Calendar

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Feb
21
Thu
Marketing Planning for 2019: Free Webinar @ Online
Feb 21 @ 12:15 pm – 1:15 pm

Are you ready to make an impact with your marketing this year? Do you know what was hot last year? Do you want to know what is going to be hot in 2019?

Come for a review of the hottest marketing trends of 2018, as Digital Business Strategist Ray Sidney-Smith walks through last year’s trends for what worked and what did not. And hear the latest predictions for what will be happening in Small Business Marketing in 2019!

Start off your new year business planning right with some of the cutting edge strategies and tools for marketing your Small Business.

Who should attend?

  • Small business owners, entrepreneurs, micropreneurs, and solopreneurs
  • Office/sales/customer service managers, marketing directors, executives and professionals
  • Administrative/executive assistants and sales/account representatives
  • Nonprofit executive directors and board members

 

 

It's always best to have all other applications closed on your computer, laptop or mobile device from which you're watching the Webinar. You should have a broadband (cable, FiOS or DSL) connection to the Internet. Log on several minutes early to make sure you are up and running properly for the Webinar.

This Webinar is presented on behalf of the Virginia SBDC Network

Presented by Ray Sidney-Smith, Web & Mobile Strategist, author of SoLoMo Success: Social Media, Local and Web Small Business Marketing Strategy Explained. Ray is also President of W3 Consulting and Managing Director of W3C Web Services, an affordable Web/WordPress hosting, domain name registration, SSL certificate, and email hosting service focused on helping small businesses market and manage on the Web.

Mar
7
Thu
Creating an Online Conference/Summit – Free Webinar @ Online
Mar 7 @ 12:15 pm – 1:15 pm

Strategy, Tips, and Tools to Host a Web-Based Educational Event for your Business

More than any other time in history, we are digitally connected. This connectivity to the Internet can bring people together across long distances. As a Small Business, you can be the hub for such a digital gathering for learning, sharing, and networking. Whereas traditional conferences/summits require travel, hotels and more, the Internet is the new travel-free destination for these unique Web-based events.

Are you interested in creating an online conference/summit? That’s the topic of this Web-based presentation!

Join us in this Webinar to learn:

  • Why would you want to host an online conference/summit?
  • What are some strategies and tips for getting the most out of an online conference/summit?
  • What tools are to help you create an online conference/summit?

Who should attend?

  • Small business owners, entrepreneurs, micropreneurs, and solopreneurs
  • Office/sales/customer service managers, marketing directors, executives and professionals
  • Administrative/executive assistants and sales/account representatives
  • Nonprofit executive directors and board members

It's always best to have all other applications closed on your computer, laptop or mobile device from which you're watching the Webinar. You should have a broadband (cable, FiOS or DSL) connection to the Internet. Log on several minutes early to make sure you are up and running properly for the Webinar.

 

This Webinar is presented on behalf of the Virginia SBDC Network

Presented by Ray Sidney-Smith, Web & Mobile Strategist, author of SoLoMo Success: Social Media, Local and Web Small Business Marketing Strategy Explained. Ray is also President of W3 Consulting and Managing Director of W3C Web Services, an affordable Web/WordPress hosting, domain name registration, SSL certificate, and email hosting service focused on helping small businesses market and manage on the Web.

Watch previous Webinars from this series.

Mar
8
Fri
Business Smarts – Resources to Help Your Business Start, Grow, and Prosper @ JMU Ice House
Mar 8 @ 8:00 am – 9:30 am

Learn about City, County, and State resources...Details to follow.

 

 

Register for this and any Business Smarts session here.

Business Smarts Breakfast sessions are held on the 2nd Friday of every month with networking opportunities and guest presentations on a variety of topics. 

The series is sponsored by your Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center, the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce, and Shenandoah Valley Chapter of SCORE.  Coffee provided by Broad Porch Coffee.

Parking for Business Smarts:  You may park in the Ice House lot on Bruce Street without a JMU permit during Business Smarts sessions from 7:30-9:45am.

Mar
15
Fri
ICAP Lean Startup Course @ JMU Ice House
Mar 15 – Apr 5 all-day

Based on the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps™ program for Lean Startups, ICAP (Innovation Commercialization Assistance Program) helps inventors and entrepreneurs take the right first steps in bringing new technologies and innovations to market.

ICAP includes FREE introductory training and counseling offered by ICAP instructors and local SBDC business advisors. ICAP helps startups identify potential customers and develop successful business models based on that knowledge. It is an ideal program for early-stage companies trying to prepare for eventual venture investment.

  • Learn what it takes to land early-stage funding today.
  • Use customer input to build products.
  • Build "ground up" business models that investors demand.
  • Recruit a winning team.
  • Form partnerships to accelerate growth and make the most of early investment dollars.

Important Dates:

February 25, 2019Applications are due by midnight; apply by clicking here.

