Winter Survival Workshop continues Wednesday with OMAFRA expert

Local photographer Peggy DeWitt offered tips and tricks to those small business owners participating in a promotional photography workshop on Wednesday at the Prince Edward Yacht Club. (Jason Parks/Gazette Staff)

A local initiative to chase away the winter blahs and help build local small business is in its tenth year of operation and will welcome a number of high profile guests over the coming weeks.

The  Winter Survival Workshop Series is in its 10th year of offering free, training on a variety of topics relevant to local small business. The workshop series got its name from the notion that winter is a good time to regroup, learn some new business management skills and connect with other entrepreneurs. 

As organizer Sandy Abbott of Small Business support quips “Don’t Hibernate…Motivate!”

“Small Business has been through so much in the last three years. People need to take some time to sit back and assess what they’re doing right, pinpoint areas that need improvement and learn how to do just that,” Abbott told the Gazette.  “This year we decided to offer a series on core business management capabilities – compliance with regulations, customer research, realistic pricing, financial forecasting, clear and concise business writing, and contingency planning. We’ve combined these heavier presentations with other skill building sessions that are fun, interactive and designed to increase the impact of your visual marketing.” 

It’s hosted by the Community Services, Programs and Initiatives Department of the Municipality and participants must pre-register with Grace Nyman 

Over the years other business support organizations have partnered either by contributing to workshop funding or providing speakers. This collaboration has allowed the Department to host top quality events. 

Sessions are being held Wednesday mornings this year at the Prince Edward Yacht Club. The venue provides the comfort of a small meeting space with adequate room to allow personal space for all attending.  See ad in the Gazette for individual start times.

Prior to Christmas, a workshop in cooperation with the Health Unit was presented on what participants needed to consider if they are planning on starting a home-based business involving producing and selling food.  In addition, three interactive workshops to improve an individual’s ability to use design tools to create impactful images for their marketing.   

Last week, local photographer Peggy DeWitt hosted a  Promotional Photography workshop and this week , the Department starts a three part series on financial and business management. 

Costing and Pricing for Profit Jan 18  with  John Molenhuis– a Business Analyst and Cost of Production Specialist with the Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), Molenhuis will offer a look at    setting prices and calculating the profit that can be expected from a product. 

Developing a Winning Business Plan – Jan 25  &  Creating a Realistic 2 Year Cashflow – Feb 8 with Brad Roach.  The Social Finance Specialist with Community Futures Prince Edward Lennox & Addington, Roach has the unique perspective of evaluating dozens of business plans and cash flow projections every year in his role as CFDC loans administrator. Roach also has a background in commercial banking which adds to his knowledge in this area.

“We were very lucky to be able to engage speakers of this quality for our workshops. We would like to thank the Hastings Prince Edward Health Unit, OMAFRA and CFDC Prince Edward Lennox & Addington for allowing their staff to work with us on these events,” Abbott added.