Free or low-cost business classes in September/October at the Oakland County One Stop Shop

Business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs who are looking for assistance are encouraged to attend high-value, low- or no-cost business workshops offered by the experts at the Oakland County One Stop Shop Business Center.

Unless otherwise noted, all programs are held at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road, west of Telegraph, in Waterford. For pre-registration and a location map, visit or call 248-858-0783.

September/October Workshops:
Starting a Business
Sept. 7 | 9-11:30 a.m.
Oct. 5 | 9-11:30 a.m.
This workshop is designed for those who want to start a business. It will help aspiring entrepreneurs assess their abilities to lead and manage a company as well as evaluate market and sales potential for their products and services. Topics like startup costs, financing options and business planning are introduced, along with the necessary steps to getting started. If you are ready to start your business this workshop is for you.
Cost: Free | Registration Required

CEED Lending Small Business Loan Orientation
Sept. 13 | 9-11 a.m.
Oct. 11 | 9-11 a.m.
Have a need for alternative financing for your business and it’s located in Oakland County? Consider learning more about the CEED Lending Small Business Loan Program. Discover how to apply for and obtain a small business loan. If you are interested in alternative financing for your Oakland County small business, then the CEED Lending Small Business Orientation is for you. CEED Lending is an initiative of the Great Lakes Women’s Business Council. 
Cost: Free | Registration Required

Women’s Business Enterprise Certification Orientation (WBE)
Sept. 21 | 9-11 a.m.
Attention Women Entrepreneurs: Consider becoming a Certified Women Owned Business. Learn the benefits of joining the Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE). WBE certification benefits include accessing procurement opportunities with national companies looking to do business with women- and minority-owned companies. If you are ready to take your women-owned business to the next level, this workshop is for you.
Cost: $25 per person | Registration Required

Avoiding Costly Real Estate Mistakes
Sept. 21 | 9-10:30 a.m.
Did you know your lease for commercial space could be time bomb waiting to explode?
When looking for commercial space most people focus on the base rent, not realizing terms in the lease could cost them even more. Many people don’t realize that office, industrial and retail leases typically have different ways of charging for expenses. Are you signing a pure gross lease or not?
Do you have a relocation clause in your lease? Should you care?
Lynn Drake, president and founder of Compass Commercial, leads the discussion.
Cost: $25 per person | Registration Required

October Workshops
Five Steps to Networking Mastery
Oct. 4 | 9-11:30 a.m.
We have all heard it’s not what you know but whom you know. BARNACLES! It’s all about how you are known. This brief, impactful training will teach you how to become the preferred choice for business referrals.
You will learn…

  • Why networking works
  • How to be ready to network anywhere anytime 
  • Which online sites are worth your time
  • How to identify your ideal referral partners
  • The components of a solid ask

Consider attending if you are frustrated with the results of your current networking; uncomfortable networking but know you need to do it more; or have a new position and want to increase your pipeline. The better we are at networking, the better our networking will be. Speaker: Terry Bean, founder of Networked Inc. and Motor City Connect
Cost: $40 per person | Registration Required

Market Research Basics
Oct. 10 | 9-11:30 a.m.
Ready to grow your business? Our Market Research Basics workshop helps you discover ways to find your ideal customers, identify competitors, perform competitive analysis, identify new site locations, target direct mail campaigns, reveal untapped markets and expand to new and appropriate markets. If you are ready to grow your business, the Market Research Basics workshop is for you.
Cost: Free | Registration Required

Team SBA Financing Roundtable
Oct. 31 | 9 a.m.-noon
Need the inside scoop on how to obtain a business loan? Attend the Team SBA Financing Roundtable to find out how banks evaluate your application. Learn how to improve your chances for a business loan and how SBA loan guarantee programs can help you get financing. This workshop is best suited to those with good credit, a solid business idea, and funds of their own to invest in the business. If you want to improve your chances of obtaining a business loan, then this workshop is for you.
Note: Because the SBA does not provide loan guarantees to real estate investment firms, including purchasing and rehabbing houses for resale, this type of financing is not discussed at the roundtable.
Cost: Free | Registration Required

Walk-in Start Up Thursdays in Waterford and Novi
WalkIn-StartUp Small Business Counseling
Sept. 7 | 9:30 a.m. – Noon | 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Oct. 5 | 9:30 a.m. – Noon | 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.
In Waterford: One Stop Shop Business Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road, Waterford
In Novi: Novi Civic Center – Community Development Center Room, 45175 Ten Mile Road, Novi
Whether you opened a business or you’re thinking about it, the Oakland County One Stop Shop Business Center has resources to help you. We provide confidential small business counseling, one-on-one advice from an experienced business consultant. No appointment necessary. Consultants answer questions about startups, suggest next steps and provide guidance on business planning tools. These no-cost sessions are limited to 15 minutes and first-come, first-served.