Posts Tagged ‘ San Francisco Small Business Conference ’

Get Ready for Small Business Week

 

In less than a month, San Francisco will celebrate Small Business Week, and if you’re in business for yourself or if you’re a leader in any small business endeavor, you owe it to yourself and the success of your company to attend.

Being your own boss can get lonely. I go to this event every year to meet my fellow small business owners because smart, savvy San Francisco small business people come out for this event and share their knowledge and enthusiasm generously.

According to the SF Small Business Week Committee, San Francisco’s is the largest local Small Business Week in the country with more than 4,000 attendees throughout the week. Thriving small businesses pump the heart of this great city, where, according to this month’s issue of 7×7 Magazine, 99% of our registered businesses have fewer than 100 employees.

So which events should you attend? Here’s my run-down:

Flavors of San Francisco $10 Admission
Monday, May 14, 2012, 5:30-7:30pm – Metreon
San Francisco Small Business Week kicks off with a gala reception in the City View Room at the newly remodeled  Metreon and features small bites from more than 30 local restaurants. Hot tip: I’ll see you there early. The food always runs out.

Board of Supervisors Small Business Award Ceremony FREE!
Tuesday, May 15, 2012, 3:30pm – City Hall
This is the sweetest awards ceremony ever! Go cheer for your local favorites while the Small Business Commission, the Mayor, and the Board of Supervisors honor one exceptional small business from each of San Francisco’s 11 districts.

San Francisco Small Business Conference FREE!
Wednesday, May 16, 2012, 8am-5pm – SFSU Downtown Campus
Leaders, mentors, and innovators from our city’s incredible Small Business community offer more than 50 free workshops at San Francisco State’s  Downtown Campus above the Westfield Mall. This event teems with people you need to meet, from the friendly and approachable presenters to your small business peers and competitors.

Hot tip: Take an inspiration break on the grand and secret rooftop terrace, above the mall’s massive glass and steal dome, where the city view should get your blood pumping.

I always make new friends at this event, and this year I’ll be live tweeting from the workshops. I’ve already signed up for these two:

Supercharge Your Facebook Marketing from 9:00 AM to 10:30 AM

Tapping into Tourism from 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM

Hot tip: See a workshop you’d like to attend but can’t? Leave a comment, and I’ll find another attendee to live tweet it for you!

MEGA Make Contact LGBT Mixer FREE!
Thursday, May 17 – SF LGBT Center
The Golden Gate Business Association,  San Francisco’s LGBT business networking organization, throws this annual networking affair featuring the city’s fine food and wine.

Hot tip: This is always a good party. Put on your drinking shoes.

SFEDA & San Francisco Small Business Week Mixer
Friday, May 18,  – 5:30PM – 7:30PM, Boothby Center
I’m glad to see this new Small Business Week event on the roster, hosted by the San Francisco Economic Development Alliance.

Hot tip: No host bar. Bring cash.

The Sexy Grammarian arouses entrepreneurs and professionals to build their own strategy, brand, social media, and marketing content with private sessions, intimate workshopscustom style guides, and free online lessons and tips, such as this tip about why your company’s name should not end with an s or this advice about how to be a sexy social media writer. And check out these useful tips for business owners from last year’s Small Business Week: How To Get Organized, How To Engage Your Social Media Community, How To Set Goals, and How To Become A Sought-After Speaker.

Advertisements

Resources Galore! Get Organized—Tools To Boost Your Productivity At Work with Joshua Zerkel


Joshua Zerkel is funny! He’s got a dry, subtle sense of humor that really works for a presenter, but he’s not all fluff. In fact, he packed his presentation with solid resources to help you organize your business.

For instance, he advises you to organize one small area at a time. You don’t have to “get organized” all at once, he says. Instead, try to constantly evolve and always make it better. And he suggests only looking at email three times a day. Shut off email noise alerts so you can pull it off.

