For those who have considered starting a small business or who have already begun a small business endeavor, the Ogden chapter of the Small Business Development Center at Weber State University provides a free series of three classes: Start Smart, Money Smart and Market Smart.
On Tuesday, Theresa Johner, a trainer and a counselor for the Ogden SBDC, taught one of the quarterly sessions of Money Smart. The class covered in detail the principles of tax laws for small businesses and how a small business owner would manage those accounts.
Natalie Jones, a senior at WSU, participated in Tuesday’s seminar.
“At the beginning of the class, Theresa made sure to ask us what we wanted to get out of it,” Jones said. “She wrote down the topics we had questions about and made sure to address them as we went through the class.”
Johner went into depth on setting up payroll accounts and the design of finances at the request of those in attendance. Johner also made it clear she did not want students to be intimidated by the language of business and simplified the various terminologies that a business owner would need to know, such as clarifying the difference between an asset and an expense.
In addition to the definite terms of applicable tax laws, Johner provided information on systems that can be purchased in order to aid in the bookkeeping process of business owning.
According to Beverly King, the director of the Ogden SBDC, the program is “government funded . . . and exists to provide counseling, training and referrals for existing small businesses or for people who are interested in starting a small business.”
The needs of up-and-coming entrepreneurs can be met through personal counseling with the staff or through the three classes.
The first class of the series is Start Smart and is offered two to three times a month in a given semester.
“The Start Smart class goes over the general mindset of the business owner. It’s mostly for people who are thinking of going into business, and we try to show them what they’re getting in to,”Johner said.
Johner’s assessment of the Start Smart class is that it is about teaching regulatory items, giving prospective business owners a checklist so they know what needs to be done, informing them of the different legal entities they can be set up as and exploring what kind of funding is available to them.
The third class in the series, Market Smart, is designed to help growing businesses enter the world of advertisement and marketing with a knowledge that will help avoid wasting money and generate more business success, as well.
The classes are generally in seminary format and given in two-hour blocks, providing a format for attendees to ask questions during the presentation, as well as speak with the instructor one on one after the session’s conclusion.
“People should take advantage of our services because most of them are free of charge,” King said of the SBDC’s work. “We cannot duplicate attorney services, but we’re here to advise, coach and give counseling. We can help with management, human resources, getting certifications, designing financial and business plans and general aide in starting a business.”
The SBDC in Ogden also has a website, community.weber.edu/sbdc, with information on how to set up appointments for these free services as well as other helpful articles on running small businesses.