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.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Start a new business in the new year

For those who want to start the new year with a new business venture, the Oakland County One Stop Shop Business Center and SCORE Detroit offer the following workshops in January. Links to other business development resource websites are in the right column of this page.

WATERFORD TWP.
Walk-In Start-Up Thursdays
Walk-In-Start-Up Thursdays is 9:30 a.m. to noon and 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. every Thursday, non holiday. Walk In Start Up Thursdays Small Business counseling initiative is for individuals who want to launch a business but don’t know where to begin. They will receive confidential, one-on-one advice from an experienced business consultant with no appointment necessary. There is no fee. Walk-in sessions are available on a first come, first served basis and each session is limited to 15 minutes. Visit 
www.AdvantageOakland.com/businessworkshops,com or call 248-858-0783.
LATHRUP VILLAGE
Business Start-up The Essentials
This is an initial workshop hosted by SCORE Detroit for setting up a new business with "How To" information and a description of legal entities. The workshop is 8:45 am to noon, Wednesday Jan. 14 at Michigan First Credit Union, 27000 Evergreen Road, Lathrup Village. The cost is $25. Veterans may attend at no charge. For more information, visit www.detroit.score.org (Local Workshops) or call 313-226-7947.

WATERFORD TWP.
Business Research
Business Research: Feasibility to Expansion workshop is 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 14 at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road, Waterford Township. The workshop is free but registration is required at www.AdvantageOakland.com/businessworkshops,com or call 248-858-0783.

WATERFORD TWP.
CEED Small Business Loan Orientation
CEED Small Business Loan Orientation is 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 14 at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road, Waterford Township. Discover the requirements and process necessary to apply and obtain a CEED small business loan.
The workshop is free but registration is required at www.AdvantageOakland.com/businessworkshops.com or call 248-858-0783.

WATERFORD TWP.
Starting a Business
Starting a Business workshop is 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 15 at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road, Waterford Township. This workshop is designed for individuals who are at the beginning stages of starting a business. It is free but registration is required at www.AdvantageOakland.com/businessworkshops,com or call 248-858-0783.

LATHRUP VILLAGE
Business Start-up Marketing
BP 102-Business Start-up Marketing is 8:45 am to noon, Wednesday Jan. 21 at Michigan First Credit Union, 27000 Evergreen Road, Lathrup Village, The cost is $25. For more information, visit www.detroit.score.org (Local Workshops) or call 313-226-7947.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Salvation Army Stores stay up late, Dec. 31

The Salvation Army Southeast Michigan Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) is seeking year-end donations at the nonprofit’s 34 metro Detroit thrift stores. Donations will be accepted until midnight, Dec. 31 to receive a 2014 tax receipt. All donations to The Salvation Army are tax deductible.
Donations of gently used clothing, accessories, housewares, furniture and toys can be dropped off. With drive-up, drop off sites supporters don’t even need to get out of their car. Salvation Army Thrift Store representatives will be onsite to move contributions from vehicles to the stores.
Kroger and Gardner White have teamed up with the Salvation Army by offering collection sites. Kroger is collecting gently used clothing and household items donations at drop off sites in the parking lots of three locations every Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday 1-5 p.m. excluding holiday weekends. The locations are Farmington Hills, 25780 Middlebelt (near 11 mile); Troy - 31 E. Long Lake (near Livernois) and Milford - 670 Highland Rd. (near Commerce).
Gardner-White Furniture stores will be accepting donations of gently used clothes for the Salvation Army during store hours of operation, through Dec. 31. Each of the eight Gardner-White locations — Auburn Hills, Canton, Macomb Township, Southfield, Taylor, Warren and Waterford Township. This excludes all small furniture items. Gardner-White is only able to accept clothing/shoe donations on behalf of The Salvation Army.
For more information, visit www.salarmythrift.com or call 313-965-7760.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Troy chamber announces 'Best of Troy' awards

Hundreds of local business professionals are expected to gather for the Best of Troy awards luncheon. The event is 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 18 at the Somerset Inn at 2601 W. Big Beaver Road in Troy. This year’s Best of Troy winners include: Mahindra North American Technical Center, N.S. International, Piada Italian Street Food, Plex Systems, Suburban Toyota of Troy, and Troy Grand Digital Cinema 16. Best of Troy Awards are sponsored by Doreen Mayhew Insurance Group & Doreen Mayhew CPAs and Advisors.The luncheon will include a keynote address by 2014 Pulitzer Prize winner, Stephen Henderson of the Detroit Free Press, The cost to attend is $38 for Troy chamber members and $48 for non-members. To register, call 248-641-8151, email theteam@troychamber.com or visit www.troychamber.com/events.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Franklin hosting Sip Shop & Stroll, Thursday

Main Street Franklin is hosting Sip, Shop & Stroll, 5- 9 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 11. The streets of historic Franklin Village will be lined with luminaria, the shops will be adorned with holiday decor, and participating small businesses will offer sales, as well as tasty beverages and treats. Shoppers are invited to bring their own flashlights or lanterns. Fall Prevention Training Services, LLC, a new business at 26111 W 14 Mile Road, Suite 105, is holding an open house during Sip, Shop & Stroll. Visitors are invited to receive warm refreshments and a discount coupon for personal in-home balance training.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Oakland County hosting workshop to help businesses plan for expansion

Business Research: Feasibility to Expansion is 9 a.m. to noon, Wednesday, Dec. 10 at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford Township. It is presented by The One Stop Shop Business Center. This workshop is free. Register at www.AdvantageOakland.com/businessworkshops or call 248-858-0783.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Small Business Saturday reminds shoppers to keep it local



Black Friday might be more accurately called "Big Business Friday," as chain and department stores compete for shoppers, with price cuts and deals on the same products. The following day belongs to small businesses, many of which offer unique items not found in big box stores.  
The fifth annual Small Business Saturday is Nov. 29.  To help encourage more neighborhood participation, American Express partnered with national advocacy organizations to recruit Neighborhood Champions in more than 2,000 communities. The champions served as ambassadors, organizing Small Business Saturday events in their neighborhoods. Visit ShopSmall.com

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Entry deadline extended for Oakland County 40 under 40

