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, July 31, 2013

Vegan food truck rolling out sliders

A vegan food truck is hitting the streets to serve up vegan sliders, shakes and fries. Shimmy Shack’s official launch will be Aug. 3 at the Farmington Farmers & Artisans Market.
While other food trucks in the area offer vegetarian options, this truck offers a 100-percent vegan menu. Also, everything on the menu is gluten-free or has a gluten-free option.
Shimmy Shack’s menu includes three cooked sliders – black bean and rice burger with guacamole, a falafel burger with garlic sauce and a classic American cheese (lentil) burger – as well as a raw vegan Rueben, a delicious walnut burger on onion bread with thousand island dressing and sauerkraut. The truck also will serve up regular and sweet potato fries with special sauces and three types of vegan shakes – chocolate, strawberry and the Shimmy Original.
The eye-catching truck and the menu aren’t the only “green” things about Shimmy Shack. The truck also can be run on biodiesel fuel created from the used fryer oil. For more information, find Shimmy Shack on Facebook at or call 321-EATVEG-0 (321-328-8340).
The Farmington Farmers & Artisans Market is open 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays through Nov. 9. The market is usually located in George F. Riley Park, at Grand River Avenue at Grove Street but due to construction, the market has been relocated to a temporary location on Orchard St. at Farmington Road, behind Fitness 19. Enter off Farmington Road.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Minimum wage hasn't had a raise in 4 years

As of July 24, the federal minimum wage has not seen an increase in four years, since it was set at $7.25 an hour in 2009. The last time Michigan raised its minimum wage of $7.40 an hour was in 2008, which is higher than the federal minimum.
Business for a Fair Minimum Wage supported the last increase in the federal minimum wage and is pushing for another.
The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 would gradually raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 over three years and then provide for annual adjustments for inflation. If the minimum wage had kept pace with the cost of living since reaching its highest value in 1968, it would be an inflation-adjusted $10.74 today.
Business for a Fair Minimum Wage will be launching a sign-on statement July 24 for business people supporting an increase in the federal minimum wage.
Business for a Fair Minimum Wage is a national network of business owners and executives who believe a fair minimum wage makes good business sense. For more information, visit

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Oakland County offers training and tips for small business

WATERFORD TWP. — The Oakland County Business Center offers workshops for business owners and entrepreneurs at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford Township. For registration, visit or call 248-858-0783.
Legal & Financial Basics for Small Business is 9 a.m. to noon July 30. This workshop is free, registration is required.
Marketing Your Business is 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 7. The cost is $40 per person.
This course presents practical applications of marketing concepts designed to help small businesses grow.
Team SBA Financing Roundtable is 9:30 a.m. to noon, Thursday, Aug. 8. It is a free loan orientation conducted by a business banker, a business consultant from the SBAs network of Small Business Development Centers, and an SBA representative.
CEED Microloan Orientation is 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 14. The workshop is free.
Starting a Business workshop is 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 14. The cost is $30.
Business Research: Feasibility to Expansion is 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 8 at Novi Public Library, 45255 W. 10 Mile Road, Novi. This is for startups or existing small businesses looking to research their business idea or business plan. The workshop is free.
 Venture Forward 10-Week Series is 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 at least $100,000/year. The series is held, 9 a.m. to noon, Fridays, Aug. 9-Oct. 11. The cost is $140.
Financial Management Basics is 9 a.m. to noon, Thursday, Aug. 15. The cost is $40. This workshop covers the basics of financial management including how to start an accounting system and how to apply the information to manage a business.
Writing a Business Plan is 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 21. The cost is $40.
Health Care Reform and Small Business is 9 a.m. to noon, Thursday, Aug. 22. The workshop is free.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Upcoming events geared to help businesses succeed

July 23 -Take business to next level
NOVI — Farmington Hills-based MI Biz Forward, LLC will host a workshop session with a panel of experts to provide entrepreneurs with education and assistance to support and take their business to the next level. The seminar will be held at On The Border Mexican Restaurant, 21091 Haggerty Road in Novi at 6 p.m. Tuesday July 23. The cost for this session is $30 and includes a meal, Q & A session, and two open networking opportunities. “With the Michigan Biz Forward Workshop series, our presenting panel of experts will offer practical advice and assistance to support the entrepreneur’s needs to take their business to the next level, whether it is a start up or a five-year operation,” said Andrea Lee, Ph.D., C.C., one of the founders of MI Biz Forward and founder of Authentic Integrity Coaching.
To register, call 248-880-8336 or visit

