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Is Your Point of Sale System Secure and Effective?

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Retail Industry: Is Your Point of Sale System Secure and Effective?

Tuesday, February 7, 2017
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

If you’re a retail business in 2017, chances are you’ve got some sort of electronic Point of Sale (POS) system. It might be stationary in your brick and mortar location, you may be an online retailer with a virtual POS, and if you do events you’ve probably got a mobile POS. This technology is great, but it comes with a unique set of challenges related to not only operation, but security. We have an important question for you: Is your POS system secure and effective?

          How do you know?

Without getting a degree in cybersecurity, it can be difficult to understand and keep pace with all the changes in payment processing and data security, especially for retailers who have so many other concerns on their plates. According to the National Retail Federation, an estimated 8% of data breeches occur within the retail industry, not accounting for credit card company breeches. These breeches put customers’ financial data at risk, and damage consumer confidence in the businesses they shop with. While large retailers make the headlines because of the volume of data compromised in these breeches, small retailers also need to be aware of what they can do to protect their customers’ information.

Join us for our next Small Business After Hours as Ali Harris, Founder and Managing Consultant for Technical Framework, discusses what small retailers need to know about POS systems and cybersecurity. He’ll provide a high level overview of different types of POS systems, how the information they collect travels, security issues this creates, and more. You’ll also have a chance to ask questions from an expert in the IT field and network with other retailers.


Our Presenter

Ali Harris - Technical Framework

Ali is a veteran of the IT world with over 20 years of experience in technology services for small- and medium-sized businesses ranging from five to 300 employees.  Ali founded Technical Framework, an all services provider of computers, networks and secure technology business solutions, in 2010.   Ali’s academic background includes a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Colorado State University and a Master of Science in Computer Information Systems from University of Phoenix.  In his leisure time, Ali enjoys watching sports and studying emerging technologies for business.  




10 Amazing Ways to Motivate Your Retail Sales Team

Thursday, September 01, 2016

10 Amazing Ways to Motivate Your Retail Sales Team

Tuesday, October 11, 2016
4:00 - 6:00 pm
Innosphere
320 E. Vine Drive
Fort Collins, CO 80524 (Map It!)


It's true. 30- 40% of most retailer's sales are done during the Holiday season.
Are you ready?
Have you set the goals for your team?
Thought of contest ideas?
How do you engage your sales team to sell more?
What will set your store apart from your competition?


We will talk about these questions and more when we explore 10 amazing ways to motivate your retail sales team to have the best holiday ever. Be ready to engage with your fellow retailers in this interactive, fun session about how to make the holidays a very special, rewarding season for you, your team and your customers.


Our Presenter

 
Annette Pedersen - Summit View Retail Solutions 


After spending over 30 years in the specialty women's and men's apparel business, Annette Pedersen decided to take her passion for training and retail knowledge to independent retailers throughout the United States. As a regional vice president for a national women's retailer she was responsible for up to 120 store locations and prided herself in building revenue and sales by focusing on the development of teams, providing training in leadership, merchandising/display, hiring/training, mastery of customer service, marketing and inventory management. Having graduated with a Masters in Organizational Leadership, she has much to teach and share with others. Additionally, she can relate firsthand with the struggles of independent retailers since she owns her own better women's consignment boutique. Her retailing consulting firm, Summit View Retail Solutions, strives to build financial security for independent retailers by providing them the best expertise in the industry.




Inaugural Northern Colorado Women's Small Business Conference!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Join the Colorado Small Business Development Center Network for the Inaugural Northern Colorado Women’s Small Business Conferee at the Embassy Suites in Loveland, Colorado on Thursday, November 3, 2016. This event sells out every year at other Colorado locations - don’t wait to buy your tickets!

Join over 300 other like-minded female entrepreneurs for an exciting, interactive day packed with hands-on business training seminars, free one-on-one consulting, exhibitor tables featuring area resources, plenty of networking opportunities, and more! Leave the conference feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, with plenty of action items, connections, and inspiration to take your business to the next level of success!

Already on the lineup for this great event are:

Wynne Odell

Co-Founder and CEO of Odell Brewing

Tanis Roeder

President of Elevate Your Communication

Breakout session tracks will feature Marketing and Sales, Workforce, and Finance and Accounting. We've got four sessions per track, so you'll have plenty of topics to choose from! We'll cap the day off with a networking session to connect and move forward.

Keep an eye out for more information as we get closer to the event!

Restaurant & Food Products - Competitive Advantage

Monday, February 15, 2016

Restaurant & Food Industry - "Competitive Advantage"

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

4:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Panel Event


A quick search of Larimer County restaurants yields nearly 2,000 results, not including food products. With so many food based businesses, how do you set yourself apart? For our March “Small Business After Hours Event,” we’re bringing together a panel of experts to discuss Competitive Advantage in the food industry. Some of the points we’ll be discussing are:

How do you position your business versus your main competitors?
How do you present your business to new potential customers?
How do you evaluate new products/services to better position your business?
What’s worked/what hasn’t from businesses who have been there?
How do you strategically price your offerings?

