Small Business Development Center

Workshop Schedule Spring 2015

Click for information on location, directions/parking, cost and registration.

Title Date Location

Transforming Your Ideas Into Successful Ventures

March 5, 2015
Grace Conference Room

Online Marketing In a Nutshell

March 26, 2015
Grace Conference Room

Using Online Social Networking to Boost Sales and Marketing Success

April 16, 2015
Grace Conference Room
The New Rules of Sales and Marketing Thursday
April 30, 2015
Grace Conference Room
Social Media: How Do You Know If It Is Working For Your Business? Thursday
May 7, 2015
Grace Conference Room

Transforming Your Ideas Into Successful Ventures

Thursday, March 5, 2015
8:45 – 12 noon
Grace Conference Room, Higgins University Center

There’s a lot of conflicting information out there about what it takes to transform a creative concept into a successful product. How do you know what to do first or next, where and when to invest, or who to trust? If these are among your concerns, and you want to save time, money, and aggravation while giving your project its best chance for success, make this workshop your first stop.

8 tried and true steps will provide a solid foundation to determine the commercial viability of your concept and provide you with a roadmap to avoid the traps and pitfalls that can doom new ventures.

Topics covered:

* Steps to complete before investing your money
* A common sense approach to the development process
* An action plan to validate the merits and prospects of your concept
* A roadmap of the various ways to launch a new product
* Case studies, tips, and first hand lessons learned from years in the trenches

Whether you are a start-up, entrepreneur, creative individual, or anyone with a new concept regardless of prior experience or stage of product development, this workshop is for you.

The speaker has been an inventor and strategic product developer for more than 30 years. She has designed and developed innovations for both Fortune 500 companies and small businesses. She is the author of "The Inventing Life" and the upcoming "8 Steps to Successful Inventing... the Book That Comes With a Mentor".


Elizabeth Pierotti, Owner, Inventor & Educator - The Inventing Life, Greene, RI

Sponsored by:

Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU), Shepherd & Goldstein, and TD Bank

Online Marketing In a Nutshell

Thursday, March 26, 2015
8:45 – 12 noon
Grace Conference Room, Higgins University Center

With the current rapid changes in online marketing many small businesses are overwhelmed with the complexities of implementing and managing an online marketing and brand presence. But that does not have to be, when a fair amount of planning is done upfront. A solid online marketing strategy with a tactical implementation plan, including social media marketing, search engine optimization, email marketing and digital advertising, will help you to create a strong brand and measurable marketing results.

Through this seminar you will learn how to put together an integrated online marketing plan that, when executed, will promote your brand and drive business leads. The topics that will be discussed include:

* The Marketing Foundation
* Cross-Channel Design and Branding
* Website Design Strategy - Responsive Design or Mobile Site
* Marketing Channel Selection and Implementation - Search Engine Optimization, Social Media, Email Marketing, Display Advertising
* Channel Management - Monitoring, Measuring and ROI

This session will be particularly helpful for small business owners, marketing managers, social media managers, web producers, digital media planners, content marketers, digital communication managers.

The speakers for this session both have many years of online marketing consulting experience, have a broad knowledge of[JK3] both web and mobile marketing, speak on regional and national levels and have blogs where they explain how to apply these concepts for a wide variety of businesses.


Louis Rijk, Business Management Consultant, Mary Kay/The Cosmetic Post, Wayland, MA
Joop Rijk, Marketing Consultant, LR Consulting, Wayland, MA

Sponsored by:

Commerce Bank, The Harbor Law Group, Middlesex Savings Bank, and Resource Management, Inc. (RMI)

Using Online Social Networking to Boost Sales and Marketing Success

Thursday, April 16, 2015
8:45 – 12 noon
Grace Conference Room, Higgins University Center

The use of Social Media as a networking and marketing tool is highly relevant for today's business owners. As a result of its onset and the subsequent buzz surrounding the use of this medium, business owners are finding challenges in utilizing it to garner results. This is a highly interactive and specialized platform that requires both understanding and nuance to realize results.

Topics that will be covered in this session include:

* The changing landscape of marketing
* Incorporating effective social media into your business
* Which social media platforms small businesses should be using (pros and cons)
*Preparing to use social media
* Ads on social media
* Developing a plan for your business using social media
* Case studies

The speaker is an expert in “all things social media”. She works with many clients to help them to increase their sales through the effective use of social media and electronic marketing, specializing in the strategy and implementation as it intersects with branding and public relations. Heather's achievements include helping to build a one million dollar company into a $500 million dollar one firm during her 7-year tenure. She is also the owner and publisher of Distinctive Homes Magazine.


