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Small business seminars offered on campus

Feb. 15, 2010

KALAMAZOO--A workshop series dedicated to assisting small business owners through the process of market diversification will be held on the campus of Western Michigan University during March.

March 3-30, the Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center, based at the Haworth College of Business, and the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center will act as co-hosts for a series of hands-on workshops. This marks the first time such a complete series has been presented in Southwest Michigan. All five workshops will be held in Room 3150 of Schneider Hall. Each morning, a continental breakfast will be served at 7:30 a.m., followed by a workshop from 8 to 11 a.m.

Fees are $100 per session, with a $50 discount available to participants who sign up for all five workshops. Parking is available for all pre-registered participants.

For more information or to register online, visit the Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center online.

Workshop schedule

  • Wednesday, March 3, "Market Diversification Readiness." Instructor Kathleen Hoyle, vice president business development, Blue Strategies Group, will discuss how to create a strong foundation on which to diversify a company's product and market portfolio. This will help participants understand their companies' current environment, assess external factors, offer SWOT analysis of opportunities and explore effective sales and marketing practices, financials and other metrics. The work in this session is designed to serve as a framework for determining an organization's future strategies.

  • Tuesday, March 9, "Market Knowledge Systems." Instructor Kathleen Hoyle will help assess customer needs for products and services by using appropriate information and data available to support new innovation development. This session will focus on how to collect and find information on competitors, potential customers and new markets.

  • Tuesday, March 16, "Marketing and Competitive Differentiation." Instructor Kathleen Hoyle will discuss marketplace position and explore new market space for developing a leadership position. This workshop will help differentiate a company's product and service offerings from the competition by offering value propositions within the areas of pricing, distribution, promotional, or product strategies that align with strategic vision and mission to effectively compete in a global environment.

  • Tuesday, March 23, "Sales Management." Instructor Bob Johnston, vice president for business development, Blue Strategies Group, will cover sales management tools that can double or triple sales results. This workshop will show step-by-step ways to track opportunities through the sales process and forecast future income. It also will examine ways to turn prospects into customers and steps to close the deal.

  • Tuesday, March 30, "Innovation Management." Instructor Kathleen Hoyle will discuss ways companies can understand their core competencies and create products, services, processes or new business models that customers want. This workshop will cover innovation methodologies, including the development of a process that involves the entire cycle of idea development.
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Media contact: Deanne Puca, (269) 387-8400, deanne.puca@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400