Photo of NC REAL Certified Facilitator Michelle Serrano-Mills

Interested in starting a new business or gaining tips to improve a current business? NC REAL Certified Facilitator Michelle Serrano-Mills will offer a five part seminar called “The Essential Series: How to Start and Operate Your Successful Business” beginning February 28. All five seminars will be held on Piedmont Community College’s (PCC) Caswell County Campus, located at 331 Piedmont Drive in Yanceyville, and are open to the public.

The seminars include the following:

Tuesday, February 28, 6-9 p.m.
Ready to Start a Business? Nine Key Things to Know About the Start-Up
You have the idea. You are ready to take the next step. But what, how, when, and with who do you take that next step? New business owners who research, learn, ask questions, build talented and capable teams, and thoughtfully plan for a successful start-up give their businesses a greater chance for long term success.

During this seminar, participants will look at nine key things you must know about a business start-up in the areas of operations, marketing, finances, and products and/or services.

Thursday, March 2, 6-9 p.m.
Knowing Your Numbers: Financing Your Small Business
There are many factors to consider when seeking financial resources for your small business. One important factor is your personal financial management style and how that impacts your business financial style.

Through hands-on activities participants will explore the benefits and watch-outs when considering funding sources, where and when to seek business loans or investments, and the financial investments you should or should not make in your business. Having a strategic financial plan for your business will help you determine your breakeven point, cash flow, profitability, and your entry and exit plans.

Tuesday, March 14, 6-9 p.m.
Is Your Business the Best Kept Secret in Town? Seven Marketing Tips in the Age of Entrepreneurship and Innovation
A huge mistake small businesses make is not researching the marketplace and not creating and developing a strategic marketing plan. How will you let your potential clients know you are open for business? How will you turn your customers into repeat customers and a marketing team for your business?

This session will help you find and evaluate key demographics, analyze your and your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, determine your target market, and understand the seven “Ps” of Marketing: product, price, promotion, place, packaging, positioning, and people.

Thursday, March 23, 6-9 p.m.
Are You in the Black or in the Red? The Connection between Your Record Keeping and Your Business Taxes
As a business owner you should always know if you are making or losing money in your business. Often by the time small businesses realize they are operating in the “red” it’s too late to change course and their next step is a Grand Closing.

Developing a system for keeping proper financial records, creating a process for receiving payments and paying expenditures, business tax planning, and establishing the right team of personnel and business professionals (CPAs, tax advisors, etc.) are fundamental steps for effective business operations management.

This seminar will explore record keeping effects on cash flow, tax filings, and financial planning for your business through hands-on learning activities to determine deductible expenses, best record-keeping tools, and how to evaluate your business needs based on your business data.

Tuesday, March 28, 6-9 p.m.
Business Planning: How to Write an Adaptable and Innovative Business Plan
Today’s business plan should be written to provide you with real time analysis and to test your idea within your target market to determine if you are on track for profitability and growth or if you need to pivot to address changes in your current and potential marketplace.

A Business Model Canvas will help you design and develop a new idea or modernize an old one. In this hands-on seminar you will get an introduction to this innovative and creative way to construct and test out your new simple business plan.
Facilitator, Michelle Serrano-Mills is a consultant for various for-profit and non-profit organizations in the areas of project planning and management, business development, marketing and social media, and financial analysis. Certified as a NC REAL Facilitator, Serrano-Mills is also a trainer for financial literacy programs including entrepreneurship and business ownership.

All of the seminars in the “The Essential Series: How to Start and Operate Your Successful Business” are free and open to the public. Participants are invited to attend one or all of the seminars. Save your seat by calling (336) 694-4013.

Photo: NC REAL Certified Facilitator Michelle Serrano-Mills

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