Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network
Western Regional Office

 

Training Seminars & Events

 

The Western Regional Office offers a full calendar of business training. Seminars are offered at no charge or for a nominal fee and held at locations throughout Western Massachusetts. This calendar is subject to change. Pre-registration is required for all events. If you do not register, we cannot notify you in the case of changes and/or cancellations. Please review our payment and cancellation policies.

For information on other MSBDC seminars offered throughout the state, visit the MSBDC's statewide training calendar at www.msbdc.org/training.

We would like to thank the following agencies for cosponsoring our training events.
 

Premier Sponsors:
 Boisselle, Morton & Wolkowicz, LLP    PeoplesBank   TD Bank   United Bank Foundation   Westfield Bank

 

Sponsors:
Berkshire Bank  |  Chicopee Savings Charitable Foundation  |  Country Bank for Savings   |  Easthampton Savings Bank  |  Florence Savings Bank  |  Greenfield Cooperative Bank  |  Greenfield Savings Bank  |  Karoun Yoga  |  People's United Bank

  


2017 Training Calendar
 
   August
22  Google Marketing Series - Session 4 (Springfield) 
28  Google Marketing Series - Session 5 (Springfield) 
   
   September
11 Basics of Starting a Business (Springfield)
13 QuickBooks Desktop Version for Beginners (Springfield)
19 Business Legal Primer (Springfield)
25 Small Business Lending: Are You Really Ready for a Loan? (Springfield)
   
   October
2 Basics of Starting a Business (Northampton)
5 Basics of Starting a Business (Greenfield)
17 Legal Clinic (Springfield)
18 QuickBooks Online Version for Beginners (Springfield)
23 Setting Up Your First Payroll (Springfield)
 
   November
6 Basics of Starting a Business (Holyoke)
8 Understanding Your Company's Cash Flow (Springfield)
13 Business Legal Primer (Springfield)
   
   December
4 Basics of Starting a Business (Springfield Area)
5 Legal Clinic (Springfield)
7 Basics of Starting a Business (Greenfield)
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Program Descriptions
 

Basics of Starting a Business

Learn the whole nine yards of starting a business. This free workshop, presented by Allen Kronick, senior business advisor with the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network Western Regional Office, will focus on business fundamentals, from start-up considerations to business plan development and funding sources. It is designed for owners of existing businesses as well as those who are planning to start one.

The workshop will help entrepreneurs write a business plan and provide structure to starting/managing their venture.

Topics will include:

  • Introduction and need for planning
  • Basic business plan format
  • Choosing your legal form of organization
  • Marketing, market planning and research
  • Cash flow projections
  • Financial statements
  • Financing

Oreste Varela, Springfield branch manager of the U.S. Small Business Administration will also present, The SBA Advantage: An Overview of SBA’s Programs and Services. This presentation will help you gain a better understanding of the various SBA programs and services available to prospective or current entrepreneurs who need assistance in starting or expanding their businesses, and will include capital, counseling and contracting information.

This free workshop is typically held on the first Monday of the month in Springfield and the first Thursday of the month in Greenfield (unless otherwise noted, due to holiday or other conflict). See chart below for dates, times, locations and registration links.

The Greenfield workshops are cosponsored by the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce.

Cost: No charge
Contact: Pre-registration is required. Register online with link below. If you have questions or are unable to register online, contact Lynn Shedd at lshedd@msbdc.umass.edu or 413-577-1761.

MSBDC register online
  

  • Monday, September 11, 2017 | 1:00 - 3:30 p.m.
    Scibelli Enterprise Center, 1 Federal Street, Building 101, Springfield
     
  • Monday, October 2, 2017 | 1:00 - 3:30 p.m.
    Greenfield Savings Bank, 325A King Street, Northampton
     
  • Thursday, October 5, 2017 | 9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
    Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, 395 Main Street, Greenfield
     
  • Monday, November 6, 2017 | 1:00 - 3:30 p.m.
    PeoplesBank, 300 Whitney Avenue, Holyoke
     
  • Monday, December 4, 2017 | 1:00 - 3:30 p.m.
    Springfield Area TBA
     
  • Thursday, December 7, 2017 | 9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
    Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, 395 Main Street, Greenfield

Legal Clinic

Sarah WilleyThe MSBDC Western Regional Office is pleased to announce that we are offering free legal clinics for small business owners. Entrepreneurs and small business owners can meet one-on-one with an attorney to discuss general legal questions such as corporate structure, leases, contracts, insurance, employment, franchising, and various other business-related issues. Appointments are 30 minutes.

