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Carper: Do you need answers to your business questions?

Many small business owners I talk with are quick to point out the things they don’t know — spots where they need help. 

“I’m terrible at keeping my finances straight.” “I’m pretty sure my marketing efforts aren’t hitting the mark, but I don’t know how to measure them.” “I’d like to hire another employee, but I don’t have a position description and when I interview them, I don’t know what questions I can legally ask.”

If you’re a small business owner, or someone interested in starting a business, and feel like you don’t have all the answers, we have a series of classes, along with a one-on-one consulting process to help you build and grow your business. The Entrepreneurial Training Program is held one night a week for eight weeks. It covers a wide variety of topics to give you a solid foundation in all aspects of running your business. We bring together specialists in a broad array of pertinent subject areas to present relevant, timely information in their respective fields. Business consultants from the Southwest Wisconsin Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will lead the training sessions. In addition, area professionals in banking, accounting, law, marketing and other fields will share their expertise.

What will you learn during the eight-week program? 

In short, everything you need to start your business and/or grow your existing business. Some examples of potential topics are:

♦  Business Model Canvas: Develop Your Business Model

♦  Empathy Model: Get to Know Your Customer Segment

♦  Understanding Your Industry & Market

♦  Legal Issues in Small Business

♦  Marketing Basics: Web Navigation & Social Media Marketing

♦  Human Resources Management Basics & Business Operations Overview

♦  Accounting & Record-Keeping Overview

♦  Obtaining a Bank Loan & Alternative Financing

What does it cost?

Each business in the class will pay a $250 cash match toward the cost of the program, which is $1,000. We will then apply for a $750 tuition reimbursement through the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation after the business has completed specific course requirements, including the business plan. Don’t worry, you will work on your business plan during the training program, so little will be left to do by the time the eight weeks are over.

Can I bring my business partner?

Absolutely, sometimes it is best if more than one person hears the same information because we all learn differently. If your business partner would benefit from hearing the same information, we hope you would encourage her/him to attend. There are no additional costs for a person from the same business.

When are the classes and where are they held?

The class meets from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays, from Sept. 18 to Nov. 6. All sessions will be held at the Enterprise Center, 210 4th Ave., on the Blackhawk Technical College (BTC) Campus in Monroe. Attendees may enter through the north door of BTC, across from Alp & Dell Cheese Store. A graduation ceremony is planned for Nov. 13.

Is the Entrepreneurial Training Program right for you?

You have a dream to own a thriving, successful business. With our Entrepreneurial Training Program, you’ll have the knowledge, tools and resources to make your dream a reality. Whether you’re just starting out or have been in business for years, we’ll show you how you can grow your business. You’ll learn how to advance along each step of the way, learning key insights into your marketplace and customers. By the conclusion of the course, you’ll have a viable business plan and the essential business skills you’ll need for the future. 

What if you could double your odds that your business is going to succeed? Will you do it? 

Want to stack the odds in your favor as you begin or grow your business venture? Plan now to attend the fall Entrepreneurial Training Program. Sign up today! Enrollment is limited to 10 businesses.

To register, call GCDC at 608-328-9452 or email

— Cara Carper is executive director at Green County Development Corporation. She can be reached at