Augusta Business Daily

Fri, September 22, 2023

Local consulting firm offers business webinar series

Many small business owners are experts on their products and services, but they often need additional help actually running their businesses. A local business consulting and grant company wants to provide the help these businesses need to succeed.

Gateway Business Services, located in Augusta, offers business consulting and coaching for small businesses. They will be presenting a five-day webinar series covering fundamental business topics, which will be held Monday, Sept. 13 through Friday, Sept. 17 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. each day. The topics will be strategic planning, budgeting and finance, sales and marketing, human resources, and process improvement. For each topic, “We will share what it is, why it’s important, and some best practice tips,” says Tracie Parker, the company’s lead business consultant. “You can’t possibly learn everything about these otherwise deep topics in a one-hour presentation.” Parker explains the series is designed to help both for-profit and nonprofit businesses. She and Faith Edmondson – the company’s co-founder– will present each of the interrelated topics. Parker has over 20 years of business management experience, while Edmondson is an experienced grant writer and nonprofit leader.

Parker refers to strategic planning as developing a roadmap to a predetermined destination. While many paths may lead a business to success, she states strategic planning helps to map the best route. “You can reach your ultimate destination, which is success, either accidentally or intentionally. Embracing these five core areas of business will help you to get there more effectively and more efficiently with a lot less headaches,” Parker says.

Budgeting and finance are topics that intimidate many business owners because they often think a budget is too restrictive. Budgeting helps you “tell your money where to go rather than wondering where it went after the fact,” she states. She explains the presentation will cover basic concepts and best practices for developing and maintaining an effective budget. Parker says many businesses measure their success based on revenue, but she encourages them to focus on profit margin over revenue which considers expenses as well.

The sales and marketing presentation will cover fundamental concepts business owners need to know, such as the difference between those two terms and effective marketing strategies to promote business growth. “Unless you have a truly unique business, you probably have competitors,” she says. To attract customers, a business must “help people understand your value proposition.” A value proposition refers to a business’s unique services or features that help to set it apart from its competitors.

Human resources is the broadest topic in the webinar series because it involves a variety of functions, including recruiting, hiring, employee management, benefits, DOL compliance, and more. “Even if you don’t have an HR department, it’s important to develop a solid understanding of each of these functions,” Parker states. While it’s impossible to cover everything a company needs to know about human resources in a single hour, the presentation will share tips and best practices.

Process improvement refers to streamlining a company’s business processes. “It always baffles me that so many companies do not do this,” she adds. This webinar will help business leaders learn to develop consistent business practices and communicate them to their employees. Parker states process development and improvement can drastically improve product quality, cost- efficiency, and employee and customer satisfaction.

Focusing on these five core areas is essential to create a sustainable business model, no matter the type of business. “They can become successful faster with less headaches,” she says. If businesses need additional help in any of these areas, they can schedule a free consultation to discuss their needs and receive recommendations for improvement. “When you don’t know what you don’t know, that’s where we can help,” Parker adds.

Webinar tickets cost $20 each or $80 for all five presentations. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

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