The attorney donating her time and legal expertise is Sarah K. Willey, Esq. with WMASSBIZLAW.

All services are provided by Attorney Willey who is not acting as an agent and/or representative of the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network. By meeting with the attorney, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless the MSBDC from any and all claims and liability arising from your session. Participants will receive a general waiver statement prior to their meeting.

Participants are eligible to attend one 30-minute legal clinic. Individual appointments are subject to availability. As a courtesy to Attorney Willey, if you cannot attend your appointment, please contact our office at 413-577-1768 or msbdc@msbdc.umass.edu at least 24 hours in advance.

Select a date below to go to the appropriate registration form.

Date: Tuesday, October 17, 2017  |  Tuesday, December 5, 2017
Time: 12:30 - 4:30 p.m. (30-minute appointments)
Location: Scibelli Enterprise Center, 1 Federal Street, Building 101, Springfield
Cost: Free
Contact:  If you have questions or are unable to register online, contact Lynn Shedd at lshedd@msbdc.umass.edu or 413-577-1761.

Google Marketing Series - 5 Workshops

GoogleAre you intimidated by social media? You paid all that money and invested all that time to create your website, but you're not getting the return? Explore with us how you can improve your results. We're here to help, beginning with these educational workshops. We want to help every business in our communities to get found on the web—starting with yours!

People are searching online for businesses like yours every day. Make sure they can find and connect with you by adding your business information to Google Search and Maps. This does not replace your website.  This workshop can help people find your website.

Start a fire under your business—get better results from your existing web presence by claiming your own Google business page.

In this series of workshops you will:

  • Search for your business
  • Does your business info show up on Google?
  • Is your business information complete?
  • Select your business or add it
  • Enter or correct your business details
  • Keep your address private or enter your service area
  • Confirm your business for Google
  • Get verified by Google, then take control

Space is limited and you must register in advance.

  • Session 1: Get Found on Google Search and Maps
    Connect with customers when they search with Google Search. Connect with customers when they search on Google Maps. Having a website is not enough these days. This low-cost workshop will help you claim your local listing on the spot.
    Date: Monday, July 31, 2017
     
  • Session 2: Grow Your Business Online with Google Tools
    Can people find your business on computers and mobile devices? Free tools show you how people search on Google and how they use your website. Google's suite of online business productivity tools makes collaboration a breeze.
    Date: Tuesday, August 8, 2017
     
  • Session 3: Advertise Online Using Google Adwords
    An introduction to advertising and how it can benefit your business. Learn how keywords work, how to find them, and how to evaluate their performance. Learn how to write great ads for your business. Your ads appear at the top or bottom of the search results pages.
    Date: Wednesday, August 16
     
  • Session 4: Set Goals with Google Analytics
    What is Google Analytics? A free powerful analytics tool that provides reports showing how visitors found your website and what they did when they got there. Google Analytics measures the effectiveness of your online and offline marketing campaigns. This workshop will explain how you can use Analytics to improve your marketing.
    Date: Tuesday, August 22, 2017
    Time: 5:30-7:30 p.m.
    Location: Scibelli Enterprise Center, 1 Federal Street, Springfield
    Cost: $5
    MSBDC register online
     
  • Session 5: Create Your Own Free Website with Google
    Learn how to create, customize and publish your site. Get a free domain name or use one that you already own. Access and edit your site anytime. Use your own photos and text or the website generator can create the text for you. Free hosting and domain name for a year.
    Date: Monday, August 28, 2017
    Time:
    5:30-7:30 p.m.
    Location: Scibelli Enterprise Center, 1 Federal Street, Springfield
    Cost: $5
    MSBDC register online

Sponsored by MSBDC & SCORE 

QuickBooks Desktop Version for Beginners

QuickBooksThis is an introduction to the popular accounting program QuickBooks. This will cover the desktop version only. The session will cover setting up a new company, invoicing and receiving payments, writing checks and paying bills. The session will end with a brief introduction to and overview of reports.

This session is suitable for those who have recently started using QuickBooks and those who plan to use it. The basic principles of QuickBooks remain the same for the Windows, Macintosh, and online versions of the program, although specific details of how to accomplish a task may differ slightly. It is not required, but if you have a laptop or tablet and have QuickBooks loaded, feel free to bring it and follow along.

