Events and seminars

Workshops help with

international sales

Businesses looking to dive into the international marketplace can get expert help at a seminar by SEDA-Council of Governments’ Export Development Program.

The “Introduction to Exporting” seminar will be held on two dates and locations: April 20 in Lewisburg and April 25 in State College, both from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The event is ideal for sales, marketing, and logistics managers, as well as companies that are new to exporting — or for those who want a refresher course.

There is a fee for the class and registration is required at www.seda-cog.org/export by April 14. For more information, contact Noelle Long at 570-524-4491.

Cosponsors are the Fulton International Group and the Small Business Development Centers of Bucknell and Penn State universities.

SEDA-COG’s Export Development team serves the businesses and communities of central Pennsylvania by encouraging and facilitating economic development through growth in world trade. This program is partially funded by the state Department of Community and Economic Development’s Office of International Business Development.

Workshop looks

at 1st steps

The Lock Haven Small Business Development Center will host a workshop on first steps for starting a small business from 9 a.m. to noon Friday at the outreach office at the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce, 1127 W. Fourth St.

This workshop, a news release said, will help aspiring entrepreneurs to begin the process of successful business ownership including evaluating business ideas, developing a business plan, and exploring financing options.

There is a fee to attend and registration is encouraged at www.lhup.edu/sbdc/training.htm or 570-484-2848.

Seminar teaches

QuickBooks program

The Lock Haven University Small Business Development Center will hold an Advanced QuickBooks class from 1 to 4 p.m., April 26 at its office at 301 W. Church St., Lock Haven.

In this workshop participants will learn how to analyze financial data and customize forms and learn how to write letters in QuickBooks as well as the following lesson objectives: The tools QuickBooks gives users for analyzing financial data: QuickReports, preset reports, and graphs; QuickReports; add columns to a report; how to move a column in a report; the types of preset reports QuickBooks offers; how to create reports and viewing them onscreen; how to customize a report by changing how it looks and the data it covers and how to process reports in batches.

Register by calling 570-484-2848 or by going online at www.lhup.edu/sbdc./training.html. Seating in this workshop is limited so please call today.

Workshop looks

at sales growth

IMC presents “Sales Growth in 2017 and Beyond” from 8 to 10 a.m., May 10.

The workshop is intended for presidents, owners and sales vice presidents who are committed to growth.

Topics will include sales forecasting, new opportunities, new hires and sales management.

Learn what it will take to gain confidence over accurate forecasts, sales performance and revenue.

For additional information and to register, visit http://www.imcpa.com/events/ or call 570-329-3200 ext. 8085.

Seminar to aid

with e-commerce

Several local businesses with expertise in e-commerce are working together to offer local business- owners and managers an opportunity to learn how to “Turn Your Website into a Sales Machine”

That is the title of a free clinic and luncheon from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., May 4, at CLOUD 9 Restaurant.

The event is being produced by Art Lieberman of MCPS of Central PA under the auspices of both the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce.

The subject matter of this particular clinic is based upon the astounding statistics that were created during the past Christmas season. It became apparent that businesses whose websites actually generated sales had even outperformed traditional brick-and-mortar retail stores in sales volumes. Walmart, for instance, found that their Internet sales outpaced their stores sales by 53 percent to 47 percent. It also became apparent that rural businesses could perform well if they properly used the dynamic opportunity available by creating an e-Commerce web store.

In order to actually design such a store, Lieberman needed local reputable individuals in several aspects of the creative process. He turned first to John Yogodzinski of the Graphic Hive in Williamsport. Yogodzinski, who also owns Converge Gallery, designs websites that are artistic and very functional. He is a graduate of the Pennsylvania College of Technology and serves on the Lycoming Arts Council as a board member. Yogodzinski and his group of designers have created many websites for local businesses.

Lieberman also brought in Shawn Felty, president and creative director of Sire Advertising, now located in Selinsgrove. Felty’s agency is an expert in promotion and advertising. His staff also can design websites, however on this occasion; Felty will be discussing how to promote an eCommerce business. He has worked with both start-up companies and existing international businesses to research and create innovative solutions designed to generate leads and increase the market shares of all his clients.

Finally, Lieberman realized that creating an eCommerce website was, in effect, creating an entirely new store. This store would be open 24-7-365 and would not necessarily be local. It could reach out into the entire United States, or for that matter into the entire world. Because of that, there would be the expense of setting up an entirely new enterprise. This new business would require a webmaster at the home of the business to control shifting inventory, to run sales and to notify web viewers when items went out of stock or were discontinued. It would require financing, to expand beyond the brick and mortar of the store.

Lieberman fortunately found a unique local source of the funds necessary to build such a site. In this case the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber, the Industrial Property Corporation and the City of Williamsport are committed to assisting small businesses with their economic development. They have a “Revolving Loan Program” which is meant to provide businesses with capital needed to increase their economic prosperity. Nancy J. Eischeld, Vice President and CFO of the Chamber will be presenting that opportunity to attendees.

The final piece of the puzzle was utilization of credit card payments on the web. MCPS of Central PA has been working with local merchants and with RV Campgrounds for web-based transactions for nearly 17 years. In the campground industry, Lieberman’s business handles 620+ campgrounds, many of which use on-line reservation services. He has been called an “expert” on the new chip card transactions and has spoken to many local Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs to explain the reasons for the changeover to chip technology.

The instructors for this clinic will produce the answer to the questions about e-commerce: Why should I do it? How do I do it? What will it cost to do it? And what can I expect from it?