Small Business Program

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COA Small Business Program

Gain tangible skills and knowledge to enhance the performance of your small business.

The Center for Professional Education (CPE) partners with the City of Austin’s Small Business Program to offer expert, cost-effective training to Austin-area small business owners.

The mission of the Small Business Program is to foster job creation and support the growth of new and existing businesses by providing capacity building information, tools and resources.

View the most up-to-date list of topics and courses and register for classes at

Earn a Gold Seal Certificate

Participants who complete six classes will receive a gold seal Business Skills Certificate jointly from both The University of Texas at Austin’s Center for Professional Education and the City of Austin’s Small Business Program.

The Center for Professional Education and the Small Business Program will add new classes based on customer feedback.

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How to Get Investors
Starting a new business? Expanding operations of an existing one? You will always need capital. This class explores a wide spectrum of opportunities in seeking venture capital or risk capital investors. All potential sources of capital - friends, family, professionally managed venture capital funds, and more - are reviewed and considered. This course explains the processes of determining capital needs for the small business and will help you to understand the difference between equity investors and business partners. You will learn the different methods of finding and raising capital and how to research and contact potential business investors.

How to Write a Business Plan
This course provides a practical, step-by-step instruction in how to develop a business plan for a small start-up business or the expansion of an existing business. A business plan can be submitted to a financial institution or private investor for funding or used for implementation. Emphasis will be placed on a plan's components, format, marketing and financial projections and analysis. This class will teach you how to review all the various components of a business plan and apply learned concepts in developing a plan for your own business.

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Manage Your Cash Flow
Cash flow – you can live and die by it. Many small business owners get stuck in the day-to-day business operations and fail to pay enough attention to cash flow. This class will help you understand cash flow and how to use it as a tool to keep your business healthy. This course will provide you with the fundamentals needed to manage, measure, understand, and improve business cash flow.

QuickBooks Pro for Desktop – Introduction
Whether you are a brand new user looking to master the fundamentals of QuickBooks Pro, or an existing user wishing to take your QuickBooks Pro knowledge to another level, the QuickBooks Pro Introductory seminar can help you improve the way you use QuickBooks accounting software to manage your business. This seminar covers accounting basics, tracking revenue and expenses (Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable), bank and credit card reconciliation, memorized transactions, and file setup using QuickBooks Pro accounting software. Don't waste time through trial and error learning. If you want to reduce frustration, and increase accuracy in your business, this training is for you. QuickBooks Pro 2018 DESKTOP software will be loaded onto the PCs provided for you during the class session. Mac computers are not provided for students during this training session. This class does not include software to take home.

QuickBooks Pro for Desktop – Intermediate
This course is a more advanced look at how to use QuickBooks Pro to best meet your business' accounting needs. This course covers these advanced topics: sales tax, payroll setup and processing, budgets, setting up items for invoices, sales orders and year end closing procedures using QuickBooks Pro accounting software. QuickBooks Pro is one of the most cost effective and best supported small business accounting software application on the market today. This class will teach you how to use the more complicated features that QuickBooks Pro can perform. QuickBooks Pro 2018 DESKTOP software will be loaded onto the PCs provided for you during the class session. Mac computers are not provided for students during this training session. This class does not include software to take home.

Small Business Accounting
Accounting provides the framework to evaluate the financial health and success of a business. Small Business Accounting is a practical introduction to basic accounting concepts and the primary financial statements. Learn some basic accounting knowledge and skills, so you can better evaluate new opportunities, manage current operations, ensure timely and accurate tax compliance and attract new partners or investors.

Strategic Pricing
Pricing is the fastest and most effective way for companies to increase profitability. Studies show that a 1% increase in pricing has a greater positive impact on profitability than does a 1% increase in sales volume or a 1% decrease in costs. Unfortunately, too many companies do not think tactically about pricing and do not effectively price for profitability. This workshop is designed to help small business owners and managers to understand common mistakes that companies make in pricing and learn best pricing practices that will enable them to maximize company profitability.

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Interviews and Hiring Employees
Of all the decisions business owners make, none impacts the effectiveness of their business more profoundly than hiring. Understanding how to interview a potential employee and hire for the right fit is necessary for any small business owner. This course will teach you how to develop your own structured interviewing techniques, help you to differentiate between behaviors and traits, and show you how to write effective behavioral based questions so that you can prepare to ask the right questions when interviewing a potential employee. This class also looks at the legal environment of hiring and will help you to create a defendable hiring process.

Human Resources Basics
“I can’t do it all by myself anymore! I need HELP! I need to hire some people to help me get all this work done.” Have you ever said this to yourself? Is the committee in your head telling you that you can’t do it all anymore? If so, this class is for you! Learn the basics of what you need to do before you hire that first employee or independent contractor and then what records you need to have thereafter. Topics covered include: Independent contract vs. Employee; recordkeeping requirements; overtime wages; taxable and non-taxable fringe benefits. *This class does not include material on interviewing techniques or the hiring process. If you are interested in interviewing techniques, please register for the “Hiring the Right People” class.

Supervisory Excellence
Supervisory Excellence plays a critical role in any organization's success. The responsibility and accountability of supervising requires a new, improved, or completely different skill set than what you currently have. This course is designed to help you to better understand the full range of management responsibilities, learn what employees and other managers expect of you, and help you assess your management style to make improvements that will help you to achieve personal and professional success.

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Google: Help Customers Find You
This introductory course provides hands-on, step-by-step instructions for getting websites found through high ranking on Google and other search engines. Using real world examples, local author Greg Bright will present Search Engine Optimization using non-technical, layman's terms - from one small business owner to another. Included with the course is a copy of the instructor's book Play Google's Game.

The book contains 101 simple tips for high ranking and growing businesses online and is formatted like a workbook with blank lines and objectives at the end of each chapter. Every technique covered in the course can be implemented immediately! Search Engine Optimization is all about getting high ranking in the "natural" search results and it is free -- not to be confused with the sponsored (paid for) ads.

Social Media Best Practices
Social media like Facebook and Twitter are not only a great ways for people to stay in touch with one another, they’re also great marketing tools when implemented well. Businesses throughout the world want to use social media to: increase their brand image and awareness, develop stronger customer relations, and improve ROI. This class is designed to familiarize you with social media itself, the do's and don'ts of social media, and best practices in social media. You'll understand how to best employ social media like Facebook and Twitter to better position your businesses in your markets.

Marketing Essentials
This class covers five essentials to marketing your small business. Marketing requires a blend of traditional and emerging practices, creativity, and 100% tenacity. Learn the right strategies and tactics to maximize success and avoid wasting valuable time and money.

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Small Business Recordkeeping
Paperwork? I don't have time to spend keeping up with details - I'm too busy growing my business and doing the work! Have you ever asked yourself - what documents do I really need for me, the IRS, the State of Texas, my bank, and the people I do business with? Sound familiar? Then this class is for you. Learn the basics of what records to create, how long to keep them, and how to use this information to grow your business!

Understanding Business Taxes
Preparation of business tax returns can be very complex in light of the ever-changing tax laws. This class can help your navigation. Gain familiarity with the tax forms, due dates and the financial information required to accurately complete various business tax returns. Reduce your stress and frustrations by understanding what is needed before you start.

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For More Information Contact Toi Davis

We're Hiring Concept Image

The Center for Professional Education (CPE) is hiring experienced professionals in the Austin area to teach in our Small Business Program.