Get Insight from Business Experts. For FREE. From Microsoft Office Live and IBM

One of the not so good things about being a small business owner is that at times you can feel isolated. Maybe you are going through a problem and wonder who else is going through the problem.
Flipping through many business magazines you can read their Q&A columns to get some advise – but it’s limited. Another resource is your local chamber of commerce and professional business associations.
Microsoft, in a continuous effort to help small businesses grow their business, beyond technology, has teamed up with MasterCard to produce a series entitled, “Run your Business, Live Your Life”. IBM is also launching a series of online seminars hosted by my good friend Jim Blasingame, the Small Business Advocate. Check them out here
Regarding the Office Live seminars, each week during May and June we will be having live seminars with some of today’s business leaders. They will cover topics such as franchising, steps to success, marketing on a budget, women in business, and how to grow your business. Speakers include: Rieva Lesonsky, Michael Gerber, Susan Solovic and many others.
Who and When: For exact dates, please visit
May 1ñ4
∑ Margaret McEntire, author of “Candy Bouquet Franchising Success,” explains how franchising works and what you need to know before buying a franchise business.
∑ Jaclyn Kostner, author of “Cashing in on Webinars,” explains how webinars and webconferencing give small businesses a powerful way to create and sustain critical business relationships when people are not face-to-face but across town or across continents.
∑ David Roth, author of “From Startup to Franchise,” shares how Cereality, the first cereal restaurant, went from a startup business to a successful franchise.
May 7ñ11
∑ Rieva Lesonsky, “Entrepreneurs & Start Ups Tools for Success,” editorial director of Entrepreneur Media Inc., explores the three “dares” you need to overcome when you want to start a new business.
∑ Julie Morgenstern, best-selling author of “Time Management From the Inside Out,” shares strategies that help small-business owners take control of their life.
∑ Susan Solovic, series host and author of the “Girls Guide to Building a Million-Dollar Business,” shares empowering guidance to those women who want to gain confidence and knowledge to become successful entrepreneurs.
May 14ñ18
∑ George Silverman, “The Secrets of Word-of-Mouth Marketing,” explains how you can dramatically boost your sales by getting customers to sell your products for you.
∑ Al Lautenslager, “Guerrilla Marketing in 30 Days,” presents 10 low- and no-cost marketing tactics that you can put to use immediately to help get more business.
∑ Andrew Bein, “Trump University Finding New Customers,” explores the different reasons people have for operating independently.
May 21ñ25
∑ Gail Evans, author of “Play Like a Man, Win Like a Woman,” discusses the importance of women to start playing on “the same team.”
∑ Jay Contrad Levinson, “Guerilla Marketing,” explores unconventional ways of pursuing conventional marketing goals and guerrilla marketing tactics that help you achieve serious profits with little or no cost.
∑ Caitlyn Friedman and Kimberly Yorio, “A Girl’s Guide to Being Boss,” offer tips and techniques for mastering the art of delegation.
∑ Andrew Caffey, “Franchising Fundamentals,” one of today’s foremost franchise attorneys, explains how to locate, evaluate, finance and establish a successful franchised business.
∑ Michael Gerber, “E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What To Do About It,” focuses on today’s entrepreneurs and how they transform dreams into commercially successful enterprises to make a difference.
May 28ñ31
∑ Laurence Haughton, “It’s Not the Big That Eat the Small,” explains how to think and act quickly to stay ahead of your bigger competitors. His seminar draws on research from his book.
∑ Jeff Thull, author and leading-edge strategist for major companies, provides insights on how to preempt last-minute negotiations to protect your price and profitability.