Rogue Valley Business Resource Fair will offer tips on startups Saturday

If you've got a hankerin' to be your own boss or are poised to unleash a new product on the world, Saturday's Rogue Valley Business Resource Fair will provide plenty of answers and a dose of reality.

Entrepreneurs and would-be business owners will find out just how business-ready they are in a session at the Higher Education Center, 101 Bartlett St., in downtown Medford.

The session will be taught by Stephanie Hoffman, a business adviser and trainer at Southern Oregon University's Small Business Development Center, and her counterpart at Rogue Community College, David Talley.

"Half are in that ready, ready phase but don't know about business licenses, registering with the state or how to market their business," Hoffman said. "The other half is just thinking about it, not sure if they've got what it takes — the characteristics and attributes of an entrepreneur. They just collect the information and then decide afterward."

Hoffman said she doesn't pull punches describing what lies ahead for startups.

"I see myself being very realistic with them," Hoffman said. "I save them a lot of time and energy and then let them decide. Most of them don't realize how much work and energy it will take to get up and going. Most realize they can start a business, but just because you can doesn't necessarily mean you should. This workshop helps clarify that."

The free business fair is the largest south of Portland. Among the one-hour seminars topics are: Smart Hiring, Social Media and Marketing on a Shoe String Budget.

Participants can learn how to create a business plan, conduct business on the Internet or hone a 30-second sales pitch.

More than 25 industry associations, government and nonprofit organizations are represented in the Exhibitors' Hall.

Among the exhibitors are the Small Business Administration, Internal Revenue Service, State Accident Insurance Fund, certified public accountants, USDA Farm Service Agency and Employment Department.

The event runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and lunch is provided. For a program brochure, to register or for more information, visit or call Kathleen Johnson at 541-552-8300.

Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or Follow him on Twitter @GregMTBusiness, and read his blog at Edge.

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