The Oakland County area has an abundance of opportunities for existing businesses and new ventures.
When the going gets rough, the entrepreneurial spirit gets creative and resourceful.
The Oakland Press has gathered upcoming events, news and links to help business owners and professionals succeed.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Royal Oak Business Internship Program offers internship opportunities

Our Credit Union and Royal Oak Forward announce the extension of the Royal Oak Business Internship Program with five additional internship opportunities.
The Royal Oak Business Internship Program matches Michigan State University and other state university students with local area businesses to complete deliverable based projects/internships.
With more than 50 percent of graduating students leaving the state, the program seeks to highlight the Royal Oak area and its businesses, in addition to providing college students with real world work experience.
The internship program has concluded three internships to date. Most recently, Yury Ratomski completed his internship with McClure’s Pickles.
“My experience at McClure’s was very positive. This was my first internship and it was really nice to work in a place where I can put my own spin on things,” he said. “I got to do a lot of different things, from implementing an inventory management program, to booking orders and just overall business understanding. It was a great experience and a great place to work at.”
Five area businesses have already reserved spots with the program. These organizations include: Radish Creative Studio, a full service TV and film production and idea company based in Royal Oak; The Royal Oak Restaurant Association, the organization promoting the local hospitality industry; Triple Thread, a custom T-shirt and apparel shop in Clawson; The Urbane Way, a full-service social media marketing and boutique digital agency based out of Royal Oak; and Bean & Leaf Café, an independent coffee shop in downtown Royal Oak.
Participating students will obtain $1,000 scholarships upon the conclusion of the program. Interested students must provide an updated resume and indicate the business they are interested in working with.
All potential interns must email their information to David Baldwin at david.baldwin@royaloakforward.com by Oct. 28 to be considered for any of the positions.
Any person who lives, works, worships or attends any schools in Oakland or Macomb County is eligible for membership. For more information, visit www.OURcuonline.org.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Social media for business workshop in Birmingham

The Social Media Navigation Guide For Small Business owners and individuals is 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20, at the Community House, 380 South Bates Street, Birmingham. Instructor Emily A. Hay, the owner of Emily A. Hay There, a Social Media Consulting Company, will share social media insight and best practices for social media and blogging, social bookmarking, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. To register, contact, 248-644-5832, or visit www.communityhouse.com. The cost is $34.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Small Business Loans, Myths and Facts

Waterford Area Chamber of Commerce presents Small Business Loans, Myths and Facts, 8 to 9:30 a.m. Wednesday Sept. 28 at Heroes Restaurant, 998 W. Huron Street, Waterford Township. The cost is $10, which includes a light breakfast. Registration required at www.waterfordchamber.org or call 248-666-8600.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Social Media is a party! and more events

Social Media is a Party! presents Social Media and the Arts: Music Edition is at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22 at Fifth Ave., 215 5th Ave. Royal Oak. For information, email info@socialmediaisaparty.com or call 248-971-0170 or visit socialmediaisaparty.com.

“Contracting 101” Seminar in Detroit
DTMB Purchasing Operations is hosting “Contracting 101” session to provide guidance to business owners to help them navigate the procurement process and bid on state contracts. The seminar is free and is scheduled 1:30 to 3:30 pm. Monday, Sept. 26, at Cadillac Place Building, Room L-150, 3044 W. Grand Boulevard, Detroit. Seating is limited, register at www.michigan.gov/buymichiganfirst.

“Investing Made Simple”
“Investing Made Simple” is  6:30 to 8 p.m. Sept. 27 and Oct, 4, at The Community House, 380 South Bates St., Birmingham. Topics will include: cash and CD rates, stocks and mutual funds, taxable and tax-free bonds, precious metals and real estate. Robert Loupee, First Vice President-Investments with Merrill Lynch will lead. There is no charge to attend. To RSVP, call 248-644-5832, or visit www.communityhouse.com.

