Central CA SBDC Regional Network
Helping Your Business Start, Grow and Succeed

Access to an online business planning tool that uses Artificial Intelligence and a recent lawsuit filed against Amazon are among topics of this week’s FREE webinar presented by the Small Business Development Center at CSU Bakersfield. 

Host and SBDC director, Kelly Bearden is joined by Josh Fegles, Academic and Government Channel Sales Director with Palo Alto Software, maker of LivePlan. Fegles provides examples of how artificial intelligence technologies (AI) can be used in the online business and financial planning tool.

Kelly discusses how current and future small businesses that are SBDC clients will be able to use LivePlan free of charge to create and update a variety of planning aspects for their business.

Economist Mark Evans, emeritus professor from CSUB takes a look at a recently filed lawsuit against Amazon by the Federal Trade Commission and 17 state attorneys general. The complaint alleges Amazon restrains competition through unfair strategies that inflate prices and degrade consumers’ experiences.

This marks the 296th episode of the weekly “Webinar Wednesday” business series that provides news and information helpful to employers and business owners.

The CSU Bakersfield SBDC provides free one-on-one consulting to help small business owners. New and existing businesses can sign up for assistance by clicking here!

TIMESTAMPS - Bold blue links below are where Dr. Mark Evans and Josh Fegles each begin to speak, as well as the LIVE portion using AI to build a business plan.
00:00 Intro
00:21 What’s up today October 25, 2023
02:02 Poll question #1: “My business planning, and my planning skills are?”
03:24 Poll question #2: “This entertainer is launching his first-ever tech startup, a social app called It’s Good that aims to give users personalized food and travel tips. Who is it?”
05:07 Kelly introduces Dr. Mark Evans, our resident Webinar Wednesday economist
05:54 Online Retail Sales
06:35 Federal Trade Commission, 17 States Sue Amazon Article - https://www.cnn.com/2023/09/26/tech/ftc-sues-amazon-antitrust-monopoly-c...
07:25 Alleged anti-competitive tactics
08:04 Excessive Independent Seller Fees
10:12 Importance of Marketplace Revenue
10:50 Monopolizing e-commerce Logistics
11:53 Unfair Advantage to Amazon Brands
12:28 Monopolizing e-commerce Superstores & Platforms
13:33 Monopolistic Pricing of Online Goods
14:31 Parting Question
15:14 Kelly rejoins Dr. Evans for brief discussion
16:00 Federal Reserve Small Business Credit Survey - Link https://fedreserveboard.gov1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_4PKWyQfbGKeIL3g?o...
16:46 Key Finding 2022 Small Business Credit Survey – CA Firms
17:44 Online Lender – Kelly uses Loan Calculator to explain the interest rate for a loan
18:35 What is the APR your FinTech is Charging?
21:32 Business Security Improvements Grant Program https://www.bakersfieldcity.us/1118/Business-Security-Improvements-Grant
21:37 Want to run a home day care business? $1,000 start-up grants
22:00 Free Human Resources Hotline for Employers
22:21 Community Calendar: Oct. 26 Small Business Expo, Kern County Black Chamber of Commerce
22:39 Community Calendar: Save the Date – Nov 15! 17th Annual Kern County Energy Summit
22:57 Community Calendar: NOR Chamber Economic Empowerment Workshop Series – Nov. 8
23:16 See what tools the SBDC has for your business
23:38 CSUB SBDC YouTube Channel
23: 49 Related YouTube Channel Topics
24:12 Kelly introduces Josh Fegles, LivePlan
25:17 Josh Fegles begins slide presentation
26:09 We help people succeed in business
26:41 Free templates of business plans, examples, articles, guides link: https://www.bplans.com/
27:00 The Core Problem
27:26 The Solution – LivePlan
27:41 Artificial Intelligence makes plan writing faster and easier
28:53 Leveraging the power of AI to elevate your business
29:58 AI: Rewrite
30:10 AI: Help me write
30:53 AI: Suggest Forecast Categories: Revenue, COGS, Expenses, Personnel
31:13 Live Support - Customer Advocates
32:09 Observed impacts of AI
41:53 Josh shows how to use AI to create a financial forecast
49:57 Josh shows a fully built business plan on the dashboard and discusses what you can see
51:41 Kelly rejoins Josh for Questions & Answers with attendees
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Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration and a Grant with the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. All opinions, conclusions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA or the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact the California SBDC closest to you.