Small Business Workshops

The Collin Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is offering these no-cost seminars starting January 7 and throughout February 2021 to help businesses better compete, advance, recover, elevate, and succeed. Register today for these seminars to help your business grow.


Human Resources

Right Person, Right Time – 1/19/21

Having the right people on the team is critical to organizational growth and success. In this webinar we will discuss best practices for finding the right people and successfully adding them to your team.

We will start with ways of recruiting candidates. We will discuss how to decide which candidates to interview. We will focus on how to ask the right questions during the interview and learn how to conduct effective interviews in person and remotely (via phone or on a virtual platform). And we will share tips for how to select the right person and bring them on board.   


Leading in Times of Change – 1/7/21

The world has changed. Your work has changed. In fact, change is the one thing we can count on – things will continue to change. To be successful, your business must be able to not only absorb change but master change.

As a leader, how do you handle all that is happening and all that will happen, to challenge your small business? How can you prepare your employees, and attract new employees? How do you help people handle the stress and uncertainty that come with change? Can we predict change? And how do you take care of you?  



Managing in a Virtual World – 1/28/21

Let’s face it, managing a team of employees is tough. Could it be any more difficult? Yes indeed, let’s arrange things so that some folks (or all!) work primarily from a remote location! How can we effectively manage in this virtual reality?

In this interactive session, we will explore what you must do differently to ensure optimal performance. We will dive into some tough questions. How do we stay in touch with remote staff? How do we monitor progress? And, how do we run effective meetings? Join this session to learn what to do to succeed in a virtual world.  


Effective Leadership Manage COVID-19 and Other Disasters – 1/13/21

Leadership is difficult enough when businesses run normally, but throw in a worldwide pandemic, national political upheaval and dramatic cultural changes and you have a recipe for chaos. Most businesses will take some hard hits, and some will not bounce back; but to survive, leadership must have the tools, the understanding, and the skills to prevail.

In uncertain times people turn to their leaders for help. In a business environment, this translates to leadership that faces the facts head on, gathers the right information, assesses the risks correctly and plans the way forward. At the same time, the leadership of a business must be concerned with running day-to-day operations in a consistent and productive way. 



8 Digital Marketing Strategies to Succeed in the New Normal – 1/6/21

Through the completion of this digital marketing workshop small business owners will learn how to grow their business through the pandemic. These 8 easy to implement digital marketing strategies that cost little to no money can be applied to the business immediately. Participants will learn how to apply the same proven marketing strategies used by brands succeeding during the pandemic. 


Evolve Your Marketing with the Times – 1/27/21

In this session, best-selling author John Jantsch reveals the five practices every business must focus on now.

Learning Objectives:

  • How to create a marketing strategy that attracts ideal clients
  • How to innovate your current business model
  • How to create a consistent stream of leads
  • How to create the perfect customer journey
  • How to focus more attention on referrals



Recovering from the Pandemic and Thriving in the Restaurant World – 2/10/21

In this session, you will learn to:

  • Assess the NEW needs of your customer base
  • Retool your dining space
  • Re-engineer your menu
  • Assess labor needs and create new labor model
  • Train Your staff
  • Seek out PR


6 Step Process to Successful Food and Beverage Business Management – 2/4/21

In this session, you will learn to:

  • Solid grasp of the framework for successful restaurant management
  • Key metrics to measure for success
  • How to meet and exceed diners’ expectations
  • Benchmark your sales organization vs. other businesses
  • Identify areas of improvement and focus
  • Identify areas of strength and continuation


New Strategies to Beat Your Competition in 2021 – 1/14/21

Look at EVERY aspect of the operation and ask yourself, “if I’m doing X this way, how can I change it to make it more productive, more streamlined, better quality.

Look at your labor model and ask “how can I streamline my operations to better utilize my key players who have stuck it out with me”

Look at your menu and ask “what am I selling the most of, least of, and what do I need to take off to better streamline by BOH operations”

Look at the equipment you have that you don’t use and how can you better set your line to run with only your key players?



