As part of Chicago’s efforts to support small business and startup growth, the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) is hosting a new workshop series called “Startup Toolkit: Tips & Tricks for Success.” The five-part series, which begins August 28, 2015 and will be held once a month through the end of the year, will cover areas new and existing entrepreneurs need to know in order to run a successful startup business, including commercial property leasing, legal considerations, social media, and business sales and acquisitions. All BACP workshops are held at City Hall, 121 North LaSalle Street, Room 805.
“We always like to introduce innovative business tools to keep small businesses thriving,” said BACP Commissioner Maria Guerra Lapacek. “This new workshop series will help small businesses learn from the success and failures of other companies, to easily adapt to current business trends.”
Since 2011, the Emanuel administration has increased efforts to support business growth in neighborhoods across Chicago. Mayor Emanuel launched the Small Business Center (SBC) to provide small business owners and entrepreneurs a one stop shop resource as well as educational workshops, where more than 11,300 people have attended since April 2011.
“Starting a new business is a daunting and expensive undertaking if an entrepreneur is not properly educated on how to tackle the issues that lie ahead,” said Lema Khorshid, a founding partner at Fuksa Khorshid, LLC. “The series is designed to equip entrepreneurs with the practical strategic legal education that they need to run a successful startup venture.”
The new workshop series includes the following programs:
8/28 Navigating a Commercial Real Estate Transaction
Are you ready to take your business to the next stage by leasing a commercial property? This is a tough real estate market – learn how to navigate your way through commercial leases so that you can expand your operation seamlessly. In this workshop, you will gain an abundance of knowledge and practical tips as you learn how to locate the ideal property, negotiate the right lease for each type of business, and understand the language and details behind real estate contracts.
9/30 Protecting your Start Up
Legal Considerations Before opening the doors to your new technology concept, it’s important to be aware of legal risks that exist so that you can properly protect your newly minted business. This presentation will first explore different sources to fund your business venture and teach you some basic principles of how to protect yourself in the claws of litigation. We will also discuss intellectual property laws and provide practical approaches on how to implement a solid intellectual property plan. Finally, we will look at important employment laws as well as review lease agreements to help demystify confusing legalese.
10/30 Identifying, Capitalizing, and Protecting Your Intellectual Property
This workshop will teach you how to protect and capitalize on your company’s intellectual property. Your company’s intellectual property assets are strong differentiators in a highly competitive marketplace. Further, intellectual property (IP) acts as an excellent way for you to generate additional revenue to increase your bottom line. As your business continues to grow, you must capitalize on and protect your IP assets to remain competitive in the marketplace.
11/20 Steering Through the Social Media Landscape
Best Practice for Employers Given the rapid rise of social media in our culture, business owners are often at a loss about what social media uses they can and can’t restrict as well as how their employees’ use of social media may affect their image and their bottom line. The workshop imparts business owners with best practices regarding their employees’ use of social media and how to limit their liability online, while maintaining a positive image for their business.
12/18 Buying and Selling a New Business
Find, Evaluate, and Negotiate We will discuss business sales and acquisitions, business valuation, due diligence, powerful negotiations, and financing options. Learn why buying a business could be an alternative to starting new business. Develop skills in analyzing new business opportunities and negotiating business purchases or sales.
BACP offers free workshops every Wednesday and Friday in Room 805 at City Hall, 121 North LaSalle Street. The workshops are conducted by city officials, BACP’s partner organizations and experts in the industry and are open to the public. To register, or for more information, call 312.744.2086 or email BACPoutreach@cityofchicago.org. More information about BACP’s programs and events can be found at www.cityofchicago.org/bacp.