SBC Course Schedule

Some of our Small Business Center seminars are being offered online, however, most have returned to in-person. Our Small Business Center counselors are also available by phone and video chat for confidential consulting. Please feel free to call us at 252.493.7561 with any questions.

You may register for our seminars up to 30 days in advance. To learn more about the Small Business Center click here.


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February – May, 2023

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Seminar Descriptions

Canva: Design Basics for Your Small Business

Digital marketing expert Melanie Diehl will walk you through some simple steps to get started designing and communicating effectively using graphics created in Canva. Canva is a powerful, free design tool that you can use to create professional graphics, short videos, and print materials. Join this session to learn how to set up and use Canva, how to create eye-catching images using this software, and how to use other powerful features of this fantastic and user-friendly tool. No software or graphic design knowledge is needed. Presenter: Melanie Diehl. 2 hours. Cost: FREE

Canva: Advanced Design Skills for Small Business Owner/Marketer

In this training, digital marketing expert Melanie Diehl takes a deeper dive into the advanced capabilities of Canva. Session includes hands-on design time and screen-sharing for feedback. Prerequisites: Canva account and working knowledge of Canva. Having an upgraded (paid subscription) account is highly recommended. Presenter: Melanie Diehl. 2 hours. Cost: FREE

Creating Your Brand

Your brand is not just a logo. It’s the customer’s overall perception of your business. Small businesses often are competing against big brands with devoted customers and unlimited marketing budgets. It’s important to find ways to stand out with a solid brand-building process of your own. In this seminar, you will learn how to create a successful brand that is consistent in communication and experience across many applications. Presenter: Melanie Diehl. 2 hours. Cost: FREE

Creating Your Marketing Plan

So, you have an idea for a product or service that’s bound to capture the hearts and minds (and wallets) of consumers everywhere! Wait a minute! Have you really determined who your target customers are? How will you reach them? This course will give you the means to create a plan to make sure your marketing efforts are successful. 2 hours. FREE.

Creating Your Online Marketing Strategy

Web sites, email, and social media sites are all part of our e-commerce world. How do we maximize our use of these marketing tools? Join us to learn how to streamline your efforts for the best return. Use your online tools to work smarter, not harder. Presenter: Jeanne Eury. 2 hours. FREE.

Drive New Business with Social Media

Maybe you’re newly considering social media for your business or nonprofit, or maybe you’ve been struggling to make your current profiles more engaging. In either case, this session will answer your common questions about different platforms, how to build your following, and what to say to drive results. 3 hours. FREE.

Email Marketing: A Crash Course

Email marketing: a crash course is a session where you will learn tips, techniques, and strategies to guide you through the tools and features for basic email marketing in Constant Contact. It’s great for beginners who want to learn how to start creating email marketing campaigns for their business or for email marketers who aren’t getting the results they expect. 3 hours. FREE.

Facebook Marketing for Your Small Business

Learn the latest strategies for using Facebook to market your business: what’s new and why it’s important; the difference between a Facebook profile, a page, business manager, and ads manager. Learn the difference between Facebook ads and boosted posts, and about groups and bots. Prerequisites: Facebook personal profile AND Facebook business page. Presenter: Melanie Diehl. 3 hours. Cost: FREE

Financing Your Business

We will explore finding and securing funding for small businesses including: loans, venture and angel capital, grants, and crowdfunding. You will learn which sources of funding are the best fit for your business and the next steps to secure funding. Presenter: David Mayo. 2 hours. Cost: FREE

Funding Your Business – Online

This seminar will explore finding and securing funding for small businesses including: loans, venture and angel capital, grants, and crowdfunding. Students will learn which sources of funding are the best fit for their business and the next steps to secure funding Presenter: David Mayo. 3 hours. Cost: FREE

Get Your Business Online with Google

Only 37% of businesses have claimed a local business listing on a search engine–that’s a lot of missing information. And with 4 out of 5 people using search engines to find local info like business hours and directions, it also means a lot of missed opportunities for local businesses. Businesses want to be found by their customers. Customers want to find updated information about local businesses. Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map was designed to help strengthen our communities by connecting local businesses and customers so they can easily support each other. In this workshop, we will help you verify your business, make sure your information is complete and accurate, and review other free tools Google has available
for increased visibility. Presenter: Jeanee Eury. 3 hours. Cost: FREE

Grant Writing I

Learn to write Grant proposals that get funded! Our expert instructor will prepare you for the special needs of the nonprofit industry and help you develop relationships with corporate, foundation, and government funding sources. Presenter: Dawn Morriston. 3 hours. Cost: FREE

