Local small businesses can now sign up for training program – Sault Ste. Marie Evening News

SAULT STE. MARIE — In an effort to support small businesses in Northern Michigan, specialized business training programs are now available to the public.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is teaming up with Northern Initiatives, a community development financial institution, to bring training and education to small businesses all over the Upper Peninsula. 
Local business support organizations such as the chamber of commerce can sign up to be a part of this training program designed to help businesses in their community. After taking part in a training, cohort organizations such as the chamber of commerce will be able to teach businesses in their own communities to use this program to help grow their business.
“The MEDC is having an increasing focus on the importance of micro businesses across the State of Michigan,” said Chelsea Beckman, small business specialist for MEDC. “We recognize they are the life blood of the Michigan economy and want to create tools and resources for the organizations that are supporting them directly.”
Business training covers many different aspects, including teaching how to budget cash flow analysis to keep a business profitable. By inputting your business model and prices of supplies, the program will help you find the best way to analyze and price your products for maximum profit. 
Using this can allow a business to calculate costs of goods sold, estimate percentage of sales and other pricing data. This is just one of several training programs available on the site.
Training programs also include various marketing strategies, such as tips and tricks about online marketing and social media use in marketing and many more programs. Training is available in written, video and audio format for various topics. 
“The hope is a small business would navigate the platform in terms of what they need,” said Beckman. “If they need cash flow analysis or marketing tips or management or HR tips, hopefully this tool will give them enough information they can succeed on their own.”
Training is self guided. Once they have access from their local business support organization, businesses can go through the program at their own pace. This tool is going to be available consistently for businesses to turn to whenever they need help.
Business support organizations can sign up now for the spring cohort program which takes place once a week beginning  March 4.
“It’s free, it’s available, it’s online,” said Beckman. “We really want those business support organizations to be trained and we want small businesses to be using the program.”
For more information on how to get involved in the program contact Chelsea Beckman at beckmanc1@michigan.org or visit www.miplace.org/small-business

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