March 1, 2019Acceptance notifications and communication with next steps and instructions, including how to prepare for the first session.

Early March TBD – 6:00pm - 8:00pm – Introductory Conference Call

March 15, 2019 – 9:00am - 5:00pm – Initial Team Presentations in Harrisonburg

March 22, 2019 – Pre-scheduled telephone review of your team’s Customer Discovery Progress over the first week

April 5, 2019 – 9:00am - 2:00pm – Final Team Presentations in Harrisonburg

During this program, there is extensive work done outside the classroom. In addition to the two class meetings, participants should expect to spend another 10-15 hours per week on customer discovery and course assignments.

This program is designed to generate maximum impact over a relatively short duration and should be considered a required first step for anyone interested in commercializing a technology or product, whether through a startup or licensing arrangement.

What Happens after the Short Course?

The Short Course is just the beginning. After completion, teams create a Roadmap to help navigate the first year or two of their startup’s life. This Roadmap includes a timeline for teams to follow, along with key milestones they need to achieve to be successful. Teams will also create an ongoing interview schedule, because Customer
Discovery Never Stops! Teams are required to attend monthly check-ins with their local SBDC counselor to provide progress updates and receive ongoing guidance. At the conclusion of the program, you will remain connected with your ICAP trainers and SBDC Business Advisors to continue your progress.

Some graduates of this cohort may be eligible to apply to NSF’s full National Seven-week I-Corps Program which includes non-dilutive grants for customer discovery and prototype development. Additionally, this program can help teams develop better submissions for SBIR and CRCF grants from Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technologies.

For ICAP FAQs, visit https://www.virginiasbdc.org/icap-faq/

Your ICAP Instructor

Bob Smith is Director of the Innovation Commercialization Assistance Program (ICAP), a program funded by the Commonwealth of Virginia and administered by George Mason University and the Virginia Small Business Development Center Network (VSBDC). Here he helps researchers, inventors, and technology startups develop their technology commercialization and technology business startup efforts. He’s also an instructor with the NSF’s DC I-Corp Node, and co-director of the Fed Tech program, which uses Lean Startup methods to assist inventors from government labs to explore the commercial viability of their inventions.

Bob has 30+ years’ experience in innovation and entrepreneurship. He is the Chairman of CollegeFactual.com, a leading college rankings website. He’s held senior management positions at Congressional Quarterly and America Online in sales, marketing, and new product development and was the founder and CEO of the first nation-wide online city guide, Digital City. As an executive, angel investor, and advisor he has helped companies in e-commerce, e-government, identity management, content publishing, geospatial analytics, data science, and local media go from launch through to favorable exits.

Bob received a BA from USC and his MBA from GWU. He is a veteran of the US Navy.

Apply Here

To read more about ICAP, visit https://www.virginiasbdc.org/programs/icap/

For more information, email  icap@VirginiaSBDC.org

 

This Cohort is hosted by the  Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center, the Shenandoah Valley Technology Council and JMU X-Labs,

 

Mar
20
Wed
Doing Business with the Commonwealth @ JMU Ice House
Mar 20 @ 8:30 am – 10:00 am

Are you ready to take advantage of the powerful marketing tools available for selling to Virginia?  Learn from an expert about how you can get eVA and SWaM certified for free in order to help you sell to the government and government funded agencies.

Courtney Mustin, Business Services Manager for Virginia Department of Small Business & Supplier Diversity, will present a seminar for clients who would like to become registered in eVA, become SWaM certified, or - for those who are ready- to help navigate and use eVA more effectively.

EVENT DETAILS

eVA, the Commonwealth’s electronic procurement portal, is one of the most powerful market research tools when selling to any state agency (including public colleges and universities). EVa can help you identify:

  • How do I find solicitations to bid on?
  • Which state agencies buy what I sell?
  • How much do they pay for what I sell?
  • Who are my competitors / potential collaborators?
  • Which of my competitors are winning these bids?

Now that you’ve done your market research and have the proper certifications, it’s time to respond to solicitations! What’s the difference between a RFP, RFQ, IFB, QQ, SS, etc.? Learn the steps needed to successfully respond to a solicitation. Determine the amount of time you need to devote in order to make your response as competitive as possible.

Did you know: The Commonwealth has a set-aside program that encourages state agencies to purchase goods and services from small businesses like yours. At this workshop, you’ll also learn about SWaM and Micro business certifications and how they can give you a competitive advantage in the marketplace.If you plan to grow your business with the Commonwealth (remember Virginia spends Billions each year), you need to attend this “Doing Business with the Commonwealth” workshop!

On the Workshop Agenda:

  • EVa – Identify Your Target Market
  • How To Effectively Respond to Solicitations
  • What Can SWaM and Micro Business Certifications Do For You?