I loved his time-organizing techniques, such as his advice to create these time blocks on your calendar:

1.    Production time

2.    Marketing time

3.    Admin time

4.    Breaks

And his procrastination strategy:

  1. Identify the tasks you procrastinate.
  2. Focus on the goal of those tasks.
  3. Reward yourself for finishing the task.
  4. Use a timer to limit the time you spend on the task.
  5. Group procrastinated tasks and get them all done at once.

He also offered countless pre-tested software resources. I haven’t tried all of these yet myself but plan to:

http://www.shoeboxed.com/ : digitizes receipts and biz cards

http://www.crashplan.com/ : backups both online or local disk options

http://highrisehq.com/index3 : for contacts

http://www.evernote.com/ : free online archive

Facebook blocking software: I found LeechBlock, a Firefox add-on.

iPhone app: WorldCard

I loved Josh’s resourcefulness and his style. And I love being organized!

Last week, entrepreneurs nationwide celebrated Small Business Week, and San Francisco marked the occasion with several fantastic events including the Small Business Conference, more than 30 workshops to help small business owners succeed. This week, I offer my notes and inspiration from the four  fabulous workshops I attended:

I’m integrating what I’ve learned into my coaching practice, especially for small business owners. Do you know a small business owner who needs help keeping up with the writing demands of Internet marketing? I can help, and my first session is free.

Inspired! How To Engage or Build A Community for Your Business with Edith Yeung

Edith Yeung‘s got some great ideas about community building, and she shares them freely. And that’s really her message. Share your great ideas freely. It’s Seth Godin‘s message in the TED Talk above too. And although I took several pages of notes in this session, I encourage you to check out Edith’s many resources on the web. And in this post, I want to share, not what she said but what she inspired.

During this workshop, I got struck by lightning, as if many ideas about marketing and the Internet suddenly coalesced and became clear and beautiful:

  • If you are participating in social media from a perspective of sharing your expertise with the world, then you take steps to increase your magnetism to search engines by cross posting, linking, using descriptive titles, headlines, and link names, and participating in online conversations.
  • If you participate in this way, the Google algorithm likes you, so SEO marketing becomes about doing it right, participating, being engaged, and leading others to be engaged.
  • What is the highest good you can achieve with your knowledge and expertise? Putting your company’s contribution where people can find it, offering free, useful, well-written information to the Internet is the best way to get your message to the world and to be generous with the world.
  • This participation makes you a thought leader and a community leader. Being a leader makes you a better, more successful business owner.
  • It becomes possible that your marketing efforts are actually your gift to the world, the noblest thing you and your company can do.
  • Doing this well destroys negative business owner thinking about marketing being evil, self-promotion being creepy, and social media being a waste of time. Instead, this is the best, noblest, highest good you can offer. In return for your generosity, your community will find you and support your life’s work.

Last week, entrepreneurs nationwide celebrated Small Business Week, and San Francisco marked the occasion with several fantastic events including the Small Business Conference, more than 30 workshops to help small business owners succeed. This week, I offer my notes and inspiration from the four  fabulous workshops I attended:

I’m integrating what I’ve learned into my coaching practice, especially for small business owners. Do you know a small business owner who needs help keeping up with the writing demands of Internet marketing? I can help, and my first session is free.

Ten More Tips: How To Become A Sought After Speaker and Make Your Business THRIVE! with Caterina Rando

Caterina Rando organizes her inspiring and helpful talk around ten points, which she will send to you as a PDF if you give her your business card (see tip #1 below). But during her presentation I collected plenty more than ten useful tips to steer my future career as a sought-after speaker. Since you can probably get hold of her official list of ten tips by writing to her, I’ll share some notes that fell outside her organized presentation outline but still impressed me.

1.   Everybody loves a handy handout, and Caterina knows it.  She leverages this information to collect the contacts sitting in her workshop, saying, “I am trying to be more green so give me your email address, and I’m going to send you the handouts plus a special gift.” She hands a box around the room for us to fill with our business cards. Shazam, she’s got your number and a reason to send you email. Brilliant.

