CORD CROWDS SWARM CITY TREASURER’S SMALL BUSINESS EXPO!
A record 2,500 attendees joined us for the 2010 Expo! Thank you to everyone who validated the efforts of our staff, volunteers, and business leaders to help make the 2010 Expo a record smashing success.
Wow! The Small Business Expo is less than 60 days away! Over 130 exhibitors and more than 30 workshops, and networking with thousands of small business owners. Read below for a small sampling of new workshops and Expo.
Booth spaces and sponsorships are selling fast so don’t be left out in participating at the premier Small Business Expo event in the City of Chicago! Call 312-744-5195 or visit us
Small Business Expo – Friday, July 16th 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the UIC Forum.
Full Day of FREE Cutting Edge Workshops
All of the latest trends will be covered with leaders in Social Media, E-mailing Marketing, Networking, Building a Powerful Image, and much more. Favorite workshops return including “One -Hour Mentor With Business Leaders” – “Expert Marketing” and “Building Powerful Business Plans”.
Spring is a very busy season for our Small Business Programs. We hope you can join us for one of our great contests or events including The Small Business Plan Contest, The “One-Hour-Mentor” Program and Small Business Expo. Happy Spring!
2010 Business Plan Contest to End Soon
Just a reminder that the deadline to enter your 2-page business plan template into consideration for the 2010 Business Plan Competition has been extended to Friday, April 9th. Enter for you chance to share in $10,000 in prizes.
Congratulations to our 2010 Elevator Pitch Winner “Second Act” Thank you to all of our outstanding contestants. Please consider entering our Business Plan Competition (see box above)
Small Business Expo
The 2010 Small Business Expo will be held on Friday, July 16th at the U.I.C. Forum. Join us for one of the best networking days in Chicago with over 130 exhibitors, 30 FREE Small Business Workshops, and 2,000 attendees. Sponsors, Exhibitors, and attendeess can find more information at FREE SMALL BUSINESS EXPO.
The “One- Hour- Mentor” Program for Chicago Small Business Chicago business leaders come together 4 times a year to help Chicago small business owners to brainstorm and problem solve. Workshops fill fast – NEXT One Hour Mentor May 26th at 10am.
There are less than 10 days to enter the City Treasurer’s 2010 Business Plan Competition. Submit your two page executive summary by April 5th, for your chance to share in $10,000 in prizes and be featured in the media. Visit www.chicagocitytreasurer.com BUSINESSCONTEST.
Winners will be announced at the Small Business Expo, July 16th at the UIC Forum.
FOCUS is the number one obstacle you will face in any “new media,” web or social networking project be it company wide tweeting or starting a Facebook fan page. Without focus businesses “forget” to update websites, they post links customers don’t care about and generally send mixed messages. It’s no coincidence focus is also the number one obstacle in any marketing project! Everything your company does involving new media – even the content – is marketing and the possibilities are endless so it’s very easy slip off track.
Set guidelines “What Would My Brand do?”
Is your brand loud and fun, like the t-shirt above? Use your brand’s “personality” as a guide for what you should post on Twitter or Facebook. A comedy club might post jokes when a Lexus dealership would not. While B2B might connect with customers via Linkedin.com, everyone should consider starting a “brand” account on Twitter in which you only post business related updates, successes, discussion and events. Facebook is an exceptional place for small business owners to connect with customers as “friends” to exercise your personal brand. Everyone wants to know the owner!
Make a plan. Check it, tweak and repeat.
You never really know what any given moment will bring, so executing a plan might be just be your biggest challenge! Whatever you decide to do, make sure you sit down with the calendar you really rely on and schedule it! Schedule daily or weekly updates for Facebook, plan out the next 3 months worth of recipes for your blog. Keeping the plan simple and making it a priority will improve your chances for success tenfold. Create ways to measure your success so you cannot fail! If you were to create a goal to get your regular customers to be your friends on Facebook by sending them email invites you should check your progress in a month or so. If your efforts are stalled tweak your approach. Consider handing out social media business cards, direct mail or contesting. The point is, keep on eye on your progress and tweak it if it isn’t working.
Need help with your online product, projects or marketing? There are many free programs available for scheduling tweets and Facebook statuses and there are ways to have your social media sites monitored (for free) as well. If you cannot be active on the sites, please seek out other solutions because at the minimum you should be reasonably “accessible.” If you are asked questions or worse, taken to task, you need to be aware and you need to respond!
If you need help, there are a lot of resources “out there” that are very cost effective and you’re welcome to shoot me an email or begin a discussion right here in the comments.
Your Website Tips & Tricks: Whether you’re a newbie or seasoned web guru you’ll find these cheat sheets extremely useful. Anyone with a business website should pay particular attention to Website Usability Checklist and the SEO Cheat Sheet.
Now, truth be told told, I found this tidbit on Twistimage.com’s blog by Mitch Joel and if you’re a fan of well designed sites like I am you should definitely check it out. What about great information? Yep, it’s got that too! Six Pixels of Separation – The Blog
Got more reference guides, cheat sheets or blogs that are key to your web marketing arsenal? Please share in the comments!
Big day for small business may be largest ever in 2009
Record business plan submissions – Record Pre-Registration
The Expo runs from 8:30am -3:30pm, and provides a full day of FREE workshops with business experts, over 100 small business oriented exhibitor booths- and networking with thousands of attendees interesting in building their small business.