SCORE, Canon USA set small-biz forum

Michael Duffett: Small business gets Canon-ized.
By GREGORY ZELLER //

Dozens of Long Island business owners are about to get a crash course in successful small-business management – courtesy of one of the Island’s largest corporations.

Canon USA, the Melville-based subsidiary of the Japanese imaging conglomerate, is teaming up with the SCORE Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the national nonprofit small-business booster, to present “Simple Steps to a Well-Run Business,” an educational forum on effectively launching, managing and growing a small business.

The event is scheduled to run from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. June 30 at Canon USA’s Melville headquarters.

The idea, according to Canon USA Vice President Michael Duffett, is to provide a “robust learning and networking opportunity to small businesses,” with the ultimate goal of ensuring that Long Island businesses not only grow, but remain Long Island businesses.

“The event provides vital information to local business owners that helps keep business on Long Island,” Duffett told Innovate LI.

The vice president, who heads Canon USA’s marketing programs, said the forum is designed specifically for the smallest of the small, including home-office enterprises “looking for guidance and mentoring services on topics such as marketing, finance, start-up, business planning and business printing.”

The event is scheduled to include several panel discussions and workshops – including the debut of the SCORE Foundation’s “How to Have a Well-Run Business” workshop – and a keynote presentation by Carol Roth, a New York Times best-selling author and on-air contributor for CNBC.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with SCORE mentors, network with other regional business owners and tour Canon USA’s showroom, which is stocked with the latest high-speed, wireless printing technologies.

Canon USA teamed with the SCORE Foundation on the June 30 forum as part of its efforts to support national small-business development, according to Duffett.

“Canon USA strives to be a destination not only for a small business owners’ product needs, but for resources and helpful business content as well,” the VP noted. “In an effort to help build small business in America, we sought a partner that regularly provides resources, including counseling and workshops for small-business owners.”

The event will also include focused “Mentoring in Minutes” sessions, during which Canon USA and SCORE Foundation representatives will work directly with teams of entrepreneurs and small-business owners on improving bottom-line success and expanding their enterprises.

And the hosts will be showing off Canon’s MAXIFY line of printers, which according to Duffett are designed specifically for small-biz and home-office uses.

“The name is meant to signify what these printers can help small- and home-business users accomplish,” Duffett noted. “Canon designed the MAXIFY printer series with entrepreneurs, new business owners and IT professionals in mind.”

Admission to “Simple Steps to a Well-Run Business” is free but registration is required. The “Mentoring in Minutes” sessions and break-out discussions where Canon USA reps explain how moving business-printing work in-house helps startups will provide varying benefits for attendees, but the No. 1 advantage of the educational forum may be those networking opportunities, according to Duffett.

“The themes discussed during this event offer the opportunity to establish a common understanding of the importance of working together to succeed in the Long Island business market,” Duffett said. “Local business owners will realize the resources available to them and build relationships with neighboring businesses, and benefit from each other’s experiences.”