March 2013
Southern Oregon University
Small Business Development Center
The SOU Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provides in-depth, confidential, one-on-one guidance to businesses & prospective entrepreneurs at no fee. We can help you gather information, evaluate, plan, & create systems for your business that lead to greater profit, job creation, & job retention.

Call 541.552.8300 for more information or visit our website at:

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Jack Vitacco Happy March, Folks!!!
As we approach tax time, I'm sure our minds are on gathering documents for the tax accountant. However, I'm hoping to divert your attention for just a few minutes.

Take a look at our Monthly Update! First, I want to commend Brigitte Nickel, our Office Manager, for doing such a splendid job putting this information together every month. She's creative and has a great sense of organization, but most of all, she presents relevant information in a timely fashion. (Be sure to see her comment on taxes at the end of this update). Many thanks, Brigitte!

I will also call your attention to the Client Spotlight to learn how the SBDC may be able to assist you with your business planning and development. We are readily available.

And, finally, take a look at all that the Rogue Valley has to offer in terms of business assistance, workshops, seminars, and classes.

OK, now you can return to thinking about your taxes. Unless...perhaps you would rather stay distracted!

Client Spotlight
Dianna Moore & Donn Knokey
e-Shelf, LLC.
As a new start-up company, the SBDC helped us improve every aspect of our business, from creating a business plan, fine tuning our financials, to helping us locate the "right" market. 

It is reassuring to know that 
there are people like Russ [Kennedy] and Jack [Vitacco] giving their expert knowledge and time to a help a new business grow.  E-Shelf has changed from a concept to a profitable business with their guidance. 
No-Cost Computer & Networking Assistance!
Call our office at 541-552-8300 for available appointments!

Having computer or networking problems? Clif, an IT specialist, is volunteering time to the SOU SBDC for the purpose of helping existing, growing, and start-up businesses.   


Clif can help your business with technical issues related to computer needs, network decisions, outsourcing, decisions on internet providers, purchasing new equipment, etc.


Clif is founder and CEO of a local computer solutions provider in their 10th year of business in the Rogue Valley. Clif graduated from MIT with a degree in computer science. He has been in the computer industry for over 30 years and has worked in computer design, software development, customer service, marketing, sales, and corporate management. Clif is very active in the community doing volunteer work using his skills in technology. 

March 2013 Workshops: 

Oregon SBDC Logo
March 14, 2013
6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

March 29, 2013
9:00 AM to 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.
More information.
Rescheduled for April 4, 2013 
6:00 PM to 9:00 PM    


Are you in the process of writing your business plan? Have you put it off because you don't know where to begin? Are you wondering, "Why write a business plan?"


No matter if you are in business now or want to start a business, you'll need a Business Plan! Get the tools and guidance needed to write your Business plan in this 3-hour workshop.  More information.    

Small Business
Networking Opportunities

Ashland ChamberGreeters
Every Friday, 
8:15-9:30 am

Medford ChamberGreeters
Every Thursday, 
8:00-9:00 am

Phoenix Chamber Greeters
First Tuesday, 
8:30-9:30 am
Click here for more information. 

Talent ChamberGreeters
Third Wednesday,
8:30-9:30 am

Heart of Medford Association
Bi-Annually in May & October

Jefferson Grapevine
5:00-7:30 pm

Business XPress:
Oregon's Business Portal Business XPress
This "one stop shopping" website has everything a person needs to get started doing business in Oregon.

Click here for more information
BizCenter Dashboard
Have you accessed your dashboard on

If not, click here to learn how!
Capital Access Team
The Capital Access Team is led by highly qualified SBDC advisors who engage clients in learning about access to capital. 

International Trade
Are you looking to global markets to export or import goods and services? We resources to help you connect to and conduct business around the world.

March 22, 2013
9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Online Sales
Online Sales Techniques, is an intensive, hands-on class where you will learn the essential skills needed to sell online confidently, create raving fans, and get on top of your social media efforts.

  • Must have existing business
  • Must have a website and the capacity to edit (yourself or by a professional)
  • Strongly encouraged to have a Facebook business page
  • Strongly encouraged to be able to access your email remotely  

Registration required.  Space is limited to 18 participants. More information. 

Career Transformations
March 9, 2013 
8:30 AM to 3:15 PM 
RCC/SOU Higher Education Center  

Career Transformations is a one-day event for mid-career people ready for significant career change. Hear from people who have made successful career transitions.

        • Learn about growth areas in the Rogue Valley.
        • Explore resources for starting your own business.
        • Listen in on employers discussing mid-level hiring needs.
        • Resources for You

Talk directly with representatives from regional sources to help you assess and improve your skills, market yourself, create a business, finance your education, and much more.  This is not a commercial event; all organizations are non-profit or government providers of service here to let you know about services available to help you re-career.


