Business workshops at Snoqualmie City Hall build on business consultants’ expertise

  • Wednesday, January 25, 2017 7:30am
  • Business

When people want to learn something, they go to the experts. That is, when they can afford them.

Expert advice is always in demand, but rarely is it free, unless it’s coming from one of the Snoqualmie Valley Consultants Coffee Klatsches. These biweekly meetings, started last fall in a joint effort of the Snoqualmie Valley Chamber of Commerce and consultant Peter Busacca, feature area experts giving presentations on such topics as building a business plan, increasing revenues and how to grow your business.

Anyone is welcome to attend these lunch sessions at Snoqualmie City Hall, to take advantage of the deep and broad business wisdom available through this group of business experts.

“These are some of the top-end consultants,” says Busacca, who started the group from his own contacts. A business consultant himself, he’d accumulated contacts in various fields, out of sheer necessity.

“I help business owners to kind of fix their businesses, to get their revenues to improve, to get their profits to improve,” he explained. “But the list of things that business owners need is long and distinguished and I only do a couple of things.”

He developed relationships with consultants in various fields, initially in Snohomish County, then, about five years ago, he realized many of them didn’t know each other. So, he invited them all to an informal gathering for coffee.

“It lasted about 90 minutes, and we chose a topic to discuss,” Busacca said, and by the end of it, the monthly consultants coffee klatsch had been formed.

From those gatherings, it was a small leap to expand into four klatsches, one for each point on the compass, and then a unanimous decision to include other business owners who could benefit from their discussions and advice.

“All four of the klatsches have said they wanted to give back to the community,”Busacca said, “so after thinking about this, for a while, I contacted the Snoqualmie Valley Chamber of Commerce.”

Busacca proposed the lunch-and-learn sessions, featuring one consultant, giving a presentation in his field, at no cost to participants. The sessions are informal and intended for the benefit of participants, so questions are welcome.

“We really want this to be more of an interactive workshop model,” Busacca said.

However, it’s not intended to be a competitor to the biweekly business workshops coordinated by Rob Wotton at Umpqua Bank in North Bend on Wednesdays.

“Rob does a wonderful job of getting experts from the immediate area,” Busacca said, adding that he attends the Wednesday workshops whenever he can. His own workshops, he noted draw experts from a broader, three-county area. “So it’s a little bit different flavor.”

The all-volunteer workshops are also still being developed. A website and a feedback system are goals for the future, as are a social media campaign. However, in the short term, Busacca said, “Let’s figure out how to do what we’re doing, well.”

The next workshop is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Friday, Jan. 27, at Snoqualmie City Hall. Busacca will discuss using key performance indicators (KPIs) to assess the health of a business, and to grow it.

Bring your own lunch, or make reservations to order your lunch in advance. To learn more, visit www.snovalley.org.

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