Understanding Your Financials & Following Your CASH! – 1/20/21

 Here we will review the importance of understanding the Fixed vs. Variable expenses in the business. Project Retail will go through a breakeven analysis using current financials, incorporating both the profit & loss statement, as well as the balance sheet. A breakeven template will be provided.

We will take this one step further and go through a rolling 12-week cash flow & how to use this to understand the business’ cash position each week. Project Retail will provide a 12-week cash flow template for all Collin SBDC clients.  


The Importance of Measuring Your Data & Using A Sales Forecasting / Merchandise Planning Tool – 1/27/21

Project Retail will discuss the importance of incorporating a sales forecast & merchandising plan. Once the breakeven is understood, we use a sales forecast & merchandising plan to understand the importance of balance & flow of fresh inventory, as well as identifying the time in each season where the business will be in the red vs. the black.

We will discuss important retail math formulas and specific KPI’s retailers should monitor throughout the week, month, quarter and year. Clients will be provided retail math & KPI worksheets.  


Growing Sales by Incorporating Actual Client Data in Your Marketing Plan – 2/2/21

We will review identifying opportunity and threats in the business on the classification and vendor level to develop weekly & monthly marketing/promotional strategies. The goal is to play offense, but often we have to play defense due to the unknowns in the world today.

Project retail will provide specific outlines that identifies what data to pull, how to analyze it and specific KPI’s to measure. 



Building Your Ideal Customer Profile – 2/3/21

In this session you will learn to:

  • Understand why being all things to all people is not a good strategy
  • Identify the attributes of the clients you want
  • Build strategies to focus on your ideal client and say no to the rest


Manage Metrics to Grow Your Business – 2/16/21

In this session you will learn to:

  • Identify the sales metrics you need in order to drive success
  • Learn how to use those metrics to diagnose issues in your sales department
  • Learn how to link activities to sales strategies to business strategies


Building Sales, Loyalty and Trust – Consultative Sales – 1/26/21

With the COVID lockdown, many businesses shuttered with the hopes of starting up after the threat passed. Now that many of the restrictions have been lifted, it is time to focus on trying to find the new normal.

Building a business takes promoting products and services, building sales and reestablishing relationships with past customers.

B2B Sales: Pipelines, proposals, and positioning define the consultative sales process used to sell to businesses. The percentage of proposals you win is called your “hit” rate. This workshop will not only guide you through the consultative sales process and show you how to write a winning proposal, but it will also help you to dramatically improve your hit rate. Companies using these methods routinely close more than 75% of the proposals they write. 


Finding a Niche and Pricing for It – 2/11/21

A crisis always means two things; danger and opportunity. Everyone is being forced to go through some sort of change right now and in many cases, companies cannot go back to “business as usual.” It’s an opportune time to consider those changes you know you need; modernizing the company, pricing your product or service differently, improving efficiency. This workshop focuses on deciding the best niche within the new or old chosen market to go after. It will provide insight and know how on finding the niche, how to best market to it and price the product/service.  


Selling in a Post COVID World – 1/19/21

  • Information about operating during Covid in a way that minimizes the company’s legal risk;
  • Covid tax planning tips to ensure businesses are positioned to take advantage of them;
  • Employer obligations with respect to sick pay, leave, and returning safely to work in light of Covid-19;
  • Covid-19 OSHA reopening guidelines;
  • A “work from home” policy — which most SMBs do not have — to ensure remote employees remain accountable, focused, and productive;
  • A policy requiring employees have strong passwords to reduce the business’ risk of cybersecurity issues, including ransomware attacks to the business, and reviewing other best practices to reduce the risk of a cyberattack, which are up 300% since Covid-19;
  • Information for strengthening their company’s disaster plan from the risk of future disasters; and a lot more!