The deadline for nominations for the Oakland County Executive's Elite 40 under 40 Class of 2015 has been extended until 5 p.m. Dec. 3. Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson started the program in 2012 to honor young professionals and thought leaders who excel in their field and have demonstrated dynamic leadership.
To submit a candidate and view information about rules and prizes, visit www.AdvantageOakland.com/Elite40. Nominees must live or work in Oakland County to be eligible. A panel of judges will review all completed applications and reduce the number to the top 40 entrants. Of that group, three candidates who scored the highest will be placed before the public for an online vote to determine the winner. The winner will introduce Patterson at his State of the County address on Feb. 5.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Walsh College hosting small business expo on Novi campus

The 2014 Small Business Conference and Expo is 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday Nov. 12 at Walsh College in Novi. The theme of this year’s event is “Celebrating Diversity with Michigan Entrepreneurs.” The event will feature 24 breakout sessions, 40 exhibitors and resources for business owners. Representatives will be on hand from the Small Business Administration, SCORE, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Michigan Women’s Foundation and Comerica Bank. The recipient of the “Lifetime Achievement Award,” John W. Barfield, will be the keynote speaker at the luncheon. This event is open to the public. Registration is $39 and includes breakfast and lunch. Register at www.semea.info or call 248-491-3146.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Consumer sentiment highest in 7 years

Consumer confidence rose to its highest level since July 2007, according to the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers.
"Consumers have been gradually regaining their economic footing in the past several months, with confidence rising to the highest level since the start of the Great Recession," said Richard Curtin, director of the surveys.
The third consecutive monthly gain, October's increase was due to improved personal finances as well as a more favorable outlook for the overall economy, according to Curtin.
Nearly six-in-ten consumers reported that the economy had recently improved, the most positive rating in more than ten years. When asked about the economic outlook for the year ahead, 45 percent expected good times financially, up from just 28 percent a year earlier.
What the survey did not find was any negative impact on confidence from the global economic slowdown, military conflicts, or Ebola. None of these issues was mentioned by more than a few respondents; instead, respondents emphasized improved wage and employment prospects due to a stronger economy. Gains in holiday spending are expected to be the best in several years, benefitting from higher confidence as well as falling gas prices at the pump.
In the September and October surveys, more households expected income gains than any time in the last six years--since September of 2008. The Sentiment Index was 86.9 in the October 2014 survey, up from 84.6 in September and 73.2 last October.
The Surveys, conducted by the U-M Institute for Social Research, monitor consumer attitudes and expectations. Each month, 500 individuals are randomly selected from the contiguous United States to participate.
For more information, visit press.sca.isr.umich.edu


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Orion Chamber hosting breakfast event featuring Elite 40 winner

Orion Chamber of Commerce is hosting a breakfast featuring guest speaker Susan Kruger, creator of SOAR Study Skills and winner of Oakland County’s Elite 40 under 40. The breakfast is 8:30-10 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 6 at Paint Creek Country Club, 2375 Stanton Road, Lake Orion. Kruger has taught thousands of students how to achieve with study skills through her international best-selling book SOAR Study Skills. She has published books, teacher’s guides, training videos, classes and audio programs, The event features a special introduction by Matthew Gibb, Deputy Oakland County Executive for Economic Development and Community Affairs and former Orion Township Supervisor. The cost is $25 each. Visit www.orionareachamber.com/

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition set for Nov. 4-6

The Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition is Tuesday-Thursday, Nov. 4-6 in Detroit. The event begins with a two-day investor pitch competition by 54 semifinalists competing for more than $1 million in cash and in-kind prizes at the Westin Book Cadillac. Businesses from as far as the United Kingdom, India and throughout the United States applied. Accelerate Michigan 2014 culminates on Nov. 6 at Orchestra Hall in Detroit where a $500,000 Grand Prize and 10 additional awards totaling $500,000 in cash and in-kind prizes will be presented. For more information and to register, visit www.acceleratemichigan.org.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Michigan Tax Conference for CPAs is Nov. 5

The Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants, in partnership with the State of Michigan Department of Treasury, State Bar of Michigan – Taxation Section and Michigan Women’s Tax Association, will host the eighth annual Michigan Tax Conference, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 5 at the Suburban Collection Showplace, 46100 Grand River Ave. in Novi. The inaugural Tax Primer Forum will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 4 for new tax professionals. A networking wine tasting will begin at 5:05 p.m.

Monday, October 27, 2014

5 chambers to host Business Success Conference

Waterford, Clarkston, Pontiac, Auburn Hills and Orion area chambers of commerce are hosting the annual Business Success Conference, 7:30 a.m. to noon, Thursday Oct. 30 at Oakland Schools, 2111 Pontiac Lake Road, Waterford Township. This year’s theme, “Marketing to the Generations” will begin with a presentation by Oakland County’s Economic Development Department of demographic and market planning analytics for five chamber areas; Auburn Hills, Clarkston, Orion, Pontiac and Waterford. Two panel discussions will follow on how to effectively utilize this information to market a business. The cost is $40 for chamber members and $55 for nonmembers.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Oakland County hosting Quality People awards breakfast

Oakland County's Quality People/Quality County (Q2) awards breakfast is Wednesday, Oct. 29. This year's honorees include Jack and Annette Aronson of the Garden Fresh Gourmet brand, Oakland County Credit Union, CEO Allan McMorris and Leadership Oakland Executive Director Chris Scharer. The Q2 awards acknowledge those who have utilized their success to improve the quality of life for others. County Executive L. Brooks Patterson has given out the annual award since his first year in office in 1993. The Q2 breakfast will begin at 8 a.m. at the Centerpoint Marriott in Pontiac. For tickets or more information, call 810-955-1957.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Oakland County Market hosting Oktoberfest, Oct. 22

The Oakland County Market is hosting “Oktoberfest - A Celebration of Local Abundance," 6-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 22 at 2350 Pontiac Lake Road, Waterford Township. The event will feature Michigan Wines and Craft Beer along with plenty of “nibbles, sips and bits” representing businesses located in Michigan and Oakland County. To register visit www.leadershipoakland.com or call 248-952-6880.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Michigan Economic Development Corp. offering export workshops

Michigan businesses are invited to explore export opportunities at five Global Trade Days export workshops taking place in Traverse City, Grand Rapids, Saginaw, Troy and Novi Oct. 13-17. The events are sponsored by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

“In today’s globally interconnected world, export sales offer extraordinary opportunities for Michigan companies to grow and create new jobs. These workshops will help Michigan companies learn how to tap into those markets and diversify their customer bases,” said Gov. Rick Snyder. “We are looking to extend export opportunities to more Michigan companies and ensure they are connected with the resources to explore new markets, access existing export resources, and increase global competitiveness.”

