As owners of small- and medium-sized business are adjusting to economic changes wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic, faculty from the University of Washington Foster School of Business are offering a series of workshops to help companies pivot to new opportunities and position themselves for sustainable growth over the next two years.
Each workshop will include both lectures from Foster School faculty and peer-to-peer discussions that will provide mutual support among business owners.
Workshops will take place from May 13-June 17, at 5:30-6:30 pm.
Adapting Your Business to the COVID-19 Reality and Beyond – May 13, 2020
Jeff Shulman, Professor of Marketing
The US economy and business environment has been fundamentally changed by the coronavirus. The needs of consumers and businesses will be substantially different during and after the COVID-19 crisis. Webinar attendees will hear what to expect in the months ahead. The goal is to leave webinar attendees inspired and prepared to adapt their businesses to survive and ultimately thrive in the new normal. Shulman is the Marion B. Ingersoll Professor of Marketing, host of Seattle Growth Podcast, and producer of the PBS documentary “On the Brink.” Professor Shulman is a nationally renowned expert on the regional economy and news outlets such as Q13, KOMO 4, USA Today, and the Seattle Times have turned to him for insight on the impact of the coronavirus.
The Coronavirus Pivot: Customer Discovery Strategy for Your Business – May 20, 2020
Once businesses start to open back up, life will not be the same. If you run a restaurant, you won’t be able pack people in at rush hour for a long time. If you run a hair salon, people will be wary of coming back. This session will cover ways to look at serving customers in different ways -based on the business you have today. To survive and grow businesses will need to find new customers and new ways to reach customers. This workshop will present strategies to identify and win new customers and clients. Emer Dooley is the Charlene M. and Arthur W. Buerk Endowed Faculty
Cash and Debt in Good and Bad Times – May 27, 2020
Thomas Gilbert, Associate Professor of Finance
The precipitous drop in demand from consumers, businesses and government has added pressure for businesses to manage cash and their debts wisely. This workshop will explore how to maintain liquidity over the next 12-24 months while the economy gradually re-opens. Thomas is a Professor of Finance whose research focus on cash and debt management.
Negotiating with Employees, Vendors, and Other Business Partners – June 3, 2020
Elizabeth Umphress, Associate Professor, Management
As the employees, consumers, businesses and governments manage through the immediate and medium term of the Covid-19 crisis business owners will need to re-negotiate written and unwritten contracts ranging from employee sick leave to rent payments to landlords and from payments from corporate customers to loan terms with creditors. This workshop will help business owners to hone their negotiating skills. Elizabeth Umphress is the Evert McCabe Endowed Fellow and Associate Professor of Management. Dr. Umphress teaches Dynamics of Negotiations and Ethical Leadership to executive and MBAs at the University of Washington. She has conducted executive education programs for companies such as Microsoft, NASA, Lockheed Martin, and ExxonMobil and she specializes in teaching executives Strategic Communications and Negotiations and Ethical Leadership. Her consulting work focuses on helping employees feel empowered and more productive in the workplace. She consistently receives professor of the year awards for her teaching excellence.
Inventory and Supply Chain Management in Volatile Times – June 10, 2020
Shi Chen, Assistant Professor of Operations Management
The Covid-19 pandemic continues to alter global supply chains and businesses are needing to adapt new strategies to manage inventory. This workshop will explore likely supply chain challenges that businesses will face over the next two years and strategies that business owners can use to ensure they can meet their customers’ needs. Shi Chen is an Assistant Professor of operations management whose research and teaching focuses on Inventory management, socially responsible and sustainable supply chain management, as well as operations strategies in the cloud computing industry.
Leadership in Volatile Times – June 17, 2020
Christina Fong, Principal Lecturer of Management
Business owners are being asked to make decisions and lead their employees through times that none of us have been trained for. This workshop will highlight how business leaders can leverage these complex, fast-changing, and uncertain contexts to create vision, purpose, and positive impact. Our session will also include an exploration of how leaders can create, build and sustain resilience during times of crisis and challenge. Christina Fong’s research and teaching focuses on building managers into leaders.
Reaching and Engaging Your Audience (or Your Customers) using Technology while Keeping Social Distancing – June 24, 2020
Shaosong Ou, Sr. Lecturer in Information Systems
Modern day information technologies such as the Internet and smartphones have enabled small businesses to expand their reach to a global scale. As the current COVID-19 pandemic keeps a large portion of the society at home and more dependent on their technologies, using them to reach and engage your customers is particularly important. This workshop will explore various technology-based channels via which small businesses can personalize the relationship with their customers without meeting them face-to-face.