County to offer entrepreneurial education

Economic development entities from Marion, Hills?boro and Marion County are joining forces with three state organizations to sponsor an 11-week Growing Rural Businesses Entrepre?neurial Certificate Program starting Sept. 10.

Sessions are planned for every Thursday from 5:30-9 p.m. The cost to participate is $250 for the entire program, or $50 per individual session, which will be in the Community Center Ball?room, 203 N. Third, Marion.

The state organizations participating are NetWork Kansas, Centre for Entre?pre?neurship and the Wichita State University W. Frank Barton School of Business.

The program is designed to provide participants with information on latest business principles and examples necessary for today?s rural communities.

According to organizers, the 11 sessions take a practical approach to reviewing business practices and evaluating how to best leverage resources. Group discussions led by facilitators will provide insights on how to approach challenges and solve them effectively.

Tuition fees will include all materials, resource guide and refreshments. Partici?pants who attend at least nine of the 11 sessions will be awarded the entrepre?neurial certificate.

Session lineup

Following are the topic and presenter for each session::

? Sept. 10: ?Entrepreneu?rial Mindset for Small Busi?nesses.? Assessing your entrepreneurial spirit; building a business concept statement and vision. Presenter: Don Hackett, WSU family business fellow and associate professor.

? Sept 14: ?Customer Dis?cov?ery: The Roadmap to a Successful Mar?keting Plan? (11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., includes lunch). Applying market research and market segmentation, components of a marketing plan. Presenter: Chris Broberg, WSU assistant professor.

? Sept. 24: ?Developing a Com?prehensive Promotional Strategy.? Media buying, press releases, how to develop and measure promotional materials. Presen?ter: Dotty Harpool, director, Barton School Community Initiatives and instructor.

? Oct. 1: ?Creating Value for Your Customers.? Cus?tomer service/consumer behavior, exceeding customer needs before, during and after. Presenter: Don Hackett.

? Oct. 8: ?Fundamental Tactics and Approaches of Merchandising.? Point of purchase display, point of sale system, retail pitch plan, approaching gatekeepers. Presenter: Jim Wol, WSU professor.

? Oct. 15: ?Basic Sales Tech?niques and Practices of Selling. ?Selling the concept and the keys of making a sale, identifying a potential customer.? Presenter: Don Hackett.

? Oct. 22: ?Getting the Best From Others: The Employee Fac?tor.? How to attract, retain and dismiss employees, building team con?sensus. Presenter: Gaylen Chand?ler, Barton Distinguished Chair in Entrepreneurship.

? Oct. 28: ?The Nuts and Bolts of Advertising.? Ad strategy, placement, locating and reaching your customers, recognizing target markets. Presenter: Dotty Harpool.

? Nov. 5: ?Keeping a Finan?cial Focus: Impact on Marketing and Business Operations.? Monitoring critical numbers and finan?cial control systems of your business. Pre?senters: Atul Rai, associate pro?fessor, and Larry Jones, faculty fellow.

? Nov. 12: ?Practical Legal Issues: Risks, Contracts, Business Entities & Em?ployment Law.? Improv?ing vendor relationships, negotiations, and contracts for positive (win/win) outcomes. Presenter: Josh Pollak, Min?ter & Pollak Law Firm partner

? Nov. 19: ?Bringing it All Together: Developing an Effective Niche Strategy.? Presenter: Jim Wol.

Registration contacts

Enrollment is limited. To register contact one of the following:

? Terry Jones, director of economic development, Marion, 620-382-3703 or terry@marionks.net;

? Teresa Human, director of Marion County Economic Development, 620-381-3920 or thuxman@marioncoks.netl; or

? Clint Seibel, Hillsboro Development Corp./Hills?boro Ventures Inc., 620-947-3458.

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