Small Business University

Welcome to the Small Business University, proudly presented by the Stillwater Chamber of Commerce & Meridian Technology Center. Our program is designed to empower existing small business owners with the essential knowledge and skills needed to thrive in today’s competitive landscape. Across six comprehensive sessions, we cover vital topics including sales, marketing & social media strategies, financial management, effective hiring practices, and essential HR insights. By attending all six sessions, participants not only gain invaluable expertise but also become eligible to compete for a grant to help them take their entrepreneurial journey to the next level. Join us at Small Business University and gain the tools you need to not only stay competitive in todays business landscape but enhance your ability to be proactive and intentional about best practices that will take your success to the next level. Please note registration is limited to 25 seats and the DEADLINE TO REGISTER IS FRIDAY, MAY 31ST.

Each session will be at the Meridian Technology Small Business Center Training Room located at 1414 S. Sangre Rd. and have a 3-3-3 structure. The speakers will outline the following, specific to their topics:

-Three things they see small business owners doing really well

-Three things they see small business owners not doing well and what it can cost them

-Three things small business owners can walk away with to implement into their own world

Session 1: Welcome

Tuesday, June 4 2024

6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Join us for the kick-off where we will outline expectations for each session, discuss best practices to make the most of your investment of time and energy, talk about how to qualify for the competition and prize money, graduation and get to know our sponsors and classmates.

Session 2: Sales

Tuesday, June 11 2024

6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Kari Moore

Kari Moore, a stillwater local and current Director of Economic Development for our community has spent the last 4 years receiving weekly sales training from the world wide Sandler Training program with the Sandler Custom Growth Solutions team here in Oklahoma. As a former business development manager she has learned and implemented sales tools that have allowed her to expand her previous employers reach to cover the state of Oklahoma as well as move into Kansas. As she discovered her passion for supporting businesses grow and shift their mindsets, she now helps lead the weekly sales program she started in, is hired for corporate training events and requested for public speaking sessions that help business owners, leaders and managers see sales in a new light.

Session 3: Marketing & Social Media

Tuesday, June 25 2024

6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Grace Welch

Grace Welch is a dynamic professional dedicated to empowering small business through strategic communications and social media marketing. Armed with a Bachelor’s Degree in Strategic Communications from Oklahoma State University, she began her career at the Stillwater Chamber of Commerce as a Communications Coordinator in February of 2022. One of Grace’s primary areas of focus is levering social media as a potent tool for business promotion. Recognizing the pivotal role of digital platforms in modern marketing, she has adeptly navigated the ever-evoling landscape of social media to maximize exposure and drive growth for small business. Grace currently serves as the Director of Marketing & Events at the Chamber has over two years experience working with small business owners.

Session 4: Finance

Tuesday, July 9  2024

6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Randee Sloan

Randee Sloan is a dedicated CPA with an EA designation, the pinnacle credential given by the IRS, recognized nationwide. Her journey into the world of finance began in 2015, offering tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll services to family and friends. Over the years she gained diverse experience from industry accounting to conducting audits which led to sharing her expertise as a professor of accounting and business at NOC. While she primarily focuses on her full time accounting practices she still teaches part-time at NOC. As a small business owner she values the ability to run her business, help other small businesses be successful financially while also getting to prioritize the joys of being a wife and parent.

Session 5: Hiring

Tuesday, July 23 2024

6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Mike Crandall

Mike Crandall is a Consultant, Coach, Trainer, Speaker, and Author focused on the Subconscious Psychology of Human Interaction and Motivation. He is brought in by Business Owners and Executives to work on the Behaviors, Attitudes, Techniques, and Guts needed to be more Successful in Business Improvement, Sales/Revenue Growth, and Employee Development. His firm specializes in helping identify the Blind Spots and Obstacles that are holding you back then implementing Systems, Behaviors and Guts to become more Successful. Clients ultimately develop new Habits that lead to Proactive Growth Professionally and Personally. Mike can be reached by phone at 405-844-1700 or by e-mail at Mike.Crandall@CGSOK.com. View his company website at www.customgrowth.sandler.com

Session 6: HR

Tuesday, August 6 2024

6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Christine Beldner is the Vice President and Senior Human Resources Consultant for IRONWOOD Business Consulting, LLC. Christine’s passion is supporting small and medium-sized businesses with all aspects of corporate operations to include human resources, accounting, culture design and development, organizational change and more. Further, Christine’s skill set is the perfect fit for any organization that desires to transform their culture, develop their employees, and implement organizational change. Christine’s depth and breadth of experience allows her to take a 360-degree approach to analyzing complex business challenges and needs. Christine speaks on topics including leadership, development, multigenerational workforces, cultural design and transformation, employee engagement, coaching and mentoring, and more. Her speaking passion comes from a belief that it’s not her obligation to share all the training and education that has been passed to her. She believes extraordinary businesses are possible! Christine obtained a Bachelor of Science in the Management of Human Resources from Faulker University and a Master of Science in Human Resource Management from Western Governors University.

Competition Guidelines:

The competition will take place on Tuesday, August 13th 2024. In order to compete in the competition, the business owner must be at 4 of the 5 content sessions. The competition structure will be reviewed at the welcome session.

Prizes will be as follows:

1st Place: $1,500.00

2nd Place: $1,000.00

3rd Place: $500.00

Graduation:

All participants of Small Business University and their families will be invited to attend graduation. This will take place on Friday, August 16th 2024 and the winners of the competition will be announced. More details to follow.

Small Business University has hit max capacity of 25 registrations. However, we do have a waiting list! If you want to be placed on the waiting list fill out the form below and we will be in touch if spots open up!