Troy’s Women of Influence
The Troy Chamber presents “Top of Troy: Troy’s Women of Influence,” 8 to 9:30 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 27, at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Headquarters, 2600 W. Big Beaver Road, Troy. The cost for the breakfast/discussion is $15 for Troy Chamber members and $20 for non-members. An additional $5 will be charged to those registering on the day of the event. To register, call 248-641-8151, e-mail: theteam@troychamber.com, or visit www.troychamber.com/cal.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Small Business Tour stops in Waterford

The first ever, SBA Small Business Outreach Tour will be in Waterford Township, 12:30 to 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 19 at the Oakland County Business Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road, Building 41 West. It is presented by the Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center, IRS, Automation Alley, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, City of Pontiac, Oakland University Incubator and more. For information, email nancy.grose@sba.gov or call 313-226-6075, ext. 234. Visit http://www.sba.gov/about-offices-content/2/3121.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

5 Rules for the Character-Driven Company

Submitted by Dottie DeHart, DeHart & Company Public Relations

Hoboken, NJ (September 2011)—It’s certainly a tense time in business. The uncertain economy has many business leaders constantly poring over the financials, crunching the budget, and nixing every possible unnecessary expense. Unfortunately, says Dave Anderson, financial problems aren’t the only ones your company might be facing. He asks if you’ve recently taken a good hard look at the character of your company.
“When you really think about it, many of the transgressions we see in business today, from CEO scandals to terrible customer service, boil down to a lack of solid character,” says Anderson, author of How to Run Your Business by THE BOOK—Revised and Expanded: A Biblical Blueprint to Bless Your Business (Wiley, 2011, ISBN: 978-1-118-02237-5, $18.95, www.learntolead.com).
Anderson says there are five simple rules that every employee, from the top of the corporate ladder on down, should follow to ensure that they have a rock-solid character:
Don’t Tell White Lies. We’re all guilty of telling a white lie or two. In fact, most of us do it on a daily basis and hardly even notice anymore! And while we may consider those little untruths to be harmless, consider that instructing your receptionist to tell a caller that you’re out of the office when you really aren’t is a reflection on your own character. White lies are still lies, after all. Think of how many business scandal stories there were this past year and how many of them were the result of dishonesty—and how that dishonesty shattered the lives of so many people.
“White lies are like the gateway drug to bigger offenses,” says Anderson. “And even though telling the truth is often the hard and unpopular thing to do, honesty is rule number one to developing sound character."
Keep Your Commitments. Have you ever made a business promise that you didn’t keep? Perhaps you didn’t follow through with a promised promotion, or skipped out early on a day when you promised to work late. And given the past year’s turbulent economy, it’s even more likely that you found yourself in a situation where your mouth wrote checks in the good times that your bank account can no longer cash. Cutting expenses is necessary and understandable, but Anderson warns that breaking promises is not—even if it turns out to be more costly, inconvenient, or time-consuming than you estimated.
“Don’t take your promises casually,” asserts Anderson, “and explain to your employees that they shouldn’t either. "Before you commit to anything, make certain that you can live with the worst-case scenario resulting from what you’re agreeing to, and always, always follow through. Do what you said you’d do, regardless of the cost.”
Go the Second Mile. One of the most common character flaws in leaders and their employees is that they do just enough to get by; they come to work and do just enough to get paid and just enough not to get fired. That’s not good enough, says Anderson. He suggests thinking about it this way: If the majority of people are doing only the minimum, then those who give just a little bit more of themselves will stand out and be highly valued—a great asset for any company or individual to have. “Some of the most successful business men and women will readily admit that they are no smarter than their less successful counterparts,” explains Anderson. “They simply outwork them, outthink them, and, as a result, outperform them. By doing what others were unwilling to do, going where they were unwilling to go, saying what they were unwilling to say, learning what they were unwilling to learn, and risking what they were unwilling to risk, they earned a success and a lifestyle that the ‘just enough’ crowd was unable to attain.”
Don’t Give False Impressions. When it comes to business, false impressions are everywhere. From misleading advertising campaigns to padded resumes, you won’t be hard pressed to find examples of people trying to make others believe things are better than they really are. But Anderson says that you have to be upfront and honest with those you work with, or you may lose your credibility and build up bitterness and resentment in a once-valuable business relationship. Think about the ways that you or your company may be misleading others, and find ways to stop it.
“There are a few simple things you can do to get your employees and organization on the road to transparency,” explains Anderson. “For starters, stop any misleading advertising you may be engaged in—and if you’re not sure if it’s misleading, then it probably is! Make sure that you aren’t spinning feedback to make someone feel as though they’re doing better or worse than they really are. And certainly don’t mislead any potential job candidates or employees about realities concerning compensation, advancement, or future plans.
Reconcile and Forgive Immediately. Holding grudges is a common and unfortunate consequence of competitive business. Resentment builds up when employees leave organizations, mistakes are made, or when coworkers feel slighted. Take an inventory of grudges you may be nursing, people you’re resenting, and those with whom you must reconcile. It doesn’t matter how far back the offense was. If you’re carrying it around, it’s affecting your performance, whether you realize it or not. Suggest to your employees that they think about any hard feelings they may be harboring and encourage them to make amends.
“When you are busy harboring resentment and holding onto grudges, you are taking time and precious energy away from the things you could be doing to increase your productivity and your business,” asserts Anderson. “Bring closure to past offenses. Identify amends you must make, with whom, and do it quickly. By holding onto these hard feelings, you aren’t hurting the other person; you’re hurting yourself! And having a clear conscience and a sound heart is a key component to having a solid character.”
For more information, please visit www.learntolead.com

