Financing a for Profit Business 101

— Do it yourself or hire a finance professional

Time and location

Wednesday, October 4, 2017
8:45 – 12 noon
Grace Conference Room, Higgins University Center

Workshop detail

Can I start my business myself, or do I need to hire professionals? What are my options?

  • Bootstrapping
  • Micro Lending
  • Bank Loan requiring equity
  • Using my 401K
  • Using my home equity
  • Hard Lenders
  • Family Loan
  • Crowd Funding
  • Investors

What should I consider and how do I qualify?
This seminar will help you go over the pros and cons of each option and relate it to your personal situation and expected business model and plan. We have gathered a panel of experts to answer your questions.


Michael Semizoglou — SVP Commercial Lending, Avidia Bank, Westborough, MA
Arthur Martin — Sr. Business Advisor and Technology Specialist, SBDC, Worcester, MA
Sandie Cataldo — Economic Development Mgr., North Central Mass Development Corp., Fitchburg, MA

Sponsored by

Avidia Bank, Commerce Bank & UniBank


Business Structure and Insurance 101

— Do it yourself or hire a lawyer and insurance professional

Time and location

Wednesday, October 18, 2017
8:45 – 12 noon
Grace Conference Room, Higgins University Center

Workshop detail

What legal structure should I have? Should I be a sole proprietor, LLC, Subchapter S Corp, or a C Corporation?
What are the advantages and disadvantages including taxation?
How does your legal structure effect your insurance?
Learn about the different types of insurance and what they protect.

  • Liability Insurance
  • Worker's Compensation Insurance
  • General Business Insurance

You will learn how risk rating effects your insurance rates.

Both business structure and insurance help protect you. Learn how working with someone who understands your industry makes a big difference to your legal exposure and your bottom line.

Jeffrey Donaldson — Of Counsel, Mirick O'Connell, Worcester, MA
Mary G. Duncan — CPA, Tax Manager, Shepherd & Goldstein, Worcester, MA
Claire Cheevers — Employee Benefits Manager, The Feingold Companies, Worcester, MA
Yvonne Baker — Commercial Acct. Mgr., The Feingold Companies, Worcester, MA

Sponsored by

Mirick O'Connell, Shepherd & Goldstein, The Feingold Companies & Fidelity Bank


Human Resource Law and Employees 101

— Do it yourself or use a professional to keep up to date with complex human resource laws

Time and location

Wednesday, November 1, 2017
8:45 – 12 noon
Grace Conference Room, Higgins University Center

Workshop detail

If you have employees or hiring your first one, what you should know about Massachusetts and federal laws regarding proper classification of workers?

  • What is the difference between an independent contractor and what are the different tests used by the Commonwealth and federal agencies.
  • What are the difference between an employee and an independent contractor and what are the different tests used by the Commonwealth and federal agencies.
  • Learn how to properly classify workers as hourly or salaried to comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act and Massachusetts law.

Many businesses misclassify workers which exposes them to possible fines, penalties and litigation.

How do you learn about changes to employment law?

Learn what information you need to provide and maintain.

Even if you want to do it yourself, please attend this seminar to stay informed.


Shehzad Rajwani — Principal Attorney, Harbor Law Group, Northborough, MA
Tim O'Brien — Resource Management, Inc., Fitchburg, MA

Sponsored by

Harbor Law Group, Resource Management, Inc., Peoples United and Southbridge Savings Bank


Accounting Basics 101

— Do it yourself or hire an accounting expert?

Time and location

Wednesday, November 15, 2017
8:45 – 12 noon
Grace Conference Room, Higgins University Center

Workshop detail

The SBDC works with new businesses on a daily basis who need guidance in understanding their numbers whether it be for the purpose of applying for a loan, or to manage their business effectively.

  • Do you know what you need to track for your revenue and expenses?
  • What method will you use? What system will you use?
  • What's the difference between cash and accrual basis?
  • What's the difference between operating expenses and cost of goods sold?
  • What's a Chart of Accounts?
  • Payroll can be one of your largest expenses. Keeping this account accurate is essential.

Being able to know and understand what your businesses numbers are at any point in time is essential to running your business effectively. It's the difference between proactively managing your business vs. reacting to emergencies and potentially running your business into the ground.

If you are just starting out or realize that you need help in understanding your financials, please attend this workshop. If you plan on using Quickbooks, you will need to understand the accounting basics that are discussed in this workshop.


Joshua LaPan — CPA, Shepherd & Goldstein LLP, Worcester and Boston, MA

Sponsored by

Shepherd & Goldstein LLP, Webster Five Cents Savings, Digital Federal Credit Union and Middlesex Savings Bank


How to Define Your Business Through Marketing Research 101

— Do it yourself or hire a professional

Time and location

Wednesday, November 29, 2017
8:45 – 12 noon
Grace Conference Room, Higgins University Center

Workshop detail

This will be a hands on seminar that will help you define your business utilizing marketing research.
In order to market your company, you will need the following:

  • Product/Service — what is it and what problem does it solve? What are the consumer wants and needs?
  • Price — how do you price your product/service? How do you compare to the competition?
  • Place (Channel) — how do you get it to the consumer? Online, store front or a combination? Is it convenient?
  • Promotion — who is my audience? Do I have more than one target market?
  • People — who and what influences the buying decision.

Without conducting research, you will not be able to determine your identity in the market or be able to reach the consumers who will purchase your product or service.

This will be an interactive workshop where you will be grouped with similar industries. You will also be given worksheets that will help structure your research so that you can make informed business decisions.

Please join us for this workshop. By defining your 5 P's, you will be able to make decisions about your marketing and social media strategies.


Cheryl Miller — Sr. Business Advisor and Training Director, SBDC, Worcester, MA

Sponsored by

BayState Savings Bank, Berkshire Bank, Country Bank and TD Bank


Additional information

Registration and parking

Registration begins at 8:45 am. All programs run from 9:00 am until 12:00 pm.

All programs are held in the:

Grace Conference Room, Higgins University Center
Clark University
950 Main Street
Worcester, MA, 01610


  • Clark University Parking Garage - Entrance on Downing Street. Guest parking is located on the upper level.
  • Alumni & Student Engagement Center parking lot - 939 Main Street, Worcester (next to St. Peter's Church)
  • Administrative parking lot - (between Woodland & Hawthorne Streets)
  • Clark Labs parking lot - 921 Main Street, Worcester

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

Parking and campus map [PDF]

Cost and payment

$25 for each workshop

Special - $99 for all 5 seminars

Credit card payment accepted with online registration, or a check, made payable to Clark University, may be mailed to:

Clark University SBDC
950 Main Street
Worcester MA

Space is limited. Advanced registration required. Registration fees include materials and coffee/tea service. The Clark SBDC reserves the right to cancel or reschedule a workshop 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 register but are unable to attend.

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.