Forum for New Businesses Gives Guidance to Entrepreneurs

WESTBOROUGH _ Starting a new business can be tantamount to having a child. The same excitement and anxiety apply. To give current business owners or future business owners’ guidance and help them to facilitate a successful business, The New Business Opportunities Forum will feature a moderated panel of successful local business leaders, as well as networking opportunities both before and after the event on Monday, Nov. 27, from 5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Beechwood Hotel in Worcester.

The forum, entitled: “How to Avoid Pitfalls When Starting a New Business,” will feature a panel of eight highly accomplished business leaders. They include moderator Dick Kennedy, president and CEO of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce, Deborah Penta, CEO of PENTA Communications, Inc., Jonathan Sigel, partner at Bowditch & Dewey, LLP, Larry Schwartz, partner at CCR Advisory Group, Robert Simone, founder of Buyer’s Network, Michael Lehr, president of the Worcester Sharks, James Glickman, president of Glickman Real Estate and Kinzie Weimer, president of Jan Pro Cleaning.

“Starting a business in any climate is a challenge. There are many decisions to make and a myriad of potential pitfalls,” said Moderator Dick Kennedy. “It makes sense to review all your options before taking that plunge. Listening to the pros can save time, money and effort.”

The forum will touch on weighing different opportunities that come about; developing a sold sales and marketing team; hiring the right team that will lead you to success; managing by the numbers and franchises vs. distributorships vs. new ideas.

Panel participant Deborah Penta, of PENTA Communications, Inc. will speak on the marketing challenges firms face at their incubation stage.

“There are numerous pitfalls companies can make at the beginning of their life relative to branding, marketing and advertising. For decades, I have seen numerous situations where entrepreneurs fail to recognize the value smart marketing strategies add to the success of their firms. When start-ups fail to include an integrated marketing plan at start-up, it poses continual challenges for the future. Additionally, when firms do recognize the value and do it right from the start, they can reap tremendous rewards,” Penta said.

“We believe that if a company can avoid the dangers associated with what I call “entrepreneurial seat of the pants marketing,” the company will have a much better chance of success.”

Panel participant Jonathan Sigel, of Bowditch & Dewey, LLP will speak on the legal ramifications of a new business.

“There are a multitude of “traps” for the unwary employer. In years of practice, I’ve seen small and new companies fail to treat human resources issues and related legal issues as priorities,” Sigel said. “Those businesses often think that they’re not big enough to have to worry about those issues, and that’s a mistake. There are many potential claims – from breach of contract and theft of trade secrets to discrimination claims – which even smaller companies must be prepared to avoid or defend.”

“Preventative medicine is key,” Sigel added. “A prudent business should not wait for a crisis or lawsuit before consulting with an employment lawyer. A good employment lawyer can provide critical assistance in drafting or reviewing such documents as offer letters, non-competition and confidentiality agreements ,and employee handbooks. Then, if and when disputes arise (which they likely will), the company and its attorney will be in a better position to respond effectively.”

“I am pleased to moderate this panel of entrepreneurs and business people who have successfully navigated the difficult road to profitable business. They have much to share with those just starting out,” Kennedy said. “I encourage anyone considering a business venture to come to this event and learn from the panel’s hard work and expertise.”

The event is sponsored by Glamour Secrets, a beauty product store and salon franchise opportunity. Glamour Secrets has over 15 years of pioneering its success story in the beauty product retail industry into a successful business and can help provide an opportunity for franchises to take full advantage of its success. The products that are sold at a Glamour Secrets franchise are all popular salon brands such as Redken, Abba, OPI and Sebastian. These products were chosen not only for sales appeal and quality. A Glamour Secret franchisee will also offer services such as nail sculpting with complimentary tester bars, hairstyling, waxing and other aesthetic services.

The event is from 5:30 to 8 p.m. with light fare and a cash bar. Admission of $25 can be paid at the door the night of the event.