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.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

January business workshops offered

Business owners and entrepreneurs who need assistance are encouraged to attend seminars offered by the Oakland County Business Center. The workshops take place at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road, west of Telegraph in Waterford Township. For registration, visit www.AdvantageOakland.com/expand or call 248-858-0783.
Advanced Legal Series: Creating Beneficial Relationships with Customers, Contractors and Suppliers is 9 a.m. to noon, Jan. 8. This workshop analyzes the legal and “practical” aspects of creating mutually beneficial relationships with customers, suppliers and other third parties. This workshop is well suited for new and existing businesses. The cost is $40.
CEED Microloan Orientation is 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 9. Many small businesses face obstacles when trying to obtain a business loan. This workshop is free, but registration is required.
Business Research: Feasibility to Expansion is 9 a.m. to noon, Wednesday, Jan. 9. For those starting a business or wanting to diversify market base. This workshop is presented by Oakland County Market Research and an Oakland County Public Library business reference librarian. This workshop is free, but registration is required.
Fundamentals of Writing a Business Plan is 9 a.m. to noon, Jan. 16. This workshop is $40.
Legal and Financial Basics for Small Business is 9 a.m. to noon, Tuesday, Jan. 29. This workshop outlines the key legal considerations for entrepreneurs operating Michigan businesses. This workshop is free, but registration is required.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Local downtowns offer fun Christmas shopping

KH Home is lit up in downtown Clarkston, Dec. 7. All that's missing is the snow.
If you want to find unique Christmas gifts, steer away from the mall and head for the quaint downtowns in the area. Clarkston is one of Michigan's most travelled downtowns with M-15 running through it til it ends at Dixie Highway.
The two-and-a-half block downtown features several shops, Rudy's Market and three restaurants.
One shop is Essence on Main, which features gourmet chocolate confections and local, organic and gourmet food products and gifts. Other shops include the Parsonage, florist and gift shop, Village Apparel, KH Home interior design studio, Clarkston Flower Shoppe, the Bird Feeder, Basketful of Yarn and the Country Store.

Restaurants include the Clarkston Union, the Union Woodshop and the Olde Village Grille. There's Mesquite Creek and Brioni Cafe & Deli, which are on the north end of town, closer to the I-75 interchange.
Also downtown, there's Lisa’s Confection Connection and the Village Bake Shoppe offering sweet treats. The Union General Store is next to the Clarkston Union, where shoppers can buy ice cream, gourmet cupcakes and other items. There is a free parking lot at the corner of Main Street, (M-15) and Washington. There's also parking by the Clarkston Union and behind the east side of the downtown. For more information, visit www.clarkston.org/

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Oakland County seeks standouts under 40

Nominations for the 2013 “Elite 40 Under 40” are open until Dec. 31. Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson launched his Elite 40 Under 40 initiative last year to identify outstanding professional and executive leaders who have achieved excellence in their field before the age of 40. Individuals may submit nominations at www.AdvantageOakland.com. The winner will introduce Patterson at his 2013 State of the County address on Feb. 7, 2013.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Social media for business webinar offered Wednesday

Social Media Basics – Internet Marketing 101 webinar is 1 to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12. It is offered by The Whole Brain Group of Ann Arbor. The free webinar provides information on how social media fits into a growing company’s overall strategy and goals. It provides an overview of social media, including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google. Sign up at http://info.thewholebraingroup.com/internet-marketing-101-social-media-basics.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

How to excel, not repel at office holiday parties

Submitted by Dottie DeHart, DeHart & Company Public Relations,DeHartandcompany.com

Office holiday parties can be tricky. Talk too much about yourself or have too many cocktails, and the party can turn into a missed opportunity if not a disaster. It doesn’t have to be that way, says Andrew Sobel, coauthor of Power Questions: Build Relationships, Win New Business, and Influence Others. Go in armed with a few power questions, and you can leave the party having created and strengthened key relationships.

“The first step to not being the lonely loser is not drinking too much. Alcohol makes your inhibitions and common sense come tumbling down, and it vastly increases the chance that you will say or do something that’s at best silly or at worst truly regrettable. Second, don’t worry about being smart or clever—go prepared to ask thoughtful questions. Lots of them. The way to endear yourself to colleagues—and to get noticed by senior management—isn’t to talk more about yourself and your plans; it’s to ask engaging and inspiring questions.”

As Sobel shows in his book, the most underutilized strategy for building relationships, getting to know others more deeply, and exercising influence is asking what he calls power questions. These are questions that get to the heart of the issue. They help you engage with others more deeply. They uncover people’s passions. They give people new perspectives on their challenges. Power questions, at the most basic level, enable you to get to know others more deeply and ensure that you’re talking about meaningful issues.

If you want to connect more effectively with colleagues, deepen your existing relationships, and stick to the straight-and-narrow to stay out of trouble at your upcoming office holiday party, read on for a few power questions to help you out:

Questions about work. Don’t spend your time gossiping about coworkers and what’s been happening at the office. Instead, ask thought-provoking questions about how your colleagues feel about and experience their work. A few options:

1. What was your best day and worst day at work during this past year?
2. What was the most fulfilling experience you had this year?
3. What do you think is the best part of working here? The worst part?
4. What’s the most challenging part of your job?
5. How did you get your start? (This is an especially good question to ask your boss or a senior leader in your organization. It’s a simple but powerful way to draw someone out).  Questions about goals and challenges. If the foundation of relationships is trust, the engine that moves them forward is helping others reach their goals and confront their most challenging issues. You can do this, however, only if you understand what the other person’s needs are. So ask questions like:
6. So what’s on your agenda in your work for next year? Any particular projects or initiatives you’re focused on?
7. If you suddenly had a couple of extra hours per week outside of work, how would you spend them?
Questions about others’ passions. We have many activities going on in our lives, but usually we each harbor just a few true passions. If you can discover someone else’s passions, you’ll be able to connect much more effectively. Here’s how to do it:
8. Tell me about your favorites. What’s your favorite movie of all time? Favorite restaurant? Favorite book you’ve read in the last couple of years? Favorite way to relax?
9. Is there something you’ve always wanted to do, but have never been able to get around to it? A sport, a hobby, an event, a challenge, a trip, whatever?
10. As you think about next year, what are you most excited about—at work or at home?
11. What’s been the most gratifying experience you’ve had this year?
Questions to learn more about them as people. Ask people about themselves. The more you learn about them, the more you may find in common, and the more you’ll understand what makes them tick.
12. So, when you’re not shaking things up at the office, how do you like to spend your time?
13. When you were younger, how did your family spend the holidays? What are your plans this year?
14. If you hadn’t gone into (business, law, banking, medicine, teaching, etc.), what do you think you might have done?
15. Where did you grow up? What was that like?

“Of course,” notes Sobel, “there are also questions you shouldn’t ask and things you shouldn’t say. And it can never hurt to go over what not to say before heading out for your party.”

Here’s a sample of the most important questions not to ask:
Appearances. “Unless you know the other person very well, do not make remarks or give compliments to a member of the opposite sex about their appearance or dress,” cautions Sobel. “It’s not appropriate and it could be either misleading or at some level offensive. Compliment them instead on their abilities and accomplishments. Period.”
Intimate Details. “Don’t ask someone who isn’t a pretty close friend about intimate personal details,” says Sobel. “A general question like ‘Do you have a family?’ is okay, but not questions about girlfriends or boyfriends, divorce, dating, romance, sex, and so on. You get the idea. Everyone has slightly different tolerances and comfort around going into subjects like this, and you need to err on the side of caution.”
Tipsy Revelations. “Don’t have a few drinks and then confront someone abruptly with your pent-up emotions,” advises Sobel. “For example, don’t say, ‘You know, I just feel like you don’t like me very much!’ or, ‘I want to be your friend.’ At best it might be cute, but most likely it’ll be embarrassing for both of you.”
Light of Day. “Always apply the ‘light of day’ test to your behavior,” says Sobel. “If someone reported your conversation and behavior the next day to your boss, your family, or a client, would you be embarrassed in any way? How would they feel about pictures or videos of those moments if they were posted on Facebook?”

“For many people, the holiday office party can bring with it more anxiety and dread than good cheer,” says Sobel. “And there is really just no need for that. When you arrive with a few power questions ready to go, you can make the event not only enjoyable but you can turn it into a valuable relationship-building night that could benefit you for a long time to come.”

Sobel is coauthor along with Jerold Panas of Power Questions: Build Relationships, Win New Business, and Influence Others (Wiley, February 2012, ISBN: 978-1-1181196-3-1, $22.95).

