The East Texas Better Business Bureau and The Small Business Guild have announced a half-day workshop in Tyler for small business owners and managers. The workshop will address "Seven Reasons Small Businesses Fail – And How to Avoid Them."

The event is slated for June 20 at the Tyler Junior College West Campus, Room 104. Pre-registration is required by June 18.

The registration fee of $97 includes a catered lunch. The entire fee is waived, however, for small business owners and CEOs who complete a short online survey about training needs in their business. They can register for the workshop and take the survey at and click on the workshop link at the top of the page.

The Small Business Guild is a relatively new organization based in Dallas. It was created to provide affordable training for businesses with fewer than 100 employees. The principals in the Guild are all veteran business coaches and consultants, each with decades of experience in leadership development.

The Guild is led by Mineola native Dr. Mike Armour, who will make the presentation at the June 20 event. Attendees will receive free copies of two of his books on leadership. Armour has coached and trained business leaders on four continents. As an author, he has been published in almost 20 languages.

"The Guild ‘co-creates’ its workshops with local business owners," Armour explains.

"We use surveys and focus groups to identify the most common training needs among local businesses," he says. "We then provide a setting in which businesses come together for shared workshops on these topics."

This means that the cost of trainings is spread across multiple businesses, he adds. As a result, small business owners can afford more extensive training than their budgets might otherwise allow.

The purpose of the June 20 event is to formally introduce the Guild to local business leaders. This will be the first of several workshops in Tyler during 2012 co-sponsored by the Guild and the East Texas Better Business Bureau.

The Small Business Guild is a subsidiary of Strategic Leadership Development International, which Armour founded in 2001. Headquartered in Dallas, the company also has offices in East Africa and is establishing its footprint this year in New Delhi.

For the June 20 workshop, Armour will be joined by several of his colleagues in The Small Business Guild, including Mildred Blowen, a long-time business consultant and a Tyler-area resident.

She notes that the Guild’s principals have served as coaches and consultants for some of the world’s largest corporations. "This gives our team broad experience in business development," she points out. "We formed the Guild to package this expertise for small businesses and startups."

Over the next two years the Guild plans to standardize many of its basic training packages and provide franchise opportunities for business trainers and consultants to create local Small Business Guilds all over the country.

According to Armour, the Guild is prototyping its business model in Tyler before taking it to larger cities like Dallas, Fort Worth, and Houston. "We chose Tyler for our startup,” he comments, “because our team members know East Texas so well. We felt that it was an ideal place to launch what we envision as a nationwide initiative in the foreseeable future."

The Guild’s website provides further details on the Guild’s vision, goals, and plans.