Click here for more information. 

Medford Chamber Forum: Salem Update
Kate Brown; Oregon Secretary of State
March 11, 2013 
11:30 AM to 1:30 PM
Rogue Valley Country Club, Medford  

Sponsored by Hunter Communications


Click here to register (lunch included).
2013 WESO Networking Share Fair
March 14, 2013 
5:00 PM to 8:00 PM 
Red Lion Hotel, Medford

Women Entrepreneurs of Southern Oregon (WESO) hosts this special program to share what its members and other women business owners have to offer. It's also a great networking opportunity to meet local women in business.


Businesses represented will range from gifts to office support, food items, coaching, wellness products, and much more. Come explore the exhibits and find out more about this vibrant nonprofit community group.  


Prize drawings throughout the evening make this event truly exciting.



Questions? Email Joyce Loyd at or call 541.890.4043 


Click here for more information.    

Jefferson Grapevine Education:
Negotiating a Term Sheet
March 20, 2013 
3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Bigham Knoll Event Center, Jacksonville  

If you are considering private equity investing as a source of funding for your company, you won't want to miss this educational session: Negotiating a Term Sheet.

The term sheet of the Southern Oregon Angel Investment Network will specifically be discussed, for the benefit of those who have applied for their investment, but any company considering private equity funding should attend.


Cost: $10


Click here for more information.
Jefferson Grapevine:
Concept Stage Company Pitch-Off
March 20, 2013 
5:00 PM to 7:30 PM
Bigham Knoll Event Center, Jacksonville  

Spend an hour networking with business mentors, colleagues, entrepreneurs and potential investors.

Afterward, listen to Concept Companies compete for a $7500 value start-up grant. Each company will give their best pitch and YOU, the live audience, will vote for 5 that will continue on to present at the Southern Oregon Angel Conference.


Cost: $20


Click here for more information.
Rogue Nexus Uplink
March 26, 2013 
6:00 PM to 7:30 PM 
Rogue Hack Lab, Medford 

Rogue Nexus is an e-business consortium representing Jackson & Josephine Counties of Southern Oregon. Facilitated by SOREDI, the Rogue Nexus was created to identify the region as a hub for e-business, attract talent and companies to Southern Oregon, provide peer-to-peer networking and best-practices for e-business leaders, quantify the value of this industry to our region's economy and host an annual educational conference and other events.

The March UpLink will feature Mathias Rudisill of Snapshot Group, sharing information about User Experience and Interface.

Click here for more information or Click here to register.
SBA Webinars
Click on workshop title for registration information

SBA Logo

How to Plan Your Business Exit
March 1, 2013
10:00 AM PST to 11:00 AM PST
This webinar will explore how to prepare your business for financing or sale - now aren't you glad you have a current business plan? Pre-Registration Required. Cost: $10

SBA Virtual Loan Briefing
March 7, 2013
12:00 PM PST to 1:00 PM PST

SBA-backed loans are made by participating lenders and are used to fund start-up and existing service, retail construction, manufacturing businesses, and more. Cost: Free 


Attend a loan briefing to find out:

  • types of loans available, eligibility and credit requirements
  • things you need to prepare for a lender
  • lenders who have been actively doing small business loans
  • SBA resources to help you get ready
SBA Loan Clinic
March 12, 2013
9:00 AM EST to 10:00 AM EST
Do you need to borrow money for your business and aren't sure how to take the next step? Attend this free virtual loan clinic and learn about SBA's lending role and how an SBA loan can benefit your business including lender requirements for loan approval.  Cost: Free

SBA Loan Clinic
March 12, 2013
12:00 PM EST to 1:00 PM EST
See above description.

8(a) Business Development Program Information Session
March 12, 2013
10:00 AM CST to 11:00 AM CST

Join us for a webinar overview of SBA's 8(a) Business Development Program created to assist small disadvantaged businesses become competitive enterprises in the U.S. economy while obtaining business development and federal government contract assistance. You will learn about the 8(a) Business Development Program benefits, application process and additional eligibility criteria. Cost: Free 


What to Do When the Bank Says No
March 14, 2013
2:00 PM EST to 2:30 PM EST
Most small businesses rely on banks to provide the capital they need to either open a business or to finance capital improvements. But what happens when the banks say no?  There are other ways to finance all or part of your business needs.  This webinar will discuss alternatives to traditional financing including microloans and bootstrapping. Cost: Free

Improving Your Marketing Materials
March 21, 2013
2:00 PM EST to 2:30 PM EST
Don't get lost in the crowd, improve your marketing materials to make sure they deserve a second looks from your federal customers. Cost: Free
Free Webinar: Digging Deeper Into Cash Flow

This webinar will take a look at cash flow from several different modeling perspectives. We'll create a continuum approach, building from:

  • Why profitability is the biggest driver to your cash flow
  • Learn the #1 key driver to profitability
  • Once you are profitable, learn the "Four Forces of Cash Flow" to prioritize your decisions about cash.
  • And finally, how to make smart debt decisions to fund your growth

A Q&A session will follow the presentation, and all attendees will receive a free whitepaper, "Digging Deeper Into Cash Flow."


