SCORE Select - Attend Low-Cost Workshops and Free Seminars for Useful, Practical Small Business Information on a Variety of Important Business Topics

Visit Fairfield County Score on Facebook!   Visit Fairfield County Score on LinkedIn!  

2014 Season
Our free or low cost workshops and seminars provide useful, practical small business information on a variety of topics important to your business. We have a great many workshops and the schedule is always being updated so come back to our website for details.
Topics include the following and many others:
Business planning
eCommerce and Social Media
Financing a new business
Are you ready to be an entrepreneur
Networking
Becoming an Independent Consultant
Selling Skills
Buy/Sell a business
Etc.

Click to Download Summary Schedule

Simple Steps for Starting Your Business (New Cycle)
Norwalk Public Library      1 Belden Ave.      Norwalk, CT 06850
Workshop times -6:00 pm - 8:30pm

If you have any questions please contact SCORE Fairfield County at 203-831-0065 or by email at: score.fairfieldcounty@gmail.com
Want to start a business but do not know where to start? This workshop series, conducted by a team of professionals from the SCORE Norwalk Chapter, will give you the boost to get you on your way!
Tuesday, January 13 - Self-Assessment/Business Plan
Tuesday, January 20 - Marketing Strategy & Research
Tuesday, January 27 - Marketing Execution
Tuesday, February 3- Financial Reporting & Planning
Tuesday, February 10 - Funding Sources/Conversation with Entrepreneurs

Seating is limited. Registration is required.

Participants will receive a Certificate of Completion at the end of the program.
2014 SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY
The Norwalk Inn & Conference Center   99 East Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06851
All sessions will be 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm (with a break midway)
LEARN HOW TO START AND SUSTAIN YOUR OWN BUSINESS WITH THIS FREE PROGRAM, ADDRESSING TOPICS ESSENTIAL TO RUNNING A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS - PRESENTED BY EXPERIENCED PROFESSIONALS.

Sessions are a week apart on consecutive Tuesdays:

Tuesday, September 30:   "Kickoff" - Inspiration and valuable wisdom from kickoff speaker, Jim Cain
Tuesday, October 7: "Having a Plan" - Learn the elements of a realistic and effective business plan
Tuesday, October 14: "Getting the Money" - Realize various ways and means of acquiring financing
Tuesday, October 21: "Planning for a Profit" - Find out the basics of financials, taxes and insurance
Tuesday, October 28: "Employing Technology" - Discover how technology can strengthen your business
Tuesday, November 4: "Spreading the Word" - Learn about marketing, advertising and communications
Tuesday, November 11: "Keeping Customers" - Understanding the importance of sales, customer service and discover great resources and reference materials for business
Tuesday, November 18: Graduation Reception - Certifications are presented to program graduates
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW   about Patent, Trademark, Copyright and Trade Secret Law
Fairfield Library,   1080 Old Post Road    Fairfield, CT 06824
Tuesday, October 21, 2014       7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Check In at 6:30 p.m.
Intellectual Property is the foundation of many successful businesses, and it is important to develop a strategy early on. Proper protection of IP can increase valuation when searching for investors and can protect your position in the market. The workshop will provide an introduction to:
• Trademarks
• Copyrights
• Patents
• Trade Secrets
Business Law 101- What You Need To Know… Second Workshop in SCORE Legal Series
Norwalk City Hall  125 East Avenue, Norwalk, CT   06851
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm | check-in starts at 5:30 pm
Business Legal issues confront entrepreneurs at all stages of the business life cycle from inception to exit.   This workshop offers historical, practical and timely topics relevant to business owners, managers, executives and investors. You will learn about:
• Court System and Alternative Dispute Resolution
• Contract Law as it pertains to business issues
• Law of agency in contractor, partner and employee relationships
• Business related torts including negligence, product liability and defamation
• Compliance with tax, employment, and regulatory environment
2015 Technology Planning
Rowayton Library          33 Highland Avenue,            Norwalk, CT 06853
Thursday, October 23, 2014
7:30 am - 8:30 am
The only constant when it comes to technology is that there is constant change.   Keeping current with technology changes and trends is time consuming and robs businesses of precious time they need to be directing to servicing their clients and growing their companies.

October is business planning season and technology needs to be planned and budgeted for.   Attend this workshop and get the information you need to create the technology sections for your 2015 business plan and budget.