July 25 - Speed networking
ROYAL OAK — CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women) Detroit is hosting a CREW + You speed networking event for local professionals at the new Hamlin Corner in Royal Oak, Thursday, July 25. CREW Detroit Member and Dale Carnegie Instructor Alicia Buisst will guide members and nonmembers through fast-paced networking over hors d’oeuvres and cocktails. CREW members who register are encouraged to bring a guest at no extra charge. The cost to attend is $40 for members and $45 for nonmembers. Both men and women are invited. The event begins at 5 p.m. with registration, followed by an introduction to CREW Detroit and an explanation of the format. Speed networking will run from 5:30-7:30 p.m. The event ends at 8 p.m., but post-event networking is always encouraged. Hamlin Corner is located at 386 N. Main Street in Royal Oak. Free parking is available off of University Ave. Register at

July 25 - Walk-In Business Start-Up Thursdays Free Business Counseling
WATERFORD TWP. — Every Thursday, the Oakland County Business Center offers Walk-In Start-Up Thursdays Free Business Counseling, 9:30 a.m. to noon and 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford Township.

July 30 - Small business legal and financial workshop
WATERFORD TWP. — The Oakland County Business Center also offers workshops for business owners and entrepreneurs. Legal & Financial Basics for Small Business is 9 a.m. to noon July 30. This workshop is free, registration is required at or call 248-858-0783. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Book: Make Difficult People Disappear

I laughed at the title of this book, "Make Difficult People Disappear," by Monica Wofford. I thought it might have a literal solution, but that was not the case. It is a story told from a manager's perspective and how she came to realize that she was part of the reason she encountered so many difficult people. Sometimes it's all about perspective and being able to understand where the other person is "coming from" and what their needs are. Not all employees are motivated by the same things and they don't approach their jobs in the same way.
The book is a sales spiel for the CORE Multidimensional Awareness Profile and the CORE Snapshot, registered trademarks of NaviCore International. The author, Monica Wofford is a facilitator and coach for the program.
The book is based on group coaching sessions at a fictional company. It discusses the CORE principal and how people are dominant in one of four personality categories: Commander, Organizer, Relater or Entertainer. People always have characteristics of more than one category and sometimes develop traits of a category to match the work they do. Usually a person has a dominant trait that reflects in their role on the job.
For more information, visit www.MakeDifficultPeopleDisappear,com.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Creative Breakthroughs to host job fair

Troy-based Creative Breakthroughs, Inc., an industry leader in network security and IT advisory services with a nationwide reach, has experienced significant growth in recent months and is looking to hire 50 new employees in 2013, which will nearly double the size of the company. To help address several immediate needs, CBI is hosting a two-day open interview career fair at their headquarters in Troy for a variety of positions, including sales, administration, project management, IT consulting and engineering. Interviews will take place in 30-minute increments from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Tuesday, July 16 and Thursday, July 18 at the company, 2075 W. Big Beaver Road, Suite 700 in Troy. To register, visit .

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Inventors' Council to meet July 11

Inventors’ Council of Mid-Michigan Monthly Meeting is 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, July 11 at Walli’s, 1341 S. Center Road, Burton. This monthly meeting to help inventors pursue their dreams of bringing new and innovative products to market includes networking time, guest speaker and time for members to showcase new products. For information, visit

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Workshop to discuss difference between influence and persuasion

Don Zavis Sales Training, in partnership with Northwood University will present the "Pro Series," a collection of interactive workshops discussing sales negotiation skills. A workshop is planned, 8 to 9:30 a.m. Friday, July 19 at Northwood University, 1500 West Big Beaver, Suite 103, Troy.
Topics covered include the difference between influence and persuasion, the principles of influence, how to be prepared for any issue, the top five best probing questions and how to create a win-win situation.
Admission is $25 at the door, cash or check. For more information, visit Call 248-497-5869 or email to register.