Why Sales Strategy is so Critical – 2/16/21

In this session you will learn to:

  • Benchmark your sales organization vs. other businesses
  • Identify areas of improvement and focus
  • Identify areas of strength and continuation


Online Strategies

Social Content Made Easy – 1/7/21

In this session, you will learn to:

  • The 3 steps to creating impactful content that sets you apart and increases your visibility
  • The proven technique to pinpoint your target audience quickly
  • The secret to gaining clarity around what you should be posting
  • The key ingredients to streamlined content creation process that saves you tons of time
  • How to take action with confidence


Effective Online Strategies for the 21st Century – 2/11/21

Kim Merritt, The URL Dr, will share growth strategies for business in challenging economics times. Businesses will learn simple but effective strategies for making sure they are getting found online, presenting the best image they can, where and how to look for new business in the 21st century, and increasing their talent pool with affordable help, all while controlling costs.  


Past Events

Google Workshop Graphic

Watch the recording [video above] from the special small business workshop: "From the Garage to the Storefront". Also - you can download the presentation slides here: Yeah, I'm Ready For A Storefront! and From The Garage To The Storefront.  In this presentation you will learn: 

  • What you should do before you visit with a lender 
  • Specific information about the SBA 504 loan program
  • Details about the FREE one-on-one strategic business consulting offered by the Collin Small Business Development Center
  • Marketing Strategy

About Steve Shalosky:

Steve Shalosky has been a Business Advisor with the Collin SBDC since August 2016. Prior to coming to Collin College, Steve was an entrepreneur and small business owner. Steve also has over 12 years of corporate marketing experience at Fortune 500 companies like IBM, Dell, Abbott Laboratories and Dial (Henkel). While he can advise on all small business subjects, his specific expertise is in US brand marketing strategy, consumer products and retail marketing strategy and tactical development. He holds an MBA from the WP Carey School of Business at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona.

About the Collin SBDC:

The Collin Small Business Development Center, located in Plano, TX, is a partnership between the U.S. Small Business Administration, the State of Texas, and Collin College. Through this partnership, one-on-one, strategic business consulting is provided at no cost to businesses and residents of Collin and Rockwall Counties. Low and no fee workshops and seminars are scheduled on topics that are essential to business success, and clients may request market, financial and industry research through IBISWorld, BizMiner and Reference USA databases.

About Chuck Vanderbilt:

Regional Lending Manager Chuck Vanderbilt is responsible for directing, planning and coordinating financial and other administrative and support services for the East Texas Regional Development Company (ETRDC) small business loan programs and the Community Loan Center (CLC) consumer micro-loan program, serving the ETRDC and CLC Boards and ensuring compliance with state and federal laws, regulations, and policies.

Vanderbilt brings with him eight years of experience in business ownership, management, advising, and lending. Prior to accepting the Regional Lending Manager position with the ETRDC, Vanderbilt most recently served as Interim Director for the Small Business Development Center in Longview, TX. Vanderbilt works with entrepreneurs and community stakeholders across the state of Texas to help spur economic development by providing access to capital so that businesses can launch, grow and positively impact their local communities.

About ETRDC:

The East Texas Regional Development Company or ETRDC is a private, non-profit, organization formed for the purpose of assisting small businesses. The ETRDC has helped many Texas business owners achieve long term financing for all of their business needs.

City of Fate_Google_NSBW May 2 20018

National Small Business Week Livestream With Google
On May 2nd, we're teaming up with Google, to invite you to a free workshop to show you how to grow your business online.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018
11AM - 12PM CST
Location: Fate City Hall, 1900 CD Boren Parkway, Fate TX 75087

Cost:  FREE

You can help us celebrate mom-and-pops and corner shops across the country by attending this free livestream. There are billions of local searches happening on Google every day. Together we will tune a Google livestream event to learn how to get in front of customers in your area. We'll discuss consumer trends related to local searches, and share best practices for using Google. Bring your computer and get ready to learn.