Click here to register. 

Free On-Demand Webinars
Click on workshop title for registration information

Contracting with the Government

Available until March 22
Small businesses face challenges when trying to win federal, state and local government contracts. The Small Business Development Center at MHCC can help small businesses work through these challenges. This class provides an in-depth approach to discovering and seeking contract opportunities as well as the marketing tools that may assist in selling your product or service to the government.    


Are You Bankable?

Available until March 22

Attend this On-demand seminar and get the answers to these questions: 

  • What is the current access to capital?
  • What are some sources of capital?
  • What banks are lending?
  • What are lenders really looking for?
  • What are the steps to getting a loan?
  • Am I bankable? What do I need to know?
  • What if I'm not bankable? How can I become bankable?
  • What if I get denied?

Going Into Business: Start Smart 

Available until March 22  

Learn the basics of opening a small business in the State of Oregon. How to register your business name, open a business bank account and obtain a tax ID number for your business. 


Hiring New Employees 

Available until March 22

Look at how to attract and hire quality employees. How to begin the Employee/Employer relationship off on the right foot Including proper job postings, applications, job descriptions and hiring paperwork. Learn about the differences between an Employee and Independent Contractor.   

Email is a HUGE waste of time. It's not just SPAM (which is bad enough), it's your email-happy coworkers, employees, and customers.


According to one internal study, "the average employee spends 40 percent of their working week dealing with internal emails which add no value to the business." Consider that figure. If it's anywhere close to valid, you're wasting up to two days of every workweek futzing with your email.


Here are five relatively easy and painless ways to get the email monkey off your back... so you can get some real work done.


1. Tune the settings on your email app.  

Let's start with the basics. Every email client has built-in capabilities that, when used properly, can lighten your email load.


Outlook, for example, can apply "rules" to incoming emails, sorting them into folders for future viewing, prioritizing them based upon sender, or deleting them altogether. The interface for building such rules is a bit wonky, but it's definitely worth the effort to master.


Similarly , Gmail can sort your emails based upon whom you correspond with the most.  Even the relatively lame built-in iPhone mail client provides rudimentary SPAM filtering.  Spend a little time tuning what you've got and you can save a lot of time later.


2. Learn more about your senders. 

Now we're going to get a little more fancy. It's easier to figure out which emails need attention if you know more about who sent them to you. One way is to pop out of email and search the web but that's a hassle.


What works much better is a program that trolls around the web for you and fills you in on whomever sent you the email. Applications that do this vary according to the email client.


For example, Gmail users can use an application like Rapportive while Outlook users can use applications like LinkedIn for Outlook. A word of warning: be selective in customizing Outlook because the base program is not all that stable to begin with.


3. Use your smartphone as a filter. 

Most people hook up their smartphone to their email account and end up reading (and thinking about) the incoming stream of email twice. That pretty much guarantees that you'll end up wasting time.


A more sane approach is to use an application like AwayFind. It spins through your incoming emails and when you receive an email from somebody important, sends you a text.


4. Automatically update your contacts. 

Another big time consumer with email is "processing" contact information from the important emails that you receive, like those from your customers. It's all too easy to waste two or three minutes cutting and pasting stuff into your contact manager.


Honestly, there's no reason why you should be hassling with such mind-numbingly boring clerical work. Depending on what client you're using, there are multiple applications that harvest that data for you.


I recall seeing a number of these that work with CRM systems, but recently a colleague of mine recommended WriteThatName, which works with Gmail, GoogleApps, Outlook, and Lotus Notes.


5. Outsource your mailbox management.

Finally, there's the gold standard of keeping your email out of your hair, which is letting somebody else futz with it for you. I know one small company CEO who has his wife sort his messages, leaving him to focus on his customers and suppliers.


Another approach is to hand the email management to an omnibus program, like Sanebox, which adds some layers of intelligence atop the barebones features of whatever email system you're using.


Regardless of what approach you end up using, figure on spending half a day setting up an environment that makes your email less of a time burden. Your goal should be to reduce the time you spend on email, not increase the time you spend customizing it.

Don't forget!
IRS Tax Filing Deadline: April 15




SBA Logo The Small Business Development Center is partially funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The support given by the Small Business Administration through such funding does not constitute or express an implied endorsement of any of the cosponsors; or participants' opinions, products, or services. Special arrangement for disabled individuals will be made if requested in advance.