Attendees at Global Trade Days will learn about the State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) program, which provides direct reimbursements to eligible companies for international marketing-related activities, ranging from market research to participation fees for international trade missions. Nearly 800 Michigan companies have received assistance since MEDC launched the program with companies entering more than 75 new global markets. New export sales of more than $300 million have been reported as a result of the program.

Global Trade Days will include presentations from country market specialists from Canada, Mexico, China, Brazil, and United Arab Emirates, who will speak about doing business in those markets. These five countries are among Michigan’s top export markets.

Business owners in attendance at a workshop can also request one-on-one meetings with the country market specialists. The local Global Trade Days event dates and locations are

Troy - 8 a.m. to noon, Thursday, Oct. 16 at Management Education Center, 811 W. Square Lake Road, Troy. One-on-one meetings are 1:30 – 5 p.m. The cost is $30.

Novi - 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 17 at Suburban Collection Showplace Diamond Center, 46100 Grand River Avenue, Novi. All day pre-scheduled meetings. This event is free.

For more information and registration details, visit: www.michiganbusiness.org/grow/export-assistance/global-trade-days

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

PR and media experts to share brand building tips

The Troy Chamber of Commerce will host industry experts during its upcoming seminar “In the Public Eye.” It’s a half day seminar for businesses in Troy focused on public and media relations. The event, which will be held, 8 a.m.-noon Thursday, Oct. 23 at Altair Engineering in Troy will feature three presentations on public relations tips and tactics, followed by a media relations discussion panel. During the public relations portion of the seminar, Michael Niederquell, Founder and CEO of The Quell Group, will present “The Power of Branding: It’s More Than a Logo.” The second portion of the seminar will feature a media panel moderated by John Young, Vice President of Communications & Marketing, Oakland University. The panel will feature: Jennette Smith of Crain’s Detroit Business; Marie Osborne of WWJ Newsradio 950 CBS Radio; Al Johnson, of WJBK TV Fox 2 Detroit; and Dustin Block of the MLive Media Group. Visit www.troychamber.com or call 248-641-8151.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Taste of Auburn Hills to feature food, beverages and entertainment

Taste of Auburn Hills is 5-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct 9 at Walter P. Chrysler Museum, Auburn Hills. This is a networking event featuring more than 15 food and beverage partners and two floors of networking, cars and food stations. A portion of this year's event proceeds will support Auburn Hills' Meals on Wheels program. 
Taste of Auburn Hills partners include Alfoccino Restaurant, Applebee's, bd's Mongolian Grill, Ciccarelli's 22 Sports Bar, Costco Wholesale, Cottage Inn Pizza, Fieldstone Vista Grille & Catering, The Lafayette Market, Lelli's Restaurant, LongHorn Steakhouse, Mitchell's Fish Market, Mr. Pita, The Oasis Catering, On the Border, Paint Creek Country Club, Palm Palace, and Red Wood Grill. Beer and wine are provided by Cellar Door, Fieldstone Winery and Rochester Mills Beer Co. 
Tickets are $40 which includes two beer or wine drink tickets, or $50 at the door. To register, visit auburnhillschamber.com, call 248-853-7862 or email info@auburnhillschamber.com.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

'Marketing to the Generations' conference to show how to use data

Waterford, Clarkston, Pontiac, Auburn Hills and Orion area chambers of commerce are hosting the annual Business Success Conference, 7:30 a.m. to noon, Thursday Oct. 30 at Oakland Schools, 2111 Pontiac Lake Road, Waterford Township. This year’s theme, “Marketing to the Generations” will begin with a presentation by Oakland County’s Economic Development Department of demographic and market planning analytics for the five area chamber hosts. Two panel discussions will follow on how to effectively utilize this information to market a business. The cost is $40 for chamber members and $55 for nonmembers.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Job fairs in Oakland County set for Tuesday

Oakland County Job Expo to feature 45 employers, 500 jobs

Oakland County Job Expo is 9 a.m.-noon and 1-3 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 30 at Radisson Hotel, 39475 Woodward Ave. Bloomfield Hills. Job Fair Giant is hosting the expo with 45 local companies seeking to fill more than 500 positions. The event includes scheduled workshops on resume writing, job search techniques and more.
Job seekers may submit resumes early at www.JobFairGiant.com. Employers and applicants may call 734-956-4550 or visit www.JobFairGiant for more information

Great Lakes Crossing to host job fair with 70 stores

Great Lakes Crossing Outlets is hosting a job fair 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 30, at the Auburn Hills mall, 4000 Baldwin Road. Candidates will be able to meet with prospective employers from more than 70 stores and restaurants, with on-the-spot interviews in the shopping center’s food court. 

“We are entering into our busiest shopping season and are so excited to offer this opportunity to our stores and restaurants as well as the local communities,” said Melissa Morang, Marketing and Sponsorship Director for Great Lakes Crossing Outlets.
Great Lakes Crossing Outlets is looking to fill part-time, full-time and seasonal positions.
Available positions include sales, management, culinary specialists, stocking and inventory associates.
Participating merchants include:
Aerie Outlet, American Eagle Outfitters, Ann Taylor Factory Store, Art Van Furniture & Clearance Center, Bed, Bath & Beyond, B2 by Bachrach, Calvin Klein, Charlotte Russe, Charming Charlie, Chico’s Outlet, Claire’s, Coach Factory, Cole Haan Outlet Store, Eddie Bauer Outlet, Express Factory, Famous Footwear Outlet, Finish Line, Forever 21, Gap Outlet, G by Guess, Guess Factory, Helzberg Diamonds Outlet, J. Crew, Jos. A. Bank, Johnston & Murphy, Factory Store, Kasper Outlet, Kay Jewelers, Kenneth Cole Outlet, Lacoste Outlet, Levis Outlet, The Limited Outlet, LOFT Outlet, Lord & Taylor Outlet, Love Culture, Lucky Brand Jeans Outlet, Marshalls, Michael Kors Outlet, Movado Company Store, Nike Factory Store, Olga’s Market Fresh Grille, Osh Kosh B’gosh, Panda Express, Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Store, Saks Fifth Avenue OFF FIFTH, Sanders, Skechers Outlet, Sports Authority, Starbucks, Stride Rite Outlet, Swarovski, Sweet Loraines Fabulous Mac N’ Cheez!, Taco Bell, Teavana, Things Remembered Outlet, TJ Maxx, Tommy Hilfiger, Torrid, True Religion Brand Jeans Outlet, Van Husen Outlet and Victoria’s Secret Outlet.
For more information, visit greatlakescrossingoutlets.com/employment#retail-employment

