FRANKLYWNOW - New Firm Trains Small Businesses, Individuals

New Firm Trains Small Businesses, Individuals

Marketing itself as "West Virginia's Only Training Clearinghouse," CW Business Solutions aims to give individuals and small businesses access to the expert training that has been affordable only to larger corporations, according to owner Wendy Cerne. "These are the folks who usually do $10,000 trainings for large companies, and I'm opening it up to small businesses -- businesses training, continuing ed classes, motivational speakers," Cerne said. Cerne, whose background is in the nonprofit sector, has been frustrated in the past with low-quality workshops and knows she isn't alone in wanting better, more affordable training closer to home. "I have attended numerous trainings with second-rate presenters, and I am bored to tears in minutes," she said. "And over the years, my friends in rural parts of the state would complain that they lost at least two days of work traveling to Morgantown or Charleston for training. Not all of their bosses were reimbursing them, so that was money out of their pocket." On the other side of the coin, Cerne also knows good presenters who would like to make their services available but need help with the organizing. "They do not want to actively market themselves to the public, and they do not want the hassle of coordinating all of the details," she explained. "I myself love the details." She aims to coordinate every aspect to the presenter's liking, "down to the last detail of whether they want crushed or whole ice cubes, Diet Pepsi or Coke, and the exact temperature in the room." Cerne, who earned bachelor's and master's degrees from West Virginia University, said her interest is in offering quality training to people who can't afford $300 for a workshop as a way to develop the state's business community. To make quality training affordable, she relies on businesses to sponsor the workshops in exchange for their logo on promotional materials, a display for their products and services and discounted registration fees for staff and clients. Her intention as the business grows is to provide workshops across the state so no participant has to drive more than an hour. For its first two sets of workshops, CW Business Solutions is offering "Essential Skills for Today's Corporate Leaders" across three monthly morning meetings in Wheeling, Morgantown and Charleston, and "Essential Skills for Today's Busy Supervisors" in the afternoons. Both three-part series are designed to help business leaders manage their employees and themselves. Training will be provided by Chuck Stump of The Performance Group of Scott Depot in Putnam County. Cerne is scheduling workshops across the state for later this year on a range of topics, including listening skills, customer service, business ethics and strategic planning. "Eventually I will truly be the clearinghouse for excellent trainers to say, 'I've got a product, I can teach on this and make business better,'" she said. "And people will know that when they contact Business Solutions and they're looking for training, they'll get the best in the state."

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