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Ashland Chamber of Commerce
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MOB 2019 Living in Ashland

August 2019 Entrepreneurs' Advantage -

A Monthly SOU SBDC Newsletter


At a Glance...
From the Director
  • Choices: Defining Moment Vs. Cumulative Effect
  • A New Face
Feature Articles
  • Getting Organized: Soul Searching for What Works Best for Your Company
  • Best Business Practices - Business Records
Learning Opportunities
  • Introduction to Entrepreneurship
  • SBM Cohort III
  • Speaker Event - The Best Team Wins
Networking @ the Chambers
  • Ashland
  • Central Point
  • Eagle Point
  • Jacksonville
  • Medford
Other Happenings
  • WESO Kick-Off
Choices: Defining Moment vs. Cumulative Effect
by Marshall Doak
Perhaps you have heard this joke: In a want ad in a recent newspaper the following personal ad was placed: “Wanted, spouse with boat. Please send picture of boat”.
Other than the obvious criticism of the ad that there was no mention of how well the galley was stocked, what other serious lack of judgment issues does the joke illustration bring to mind? How about the idea of choosing a life/business partner based upon poor judgment regarding selection criteria? Thankfully, this never happens in the workplace, right?
What if we were to hire that delinquent nephew to please a brother or sister, only to find out all those awful character attributes you didn’t want in your business cause it to fail? Maybe you lose long-term customers due to poor service skills and lack of interest on your employees’ parts? Or you suffer financial loss due to a family member cleaning-out the till and are too embarrassed to call law enforcement due to the social stigma it would cause? All of these scenarios speak to fundamental issues of choosing the best employees, and choosing the best people as partners regardless of what the circumstances may be. [Full Article]
We invite you to sign up for our related speaker event, "The Best Team Wins: Finding, Building, and Managing Relationships to Lower Costs and Increase Profits." See our Learning Opportunities section in this newsletter.
A New Face
Please welcome Lisa Aman, who recently joined our team as an interim Office Support Specialis. Lisa possesses a B.S. in Business Administration and is close to completing an M.B.A., with a minor in Technology Management. Her most recent work experience was as a senior administrative support at the University of California San Francisco, as well as a owning a small business development support business in Reno, Nevada. Lisa is also a U. S. Army veteran, having servd during the end of the Cold War. When not at the ffice, Lisa enjoys reading, science fiction movies, enjoying the outdoors, and the culture and arts scene in the local area.
Feature Articles
Getting Organized: Soul Searching for
What Works Best for Your Company
by Todd Tippin
SBM Instructional Advisor
I meet with many entrepreneurs wanting an answer to the question: Should my company be more than a sole proprietorship, like a LLC or S-Corp. or maybe another structure that may better fit my situation? 
There are many reasons for choosing each structure type. Some want whatever is easiest with no real view toward the future. Some want insulation from unforeseen liabilities. Others want both the protections and the more favorable tax structure. 
While your own situation has its own unique features, often working with an adviser can help you decide on or revisit a structure type.
Best Business Practices: Business Records
by Lisa Aman
SOU SBCD Office Services
When we start a new business, we are sometimes caught up in our dreamscapes showing the business community what our business is about. But while we’re “calling all the shots,” we mustn’t forget the importance of accurate record keeping. Having the right business records on hand are necessary tools for successful transactions, such as purchasing inventory, selling to customers, obtaining loans and grants, hiring employees, renting business spaces and filing taxes
Wikipedia defines a business record as “a document (hard copy or digital) that records a business dealing…It must be retrievable at a later date so that the business dealings can be accurately reviewed as required.”
Establishing a system can seem overwhelming, especially if what exactly is needed seems murky! The following describes five important document types to accurately maintain:
  • General business information, e.g. meeting minutes, memoranda, operations manuals, etc.;
  • Accounting records, e.g. bank statements, purchasing agreements, transaction records, etc.;
  • Legal documents, e.g. employment contracts, partnership agreements, non-disclosure statements, articles of incorporation; and
  • Permits, Licenses, and Insurance documentation.
For successful and consistent business health, it is important for your customers and the business community to have confidence in your operations. Having best business practices such as accurate, retrievable business records presents a return on this investment in terms of your business growth and trustworthiness within your industry.
To learn more about successful business documentation practices, please call the SOU SBDC at 541-552-8300 or visit our website at https://sou.edu/sbdc.
Learning Opportunities
Tuesday, August 9 10:00 - 11:30 am and Friday, August 20 3:00 - 4:30 pm
Have a passion for your small business idea but don't know how to get if off the ground? Join our staff for an informative ninety-minute presentation that provides an overview of doing business in Oregon.
Topics include:
  • SBDC Services - Tools, resources and services.
  • Feasibility - Evaluating your business idea and doing the research.
  • Legal Structures - Which one is right for you and your business?
  • Registration & Licensing - State and Local Rules, Regulations and Licensing Requirements.
  • Business Plan Basics - Where to start with writing your business plan. 
All meetings are held in room 130A at RCC/SOU Higer Education Center (HEC), 101 S Bartlett Street in Medford (cross streets are 8th and Central Avenue).
All materials are provided. The only thing you need to bring are your questions!