Friday, September 19, 2014

Workshop advises how to approach lenders for a small business loan

Learn how to prepare for approaching lenders for a small business loan. SBA and banking representatives will make presentations and answer questions, 8:45 a.m. to noon Tuesday Sept. 30 at Oakland County Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road, Waterford Township. The cost is $20. Register for workshops at www.detroit.score.org or call 313-226-7947.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Rotary Club of Troy hosting Viva la Vino fundraiser

Rotary Club of Troy is hosting its third annual Viva la Vino wine tasting fundraiser, 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 20 at the St. Nicholas Cultural Center, 760 West Wattles Road, Troy. Catering will be provided by Opus One. There will be a live and silent auction to support Blessings in a Backpack for Kids, Homeless Veterans, Troy Boys and Girls Club, Scholarships, Literacy Programs and Lebanon Water Project. Tickets are $75 and can be ordered online at vivalavinotroy.com.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

6 documents needed for a solid estate plan

Submitted by Ginny Grimsley of News and Experts, www.newsandexperts.com
There is a surge of retirees – 10,000 baby boomers every day for the next 18 years, according to certified planner Larry Roby.
“Only 23 percent of pre-retirees have calculated how much they’ll need to save for retirement, according to New Retirement Landscape; while three-quarters say they’re confident... an equal amount of people haven’t even done the math yet!” says Roby, founder and president of Senior Financial Advisors, (www.sfabridge.com), a wealth-management firm.
“Confidence in your retirement portfolio is good – if it’s justified. Otherwise, it can lull people into a false sense of security and lack of preparedness.”
Having a diverse portfolio and understanding options for life insurance, Social Security and 401(k) or other retirement accounts are staples for retirement planning. But there are also six crucial documents that are often overlooked:
•  Joint Ownership -- Enables you to own property jointly with another person and upon the death of the joint tenant, the surviving joint tenant automatically becomes the owner of the property.
•  Last Will and Testament – A legal document which expresses the wishes of a person concerning the disposition of their property after death and names the person who will manage the estate.
•  Durable Power of Attorney – Grants authority to another individual to act on behalf of the person who executes the instrument and are commonly used for legal and financial purposes.
•  Durable Health Care Power of Attorney- Grants authority to another individual to make health care decisions on your behalf should you be unable to make such decisions.
•  Advance Care Directive – A set of written instructions in which a person specifies what actions should be taken for their health, if they are no longer able to make decisions due to illness or incapacity.
•  Living Trust – Created during your lifetime.  Assets are transferred to the trust while you are alive.  Provides written instructions for the disbursement of the trust assets upon your death.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Oakland Chamber Network hosting fall mixer

The Oakland Chamber Network is hosting a fall mixer for Oakland County business representatives, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 16 at 59 West, 786 W. Highland Road in Highland. The event costs $10 in advance, $15 at the door and $25 for non-chamber members. For more information, call 248-666-8600 or visit theoaklandchambernetwork.com

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Wine & Dine in the D fundraiser to feature top area restaurants

The 4th Annual Wine & Dine in the D is Thursday, Sept. 11 at the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel in Detroit to benefit Multiple Myeloma Research.
The evening will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a roundtable presentation by some of the top doctors in the field. Then, the "wining and dining" begins at 6:30 and includes specialties from some of Metro Detroit's top restaurants including 24 Grille, Joe Muer Seafood, Michael Symon's Roast, Rattlesnake Club and Vicente's Cuban Cuisine in Detroit; Forest Grill, Bistro Joe's, The Stand, Townhouse, and Bella Piatti Restaurant in Birmingham; Bigalora Wood-Fired Cucina and Eskimo Jacks Artisan Cookies & Ice Cream in Southfield; Café Cortina in Farmington Hills, Maria's Restaurant, Stage Deli and Baked Impressions in West Bloomfield; Beverly Hills Grill in Beverly Hills; Ocean Prime in Troy, Mitchell's Fish Market in Livonia, Steve & Rocky's and Big Tommy's Parthenon in Novi and Eddie Merlot's in Bloomfield Hills.
In addition, guests may sample selections from top Michigan and California wineries and craft beer from Frankenmuth Brewery and Short's Brewery.

Famed Detroit jazz artists Ursula Walker and the Buddy Budson Quintet will provide the entertainment and the event includes a silent auction. A Patron-only After-Glow Reception in the Founder's Room caps off the evening with desserts, dessert wines and cordials.

The event benefits the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation to develop treatments for multiple myeloma, an incurable blood cancer. Tickets for Wine & Dine in the D are $175 each, or $275 for a Patron ticket, which allows the purchaser to attend the After-Glow Reception as well. Visit WineAndDineintheD.com or call 248-625-0070.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Suppliers needed for Pure Michigan Business Connect's reuse opportunity

LANSING-Pure Michigan Business Connect is partnering with General Motors, the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, CXCatalysts, and the U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development to launch the Reuse Opportunity Collaboratory (ROC) initiative on Sept. 30. The event will bring together Michigan industries, institutions, small and medium sized businesses, and entrepreneurs to develop zero-waste partnerships in which one organization's waste becomes another's raw material.
"ROC Detroit is a groundbreaking effort to support sustainable manufacturing while growing Michigan's economy and creating jobs," said Michigan Economic Development Corporation President and CEO Michael A. Finney.
The ROC-Detroit launch matchmaking summit, taking place at the GM Renaissance Center, will give participating businesses the opportunity to be matched to ROC partner companies centered on procurement or partnership prospects for byproduct materials reuse. The partner companies include Aevitas Specialty Services Corporation, Alpha Resins, DOW Materials, General Motors, Marathon Petroleum, and Walker-Miller Energy. Participating suppliers may include any manufacturing-based company or waste management company interested in zero-waste production, including energy companies, manufacturers, and waste reduction and recycling businesses.
The byproduct materials needs and application information can be viewed at www.puremichiganb2b.com/b2b-web/#roc
"General Motors is enthusiastic about this partnership because we believe that waste is simply a resource out of place," said John Bradburn, GM global manager of waste reduction. "This event will create by-product synergies by repurposing one company's trash into another's primary resource."
Michigan companies interested in attending must complete the online application and identify their qualifications based on the needs listed. After each application is reviewed, invitations will be sent to companies whose intended purposes best match the available resources. Each invited company will have a private meeting to discuss potential opportunities with one of the procurement teams present at the summit.
The priority application deadline is Sept. 16. All applicants will be notified by Sept. 23 regarding participation eligibility. Applications received after the deadline will be considered if there are needs that have not been filled by the initial applicants.
Pure Michigan Business Connect is a public-private alliance of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, state agencies and major Michigan companies and organizations that connects in-state companies to business resources.

