Join us for the 5th Annual Southwestern Business Conference and Expo Monday, June 10, 2013 at SWCC's Creston Campus Tech Center I from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Register online now OR Print and mail registration

Breakout Sessions

Marketing Website & Social Media Other

Marketing 101: What Are You Marketing? Info

Dave McLaren

The Content Conundrum: Figuring out your print and web content Info

Chris Coke

Affordable Care Act and Small Businesses Info

Janine Clover

Pricing Your Product Info

Bryan Zeigler

Can Your Customer Find Your Website Info

Sue Pitts

Exiting Your Business Info

Lisa Shimkat

New Market Exploration Info

Mandy Kolesik

Your Business’s Facebook Page Info

Kiki Scarberry

Limited Liability: What is it? How do you get it? How do you lose it? Info

Milo Alexander

Marketing In Rural Iowa Panel Discussion Info

Brandi Shay

Google Analytics and Adwords Info

Kiki Scarberry

Making hiring decisions: Helpful Hints Info

Elizabeth Waigand

Where's the Money Info

Dave McLaren

Individual One-on-One Consultation

Selling to Federal, State, and Local Governments Info

with Gordon Bonnes

Exporting Info

with Debbie Franklin

 

Session Descriptions

New Market Exploration

If your market share isn’t growing, despite your best efforts, it could be time to look at new avenues of revenue.  Market demand and composition change so quickly in the cyber age.  In this session Mandy Kolesik, Marketing Kinetics LLC, will discuss: When to explore new markets, evaluating possible new markets for your business, and how to get a foothold in a new market quickly.

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Your Business’s Facebook Page

Don’t have a Facebook Page?  Have a page but not sure how to use it? Then this session is for you.  Kiki Scarberry, Kiki’s Graphic Design, will walk you through creating and setting up a Facebook Page for your business.  You with leave this session knowing how to create a Facebook page and how it can be used to promote your business.

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Affordable Care Act and Small Businesses

How will Obama Care impact my business now and in the future?  What do I need to do?  Am I exempt?  Janine Clover, Iowa Small Business Development Center, will present the meat of this act and answer your questions

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Can Your Customer Find Your Website

Ninety percent of consumers use the internet to research and find local products and services and three fourths of those consumers will not look past page one on search engine results page. The internet is becoming one of the key places for your business to be discovered by both local and national customers.  It is very important to optimize your web presence and create good original content so that your business can be found. Search Engine Optimization has gone from a very technical keyword and website focused process to a large process involving on site optimization as well as content creation, social networking, and offline marketing practices. Sue Pitts, Iowa Small Business Development Center, will take you through the process of optimizing your website, creating good current and original content, using social networks to gain customers, traffic and higher search rankings and finally how to mix online marketing with offline marketing.

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Google Analytics and Adwords

Google Analytics is the most widely used website statistics service.  It is a free service that generates detailed statistics about your website traffic and traffic sources such as how people get to your website, where they came from, where they go on your site and how long they stay. Google Analytics is a marketing tool as opposed to a product for website developers. Kiki Scarberry, Kiki’s Graphic Design, will show you how to set-up and use analytics on your website, interpret the data, and create reports.  The workshop will also discuss Google Ads.

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Business Development

A business is a living thing.  Yours should be growing, changing, adapting.  In order to increase your wealth and energize your brand, you must spend time on business development.  Are you working a plan for increased success?  Biz dev is the key to survival and success.  In this session Mandy Kolesik, Marketing Kinetics LLC, will share how to develop you business using proven and practical techniques.

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Limited Liability

What is it? How do you get it? How do you lose it? Many small business owners that choose to form a limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation are motivated by a desire for “limited liability.”  But, even with an LLC or corporation, limited liability is not a sure thing.  Milo Alexander, Creighton University, will explain limited liability, including how it is created and how to avoid weakening or losing it. 

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Marketing in Rural Iowa

Join a Panel of Southwest Iowa Business Owners for a Q & A session on has and has not worked for them.  Bring your questions and join in the conversation.

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How to Price Your Product

Do you have doubts about how to price your products or services?  Do you follow the manufacturer's suggested pricing? Use your competitor's pricing?  Determining Right Price for your products or services is no simple task.  Bryan Ziegler, Iowa Small Business Development Center, will look at the factors you should considering in pricing your products or services. 

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Marketing 101: What Are You Marketing?