• Key sections of the technology section of your business plan
• Key cost items that should be included in your technology budget
• Solutions, services and vendors recommended for small/mid sized companies
• What to look for when selecting a technology vendor
Internet Marketing for Small Business: Making Email Marketing Work
Westport Public Library         20 Jesup Rd, Westport CT 06880
Tuesday, October 28, 2014            6:00pm to 8:00pm      
Registration & Networking 5:30pm
This workshop will demonstrate how to make email marketing the single most cost-effective marketing tool for the small business owner. Communicating with prospects and customers regularly helps small businesses stay connected and generate increased referrals, repeat sales, and unwavering customer loyalty. The presentation is packed with specific, step-by-step information and includes an interactive Q&A session.
You will learn:
• How easy it is to create and send professional-looking email newsletters and promotions
• How to create and build a strong permission-based customer list
• How to craft emails that will be opened, read and acted upon
• How to measure results to sharpen email marketing programs as they go along
Getting Government to Work for Your Small Business
Ferguson Library 96 Broad Street, Stamford, CT 06901
Thursday, October 30, 2014 12:00noon – 2:00pm
Registration Starts at 11:30am
Learn Which Loan, Grant or Strategic Service
May Help!

Participating Agencies Presenting:

The Ferguson Library
Fairfield County SCORE
Office of the Mayor of The City of Stamford
Small Business Administration Loan Program
CT Department of Economic & Community Development
Connecticut Innovations (SBIR) Grant Programs
CT Procurement and Technical Assistance Program
Department of Commerce - Export Assistance
CT Small Business Development Center
Bring your Brown Bag Lunch
Ferguson Library will Provide Coffee and Cookies
How to Succeed at Sales:   A Guide To Sustainable Success In Direct Sales
Ferguson Library 96 Broad Street,    Stamford, CT 06901
Monday, November 3, 2014
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm | check-in starts at 5:30 pm
This workshop will reveal the tools needed to be successful at direct sales in any industry and unlock the secrets of how to manage a top-tier sales team. This class will teach you more than how to simply “make the sale.” It will cover more than how to simply "make the sale", it will help you create a strategy around long term, sustainable sales success for you and your employees.
This workshop will answer the following questions:
• What is the objective and role of a direct salesperson?
• What does a sales-cycle look like?
• What is the best way to manage a prospect base? What is CRM? What are the best practices for CRM usage?
• How should a direct salesperson be compensated?
• How can you best motivate and manage sales people?
Technology Trends that are Changing Small Business
Westport Public Library         20 Jesup Rd, Westport CT 06880
Thursday, November 6, 2014            6:00pm to 7:30pm      
Registration 5:30pm
Technology doesn’t stand still…. And neither do the people or the businesses that use it. The computer has revolutionized how and where we work. Whether you have a “bricks and mortar” storefront, or you’re a “road warrior” with mobile devices the question will ALWAYS be, “What’s next?”.
• Change – How far should your business go and when
• Mobility – Running your business when you’re out of the office
• Connectivity to Customers – What’s replacing TV, radio and print
• Document Availability – Online but what are the pitfalls
• Security – Basic requirements and how you achieve them
• Analytics – Resources for planning your next moves
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW   about Patent, Trademark, Copyright and Trade Secret Law
New Canaan Library       151 Main Street       New Canaan, 06840
Thursday, November 6, 2014       6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Check In at 5:30 p.m
Intellectual Property is the foundation of many successful businesses, and it is important to develop a strategy early on. Proper protection of IP can increase valuation when searching for investors and can protect your position in the market. The workshop will provide an introduction to:
• Trademarks
• Copyrights
• Patents
• Trade Secrets
Getting Started in Franchising
Darien Library      1441 Post Road, Darien CT 06820
Tuesday, November 11, 2014   6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.   Check In at 5:30 p.m. FREE Workshop
At this session you will gain a general understanding of franchising and the evaluation process from a franchise coach with The Entrepreneur’s Source and a panel of local franchisees who will talk about their own experiences with researching and starting their business.  Find out about:
• Franchising 101: What is it?   Why is it successful?
• The many industries and options available.
• Types of franchise ownership.
• Franchise research: Steps to take in the evaluation process.
• Are you a good candidate for franchise ownership?
• Funding options/Leveraging professional resources.
• Learn from the experiences of local franchise owners.
Branding for Small Business
Stamford Innovation Center   175 Atlantic Street, Stamford, CT 06901
Wednesday, November 12, 2014               6:00 – 8:00 pm             Registration at 5:30 pm
FEES:   $20 at the door; $15 pre-registration
What is a brand? Is it your logo? The colors and type on your signs? It is all of these, but much more. Branding is one of the least understood aspects of marketing, yet it is the core value that informs every other aspect of your marketing efforts, from appearance to messaging to content.