Monday, September 1, 2014

SCORE Detroit to host series for business start-ups

SCORE Detroit Business Plan Series is 8:45 to noon Monday, Sept. 8, 15 and 22. It includes 201 - Research and Sales Planning, Sept. 8; 202 - Start-up Costs and Financial Statements, Sept. 15 and  203 - Writing Your Business Plan for Funding, Sept. 22. All three workshops will be held at Michigan First Credit Union, 27000 Evergreen Road, Lathrup Village. Register at www.detroit.score.org or call 313-226-7947. The cost is $100 per person.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Entrepreneurs can succeed by not working so hard

Submitted by Ginny Grimsley of News and Experts, www.newsandexperts.com

It’s a common occurrence among the most talented people in the corporate world – highly skilled and qualified workers make the leap from valued employee to uncertain business owner.
Unfortunately, rather than becoming a master of their own business, many of these entrepreneurs work twice as much as they did in their safe corporate job, unwittingly committing themselves to becoming the lowest rung on the ladder, says Zenovia Andrews, founder and CEO of The MaxOut Group, a company devoted to empowering and teaching entrepreneurs development strategies to increase profits.
“People believe that starting a new business is supposed to mean they’ll have to work much longer hours, and that’s why most new businesses fail early,” says Andrews, author of the new book “All Systems Go – A Solid Blueprint to Build Business and Maximize Cash Flow,” (www.zenoviaandrews.com).
“Entrepreneurs need to be the brains and oversight of the operation. It’s not wise to work for your own business. Sixteen-hour days get entrepreneurs lost in the minutiae. They lose perspective and burn out.”
Business owners need distance for perspective, and the best way to create that is by knowing how to delegate duties to employees, she says.
“Owners need to be the strategic visionary who hires, trains and develops the best talent available, and then delegates work,” says Andrews, who discusses the five keys of delegation.

•  Understand that your team is made up of human beings. No one can work nonstop, so get your timing right. Know what each employee can handle, and never overwork them. Most people perform at their best when they are consistently busy but not rushed or pressured.
•  Focus on the strengths of your team. Delegation is not a dump-and-run tactic. Know your employees and how they fit into your business puzzle. Allow them to do what they do well, and give them responsibilities and authority. They’ll be happier and so will you.
•  Focus on your own strengths, then plug the holes. Few of us are great at everything! If bookkeeping’s not your thing, hire an accountant. If you don’t have marketing experience, find someone with proven skills. Trying to perform jobs that you don’t do well will require twice as much effort with less-than-satisfactory results. 
•  Be the resource king or queen. Your employees are only as good as the resources they have. Make sure that they are equipped to always do the best work for you on a daily basis. Running out of stock, not having new software and not shelling out for that desperately need printer is NOT good delegation.
•  Become the fire, ice and motivation behind your team.When they need guidance, give it to them; when they need appreciation, offer it to them. Inspire, motivate and lead by supporting your delegated decisions and following up on them often.
“Business owners need to be the big thinkers: to identify patterns both good and bad; to become an idea machine and testing fanatic; to fill out details from outlined strategy; to be aware of market trends; to always have one eye on the competition; and to develop an instinct for the people with whom you like to work,” Andrews says.

Zenovia Andrews, www.zenoviaandrews.com, is a business development strategist with extensive experience in corporate training, performance management, leadership development and sales consulting with international clients, including Pfizer, Inc. and Novartis Pharmaceuticals.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Government Contracting workshop is Thursday

Government Contracting 101 is 9 a. m. to noon Thursday, Aug. 28 at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road, Waterford Township. Presented by Alexander Masters of PTAC of Schoolcraft College. The cost is $45 per person payable at the door.Visit www.AdvantageOakland.com/businessworkshops or call 248-858-0783.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Skeet & Meat clay shooting, networking and dinner to he held in Clarkston

Skeet & Meat Clay Skeet Shooting & Networking is Thursday, Aug. 28 at Oakland County Sportsmen’s Club, 4770 Waterford Road, Clarkston. It is hosted by the Waterford Area Chamber of Commerce. Check-in for shoot: 3:30 - 6 p.m. Grill fired up 4 - 7 p.m. (great kick-off to the Labor Day Weekend). The cost is $35 for skeet shooting and dinner which includes one round (25 shots) trap or 5-stand, 1 box of shells, targets, shooting fees, shotgun rental (if needed) and steak dinner. Attendees will cook their own steak (with help on hand) plus fix-ins bar, salad, coffee and dessert. Chicken breast may be substituted. Cash bar. Dinner and networking only is $20. Visit http://www.waterfordchamber.org/event_skeet_meat.asp or call 248-666-8600.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Auburn Hills chamber hosting Lunch with Leaders

The Auburn Hills Chamber of Commerce is hosting its Lunch with Leaders event, Tuesday, Aug. 26 in Downtown Auburn Hills’ University Center, offering emerging leaders knowledge and insight on achieving success in their industry.
Strategic seating arrangements in a small group dining setting surrounded by local business leaders creates greater networking. The leaders include:
• Susan Cathcart, Vice President of Academics, Baker College Auburn Hills
• Lynn Kier, Senior Communications Manager, Delphi Automotive
• Edmond Delude, CEO, E7 Solutions
• Michelle Hornberger, Chief Strategy Officer, Crittenton Hospital Medical Center
The cost is $22 for members and $30 for non-members. It will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. For information, visit auburnhillschamber.com  call 248-853-7862 or email info@auburnhillschamber.com.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Josh Linkner to speak at Leadership Oakland breakfast