Use our registration form to sign up for the Workshop.  If you are ready to register for SWaM Certification and need assistance with inputting your application, we are conducting Lab time for 3 participants at 10:30 pm on the same day, March 20th.  Paperwork preparation on your part is required. For SWaM Certification info and a list of required documents, please refer to the SBSD website.

There is no fee for the Workshop or Lab, but you must register separately on our form (link above) and also complete a Request for Counseling form (if you are not yet a client of the SV SBDC).  Questions?  Please call the Shenandoah Valley SBDC and ask for Allison Dugan at (540) 568-3227.

Mar
21
Thu
Instagram Advertising 101 – Free Webinar @ Online
Mar 21 @ 12:15 pm – 1:15 pm

How to Create Effective Ad Campaigns on Instagram

Instagram has over one billion users on its photo social-networking platform. (Facebook, which owns Instagram, and Google’s YouTube are the only platforms with more users than Instagram.)

Sixty percent of users find products on Instagram, which is a boon for small business retailers. For B2B businesses, more than 71% of businesses in the US use Instagram. So, there’s power for every business in getting in front of "Instagrammers".

In this Web-based presentation, we will cover the basics of creating effective Instagram ad campaigns for business owners.

What we will discuss in this Webinar:

  • How to get your Instagram ad account setup
  • Identify your first Instagram ad campaign goal and target audience
  • How to structure your first Instagram ad campaign for success.

Who should attend?

  • Small business owners, entrepreneurs, micropreneurs, and solopreneurs
  • Office/sales/customer service managers, marketing directors, executives and professionals
  • Administrative/executive assistants and sales/account representatives
  • Nonprofit executive directors and board members

 

It's always best to have all other applications closed on your computer, laptop or mobile device from which you're watching the Webinar. You should have a broadband (cable, FiOS or DSL) connection to the Internet. Log on several minutes early to make sure you are up and running properly for the Webinar.

This Webinar is presented on behalf of the Virginia SBDC Network.

Presented by Ray Sidney-Smith, Web & Mobile Strategist, author of SoLoMo Success: Social Media, Local and Web Small Business Marketing Strategy Explained. Ray is also President of W3 Consulting and Managing Director of W3C Web Services, an affordable Web/WordPress hosting, domain name registration, SSL certificate, and email hosting service focused on helping small businesses market and manage on the Web.

Watch previous Webinars.

Apr
12
Fri
Business Smarts – How to Find Your Best Customers @ JMU Ice House
Apr 12 @ 8:00 am – 9:30 am

So there you are in a successful business. Things seem to being going mostly your way. Sales are up. Profits are up. Your best customers keep sending you business.

Then it happens. Through no fault of your own a key customer disappears and the future changes.

In this workshop we will focus on prospecting: the process of insuring the business will grow by adding new good customers.

Why attend? At the end of this Business Smarts workshop you will know how to find, win, and keep the very best customers for your business. Don Crawford will walk you through the keys to defining your best customer, identifying and qualifying prospects, and creating customers for life. Bring with you your A list of your customers and your current strategic plan to win more customers. Together we will look at your list to challenge you to think of other companies to add. We will work through your strategic sales and marketing plan to perfect the selling process.

Presenter Don Crawford is a partner in Marketing Idea Shop, a consulting company helping small businesses challenge themselves to close more sales, earn more revenue, and drive their competitors crazy. He has over 45 years selling and sales management experience in a wide variety of industries. Don earned an MBA in marketing from the University of Missouri at Kansas City and a BS degree in electrical engineering from the Virginia Military Institute. As an adjunct faculty member of the College of Business at James Madison University, Don taught courses in business-to-business marketing. Together with his wife, Lois Carter Crawford, he authored Secrets of the Softer Side of Selling, a book on professional selling to offer selling tips and techniques to the next generation.

Register for this and any Business Smarts session here.

Business Smarts Breakfast sessions are held on the 2nd Friday of every month with networking opportunities and guest presentations on a variety of topics. 

The series is sponsored by your Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center, the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce, and Shenandoah Valley Chapter of SCORE.   Coffee provided by Broad Porch Coffee.

Parking for Business Smarts:  You may park in the Ice House lot on Bruce Street without a JMU permit during Business Smarts sessions from 7:30-9:45am.

Jul
12
Fri
Business Smarts – Be Strong: Focusing on Talent to Improve Well-Being and Engagement @ JMU Ice House
Jul 12 @ 8:00 am – 9:30 am

Our world is a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous environment that creates a rapidly changing workplace which demands employees be agile learners. Skill sets and knowledge necessary for success continue to evolve.

To meet these demands, self-awareness is more important than ever. Employees must understand the talents they bring to the workforce and how best to build them into strengths they can leverage. Research in positive psychology demonstrates a significant link between the application of strengths and a person’s sense of well-being and engagement at work.