This workshop will help de-mystify branding and show you how to create, revive or rescue your small business brand identity and use it as the core value of your internet marketing road map that will guide your website, content marketing, email marketing, social media, blog, direct marketing, networking and advertising efforts.
You will learn:
• How to identify underlying brand values in other businesses and your own.
• Examples of excellence and examples of dismal branding efforts.
• How to create brands that reinforce your marketing message.
• What is on-message and what is off-message in branding.
LinkedIn Tips for Entrepreneurs and Job-Seekers with America’s LinkedIn Lady Carol McManus
Fairfield Library    1080 Old Post Road Fairfield, CT 06824
Thursday, November 13, 2014 7:00pm to 8:30pm      
Registration 6:30pm
In today’s world of social media, the conversation always goes to Facebook and Twitter – both valuable and important – BUT, you may be missing the most powerful tool if you are not active on LinkedIn. This is your best professional network platform whether you are trying to grow your own business or looking for your next opportunity.   You will learn:
• The essentials of a powerful profile
• Tips on how to grow your connections
• Secrets on getting warm introductions
• Do’s and Don’ts of group participation

In just a few minutes a day on LinkedIn, you can explode the results you are getting and solidify long-lasting professional relationships that will benefit you throughout your career.
Optimize Your Income Tax and Financial Strategies for This Year and Next
Harry Bennett Library, 115 Vine Road, Stamford, CT 06905
Saturday, November 15, 2014
10:15 AM – 12:15 PM                   Registration at 10:00 AM
Our expert speaker, Scott Herckis, is back again by popular demand.   This interactive workshop will allow small business people to consider Income tax strategies before calendar year end and to review business financial strategies
You will learn:
• Tax opportunities you can take advantage of now.
• New tax rules for 2015 and beyond.
• Maximizing cash flow for businesses.
• Record-keeping policies for your business.
Run Your Business Smarter: The Art Of Lowering Costs + Keeping Customers Happy
Ferguson Library 96 Broad Street, Stamford, CT 06901
Monday, November 17, 2014               6:00 pm - 8:00 pm | check-in starts at 5:30 pm
Reducing costs is a very effective way of improving your cash flow–better than higher sales or increasing your price. This workshop will cover how to uncover problems of cost and inefficiency and will review some tools to solve them.   You will learn:
• 5 Useful Concepts and Principles in managing your business
• How to look for and define important operational weaknesses
• Examples or typical operational problems and tools to fix them
• How to best measure and improve customer satisfaction
Grow Your Business with LinkedIn
Weston Library 56 Norfield Road, Weston, CT 06883
November 18, 2014
6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.    Check In at 5:30 p.m.
LiniedIn is the largest and fastest growing professional social networking platform. Join us to learn how LinkedIn can become a powerful tool to help grow your business. In this workshop you will:
• Learn the key points of a customer-friendly personal profile.
• Discover how to connect with and meet new prospects and customers.
• Find out how LinkedIn can increase recommendations and referrals and how to manage prospect lists.
• Hear about the power and influence a LinkedIn Company Page can have on your sales and marketing.
Preparing for Business Disruption and Disaster
Norwalk City Hall             125 East Avenue         Norwalk, CT 06851
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
12:00 noon – 2:00pm | check-in starts at 11:30 am
Every business is at risk daily from systems down to major natural disruptions: the fire next door, the tree bringing down the power lines to another Sandy.
You will learn:
• How to assess your Risks as a Business
• How to identify your business critical functions
• How to evaluate and reduce your risk to suppliers
• How to handle your key data and communications
• The essentials of insurance for business disruption
• The Emergency services available – if needed
You will leave with a user-friendly 10 page work book - digitally accessible for interactive planning.
Prepare for Business Disruption and Disaster Recovery Snowmageddon and Other Hazards
Westport Public Library         20 Jesup Rd, Westport CT 06880
Tuesday, December 2, 2014 12:00 noon – 2:00pm | check-in starts at 11:30 am
Bring your own Brown Bag lunch
Every business is at risk daily from systems down to major natural disruptions: the fire next door, the tree bringing down the power lines to another Sandy.   You will learn:
• How to assess your Risks as a Business
• How to identify your business critical functions
• How to evaluate and reduce your risk to suppliers
• How to handle your key data and communications
• The essentials of insurance for business disruption
• The Emergency services available – if needed
You will leave with a user-friendly 10 page work book - digitally accessible for interactive planning.

Fairfield County SCORE | 111 East Ave, Norwalk CT 06850
Phone: 203 831 0065 | score.fairfieldcounty@gmail.com