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Business events improve profit

Sept. 16: "Healthcare saves your business money"
After a summer break from Troy Chamber’s Choose Troy Friday Forums, the series continues in September with “Healthcare saves your business money,” noon to 1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16, at the Troy Chamber office, 4555 Investment Dr., Ste. 300. Lunch will be provided as part of this free informal session. To register, call 248-641-8151, e-mail to theteam@troychamber.com or visit www.troychamber.com/cal.

Sept. 17: “How To Find & Use Lending for Today’s Deals”
Real Estate Investors Assoc. presents “How To Find & Use Lending for Today’s Deals,”  9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday Sept. 17 at Royal Oak Senior’s Center, 3500 Marias, Royal Oak. The cost is $29 for members and $49 for non-members. Lunch is included. Call 800-747-6742 or www.REIAofOakland.com.

Sept. 19-21: Businesses seeking work with defense
National Defense Industrial Association Michigan Chapter’s Fall Business Event is Monday through Wednesday, Sept. 19-21 at Troy Marriot Hotel, 200 W. Big Beaver Road, Troy. The conference is for business professionals looking for partnerships with federal, state and local agencies, the first responder community and associates from the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security. Joseph Blozis, former detective sergeant overseeing the 9/11 Ground Zero crime scene, New York Police Department, will be the featured speaker. The cost is $350, which includes access to all sessions, receptions, lunch, and hospitality suites. To register, visit www.ndia-mich.org or email fbe@ndia-mich.org.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Upcoming business events for networking and learning

Sept. 14: Breakfast and Business Cards
Michigan Business Advantage is hosting Breakfast and Business Cards: A Unique Networking Event. 7:45 to 9 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14 at the Royal Park Hotel in The Commons area, 600 E. University Dr., Rochester. Seating is limited. The cost is $10 at the door and includes continental breakfast buffet. RSVP to Donna at 248-453-5163 or donna@yourcardconnection.com.

Sept. 14: SCORE’s business planning
SCORE’s Planning Your Own Business is 8:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Wed., Sept. 14, at MBPA 27700 Hoover Road, Warren. The cost is $45. Visit www.detroit.score.org  or call 313-226-7947 to register.

Sept. 14: Working for yourself workshop
Working for Yourself workshop is 9 a.m. to noon, Wednesday Sept. 14. The workshop covers the ins and outs of becoming a consultant, a contractor or a service provider at Oakland County Executive Office Building, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road, Building 41 W., Waterford Township. Call 248-858-0783 or visit oakgov.com/peds/calendar. The cost is $40. 

Sept. 14: Michigan Retailers Breakfast Program
 The International Council of Shopping Centers presents Michigan Retailers Breakfast Program with two educational sessions. 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. Sept. 14 at The Townsend Hotel, 100 Townsend St., Birmingham. The first session will be presented by Doug Rothwell, president and CEO, Business Leaders for Michigan. The second session will include a panel discussion surrounding a Michigan Retail Update, taking a look at current trends in Michigan. Payment in advance is $45 for members and $60 for nonmembers. The fee at the door is $60 for members and $75 for nonmembers.

