Do you want to take your business to the next level? Then reserve a seat in one or more of the scheduled workshops. These workshops combine business with technology and allow you to experience hands-on activities. You will leave the workshop with knowledge you can start using immediately when you return to your business. There is a $20 Registration/Material fee per workshop. For additional information or to register for any of the workshops please contact our office at (804)333-0286 or email us at email@example.com.
3/31/2014 Marketing Plan – 1:00-3:00pm
This topic builds on the marketing concepts taught in the Basics of Marketing and helps students gain a deeper understanding of those concepts. Students are introduced to the Marketing Mix and learn about its four components: Product, Place, Price, and Promotion. They are introduced to the notion of a Positioning Statement and have the opportunity to systematically think through such a statement for Song’s business. Students write up the Marketing Plan in LibreOffice Writer, consolidating their basic word-processing skills and practicing the more advanced features this program offers for putting together a properly formatted text document.
4/7/2014 Print Marketing – 1:00-3:00pm
This topic deals with the creation of print marketing materials for a small business. In the practical part of the topic, students learn how to create a professional-looking double-sided folding leaflet from scratch. They practice inserting and formatting various types of content such as pictures and text. They work on the graphics, adding color palettes and a logo. They see how to prepare the leaflet for printing and how to reuse it as a template for future campaigns. In addition, during the exercise, students have the chance to practice editing a logo in a different application. Having learnt the technical side of building a leaflet, students discuss the pros and cons of developing print marketing materials in-house or outsourcing them. They consider what can be done ahead of time, at low cost. Students leave the class having taken note of all the steps they need to take in order to develop print materials for their own business: from defining their company identity and preparing and building all the necessary files, to getting them ready for printing and distribution.
4/21/2014 Social Media Marketing – Warsaw – 1:00-3:00pm
This topic introduces students to Facebook and other social media tools used for online marketing. They are encouraged to think about the advantages that social media tools can bring to small businesses, particularly in the context of low-cost marketing. In the practical part of the topic, students learn how to create a Facebook account and a Facebook Page for a small business. They practice customizing the page and adding different types of content to it, including posts, pictures, videos, and links. Students gain an understanding of how to measure the effectiveness and popularity of their Facebook Page through Facebook Insights and also go through the process of creating a Facebook Ad. Students leave class with an understanding of the etiquette related to using social media tools for business purposes.
4/28/2014 Blogging – Warsaw – 1:00-3:00pm
This topic focuses on the business benefits of maintaining a blog to enhance communication with customers and prospects and become part of a larger community interested in a particular issue. Students discuss different types and means of communication. They are introduced to the concept and characteristics of Web 2.0, and specifically blogs, and the advantages they might bring to small businesses as a low-cost means of multidirectional communication. They learn how to create a blog for a small business using a web-based blogging tool available free of charge. They learn how to add different types of content and media to the blog (text, images, videos, links, gadgets), practice tailoring the graphics to match the company image, and gain an understanding of what is meant by blogging management and maintenance. Students leave the class knowing not only how to start a blog but also how to promote it and keep it alive to maximize the benefits for their business.
5/5/2014 Website Management – Warsaw – 1:00-3:00pm
This topic seeks to introduce students to the basics of website management, so that they can maintain and update their business websites on their own, without having to rely on outside help, and understand all the steps involved in planning, designing, building, positioning, promoting, and maintaining a website. The topic helps students understand the benefits a website can bring to even the smallest business and gives them the opportunity to practice editing a real business website. Students learn how to add and remove different types of content, how to organize content, and how to change graphics and navigational elements. In the most advanced part of the exercise, students learn how to manage CSS styles. More importantly, the topic does not cover coding or go into unnecessary technical detail.
