Small Business Development Center
Monthly Update
February 2012
  Each month we'll keep you posted on upcoming events and current information we find will be beneficial to a small business owner.  Your input is always welcome, please let us know if you have any comments, suggestions, or concerns.

February SBDC Workshops

Smart Start Workshop

February 9 (5:30-9:00 pm) & (8:30-12:00 pm)
Get the important information you need to know before you start your business in southern Oregon. This 3-hour workshop provides the "nuts and bolts" and more to help you succeed.     



Business Plan Workshop
February 16 (6:00-9:00 pm)

This 3-hour workshop will address the question, "Why write a Business Plan?"  Topics covered include the executive summary, management, business description, services/products offered, market strategy and more.  For additional information and to register, contact the SOU Small Business Development Center at 541-552-8300.  Space is limited, advance registration is strongly advised.

5 Reasons You Have to
Work With a SBDC This Year
by Adam Hoeksema

SBA Logo


1.  It's Free - It is free to work with SBDC counselors because your tax dollars have already paid the cost.  


2.  Bankers Love SBDC - If you are looking to secure a loan, or may need a loan in the future, working with the SBDC will score you major points with the bank.  The SBDC has the resources and know-how to help you put together a strong loan application.


3.  Market Research - The SBDC has access to some very powerful market research tools.  


4.  Accountability - One of the largest benefits of working with the SBDC is a partner in your business who will keep you accountable and focused.


5.  No Ulterior Motives -  The SBDC counselors are not paid more or less if you are successful, so there is little room for them to have ill motives when providing advice.



 Click here for the full article


Additional Small Business Articles

5 Things They Didn't Teach You in Business School


Start a Business for Under $500 


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Jack at desk Welcome from the Director! 

We hope you enjoy our monthly updates. There is a lot of activity in the region as business owners seek strategies and assistance to grow their enterprises. The world is dynamic, ever changing, and challenging, and it is our mission at the SBDC to provide the tools, knowledge, and resources necessary to create a sustainable business model. The business counselors at the SBDC can guide you through a myriad of issues like business plan development, marketing, financial understanding, and general business management. For one-on-one business counseling simply make an appointment with our office by calling (541) 552-8300, or visit our website:

We welcome your comments and feedback as we strive to serve your business needs.

Best regards,  


February 9, 2012
SOREDI Industry Tour in Josephine County
8:00 am to 1:30 pm 

SOREDI's Industry Tours are one of our region's best ways to get a sneak peek at some of our most valuable and thriving, but somewhat hidden business gems. Many of the stops on our tours do business nationally, but are seldom well known locally. Get a rare personal tour from executive team members into the inner working of some of these thriving concerns. Not to mention that the bus ride is a great place for conversational networking and a great lunch is always included!

In 2010, the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) recognized SOREDI's Industry Tours with an Innovation Award, recognizing that they are a powerful way to allow the business community at large to network with one another, as well as with some of our region's largest traded sector industry leaders.

SOREDI offers these tours periodically, alternating between the metro regions of our area, also alternating between Jackson and Josephine Counties

Tour Schedule
8:00 am: Meet at Holiday Inn Express, Grants Pass, coffee and pastries will be provided
8:30 am: Tour SOTAR Whitewater in Merlin
9:45 am: Tour Duro-Last Roofing, North Valley
11:00 am: Tour Jefferson State Forest Products, Grants Pass
12:15 am: Lunch at TapRock, Grants Pass
1:30 pm: Return to Holiday Inn Express, Grants Pass

Cost includes Lunch: $25 SOREDI Members/ $40 Non-Members 

Holiday Inn Express - Grants Pass
105 NE Agness Ave
Grants Pass, OR 97526

Click here for more information and how to register
February 9, 2012
Coach Yourself to Success w/
Sandra Abell  

5:30 pm to
8:00 pm 



Partnering with a business coach can be a powerful way to define and achieve your goals.  However, if you aren't able to work with a professional coach, there are strategies you can use to create your objectives and move ahead on your own.  This presentation will look at several things you can do to Coach Yourself to Success.  


Sandra Abell, MS, LPC, ACC (and WESO member) is a business and life coach, and owner of Inside Jobs Coaching Company. She is certified by the International Coach Federation, is an author, educator, speaker and a Licensed Professional Counselor. She specializes in working with executives, business owners, professionals, entrepreneurs and people in transition.


Dinner Menu 

Regular Entree - Oven Poached Salmon Fillet w Lemon/Herb Butter 

Vegetarian Entree -  Tofu Stir-Fry 


The meal also includes:

- chef's choice salad

- hot vegetables

- chef's choice dessert

- warm rolls & butter

- coffee (regular and decaf), hot tea, and iced tea


Member - $18.00 (USD) for online registration.  

Phone reservations and payment at the door - $20.00  


Nonmember - $23.00 (USD) for online registration.  

Phone reservations and payment at the door - $25.00  


Program only - $15.00 (USD) for online registration or payment at the door.



Click here to register online or call 888-436-2338

March 10, 2012
Career Transformations:
A Day that Could Change Your Life
8:30 am to 3:30 pm

Career Transformations is a one-day event for mid-career people ready for significant career change.


Keynote Speaker: Ainoura Oussenbec 

Workforce Analyst, WorkSource Oregon Employment Department


Rogue Valley Employment Growth Potential


Get the inside scoop on growth areas for the Rogue Valley.  Arm yourself with knowledge about emerging markets, hot careers, and jobs that are in demand for your talents.


