Sooner or later, most small business owners get to the point where they have to decide if their operation really has what it takes to succeed.  They’ve been putting in the long hours and dogged effort, but they don’t seem to be able to get much beyond break-even.  What will it take to get their business to the next level of success?

The answer is a strong foundation in basic business skills and the know-how to assess and respond to current and future market conditions.  That’s what UCEDC, a nonprofit economic development corporation, will be addressing in its intensive six-week workshop for established businesses.  The next session of Next Level Business Planning:  take your business from surviving to thriving, is scheduled for Tuesday evenings, May 29 through July 10, 2012 in Totowa. 

“Getting through the first couple of years of small business ownership is quite an accomplishment,” says Erich Peter, UCEDC director of training.  “But too many businesses get trapped in an under-performing rut because they don’t adjust their goals and strategies.”

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Breaking Through the Status Quo

Offered in partnership with the Passaic County Department of Planning and Economic Development, the workshop uses case studies and interactive exercises to help participants identify and overcome the roadblocks in key areas of their businesses.  The steps to spotting new opportunities for growth, building a lean and responsive operational structure, and crafting a practical, real-world business plan are addressed through lively classroom discussion and individualized instructor followup.

“Being a business owner is hard work and this workshop is equally demanding,” says Peter. “But we’re going to work with you both in and outside of the classroom to make sure that the class material is relevant to your specific needs.  And, we stick with our graduates for 12 months, providing free mentoring and counseling services.”

Next Level Business Planning is a component of UCEDC’s Entrepreneurial Training Initiative, an ongoing small business training effort, supported by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.   Sessions for start-ups and established businesses are held throughout the state.

UCEDC is dedicated to helping small business throughout New Jersey start, grow and thrive by making loans, training and mentoring business owners, helping businesses obtain government contracts, and providing accurate and relevant business information.

Registration is now open for Next Level Business Planning.   Complete information can be found on the UCEDC website at or by calling 908-527-1166.