CEV to host 'Strategies in Competitive Intelligence' workshops Aug. 4 and 5

John Thompson
University Communications

Western Washington University’s College of Business and Economics’ Center for Economic Vitality (CEV) is creating several free workshops for businesses on using competitive intelligence strategically to advance business goals, 3-5 p.m on Wednesday, Aug. 4, at the Whatcom Educational Credit Union in Ferndale; and from 8:30-10 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 5, at the Mount Baker Theatre in Bellingham.

Business owners and managers in Whatcom and Skagit counties are encouraged to attend. While there is no cost, pre-registration is recommended.

Competitive intelligence gives business owners and managers access to important industry, market and financial information. The research can help to answer:

  • Is what’s happening to my business happening to everyone in the industry?
  • Are my expenses in line with others in my industry?
  • Who are my customers and prospective customers and where/how can I reach them?
  • What options do I have for funding my business growth or stabilizing my cash flow?
  • Are the wages I am paying in line with my industry?

“Many small to medium-sized businesses can’t afford to hire market research firms to understand what is happening in their industry and with their competition,” said Tom Dorr, director for the CEV. “But business owners need to understand current market trends, new innovations, consumer preference trends and competing or substitute products on the market. With customized research, companies of all sizes can grow sales, increase margins, and market intelligently, by using consumer preferences, industry data, and financial analysis, to help make strategic decisions.”

“Our goal is to get this information into our businesses’ hands to help them through these challenging times to expand strategically,” Dorr said.

The Ferndale event is being sponsored by the Ferndale Chamber of Commerce and the City of Ferndale’s Economic Development Commission. The Bellingham event is sponsored by the City of Bellingham, the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce & Industry and AWB Institute.

To pre-register for one of the free conferences call the CEV at (360) 733-4014 or info@cevforbusiness.com. Please note the location.

For more than 20 years, the Center for Economic Vitality (CEV), formerly the Small Business Development Center, has enabled Western Washington University's College of Business and Economics to give back to the business community and has helped to shape the economic future of Whatcom County one business at a time. The CEV provides free, confidential counseling and technical assistance combined with business intelligence research to business owners and managers throughout Whatcom County. For more information, go to http://www.cevforbusiness.com.

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010 - 1:42pm