Sierra Commons relaunches Business Ignitor course this week |

Sierra Commons relaunches Business Ignitor course this week

Jennifer Terman
Staff Writer

Pictured are graduates from the Sierra Commons Business Ignitor course on May 24, 2012.

Sierra Common's Business Ignitor course will relaunch this week, offering an opportunity for people to learn how to launch or grow their business.

The six-week course begins Oct. 16 and includes topics such as business planning, market analysis, marketing strategies, finance, budgeting, business law, etc.

Even those without any previous business knowledge or experience found success through the program, including Victoria LaFont, who owns a nutritional services business and operates website

"I didn't know anything, but I was really willing and dedicated, so that dedication paired with the knowledge I got from that course allowed me to make ends meet after two years," LaFont said. "According to my business coach from that course, who's helped me along, that's kind of unheard of."

One of the biggest things LaFont said she learned from the course was how to collaborate with others to provide services she may not be able to provide herself.

"Passing out what I can't handle to people in the community who can help me with that has made such a huge difference," she said, adding she learned website setup, marketing and logo design from the course. "It was successful for me and I was only 30 when I took that, so I think for any person, it would just be so helpful."

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Janai Carlson also benefited from the course, without which she said she would have never been able to launch her business.

Carlson operates Peace of Mind Move Managers, which assists seniors with downsizing and moving into a more manageable space.

"I felt like it was invaluable," she said of the Ignitor course. "I could not have started my business and felt confident and successful without it."

She said she found the group of mentors and the business toolbox of how-to knowledge and information most helpful.

Course mentors include Brian Gillings of BG Business Consulting, Machen MacDonald of Pro-Brilliance Leadership Institute, attorney-at-law Rosemary Metrailer, certified public accountant Judy Nichols, social media and online marketing expert Coryon Redd of, Ruth Schwartz from High Performance Advocates and Doug Summers from Robertson, Woodford & Summers.

"The people assisting are young entrepreneurs and experts in their field," Carlson said. "One person is better at marketing; someone else is better at social media or operations … with all these mentors, I think that was probably the key to the success of the program — the synergy and people helping people who have been there before and done it themselves."

Carlson walked into the course with a mere idea of what she wanted to do. By the time the course was finished, she completed the goal of having a designed logo, website and ability to introduce her business for the open house event.

The $425 cost of the course was also well worth it, she said.

"I think if you're serious about starting your business and you're passionate about what you want to do, the money was well spent, and I don't think it was very much in comparison to what I received," she said. "I would definitely do it again."

Starting a business is a way to provide a meaningful service to the community, said Robert Trent, who started the course from a desire to create meaningful jobs in the community.

"Now is a perfect time to start a business that's meaningful to the business owner and that fits the needs of our community," he said. "The economy is about to take off, hopefully, and for entrepreneurs that's a great time to get started on something and watch it grow over the next few years."

For information, contact Sierra Commons at 530-265-8443 or visit

To contact Staff Writer Jennifer Terman, email or call 530-477-4230.

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