Onondaga Biz Wiz

Life-Long Learning Business Education Opportunities

Expanding the topics of educational offerings has become a priority for the SBDC

Meeting the information needs of our clients is paramount to the SBDC mission. Therefore, expanding the topics of our educational offerings has become a priority at our regional Onondaga office.

We’ll be offering new fee-based workshops starting this month including “Attorney/Accountant,” “Quickbooks 101” and “Intro to Business Start-up Lunch & Learn.”

Aside from our in-house workshop offerings, there is a whole universe of other resources available. If you’re into lifelong learning, take a look at some resources that are currently accessible online and elsewhere so you can learn wherever you are.

One of the most comprehensive and popular online tools is Lynda.com, which provides a video library of courses taught by recognized industry experts in business, software, technology and creative skills. Lynda can be accessed for free through the Onondaga County Public Library with a library membership card; or by other individual, corporate, academic and government subscription channels. A few courses to look at include an interview style-source “On Entrepreneurship” with Guy Kawasaki, learning about working with public data sets through “Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development,” and “Marketing Research Fundamentals” with Cheryl Ladd, President of the Ladd Research Group.

Jessica Posner, media arts professor at Syracuse University, stated that she uses modules on topics such as Photoshop and Adobe Premiere (video editing) with her freshman media arts students. “With the support of the tutorials, they quickly become confident and skilled — sometimes even eclipsing my knowledge of the programs,” Posner said. “I highly recommend this resource for anyone looking to build their digital skills.”

Are you in the market for a general business plan course that will result in a finished written plan? Try the Entreskills online software by the NYS Small Business Development Center. Entreskills provides web-based curriculum on basic entrepreneurial concepts, alongside a question and answer format that populates a business plan document. You can learn and create concurrently, which is good for those who are creating a business plan for the first time.

For a learning opportunity interspersed with in-person networking, check out 1 Million Cups, a weekly entrepreneurship showcase and “therapy session” at Syracuse Co-Works, which bills itself as an “an experiential learning opportunity.” Here you can listen to other business owners and operators discuss their business model and their needs, and join in the group conversation every Wednesday at 9 a.m. at the Co-Works space on Jefferson Street downtown.

Lastly, one would be remiss to not check out the site of our sponsoring organization, the Small Business Administration. SBA.gov contains a wealth of informational articles, as well as a series of video tutorials in the Learning Center.

Many of these are available free of charge, being subsidized either by advertising, memberships or public tax funds. Before, during or after your experiences with these online resources, a one-on-one follow-up appointment with an SBDC Advisor may be a good thing to discuss what you learned and strategize about how to turn that knowledge into a functioning business plan. Our counseling appointments are free and 100 percent confidential for any small business entrepreneur to take your learning to the next level.

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