KSBDC offers free online courses for current, potential small business owners

Potential and existing small business owners can now access virtual training courses for free at a Web site -- www.ksbdc.biz -- created by the Kansas Small Business Development Center (KSBDC), NetWork Kansas and the Kansas Department of Commerce.

Courses offered on the site address three main subject areas: Starting Your Business, Managing Your Finances and Foundations of Marketing.

The courses take between 30-120 minutes to complete and include audio, high-end graphics, case studies and worksheets. All 26 courses are offered in English and will soon be available in Spanish. A simple registration process is required. Participants will be asked to complete a brief evaluation form after completing the course.

The KSBDC provided 12,139 hours of free one-to-one counseling to 1,999 clients in 2007. Approximately 4,650 individuals attended onsite workshops at the eight regional and four outreach centers throughout Kansas. Last year, the KSBDC assisted clients in 263 new business ventures and helped generate 1,365 new jobs in Kansas.

KSBDC, for which Fort Hays State University serves as statewide host, is a partnership program with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Kansas Department of Commerce, Allen County Community College, Cloud County Community College, Coffeyville Community College, Emporia State University, FHSU, Fort Scott Community College, Garden City Community College, Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce, Independence Community College, Johnson County Community College, Labette Community College, Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce, Neosho County Community College, Pittsburg State University, University of Kansas, Washburn University and Wichita State University.

Contact information for each of the eight regional centers and four outreach centers can be found on www.ksbdc.biz.

NetWork Kansas was established as a component of the Kansas Economic Growth Act of 2004 to further establish entrepreneurship and small business as a priority for economic and community development in the state of Kansas. Backed by more than 400 partners statewide, NetWork Kansas promotes an entrepreneurial environment by establishing a central portal that connects entrepreneurs and small business owners with the expertise, education and economic resources when they are needed most.

For more information about NetWork Kansas, contact Steve Radley at (316) 978-7312. Entrepreneurs and small business owners are encouraged to visit www.networkkansas.com or call (877) 521-8600 to speak with a counselor.

The Kansas Department of Commerce has a clear mission: to deliver the highest level of Business Development, Workforce and Marketing Services that build a healthy and expanding economy. To this end, Commerce comprises a variety of programs and services that create jobs, attract new investment, provide workforce training, encourage community development and sell the state as a wonderful place to live, work and play.

Commerce delivers its programs through the following divisions: Agriculture Marketing, Business Development, Community Development, Trade Development, Travel and Tourism, and Workforce Services.

Courses currently offered on www.ksbdc.biz include:

Starting Your Business
Developing a Business Plan
Conducting a Marketing Analysis
Analyze Your Competition
Targeting Your Market
Maintaining an Agile Company
Creating a Competitive Advantage
Creating a Strategic Plan
Determining Your Business Legal Structure
Protecting Your Business with Patents, Copyrights and Trademarks

Managing Your Finances
Preparing a Cash Budget
Preparing a Balance Sheet
Managing Your Cash Flow
Running a Profitable Company
Creating a Profit and Loss Statement
Analyzing Your Financial Ratios
Protecting Your Business with Contracts
Assessing Your Company's Financial Needs
Partners and Investors
Valuing a Business

Foundations of Marketing
Pricing Products and Services
Building your Brand
Promoting your Business
Advertising your Business
Building a Website
Personalization Strategies to Attract and Retain Customers
Identifying Your Sales Strategy

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Office of University Relations   |  600 Park Street   |  Hays, KS  67601-4099
(785) 628-4206   |   Fax (785) 628-4152
Kent Steward, Director   |  ksteward@fhsu.edu  |  Kurt Beyers, Assistant Director   |  kbeyers@fhsu.edu