With IRS out of way (hopefully), let’s look ahead

For those of you unburdened by last-minute IRS filing details — Tax Day falls on Tuesday, by the way — there are plenty of business-related activities scheduled around Memphis this week.

And for the rest of you, check out some of them anyway. You’ll be glad you did.

Begin your Tuesday on an attentive note by taking advantage of the Better Business Bureau’s “The Power of Listening” breakfast series, set for 7:30 to 9 a.m. at 3693 Tyndale.

Guest speaker will be Janet Cherry of SCORE Memphis discussing how small business owners can improve their managerial skills by learning to listen.

The workshop is free for BBB-accredited businesses, $10 for guests and includes a light breakfast. Reservations are requested.

For more information, contact Nancy Crawford at ncrawford@bbbmidsouth.org or (901) 757-8627.

Wrapping up its April programming series, the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation — located in room 326 at the FedEx Institute of Technology on the University of Memphis campus — is offering a couple of events this week, mixing some practical educational programming with social and networking opportunities.

For starters, on Tuesday the center hosts the latest installment of its popular “Dinner with an Entrepreneur” series, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Expect plenty of inspiring stories balanced with frank assessments about what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.

The program is free and should run until around 7 p.m., but because of past response it’s a good idea to call ahead to let the CEI folks know you’re coming.

The CEI is also offering a crash course in “Business Plan Basics” at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Show up and polish your entrepreneurial skill set.

For details on either program, call (901) 678-1579.

Another twofer will be the LaunchMemphis-sponsored “Office Hours” series, held from 9 a.m. to noon on Tuesday and again from 2 to 5 p.m. on Thursday at EmergeMemphis, 516 Tennessee.

The forums are free and allow entrepreneurs and small business owners to discuss business plans, marketing strategies and investment options with a panel of established professionals.

Call (901) 312-7700 for more information.

Wednesday ushers in the return of the politically flavored National Federation of Independent Business forum, which will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Regions Bank, 6200 Poplar.

Sponsored by the Memphis Area Action Council — the local arm of the NFIB — the event will include discussion of state and national issues facing small business owners. There will also be a presentation by Better Business Bureau leaders on how small business operators can recognize and avoid scams.

And while you’re there, make sure to say hello and offer congratulations to Kenny Crenshaw, AAC director, small business owner and 2012 recipient of the Bartlett Area Chamber of Commerce’s Entrepreneur of the Year award.

The program is free and includes lunch, but preregistration is requested and deadline is today.

For details, send an e-mail to leanne.durm@nfib.org.

Rounding out the work week, on Friday the Society of Entrepreneurs will host its monthly roundtable forum from noon to 1 p.m. at Owen Brennan’s, 6150 Poplar.

Featured presenter will be Don Hutson, best-selling author of “The One Minute Negotiator” and CEO of U.S. Learning.

A past president of the National Speakers Association, Hutson has received such honors as the International Speakers Hall of Fame award and is a founding member of the Society of Entrepreneurs.

Cost is $25, includes lunch and reservations are required. Deadline is Wednesday.

The past few SOE forums have sold out, so if you’re interested in this program then it’s advisable to get your ticket early.

To register, visit aprilroundtable2012. eventbrite.com or e-mail pearson@soememphis.com.

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