SBDC Training

The SBDC hosted by Missouri State University-West Plains offers a variety of business training seminars in South Central Missouri. You can check out upcoming events by visiting our Facebook page SBDC in West Plains. (

For a full list of Missouri SBDC training seminars statewide, please visit the Missouri Business Development Program's events calendar.

For a full list of small business training seminars nationwide, please visit the SBA events calendar.

We are currently compiling our Training Calendar for 2019. Below is listed a variety of Training Events we are considering offering. 

Access to Capital Forum

Hear from a variety of speakers about financing options, programs and solutions available to small businesses. Meet one-on-one with representatives to address your specific needs.

Topics Include:

  • Bootstrapping
  • Crowdfunding
  • Micro-loans and Revolving Loan Funds
  • Mezzanine and Equity Finance
  • Angel Investing
  • Tax Incentives
  • Bank Financing
  • SBA Loans
  • Export Finance

Agribusiness Marketing Forum

Celebrate National Agricultural Day and join us for the Agribusiness Marketing Forum! Hear from a variety of speakers about domestic and international agricultural marketing programs available to Missouri businesses. Learn about educational programs offered locally to farmers. Hear from local farmer cooperatives about regional initiatives and meet one-on-one with representatives to address your specific needs.

Building the Ultimate Business Plan®

Preparation is key to the success of any business venture. Whether you are starting a new business, growing an established business, or launching a new product or service, a solid business plan will prevent unexpected problems and help pave the way for a successful business venture.

Learn how to utilize the Ultimate Business Planner® software and companion workbook to aid you in the process of developing a solid business plan. This seminar provides an overview of the step-by-step approach to writing your plan and forecasting your financials. With the help of this courses instruction and software, simplify the process of putting together your formal business plan with expert advice, tips and hints based on proven business practices.

Topics Include:

  • Critical steps to a great business plan
  • How to research the feasibility
  • Sources for evaluating the industry, market and competition
  • Assembling a marketing plan/niche
  • How to develop basic financial projections for financing
  • Successful writing techniques that appeal to lenders/investors
  • Using the plan to manage your business

The Ultimate Business Plan software and companion workbook may be purchased alone for $99 + $7.09 tax (the MSU tax rate is 7.162) for a total of $106.09

Craft Entrepreneurship

Learn How to Create an Online Shop for your Craft Products!

Do you already make custom jewelry, decorative home items, or other handmade products for sale or gift giving? If so, this course will teach you how to start an online shop for your unique line of handcrafted items.

In partnership with Etsy, a leader in e-commerce for creative entrepreneurs, SBDC is offering free classes to help craft makers like you establish an online business to sell your products to a wider market and earn extra income.

Craft Entrepreneurship classes are taught by successful online craft sellers who coach and support participants through every aspect of setting up their online shops. Using Etsy as a learning lab, teachers share best practices on topics that impact new sellers most, including time management, branding, pricing, shipping, and photography, to help them earn supplemental income through their craft business. To minimize startup costs, students will be given the opportunity to list 20 items for sale for free on

Financial Management Series

Part I - Understanding Your Financial Statements 

Business owners, manager, accountants, bankers, and consultants need to know how to turn financial statements into useful management tools. After attending the financial management series, you will be able to make better decisions based on good financial information.

Topics Include:

  • Financial Management Cycle
  • Accrual vs. Cash Accounting
  • How to Document Past Performance
  • Case Study Introduction
  • Income Statements
  • Net Income Formula
  • Percentage Size Statements
  • Balance Sheets
  • Ration Analysis

Part II - Analyzing & Managing Your Cash Flow

In this second class of the financial management series, we'll take a close look at where cash comes from in a small business, where it's used in day-to-day operations and how to identify and correct cash flow problems. You'll be able to identify key information on cash flow statements and be able to follow the path of cash as it travels through your company. You'll identify cash flow strategies to use in your organization. You'll become familiar with the sources and use of cash, ratios and the most common "gobblers" of cash in any business. This isn't theory - its practical application for real businesses - like yours!

Topics Include:

  • Description of the cash flow statement
  • Three types of cash flows
  • Creating a cash flow statement
  • Sources and use of cash
  • Identifying problems with cash flow
  • Interpreting and controlling cash flow
  • Understanding the differences between profit and cash
  • Tips for improving cash flow

Part III - Predicting Your Company's Cash Needs

Complete your financial education with this third course in our seminar series. This class is designed to teach you how to create and use a cash budget to prepare for future business performance. During this course, you will learn to estimate future sources and uses of cash. You will also learn how to analyze your predictions to make more informed decision. You should leave this session feeling more comfortable about decisions related to preparing for growth, realistic loan and financing requests, how much cash you can safely take out of the business, and how to make affordable purchases for your business. At its conclusion, you should be able to: forecast sales, receivables and expenses, use a cash budget to create a month-by-month view and calculate Break-Even, as it relates to business expansion, workforce additions or capital expenditures.