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Bring own device workshop for employers

TROY - BYOD (bring your own device) workshop is 8 to 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5 at Michigan Schools and Government CU, 4555 Investment Drive, Troy. Experts will discuss privacy, security and data retrieval and how an organization can protect itself with workable policies and procedures. BYOD means that employees and contractors can use personal devices such as laptops, smartphones, home computers and tablets, to conduct an organization’s business. To request information, email theteam@troychamber.com/

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Celebrate Pontiac & Placemaking event is Dec. 5

Annual Celebrate Pontiac & Placemaking event is 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 5 at 1 Lafayette, downtown Pontiac. It features a business expo, guest speakers and lunch. The speakers include: Arnold Weinfield, president and director Strategic Initiatives, Michigan Municipal League; Matt Gibb, Oakland County Deputy Executive; Leon Jukowski,City of Pontiac Mayor and Kevin Thompson, PRC 2nd Vice Chairperson & Chairperson of Economic & Business Development Committee.
Following the event, there will be a tour of select downtown Pontiac businesses and happy hour at select pubs starting at 3:30 p.m. Admission is $35 for professionals, $20 for students, community residents and senior (50+). Bring A Biz Buddy and receive a $5 discount. For more information, contact Dawnaree Demrose at Info@pontiacchamber.com or 248-622-8247. To purchase tickets, visit
http://pontiacchamber.ticketleap.com/pontiac-regional-chamber-2012-annual-event/

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

SCORE presents business workshops in Pontiac

In a workshop series for small business, Detroit SCORE Chapter 18 presents The Business Plan Series. The program runs from Dec. 3-6. Prospective entrepreneurs are provided with a complete course from planning their business through the process of writing a Business Plan. This four part program starts with the organization and research that is a part of any new business.
The four part series will be presented at Future Help Designs, 91 North Saginaw, Suite 105, Pontiac.
All workshops are 8:45 a.m. to noon.
Business Plan 101: Creating Your Business Plan(s) is Dec. 3. This is the introduction to creating a successful business plan. It provides the necessary first steps in the organization and research needed for the entrepreneur’s unique business opportunity.
Business Plan 102: Marketing, Promotion and Sales is Dec. 4. We use the four “C’s” approach for creating a successful marketing plan. The program covers traditional and newer methods of promotion such as social networking. A key takeaway is a Sales Plan for annual revenue projections.
Business Plan 103: Business Plan Financials and Budgeting is Dec. 5. We use a case study approach to describe startup costs and the three main financial statements. Attendees will be introduced to break-even analysis and instructed in how to use SCORE’s financials template. Electronic versions of the template are included.
Business Plan 104: Writing a Successful Plan is Dec. 6. Business plans are critical for entrepreneur’s funding initiatives.  This workshop includes instructions and helpful hints on how to write a successful business plan for commercial loan or micro-loan applications, or private capital solicitation.
Visit www.detroit.score.org or call 313-226-7947 to register. The series costs $100. Workshops may be taken individually. Veterans can get a coupon that pays for the program at www.vetsfastlaunch.org.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Women in Communications discuss gender speak

Nov. 27
SOUTHFIELD—The Association for Women in Communications (AWC) - Detroit chapter presents a discussion on gender communications with Laurie Horvath at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 27, at Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP, at One Towne Square, Suite 600 in Southfield. The presentation is Women and Men: Communicating in the Workplace, Exploring the Differences in Gender Communications.
Learn tips on how to communicate better with your coworkers, those who report to you, and your boss. What are you saying non-verbally is as important as your words. See how others can have an entirely different perspective of what was communicated. Learn how to interpret reactions different than yours and better understand a situation.
With more than 20 years of public accounting experience, Laurie Horvath leads the not-for-profit industry practice at Baker Tilly. She is a frequent speaker and presenter and has served as an adjunct faculty member at Walsh College for more than 10 years. The evening will begin with networking and light refreshments, followed by the program. The cost is $25 for members and $35 for nonmembers. 
 Attendees are requested to bring peanut butter and jelly for the food pantry at Lighthouse of Oakland County.
For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit www.womcomdetroit.org/UpcomingEvents.htm/ or call 866-385-1784.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Stress and how to deal

Stress at work is sometimes good, because it motivates. However, there are times it can overwhelm a worker so they become less productive. I remember working as a waitress when I was in high school and the busier the restaurant became, the more stressed the workers. It was fine because it made us move faster and accomplish more. But then as more and more customers arrived, we reached the peak, when the body cannot move faster or work harder or smarter. That's when dishes got dropped, orders became lost in the shuffle and customers had to wait too long. We would start rushing mindlessly, not doing a very good job and if the situation didn't improve, we would eventually burn out and not care. Here are some tips I hope are helpful for stress management.
 
Dealing with stress
 Walk away - Sometimes the answer to stress is to just walk away for a few minutes. That's why breaks are so important. It's important for desk workers as well as restaurant staff.
"Take a breather" - This is a phrase that a former supervisor of mine used. She was smart. If you can't walk away, breath in and out slowly for a minute.
Delegate - Share your work if you can. Think of it as being generous with your coworkers. 
Assertiveness - Tell people no if you are overwhelmed. They can ask someone else to help them.
Caffeine - Cut down if you can stay awake on the job, Caffeine increases stress.
Eat right - Eat healthy, include fruit and vegetables in your diet. Avoid salty and high cholesterol foods. Request reduced sodium and lower cholesterol menu items when dining out.
Exercise - Daily exercise is helpful for your body and mind.
Relax Max - Take time for yourself, to relax, get organized and do things that interest you. Hang out and talk to your friends, family and coworkers. Meditate, pray, do yoga, get a massage and take a warm bath are other ways to relax.
Laugh - If you find yourself getting worked up over something, try to put it into perspective. Recently, I was worrying about something relentlessly, and then I thought about it and realized it was very trivial. That made me laugh, not just because I had been silly, but also because I was able to step outside of myself and see how unimportant the worry had been.
Wine - Okay alcohol is not the answer, but a glass or two of wine once in awhile can be quite therapeutic. Alcohol can cause sleeplessness though, so don't drink too much or you'll be more stressed the next day.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Workshop on how to identify bullying scheduled

Denha Media and Communications in conjunction with Raven Writing Solutions, Inc. is hosting a workshop from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 14, at Denha Media and Communications, 5779 West Maple, West Bloomfield Township to help identify bullying in the workplace.
Attendees will learn to increase productivity by decreasing toxicity in the workplace.
For information, email info@denhamedia.com.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Meet the Press in Birmingham on Saturday

 The Meet the Press Business Summit is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10 at Seaholm High School 2436 W. Lincoln Birmingham.
 With the increase in technology many business owners have taken on the task of writing their own press releases as well as trying their hand at public relations. National and local media personalities and other business professionals will speak on gaining media exposure.
The Meet the Press Business Summit topics include hobnobbing with media, press release writing and distribution, media alerts, why public relations is necessary and more.
Tickets are $25 and available online (includes lunch.) For more information, visit www.getmediaattentionnow.com.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Michigan Tax Conference slated

NOVI—The Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants, in partnership with the State of Michigan Department of Treasury and State Bar of Michigan Taxation Section, will host the sixth annual Michigan Tax Conference, Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 6-7 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi. On the first day of the conference, Glenn White, Deputy Treasurer, State of Michigan Department of Treasury, will provide an insider’s look into what the Treasury is working on. The first day, which includes optional and free early bird sessions for conference attendees, will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., followed by a networking reception. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. The second day of the event will begin with a “Pure Michigan Tax Update” with State Treasurer Andy Dillon. The second day begins at 8 a.m., ending at 4:50 p.m. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. The cost is $249 for members of the State Bar and the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants and $349 for nonmembers. The cost is $650 for nonmembers for both days. For registration information, visit www.michcpa.org/  or call 248-267-3700.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Job fair offers speed interviews

Oct. 31
SOUTHFIELD—Speed-Interview Job Fair sponsored by HiredInDetroit.com, scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 31 at the Westin Hotel-Southfield allows both the interviewee and hiring company to assess the potential match of candidate to corporation. More than 40 companies are ready to interview and hire candidates; it is mandatory candidates dress for success. Participating employers will hire in the following industries: Engineering, Manufacturing, Sales, Finance, Customer Service, Management, Retail, Information Technology, Machining, Restaurant, Medical and many other great industries. The event is 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31 at Westin Hotel, 1500 Town Center, Southfield. Businesses interested in registering for career expo should contact Lucy Wade at lucy@hiredindetroit.com or 734-956-4550. For more information, visit www.HiredInDetroit.com.

Nov. 1
WATERFORD TWP.—Demystifying the Cloud is 9 to 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 1 at the Waterford Township Library, 5168 Civic Center Dr, Waterford. The conference is to be presented by Dan Izydorek, PC Miracles, Inc. Registration is $10 chamber early bird rate and $25 per person for non-members and at the door. Register online at www.waterfordchamber.org or call 248-666-8600.

Nov. 1
BLOOMFIELD HILLS—Butzel Long attorney and shareholder Sean H. Cook will be a featured speaker during the Walsh Institute Leadership Center’s Business Transitions Annual Conference from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 1 at Walsh College’s Troy campus. Butzel Long is a sponsor of the Leadership Center. Cook’s presentation is titled, “Skeletons in the Closet or Hidden Treasure Trove?” This session will discuss the importance of discovering the true facts about one’s company before the official due diligence process begins. The Conference will focus on business transitions from all angles – preparation, process and preferred results. To register, visit www.thewalshinstitute.com/businessLIVE.

Nov. 1
TROY—Walsh Leadership Center Transitions Conference is 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 1 at the College’s Troy campus, 3838 Livernois Road. The conference will look at business transitions and include insights by a panel of business owners from Core3 Solutions, HMS Products Inc., Harvey Hohauser and Associates and Painter’s Supply Company. The companies have seen transitions in recent years; some well-planned, others not. Tickets for the conference are $15 for students, $45 for Walsh alumni and partners, and $90 for all others. Ticket price includes breakfast, lunch and all materials as well as a chance to win door prizes. Register at www.thewalshinstitute.com/businessLIVE or call 248-823-1392.