2.    She speaks to audience members who’ve arrived early before her presentation begins, which makes her more approachable, provides her information about her audience, and cultivates especially attentive audience members.

3.    Invite potential clients to hear you speak–impress them with your audience and your performance.

4.    Caterina on speaking fees:

  • Unpaid gigs let you snag clients more than paid gigs do.
  • Don’t be attached to fees.
  • It’s the client connections that matter here—get yourself in front of your potential clients.

5.    “The more you do it, the easier it gets, until you do it with ease.”

6.    If there’s a microphone—use it!

7.   Caterina expresses and exemplifies a great consciousness about quality of voice for public speaking.

8.    Required business owner qualities:

  • certainty (ahs and ums undermine this)
  • enthusiasm
  • positivity

9.    Caterina does this thing where she coaches her audience to breathe. I wonder what her cue is for this—her own mood, or the audience’s, or some planned transition. Whatever the cue, it works to keep us relaxed and focused.

10. Image: wear a (light) jacket, or any “3rd piece.”

Caterina’s a charmer and a real professional. I’m inclined to do what she says and wear the light-colored jacket no matter how hot it gets talking about Sexy Grammar.

Last week, entrepreneurs nationwide celebrated Small Business Week, and San Francisco marked the occasion with several fantastic events including the Small Business Conference, more than 30 workshops to help small business owners succeed. This week, I offer my notes and inspiration from the four  fabulous workshops I attended:

I’m integrating what I’ve learned into my coaching practice, especially for small business owners. Do you know a small business owner who needs help keeping up with the writing demands of Internet marketing? I can help, and my first session is free.

Hitchhiking to the Stars: Effective Goal Setting with Todd Sotkiewicz & Gary Purece

It is 1995 and my dear friend Mike is in my little Tenderloin studio, preparing to leave town. He’s got the cash he needs, the packed backpack, a full water bottle and—“Can I cut up this box?” he asks me, holding up an old boot box. “I need to make my ticket.”

“Sure, but what are you talking about? You’re making a ticket? You don’t need to buy a ticket?”

I’m thinking of buses, airplanes, and trains. Mike’s thinking about hitchhiking.

He grabs my scissors and a Sharpie pen and cuts the bottom panel out of the box. He pops the cap off the pen and writes MEXICO in bold letters. He holds it up at me and says, “My ticket.”

He explains to me that motorists will be more likely to trust him if he has a destination. It is, after all, 1995, not 1965, and hitchhiking conjures images of psychokillers and missing teens in the American imagination. By stating his goal, Mike’s earning the trust of those who might help him along his way to Mexico.

Before I attended Effective Goal Setting with Todd Sotkiewicz  of 7×7 Magazine and Gary Purece of Lee Hecht Harrison, goal setting served my business in one concrete-if-metaphorical way: Reach for the stars, and I might just land on the moon.

So this idea they presented impressed me: a clear goal facilitates support and trust along the way. Gary and Todd know their stuff and have obviously collaborated on goal setting successfully, actively, and prolifically. They are also both accomplished, charming, and delightful presenters. And it’s a good thing. I’m guilty of having a pretty bad attitude about goal setting. I’ve shot at a lot of stars over the years, only rarely landing on the moon.

But I have collected amazing mentors and colleagues. I have enjoyed the support and trust of my clients and friends. And maybe that’s because I’ve diligently set goals. After all, who’s going to give me a ride on the highway to success if I don’t have a ticket?

Last week, entrepreneurs nationwide celebrated Small Business Week, and San Francisco marked the occasion with several fantastic events including the Small Business Conference, more than 30 workshops to help small business owners succeed. This week, I offer my notes and inspiration from the four  fabulous workshops I attended:

I’m integrating what I’ve learned into my coaching practice, especially for small business owners. Do you know a small business owner who needs help keeping up with the writing demands of Internet marketing? I can help, and my first session is free.