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WSU hosts small business start-up seminar

Weber State University is the birthplace of multiple businesses that are still growing today. The individuals who started Brixton’s Baked Potato restaurant in Ogden, Baby Bump maternal clothing in Layton, WhirlyBird helicopter training in Ogden and even the American marketing sensation Skullcandy headphones all had their beginnings at WSU.

The WSU Small Business Development Center held its “Start Smart” small business start-up seminar this Saturday. The two-hour seminar taught the basics of new beginnings in the business world and some of the vital details often overlooked. It was an interactive learning experience with much participation, due to mutual enthusiasm from those attending and the instructor, Jared Van Orden.

“Business is my hobby,” Van Orden said. “Teaching this course is a lot of fun. Many local small and also larger businesses who have gone national got their starts here. This is a resource that is underutilized. It’s free.”

Van Orden’s passion for business consulting created a lot of open discussion during the Saturday seminar. Along with other WSU colleagues who lead the seminar, he offers private consulting to better assist those starting up new companies.

“The size of the seminar allows answers to personalized questions and results accordingly because of conversations,” Van Orden said.

The department, in conjunction with the U.S. Small Business Administration, holds the “Start Smart” seminars a few times each month, along with “Money Smart” seminars offering financial consulting.

Some who attended the rainy Saturday seminar said they got more out of the course than they planned for.

“He shed the light on the things I didn’t think about. I’m already doing business, but it helped me prepare for difficult aspects of a proprietorship before the arise,” said Gerald Bradley, an owner of a local lawn care and cleanup company. He said the seminar brought some important topics of business ownership to his focus.

“It’s free. But also, it’s great to have a source to go to when you have simple questions about starting up your business,” said Sam Williamson, a WSU student. Williamson and his wife attended the course and left with new ideas and methods for managing their business.

Topics covered during the seminar included characteristics of successful business owners, marketing techniques and research, and fostering creativity. The timing of starting a business can often seem difficult, if not impossible, due to personal, local and national circumstances. But Van Orden offered solutions to almost all issues.

“Being first into an already-present market as a business owner is not always the best position,” Van Orden said. “Business can have organic beginnings in the least likely of circumstances. Open opportunities with an open mind. There are diverse starts to each business.”

For questions and information about the seminar, students can visit Beverly King of the Small Business Development Center can be reached at 801-626-7232. Free business and financial consulting is available through the department.

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