An upcoming series of seminars on using social media to market businesses at Asheville Buncombe Technical Community College Small Business Center is generating high interest, said Daphne Carson, Small Business Center specialist.

For business people interested in participating, the good news is that the seminars are offered at no cost, and space will be made available to all who would like to attend.

“We don’t turn anyone away,” Carson said.

However, pre-registration is required, she noted.

On Feb 6 the seminar, “Deep Dive Lab: Social Media Dominance,” will explore techniques for using the Instagram platform as a marketing strategy and how a business can grow its account.

Also beginning next month is series of classes that focus on ways businesses and organizations can benefit from using YouTube and Google. Attendees will learn the basics of marketing, common approaches and tactics, how to determine their target market, brand messaging, competitor analysis and how develop successful strategies.

The Small Business Center based at the Enka campus of AB Tech is also offering many other seminars for people interested in starting businesses and developing existing ones.

Here is a sampling of upcoming seminars:

On Jan 22 “Preparing for a Small Business Loan” will introduce participants to loan products, the loan application process and ways to qualify for loans.

For would-be entrepreneurs, the “Are You Ready to Start a Small Business” seminar on Jan. 25 will highlight topics such as how to test the viability of a concept, identifying and reaching customers—as well as funding a business for growth.

“Understanding and Harnessing your Business’ Cash Flow” scheduled for Feb. 27 is designed to help businesses with issues related to money management.

Other seminars that continue through May include topics such as using WordPress, building and refining a website, finding customers and small business taxes.

For more information and to register, visit the website www.abtech.edu/small-business-center/seminar-calendar.

The Small Business Center follows the class schedule of AB Tech and participants are notified if a class is canceled because of inclement weather.

The AB Tech Small Business Center is at 1465 Sand Hill Rd., Candler. The phone number is 828-398-7950.

Opportunities at Mountain BizWorks

People interested in starting and developing existing businesses also can find support and educational assistance at Mountain BizWorks, a non-profit organization based in Asheville that offers classes and programs. Fees of varying rates are charged for participation, and some scholarships are available.

A six-week Foundations Business Planning class that begins on Feb. 6 will focus on creating comprehensive business plans, financial considerations and marketing strategies.

The cost for the class is $375. As of press time, space was available for the morning session of the classes. However, the afternoon session is filled, according to information on the Mountain Bizworks website. Another session of this class begins March 11.

Also at Mountain BizWorks, ScaleUp WNC—an innovative program for established, growth-oriented businesses—is accepting applications through Jan. 31.

Through a competitive process, businesses are chosen for participation in the program designed to help foster their development through management assistant, networking and financial connections. The program begins March 6 and the cost for participation is $675.

Business people interested in learning more about ScaleUp WNC may attend a free networking event on Jan. 23 at Mountain BizWorks in Asheville.

Mountain BizWorks also offers an entrepreneurial program for creative and craft centered companies in partnership with the Center for Craft at the University of North Carolina Asheville. This year’s Craft your Commerce spring workshop series beginning in March focuses on financials and operations for craft makers. Class prices start at $25. For crafters interested in learning more about the program, a free Craft your Commerce networking mixer is planned on Feb. 13.

For detailed information on programs and workshops, visit the website at www.mountainbizworks.org or call 828-253-2834. Mountain BizWorks is at 153 S. Lexington Ave.

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