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SCORE plans workshop series for starting business

ALTON – The challenges of starting a business are being addressed in a workshop series to be presented in March by Southwestern Illinois Chapter of SCORE.

The SCORE Simple Steps Series Workshops will be held in the multipurpose room at Hayner Public Library at 132 Alton Square Mall. The five-part series will be held every Monday in March, from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

The session on March 2, called Start-Up Basics, is free. The cost of the remaining workshops is a total $125.

Series sponsors are: CJ Schlosser & Company CPAs, Carrollton Bank, CNB Bank, Liberty Bank, Bank of Edwardsville, Country Insurance, Illinois Business Journal and RiverBend Growth Association.

Register by calling (618) 467-2280. For more information call (618) 830-9069.

The SCORE Simple Steps Series provides five, two-hour workshops with action steps:

– Start-up Basics (free), March 2: This introductory workshop focuses on the basics of testing your business idea and identifying the key factors that influence start-up success. You’ll get an overview of the skills and tools you need. You’ll learn about the advantages and disadvantages of owning a business, the most profitable form for your business, and the fundamentals of formation, organization, marketing, cash flow and funding sources.

– Business Concept, March 9: Focuses on your business concept and step-by-step guidance in researching your idea, your market, and your competition. You’ll learn to target markets, describe your products and services and collect key competitive information to support your feasibility plan.

– Marketing Plan, March 16: Provides you with an introduction to marketing communication methods and tools to maximize your customer reach. Covers pricing strategies, positioning, the difference between features and benefits, and different marketing strategies. You’ll learn to outline, test and exercise your marketing strategy.

– Financial Projections, March 23: Helps you better understand financial concepts. Reviews sales and prices, financial risks and rewards, true start-up costs and ongoing operating expenses. Helps you set benchmarks for tracking progress and the organization of all your financial information. You’ll learn how to use SCORE’s financial model to forecast sales revenue and build solid pro-forma financial forecasts.

– Funding Sources and Next Steps, March 30: Information on how to finance a small business. Discussions include sources of funds, the six C’s of credit, banking relations, ratio analysis and monthly preparation and review of financial statements. A bank loan officer will give an inside view of how a banker assesses the merits of business plans and loan application.

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