NOTE: This workshop is designed for training on the basics of QuickBooks and is not intended to troubleshoot problems individuals may currently be experiencing. Those types of questions are better suited to a one-one consulting session.

The presenter will be Don Lesser, president of Pioneer Training, Inc. Don has been a consultant and business owner for over 30 years. He has been using QuickBooks since version 2.0 for MS-DOS. He has taught QuickBooks for 20+ years, as well as consulted in its use for a wide range of clients. Don is not an accountant and does not provide accounting advice, but focuses on how to use QuickBooks to track your company’s income and expenses.

Date: Wednesday September 13, 2017
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 12 noon
Location: Scibelli Enterprise Center, 1 Federal Street, Springfield
Cost: $35
Contact: Pre-registration is required. Register online with link below. If you have questions or are unable to register online, contact Lynn Shedd at lshedd@msbdc.umass.edu or 413-577-1761.

MSBDC register online

Business Legal Primer

Sarah WilleyThis presentation will help you gain a better understanding of the core legal concepts impacting your business.

  • Choice of Entity – What does it mean to be a sole proprietor, partnership, limited liability company or corporation; which type is right for your business?
  • Employee vs. Independent Contractor – Avoiding the steep risks of misclassification; the basics of determining whether you are hiring an employee or engaging an independent contractor
  • Trademark, patent or copyright – What’s the difference, when and how you need to get one

Presented by Attorney Sarah K. Willey, Esq. with WMASSBIZLAW.

Date: Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Time: 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Location: Scibelli Enterprise Center, 1 Federal Street, Springfield
Cost: Free
Contact: Pre-registration is required. Register online with link below. If you have questions or are unable to register online, contact Lynn Shedd at lshedd@msbdc.umass.edu or 413-577-1761.

MSBDC register online

Small Business Lending: Are You Really Ready for a Loan?

Searching for ways to fund your start-up business? Are you a current business owner in need of working capital or new equipment? Not quite sure how to approach the bank for help? If so, please join us for a workshop that addresses these questions and much more!

The speakers will lead an interactive and personalized workshop to help you prepare for the loan application process. As they tailor the workshop to your business, you will learn how preparation can make all the difference in ensuring a smooth and successful credit experience. You will discover the importance of good credit and a strong business plan.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Five areas of credit that are considered
  • Financial reporting
  • Traditional loan types
  • Nonconventional loans

This workshop is presented by Tom Cebula, Vice President/Commercial Loan Officer and Jeff Lomma, Branch Manager/Business Specialist for Tower Square. Tom and Jeff have presented this workshop in the past and always receive rave reviews from the attendees. Tom has 18 years of commercial and retail banking experience. Jeff has been with Westfield Bank since 2007 and currently develops new and existing relationships with small business and consumer customers. Westfield Bank is proud to offer this workshop through the MSBDC as both organizations share a strong commitment to the growth of small businesses in our region.

Date: Monday, September 25, 2017
Time: 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Location: Scibelli Enterprise Center, 1 Federal Street, Springfield
Cost: $15
Contact: Pre-registration is required. Register online with link below. If you have questions or are unable to register online, contact Lynn Shedd at lshedd@msbdc.umass.edu or 413-577-1761.

MSBDC register online

QuickBooks Online Version for Beginners

QuickBooksThis is an introduction to the online version of the popular accounting program QuickBooks. This session will cover setting up a new company, invoicing and receiving payments, writing checks and paying bills. The session will end with a brief introduction and overview of reports. The differences between QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Desktop will be noted.

The session will use QuickBooks Pro Online, but will be useful for all versions of QuickBooks. This session is suitable for those who have recently started using QuickBooks Online and those planning to use it. It is not required, but if you have a laptop or tablet and have QuickBooks Online loaded, feel free to bring it and follow along.

NOTE: This workshop is designed for training on the basics of QuickBooks Online and is not intended to troubleshoot problems individuals may currently be experiencing. Those types of questions are better suited to a one-one consulting session.

The presenter will be Don Lesser, president of Pioneer Training, Inc. Don has been a consultant and business owner for over 30 years. He has been using QuickBooks since version 2.0 for MS-DOS. He has taught QuickBooks for 20+ years, as well as consulted in its use for a wide range of clients. Don is not an accountant and does not provide accounting advice, but focuses on how to use QuickBooks to track your company’s income and expenses.

