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Complete the form on this page to get a detailed course outline and to connect with an advisor.

1 in 4 new businesses fail within the first year.  And, only 47% of new retail businesses make it past 4 years in operation.*

The upfront costs of opening a retail business – the lease, the build out, the inventory – can be very expensive. The wrong decisions could mean unplanned expenses and not making it past the 1 year mark.

Starting a successful retail business requires proper planning to create a retail brand that attracts and keeps customers coming back. You’ll need to think about your points of sale, inventory and pricing strategy, marketing, customer service, and cash flow.

The Retail Business Builders program breaks down the critical components of opening a retail business and provides practical how-to’s for making the right decisions when you’re just starting out. You’ll learn from successful local retailers, retail subject-matter experts, and work with seasoned retail business advisors.

What to Expect

SBDC-RBB-Training-Leases.jpgRetail Business Builders is a 10 week program, meeting once per week for a 3 hour session. But, it's more than just a class. It includes:

  • Group learning and networking to discuss challenges, exchange resources, and find solutions with peers.
  • In this 10-week program, you will:
    • Learn how to develop a business model able to innovate and adapt during changing economic conditions
    • Network with other small business owners and learn solutions to navigating these times
    • Hear from experts to ensure your company is compliant
    • Ensure consideration of safety measures for your staff, customers and community are in place
    • Gain clarity about your business within current market conditions
    • Learn how to work on your business in an efficient manner
    • Work and plan one-on-one with a business advisor
    • Learn from subject-matter experts
  • Up to 5 hours of one-on-one advising, which you can use during the course or within a 10 month period following Retail Business Builders.
  • Access to specialty business advisors with a wide range of expertise.
  • Access to market research resources such as Southern Oregon University Market Research Institute, SBDCNet, Reference USA, MarketLink, and Euromonitor.


What Our Clients Say

SBDC-RBB-Small-Fry-301355-edited-677029-edited.jpg"Regardless of your expertise or background, this was extremely eye opening, inspiring and beneficial!!"  Vanessa Curry, co-owner of Small Fry
"I walked away from each class with nuggets to take back to my business. It inspired me to be a better business woman."  Elle Poindexter, co-owner of Small Fry
"Even with 10 years of Retail Management experience, there was never a week that I didn't learn something new!"  Sarah Marshall
"It was nice to meet other small business owners (or future) and talk about troubles & pleasures in owning your business." 
"I came into this class with little direction about how to launch my business and I left with greater confidence and meaningful connections. I found it very valuable to hear from successful business owners in the community and found the classroom offered a welcoming and uplifting atmosphere. I look forward to keeping in touch with the Retail Business Builders group and making my mark in the community." Chanel Urist, Made of Coco
"Having a handful of advisors to talk through decisions with has been absolutely crucial for helping the growth of my business and my confidence in myself to run it." Sarah Chellis, EyeDentity

The Investment


  • 30 hours of education divided into 10 weekly, 3 hour sessions
  • Up to 5 hours of one-on-one advising, which you can use during the course or within a 10 month period following Retail Business Builders
  • Expect to spend time outside of the classroom and your advising sessions to work on different aspects of your business


  • Tuition is $799.
  • Tuition can be paid in 5, monthly payments of $160.
  • An additional person from your business can take the course for 1/2 price, $400. 

The Return:

  • Invaluable advice from industry experts that will save you years of frustration, and potentially thousands of dollars.
  • Support from a network of peers and mentors
  • Confidence to make the right decisions for your new business

How to Enroll in Retail Business Builders

Ready to launch your business with confidence? Sign up using the form to connect with an advisor to learn more about Retail Business Builders.

Please note to complete your enrollment in Retail Business Builders, you will need to register through Portland Community College.

Want more information? Complete the form on this page to get a detailed course outline and to connect with an advisor.