Nov. 1
FARMINGTON HILLS—UHY LLP, a full service public accounting firm, will host its annual Manufacturing Outlook, 8:30 to 11:45 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 1 at the Farmington Hills office training room as well as via webcast. The event features a panel of manufacturing professionals discussing the latest industry trends including global manufacturing, exploring the new shale oil and gas paradigm and patent protection for medical devices. Breakfast will be provided. For reservations, contact Courtney Gray at cgray@uhy-us.com or 586-843-2533.

Nov. 1
NOVI—Business Research: Feasibility to Expansion is 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1 at Novi Public Library, 45255 10 Mile Rd  Novi. This workshop is for those thinking of starting a business and want to research an idea and for business owners who wants to benchmark profit margins against similar size businesses and identify market trends. It is presented by Oakland County Market Research and an Oakland County Public Library business reference librarian. This workshop is free, but pre-registration is required. Register at www.AdvantageOakland.com/expand or call 248-858-0783.

Nov. 1
ROYAL OAK—The Marketing and Sales Executives of Detroit (MSED) will host a fall networking bowling event, “Emagine the Connections,” beginning at 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1 at Star Lanes at Emagine Royal Oak, 200 North Main Street, Royal Oak. All proceeds from the event will contribute to MSED’s scholarship program. The cost for the event is $45 for both members and non-members and includes bowling, shoe rental, food and soft drinks. A cash bar will be available. To register or obtain more information, contact Meeting Coordinators at 248-643-6590 or visit the MSED website at www.msedetroit.org.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Oakland County to offer November business workshops

Business owners and entrepreneurs who need assistance are invited to attend the following seminars offered by the Oakland County One Stop Shop Business Center. To register, visit www.AdvantageOakland.com/expand or call 248-858-0783.

Business Research: Feasibility to Expansion is 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1 at Novi Public Library, 45255 10 Mile Rd  Novi. This workshop is for those thinking of starting a business and want to research an idea and for business owners who wants to benchmark profit margins against similar size businesses and identify market trends. It is presented by Oakland County Market Research and an Oakland County Public Library business reference librarian. This workshop is free, but registration is required.
QuickBooks Essentials is an introduction to small business financial management with an overview of accurate recordkeeping, report interpretation and utilization, and management of the variety of QuickBooks tools. It is presented in two sessions on Wednesday, Nov. 7, by Kildal Services, LLC at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford Township. Session I is 9 to 11:30 a.m. It covers basic accounting terminology, new company file setup, customizing forms and letters, working with bank accounts. Session II is 12:30 to 3 p.m. It covers invoicing customers, receiving payments and making deposits, entering vendor bills/paying vendor bills, using credit card accounts. The cost is $40 for one session or $75 for both, per person. Laptop is recommended.

CEED Microloan Orientation is for those who need alternative financing. This workshop discusses the requirements and process necessary to apply and obtain a microloan. It is presented by the Center for Empowerment & Economic Development (C.E.E.D.), 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14 at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford Township. The workshop is free but registration is required.
Fundamentals of Writing a Business Plan is 9 a.m. to noon, Thursday, Nov. 15 at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford Township. This workshop is for small business owners who are developing their plan to success.The fee is $40 per person.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Cloud conference to offer virtual enlightenment

WATERFORD TWP.—Demystifying the Cloud is 9 to 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 1 at the Waterford Township Library, 5168 Civic Center Dr, Waterford. The conference is to be presented by Dan Izydorek, PC Miracles, Inc. Registration is $10 chamber early bird rate and $25 per person for non-members and at the door. Register online at www.waterfordchamber.org or call 248-666-8600.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Business women's events happening this week

Women’s network hosts Get Your Body and Business in Shape Expo
SOUTHFIELD—The Michigan Professional Women’s Network will present its 21st annual Get Your Body and Business in Shape Expo,10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25 at the Garden Atrium in the 2000 Town Center Building in Southfield. The free event is scheduled to feature more than 100 exhibitors on the ground floor plus a special area for women’s needs on the balcony. Special events include free health screenings, tips on personal health, fitness and weight management, as well as business health support in the areas of marketing, finance, and networking. Expo goers will enjoy Caribbean music by the Gratitude Steel Drum Band, and food and beverages available for purchase. For more information, call 248-559-3359, or visit
www.mpwn.org/

Autumn Brunch with auction planned
NOVI—The members of the Novi Oaks Charter Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) will hold their 8th Annual “Autumn Brunch With Auction” to benefit the chapter’s Scholarship and Education Fund at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 27.
More than 125 area business women are expected to attend, and the group plans to fill the ballroom of the Sheraton Hotel, 21111 Haggerty Road, Novi, with more than 150 items for bid. Many of the auction items are donated by area businesses such as Salon Agape, Benito’s Pizza, and Emagine Theatre. Each table is decorated by a member or supporter. The cost is $25, including brunch. For more information, visit
www.abwa-novi.org/ or email publicity@abwa-novi.org.

Monday, October 22, 2012

How to Work Smarter seminars offered

BIRMINGHAM—The Community House is hosting a business symposium, “How to Work Smarter,” 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25 at The Community House, 380 S. Bates St., Birmingham. Stephen Polk, president and CEO of R.L. Polk & Co. is the keynote speaker. The conference includes three seminars with expert panelists: Smart Sales and Marketing; Everything Wireless/Internet and Planning for Now and the Future. The cost is $50 and includes breakfast and lunch. The event raises money to fund programs for at risk youth and children in need. Register at www.tchsymposium.org.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Workshop addresses brand image

SOUTHFIELD—People increasingly make decisions — whether to do business with people or purchase products — based on information on the internet. Join the Association for Women in Communications Detroit Chapter at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 24, at Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG), to explore this topic with an expert: Adrienne Lenhoff, president and CEO of Novi-based Shazaaam! PR and Marketing, Buzzphoria Social Media, and Promo Marketing Team. The evening will begin with networking and light refreshments, followed by the program. The cost is $25 for AWC members and $35 for nonmembers. AIAG is located at 26200 Lahser Road, Suite 200, in Southfield. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit www.womcomdetroit.org/UpcomingEvents.htm or call 866-385-1784.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Farbman hosts speed networking event

In a spin-off of speed dating, Farbman Group will host a business-to-business networking event, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30 in the Riverside Center in Southfield. During the event attendees can network with other business people, rotating through a new introduction approximately every five minutes. The sessions will allow participants to meet potential new customers, clients and vendors. For registration and further information, call Judy Smith at 248-351-4381, or email at smith@farbman.com. To register online, visit www.farbman.com/FG/networking.html. The Riverside Center is located at 25925 Telegraph Road in Southfield.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Have you ever been bullied at work?

 Anybody who has ever been made fun of, maliciously, understands the feeling of being the target of bullying. The old saying, “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger,” is only partially true. Sometimes, if it doesn’t kill you, it just makes you meaner. I believe bullying can be contagious and it is something we all need to guard against.
People should try to be civil to one another, especially when they spend time together, day in and day out. What made high school so miserable for so many was the bullies with the attitude that, “you are not worthy.” We’re adults now and don’t have to put up with it. Then again, why should students have to endure it either?
My thoughts were inspired by the following submission:

How to Detect and Protect Against Workplace Bullying
By: Rakesh Malhotra,
founder of Five Global Values (www.FiveGlobalValues.com). Malhotra  is a world-traveled, business leader who specializes in organization behavior. 

Stories of workplace bullying are commonplace throughout the United States.
Here are examples:

Mavis: “When I started there, I was told that someone had been acting in the position and had expected to get the job. This person continually undermined me and turned other staff against me. I endured 12 months of hell, and felt as if I was sinking in quicksand.” 

A male employee at a different company: “The misery took over my whole life. I turned nasty and bitter and treated my wife and kids like whipping posts. After many visits to a psychologist, I was able to think of all the positive things in my life. Now I look back and think I wouldn’t want to go through that experience again.”

In general, there are no legal repercussions for non-physical bullying except in specific cases, such as sexual harassment. In fact, bullying is a character trait that tends to be condoned in American society.  
Bullies win by controlling situations and people around them. They crave power and the attention that comes from getting what they want.

The effects of working with a bully
Adults have a difficult time performing their jobs effectively when subjected to bullying by a co-worker. It takes a toll physically because of our physiological responses to emotional stress. Typically, victims endure feelings of depression, guilt and shame, and they suffer sleep loss and fatigue. In some cases, victims begin to believe the bully’s behavior is warranted, and they develop feelings of worthlessness. They cannot complete tasks at the same level as others in their units.

Are you a bully?

Being accused of being the bully can be difficult to accept. You may believe your actions were unintentional, or a justified emotional response to provocation. Perhaps, you see yourself as the only one in the office qualified to do anything right.  However, whatever you have said or done, whether purposefully or not, you have created a culture of negativity for at least one person and you need to honestly assess the situation and your role in it.

Symptoms that YOU may be the bully include:
 Insulting a coworker (remember, one person’s “joke” may be another’s insult).
• Undermining another employee’s work by creating a hostile environment or perhaps by consistently calling their attention to “flaws”. (Bullies focus on a person, while constructive criticism focuses on a task.)
 As an employer, ignoring your employees’ suggestions.
 Humiliating your employee in front of others.

