MD Small Business Development Center - Eastern Region
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Course Descriptions

    MDSBDC training programs are designed for all stages of small business development. Topics range from turning ideas into business plans to developing growth strategies and expanding into international trade. Our seminars are affordable and taught by skilled professionals. In addition to our website check out our quarterly training brochures for schedules of upcoming events.

    Here you will find a comprehensive listing of Training Workshops the Maryland Small Business Development Center - Eastern Region currently offers or have offered in the past to many of Maryland aspiring entrepreneurs. The Maryland Small Business Development Center (MDSBDC) sponsors training seminars in conjunction with local colleges, universities, business professionals and volunteers. You can find a short description of these Training Workshop seminars by clicking the name of the workshop in the listing.

To view this semester's Training Workshop calendar
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Pre-Registration is Required......Be Sure to Reserve Your Space Early!

Courses Descriptions

Access to Capital: Micro-Loans for Small Business
    Micro-businesses and small businesses needing only small loans ($5,000 - $25,000) now have better options for obtaining the capital they need. Learn about what programs and choices Micro Lenders now provide, including information from Maryland Capital Enterprises, Inc.

Also learn about the SBA Community Express Loan Program, a new initiative designed to spur economic development and job creation in untapped rural and inner city communities with venture capital, commercial loan credits and technical assistance. Loans include term loans, lines of credit and commercial mortgages. Proceeds can be used for purchasing inventory, machinery and equipment, land and buildings and for working capital.

Following the ATC seminar, there will be representatives from Innovative Bank on hand to take applications for their Community Express unsecured loans. The fee is $20, including materials. For more information or to register, contact the SBDC Training Office at 410-543-6516 or email


Agri-Tourism is quickly becoming big business on the Eastern Shore! This one-day seminar covers all areas of concern for those wanting to enter the new world of Agri-tourism. A SBDC counselor will cover the Basics of Business. Other experienced officials will cover issues on zoning, planning, economic development, insurance and risk management.

This day will also include an hour long panel of four different types of Agri-Tourism farms and operations who are there to answer your questions.

Attract, Hire and Retain Key Talent
This course is designed for those anticipating the need to hire a full-time, part-time employee or independent contractor’s depending on your business growth cycles. Topics include the analysis of your business growth including staff forecasting and planning, what essential competencies are needed and how to identify applicants who will succeed with you. Learn ways to retain your best people by shaping culture, providing feedback and rewarding your team.

Big Business Marketing on a Small Business Budget
Don’t confuse marketing with promotions and sales! Marketing encompasses both, as well as many other activities. With careful planning and a strategic vision, be able to apply marketing tools effectively within a reasonable budget.
Discover creative ways to get the most out of your marketing plan. Investigate marketing ideas that can be applied immediately to your business.


Business Plan Workshop
You wanted a business plan workshop that would go into detail about the elements of a business plan and how to go about taking the ideas in your head and getting them onto paper.  Students are encouraged to bring business plan outlines and ideas to this hands on workshop in order to get the most bang for their buck!

Child Care Center Smart Start
    There has never been a better time than today to open a child care center! The demand for quality child care providers is at an all time high and shows no sign of slowing down any time soon. Starting in 1995, the U.S. Census revealed that 14.6 million mothers worked outside the home, and, today 51% of all new mothers now return to work before their child’s first birthday. As more and more families become dependent on two incomes to survive, the child care industry sky rockets. This course will focus on the business aspects of opening a child care center:

  • How to write a business plan

  • Why you need to write a business plan

  • Can I make a living as a day care provider?

Join us for this class and discover the rewards of becoming a child care provider. This course is in partnership with the Lower Shore Child Care Center (410) 543-6655.

Developing a Winning Small Business Plan and Loan Proposal
Turn your business ideas into a solid plan for financing and long-term success. Discover how committing your ideas in
the form of a business plan can keep your business strategically focused. Learn techniques for tailoring your
loan request to fit specific loan programs and increase your chances of obtaining financing. Work through all of the
major components of a business plan and emerge with your first draft in hand. An excellent course for current business
owners and for anyone thinking of starting a business.