Are your marketing efforts working for you or are you throwing good money down the drain?  Are you saying what customers want to hear or what you want them to hear?  What should your marketing efforts be saying, how and where should you say it, and to whom? Dave McLaren, Iowa Small Business Development Center, will help you find answers this and other marketing questions.

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Exiting Your Business

Lisa Shimkat, Iowa Small Business Development Center, will help business owners understand what they need to know about exiting their business from both the buyer’s and seller’s perspective. Attendees will find out how to maximize the value of what they have and learn what it takes to define a successful exit strategy. 

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The Content Conundrum: Figuring out your print and web content

Your business needs print materials or a web site but you’re not sure what content to include or how to include it or for that matter how to say it. Chris Coke, three C design, will provide ideas on content and show you how to break down the process of writing text that best exemplifies your business.

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Making hiring decisions:  Helpful Hints

Starting your own business can be stressful.  Finding your first employees can prove to be instrumental in growing and expanding your business.  Learn what interviews questions you can legally ask job seekers and questions that will give you the best results.  You will also learn what assessments are available at no-cost to your business to help you select candidates with certain skill sets.  This session will also allow you to explore ideas to recruit candidates, find out how to market your job openings at no-cost and how to write a job description. 

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Where’s The Money:  “Are You Bankable”? 

Do you need financing for starting or expanding your business?  Do you need to refinance your existing debts to improve cash flows?  If you need financing or work with businesses that need financing, this presentation is for you.  You will learn what lenders look for when reviewing loan applications, non-bank sources of financing, and hints on how to make your business bankable.

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Individual One-on-One Consultation

Exporting

Are you ready for the export market?  Is your product export ready?  How do I find buyers?  Shipping?  Payment?  Liability?  Want expert answers to your export questions?  Debbie Franklin, International Trade Center Director, Iowa Small Business Development Centers, will provide individual one-on-one consultation throughout the day.  Get a personal appointment scheduled in advance by calling 641-782-1449 or sign up at the registration table

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New Sales Markets

Is there a government agency buying your products or services?  Which one(s) and where?  Are your prices competitive?  Take a first-hand look to see who is buying your products or services.  How much are they buying?  Who they’re buying from?  Then decide if you want to pursue them.  Be guided in a private session by a professional government contracting consultant, Gordon Bonnes from Iowa State University, supported by the Department of Defense.  Get a personal appointment scheduled in advance by calling 712-308-2229, or emailing to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or signup at the registration table day of conference.

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Presenters

Milo Alexander

Milo is a lawyer and Director of the Community Economic Development Clinic at Creighton University’s Law School.  The Clinic represents micro-entrepreneurs (those with five or fewer employees) across Nebraska and in western Iowa in a wide range of business law, including the choice and formation of business forms such as limited liability companies and S corporations, trademark, contract, and employment law.  The Clinic provides free legal services to micro-entrepreneurs who are unable to afford private representation.  (Clients must pay costs such as filing fees for articles of incorporation.)  Milo is licensed in Nebraska and Iowa. www.creighton.edu/law/clinics/communityeconomicdevelopmentclinic

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Gordon Bonnes

A former Manufacturing Vice President of government supply contracting companies for 20 years, Gordon now offers professional guidance on how to find and capture government contracts.  Opportunities can be found at the local, state, and federal levels.  Gordon is certified by the Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers and the national Federal Contractor Certification program.   Backed by support from the Department of Defense, all services and future counseling are free of charge.  An employee of Iowa State University Extension & Outreach – CIRAS Government Contracting Program, he has the support of the university Engineering College and the entire CIRAS consulting staff.  Gordon has his Bachelor Degree of Business Administration and is a veteran of the US Army.

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Janine Clover-Regional Director, Iowa Small Business Development Center, Southeastern Community College.

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Janine has provided entrepreneurial consulting and business training for the SBDC since 2001. She has developed many training programs including QuickBooks, Iowa Sales and Use Tax, Understanding Your Business Taxes, and mastering Employment Taxes. Janine has earned an MBA and a MAcc from St. Ambrose University, and has owned and operated a tax and accounting business for over 20 years. www.iowasbdc.org

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Chris Coke-three C design, Creston

With over 15 years of design and marketing experience Chris and his business, three C design has made a name for itself working for all types and sizes of clients local, national and even international. Chris has experience in a wide range of marketing and design disciplines including, advertising, web, logo, brochure, signage, video, catalogs, digital photo editing, radio and the list goes on. His company motto “Creative is what we do” is not limited to his professional life but all aspects of his life as well.

