Teaching the basics of starting a business and helping established businesses grow are always the goals of the West Pasco Chamber of Commerce's annual Business Development Week. The past few years have seen the rise of the home-based business and startups as people at larger firms fall victim to the Great Recession. People want to sell what they're good at, said chamber executive director Joe Alpine. But that's easier said than done.
"Just because you bake a good apple pie doesn't mean you can open a bakery and be successful," he said.
That's why the chamber sponsors a week of seminars aimed at helping people with the more business-like aspects of an operation. This year's offerings are based on surveys that participants filled out last year and include the ever-popular issue of time management, how to use software such as Quickbooks, and how to effectively promote a business through social media and traditional news outlets. And there are plenty of networking opportunities and speakers to help get people motivated. In addition to the chamber of commerce, major sponsors include Progress Energy and the St. Petersburg Times.
Here's the complete schedule of the week, which runs from Jan. 24-29. Visit westpasco.com for information or to reserve a spot.
• 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. kickoff luncheon at Spartan Manor, 6121 Massachusetts Ave., New Port Richey. Former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Mark Royals, motivational speaker. Cost: $25 per person. RSVP (727) 842-7651.
• 6 to 8 p.m. Seminar: "Social Networking to Promote Your Business — Facebook & Twitter" by Marcia Kielar and Mike Smith. New Port Richey Library.
• 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Time management presentation by Lori Bainum at the Pasco-Hernando Community College west campus conference center.
• 9:45 to 11:45 a.m. Seminar by Tom Fleming: "What does your referral percentage look like? Are you getting the most out of your networking strategy?" PHCC west campus conference center.
• Noon to 1:30 p.m. Box lunch and seminar by Pat Patterson: Mining & Developing Your Own Database, and E-mail Blasting: How to's, Do's and Don't's. PHCC west campus conference center. Cost: $6.
• 2 to 3:30 p.m. Seminar by Donna Long: Communicating With Style. PHCC west campus conference center.
• 6 to 8 p.m. Seminar by Jennifer Bonin, Steve Schurdell & Tony Francis: Using the Media to Market Your Business for Free. PHCC west campus conference center.
• 8:30 to 10 a.m. Seminar: Starting a Home Business 101, at Marchman Technical Center.
• 10:15 to 11:45 a.m. Seminar: Starting a Home Business 102, at Marchman Technical Center.
• Noon to 1:30 p.m. luncheon with the New Port Richey Rotary Club. Cost: $12 per person. Speaker: Scott Fink, president, Hyundai of New Port Richey and Hyundai and Mazda of Wesley Chapel.
• 1:45 to 3:15 p.m. Intro to Quickbooks, at Marchman Technical Center.
• 3:30 to 5 p.m. Advanced Record-Keeping & Quickbooks, at Marchman Technical Center.
• 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Business Card Exchange/Mixer & Business to Business Expo, at Fox Hollow Golf Club, 10550 Robert Trent Jones Parkway, Trinity.
• 7:30 to 9 a.m. Success Stories Breakfast with Seven Springs Rotary Club at Seven Springs Golf and Country Club, 3535 Trophy Blvd., New Port Richey. Featured speakers include Susan Arnett of the United Way of Pasco County; Brent Wallace of Space Age Signs; and Bonnie Howard and Bev Miller of Minuteman Press of New Port Richey. Cost: $8 per person.
• 10 to 11:45 a.m. Panel: Successful Women in Business, at PHCC west campus conference center. Featuring Jen Holloway of Bright House Networks; Pasco County Commissioner Ann Hildebrand; and Melissa Nurrenbrock of Genesis School.
• Noon to 1:30 p.m. Dress for Success box lunch, featuring Jackie Brown Davis. PHCC west campus conference center. Cost: $6.
• 1:45 to 3:15 p.m. Seminar: Employees who are "Out of Sight"; How Employing the Visually Impaired Can Benefit Your Business, by Sylvia Perez and Kyle Kiper. PHCC west campus conference center.
• 3:30 to 5 p.m. Seminar: How Public Libraries Can Help You and Your Business, by Linda Allen and Nancy Fredericks. PHCC west campus conference center.
• 6 to 8 p.m. Seminar: Health Care and the Small Business Owner, by Mario Iezzoni, CPA, MBA. PHCC west campus conference center.
SCORE WORKSHOPS in east Pasco at Wesley Chapel Hyundai Dealership on Wesley Chapel Boulevard. SCORE is a nonprofit agency and partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration with the mission of helping people start and grow businesses.
• 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Seminar: How to Successfully Obtain a Business Loan.
• 9:15 to 10:30 a.m. Seminar: How to Really Start Your Own Business.
• 10:45 a.m. to noon. Seminar: Marketing Your Business for Success.
• Noon to 1:30 p.m. Pasco Economic Development Council Luncheon, Tampa Bay Golf & Country Club, 11500 Old Tampa Bay Drive, San Antonio, off State Road 52, just west of Interstate 75. Cost: $25 per person. RSVP: 1-888-607-2726. Advanced registration required, as there is limited seating. Chris Jones of Florida Economic Advisors, LLC, will provide a lively forecast of the U.S. and Florida economy and what the indicators mean for Pasco County.
• 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Business Expo at Gulf View Square mall, U.S. 19, Port Richey.