Disaster Preparation For the Small Business
This course provides an overview of the needs, issues and potential solutions for small businesses in preparing, enduring and recovering from local to catastrophic regionaldisasters and critical incident situations. 

 A disaster strikes a small business every 6 minutes….Is your business and family prepared???

  •  Explore the 7 most costly mistakes small businesses make in a disaster and the importance of local                     businesses in a disaster preparation and recovery process.


  • Education of business owners on how to serve their customers in effective and cost efficient manner in a disaster crisis while establishing long lasting loyal customer relationships.


  • Information on low cost and no cost ways to successfully prepare, endure and recover their business, families and staff quickly in a disaster situation.


eBay Smart Start
    Are you a retailer burdened with holiday overstock? Would you like to offer your collectibles, arts or crafts to a broader market? Do you enjoy the excitement of an online auction?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, then this is the class for you! You are just a few mouse clicks away from owning your own eBay store. We will have a local expert on hand to offer advice, tips, and protocol for the eBay world. This course will cover the following topics:

  • What materials are needed to start
  • How to Register as a seller
  • Writing "catchy" descriptions
  • How to include pictures of the item(s)
  • Rules and policies of eBay
  • Internet safety and security fees
  • Seller fees
  • U.S. and international selling
  • Effective Sales Strategies for the Small Business
    Investigate how to include business plan marketing strategies and market analysis as part of a formalized sales
    plan for your business. Explore proven sales tools and techniques designed to successfully manage relationships
    with current customers and prospects. Designed to assist small to medium size businesses improve overall sales

    Essentials of Running a Small Business
        This course will provide you with the basics of running a small business. Learn best practices from a successful small business owner. This course can help you take your business to a new level.

    Event/Trade Show Design and Marketing Techniques
    Exhibiting at trade shows is more than just putting up a booth. Learn the tips and techniques to bring bona fide buyers in and what to do once they are in front of you. Explore the strategy of developing an overall trade show program, designing an effective exhibit, preparing a budget, selecting shows, training booth staff, planning preshow promotions, generating sales and leads, and evaluating performance.

    Financial Statements 101
    Reading and understanding financial statements can be quite a confusing undertaking...  

     An SBDC business counselor simplifies the process  by explaining how to interpret this data and how it relates to your bottom line!

    Finding a Franchise Business That is Right for You
    Considering purchasing a franchise? Investigate the risks and the rewards, which businesses are “hot,” and how much
    money you will need for start-up. Discuss how franchise opportunities compare to other business options. Find out
    how you, as a franchise owner, could have the unique ability to be in business for yourself with little up-front

    First Steps to Starting Your Own Business
        What to look for in selecting your legal business entity, What tax implications are associated with the legal entity, Getting money for your start-up business, Insurance considerations for your start-up business, Business Planning.

    Going From Mind To Market
        Prepare a Strategic Executive Summary that investors will read, Identify the key elements of a winning business plan, Assess your business and receive recommendations for improvement and success, Successfully market your product or service, Protect your intellectual property, Research where and how to find Financing Opportunities and Alternatives, Submit your strategic Executive Summary for critical review by Professionals, Utilize Existing technology for Commercialization through federal laboratories.

    How to Start Your Own Consulting Business
    Discover how you can put your personal expertise to work. Learn why organizations hire consultants and how to best market your skills. Cover the components of a business contract, pricing your services, record keeping, taxes, liability, entities, how and why to segment a market, financing, and more.

    How to Start & Manage Your Own Business (One-Day Course)
        This all-day course helps the new or potential business owner understand concepts vital to start-up success by covering six critical business areas in one day. An SBDC business counselor starts with the importance and basics of writing a business plan, providing a template for writing the plan. Then an attorney , an insurance specialist, a banker, an accountant and a marketing consultant provide information necessary for establishing business structure, insurance requirements, financing options, tax status and bookkeeping needs, and promotional techniques.

    This is a wonderful opportunity to obtain a wealth of information from these professionals , all in one day for one low price. This class is held each month at one of the SBDC Eastern Region locations.


    Human Resources Basics: Staffing Your Small Business
    Increase your understanding of important recruitment and retention issues involved in human resource management
    for the small business. Cover the elements of selection and placement of employees, personnel records, compensation,
    legal issues, and resources available to small business owners and managers.

