North Coast SBDCEureka and Crescent City California

Independent Bookkeepers & Accountants: Grow Your Business!

Do you have or want to start a Bookkeeping and Accounting business in Humboldt?
APPLY TODAY: To apply, (1) send us completed program application and scholarship application, and (2) set up your online request for services.
The North Coast Small Business Development Center is offering a special program for Bookkeepers and Accountants on the North Coast to enhance their business skills. "Independent Bookkeepers & Accountants: Grow Your Business!" cohort learning program will run from June through August 2018. We have done this program several times and response has always been very positive. 
  • Email flights@northcoastsbdc.org to have the application emailed to you. Call (707) 445-9720 or Stop by our offices at 520 E Street, Eureka to ask questions or fill out your application in person.
  • Download this flyer 
Is This for Me? 
Do you wish you could earn a living or increase your income from your Bookkeeping and Accounting services? Does your household live with a low-to-moderate income? If you answer yes to both of these, then you may be eligible.
Ready to Apply?
Step (1) YOU APPLY. Complete the Online Request for Services, Flight Application, and Income Eligibility forms below and email them to flights@northcoastsbdc.org or bring/mail them to North Coast SBDC Flights Program, 520 E Street, Eureka, CA 95501. We will review applications on a rolling basis so get them in early and you'll get an answer quicker. If you need to apply late, please email flights@northcoastsbdc.org asap.
  • Sign up online as a client * Be sure to specify you’re a Farm Flight candidate. This gets you into the system so you can access help no matter what.
  • Flight Program Application * Download, fill out thoughtfully, and return by email, mail or in person.
  • Income Eligibility Form * This income form must be filled out completely or we cannot process it. All information is kept confidential. Call us any time if you need help with the questions.
Step (2) WE CONFIRM YOUR INCOME ELIGIBILITY. You will get an email promptly confirming that we received your application and saying whether you are income eligible for this program. 
Step (3) WE CONFIRM YOUR FLIGHT ELIGIBILITY. You will get a phone call and an email after your application has been reviewed letting you know whether it's time to set up your intake interview with the Intake Coordinator. That conversation will allow us to figure out whether "Independent Bookkeepers & Accountants: Grow Your Business!" flight is the right program for your needs, or if our other services will suit you better. If you are a fit for this cohort, we will assign you your own business coach who will talk in depth with you about your hopes, needs, and goals. If you are a fit for the cohort but you don't qualify for the full scholarship you can decide then if you want to pay out of pocket, or you can choose to have business advising only, which is always no-cost.
The Timeline
April 26: First Information Session  
May 8: Final Information Session 
May 17 : Flight Applications Due    
Mid to End of May: Intake/Assessment Interviews 
Beginning June : Applicants Notified of Acceptance or Provisional status 
Before June 14:  Participants have their first meeting with a business advisor (phone or in-person)
June 14 : Program kicks off
August 14: Bookkeepers & Accountants Panel
 
The Program
Independent Bookkeepers & Accountants: Grow Your Business! flight provides three benefits: one-to-one business advising, team building with others in the cohort, and workshops. 
  • Business Advising: participants are required to complete 10 or more hours of business advising. This is the most important part of any SBDC program--this is where you get individualized, confidential coaching from an experienced advisor. 
  • Team Building: there will be many opportunities for members of the cohort to share advice, cheer each other on, and provide feedback. Past participants tell us these relationships often last long past the end of the Flight program.
  • Workshops: Some workshops are required, and others are optional. See details below.
The Workshops
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
  • Workshop dates will be updated when our instructors confirm availability, but we try to hold them all on a work day starting at 5:30 pm.
  • Workshop location is Prosperity Center Conference Room, 520 E Street, Eureka unless otherwise specified.
  • If you are accepted into the Flight but are not income eligible for the full scholarship, you can pick and choose the workshops you wish to participate in. Prices are indicated below.
  • The Required vs Optional Sessions below apply to full scholarship participants. Participants who are paying out of pocket can select the workshops they need and have the budget for.
  • You can take the Business Basics workshops whenever you like from February through July. 
 
REQUIRED WORKSHOPS:

Welcome & Kick-off | Session 1 | Thursday, June 14, 5pm to 8pm

Orientation & program logistics. Team building, setting goals and defining your business. Understand how to set your prices, what services you provide and develop a pricing strategy. Learn the work tools of the trade and about specializing in a certain industry. (3 hours, $150) 

Contracts and Scopes of Work | Session 2 | Wednesday, June 27, 5:30pm to 7:30pm

Always use a contract for your services! Learn about how to craft a scope of work and managing contracts. (2 hours, $100) 

Managing and Communicating with Different Client | Session 3 | Tuesday, July 10, 5:30pm to 7:30pm

Evaluate and manage your client load. How to communicate with clients in general as well as in difficult situations. (2 hours, $100)

Marketing and Networking | Session 4 | Thursday, July 26, 5pm to 8pm

Identify your target market, reach your best customers and develop a marketing plan. Create your elevator pitch and use it to network effectively. (3 hours, $150)

Networking – Attend a Chamber Mixer | Session 5 | Thursday, August 2, 5:30pm to 7:30pm

Attend a Chamber of Commerce mixer and practice speaking and selling your bookkeeping and accounting services. Practice your elevator pitch. (2 hours, $100)

Bookkeepers & Accountants Panel, Q&A and celebration | Session 6 | Tuesday, August 14, 5pm to 8pm

Successful Bookkeepers and Accountants talk about their careers, give advice about the industry, selling your services within Humboldt County, etc. (3 hours, $150)

REQUIRED BUSINESS BASICS WORKSHOPS: 

Business Basics: Plan for Success | June 13, August 15, October 17 
Business Basics: Think Like a Marketer | May 16, July 18, September 12, November 1
Business Basics: Get Your Books in Order | June 20, August 22, October 24
Business Basics: Get Your Finances in Order | May 23, July 25, September 19, November 14 
The Business Basics workshops can be taken in any order and on any date that fits your schedule. You are encouraged to start taking these before the flight begins. Visit our calendar to pick your date and register online.  (2 hours, $30)

OPTIONAL WORKSHOPS:

Resources for Entrepreneurs/Makers | 

When and how to use debt, crowdfunding, and more.  

Photograpy for e-commerce | 

Learn how to present and photograph your pieces for highest impact. Hands-on. Led by respected local professional photographer. 

Marketing & Selling Your Product Online | 

Learn the pros and cons of selling your products online via E-Bay or Amazon. Learn the basics of using social media to drive customers to buy online. Instructor Bill Prescott who advises SBDC clients on e-commerce and leads digital marketing and sales for Sun Valley Flower Farms. 

Strategic eMarketing with Social Media | 

Reach more buyers, use social media resources and time wisely. 

Build your e-commerce web site | June/July TBD

Hands-on step by step workshop led by a seasoned web developer who likes to teach what he knows. You finish having built the first version of your own free Squarespace web site. Held at Humboldt State University computer lab. 

Apply Now

It all starts here. Complete the application and submit your request. A member of the SBDC will follow up with you and help you achieve your small business goals -- at no cost to you.
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Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA or HSU Sponsored Programs Foundation.