Small Business Essentials

Small Business Essentials

Professional Development

Offered through Continuing Education

@ Forest Park | Meramec

Whether you’re starting a new business or expanding a current venture, Small Business Essentials will provide the right tools to get your business going in the right direction. Learn how to start your business, and how to market, promote and finance it.

Program Coordinator

Continuing Education



Register and pay online now

Call 314-984-7777 to register for fall classes by phone, or click the button above to register and pay online.


Business Plan Development

An intensive, four-session, individually customized course designed to provide new and aspiring entrepreneurs with the tools and resources to create a solid business plan. Experienced business facilitators/coaches will guide group sessions and share practical experiences to enhance your business. Participants learn with and from their peers, creating a powerful network that continues well after the program is complete. These sessions are enriched with guest speakers from various disciplines including the legal profession, marketing, human resources and financing. In addition, each participant will begin by taking the GrowthWheel assessment and receive customized tools based on this assessment to assist as you build your plan. Weekly homework assignments are given and participation is required to be successful in the class. Continued counseling from a business counselor and certified life coach is available after the completion of the class. Please bring a laptop or electronic device to class for working on your business plan. Program is offered in partnership with the Small Business and Technology Development Center.
BUSS:702 | $99 | Age 60+: $99
F01 | Tu 6:15 pm-9:15 pm | Lynette Watson | Nov 6-Dec 4 | MC - BA, 122
NOTE: No class 11/20.

Starting Your Own Business: Legal Issues

As a small business owner you are subject to some of the laws and regulations that apply to large corporations. This class will help you to understand which requirements apply to your business. It will cover establishing a corporation, partnership or LLC, as well as introducing the law of marketing, employment, copyright and trademark, privacy contracts, tax and other regulations. Taught by an attorney.
BUSS:701 | $29 | Age 60+: $29
F05 | M 6 pm-8 pm | Amy Hereford | Sep 10 | FP - G, 325

Starting and Managing a Small Business

Are you thinking about starting and managing a small business in Missouri? Designed for individuals who are considering starting a business, have made the decision to start or who have been in business for less than two years, this program will discuss: the basics of business ownership, planning for success, organizational forms of business, legal and regulatory environment, record keeping and information management, marketing, financing and resources. Program is offered in partnership with the Small Business and Technology Development Center.
BUSS:701 | $59 | Age 60+: $59
F03 | Sa 9 am-12 pm | Lynette Watson | Sep 15-Sep 22 | MC - BA, 220
F04 | Sa 9 am-12 pm | Lynette Watson | Oct 13-Oct 20 | MC - BA, 220

Understanding Patents, Trademarks and Copyrights

Intellectual property (IP) is often the most valuable asset a business will ever own. Unfortunately, many businesses and entrepreneurs are unfamiliar with IP and are ill-equipped to successfully secure, exploit and enforce their IP rights. In this course, you will learn the differences between patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets, and discover why they are essential to the health and success of businesses of all types and sizes. Taught by an experienced IP attorney.
BUSS:734 | $55 | Age 60+: $37
F01 | Sa 8:30 am-1:30 pm | Morris Turek | Sep 22 | MC - BA, 114

DIY Background Checks on Potential Tenants, Contractors, Employees

Protect yourself and your business using public resources and investigative techniques to learn more about the candidates you are about to hire in a legal capacity. From an employee hiring manager for a large or small business firm to a homeowner contractor or rental property manager, it's a good employment practice to learn more about potential individuals you are hiring and screen those candidates to help ensure that a potential new hire does not have anything lurking in their past that could potentially harm your business or create a safety hazard for clients and other employees. Taught by a private investigator, come learn about free and low cost options for conducting background checks, when and how to conduct background checks and the "red flags" to look for before a potential problem arises.
BUSS:765 | $25 | Age 60+: $17.50
F01 | Sa 10 am-12 pm | Cheryl Ring | Sep 8 | MC - SO, 107

NEW! Buying a Franchise

Are you interested in buying a franchise as a way to become a business owner? This class is taught by a seasoned franchise attorney who will share invaluable tips with you so you will be well-informed before you sign on the dotted line. She will explain what information the franchisor should be sharing with you and will help you understand the legal documents. You will also learn what questions you should ask potential franchisors and their franchisees. This class could save you money and court costs later.
BUSS:765 | $39 | Age 60+: $39
F02 | Sa 9 am-12:30 pm | Jane Cohen | Sep 22 | MC - SO, 107

Business Start-Up Skills for Artisans and Crafters: Make Money with Your Business

You've been honing your talent and finding a demand for your handmade craft or artistic products, but how do you navigate the "indie" marketplace? Get ready for the upcoming holiday season and learn tips from award winning artist, 40-year veteran in the arts and former Executive Director of Best of Missouri Hands, "Mike" Ochonicky as she discusses: effective marketing techniques, outlets to sell online and in-person, balancing creativity with administrative tasks and more. Bring a notebook and pen to class.
BUSS:701 | $29 | Age 60+: $20
F01 | M 6 pm-9 pm | Michelle Ochonicky | Sep 10 | FP - G, 323
F02 | Th 6 pm-9 pm | Michelle Ochonicky | Sep 20 | MC - SO, 109


Understanding Accounting: An Introduction

Designed for individuals with non-financial backgrounds who work with budgets or those wanting to enter an office manager position, this introductory course provides an overview of accounting terminology and processes, analyzing financial activities and statements and applying the fundamentals of accounting. Course will cover debits, credits, general ledgers, assets, liabilities, balance sheets, profit and loss statements and more. Students may bring a sack lunch/drink to class.
BUSS:741 | $39 | Age 60+: $21
F01 | Sa 9 am-1 pm | Bill Dorr | Sep 15 | MC - BA, 124

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