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Florence chamber, FMU plan business planning classes in February

Florence chamber, FMU plan business planning classes in February

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FLORENCE, S.C. − The Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce, along with Francis Marion University’s Kelley Center for Economic Development, have partnered to present a small business development series for individuals looking to start a business and for current business owners.

The three-session program will offer advice on improving existing operations and details to understand before you try to start a new business.

"It’s always a good idea to be well prepared before starting a professional venture because strategies don’t always go as planned. Things will go wrong and being prepared will help establish the fundamentals to adapt," the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce wrote in a release on the series.

This business series is meant to offer much of the informational background needed to help entrepreneurs who want to learn how to write a business plan and how to adjust to the financial hurdles likely to be encountered along the way.

The series will also cover understanding and using financial statements as well as the lending process and financial options for small businesses.

To register for this free, three-session virtual business series, use the links below for each session. Attendees will receive the log-in information after registration.

If you have questions regarding the programs, call the Chamber of Commerce at 843-665-0515.

The Essentials of Business Planning for Funding and Growth

Presenter: Brianna Dennis, Executive Director, FMU Kelley Center for Economic Development.

Session Date: Tuesday, Feb. 2.


Session Description: Business planning is often seen as an overwhelming and time-consuming task. However, it is a critical part to assessing the current and future needs of the business as well as seeking funding. This session will help business owners understand the components of business planning as well as identify the resources and tools to make the process more efficient and effective. Dennis serves as the executive director for the Kelley Center for Economic Development at Francis Marion University. She manages Florence and Lake City Business Incubators. Dennis is currently a Certified Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) from the National Development Council and Certified in Entrepreneurship Center Management from the InBIA.

By the Numbers: Reading, Understanding, and Using Your Financial Statements

Presenter: Dr. Scott Dell, Assistant Professor of Accounting, Francis Marion University.

Session Date: Thursday, Feb. 4.


Session Description: Financial statements might help businesses pay taxes, but these statements can also help better operate the business. This session will help business owners understand the terminology and how to analyze the financials for better decision-making to achieve success. Dell will share his knowledge as a full-time faculty member of FMU’s School of Business. He is an experienced entrepreneur, active academic, recovering CPA, lifelong learner, enthusiastic teacher, motivating consultant/coach and a Navy veteran.

Breaking Down the Lending Process and Financial Options for Small Business

Presenter: Paul Schmidt, Director of Lending, CommunityWorks.

Session Date: Tuesday, Feb. 9.


Session Description: When a business wants to grow, there is often a need to seek additional funding from lenders. In this session, business owners will learn about the general lending process, including the basic requirements for applying for a small business loan. This session will also discuss business plans, future projections, personal financial statements, assessing your bookkeeping process and becoming comfortable with how to present your loan request to a lender. There will also be discussion about the different types of loans and how they work. Schmidt grew up in Spartanburg. He attended Clemson University, where he graduated with a B.S. Degree in Financial Management. After graduating, he spent 37 years as a commercial banker with various institutions in both Greenville and Spartanburg, working as a commercial loan officer while specializing in loan workouts.

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