalls.

WHO: For small business owners

When:

  • Tuesday, June 7, 2016   9:00 to 11:00 a.m.

Where:  650 East Higgins Rd, Schaumburg, in the Harper Professional Center, (not on main campus) Suite 18N

Cost: FREE

Registration: To register for this free seminar please email sbdc@harpercollege.edu.  Please include the following information in your email:  name, contact information (email and/or phone) and seminar name and seminar date.

If you have been thinking about advertising your business on search engines but don't know quite how to get started, this seminar will provide you with the necessary answers. Don't have the budget to advertise, but still want your business web site to be listed on the first page of search engine results? That is where the search engine optimization (SEO) comes into place. We will compare the two marketing techniques, discuss best practices, and provide advice so you can choose which one is best for your type of professional activity. Ample time will be given for questions and answers.  Taught by Norbert Barszczewski, President of JP NetQuest, Inc. a web development & internet marketing services company.

When:  Next Session TBA

 

Planning to borrow money to start a business or expand your current operations?

Learn why some businesses get approved for a loan and others are denied.  Get insights into the criteria used by lenders to evaluate a loan request.  An underwriter from Northbrook Bank & Trust and a loan officer from Accion Chicago will:

  • Explain the lending process
  • Introduce small business loan programs
  • Share real life examples of successful loan applicants

Learn:

  • What you absolutely must do before you apply for a business loan?
  • What are the criteria banks use to evaluate your loan application?

 

WHO: For small business owners

When:

  • Tuesday, June 28, 2016   9:00 to 11:00 a.m.

Where:  1375 South Wolf Road, Prospect Heights, IL 60070 at the Harper Learning and Career Center, Harper LCC Campus

Cost: FREE

Registration: Register at www.loanseminar.eventbrite.com

Questions: 

Call 847-925-6004 or email slove@harpercollege.edu

Ever struggle to effectively describe the key points about your business at a networking event?  Are you succinct and to the point?  Or do you ramble and run out of time before you've said all you want people to know?  Are you clear about what you want to communicate?

In this workshop, you'll craft your 15-20 second introduction and get feedback on its effectiveness.  You'll receive tips on how to expand your comments when given more time (the 30 second, 60 second and 2 minute speeches). 

To be best prepared for this session, prepare and bring a list of the features and benefits of your product or service. 

When:

  • Next session Fall 2016

Where:  650 East Higgins Rd, Schaumburg, in the Harper Professional Center, (not on main campus) Suite 18N

Cost: FREE

Registration: To register for this free seminar please email sbdc@harpercollege.edu.  Please include the following information in your email:  name, contact information (email and/or phone) and seminar name and seminar date.

Patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets are not just for Fortune 500 companies.  All business owners need to be aware of what can be protected and how to secure this protection for these valuable business assets.  All business owners also need to be aware of potential intellectual property red flags that are commonly encountered.

Patent attorney Brie A. Crawford of Crawford Intellectual Property Law LLC will cover the basics of patent, trademark, trade secret and copyright law in this practical and informative two hour session.  The class will be presented from a business owner's perspective with hypothetical real life scenarios and limited legalese.

When:  Next Session TBA