Grant Writing II

If you have already taken the basic Grant Writing class but need a more in-depth look into the subject, then this class is for you! Presenter: Dawn Morriston. 3 hours. Cost: FREE

How to Create a Website for Your Business

We will cover the fundamentals of building websites using WordPress, including setup, launch, and maintenance. You will also be introduced to popular tools for helping you build a great-looking website. Presenter: Jeanne Eury. 2 hours. Cost: FREE

How to Get the Loan You Need

When you need a loan, what do lenders look for? In this 3-hour session, we will talk about personal credit, cash flow coverage, collateral requirements, capital injection, and character. Presenter: Mitchell Dudley. 3 hours. Cost: FREE

How to Start a Small Business

Learn key strategies for start-up, financing, and marketing as well as important information about legal issues, licensing, zoning, operations, and more. Discover the resources available to help you start and successfully operate your business. Presenter: Jim Ensor. 3 hours. Cost: FREE

Improving Your Credit Score

If you want your business to grow to its full potential, you are going to need to borrow money. In order to get that business loan, you will need a good credit score. Come join us to learn: How to read and interpret your credit report; What factors are used in computing your score; and Legal ways to raise your credit score. Using this information, you could increase your credit score by 50-100 points or more within 60 days. Presenter: Bob Moore. 2 hours. Cost: FREE

Introduction to Quickbooks Cloud Accounting – Online

Interested in using Quickbooks software to help manage your business finances? Before you buy come to this free seminar to learn if Quickbooks is the right software for you! This seminar will walk you through the setup of a Quickbooks Online account and prepare you for additional training in the day-to-day use
of Quickbooks. Learn tips and tricks to make bookkeeping easy! Presenter: Anne Dorsey. 3 hours. Cost: FREE

Introduction to Business Bookkeeping

Join us for an overview of basic bookkeeping essentials. Learn the basic fundamentals so you can move forward with confidence keeping your books or asking the right questions to your accountant. Presenter: Anne Dorsey. 2 hours. Cost: FREE

Keys to Create a Winning Website for Your Business – Online

We will cover the basic questions you need to ask yourself when building a website. What platform do I use? Where will the site be hosted? Who controls my content and access to it? Including setup, launch, and maintenance. You will also be introduced to popular tools for helping you build a great-looking website. Presenter: Jeanne Eury. 3 hours. Cost: FREE

Learn to Love LinkedIn

LinkedIn is famous for connecting professionals all over the world. Many people associate it with finding new positions and advancing one’s career, but LinkedIn can also be a valuable space for expanding the network for many types of businesses. In this workshop, you will learn how to effectively use LinkedIn
to market yourself and your business. Presenter: Melanie Diehl. 3 hours. Cost: FREE

Maximize Your Website! – Online

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the strategy to improve your business view in search engines (Google, Yahoo, Ask.com). While there are many detailed and intricate things that can be done to improve website views, the many pieces of the Google algorithm all center around valuable content and consistent activity. We will discuss simple strategies to increase your organic ranking and make sure you’re making the best use of your website real estate. Presenter: Jeanne Eury. 3 hours. Cost: FREE

Pricing Your Products and Services

What are your customers willing to pay for your product or service? Should I be the cheapest in my market or the most expensive? We will explore pricing strategies that will help you determine what you should charge. Presenter: Jim Ensor. 2 hours. Cost: FREE

Sales Tax – Tips for Compliance

We will examine key aspects of the NC sales tax laws, including which businesses must collect taxes, how much to collect, how to remit the funds to the State, nonprofits, and out-of-state sales. Presenter: Karen Spruill. 2 hours. FREE.

Social Media Time Savers

You know how important social media is to your business. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, Pinterest, WhatsApp, and Instagram. Who has the time? Join us to learn strategies for how to maximize your online presence and minimize your time. Presenter: Melanie Diehl. 2 hours. Cost: FREE

Tax Essentials for Small Business

Join us for an overview of important topics that new business owners should consider. These include choosing the correct business entity, employee vs. independent contractor, and basic record-keeping requirements. Presenter: Karen Spruill. 2 hours. FREE.

Writing a Business Plan

Success in business begins with a plan. By committing your idea to paper, you face tough questions and identify strengths and weaknesses. Business plans are not just for financing purposes; they are working documents to guide your business. For new and established small business owners, this seminar will start you down the path of small business success. Presenter: Jim Ensor. 3 hours. Cost: FREE