    Investment Planning for Small Businesses
        Small businesses need investment and retirement planning, too, regardless of whether the business is new, going strong for years, or nearing time of succession or transfer. Learn about options, from SEP and SIMPLE plans, to pension plans, profit sharing plans and 401k’s. A panel of specialists addresses these issues, plus asset protection, succession planning and business transfer, and tax and legal considerations.

    Time is included to ask questions of specific speakers and of the panel as a whole. Don’t miss this important opportunity to enrich your business through smart financial planning!

    Ins and Outs of Government Contracting
    Learn how the government procurement process works, about certifications and registrations, plus procurement tips and strategies for your growing small business.

    Session 1 (Beginner) covers information pertaining to the State of Maryland and Session 2 (Advanced) covers information for the Federal Government.



    Managing Your Workman's Compensation Costs and Key Coverages

    Workers Compensation is often times the most costly and frustrating coverage for business owners.

    The first portion of the course will focus on simple solutions to effectively manage your workers compensation cost as well as understand the coverage.  This will be an interactive discussion so bring your questions and concerns!

     The last hour we will discuss key coverages your business should have. Learn what causes 85% of businesses to file bankruptcy after a major loss and how you can prevent this from happening to you and your business.



    Making the Internet/Technology Work for You

    Effectively using technology for your business is a critical element in your overall business strategy. It requires proper planning, a customer-oriented vision, and knowledge of internet terms concepts and functions. Setting realistic goals and expectations is important in planning a web site and/or software that is both effective and manageable.

    Consider this seminar if you are:

    • Wondering what to do with your existing web site, or thing about building one for the first time
    • Trying to differentiate yourself from your competitors
    • Getting the most out of your technology investment
    • Frustrated by previous experiences, or worried that you don't know enough about the internet/technology
    • Trying to identify missed opportunities
    • Wondering about how to get found on search engines


    Making the Leap from Employee to Employer
    Thinking about starting your own business? Discover how your thoughts about money, marketing, and leadership can
    help determine your success. Learn how to set clear goals, priorities, and persevere through challenges. Focus on the
    steps that should be taken prior to making the leap from employee to employer.

    Marketing Tips for Small Business
        Designed to provide small business owners with tips for effectively marketing their business. Shotgun marketing can be costly and often does not result in increased sales or profit. Participants will identify the key components of a marketing plan and learn strategies to effectively execute the plan.

    Marketing Your Business On The Internet
        After creating a presence on the Internet, many companies expect to reap benefits from being online. But without a strategy to drive traffic to the Web site using both online and offline marketing efforts, those expectations are impractical. Learn strategies for marketing your Web site, including search engine tactics, meta-tags, partnership programs and how to keep visitors coming back.

    Marketing for Small Businesses - Developing Your Marketing Plan (Part 1 of Marketing for Small Businesses)
       Not just for start-ups, but also for existing businesses re-evaluating their marketing, this interactive workshop gets you out of the starting blocks and on the track to putting your plan together on paper. Define what your situation is and who your customers are. Discuss what marketing strategies are available and best suited to your business, time and resources. Identify options and resources for promoting your business. Develop an action plan and measurements for monitoring success.


    MINI How To Start and Manage Your Own Business (Half Day Session)

    This half-day Mini session will cover three elements that are imperative to any start-up business.  A business counselor will cover business plan basics, an accountant will discuss book keeping and tax issues and an insurance specialist will explain requirements and regulations pertinent to new business success.


    Retail Smart Start
        This "sister" session of the "Restaurant Smart Start" is specifically designed for the prospective or new-to-the-business retail owner/manager, although seasoned retailers may gain some new insights as well! The focus of this course is on factors common to success in a retail sales operation, including retail positioning, location/traffic access, managing various inventories, mark-up and profit calculations, vendor and employee relations, general and promotional marketing, customer service in a retail environment, and more.     This course does not cover the generic issues of starting a business, such as legal entity, licensing, tax registration, setting up books, etc., which are covered in the regular "Smart Start Your Business."