Participants in this session will explore the connection between strengths, well-being, and engagement. To be successful, we must Be Strong.

Learning Outcomes - At the end of this sessions, attendees will:

  1. Be able to explain the need to create agile learners to navigate a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world.
  2. Understand the relationship between strengths, well-being, and engagement.
  3. Understand possible assessments you can use in the workplace to identify employee strengths.
  4. Leave the session with additional practices you can employ to improve your own well-being and engagement.

Presenter Jason Boron has designed and conducted leadership coaching focused on helping teams and individuals leverage their talents since 2007. He has presented a variety of programs and workshops in both the higher education and non-profit sectors, including leadership development, effective communication, conflict resolution, collaboration, performance enhancement, and coaching. As a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, he is committed to providing experiential learning opportunities to individuals and teams aimed at improving performance. Before founding Leading Strong, LLC, Jason served in higher education for over 15 years.

Register for this and any Business Smarts session here.

Business Smarts Breakfast sessions are held on the 2nd Friday of every month with networking opportunities and guest presentations on a variety of topics. 

The series is sponsored by your Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center, the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce, and Shenandoah Valley Chapter of SCORE.  Coffee provided by Broad Porch Coffee.

Parking for Business Smarts:  You may park in the Ice House lot on Bruce Street without a JMU permit during Business Smarts sessions from 7:30-9:45am.

Sep
13
Fri
Business Smarts – How to Harness the Power of Persuasion @ JMU Ice House
Sep 13 @ 8:00 am – 9:30 am

Every day in business you’re challenged with conveying the benefit of your product or service in a way that attracts the right customers. In this workshop you’ll learn four powerhouse elements that will elevate your messaging and bring your business to life for your audience like never before. You’ll leave with a roadmap that you can start using immediately to relieve the stress of trying to figure out if your messaging is on target.

Presenter Brooke Anderson, Chief Convergence Officer with Converge Local, uses her marketing and communication skills to help businesses grow and thrive. With a degree in Communications and Public Relations from James Madison University, she’s worked with entrepreneurs, businesses, nonprofits, and companies like Coca-Cola to perfect their marketing campaigns, communicate effectively, and target the right audience in the right way.

Register for this and any Business Smarts session here.

Business Smarts Breakfast sessions are held on the 2nd Friday of every month with networking opportunities and guest presentations on a variety of topics. 

The series is sponsored by your Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center, the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce, and Shenandoah Valley Chapter of SCORE.  Coffee provided by Broad Porch Coffee.

Parking for Business Smarts:  You may park in the Ice House lot on Bruce Street without a JMU permit during Business Smarts sessions from 7:30-9:45am.

Nov
8
Fri
Business Smarts – Make Your Advertising Work Harder: 5 Keys to Drive Profit @ JMU Ice House
Nov 8 @ 8:00 am – 9:30 am

 

 

Presenter Sacha Purciful is the VP and General Manager of WHSV-TV3.  WHSV is a 65 year-old television station, which maintains relevancy through local content generation and staying on the cutting edge of technology. They offer many of the most current digital solutions available, paired with tried-and-true performance drivers, such as traditional television.  Their sales staff has been trained in the digital space and has access to Google-certified staffers to answer even the most advanced questions.

Register for this and any Business Smarts session here.

Business Smarts Breakfast sessions are held on the 2nd Friday of every month with networking opportunities and guest presentations on a variety of topics. 

The series is sponsored by your Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center, the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce, and Shenandoah Valley Chapter of SCORE.  Coffee provided by Broad Porch Coffee.

Parking for Business Smarts:  You may park in the Ice House lot on Bruce Street without a JMU permit during Business Smarts sessions from 7:30-9:45am.

Dec
13
Fri
Business Smarts – Leadership: Motivation and Inspiration @ JMU Ice House
Dec 13 @ 8:00 am – 9:30 am

What is the difference between motivation and inspiration in leadership?

Which would you prefer? How can learning the difference between motivation and inspiration help you be a better leader?

In this session, we will learn the differences and how to have a more powerful impact on others.

Presenter Lynnette Embree began life coaching in 1997 and acquired certification from Success Unlimited Network in 2002 as a Life Coach. She also has several assessment certifications such as DISC, Motivators, EIQ-2, and Performance Gap Indicator. In July 2018, she returned to a life coaching school for additional certification and to become a member of the International Coach Federation (ICF).

Register for this and any Business Smarts session here.

Business Smarts Breakfast sessions are held on the 2nd Friday of every month with networking opportunities and guest presentations on a variety of topics. 

The series is sponsored by your Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center, the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce, and Shenandoah Valley Chapter of SCORE.  Coffee provided by Broad Porch Coffee.

Parking for Business Smarts:  You may park in the Ice House lot on Bruce Street without a JMU permit during Business Smarts sessions from 7:30-9:45am.