If any of these sound like something that you may be doing, it is important to address this immediately with your victim. You may want to speak with your doctor about getting help, such as counseling, sensitivity training, anger management and other seminars.
It is important to understand the signs and symptoms of a bully in order to help the victim and the victimizer deal with and exterminate the behavior.
If you are a victim, diligently record workplace bullying events. If you choose to make a formal complaint, you will be responsible for providing information should there be charges brought against the bully.

Troy Chamber hosts Dubai trip informational meeting

The Troy Chamber of Commerce has negotiated with its travel company for travel to Dubai in March 2013. Group members will now fly out of Detroit Metropolitan Airport rather than the original Chicago departure location. In light of this new development, the Chamber has extended its early bird pricing until Oct. 19.
For as low as $2195 per person, participants will enjoy deluxe accommodations, airfare, meals, a variety of attractions and more. The trip includes memorable sites, both ancient and modern. Travelers will even have an opportunity to ride a camel, dress in traditional Bedouin robes and sand surf.
A free Dubai informational sessions is at noon Tuesday, Oct. 16 at the Troy Chamber office, 4555 Investment Drive, Troy, (off Crooks Road, between Wattles and Long Lake Road). Answers to questions about tipping or taxis, luggage or lunches, safety, customs or restrooms will be addressed.
This event is being promoted in partnership with the Arab American and Chaldean Council. To register, call 248-641-8151 or visit www.troychamber.com/cal/




Sunday, October 7, 2012

Oakland County Business Center hosts Facebook training

Oct. 10
WATERFORD - Facebook for Business workshop series is Oct. 10, 17 and 24 at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford Township. Facebook for Business, Introduction to Social Media Marketing and using Facebook for Business is 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10. Facebook for Business (Intermediate) is 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 17. Facebook for Business Create and Launch your Facebook Campaign is 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24. The fee is $40 each per class.  For registration and information, visit www.AdvantageOakland.com/expand or call 248-858-0783.


Oct. 11
Fundamentals of Starting a Business is 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11 at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford Township. The fee is $30 person. For registration and information, visit www.AdvantageOakland.com/expand or call 248-858-0783.

Oct. 18
Fundamentals of Writing a Business Plan is 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18 at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford Township. The fee is $40 per person. For registration and information, visit www.AdvantageOakland.com/expand or call 248-858-0783.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

So you want to write a book?

Submitted by Ginny Grimsley of News and Experts

How to Get Started Marketing a Book 
By: Marsha Friedman
It’s understandable, really. People who have the passion necessary to write a book usually have just one thing on their minds: writing a book. Not marketing a book. Some may think ahead to getting it published, but, tragically, that’s where the planning often ends.
I’m not exaggerating when I say “tragically”! I talk to many people who’ve poured years of effort, money and sacrifice into their books, which wind up sitting in boxes in their garage. They never thought about how they might market their books themselves or budgeted for book promotion services.
When’s the best time to start thinking about marketing a book? Ideally, before you even sit down to begin writing. Because — and I speak from experience here — the first step will help in your writing.
Step 1: Ask yourself, “Who is my audience?”
The answer is the first piece of any marketing plan and it can also help you define what you’ll write. When I decided to write a book about public relations, I had planned to write it for businesses in general. Then I thought, “That’s too broad. Who will my audience really be?”
I decided to write for individual professionals such as doctors, lawyers and financial planners. Not only would that put a face to the people I was writing for, it would also give me the first piece of my marketing plan.
If you want to write a book and you’re a financial planner working for baby boomers chugging toward 65, you might write about planning for retirement after age 50. Another audience might be the boomers’ kids – adults who may be helping their parents. Depending on the expertise you put in the book, you might find other audiences you can target as well.
Here are the next steps to consider in planning your promotional campaign:
• What’s the best way to reach that audience? Where will you find the people you expect will be interested in your book? Will you buy advertising, look for speaking engagements, try to whip up interest from the media? You might hire a publicist or contract with your publisher to handle PR, or put together a promotional tour. You’ll definitely need a website. Will you build one yourself or hire a pro? Research the options that appeal to you and find out how effective they are in terms of meeting your goals. If you’re considering contracting with professionals to help you, get references from people who’ve had successful marketing experiences.
• How much will it cost? Some options are less expensive, others more. Look into the ones that interest you and get an idea of their price. Decide how much you can afford to spend and budget for it. Is there an organization or business that would benefit from sponsoring you? A landscape designer, for instance, might get financial help from a plant nursery or a tools manufacturer in exchange for standing behind a business or product. A chef might find an ally in a food manufacturer.
• Develop a following online. Do you have a database of people already interested in what you have to say? If not, turn to social media and start building it now. The more of a following you have, the more potential audience you’ve created for your marketing message. Big numbers will also turn heads when you try to get speaking engagements or guest spots on radio and TV talk shows. Having a following is everything. The organizations and media that book you for an interview are also hoping all those followers will either buy tickets or stop by their website.
Marketing is too important to be an afterthought, so think about it long before it’s time to get started. Yes, I understand the effort that goes into writing a book. I know it’s hard to think about anything else! But if you have invested your dreams in that baby, you probably want to share it with the world. And that takes planning.

About Marsha Friedman
Marsha Friedman is a 22-year veteran of the public relations industry. She is the CEO of EMSI Public Relations, a national firm that provides PR strategy and publicity services to corporations, entertainers, authors and professional firms. Marsha is the author of Celebritize Yourself: The 3-Step Method to Increase Your Visibility and Explode Your Business and she can also be heard weekly on her Blog Talk Radio Show, EMSI’s PR Insider every Thursday at 3 p.m.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Learn to make money preparing taxes or real estate investing


Sept. 27
The Registered Tax Return Preparer (RTRP) course is designed to help you meet the requirements set by the IRS for Paid Tax Return Preparers.
The first class is 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27 at Walsh College 41500 Gardenbrook Road Novi. The class also meets Oct. 11, Oct. 25 and Nov. 8
 To register, call or email,Tara Miceli at 248-823-1256 or tmiceli@walshcollege.edu
According to the IRS, the RTRP test will focus on the ethical responsibilities of federal tax return preparers and the completion of Form 1040 series, along with the basic related schedules and forms.
This course is exam preparation and satisfies 10 hours of continuing education under the "other federal tax law" requirement.
The Walsh Institute blended course is comprised of nine study units containing the information necessary to pass the exam delivered both on site at the Walsh Novi campus and online through the Gleim learning system. Coursework is designed to provide you with the body of knowledge required by the IRS as well as test taking tools to help you successfully pass the exam. On site classes will be conducted on these dates by Eric Skinner, Walsh Adjunct Professor and IRS Associate Area Counsel.
Tuition price is $350 and includes all materials. To register visit http://www.thewalshinstitute.com/taxprep.

Sept. 28
Investing in Real Estate is 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28. The keynote speaker is Kevin Thompson for the Q&A format presentation. It is followed by a Mini-Boot Camp. Thompson is a real estate pro who has personally bought, sold, and managed nearly 200 residential and commercial properties. Topics that will be covered include purchasing, inspections, financing, managing, selling, flipping and more.The event is free, bring your own lunch.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Automation Alley to host awards gala

The Automation Alley 12th Annual Awards Gala is 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28 at GM Heritage Center in Sterling Heights. The Awards Gala honors technology organizations and their leaders. Pure Michigan is the premier sponsor this year.
Automation Alley has named the finalists for the awards gala with the winners to be announced at the gala.
The Member of the Year finalists are: Rochelle A. Black, Oakland University; Rick Darter, Rave Computer and Laura Oliveto, Basso Design Group.
The Educational Program of the Year finalists are: Blackstone LaunchPad (Walsh College/Wayne State University); Fifth Core World Language and Culture Program (Oxford Community Schools) and Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine.
The Entrepreneur of the Year finalists are: Gary Abusamra, Oxus America; James F. Eliason, Ph.D., MitoStem and Jake Sigal, Livio Radio.
The Global Trader of the Year finalists are: Dan Kocks, Global Impact Group, MFG; Hortensia Albertini and Lisette Poletes, Global LT, Ltd. and Eli Oklejas, Fluid Equipment Development Co.
The Technology Company of the Year finalists are: Billhighway; GalaxE.Solutions Inc. and Pratt & Miller Engineering and Fabrication, Inc. Tickets are $175 for members and $200 for non-members. To purchase tickets and for more information, call 800-427-5100 or visit www.automationalley.com/

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Business events planned

Sept. 17
Attorney Lisa Schmidt, owner of Ferndale-based Schmidt Law Services, is offering a four-part monthly series of lectures starting in September at the Ferndale Public Library, 222 East 9 Mile Road.
Schmidt, a specialist in Civil Rights, Family, and Criminal Law, will present 45-minute lectures and 15-minute Q & A sessions called “Straight Talk” at monthly workshops starting at 7 p.m. The first is Straight Talk on Free Speech, Monday, Sept. 17; Straight Talk on Freedom of Religion is Oct. 15; Straight Talk on Search and Seizure Laws is Nov. 19 and Straight Talk on Miranda Rights is Dec. 17.
For more information, call Lisa J. Schmidt at 248-764-8584 or visit www.schmidtlawservices.com/.

