Boot camp aimed at small-business owners

LAWRENCEVILLE - Local small-business owners in need of a little help and direction still have time to sign up for the 2007 Small Business Boot Camp in Lawrenceville on Sept. 29. The seminar is hosted by the University of Georgia's Small Business Development Center.

Registration for the all-day event ends Sept. 21.

The boot camp will help educate owners of existing businesses, startup businesses and nonprofits on topics such as cash flow management, financial feasibility and legal structures.

No push-ups or sit-ups will be done.

"What we talk about is arming the business with resources," said Susan Caldwell, a consultant with the Small Business Development Center. "It's about finding out the arsenal and weapons needed to have a successful business."

This will be the Small Business Development Center's first attempt at a boot camp.

The idea stems from a small-business workshop held in May. Speakers from public service resources, such as the IRS, and individual business consultants educated about 40 attendees on entrepreneurial activity.

"We took a cue from that and said, 'Maybe we need to expand this because people are hungry for this information,'" said Robert Andoh, regional director for the Small Business Development Center. "We figured this was a better medium to bring all the resources together."

Andoh said if this first boot camp is a success, it could spread to the rest of Atlanta.

"We're starting with Gwinnett, and we're hoping this will evolve into a metro area small-business boot camp within a year or two," Andoh said.

Caldwell said she expects 75 to 100 people to attend the seminar, which costs $199 and includes lunch.