Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce
BRISTOL - The Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce and the Northwest Connecticut SCORE Chapter in partnership with Canon are hosting a workshop series titled Simple Steps for Starting Your Business, starting Jan. 18.
This is a five-part series of workshops designed to give small business owners the tools, information and advice needed to succeed in today’s economy. Attendees will learn the essentials of starting a business, including action steps to follow and one-on-one guidance. Sessions will be held at the Chamber of Commerce at 200 Main St., Bristol from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on the following Wednesdays: Jan. 18, 25, Feb. 1, 8 and 15. The first session on Jan. 18 is free for all attendees. After that, each session is $25 or the remaining four sessions may be purchased together for $80. Those who wish to attend can register online at centralctchambers.org.
Each session will focus on a different aspect of starting a small business and will be led by a local chamber member with the experience and expertise to guide the group. The topics will be:
Session 1: Start-up Basics Jan. 18
This introductory workshop focuses on the basics of testing your business idea and identifying the key factors that influence start-up success. Start-up Basics provides participants with an overview of the skills and tools you need when deciding to start a business. In this session, participants learn about the advantages and disadvantages of owning a business, the most profitable form for their business, and the fundamentals of formation, organization, marketing, cash flow and funding sources.
Session 2: Business Concept – Jan. 25
The second workshop focuses on participants’ business concepts and step-by-step guidance in researching their ideas, their market, and their competition. At the end of the Business Concept workshop, participants will be are able to identify their target markets, describe their products and services, and collect key competitive information to support their feasibility plan.
Session 3: Marketing Plan Feb. 1
The third workshop provides participants with an introduction to marketing communication methods and tools to maximize their customer reach. The discussion in the Marketing Plan workshop covers pricing strategies, positioning, the difference between features and benefits, and different marketing strategies. At the end of this session, participants will know how to outline their marketing strategy, test their marketing message, choose the right sales channel, and exercise their marketing strategy.
Session 4: Financial Projections Feb. 8
This session reviews sales and prices, financial risks and rewards, true start-up costs, ongoing operating expenses, setting benchmarks for tracking progress and the organization of all your financial information. Using a hands-on approach, participants learn how to use our financial model to forecast sales revenue and build solid pro-forma financial forecasts.
Session 5: Funding Sources Feb. 15
In this session, discussions include sources of funds, accounting the “six C’s” of credit, banking relations, ratio analysis, and monthly preparation and review of financial statements. A bank loan officer will give an inside view of how a banker assesses the merits of business plans and loan application. At the end of the series participants have all of the tools necessary to decide whether or not to launch their small business.
If you are unable to attend this series, or need more in-depth consultation, SCORE provides free consultative services at the chamber every Friday. To set up an appointment, call the chamber at 860-584-4718. For more information on SCORE, visit northwestconnecticut.score.org.
To register for Simple Steps for Starting Your Business workshops, visit CentralCTChambers.org. For more information, email Info@CentralCTChambers.org or call 860-584-4718.