Sept. 18
The Waterford Area Chamber of Commerce hosts a Ca$h Mob at ACO Hardware, 5070 Highland Road at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18. For information, visit www.waterfordchamber.org/.

Sept. 19
The Waterford Area Chamber of Commerce hosts Life is a Balancing Act featuring Karen Phelps is 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19 at Overtyme's Fireside Lounge, 4724 Dixie Hwy. Waterford Township. Lunch is included. The cost is $18 for members and $25 for non-members. www.waterfordchamber.org/.

Sept. 20
ALSP’s Eastern Chapter is 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20 at Kelly Services headquarters, 999 West Big Beaver Road in Troy. Nonmembers pay $20 for admission. Lunch will be provided by Kelly Law Registry. Register at alsponline.site-ym.com/general/register_member_type.asp/. For more information, call 248-952-0539 or alfassy@kellylawregistry.com.

Sept. 20
FastTrac GrowthVenture is 6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 20 through Nov. 29, excluding Nov. 22 at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford Township. For pre-registration and more information, visit www.AdvantageOakland.com/expand/ or call 248-858-0783. FastTrac GrowthVenture is an intensive, 10-week program designed for owners, CEO's and top management team members of small businesses with at least two years of operating experience, minimum of two employees (W2s), and annual revenue of between $100,000 and $749,000. The program is normally $700 per participant, but is reduced to $140 due to sponsor support.

Sept. 21
Women's Business Certification (WBE) Orientation is 9 to 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 21 at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford Township. For pre-registration and more information, visit www.AdvantageOakland.com/expand/ or call 248-858-0783. Women's Business Enterprise (WBE) certificationenefits include certification to private sector WBE's and access to procurement opportunities with major national companies. For more information visit miceed.org. The fee is $25.

Sept. 21
Doing Business in the Middle East
In partnership with the U.S. Commercial Service, U.S. Small Business Administration, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, American Arab Chamber of Commerce, U.S.-Qatar Business Council and Michigan State University, Automation Alley is hosting a conference, "Doing Business in Qatar and United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.): Tiger Economies of the Middle East." The meeting is 8 to 11:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 21 at Automation Alley Headquarters, 2675 Bellingham, Troy.
This event will focus on the opportunities and challenges of doing business in Qatar and the U.A.E.
The Automation Alley reports that Qatar's dynamic economy has tripled in size since 2005, and Qatar has transformed into the world's wealthiest country, with a GDP per capita of $109,000. Last year, Qatar had the world's second-fastest growing economy, with 18.8 percent GDP growth. Today, Qatar is aggressively channeling its energy wealth toward creating a more diversified economy. The U.S. is Qatar's second-leading importing country.
The cost is $20 for members in advance and $30 at the door. Non-members pay $40 in advance and $50 at the door. For more information and to register, call 800-427-5100 or email info@automationalley.com.

Sept. 27
Fundamentals of Writing a Business Plan is 9 a.m. to noon, Thursday, Sept. 27 at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford Township. For pre-registration and more information, visit www.AdvantageOakland.com/expand/ or call 248-858-0783. Workshop participants discover the elements commonly found in effective plans and develop these for their own business. The fee is $40.

Sept. 27
QuickBooks Essentials is a two-session workshop: 9 to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 to 3 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27 at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford Township. For pre-registration and more information, visit www.AdvantageOakland.com/expand/ or call 248-858-0783. This introduction to small business financial management provides an overview of accurate recordkeeping, report interpretation and utilization, and management of the variety of tools provided in this system. The cost is $40 for one session and $75.

Sept. 27
Leaders from three sectors share insights on how to harness the power of talent to create a high- performance organization at the Auburn Hills Chamber’s next Talent Townhall Luncheon. Speakers from Plante Moran, the City of Auburn Hills and Bayer Science Materials will educate the business community, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27 at the Crown Plaza in Auburn Hills.
Talent Townhall high-performance subject experts include: Jeff Antaya, Chief Marketing Officer of Plante Moran, a company winning Fortune Magazine’s “Best Places to Work” year after year; Pete Auger, City Manager of City of Auburn Hills, a progressive municipality recognized for its innovative service model; and Bruce Benda, Vice President of Bayer Material Science, a 100+ year old science and research company known for its strong corporate culture.
Admission is $32 for members and $40 for non-members. Corporate tables are available and include signage and recognition.  Pre-registration is required through www.auburnhillschamber.com/. For information call 248-853-7862 or email info@auburnhillschamber.com.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Workshops aid business startups

SCORE workshops help small businesses get started
In a four-part workshop series for small businesses and entrepreneurs, Detroit SCORE Chapter 18 presents “The Business Plan” series for September.
All workshops start at 8:45 a.m. and end at noon at the Southfield Parks & Recreation facility, 26000 Evergreen Road, second floor, Southfield.
Business Plan 101: Creating Your Business Plan(s)” will be Sept. 5. This provides the necessary first steps in the organization and research needed for the entrepreneur’s unique business opportunity.
Business Plan 102: Marketing, Promotion and Sales” will be Sept. 13. The program uses the “four C’s” approach for creating a successful marketing plan.
“Business Plan 103: Business Plan Financials and Budgeting” is Sept. 19. Attendees will be introduced to Break-Even analysis and instructed in how to use SCORE’s financials template, using a case study approach to describe startup costs and the three main financial statements. Electronic versions of the template are included.
“Business Plan 104: Writing a Successful Plan” completes the series on Sept. 26. This workshop includes instructions and helpful hints on how to write a successful business plan for commercial loan or micro-loan applications, or private capital solicitation.
Visit www.detroit.score.org or call 313-226-7947 to register. The series costs $125. Veterans can get a coupon that pays for the program. Workshops also may be taken individually. Visit www.detroit.score.org for pricing and registration.

Oakland County Business Center offers workshops for entrepreneurs
Business owners and entrepreneurs who need assistance are encouraged to attend seminars offered by the Oakland County One Stop Shop Business Center. The programs take place at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford. For pre-registration and more information, visit www.AdvantageOakland.com/expand or call 248-858-0783.
Michigan Get Your Business Online is offered 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. or 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5. Michigan businesses can get free tools and resources to establish a website, find new customers and grow their businesses, with Google’s “Get Your Business Online Workshop.” Google is partnering with Intuit to provide easy-to-build websites, a customized domain name and web-hosting for one year. Participating Michigan businesses will also receive a listing on Google Maps. This workshop is free, but pre-registration is required.
Michigan Grow Your Business Online is offered 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. or 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5. Michigan-established businesses can learn more about Google’s top tools for small businesses, including Google Places, Google AdWords, Google Analytics, and Google Apps. Learn the basics of how other people find your business online, with methods like search engine optimization (SEO), web analytics and more. This workshop is free, but pre-registration is required.
Small Business Loan Workshop is 9 a.m. to noon, Thursday, Sept. 6. Getting a small business loan can be a challenging process. Learn the "5 C's of Credit," how to develop a winning loan proposal and what you need to know to position your business to be "bankable" before you meet with a lender. Presented by The Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Oakland County One Stop Shop Business Center. The cost is $20.
Oakland County Venture Forward is 8:30 to 11:30 a.m., Sept. 7 - Nov. 16. An 11-week program designed for owners, CEOs and top management team members of businesses with at least two years of operating experience, 6 to 99 full time employees (W2s) and between $750K to $50 million in annual revenue. Venture Forward is normally $800 per participant, but due to sponsor support is is reduced to $299.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Job fair is Thursday in Dearborn

A “Hired In Detroit” Job Fair sponsored by JobFairGiant.com is 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30 at the Doubletree Hotel-Dearborn, 5801 Southfield Service Drive, Dearborn. Participating employers will hire in the following industries: Engineering, Manufacturing, Sales, Finance, Customer Service, Management, Retail, Information Technology, Machining, Restaurant, Medical and many other great industries. The Hired In Detroit job fair is held to promote hiring in Michigan over 50 companies are ready to interview and hire candidates for over 750 positions. For more information, visit www.JobFairGiant.com

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Cold calls: Not just for sales

Cold calls, or calling strangers, is daunting whether it be to apply for a job or to sell a product or conduct a survey.
Everybody that gets telemarketer calls knows how aggravating it is to get calls from someone who wants them to buy or do something.
So when you're the caller, how do you approach it?
First, know your audience.
If you're calling for a job, use Google to find out about the company.
If you are calling all homeowners, think about how you would use the product at your house.
It may sound corny, but write a short script, and memorize it. Then keep it in front of you, along with notes with responses for typical questions they may ask. 
Start out by stating your name, company and why you're calling. Say it slow enough so that they at least can process the reason you're calling.
Don't ask questions they can say no to, easily, like "May I take a moment of your time?" 
You don't need to ask, "How are you today?'"
Try to keep the script in memory, but be ready for interruptions. 
Remember to step outside of what you want and think about what they may want and how you can help.
Ask for action, or direction if they are not the right person. Then you can say something like, "Thank you for your time, good-bye."