September 2019 - May 2020
Believing there is no better time than the present to get serious about building Southern Oregon’s businesses, we are reminding our business clients to join the Small Business Management class.
In addition to classroom instruction, each business enrolled also receives on-site advising by an SOU Small Business adviser, focusing on the month’s topic and incorporating it into actual operations:
  • Maximize marketing and sales;
  • Understand financial inputs so you can plan and manage profits;
  • Conquer operational and administrative challenges by developing successful systems;
  • Collaborate, test and prototype your business ideas; and
  • Network with other local entrepreneurs.
Meeting the Challenges of
Business Ownership
(A Client Testimonial for SBM Class)
By Michael Henn
As someone trying to learn and make improvements in my business, I eagerly followed my SBDC advisor's recommendation to sign up for SBM. This class covered a breadth of actionable topics, from marketing to risk management. There are many lessons that I have learned, but the two most important changes I have implemented as a result of SBM include: 1) getting my financials/accounting correct and up-to-date, and 2) valuing character in my employees over skills.
Before I struggled with payroll and filing reports with the correct state and federal agencies. During class, I was referred to a bookkeeper who was more helpful than any others I’ve worked with. She helped me get on track again. The second most important change, valuing character over skills, has made it easier to me to challenge my skilled employees without fear of what they will think. This has allowed me to push them to be the best they can be.
These changes have lifted the overall morale in my business and everyone feels better about the work we are doing. I would suggest that all other business owners take active steps to educate themselves and seek guidance daily. The SOU SBDC offers many tools for education and ways for getting help with common struggle areas of business.
The SBM I class covers a wide spectrum of necessary areas of business that may be left behind. These foundational topics are addressed in systematically scheduled classes. I would also recommend that other business owners take advantage of the workshops, classes, and services offered by the SBDC, as well as to continue their personal and professional development.
SBM Cohort II participant Michael Henn, owner ofRogue Home Repair, provides skilled tradework--bathroom and kitchen remodels, decks, fences, and service calls--to property management companies and homeowners. He became interested in the Small Business Management class after first becoming a client with SOU's SBDC.
Classroom space is limited! Learn moreire today about this class by clicking on"Plan. Lead. Execute."
Unique to the Southern Oregon region, the SOU SBDC is significantly placed to capture and educate an understanding of local trends, best business practices, and successful operations.There are a few SBM Cohort III scholarships still availableClick on "Apply Now" for information regarding tuition assistance offered to participants this year.
Thursday, August 22, 12:00 - 1:00 pm Free Event
Room #132, RCC/SOU HEC, 101 S. Bartlett St., Medford
THE BEST TEAM WINS: Finding, Building, and Managing Relationships to Lower Costs and Increase Profits

Presented by Todd Tippin, SOU SBDC Instructional Adviser
Small businesses must leverage all of their resources to maximize profits and reduce costs. Whether you are a solo-entrepreneur or have dozens of employees, you will discover:
  • How to acquire the best players;
  • Teamwork for higher profits;
  • Leveraging third party service providers (CPAs, insurance agents, bankers, landlords, attorneys, etc.); and
  • Personal contribution commitments.
Click on "Act Now" to reserve your seat for this exciting inside look at making effective personnel decisions to increase your bottom line!
Networking @ the Chambers
August 29, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Speaker Series on Fire Management and Climate Change
Join KSW and Fire experts to talk about the role of fire in our ecoregion. Explore the inner and outer workings of fire impacts to the landscape in an era of climate change. Hear from Dr. Halpern who completed her dissertation on prescribed fire and tanoak associated cultural plant resources of the Karuk and Yurok peoples of California. Halpern is creating innovative fire and forestry programs with broad community involvement. More info at Innovative Responses to Fire and Forestry ProgramsContact Holly at 541.488.5789 to register.

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