5/12/2014 Virtual Communication – Warsaw – 1:00-3:00pm
This topic introduces students to virtual communication tools used in situations where phone calls and email are suboptimal. They start by discussing different means of distance communication used in business and analyze some of their inherent advantages and drawbacks. They are then introduced to the notion of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and start to understand some advantages it might have for small companies. In the practical part of the topic, they learn how to set up a Skype account and use it
to chat with first one or several people at the same time. They learn how to call and conference call, and how to share files. They also learn how to use a screen sharing tool, Mikogo, in conjunction with Skype to see how they can make a conference call and at the same time interactively share their desktop with the call participants. Once they have the experience of using a tool like Skype, students are equipped to discuss its concrete benefits, in terms of cost-cutting, productivity, mobility, and responsiveness. They consider ways in which VoIP might be integrated with other standard business communication tools and understand all the steps they would need to take if they decided to introduce a VoIP tool into their company.
5/19/2014 Databases - 1:00-3:00pm
This topic introduces the concept of databases for storing business information in a centralized manner and gives students the opportunity to practice building such a database. They discuss the advantages of keeping business data integrated and accessible by all relevant parties. They explore the concept of relational databases, learning how information is organized in them. They think through all the different issues connected to building a series a tables and links between them that together make up a database. In the hands-on part of the topic, students build a product database, and practice creating tables, links, forms, queries, and reports. Most importantly, students learn how to build an inventory database that they then integrate with a real e-commerce website. This allows them to see that the content of the e-commerce website is managed dynamically by extracting data from the database, and that changes to the inventory are displayed in real time on the e-commerce site. They leave class with a full understanding of the benefits of a single, integrated database and understand the implications that its introduction would have for their company. Moreover, they leave with a complete picture of all the steps they would need to take in order to set up such a database in their own company.
6/9/2014 Basics of Finance - 1:00-3:00pm
This topic introduces students to basic finance concepts and gives them the opportunity to apply these concepts to a real business case. Students do so by conducting a Break-Even Analysis in LibreOffice Calc (www.libreoffice.org) which allows them to learn about finance and to understand the fundamental features of electronic spreadsheets.
6/16/2014 Financial Plan - 1:00-3:00pm
This topic introduces students to the initial steps necessary for writing up the Financial section of a Business Plan. Students are introduced to the importance of financial planning by understanding the difference between liquidity and profitability. They are then exposed to different financial documents that they can use to assess both the liquidity and the profitability of their business. Among these, students have the opportunity to look at the Income statement in more depth. They learn about the calculations implied in the different sections of an Income statement, and then practice building one on the basis of an existing template. In particular, students learn how to use LibreOffice Calc (www.libreoffice.org) to insert numerical data and make different types of simple calculations, all of which can be used for building other types of financial documents too.
6/23/2014 Invoices - 1:00-3:00pm
This topic focuses on the use of electronic spreadsheet tools for the creation and management of invoices so that business owners can minimize errors and avoid unnecessary repetition. Students become familiar with both licensed and open source electronic spreadsheet software. They learn how to format an invoice template in order to customize it for a particular business. They understand how to change different items on an invoice, and are introduced to a series of different automatic calculations in the spreadsheet. Moreover, students are encouraged to think beyond individual invoices. They learn how to manage invoices through lists and discuss the meaning of efficient financial document management in general. They leave the class understanding all the steps necessary for creating and managing invoices efficiently and effectively and in compliance with the law.
6/30/2014 Expense Tracking - 1:00-3:00pm
This topic focuses on the importance of expense tracking for managing finances and keeping an eye on the financial health of a business. Students are introduced to both licensed and open source electronic spreadsheet software in which they learn how to create an expense table for a real business. Students learn how to use a series of automatic formulas of varying complexity, including Autosum, Autofill, SUMIF and COUNTIF, and are introduced to the notion of relative and absolute references. They have the opportunity to learn how to apply formatting to the table, including conditional formatting. In the more advanced part of the exercise, students are introduced to the concept of Pivot Tables for summarizing annual business expenses. Students understand the importance of expense tracking for reining in spending and having an overview of the business’s cash flow. They also discuss the series of steps they need to take in order to manage their expenses efficiently.