    Restaurant Smart Start
        Being the owner\manager of a small restaurant business can be a fun and rewarding experience - OR it can be a difficult and demanding job!  And, the current economic environment makes everything more challenging. Find out how to set the stage to make your business an exciting one - for you and your customers.  This workshop will expose the participant to issues specific to restaurant businesses.
        This Smart Start session is specifically tailored for the prospective or new-to-the-business restaurant owner/manager, although seasoned restaurateurs may find some new insights as well! The focus of this course is on important factors for success in a retail restaurant operation, including restaurant types, location/traffic access, managing perishable inventory, menu and price planning, vendor and employee relations, marketing, what constitutes true customer care in food service establishment, and more..
        This course does not cover the generic issues of starting a business, such as legal entity, licensing, tax registration, setting up books, etc., which are covered in the regular "Smart Start Your Business."

    Smart Start Your Business (Short Course)
        This small-group session held monthly is perfect for those who cannot attend the all-day “How to Start and Manage Your Own Business” course. The instructor is a business counselor from the SBDC who will discuss the basics of starting a business. Resource information and a business plan guide will be provided.


    Starting and Managing a Small Business (Eight-Week Course)
        This course is an extended version of the all-day “How to Start and Manage Your Own Business” seminar , providing additional time for questions and discussion with each presenter, plus an additional topic and session with SBDC resource partners.

    Discover effective techniques for successfully managing a small business. Includes start-up and operating procedures, ownership forms of operation, sources and methods of financing, record keeping, communications, debt collection, personnel, merchandising, and business continuity. The instructors will discuss overcoming problems and pitfalls frequently encountered in running a small business.

    The Salisbury University course is co-sponsored by SBDC, Wor-Wic Community College, and Maryland Capital Enterprises, Inc. The cost is $96 for Wicomico, Worcester and Somerset residents. Additional fees for out-of-tri-county-area and out-of-state residents apply.


    Stretching Your Advertising Dollars: How to Utilize Radio, TV, and Print Media to the Max

    Discover how to have a sound working relationship with your local radio, television, and print outlets. Explore how to negotiate your way around a television station and determine who to contact at a station, newspaper, and billboard advertising department. Practice developing a polished press release and learn what to say in an interview. An excellent course if you need to work with the media to elevate the presence of your small business, church, or nonprofit organization. Do it with little or no dollar investment

    Successfully Managing Your Own Business
        This session is for current business owners interested in improving their management skills. Professional will discuss topics of book-keeping and taxes, legal issues, and risk management. Participants are encouraged to bring questions and take advantage of the expertise available.

    Tax Prep Series

    Organize prepare your small business for tax season! 

    Organize Your Business Records For Tax Time: Prepare in advance for tax time!  Develop a better understanding about W-2 and 1099 reporting and filing.  Stress on what records and paperwork you need to gather for preparing your next return and what the deadlines are.

    Quarterly Reporting For the Small Business: Develop a better understanding for the quarterly payroll reporting and depositing requirements for small businesses.  Cover the components of your withholding responsibilities for employees and subcontractors.  Review what forms you are required to keep on file as an employer.

    Small Business Expenses, Recordkeeping and Allowances:  Business expenses are the costs of carrying on a trade or business.  These expenses are usually deductible if the business is operated to make a profit.  Develop a better strategy for tracking the expenses that are incurred in your business and discover how they relate to the bottom line on your tax return.


    Technology Tips For the Successful Small Business

    Explore technology options and how utilizing the right technology for your business helps contribute to your success!

    This informational session will cover voice and telephone services, digital and optical options, network engineering, remote access and VPN services, security video and cameras, internet options, PC/server installation and maintenance and purchase vs. lease choices.

    Time Management Strategies Fro the Small Business Owner

    This fast paced, dynamic and "hands-on" session to get the most out of your business and personal life.  Understand the events that occupy your time and learn strategies to efficiently organize, file and retrieve information.  Benefit from the power of planning and discover how to achieve immediate, intermediate and long-range goals for your small business.  Find ways to deal with interruptions and still maintain your productivity.  Whether you use paper-based, PC-based, or a hand-held organizer, special tips an techniques will enhance your time and life management skills.



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