Transform your store into a successful and rewarding retail business. A look inside Retail Business Builders

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1 Transform your store into a successful and rewarding retail business. A look inside Retail Business Builders

2 The SBDC advisors have lots of real life experiences to share to help people like me. Learning how other businesses manage things successfully or not is sometimes more helpful than reading a book. So the interaction with other [businesses] in the classes in addition to the advisor s direction is very helpful. Diana Marsden, Owner, Aries Apparel 2

3 Why Retail Business Builders? Increase your sales, in store & on-line. Hire & manage staff effectively. Improve profits & your income. Network with small business owners. Dedicate time to work on your business. Work one-on-one with a business advisor. Learn from subject-matter experts. 3

4 Week 1: Branding In a crowded marketplace, your brand is a strategic component to your business. In this session, we will discuss: Finding your niche in Portland and online Articulating your unique value proposition How to tell your story Your website and social media strategy Share ideas on how to do more with less Week 2: Financial Tools You Must Have Financial tools help you make good decisions. A good set of books and financial statements track the health of your business and help you create a strategy to meet your goals. In this session, we will cover: The role of bookkeeping in retail management and how best to get it done Pricing and your store s break-even point Financial statements to assess profitability Financial ratios that track your progress Cash-flow management [Marketing] [Finance] Week 3: Having a Web Presence The web is an extension of your marketplace and a megaphone to spread your brand. In this session, we ll go over: Attracting customers to your store with your website and social media Selling on the web and optimizing conversion rates How to measure your return on investment on your digital marketing efforts Share strategies on the latest and most effective social media tools Week 4: Inventory Management Part 1 In the next two sessions we ll dive deep into inventory management, essential to growth and profitability. We ll focus on: Reading your customers preferences Improving your cash-flow management Improving your inventory turnover Developing an open-to-buy plan [Marketing] [Operations] 4

5 Week 5: Inventory Management Part 2 We ll continue our discussion on inventory management, and dive deeper into: Improving your cash-flow management Improving your inventory turnover Developing an open-to-buy plan Week 6: Understanding Why Customers Buy Visual merchandising is key to a successful store. But there s more to it than just making the store look nice; good visual merchandising gets into the head of the shopper. In this session, we ll discuss: Attracting that new customer to enter your shop Increasing sales and the average ticket amount by effective display techniques Creating a shopping experience that keeps customers coming back Share resources and ideas on how to improve your look on a budget [Operations] [Marketing] Week 7: PR, Tradeshows & Tourists PR & Trade Shows While there is a lot of focus on digital marketing strategies, traditional marketing activities like PR and tradeshows are still incredibly important. In this segment, you ll learn how to: Make tradeshows work for you Evaluate tradeshow opportunities How to tell your story through the media Tourists People love to come to Portland to shop, whether they are here on business or as tourists. We ll discuss: Strategies for attracting tourists to your store How to keep them as repeat customers. [Marketing ] Week 8: Employee Issues Hiring employees can be a blessing and a curse. They give you time away from your store, but can leave you worrying what s happening in the store. In this session, you will learn: When is it time to hire How to hire the right person efficiently and fairly How to fire an employee efficiently and fairly The difference between contractors, employees, and interns [Human Resources] 5

6 Week 9: Location, Location, Location Your location is everything. In this session, you will learn about basic legal issues and how to: Find the right location either for a new store or relocation Assess the effectiveness of your current location Negotiate a commercial lease Renew/renegotiate your lease Share strategies for collaborative marketing Week 10: Building Customer Loyalty Attentive customer service is your key advantage over online competition. It creates loyal customers leading to repeat business and robust word-of-mouth marketing that brings in new customers. In this session you will learn how to: Create a customer service strategy for the entire sales cycle Train and motive sales staff Stand out from the competition [Planning] [Marketing] We wrote our budget for next year; we ve never done that. We re going from survival mode to planning mode, so I think that s been the big shift that has happened going through these classes. Meeting with [our advisor] every month kept us on track. April Orme, Co-Owner, Bombshells Salon 6