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Retailers: 7 hard truths about customers

Submitted by Dottie DeHart, DeHart & Company Public Relations, DeHartandcompany.com/

Every retailer spends a good portion of his day trying to figure out how best to serve his customers. But frankly, customers and their motivations can throw even the best retailers for a loop. Retail expert Chip Averwater lays out a few customer truths that retailers don’t want to admit. —“The customer is always right” is a mantra that business owners hear over and over again. Of course, anyone who has ever worked in retail knows this way of thinking doesn’t always hold water. In fact, sometimes customers are just plain wrong. They misunderstand products, what a store can do, how business is done, what pricing is realistic, and so on. But, says retail expert and author Chip Averwater, if you don’t want your retail store to join the estimated 95 percent of failed ventures, you’d better figure out quickly that even when the customer is wrong, he’s right.

1. Retail doesn’t get rave reviews. Sometimes the truth hurts. Take this one, for example: Most shoppers agree that the typical retail experience isn’t good. Many say they hate to shop—stores are crowded, parking is distant, help is rarely available, lines are long, salespeople don’t know the products…the list goes on. So considering the army of talented businesspeople focused on it, why can’t retail rate better satisfaction? “One theory is that consumers experience retailing almost daily and become highly discriminating in their standards,” shares Averwater.
2. Be-backs don’t come back. “I’ll be back later to purchase this!” When a rookie hears these words, he congratulates himself on a future sale. But a more experienced retailer knows that a sale has just walked out the door, probably for good. According to Averwater, “I’ll be back” is something customers say to extricate themselves from the situation without disappointing the salesperson. Even those customers who believe they’ll come back seldom do; they get distracted, lose their motivation, find other options, or simply procrastinate.“When a customer says she’ll be back or asks for a card, you should ask if you’ve shown her the correct product, answered her questions, and provided enough information,” Averwater recommends. “If she answers yes, she’ll typically say she just needs to think about it, which translates as, ‘I’m not convinced that this is the right product or best price.’ If the customer is receptive to further discussion, keep asking questions and providing information. And if she is finished with the conversation, offer to send her some literature, collect some additional information for her, or call her if the product goes on sale. With persistence, maybe you’ll convince your be-back to come back.”
3. Happy customers come and go; unhappy customers accumulate. Except for the (possible) small percentage of loyal die-hard customers you might have, your happy customers aren’t necessarily customers for life. The truth is, satisfied customers might do business with you again since you’ve proven yourself to be a trustworthy source, but you’re still only one of many. However, dissatisfied customers have longer memories and look for opportunities to warn others away. They’re expensive enemies to have “I’ve learned that it’s usually worthwhile to actively look for unhappy customers, open a dialog, and try to make up with them,” Averwater shares. “Often, a little attention turns them into equally vocal advocates. And wouldn’t you rather have one of those instead of a critic?”
4. Complaints are signs our customers want us to do better. No retailer likes to receive complaints, so it’s tempting to write them off as flukes or as feedback from people who are just determined to be unhappy. But here’s the cold, hard truth: When a customer complains, it often means many others feel the same way but don’t bother to tell us—instead they take their business elsewhere. Consequently, one complaint represents an opportunity to improve service to all of your customers.“You should welcome those few customers who take the initiative to tell you what needs improvement,” Averwater urges.
5. Low prices won’t excuse poor service. Whether consciously or subconsciously, most shoppers recognize the realities of price/service trade-offs—they can have low prices or they can have good service, but not both. After all, great service in retailing isn’t a secret formula—it’s mostly a matter of the quantity and quality of a retailer’s employees.“I think we can all agree that every retailer would improve service by hiring more and better people…if price competition didn’t constrain expenses,” points out Averwater. “But since we don’t live in a perfect world, retailers must find a balance between service and price that appeals to customers. Sometimes a cheaper price with lower service works out, but often it leads to disappointment and dissatisfaction. So here’s the bottom line: Never believe the rationalization that poor service doesn’t matter if your prices are low enough.”
6. “Take it back where you bought it” alienates customers. Occasionally, you’ll encounter a customer who asks for help with a product he purchased elsewhere. Especially if “elsewhere” happens to be a troublesome competitor, it’s tempting to rub the customer’s “mistake” in: “Why don’t you take it back to them?” “Don’t they know how to operate it?” “Can’t they fix it?” “Now you see why their price is lower.” “In this situation, accept that the previous deal is done,” advises Averwater. “At issue now is who gets the next one. Realize that the customer is coming to you because he is unhappy with the competitor’s transaction. Do we really want to send him—as well as his money and possible future patronage—back?”
7. You don’t see your competitors’ happy customers. Inevitably, you’ll encounter a customer who comes to you because she is dissatisfied with the competition. At this point, you’ll be tempted to assume that this customer is representative of everyone who does business with your competitor. However, Averwater reminds us that the complaints we hear about our competition aren’t a balanced picture. Only their dissatisfied customers come see you; their satisfied customers have bought, are happy, and have no reason to be in your store.

About the Author:
Chip Averwater is a third generation retailer and chairman of Amro Music Stores in Memphis, TN. He has been a featured speaker on retailing in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Australia. He is the author of Retail Truths: The Unconventional Wisdom of Retailing (ABB Press, 2012, ISBN: 978-0-9839790-7-4, $19.95).

For more information, visit www.retailtruths.com.


About the Book:
Retail Truths: The Unconventional Wisdom of Retailing (ABB Press, 2012, ISBN: 978-0-9839790-7-4, $19.95) is available at bookstores nationwide and all major online booksellers.


Monday, August 13, 2012

Business events

To post your events on The Oakland Press website, visit http://www.theoaklandpress.com/calendar/

Aug. 16
The Madison Heights Chamber of Commerce is hosting a ribbon cutting at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 16 ribbon cutting for Sushi Gallery, 1449 W. 14 Mile Road, Madison Heights, on 14 Mile between Stephenson Hwy and North Campbell Road. The restaurant, which opened recently, serves sushi and traditional Korean dishes such as Korean Barbecue. For more information, call the restaurant at 248-291-5987.

Aug. 16
Fundamentals of Writing a Business Plan, 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 16 at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford Township. For small business owners who are developing their plan for success. The fee is $40. For registration, visit www.AdvantageOakland.com or call 248-858-0783.

Aug. 16
Wayne State University’s School of Business Administration will host a panel discussion, 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 16, at MotorCity Casino Hotel for industry professionals interested in learning about key pricing challenges facing businesses. As part of the 14th Annual Pricing Conference, four senior business executives with deep pricing expertise will share their knowledge in this special breakout session of the academic conference.
For more information, visit media.wayne.edu/2012/08/01/wayne-state-school-of-business-to-host.

Aug. 16
The Aug. 16 monthly meeting of Community Organization Resource Exchange, (C.O.R.E.) will be held 8 to 9:30 a.m. at the Rochester Hills Public Library located at 500 Olde Town, in downtown Rochester. Featured speaker, Donna Murray- Brown serves as Senior Director, Capacity Building and Director of Metro Detroit Partnership of Michigan Nonprofit Association. Call 248-656-3558 for reservations.

Aug. 21
The Business Performance 2.0 Series meets the third Tuesday of each month to discuss topics related to business ownership. The next seminar is “Creating a Healthy, High Performing Team” presented by Sue Emery of Emery Benefit Solutions LLC and Driving Organizations to Excellence with Metrics Presented by Spencer Silk of Franklin CIO Services. It is 4 to 6 p.m., Aug, 21 at the Birmingham Tower, 280 N. Old Woodward, LL Conference Room, Birmingham. Register at bizimpteam.com/events or call 248-641-8400.

Aug. 23
Shereena Monique Osai, a personal shopper and fashion stylist, teaches about professional dress, 7 to 8:30 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 23. The class is at the Community House, 380 South Bates Street, Birmingham. Osai holds a fashion design degree from Wayne State University and has several years experience working at Saks Fifth Avenue. The cost for the workshop is $34. To register, contact 248-644-5832 or visit www.tchserves.org.

Aug. 23
“Reaching for the Clouds: What Every Small Business Should Consider” seminar will be held 8:30 to 11 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 23 at Automation Alley Headquarters, 2675 Bellingham, Troy. Companies that have successfully moved to the cloud will provide insights, and an experienced panel will be present to answer your questions. Cost for registered members is $20; at the door $30; Registered non-members is $40; at the door $50. For information, contact the Automation Alley Resource Center at 800-427-5100 or visit www.automationalley.com.

Aug. 25
Coventry Creations 2355 Wolcott, Ferndale's own candle factory is celebrating 20 years in business from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25 with an open house, a ribbon-cutting ceremony, workshops, a candle making craft table and shopping. For information, call 248-545-8360 or visit www.coventrycreations.com.

Aug. 30
A “Hired In Detroit” Job Fair sponsored by JobFairGiant.com is 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30 at the Doubletree Hotel-Dearborn, 5801 Southfield Service Drive, Dearborn. Participating employers will hire in the following industries: Engineering, Manufacturing, Sales, Finance, Customer Service, Management, Retail, Information Technology, Machining, Restaurant, Medical and many other great industries. The Hired In Detroit job fair is held to promote hiring in Michigan over 50 companies are ready to interview and hire candidates for over 750 positions. Businesses interested in registering for job fair should contact Diane Wells at 734-956-4550. For more information, visit www.JobFairGiant.com.

