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Small business workshop scheduled

Staff writer

Dean Claycamp of the Kansas Small Business Development Center will be at the Hill Building in Marion from 2 to 4 p.m. on Oct. 29 to give free help to those thinking of starting a small business. The workshop will examine feasibility and financial strategy.

At least, that’s the plan.

Claycamp said his last scheduled workshop in Marion was canceled due to lack of registrants. The minimum number of registrants required to hold the workshop? Two.

“We’ve been making arrangements to meet with people individually, and that seems to work best,” Claycamp said. “We can talk about specific goals of the business.”

As for the specific goal of the workshop, that would be to attract clients for KSBDC, which provides free consultation on financial strategy for aspiring entrepreneurs. Claycamp said he’s actively working with “40 or 50” business owners in the county.

Once businesses develop a working relationship with KSBDC, Claycamp said, his role becomes more about seeing them through the startup process and monitoring them from there.

Claycamp has the backing of economic developers Clint Seibel and Teresa Huffman, both of whom praised the work Claycamp and KSBDC do.

Both also acknowledged the lack of participation at Claycamp’s workshop.

“With our size of population, it’s pretty hard to get three or four entrepreneurs at a time, so I’ll generally set them up with one-on-ones,” Seibel said.

Huffman echoed those sentiments, but said the lack of exposure takes away from the group’s effectiveness.

“It needs to be promoted,” Huffman said. “It doesn’t usually have a big impact the way it should.”

Huffman acknowledged her role in the event’s promotion.

“Any of us in the economic development field in the county, we just need to alert our contacts that they’re going to be here and this is going to be available,” she said.

Huffman added that reaching out on social media would be a potentially effective way to reach people KSBDC otherwise wouldn’t. KSBDC has had a Facebook page since Aug. 4, 2013, and currently has 16 “likes.”

Claycamp said the workshop is intended for anyone who is considering launching a small business.

“They’ll get very basic information on what you need to do to get started, primarily centering around the thought process that goes into starting a business, and the financial forecast,” Claycamp said.

He said lack of attendance is something he deals with at communities throughout his three-county area of Butler, Greenwood, and Marion.

“I’d love to have six people come, but that rarely happens.”

Last modified Oct. 15, 2014

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