Best selling author, CEO of Detroit Venture Partners, and regional champion, Josh Linkner will kick off the Leadership Oakland Breakfast of Champions Series, 7-9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 26 at the MSU Management Education Center, 811 W. Square Lake Road, Troy. Linkner has just released his new book “The Road to Reinvention.” To register for the series or for an individual breakfast visit www.leadershipoakland.com

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Berkley Pub Crawl includes T-shirts, shuttle to the bars

The Berkley Pub Crawl is Thursday, Aug. 21 and celebrates the nightlife, restaurants and food fare of the city. Sponsored by the Berkley Area Chamber of Commerce, the Crawl will start at Amici’s Pizza and Living Room, 3249 12 Mile Road, at 5:30 p.m. and crawlers will nosh on complimentary munchies and drink specials as they stroll and shuttle to the bars. The evening ends at Blarney Stone where prizes will be awarded to crawlers. Tickets are $20 and include a T-shirt, appetizers, drink specials and shuttle. Register by Aug. 19 to receive a T-shirt. Venues also include Crispelli’s Bakery & Pizzeria, Hartfield’s Hatrick Pub, O’Mara’s Restaurant & Pub, Republica, and 24 Seconds Bar & Grill. Visitwww.berkleychamber.com/events/pub-crawl/

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Oakland Uncorked promises an evening of fine wine, food and live music

Oakland Uncorked is a wine and food tasting experience hosted in partnership by the Oakland County Market, SCAMP and the Waterford Area Chamber of Commerce. It is an evening of culture and entertainment with Miles Brown Jazz Quartet, 15-20 restaurants offering samples and local distributors will offer fine wine tasting. 7 - 10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22 at Oakland County Market, 2350 Pontiac Lake Rd, Waterford Township. The cost is $45 per person. Tickets are non-refundable. Reservations required, must be 21 or older. Register at WaterfordChamber.org or call 248-666-8600.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Downtown Northville hosting Buy Michigan Now Festival

Downtown Northville will host its 6th annual Buy Michigan Now Festival, Aug. 1-3 as part of the state’s Buy Michigan Week. This family-friendly event includes tasty treats, street vendors, live music, and children’s activities, all highlighting Michigan-based businesses and Michigan-made products. This year’s festival hours are noon to 9 p.m., Friday, Aug. 1; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday Aug. 2 and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday Aug. 3. Admission and parking are free. Main and Center streets are closed in the middle of downtown to make it easy to shop and dine, with live entertainment. The Northville Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Michigan Wine and Beer Garden. Visit www.buymichigannowfest.com/index.php/

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

College hosts Think Tank panel in Southfield for entrepreneurs

Think Tank 2014 Entrepreneur Event is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday Aug. 6 at Southfield Learning Center, 26261 Evergreen Road, Ste 135, Southfield. Visit events.detroit@phoenix.edu.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Women in Communications mixing art and communication at Epiphany Studios

Discover how art infuses communications and how communications becomes livelier with art, as four leading local artists and communications pros share their perspective at the Association for Women in Communications (AWC) - Detroit chapter summer mixer on Tuesday, Aug. 5 at Epiphany Studios in Pontiac.
Speakers include world-renowned glass blowing artist and master marketer April Wagner, owner of Epiphany Studios; Nichole Christian, writer and co-author of “Canvas Detroit;” juried fiber artist Susan Weaver Schwandt, APR, director of public relations for HAP; and Sandra Xenakis, jewelry designer and founder/director of Art Meets Business.
The artists will discuss how art feeds their business side, balances their business skills with their craft, and communicates their passion. Guests will view art in a casual setting inside Epiphany Studios on the bank of the Clinton River. The aim is to inspire members and guests to make their communications projects livelier and their lives richer through art.
A leader in the Junior Council of the Detroit Institute of Arts and glass-blower for almost 20 years, Wagner’s Epiphany Studios is one of the largest private studios of its kind in the Midwest. Her work is shown in over 300 galleries worldwide, including GM, Pfizer, The Townsend Hotel, Hyatt Maui Resort, and The Four Seasons Resorts.
Christian’s new book “Canvas Detroit,” profiles 40 artists helping to revive public art in the city of Detroit. A Detroit native, she has worked for some of the nation’s top news outlets including the Wall Street Journal, Time magazine, the New York Times, and the Detroit Free Press.
The evening will begin at 6 p.m. with networking followed by a light supper and refreshments. The program begins at 7 p.m. The cost is $25 for AWC members, $35 for nonmembers, and $15 for students.
Recommended attire is light summer layers as glass blowing furnaces are on when idle. For more information or to register, visit www.womcomdetroit.org or call (866) 385-1784.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Concours d’Elegance returns to the Inn at St. John’s

One of the unique cars on display at the show is a 1952 Muntz Jet, valued at $250,000.
The Concours d’Elegance of America is Friday to Sunday, July 25-27 at The Inn at St. John’s, 44045 Five Mile Road, Plymouth. The 36th annual event includes two days of auto-related events leading up to the Concours d’Elegance on Sunday. The Sunday event is a world-class exhibition of classic, rare automobiles from different eras along with a vintage car auction.
One of the unique cars on display at the show is a 1952 Muntz Jet, created and built by Earl “Madman” Muntz along with the Muntz TV. Kevin Adell, Word Network and WADL CEO is the owner of the car that is valued at $250,000. Only 300 Muntz Jets were built and today there are only 25 left in the world. The Muntz Jet was built with a Cadillac Motor and is capable of reaching speeds in excess of 150 mph, which was quite an accomplishment 60 years ago.
Tickets for the Sunday event, which runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., start at $25. This includes free parking, shuttle and program book.
Children 12 and under get in free with a paying adult. Special VIP passes with onsite parking are available. A portion of the proceeds benefits Yatooma’s Foundation For The Kids, with the mission to help children who have lost a parent.
Visit www.concoursusa.org.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Protect your assets in your online hereafter