Aug. 30
Elise BeautiFULL is introducing its new national spokesperson, celebrity and actress Lonette McKee who was featured in the original film, "Sparkle." McKee joins Elise BeautiFULL for the introduction of its cosmetic line, eb Cosmetic Thursday, Aug. 30 at 336 South Main, Rochester.
The event features jazz musician David Myles. VIP guests can enter at 6 p.m. for signature drink toasts, photos and a VIP meet and great with McKee. VIP Guests will also have the first look at the Silent Auction. General admission begins at 7 p.m. featuring a strolling dinner, cash bar, live entertainment and silent auction. The event will also include raffle prizes, give-aways and swag bags for the first 100 guests. VIP Sweet Ending is at 10 p.m. Tickets are $75 for general admission and $140 for VIP Access. For reservations and sponsorships, contact Elise BeautiFULL at 248-652-8511.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Business events for this week

Aug. 7
Automation Alley hosts “speed networking” with “hyper-speed” networking, opening with registration at 8:30 a.m. The event is 9 to 11 a.m. at Automation Alley, 2675 Bellingham, Troy. Chuck Gifford, president of Local Business Network will lead the session. Sponsorship opportunities are available for this event series. The cost is $20 for members and $40 for nonmembers in advance. Register at www.automationalley.com or 800-427-5100.

Aug. 7, 9
Steve Case, of Financial Independence of Bloomfield Hills is offering two free seminars for Ford Motor Company Retirees faced with a decision to take or not to take the buyout. The first seminar is 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug, 7 at the Westin Hotel in Southfield and the second is 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 9 at the Community House in Birmingham. Case, a financial planner for more than 25 years, said this decision can make the difference between a comfortable retirement and one where the money simply runs out. To join the seminars, register at www.fordpensionadvice.com or call 248-282-9902.

Aug. 8
 Bright Side Dental is hosting its second annual Royal Oak Women’s Night Out, 6-9 p.m. Wednesday Aug. 8, at BlackFinn American Saloon, on South Main Street in downtown Royal Oak. All proceeds go towards the Royal Oak Neighborhood Schools Fundraiser to benefit the Royal Oak PTA. from With a donation at the door, guests are offered a chance to network while being pampered with chair massages by Healthier You Massage, mini makeup applications by About Face Salon & Spa, a Satin Hands treatment by Mary Kay, mini manicures and hairstyles by Douglas J. Aveda Salon and free spinal scans by Van Every Chiropractic. Each vendor will also provide a generous gift basket to be raffled off at the event. For information, contact Pam Lenning of Bright Side Dental at 248-629-2986.

Aug. 8
The Community House (TCH) will continue its monthly Bulletproof Your Success Business Lectures, presented by Camille Jayne, President and CEO of TCH. The lectures offer tools and processes that business people can start using immediately to help “bulletproof” their personal business effectiveness. 
The next lecture, “If the Devil is in the Details, You Had Better Know Which Ones” Success Business Cluster: No Fail Business Planning is Aug. 8 at The Community House, 380 South Bates Street, Birmingham. The fee per lecture is $35, add $10 for lunch. For more information and to register, visit www.tchbulletproof.org.

Aug. 8
The Oakland County One Stop Shop Business Center is hosting CEED Microloan Orientation, 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 8 at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford Township. The orientation is presented by Oakland County and the Center for Empowerment & Economic Development (C.E.E.D.) This workshop is free, but registration is required, visit www.AdvantageOakland.com or call 248-858-0783.

Aug. 8
The Oakland County One Stop Shop Business Center is hosting Twitter for Business (Beginner) is 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 8 at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford Township. The class covers how to create a Twitter account and profile, choose the best user name, learn Twitter lingo, how to protect a brand, and more. The fee is $40. Those who attend this session are able to sign up for Twitter for Business (Intermediate), 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 15 and Twitter for Business (Advanced), 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 22. The fee for each class is $40. Register at www.AdvantageOakland.com or call 248-858-0783.

Aug. 9
The Real Estate Investors Association of Oakland is hosting a workshop on buying financial notes secured by real estate at a discount and re-selling the note for a profit, is 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 9 at Club Venetian, John R Road, Madison Heights. Seminar is free to members and $20 for nonmembers. Call 800-747-6742 or visit www.REIAofOakland.com.

Aug. 9
The Oakland County One Stop Shop Business Center is hosting FastTrac GrowthVenture, Aug. 9 through Oct. 11 (10 sessions). Classes are 6 to 9 p.m. at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford Township.
FastTrac GrowthVenture is an intensive, 10-week program designed for owners, CEO's and top management team members of small businesses with at least two years of operating experience, minimum of two employees, and annual revenue of between $100,000 and $749,000.
For registration, visit www.AdvantageOakland.com or call 248-858-0783. FastTrac GrowthVenture is normally $700 per participant. Sponsor support allows us to offer a scholarship-reduced rate of $140.

Aug. 9
The Oakland County One Stop Shop Business Center is hosting Team SBA Financing Roundtable,  9 a.m. to noon, Aug. 9 at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford Township.
This session is best suited to those with good credit, a solid business idea and money to invest in their business. The session will demystify small business financing and the lending process. This workshop is free, but registration is required, visit www.AdvantageOakland.com or call 248-858-0783.

Aug. 9
The Oakland County One Stop Shop Business Center is hosting Fundamentals of Starting a Business, 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 9 at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford Township. Participants examine their entrepreneurial skills, learn how to implement their ideas and receive a list of pitfalls to avoid when starting a business. The fee is $30. For registration, visit www.AdvantageOakland.com or call 248-858-0783.

Aug. 9
Real Estate Investors Association of Oakland is hosting a “Flipping Notes” seminar from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 9 at Club Venetian, John R Rd. in Madison Heights. Seminar free to members; $20.00 nonmembers. Attendants will learn the process of buying financial Notes secured by Real Estate at a discount and re-selling the note for a higher price for a profit. Call 800-747-6742 or visit www.REIAofOakland.com.

Aug. 13
The Rochester Rotary Club’s annual joint-charity golf outing with Oakland University Center for Autism Research Education & Support is Monday, Aug. 13. It is 18 holes of golf at Oakland University’s R&S Sharf Golf course. All hole sponsors will benefit the Oakland University Center for Autism Research, Education, & Support, along with Rochester Rotary Charities. Registration and the driving range will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. The shotgun start will begin at 1 p.m. Tickets are $160 and includes 18-holes of golf with a cart, box lunch, dinner and one drink ticket. Hole sponsorships are $200 and include entry into a drawing for a Oakland University’s Katke-Cousins Golf Course, an $850 value. For more information, contact Rhonda Panczyk at RotaryGolfOuting@gmail.com.

Aug. 13
Morels restaurant is hosting a summer wine dinner featuring Black Star Farms’ wines at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 13. Chefs John Breeland and Jayme Asmar along with Sommelier Diana Smalley will team up to provide guests with a six-course meal, each course paired with a Black Star Farms wine. Lee Lutes, Black Star Farm’s winemaker will be in attendance. The Summer Wine Dinner costs $75 per person with wine package and $45 person without wine, not including tax and gratuity. Reservations can be made by calling Morels at 248-254-3840.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Farmers markets offer more than produce

Farmers Markets are a great place to buy fresh produce and find new food products. Entrepreneurs will often start out marketing food products at the markets. Some merchants sell at several markets on different days of the week. In Oakland County, there is a farmers markets on every day of the week except Monday. Most markets are held once a week. Here is a complete list of Oakland County markets.

Auburn Hills Farmers Market, 3308 Auburn Road, behind Duffy’s, open 3-7:30 p.m. Thursdays, June 7 through end of season, 248-504-8102, auburnhills.org/farmersmarket/

Birmingham Farmers Market, 660 N. Old Woodward Ave., Parking Lot No. 6 N. Old Woodward Ave., north of Harmon, open 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Sundays, May 6- Oct. 28, 248-530-1200, enjoybirmingham.com/event-birmingham-farmers-market-2/

Clarkston Farmers Market, 6558 Waldon Road, in the front lot of the Renaissance High School/Community Education building in Clarkston. Open 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturdays, June 23 through Oct. 13, 248-821-4769, clarkstonfarmersmarket.org/

Clawson Farmers Market, Clawson City Park, open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays, July 29 - Sept. 30, 248-435-6500, clawsonfarmersmarket.info/

Farmington Farmers and Artisans Market, at Walter E. Sundquist Pavilion, 33113 Grand River Ave., at Grove St., open 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays, May 5- Nov. 17, 248-473-7276 ext. 13,
downtownfarmington.org/Downtown-Events/Whats-Happening/Farmers-Artisans-Market/

Lake Orion Farmers Market Downtown, S. Anderson St., two blocks south of Flint Street and one block east of Broadway, near Children’s Park. open 2-6 p.m. Wednesdays, June 6- Aug. 29, 248-693-9742, www.lakeorionfarmersmarket.com/

Lathrup Village, 27400 Southfield Road, Lathrup Village, open 2 to 7 p.m., Wednesdays, open June 6 through end of season, lathrupvillage.org/index.aspx?NID=241/

Lyon Township Farmers Market, 56808 Grand River Avenue New Hudson, open 12:30 to 6:30 p.m. Fridays, June 1-Oct. 12 .lyontwp.org/news_detail.php?NewsID=135/

Milford Farmers Market, on East Liberty Street between S. Main St. and Union St. open 3-8 p.m., Thursdays, May 10 through end of season, 248-496-7056, www.milfordfarmersmarket.org/ 

Northville, Northville Downs Track, 7 Mile and Sheldon, open 8  a.m. to 2 p.m., Thursdays, May 3-Oct. 25, 248-349-7640, www.northville.org/Events_Calendar/Content/Farmers_Market/

Novi Farmers Market, at Fuerst Park, corner of 10 Mile Road and Taft, Novi, open 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Saturdays, June 9 to Oct. 20, 248-504-8102, www.novifarmersmarket.com/

Oakland County Farmers Market, 2350 Pontiac Lake Road, Waterford Township. open 6:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, May to December and Saturdays year-round.