Sept. 15: Automation Alley networking
Automation Alley’s Fall Networking Event is 5:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15 at Baker College, 1500 University Dr., Auburn Hills. Admission is $10 in advance and $20 at the door. Members attend free. RSVP at www.automationalley.com or call 800-427-5100.

Sept. 15: Start a business
Fundamentals of Starting A Business is 9 a.m. to noon, Sept. 15. Topics of discussion in this workshop include entrepreneurial skills, business feasibility, business formation and much more. at Oakland County Executive Office Building, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road, Building 41W., Waterford Township. Call 248-858-0783 or visit oakgov.com/peds/calendar. The cost is $30 per person.

Sept. 16: Healthcare saves money
After a summer break from Troy Chamber’s Choose Troy Friday Forums, the series continues in September with “Healthcare saves your business money,” noon to 1 p.m., Friday, Sept. 16, at the Troy Chamber office, 4555 Investment Dr., Ste. 300. Lunch will be provided as part of this free informal session. To register, call 248-641-8151, e-mail to theteam@troychamber.com or visit www.troychamber.com/cal.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Inventors Council of Mid-Michigan meets in Flint

The Inventors Council of Mid-Michigan, holds a gathering of the minds of inventors on the second Thursday of each month. The next meeting is at 7 p.m., tomorrow, Sept. 8 at Walli's Restaurant & Banquet Center South at I-69 and Center Road (1341 S. Center Road) in Burton, Michigan. The group has been meeting on the second Thursday of each month, since 1997. The cost to attend the meetings is usually $5.
The council is a resource for creative people who need ideas on how to take an idea and run with it.
The Inventors Council was started by Bob Ross of Service Corps Of Retired Executives (SCORE) and Larry Ford, president of the Flint Area Chamber of Commerce (FACC), in 1997.
The current Council has a leadership group of seven highly experienced directors who continue the volunteer effort to reach out and help independent inventors fulfill their dreams of bringing new and innovative products to market, in a tradition of the great American pursuit to invent.
Membership in the Inventors Council costs $55 a year. Call 810-621-3468 or email Jim Harris with questions to harris03@charter.net.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Hiring companies attend career expo

hiredMYway.com’s career expo is 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14 at the Suburban Collection Showplace, 46100 Grand River Ave. in Novi.
Several of the attending companies include: Dialogue Marketing (more than 150 jobs; over $150,000 in bonuses); Northwestern Mutual (15 jobs; $15,000 in bonuses); Daifuku Webb (more than 20 jobs; over $60,000 in bonuses); SPX Corporation (5 jobs; $13,000 in bonuses); Guardian Angel Heath Care (more than 40 jobs; over $40,000 in bonuses); ePrize (more than 10 jobs; over $15,000 in bonuses); Cosma International (15 jobs; more than $13,000 in bonuses).
Job seekers can participate in free workshops, including The Power of Social Media and Your Network Is Worth Thousands and the proper way to write a resume and provide job seekers with five tips and traps on how to ace the interview.
For a full list of employers attending the career expo visit www.hiredMYway.com. The career expo is free for job seekers. All candidates who attend the career expo, apply for a job through hiredMYway.com on September 14 and get hired, will receive a double bonus of up to $8,000. Visit hiredMYway.com or call 312-768-4764.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Learning to strategize success

Sept. 8: Madison Heights
“How to find and use private money lending for today’s deals.” Sponsored by Real Estate Investors Assoc. of Oakland 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday Sept. 8 at Club Venetian, 29310 John R. Road, north of 12 Mile Road on John R. in Madison Heights. The seminar is free to members and $20 for nonmembers.

Sept. 8: Troy
Troy Chamber’s presentation, “Success Strategies that Work — The Power of Positive Attraction,” is 8-9:30 a.m.,Thursday, Sept. 8, in the Troy Chamber office, lower level training room, 4555 Investment Dr., Troy. It is free for Troy Chamber members and $10 for nonmembers. Call 248-641-8151 or e-mail theteam@troychamber.com.