Topics Include:

  • What is cash planning
  • Preparing the cash budget
  • Forecasting cash in
  • Estimating cash out
  • Making informed decisions
  • Dealing with cash budgeting problems
  • Break-even analysis

First Steps to Starting a Small Business

Learn the fundamentals of what it takes to get your business started. Topics for discussion include determining the feasibility of your business, the importance of business planning, understanding financial and licensing requirements and more.

This three-hour workshop also includes an overview of the SBDC program and what to expect if you become a SBDC client. Seminars will be hosted throughout the seven-county service area in Ava, Eminence, Gainesville, Houston, Mountain Grove, Mountain View, Thayer, Willow Springs and West Plains.

Get Your Business Online (GYOB) - Video Training Series 

Get Your Business On-line (GYBO) and increase your sales and marketing with free Google tools. Upon registration, you will receive an email message with instructions on how to access training materials (including video links, presentation slides, a how-to-guide for getting started, and a GYBO t-shirt).

Get Found on Google Search and Maps

This presentation starts with an introduction to Google My Business, a free tool to manage your business information across Google.

Build Your Free Website

In partnership with StartLogic, the Google team will walk you through setting up an account (free for one year*), customizing a website, and choosing a domain name. The workshop covers selecting a design, customizing web pages, and choosing a domain name (your website address).

*After the first year, the hosting fee is $5.99 per month. Domain renewal pricing varies depending on the extension.

Grow Your Business Online

Learn the basics of how customers find your business online and how to promote your online presence with methods like search engine optimization (SEO) and online advertising. We also introduce tools to help you run your business online, including Google Analytics and Google Apps for Work. 

Ad Words - Promote Your Business Using Online Advertising 

Want to promote your business on Google? This workshop introduces the basics of advertising on Google, including free tools that can help make the most of your advertising dollars.

Apps Work Better Together with Google Apps

How can the cloud help your small business grow online? This workshop introduces Google Apps for Work, a cloud-based suite of tools used by millions of businesses large and small. We explain how Google Apps adds polish to your online presence with a professional email address, and makes your (work) life simpler with documents and calendars you can access anywhere, from any device.

Set Goals with Google Analytics

What do visitors do on your website? This workshops shows you how to understand and measure customer behavior on your site. We show you how to set up measurement goals and use the data to make better business decisions and grow your business online.

Help Wanted: Hiring Your First Employee

Learn the fundamentals of what it takes to hire your first employee. Topics for discussion include hiring, taxes, payroll, legal compliance, recordkeeping and more. This workshop is designed to help you navigate the legal ramifications of the hiring process and lay out the steps and precautions you should follow to ensure you make informed decisions while staying within legal and ethical boundaries.

Hobbyist Turned Entrepreneur: Marketing Strategies for Selling Online

Join us for an educational seminar on online marketing and social media. Learn how to expand your market reach. Topics include selling through web-based platforms, social media and engagement marketing.

Introduction to International Trade Series

Part I - General Overview

Learn the fundamentals of exporting your products or services abroad. This workshop will provide new-to-export and new-to-market clients with information on how to get started in international trade. Export basics will be provided as we walk through the four export development stages and are introduced to trade assistance resources on the federal, state and local level.

Part II - Getting Paid

Any sale is a gift until you have been paid! Learn the fundamentals of getting paid for your exports. This workshop will provide new-to-export and new-to-market clients with an overview of payment methods and associated risk when selling abroad. Information on export finance programs, including loan guarantees and working capital, will be provided as we discuss pre-export and post-export finance options.

Part III - Export Management & Compliance

Exporting is a privilege, not a right! Learn the fundamentals of U.S. export controls. This workshop will provide new-to-export and new-to-market clients with an introduction to the Export Administration Regulations. Learn about the Commerce Control List, Dual-Use products and technology, Deemed Exports, and Anti-Boycott compliance. Information on U.S. federal agencies and their respective jurisdictions will be provided along with decision tree tools and management resources.

Market You: Develop Your Professional Profile

Learn how to develop your professional profile! This workshop is geared towards entrepreneurs, students and job hunters that are in need of a professional image. Topics include how to create an online public profile that is professional and exudes confidence.

Training will be hands-on and participants will be expected to work on a computer to build/update their LinkedIn profile, craft their Rapportive profile, and learn about other online tools and tips. The first part of the class will be presentation style; the last part of the class will be constructing your online profile. Please bring any photos, images or other portfolio items that you may want to include in your work (electronic files are best).

Restaurant Management & Food Safety

The National Restaurant Association's National Food Safety Month was created to heighten awareness about the importance of food safety education. Join us for information and training activities based on the ServSafe food safety program.

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Missouri State University-West Plains

Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

110 Saint Louis Street
West Plains, MO 65775
Fax (417) 255-7963

The SBDC hosted by Missouri State University-West Plains is located in the West Plains Civic Center on the mezzanine level (west entrance). The SBDC is part of University/Community Programs. Please come visit us!

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