Submitted by Ginny Grimsley of News and Experts of Wesley Chapel, FL

Asset Protection Lawyer Offers 3 Steps to Take Now
Now, you really can live forever, but that’s not necessarily a good thing.
Many of your online accounts – from automatic bill payments to eBay – may remain active after you pass away, unless you take steps to ensure they don’t, says attorney Hillel Presser, author of “Financial Self-Defense (Revised Edition),
www.assetprotectionattorneys.com.
Automatic bill pay, for example, can theoretically keep tapping your bank account long after you’re gone or, at least, until your money is.
“It’s important to make sure your online bank and shopping accounts, even your social media, can be closed out, or that your loved ones are authorized to access them,” Presser says. “You may ask, ‘Why would I care if I’m gone?’ I can tell you from experience: because it can create real headaches, and more heartache, for your family.”
Bank and shopping accounts will be vulnerable to identity theft, which would affect your estate if someone opens credit cards in your name. You might have valuable intellectual property, like domain names. They may need access to your health records, particularly if you died under questionable circumstances, he says.
There’s the sentimental stuff – photos and emails -- that your family may want as a remembrance of you, and the libraries of music and ebooks, which may represent a considerable investment on your part.
Presser offers these tips:

• Create a list of all of your accounts, including log-in names, passwords, and answers to any security questions. Obviously, your list will need to be securely stored. Since you’ll need to update it regularly as you add accounts or change passwords, it will be easiest if you keep the list on your computer in a password-protected folder. Some versions of Windows allow you to create protected folders, but you may need to get third-party software to do this, such as freeAxCrypt. Remember to create a backup of your list, whether it’s on a jump drive or printed out on paper. Store the backup in a secure place such as a safe deposit box. Do not put password information in your will, which is a public document.
• If you have a Google account, set up the new inactive account manager. In May 2013, Google became the first site to give users an option for choosing what becomes of their content if they should become debilitated or die. Under the profile button, click “Account,” scroll down to “Account Management,” and you’ll find instructions for “Control what happens to your account when you stop using Google.” You can select how long the account should be inactive before your plans are set into motion; choose to whom you want to offer content, such as YouTube videos, Gmail, Google+ posts, Blogger and Picasa web albums, or whether it should simply be deleted.
• Appoint a digital executor. Perhaps the simplest way to ensure your online life is taken care of is to appoint a digital executor – a tech-savvy person who will be willing and able to carry out your wishes. Authorize the person to access your inventory of log-in information and spell out what you want done with each account, whether it’s providing access to loved ones or business partners, or deleting it.
The digital world has grown and transformed so rapidly, the law hasn’t kept up, which makes managing your digital afterlife challenging, Presser says.
“Until there are more consistent laws and procedures governing this area, it’s best to plan ahead, leave clear instructions and be sure you have a list of accounts where your estate lawyer or a loved one can find it and access it,” he says. “It will make a world of difference to your survivors.”

Hillel L. Presser’s firm, The Presser Law Firm, P.A., represents individuals and businesses in establishing comprehensive asset protection plans. Presser is a graduate of Syracuse University’s School of Management and Nova Southeastern University’s law school, and serves on Nova’s President’s Advisory Council. He is a former adjunct faculty member for law at Lynn University. For more information, visit www.assetprotectionattorneys.com.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Oakland County and Schoolcraft College help local businesses pursue government contracts

Oakland County’s One Stop Shop Business Center will soon be offering free counseling services that can help businesses interested in obtaining government contracts at the local, state and federal levels.
Schoolcraft College’s Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) will open a satellite office in the One Stop Shop Business Center to counsel businesses interested in learning how to obtain government contracts for goods and services. The center is located on the first floor of the Executive Office Building, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford Township.
“Our One Stop Shop Business Center is a valuable asset for startup and second-stage businesses looking to improve their bottom line,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “Adding PTAC’s expertise to the many services we already offer makes it that much more convenient for businesses who want to learn the ins and outs of obtaining government contracts.”
A PTAC counselor will be in the center every Wednesday, meeting with scheduled clients in the morning and with walk-in clients from 1-3 p.m., said center Supervisor Greg Doyle. Morning appointments can be scheduled by calling PTAC at 734-462-4438.
PTAC was created by Congress in 1985 to expand the number of businesses capable of participating in the government marketplace. Services include: Orientation to government contracting; One-on-one counseling; Training seminars and conferences (which may require a nominal fee to attend) and State of Michigan bid notices.
PTAC also has a satellite office at Automation Alley in Troy.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Waterford Chamber hosting luncheon to discuss Proposal 1

The Waterford Area Chamber of Commerce will host a luncheon, Wednesday, July 16, at Bartelli’s, 100 S. Cass Lake Road, Waterford Township. The luncheon is intended to help business owners and citizens understand Proposal 1 which will be on Michigan ballots, Aug. 5.
The measure would “reduce the state use tax and replace (it) with a local community stabilization share of the tax for the purpose of modernizing the tax system to help small businesses grow and create jobs in Michigan,” according to the ballot language.
Jerry Grubb, Small Business Association of Michigan board member and owner of Wee Discover Child Daycare and Learning Center of Waterford along with Tricia Kinley, senior director of Tax and Regulatory Reform from the Michigan Chamber of Commerce will share the facts about this proposal.
The cost is $18, which includes lunch. RSVP required at www.waterfordchamber.org or call 248-666-8600.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

CoStaff Services and UHY to host healthcare reform seminars

Southfield-based CoStaff Services, a human resource provider and UHY LLP CPA firm will be hosting two free Health Care Reform Seminars, “How the ACA Will Impact Your Company This Year,” for employers with 50 or more employees in metro Detroit.
CoStaff Services and UHY LLP will host 90-minute seminars and webinars that will help large employers navigate through the complex issue of Health Care Reform legislation. Two dates to choose from: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 17 and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 25.

