Monday, March 19, 2012

Workshops provide valuable tools to small business owners

There is an old saying that if you are handed a lemon in life, you should make lemonade.

Sometimes, it is not easy to turn a negative in to a positive, especially when it comes to a person’s career. These last few years have been tough on many professionals in our communities, who have suffered job losses, reductions in pay and huge amounts of job-related stress.

Despite these significant challenges and an economic turnaround still built more on hope and optimism than business activity, there is a whole lot of lemonade being made in the greater Birmingham-Bloomfield area in the form of a whole new breed of entrepreneurs who have cast aside (both of their own accord and not) their traditional career and have created their own businesses and/or business opportunities.

While these new business owners are long on passion, determination and grit, they oftentimes are short on practical experience, staff and other resources they need to make it through the crucial first couple of years of running their business, growing and clientele and beginning to recoup start-up costs. One of the ways the Birmingham Bloomfield Chambers helps these new CEOs is through our quarterly Professional Edge workshops. The workshops expose small business owners to experts in the fields of sales and marketing, human resources, advertising, social media and other topics critical to running a successful business.

Our first Professional Edge workshop of 2012 – Keeping your Customers your Customers -- is scheduled for Thursday, March 22 and features Todd Rogers of the Astor Alliance. Rogers will present on building quality relationships with your customers and using tools to leave your customers wanting more of you, not less.

On June 7, Lynne Golodner of Your People LLC will present “The Anatomy of an Idea,” where guests will learn the ins, outs, and tricks of the trade; how to create a newsworthy and timely pitch, and how to establish relationships with local media.

Continuing the theme of how to bring greater exposure to your business, Emily Hay of Hay There Social Media will present “Developing a Social Media Strategy” on Oct. 4, where she will guide attendees on taking the right steps to leverage social media effectively, how to re-evaluate your online marketing efforts and develop a strategy to better connect with your business audience.

The final workshop of the year scheduled for Nov. 1 features Ray Santerini of Aim High Empowerment Training presenting “Serve to Profit -- $ell without Selling.” Santerini will discuss how success in sales is an inside out job and help individuals build on their strengths and learn ways to overcome limitations while experiencing an increase in confidence and sill which will lead to higher revenues.

All four Professional Workshops are held from 7:30-9:30 a.m. at the Huntington Bank Headquarters, 801 W. Big Beaver in Troy. Registration is only $10 and includes a light breakfast and networking.

To learn more about the series, please visit the BBC’s Web site at, and I hope to see you at an upcoming workshop.

Joe Bauman is president of the Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber. He welcomes feedback at

Here's a snapshot of our speaker on 3/22 Todd Rogers: