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Flagler to host business planning workshop

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February 14, 2011

Flagler College is partnering with SCORE – Counselors to America's Small Business – and the St Johns Chamber of Commerce to host a four-part planning workshop for small businesses. All sessions will be held at Flagler College on Wednesday evenings on March 9, March 23, April 6, and April 20 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in Room 300 of Kenan Hall at Flagler College.

The workshop is designed both for those with an existing business who wish to increase their business as well as those considering starting a new business. The SCORE counselors will address preparations for a professional business plan and how to obtain the necessary financing.

The workshop will be in four parts: business concepts and data collection, marketing strategies, financial forecasting and completing the business plan. It is designed to help clients make a "go" or "no-go" decision for their business idea. Both homework and counseling are a part of the workshop process.

"Small businesses are the backbone of our economic community, and our goal is to both help new entrepreneurs get started as well as to help existing businesses grow," said Marty Cohen, a SCORE counselor.

The four sessions that will be presented are:

Business Concepts and Data Collection

This session reviews the process of putting together a feasibility plan to determine if a business idea makes sense. In addition, this session covers the business idea or concept, the need met by the product or service, industry profile, competition and target markets. The session also reviews the process of selecting a name, business structure, hiring/managing employees, and determining how and where your business will operate.

Marketing Strategies

The marketing strategy segment reviews the proper positioning of a product or service to maximize its appeal in the marketplace. The session will identify the features and benefits of a product or service; adapting them to their most appropriate markets using the "4 P's of marketing" to maximize the business opportunity.

Financial Forecasting

This session reviews building a financial model for a business including estimating start-up costs, forecasting sales units and prices, estimating fixed and variable operating costs to allow the development of a cash flow and income projection, determine breakeven points and investigating the impact of pricing decisions on a venture's profitability. The session also focuses on understanding accounting principles, general business records, taxes and management accounting.

Completing the Business Plan

This session covers financial statement analysis, accounting and bookkeeping systems, the "six C's of credit", banking relations and sources of capital both traditional and non-traditional. The session also discusses how to use a business plan, either to secure financing, or as a guide to help one make decisions as one grows their business. The session will conclude with a round-table panel discussion with SCORE experts to address remaining questions.

The cost to participate in all four sessions is $99 if registration is received prior to Feb. 28 or $110 after Feb. 28. Attendance at individual sessions is possible for $30 per session.

To make reservations or more information, call (904) 460-1251, 904-471-8891 or e-mail shelmar826@bellsouth.net.