Join us for this great event and take advantage of the opportunity to learn and network with potential partners for your business. We’ve all got to eat, learn why we should eat what you’re selling!

Our panelists for this event will be:


Jennifer Lopez is the owner of Swallowtail Foods, LLC, in Fort Collins, which manufactures a line of instant chai latte mixes called Pi Chai. Pi Chai made its debut in 2014, and is sold at local stores & coffeeshops in Colorado. Jennifer has 25+ years of experience in the food & beverage industry.
 

Owner of Loveland's Generations Wine & Martini Bar, Erin Borsdorf came to Larimer county in 2006, operating/managing several restaurants including Cafe Vino, Vincent, Woody's Wood Fired Pizza, and Basil Flats (Longmont) among others before working at Loveland's Pourhouse Bar and Grill for two years. During this time she developed a business plan to open present day Generations. She has a background in secondary education, has worked as a political strategist in IL, and holds degrees in theatrical design, social sciences, and communication, as well as licensing as a secondary educator and real estate agent.

Ken King has operated, rescued, designed and built over 100 independent restaurants in his 40-year food service career. He has owned a successful steakhouse, family restaurant, hot dog stand, prime rib house, and European bistro.Ken is an expert at improving business performance, creating new brands, identifying opportunities, and working with clients on specific operational and development challenges. He is available to SBDC clients for troubleshooting, business evaluation, and specialized assistance.
Patrick O'Neill is a Colorado native, born to an entrepreneurial family. Patrick served 6 years in the Marine Corps as an intelligence analyst. He graduated from CU Boulder in 1991 with a degree in political science. Patrick then managed his family’s industrial painting business and later entered a career in law enforcement. In 2012 he and his wife, Stefanie, bought Vern’s Toffee House from her family and continue to nurture its growth.

Thank you to our event sponsor:












Hiring, Connecting With, and Keeping Employees

Thursday, October 22, 2015

On October 20th, the Larimer SBDC held our second Small Business After Hours event targeted at the restaurant and food product industry. We pulled together a great panel covering a variety of restaurants and a food manufacturer to specifically address workforce issues faced in these industries.

       
Carolyn Reed
Silver Mine Subs Franchises
Ryan Houdek
The Melting Pot,
Rodizio Grill, Social
Mark Havens
Cafe Vino
Josh Skow
Canyon Bakehouse

Restaurants and food product companies face unique issues when it comes to workforce. Some restaurants, like the Silver Mine Subs franchises owned by Carolyn Reed, are looking for entry level employees. Others like The Melting Pot, Social, and Rodizio Grill owned by Ryan Houdek, or Café Vino which is managed by Mark Havens, are looking for experienced restaurant staff who match the culture of their establishments. For food product manufacturers like Canyon Bakehouse, CEO Josh Skow says finding someone whose character traits align with the company goals is most important. Regardless, they all face the same larger problems of hiring the right person that fits with their company values, overcoming generational issues, and employee retention. 

Hiring Processes

Harness Technology – Using a digital application process helps Carolyn efficiently sort through applicants. She sets the metrics on the program to give weight to people with prior restaurant experience.Interview Best Practices – Sometimes it’s easier to find out if they’re not a right fit. Ryan asks disqualifying questions during the interview; if a candidate is expecting to always make $300 per shift, they’re probably not a good fit for his restaurant.Company Culture as a Hiring Tool – All of our panelists agreed that they are looking for candidates that fit their company values and culture. If there is a mismatch in the beginning, it is likely to cause a variety of problems later.

Generational Issues

Millennials Are… Different – Between a difference in learning styles, work ethic and a need to like their boss, millennial present a new set of challenges for business owners with generationally diverse workforces.Communicating with Millennials is… Different – According to Carolyn, you need to set your expectations for millennial workers upfront and in a clear manner. When communicating and coaching them, you have to decide if you will take a less direct tone or if the employee is worth the time it may take to get them trained.
An Intergenerational Approach is…. Different – The need to like their boss presents a unique opportunity for millennials in intergenerational workforces. “We are the missing element in learning a work ethic,” says Ryan. At the Canyon Bakehouse, they have a shift that is managed by a baby boomer with mostly millennial workers. Giving the team well-communicated shared goals helps them work as a team.

The Good, Bad and Ugly of Employee Retention

Compensation is More than a Paycheck – Providing benefits like health insurance add to the value an employee gets from their paycheck. Café Vino also has a profit sharing program. Mark says this gives him an extra 35 bosses telling him how he can do it better, and it also helps employees feel vested and take ownership of the business.Hire Slowly, Fire Quickly – Normalize feedback and coaching processes and address issues quickly and casually. From the manager standpoint, always document even verbal warnings, and don’t be afraid of using write-ups as a second step. The kindest thing you can do for your employees is let them know what the issue is and how to correct it quickly and professionally.
Honor Employees on a Regular Basis – Say goodbye and thank you to employees every evening, keep gift cards for when you catch employees doing something right, celebrate employee milestones on a regular basis. Hire the right management, because they will properly train your employees and provide them the right encouragement.
Of course it is difficult to capture a panel discussion like this in a few hundred words, but we want to make sure to share these insights with you. Are you in this industry? We’re planning for 2016 right now, so send your feedback on possible topics to kat@larimersbdc.org!