Orion Farmers Market at Canterbury Village on Joslyn Road north of I-75, open 2-7 p.m. Tuesdays, beginning June 14 and 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays, beginning May 7 through end of season. orionfarmersmarket.com/

Orion Farmers Market at Howarth United Methodist Church, 550 East Silverbell, east of M-24, Orion Township, open 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays, June to October. Visit orionfarmersmarket.com/

Ortonville’s Beets, Beats and Eats, Crossman Park, downtown Ortonville, open 6-9 p.m.,Fridays, June 15- Aug. 31, 248-240-0907, www.downtownortonville.org/bbe/

Oxford Mill Street Farmers' Market, at the crossroads of Burdick and Mill Street, open 3 to 7 p.m. Thursdays, June through October, 248-770-8587, oxfordfarmersmarket.org/

Rochester Farmers Market, E. Third and Water St., open 8 a.m.- 1 p.m. Saturdays, May 5- Oct. 27, 248-656-0060, downtownrochestermi.com/events/farmers-market/

Beaumont Hospital Royal Oak Farmers Market, 3601 W. 13 Mile Road, Royal Oak, open 8 a.m.- 2 p.m. Thursdays through Oct. 7, 248-898-3031, www.beaumont.edu/nutrition-services-farmers-market/

Royal Oak Farmers Market, 316 E. 11 Mile, open 7 a.m.-1 p.m. Fridays, May to December and Saturdays, year-round. 248-246-3276, http://www.ci.royal-oak.mi.us/portal/community-links/farmers-market

South Lyon Farmers Market, at Pontiac Trail and Liberty St., South Lyon, open 2-7 p.m. Wednesdays, May 23-Oct. 10, 248-437-1735, www.southlyonmi.org/

Springfield Farmers Market, 1200 Davisburg Road, Davisburg, open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sundays, June 17 through the end of season, 248-846-6558, springfieldfarmersmarket.wordpress.com/

Walled Lake Farmers Market, 1499 E. W. Maple, Walled Lake, open 7 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesdays, May through October, 248-624-4847, local-farmers-markets.com/market/2527/walled-lake/walled-lake-farmers-market

White Lake, 1500 Bogie Lake Road 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, whitelakefarmersmarket.weebly.com/

Wixom Farmers Market, 49399 Pontiac Trail, Wixom, 3-7 p.m. Thursdays, May 24- Oct. 4, 248-624-2850, wixomparksandrec.com/Default.aspx?id=11

Monday, July 30, 2012

Business events

July 31
The “Hired In Michigan” Career Expo sponsored by JobFairGiant.com and Sion Recruitment., is 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, July 31 at Radisson Hotel, 39475 Woodward Ave., Bloomfield Hills.
Participating employers will hire in the following industries: Engineering, Manufacturing, Sales, Finance, Customer Service, Management, Retail, Information Technology, Machining, Restaurant, Medical and many other great industries.
Businesses interested in registering for the career expo should contact Maria Westwood, Director, JobFairGiant.com at westwood@jobfairgiant.com or 734-956-4550.

July 31
The Oakland County Business Center is hosting Legal & Financial Basics for Small Business, 9 a.m. to noon, Tuesday, July 31 at the Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road, Waterford Township. The workshop is free, but registration is required at www.oakgov.com/peds/calendar or call 248-858-0783.

Aug. 1
The Oakland County One Stop Shop Business Center is hosting Fundamentals of Marketing Your Business, 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 1 at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford Township. For registration, visit www.AdvantageOakland.com or call 248-858-0783.
It is presented by Oakland County and The Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center. The fee is $40.

Aug. 2
The Oakland County One Stop Shop Business Center is hosting Business Research: Feasibility to Expansion, 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 2 at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford Township. For registration, visit www.AdvantageOakland.com or call 248-858-0783. It is presented by Oakland County Market Research and an Oakland County Public Library business reference librarian. This workshop is free, but registration is required.

Aug. 3
Starting Aug. 3, all residents of Michigan looking for a little food and fun to kick off the weekend will have the opportunity to do so at the Oakland County Business Association’s sponsored event, Fun First Fridays. The event, held at the Atrium of Novi, will take place on the first Friday of each month, noon to 6 p.m. for the remainder of this year. Proceeds will benefit Michigan individuals who are disabled. The event includes an open house in which local businesses from Novi, Wixom and Farmington Hills can set up booths and interact with members of the community by passing out promotional items or food samples. In addition, there will be a variety of activities, arts and crafts, entertainment and events to participate in including Adopt-a-Pet, the Atrium Farmer’s Market, a talent show, face painting and bowling. Those interested in attending or being an exhibitor, should visit FunFirstFridays.com, email FunFirstFridays@gmail.com or call 248-396-0396.

Aug. 6
Band of Angels is partnering with Joe Bologna, overseer of Joe Bologna Restaurants, for the Joe Bologna 12th Annual Golf Outing for Down Syndrome on Monday, August 6 at Greystone Golf Club 67500 Mound Road, Washington. Proceeds will help children and adults with Down syndrome and other cognitive challenges. The $150 per golfer fee includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, golf and 3 hour open bar along with an auction. Tickets also available for just dinner and drinks for $60 each. For information, call 586-752-7030.

Aug. 7
The Farmington/Farmington Hills Optimist Club 22nd annual Orrie Donley Golf Outing begins with registration at 8 a.m. and shotgun start at 9 a.m. Aug. 7 at Farmington Hills Golf Club, 37777 Eleven Mile Court, Farmington Hills. The proceeds benefit youth programs in Farmington and Farmington Hills. A golf package is $100 and includes 18 holes of golf, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Hole sponsorships are available starting at $100. Prize donations are sought. Register at www.f2hoptimists.org or call Corey Bartsch, Farmington Hills Fire Chief at 248-871-2800.

Aug. 8
The Community House (TCH) will continue its monthly Bulletproof Your Success Business Lectures, presented by Camille Jayne, President and CEO of TCH. The lectures offer tools and processes that business people can start using immediately to help “bulletproof” their personal business effectiveness.
The next lecture, “If the Devil is in the Details, You Had Better Know Which Ones” Success Business Cluster: No Fail Business Planning is Aug. 8 at The Community House, 380 South Bates Street, Birmingham. The fee per lecture is $35, add $10 for lunch. For more information and to register, visit www.tchbulletproof.org.

Aug. 8
The Oakland County One Stop Shop Business Center is hosting  CEED Microloan Orientation, 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 8 at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford Township.
The orientation is presented by Oakland County and the Center for Empowerment & Economic Development (C.E.E.D.) This workshop is free, but registration is required, visit www.AdvantageOakland.com or call 248-858-0783.

Aug. 8
The Oakland County One Stop Shop Business Center is hosting  Twitter for Business (Beginner) is 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 8 at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford Township. The class covers how to create a Twitter account and profile, choose the best user name, learn Twitter lingo, how to protect a brand, and more. The fee is $40. Those who attend this session are able to sign up for Twitter for Business (Intermediate), 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 15 and Twitter for Business (Advanced), 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 22. The fee for each class is $40. Register at www.AdvantageOakland.com or call 248-858-0783.

Aug. 9
The Real Estate Investors Assoc. of Oakland is hosting a workshop on buying financial notes secured by real estate at a discount and re-selling the note for a profit, is 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 9 at Club Venetian, John R Road, Madison Heights. Seminar is free to members and $20 for nonmembers. Call 800-747-6742 or visit www.REIAofOakland.com.

Aug. 9
The Oakland County One Stop Shop Business Center is hosting
FastTrac GrowthVenture is Aug. 9 through Oct. 11 (10 sessions). Classes are 6 to 9 p.m. at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford Township.
FastTrac GrowthVenture is an intensive, 10-week program designed for owners, CEO's and top management team members of small businesses with at least two years of operating experience, minimum of two employees, and annual revenue of between $100,000 and $749,000.
For registration, visit www.AdvantageOakland.com or call 248-858-0783. FastTrac GrowthVenture is normally $700 per participant. Sponsor support allows us to offer a scholarship-reduced rate of $140.

Aug. 9
The Oakland County One Stop Shop Business Center is hosting  Team SBA Financing Roundtable,  9 a.m. to noon, Aug. 9 at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford Township.
This session is best suited to those with good credit, a solid business idea and money to invest in their business. The session will demystify small business financing and the lending process. This workshop is free, but registration is required, visit www.AdvantageOakland.com or call 248-858-0783.

Aug. 9
The Oakland County One Stop Shop Business Center is hosting  Fundamentals of Starting a Business, 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 9 at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford Township. Participants examine their entrepreneurial skills, learn how to implement their ideas and receive a list of pitfalls to avoid when starting a business. The fee is $30. For registration, visit www.AdvantageOakland.com or call 248-858-0783.