Both seminars will be held at The Skyline Club, 2000 Town Center, Suite #2800, Southfield. There is no cost to attend the event, and lunch will be provided for all seminar attendees.CoStaff will provide “Go To Meeting” Webinar login information for those who wish to access the seminar remotely. To register, contact CoStaff at humanresources@costaffservices.com or 248-671-1400. Visit www.costaffservices.com.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Recycling on the cheap

Our country was a little slow to jump on the recycling bandwagon and we may have started out with the wrong idea. Charging people to recycle is counter-effective to what is best for the environment. My waste hauler, Smith's Disposal & Recycling of Clarkston started out charging a nominal fee in addition to the regular trash fee. Now they just charge a one-time fee of $10 to new customers for recycling. At $69 for three months, I think it's a bargain to have my waste and recycling picked up from my curb every week.
But curbside recycling is limited.
With my waste hauler, there is an extra charge for items such as a dryer. However, if I put a dryer out at the curb a couple days before trash day, it is gone within a day. Presumably the scrappers, (Mad Max style), have spotted it and picked it up to sell for scrap at one of the numerous scrap recycling locations that have sprung up in the area.
I prefer to drop off my newspaper recycling at the nearby school's Abitibi Paper Retriever recycling bin. The school earns a little money and the papers stay dry. For a location near you, visit www.paperretriever.com/
Safe Harbor Recycling of Ortonville hosts recycling events in the Oakland County area. Safe Harbor provides recycling for hard-to-recycle items, (anything with a plug) and also offers free pick up for appliances.
Ace Hardware accepts alkaline batteries and CFL (compact flourescent) light bulbs.
Batteries Plus recycles batteries, light bulbs, cell phones and laptops.
Best Buy accepts electronics to recycle. They accept most TVs, monitors and projectors. They don't accept console TVs or projection screen TVs.
Radio Shack has Call2Recycle for recycling of certain batteries and electronics. It does not accept alkaline, non-rechargeable lithium or wet-cell batteries.

For more items and where to recycle, visit www.earth911.com/


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Oakland County Business Center workshops slated

Business owners and entrepreneurs are invited to attend Oakland County Business Center seminars. Unless otherwise noted, all work shops are held at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road, west of Telegraph, in Waterford Township. Visit www.AdvantageOakland.com/businessworkshops or call 248-858-0783 to register.
• Walk-In-Start-Up Thursdays is 9:30 a.m. to noon and 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. every Thursday. Walk In Start Up Thursdays Small Business counseling initiative is for individuals who want to launch a business but don’t know where to begin. They will receive confidential, one-on-one advice from an experienced business consultant with no appointment necessary. There is no fee. Walk-in sessions are available on a first come, first served basis and each session is limited to 15 minutes.
• CEED Small Business Loan Orientation is 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, July 9 at Farmington Hills City Hall Community Room, 31555 W. 11 Mile Road, Farmington Hills. The workshop covers the requirements and process necessary to apply for and obtain a Small Business Loan. (CEED is Center for Empowerment and Economic Development). This workshop is free, but registration is required.
• Break the Rules, Close More Sales is 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, July 10. A business development workshop about how to establish trust with your prospects, prospect more efficiently, shorten the sales cycle, eliminate stalls and objection, take control of the sales process, and differentiate your company. Registration is required. This workshop is $40 per person.
• Business Research: Feasibility to Expansion is 9 a.m. to noon, Wednesday, July 16. Business Research shows you ways to find your ideal customers, your competitors, perform competitive analysis and more. This workshop is free, but registration is required.
• Get a Grip on Your Business, EOS Workshop is 9 to 11 a.m. Thursday, July 17. Mike Kotsis, a professional EOS implementer, can help business leaders and teams simplify, clarify and achieve their vision. Registration is required. The cost is $40 per person.
• Legal Basics for Small Business is 9 a.m. to noon, Tuesday, July 29. The program addresses how to select the best type of legal structure for a business, how to protect business interests when dealing with customers, suppliers or independent contractors and guidelines for establishing short and long term succession plans. The cost is $20 per person, registration is preferred, but payable at the door.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

How entrepreneurs can increase profit with a hands-off approach

Submitted by Ginny Grimsley, newsandexperts.com

It’s a common occurrence in the corporate world – highly skilled and qualified workers make the leap from valued employee to uncertain business owner.
Unfortunately, rather than becoming a master of their own business, many of these entrepreneurs work twice as much as they did in their safe corporate job, unwittingly committing themselves to becoming the lowest rung on the ladder, says Zenovia Andrews, founder and CEO of The MaxOut Group, a company devoted to empowering and teaching entrepreneurs development strategies to increase profits.
“People believe that starting a new business is supposed to mean they’ll have to work much longer hours, and that’s why most new businesses fail early,” says Andrews, author of the new book “All Systems Go – A Solid Blueprint to Build Business and Maximize Cash Flow,” www.zenoviaandrews.com.
“Entrepreneurs need to be the brains and oversight of the operation. It’s not wise to work for your own business. Sixteen-hour days get entrepreneurs lost in the minutiae. The lose perspective and burn out.”
Business owners need distance for perspective, and the best way to create that is by knowing how to delegate duties to employees, she says.
“Owners need to be the strategic visionary who hires, trains and develops the best talent available, and then delegates work,” says Andrews, who discusses the five keys of delegation.

1. Understand that your team is made up of human beings. No one can work nonstop, so get your timing right. Know what each employee can handle, and never overwork them. Most people perform at their best when they are consistently busy but not rushed or pressured.

2. Focus on the strengths of your team. Delegation is not a dump-and-run tactic. Know your employees and how they fit into your business puzzle. Allow them to do what they do well, and give them responsibilities and authority. They’ll be happier and so will you.

3.  Focus on your own strengths, then plug the holes. Few of us are great at everything! If bookkeeping’s not your thing, hire an accountant. If you don’t have marketing experience, find someone with proven skills. Trying to perform jobs that you don’t do well will require twice as much effort with less-than-satisfactory results.

4. Be the resource king or queen. Your employees are only as good as the resources they have. Make sure that they are equipped to always do the best work for you on a daily basis. Running out of stock, not having new software and not shelling out for that desperately need printer is NOT good delegation.

5.  Become the fire, ice and motivation behind your team. When they need guidance, give it to them; when they need appreciation, offer it to them. Inspire, motivate and lead by supporting your delegated decisions and following up on them often.

“Business owners need to be the big thinkers: to identify patterns both good and bad; to become an idea machine and testing fanatic; to fill out details from outlined strategy; to be aware of market trends; to always have one eye on the competition; and to develop an instinct for the people with whom you like to work,” Andrews says.

About Zenovia AndrewsZenovia Andrews, www.zenoviaandrews.com, is a business development strategist with extensive experience in corporate training, performance management, leadership development and sales consulting with international clients, including Pfizer, Inc. and Novartis Pharmaceuticals. A sought-after speaker and radio/TV personality, she is the author of “All Systems Go” and “MAXOut: I Want It All.”