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Collab Seminar for Court Reporter Entrepreneurs: Hosted by South Coast College, SBDC, & Cal State

Here is an example of a great collaborative effort on the part of the SBDC, Cal State Fullerton, and South Coast College.

California passed legislation (AB 5) that impacted a large population of our deposition reporter alumni who are independent contractors. Students and alumni had concerns about what to do because of this current legislation. 

South Coast College sought help for them and was fortunate to find two of the smartest, most business-savvy people who worked with one Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. It is located on the Cal State Fullerton Campus and utilizes grants from Cal State Fullerton to fund some of its projects.

Since the only way that our deposition reporters can work in California now is if they function as a business entity with a business-to-business relationship, the consultants agreed to do a three-day Saturday workshop at South Coast College to address the issue of how to start your own business as an independent contractor. They had one condition. The condition was that South Coast College provide them with someone who already has a court reporting agency to enable them to tailor the sessions to the needs of the deposition reporter.

Since the idea was formulated in December 2019 and the need was so pressing because the law was going into effect in January, time was of the essence. South Coast College alumna, Stephanie Leslie, CSR, and her husband, Isaiah Leslie who have agencies in Orange County and Los Angeles provided the input that was needed, and South Coast College received notification in January that the event was ready to go with scheduled dates in February 1, 8, and 15. South Coast College commitment was to provide fifteen enrollees who would attend all three sessions.

With so little time to market this free seminar, South Coast College enlisted the help of another alumna, Cassandra Caldarella, CSR, who has one of the major social media Facebook pages for court reporting (Why I love Court Reporting). She outreached to a number of other court reporting sites and in less than a week, a combination of 48 students and alumni were enrolled.

What students/alumni received from the experience:

  1. Three dynamic seminars on the business requirements involved, marketing, and financial aspects of starting a business.
  2. Contact with an organization that will provide them with ongoing business advice.
  3. A financial projection template to take home. In the final session, one of the speakers elicited the attendees present who already have started working or have their own agencies to provide figures to insert in the template as an example. He asked for the start-up costs of the business, average amount for each job received, and other costs associated with the business and was able to arrive at how many jobs it would take per month to arrive at a $100,000 figure and for what length of time the beginning reporter would have to work before seeing a profit.

Every session was electric, especially the final session. Everyone leaving the final session left in great spirits knowing that the magic number was doable.

South Coast College take-aways

Cal State Fullerton Mihaylo College of Business and Economics additionally provided two free research projects:

  1. An in-depth research study of court reporting.
  2. The impact of court reporting on the California economy with a list of the contributing agencies of which several of our alumni’s agencies provide sizable contributions. 

SBDC provided these additional take-aways:

  1. A great resource to provide help in various aspects of the business.
  2. A commitment to provide these seminars for our students and alumni in the future and to come into our deposition procedures classes as speakers.

Interested in participating in a seminar like this in the future? Contact us and tell us what you would like to see and be sure to follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook to be notified of upcoming events!

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