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Quincy Chamber of Commerce offers crash course for small biz

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  April 18, 2013 02:31 PM

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Local hopefuls with dreams of starting their own businesses typically come to the Quincy Chamber of Commerce for guidance, but in the past the organization has been at a loss of how to answer all their questions.

Yet with its new program for entrepreneurs, the Chamber will offer a six-week crash course on beginning a business.

“[People] do come to us very often when they are thinking about opening a [business], but we’re not equipped in our office to handle all the questions they have. This gives us an opportunity to bring in professionals to answer questions in a professional and accurate manner,” said Maralin Manning, who is coordinating the program with the Chamber.

Already, 60 people have signed up for the course, which will take place on six consecutive Tuesday evenings from 6 to 7 p.m., starting next Tuesday. Registration has been closed, though Manning said the program may be able to accommodate a few more.

The program is free, and will provide expert advice and tales of success to entrepreneurs who would normally have to pay a lot of money to consultants to gain similar knowledge.

“There won’t be a question unanswered by the time they are through, which is excellent,” Manning said.

The course will discuss legal structure, business location, leasing options, business plan development, financing discussions, insurance and staffing requirements, and marketing and sales strategies.

Though some aspects vary depending on the industry, Manning said these core issues are true to many businesses and will be helpful to those looking to jump into the entrepreneurial waters.

According to Manning, the program will be the chamber’s first, though the group has hosted similar events with UMass Boston in the past.

The first speaker will be Andrea Taber, owner of the Ever So Humble Pie Company, which makes frequent appearances at the Braintree Farmers Market.

“She spent a great deal of time in nursing and decided she wanted to do something different…now she’s a thriving business,” Manning said. “I’m hoping she will give them some enthusiasm, hope, direction, that will allow them to [realize] you can have your dreams if you want, just have to work hard and in the right direction.”

Other speakers will feature bankers, lawyers, and insurance agents.

Manning didn’t have specific statistics on the success of small businesses in the city, mainly because they range from brick and mortar stores – such as restaurants, to home-grown business – such as tutoring, and it is hard to keep track.

Regardless, the demand for this type of information has been huge, and by the end of the program, Manning said she hopes the information gets people off on the right foot.

“If you have all your ducks in a row, you will have a better chance of being successful,” Manning said. “But some people don’t realize how hard it is to get everything in the right direction, and they don’t plan well enough.”

For information, visit www.thequincychamber.com or call or email Manning at (617) 471-1700 or mmanning@thequincychamber.com.

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