We will be continuing with our Small Business After Hours series with a Health & Wellness Businesses “Funnel Vision” workshop coming up on November 10, 2015.

Doing Business with the Government

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Doing Business with the Government

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

9:00 am  - 11:00 am

Larimer County Building


Have you ever thought about government contracting but didn’t know where to start? Join us for an interactive workshop about what government agencies buy, how you can market your products and services to federal and state agencies, and where to find opportunities.  You’ll also learn about the small business certification programs that can help you get your foot in the door. 

The Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) will show you basics of getting started.  The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Connect2DOT Program Manager will tell you about working with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT).  If you want to get a slice of the billion dollar pie, don’t miss this workshop!

Agenda:
9:00 - 10:00: Federal Government Contracting
Learn the steps for doing business with the government
Registering in SAM and using online marketing tools
Presented by Kathryn Rowe, PTAC
10:00 - 11:00: Doing Business with CDOT
What CDOT buys and the certifications that can get you in the door
Forecast of anticipated 2015 CDOT bid opportunities
Presented by Cathy Kramer, Connect2DOT
11:00-12:00: Networking and Consulting
Stay after to network with other small businesses and talk with the business counselors from PTAC and Connect2DOT about your business

This is a FREE event, but pre-registration is required! Save your seat today!




Health and Wellness Panel

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Health & Wellness Panel          

Tuesday, July 21, 2014    
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

The health and wellness industry is both diverse and expanding rapidly. Do you ever wonder how you make yourself not only stand out, but also thrive in the vast offering of services? 

Please join our panel of health & wellness business experts for some peer networking with refreshments, followed by a panel discussion on topics such as:
* Keeping money NOT awkward
* Gaining a consistent schedule with clients
* to train the "untrainable"
* How to fire a client & why you should
* Creating a referral based business
* Standing out in a competitive market
* Availability of Workforce
Come prepared with your questions and get answers directly from industry experts.

Panelists include Keith & Shelly Beyerle, Rocky Mountain Rossiter; Bill & Tammy Jenkins, Natural Health Center of the Rockies; Mike Maguire, Home Instead Senior Care

Facilitated by Lee Porter



Inventory Control 101: Understanding Retail Cash Flow

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Inventory Control 101: Understanding Retail Cash Flow

Tuesday, June 9th

8:00 am - 10:00 am

Retail is a blend of art and science. As the store owner you understand your customers and what they want: you provide a point of view and a 
taste level, the ART. The SCIENCE involves understanding how to maximize the merchandise you bring in to support your vision and your business.

Inventory control is the best investment you can make for your store: Poor inventory management is the #1 reason retailers fail. About 1/3 of stores that fail are actually profitable but don’t have enough cash flow to run the business.

We will talk about too much inventory, not enough inventory, gross sales, what percentage most retailers spend on merchandise, and inventory in relation to total assets.

This class will walk through the basics of running a retail business and you will come away understanding:
  • The difference between net profit and cash flow
  • The 4 Pillars of Retail
  • How to more accurately forecast your sales
  • What an Open-to-Buy is and how to create one for your business
  • How to create a cash flow projection


Business Protection Summit & Resource Day

Thursday, October 02, 2014
You are invited to join the Colorado SBDC for a full day summit focusing on disaster preparedness, designed to connect you with valuable resources and information! This is set to be a fantastic event, and whether or not you were affected by the recent floods and fires across our state, you will come away from the event with more knowledge about what to do when disaster strikes.

       Location
         Wildflower Pavilion at Planet Bluegrass
         500 W. Main St.
         Lyons, CO 80540

       Date/Time/Registration
         Friday, October 17, 2014
         8:00 am - 5:30 pm
         Registration is $25

Click here to register online now!

Don't miss this unique opportunity to connect with a wide variety of resources, as well as other local business owners!

Presented by
                           

IGNITE - NoCo Business Connections

Monday, July 07, 2014

Looking to establish some local connections or grow community partnerships?

Join us at Ignite NoCo Business Connections to meet and connect with like-minded local business owners.

Thursday, August 7, 2014
11:30-1:00pm at Larimer SBDC & Rocky Mountain Innosphere

Presentation: “Protecting Your Customers and Your Business from Fraud”
by First Citizens Bank of Fort Collins

The FREE event will also include:

  • Speed networking sessions
  • Time to connect in small groups with other business owners
  • Appetizers and beverages will be provided for the event.
This event is brought to you by First Citizens Bank of Fort Collins.

While the event is free, registration is required. 

REGISTER