7 Cohort Leads Leslie Hildula, MBA Bonnie Kahn Instructors* Leslie helps entrepreneurs achieve their goals. Working with the SBDC since 2012, Leslie has been coaching and educating clients in three counties and led the growth of the Retail SBM program. A graduate of Pacific University and Golden Gate University (with a Masters in International Management) Leslie has consulted with business owners throughout the West Coast and overseas. She started her professional career in Silicon Valley in the high tech industry and came back home to Oregon in In Oregon, she s had the opportunity to work in both the private and public sectors and understands the vital synergy between them. Her retail clients include Aries Apparel, Crafty Wonderland, Folly, Frock, Ink & Peat, Queen Bee, Radish Underground, Red Castle Games, Salty s Pet Supply, and Tilde. Jackie B. Peterson, Oregon Small Business Development Center Jim Beriault, Beriault Entertainment & Retail Marketing, Inc. Anthony Miller, Digital Aptitude Linda Cahan, Cahan & Company Retail Visual Design Jill Critchfield, PHR Pacific HR Cori Jacobs, PDX Retail Inc. * Instructors may change based on availability and participant evaluations. Bonnie Kahn has over 25 years of experience in retail and museum curation, and collections. For several years she owned Bonnie Kahn s Wild West Gallery in Portland, Oregon, and specialized in Native American art. Prior to the gallery, Bonnie built a museum specializing in Native American art for local philanthropist Bob Pamplin. Bonnie is a Certified Life and Job Skills Coach and also holds a BS in education from the University of Oregon. Currently she works with small business owners -- who are often in the arts -- to build their businesses. She shares her expertise on managing budgets, curating shows and collections, and writing books and press releases. She also teaches small business owners how to manage staff, coordinate traveling shows, close sales, and manage inventory. 7

8 Praise for Retail Business Builders To a small business owner every minute is precious and my time with the Retail Business Builders program was time well spent. This program had me consider possibilities that hadn't occurred to me and has increased my business opportunities. The program (of classes and advising) gave me the time, and the deadlines, I needed to work on the business and deal with those issues that I d been avoiding. I was so anxious and frustrated about my business when we started and I found out I wasn t alone. There were answers and people who could help. I ve gotten access to all this information that I didn t even know I needed. The advising in between classes was essential and invaluable. There s been such comradery. I don t have to reinvent the wheel. Thank you for all your time, advice, and support. You and the class have changed our business entirely. The information from the HR class really helped when I hired my last assistant. It went so smoothly and I got a great person. My sales are already up 25% over last year. We ve paid off our credit card debt and we re giving ourselves a raise. Inventory Management was invaluable! I wish I had that info in my first career! Really, really helpful! The instructor is GREAT! Thank you, thank you!! 8

9 Retail Business Builders includes: 30 hours of classroom business education with 10 weekly 3-hour sessions taught by subject-matter experts. Up-to 8 hours of one-on-one advising during the 10 month period following Small Business Builders. Cohort learning and networking to discuss challenges, exchange resources, and find solutions with peers. Access to 25+ veteran business advisors with a wide range of backgrounds and expertise including business strategy, search engine optimization, QuickBooks, and financing. Access to market research resources such as Southern Oregon University Market Research Institute, SBDCNet, Reference USA, MarketLink and Euromonitor. The Investment For the 10-week, 10-session program plus one-on-one advising, tuition for Retail Business Builders is $1,000. A second person from your business can attend for half price $600. Portland Community College offers payment plans. 9

10 Are you ready to take advantage of Retail Business Builders? Let s talk! Talk with your business advisor or a program facilitator to ensure Retail Business Builders is a good fit for you and your business. Contact us at or call us at Still not sure? Come to a free New Client Orientation. If you haven t already attended an orientation, we recommend you attend. It s a great way to learn the full scope of everything that we do at the SBDC. To reserve your seat, go to bizcenter.org/pcc and click on the orientation tab. 10

11 2014 Recipient of SBA s Region 10 SBDC in Excellence and Innovation The Portland Community College Small Business Development Center has helped thousands of businesses over the past 30 years. We combine one-on-one advising with programs taught by business experts, giving our clients the resources they need to grow their businesses. In 2014 we worked with over 700 small business owners, trained over 1,500 clients in a wide range of courses, and celebrated many successes. We'd love to celebrate your success. Oregon Small Business Development Center Portland Community College PCC CLIMB Center for Advancement 1626 SE Water Ave, Suite 310 Portland, OR PCC Willow Creek Campus 185th Baseline Beaverton, OR PCC SE Campus SE 82 nd & Division Portland, OR

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