Panel Discussions

  1. Stories of Transformation - How do you begin to change your career? Assess your skills?  Can your experience and skills apply to a totally new direction?  What are the risks? Our panelists share their success stories with you. 
  2. Careers in Healthcare and Aging Services - Healthcare services face growing demand.  From a new focus on wellness and preventative  care to rapidly expanding need for in-home care providers, meaningful career opportunities abound. Hear from large and small institutions about healthcare in the Rogue Valley. 
  3. Emerging Technology Careers - What skills are needed for the technology careers of the future?  How can you prepare for jobs just starting to take shape today? Meet people in the emerging technologies sector, where future occupations and whole industries are being created now. 
  4. Employer's Perspective - You have much to offer as a mid-career person with an established set of skills.  Hear from leading employers about their mid-level employment challenges, opportunities for growth, and what they look for. 
  • Online Resources for Your Transition
  • Interviewing Skills
  • Apprenticeships
  • Resume Writing
  • Soul Search: Finding a New Direction
  • Presenting Yourself at 50+
  • Work for Yourself in Your Own Business
  • Following Your Passion in the Nonprofit Sector

Registration cost is $5. We encourage advance registration.

Registration/Check-In is at 8:30 am 


Click here to register online (click on "add to cart"). You will be asked to create a profile in order to register for the event.   


Or call 541-552-6899 to register by phone.   


Sponsored by Southern Oregon University, Rogue Community College, WorkSource Oregon Employment Department, The Job Council, AARP, and Jackson County Library Services.


Click here for more information   


5 Tips to use Pinterest to Promote Your Business

We've all been hearing a lot about Pinterest lately, so you're probably wondering whether you should take the plunge and create a profile for your company.  


Pinterest has a highly engaged audience - a reported 3.3 million users logging more than 421 million pageviews - so there's plenty of opportunity for brands to flesh out pinboards and catch pinners' eyes.


Pinterest is a visual social discovery network. You create online pinboards (like a bulletin board) for various categories, and you "pin" items to it.


Businesses beware: Pinterest etiquette clearly states that it's not a platform for self-promotion - it's not a broadcast mechanism like Twitter or Facebook - so brands need to approach the site a little differently. Here are some tips for navigating Pinterest, along with a rundown of how various companies are already using the visual social network.


1. Promote a Lifestyle

"For most consumer brands, the idea behind your brand makes sense on Pinterest."  


Since you're not supposed to blast pictures of your products on Pinterest, try to think outside the box and pin images that capture a lifestyle and/or the essence of your brand. Pinterest calls for a more holistic approach to marketing, and it can be more effective and engaging than traditional advertising because the consumers can really see how your brand fits into their lives.


On your page, you can curate as many boards as you like. Pinners can choose to follow none, a few or all of your boards, so don't be afraid to be adventurous and curate a wide array of boards - the point of Pinterest is to explore and discover new things, so eccentricity is appreciated and encouraged. If you own a hotel, post pictures of landmarks near the location, food from local restaurants and even pieces from local artists. Own a restaurant? Post pictures of the farm where the meat is raised, the appliances and gadgets used in your kitchen or anything related to the name of the restaurant - for example, Panera could have a board devoted to beautiful artisanal breads. If you're in fashion, you can pin new trends, fashion sketches, pictures of fittings and shots from runway shows.


Beyond pushing one's products, you also can use Pinterest as a way to convey your company culture - post pictures of the office, the mascot, people's cubicles, lunch breaks and office events. Fans are interested in these details, and this imagery helps to humanize the brand.


To see what some brands are already doing on Pinterest, click here to look at the full article. Perhaps they'll inspire your own boards.


2. Use It Like a Focus Group

Millions of people use Pinterest to keep track of objects they love, places they enjoy, foods they devour and things that inspire them. Therefore, you can view it as a sort of focus group.  


Look at the pinners who follow your brand - see what they're pinning and who else they're following. They're volunteering a lot of information about their interests, passions, dreams and sense of humor in a more natural way on Pinterest than they would on a survey or even on Facebook.  Use this information to your advantage to glean insights about your target consumers.


3. Crowdsource

You can ask fans to pin pictures of themselves with their favorite product of yours and tag you, and then you can easily repin those photos onto a VIP board - it'll give a shoutout to these fans and show potential customers that your current users really like using your product.  


If your company hosted an event recently, encourage people to pin and tag the photos as a sort of crowdsourced scrapbook.


4. Run Contests

Since the site is relatively new, there aren't that many case studies, but one company recently did a particularly good job harnessing the power of Pinterest. From December 14 through 21, Land's End Canvas's "Pin It To Win It" campaign asked users to create a Pin It To Win It pinboard (in the women's or men's apparel categories) and pin 10 to 20 images from the Land's End site or repin them from the Land's End Pinterest page. Once your board was complete, you were to email the URL of your pinboard to Land's End for a chance to win one of 10 $250 gift cards - this was your official "entry" for the contest. A search on Pinterest shows that there were around 200 boards created for the contest, with each containing at least 10 to 20 images, which means a lot of Land's End merchandise was injected into the Pinterest feed at no cost.


Running contests like this is a great way to expose your brand and products to a large audience, given the viral nature of these images and the engaged Pinterest audience.

5. Inspire Your Team

There are a lot of inspiring things on the web, and you can create a sort of mood board for your company, pinning things that are relevant, interesting or inspiring to you brand and your team.  


Pin logos and websites with good design, clever copywriting, images of possible team outings (bowling night or karaoke, perhaps), colors to figure out your new advertising palette or use it to brainstorm an upcoming campaign.


By browsing Pinterest, you might even see items that could inspire your company's next big idea, so keep that Pin It button handy.


Click here for the full article

Questions?  Need business advice?
The SOU SBDC is here to help you with your small business needs.

Call our office at 541-552-8300 or email