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Debbie Franklin-International Trade Center Director, Iowa Small Business Development Centers. 

Debbie provides Iowa businesses with specialized assistance in the area of exports.  Debbie joined the Iowa SBDC in May 2011 with over 30 years combined experience in wholesale manufacturing and retail department stores, including the development and growth of international business through global trade banking, supply chain management, and export logistics.  Debbie worked for a major mattress manufacturer and has also been self-employed as an international trade specialist.  Debbie is a NASBITE International Certified Global Business Professional and an Enrolled Agent to practice before the IRS.  She holds a BBA in Marketing from Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, Washington. www.iowasbdc.org/exports.aspx

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Tricia Janes-Market Research Coordinator, Iowa Small Business Development Centers, Des Moines, Iowa

Tricia is the Market Research Coordinator for the Iowa Small Business Development Centers.  She provides research and information to the SBDC clients, helping them make better decisions for their businesses.  Previously she worked as a self-employed Research Specialist.  Her background includes over 10 years of experience doing research for a variety of businesses and industries for business planning purposes as well as valuation, merger and acquisition purposes.  www.iowasbdc.org

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Mandy Kolesik-Marketing Consultant and President of Marketing Kinetics LLC.

Mandy is well-known for her innovative marketing strategy.  With more than 20 years in strategic marketing, her emphasis is on proven strategy and creative action.  She pushes for return on investment, and offers clients low-cost options to increase success. Mandy served as the Executive Director of Marketing for Graceland University for 9 years.  She has a master’s degree in business development from Bellevue University.  Mandy was a finalist for the National QED Excellence in Marketing Award 2006.  www.marketing-kinetics.com

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Dave McLaren-Regional Director, Iowa Small Business Development Center, SWCC. 

Dave has been director of the South Central Iowa Small Business Development Center since 2006.  He has over 30 years of experience, providing business consulting services and serving as Assistant Professor of Business at Colleges and Universities in Missouri, Wisconsin, and Nebraska.  He has an MBA from Missouri State University and is a Certified Business Adviser from University of Toledo. www.iowasbdc.org

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Sue Pitts-Regional Director, Iowa Small Business Development Center at Iowa Western Community College.

Sue works with entrepreneurial businesses as a consultant and mentor. She has developed and facilitates many training programs on social media and local internet marketing. Sue previously was the executive director of the Denison, Iowa, Chamber of Commerce for nine years, during which time she also co-owned and operated family businesses in Denison.  Sue is a Certified Business Adviser from University of Toledo. www.iowasbdc.org

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Kiki Scarberry-Kiki’s Graphic Design, Creston. 

Kiki has over 11 years marketing and design experience. From print ads, fliers, business cards and logo designs to web design, newsletters and email blasts. She also works with businesses to expand their web presence, get better search results and make ad placement decisions, along with social media consultations. Her mission is to help businesses expand, providing services that are on-time, and in-line with budgets and customer expectations. kikisgraphics.com

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Brandi Shay

Brandi is an Independent Small Business Consultant, Adjunct Instructor for Southwestern Community College, Entrepreneur, and Certified QuickBooks User.  She has spent the last six years helping business owners create accounting systems that produce financial information which can be used in the decision making process.  Brandi earned an MBA from Iowa State University.

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Lisa Shimkat-Regional Direct, Iowa Small Business Development Center, Fort Dodge.

Her scope of work is focused on both helping existing businesses expand and new businesses start-up by utilizing existing and community loan programs in partnership with federal programs. Lisa has an MBA from Iowa State University, is a Certified Business Adviser from University of Toledo and has also obtained Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) certification through the National Development Council. www.iowasbdc.org

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Bryan Ziegler-Regional Director, Iowa Small Business Development Center, Indian Hills Community College

Bryan Ziegler has helped small businesses implement marketing and sales strategy as the director of the Indian Hills Community College Small Business Development Center for 25 years.  Bryan has been teaching for Buena Vista University Ottumwa Center since 1986 and provides instruction for business managers in several seminar topic areas.  Bryan managed the sales for a construction company and earned an MBA from Western Illinois University and is a Certified Business Adviser from University of Toledo.  www.iowasbdc.org

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