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Learn basics of business at new chamber course

by Byron Tate | June 8, 2021 at 3:52 a.m.
A business "boot camp" class is being held today and Thursday both virtually and in person at the chamber of commerce. (Pine Bluff Commercial/Byron Tate)

Do you know where you want your business to go but don't know how to get there? A business basics boot camp may help.

The class, which will be held today and Thursday, is being sponsored through a partnership between the Pine Bluff Regional Chamber of Commerce and Ja'neen Elliott Marketing Agency of Pine Bluff, whose CEO and co-founder Angela Smith will be the instructor.

Ulanda Arnett, chamber director, said she felt the class was needed in Pine Bluff.

"It's our way of providing continuing education for the chamber members who are looking to develop professionally," she said. "A lot of businesses don't take the time to invest back into themselves, and sometimes you don't know what you don't know."

Smith, who has been in the marketing profession for more than 25 years and worked for major brands such as Target, T-Mobile and Discover Card, said she moved to Pine Bluff a couple of years ago. Since then, she's been in discussion with Arnett about what Pine Bluff businesses might be able to use in terms of her background.

"I think there is a gap in how small- and medium-sized business owners operate," Smith said. "They have an idea for their businesses, but they often don't have a plan. They need a checklist. First, have I done this? Yes or no? And then, here is how I can accomplish those things."

Smith said this first class, which will be held today from noon to 1 p.m., and then repeated on Thursday from 6 to 7:30 p.m., will cover a broad selection of topics.

"This is a 101 class," she said. "Everything will be quick and in a hurry."

Based on the interest level, she said, future classes will take "deeper dives" into specific areas such as using social media, which she said was important "but just one slice of the marketing pie," human resources, marketing, talent recruitment and employee retention.

In some cases, Smith said, she will bring in other experts in to teach specific classes.

"We're pretty excited about it," she said.

The classes, which will be held virtually as well as in-person at the chamber office at Fifth Avenue and Main Street, are $19.99 for nonchamber members and half that for chamber members. Smith said those interested in taking the class can find the registration link on the chamber's Facebook page.

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