Heather Logrippo, CEO, Expose Yourself Public Relations, Shrewsbury, MA

Sponsored by:

BayState Savings Bank, Mirick O'Connell, UniBank, and Webster Frist Federal Credit Union

The New Rules of Sales and Marketing

Thursday, April 30, 2015
8:45 – 12 noon
Grace Conference Room, Higgins University Center

Today, 60% of the buying process is complete before the customer makes contact with the vendor. The Internet’s vast communication network has changed almost everything related to business, including turning sales and marketing on its head. Prospective customers have no time for face-to-face sales calls, nor do they want to be “sold to” any more. Instead, they are taking advantage of the plethora of information available online to work their way through the buying process...on their own.

You need a solid sales and marketing plan that focuses on delivering value and content to customers to facilitate the sales process and to differentiate yourself from the rest of the pack. Without this, you’ll be forced to compete on price alone.

In this workshop, we’ll use a series of activities to develop an action-oriented sales and marketing plan, including how to:

*  Best position the product (or service), its customer value proposition, and its competitive advantage
*  Best tell our company story
*  Pitch yourself to customers, partners, even investors
*  Get the word out by balancing advertising, social media, search engines, and PR

The presenter is an international speaker on the topics of guerilla marketing, search, and social media for business. Her work with start-ups and Fortune 500 firms focuses on creating new ways to find and connect with B2B customers. She is co-author of the book "e-Business in Manufacturing: Putting the Internet to Work in the Industrial Enterprise,” from ISA Press. Shari is an Adjunct Professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Clark University.


Shari Worthington, President, Telesian Technology, Worcester, MA

Sponsored by:

Fidelity Bank, The Feingold Companies, Southbridge Savings Bank, and United Bank

Social Media: How Do You Know If It Is Working For Your Business?

Thursday, May 7, 2015
8:45 – 12 noon
Grace Conference Room, Higgins University Center

Social media has taken the small business world by storm. Business owners are lured in because, on the surface, it is easy to use and free. Unfortunately, without a plan it can become wasteful of your time and money. In this workshop we'll discuss the importance of setting realistic goals for your social media marketing efforts. We will learn how to utilize tools within and outside of the platforms to measure and evaluate your success.

In addition, we'll learn how to budget and manage the most expensive aspect of using social media, your time. How do you assess whether you are spending enough, too much or the right amount of time on the most effective type on social media? Learn how and where to invest your time and when it may be cost effective to have a specialist implement while you manage the process.

You will learn best practices for managing social media, including how to:

*  Estimate your costs (financial and time) and set a budget for social media marketing
*  Evaluate what is working in your plan and how to tweak what isn't  
*  Learn how to effectively communicate with your social media marketing to engage current and potential customers
* Manage the daily activities required such as blogging and your editorial calendar

The presenter is an award winning business consultant, speaker and author with over 25 years of experience helping individuals and organizations bridge the gap between traditional and new business models. Jen blends her Fortune 500 experience with her entrepreneurial knowledge to support businesses ready to grow.


Jen Vondenbrink, Founder, LS Business Solutions, a Division of Life Simplified, North Attleborough, MA

Sponsored by:

Bank of America, People's United Bank, and Webster Five Cents Savings Bank


All programs are held in the Grace Conference Room, Higgins University Center, Clark University, 950 Main Street, Worcester, MA 01610


Take Exit 11 (College Square/Federal Square) off 290. Go straight, following sign for Federal Square/Downtown. At second traffic light take a left onto Cambridge Street (St. Matthew's Church on left and Culpeppers Bakery on right). Go one mile to the end of Cambridge Street. Take a sharp right onto Main Street. Drive down Main Street (the campus is on your left) thru your first set of traffic lights. From 950 Main Street turn onto Woodland Street. Woodland Street curves to the right. Turn left on Charlotte Street, then left on Florence Street. Make the next left onto Downing Street & park on the Upper level of the Clark University parking garage on the right.

Some on-street parking is permitted, but please check street signs carefully for parking restrictions.

Download the parking and campus map in PDF format.


For all programs, registration begin at 8:45AM, and all programs run from 9AM until 12PM.


$39 for the first seminar
$30 for each additional seminar or registrant (from same company)

Special - $150 for all 5 seminars


To reserve your space, please mail your check made out to Clark University to:

Clark University SBDC
950 Main Street,
Worcester, MA 01610-1477

Be sure to list attendees names and which seminars you are paying for. You can also REGISTER ONLINE but we cannot process credit cards - sorry.

Space is limited. Advanced registration required. Registration fees include materials and refreshments. The Clark SBDC reserves the right to cancel or reschedule a seminar due to insufficient enrollment. Registration fees will be returned or credited towards future programs only if the Clark SBDC cancels or reschedules a seminar. Sorry, no refunds will be given to individuals who cancel or do not show up for a seminar they have registered for.

Please contact the Clark University SBDC for more information at 508-793-7615 or via email at

Corporate Sponsors

The Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network Central Regional Office at Clark University would like to extend thanks to the following institutions for their financial support, thus allowing us to provide quality and educational workshops at a nominal fee to the small business community.