Date: Wednesday October 18, 2017
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 12 noon
Location:
Scibelli Enterprise Center, 1 Federal Street, Springfield
Cost: $35
Contact: Pre-registration is required. Register online with link below. If you have questions or are unable to register online, contact Lynn Shedd at lshedd@msbdc.umass.edu or 413-577-1761.

MSBDC register online

Setting Up Your First Payroll

This seminar will cover the types of documentation that are needed for new hires, choosing a pay period, and the importance of accurately tracking employee’s hours. It will also look at setting up registrations with the state of Massachusetts for income withholding tax and unemployment. We’ll answer questions you may have on what payroll taxes are paid by the employer, the difference between a W2 employee and a 1099 employee, and how overtime will be calculated with different rates in play. Massachusetts Earned Sick Time, tipped employee protocols, and out-of-state residencies will also be included.

Presented by Lisa VanderVliet, account executive and Carly Fallon, director of human resources, with CheckWriters.

Lisa has been an account executive at CheckWriters for over eight years, helping more than 500 companies with their payroll needs. Carly has been a strategic partner in human resources for over 10 years, joining CheckWriters in 2015. Carly specializes in all areas of human resources, including employee relations, training & development, comp & benefits, recruitment, and compliance.

Please bring your questions!

Date: Monday, October 23, 2017
Time: 9:00 - 10:00 a.m.
Location: Scibelli Enterprise Center, 1 Federal Street, Springfield
Cost: Free
Contact: Pre-registration is required. Register online with link below. If you have questions or are unable to register online, contact Lynn Shedd at lshedd@msbdc.umass.edu or 413-577-1761.

MSBDC register online

Understanding Your Company's Cash Flow

Your business runs on cash—cash in and cash out—a very critical aspect to you and your business. Cash flow refers to the revenues a business generates and collects compared to expenses it pays out over a fixed period of time. It is one of the most critical components of success for a small business. This workshop will teach:

  • the basics of cash flow
  • the timing of cash inflows and outflows
  • how cash flow is different from profit
  • how to manage your cash flow projections
  • how to improve your company’s cash flow   

The presenter will be Robb Morton, a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Management Accountant with 28 years of experience. Robb's experience in management accounting includes work with a major government contractor that required him to obtain knowledge of cost accounting standards and rate calculations. He has many years of experience dealing with manufacturers and has worked with a variety of computer packages. His seven years experience as a controller has given him a unique perspective that serves as a tremendous benefit when dealing with the challenges faced by his small business clients. He also has extensive experience working with family-owned businesses, both as advisor and as a member of their management team. Robb works with many area banks and finance companies to assist clients with their working capital and equipment financing needs.

Date: Wednesday, November 8, 2017         
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Location: Scibelli Enterprise Center, 1 Federal Street, Springfield
Cost: $25
Contact: Pre-registration is required. Register online with link below. If you have questions or are unable to register online, contact Lynn Shedd at lshedd@msbdc.umass.edu or 413-577-1761.

MSBDC register online

Business Legal Primer

Sarah WilleyThis presentation will help you gain a better understanding of the core legal concepts impacting your business.

  • Choice of Entity – What does it mean to be a sole proprietor, partnership, limited liability company or corporation; which type is right for your business?
  • Employee vs. Independent Contractor – Avoiding the steep risks of misclassification; the basics of determining whether you are hiring an employee or engaging an independent contractor
  • Trademark, patent or copyright – What’s the difference, when and how you need to get one

Presented by Attorney Sarah K. Willey, Esq. with WMASSBIZLAW.

Date: Monday, November 13, 2017
Time: 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Location: Scibelli Enterprise Center, 1 Federal Street, Springfield
Cost: Free
Contact: Pre-registration is required. Register online with link below. If you have questions or are unable to register online, contact Lynn Shedd at lshedd@msbdc.umass.edu or 413-577-1761.

MSBDC register online

 
Payment/Cancellation/Refunds/Materials Policy: The MSBDC reserves the right to cancel or reschedule a training session. Registration fees will be returned or credited towards future programs. Payment in the form of a personal or company check is due in full prior to the workshop and must accompany the registration form. We do not accept credit cards or purchase orders. We cannot guarantee your place in a workshop without full payment in advance. Cancellations received by noon the day prior to the workshop will be entitled to a refund. No refund will be given on notifications received after that time or in any no-show situation. Seminar materials are for attendees only.