To be successful in a social media campaign, you need to have a mechanism for audience growth. Most of your tactics, such as posting new content regularly and engaging with your audience on a regular basis, will carry this effect to some degree, but if you’re interested in scaling your strategy up, or if your traditional methods have led you to a plateau, you’ll need something stronger to earn new followers. One of the best ways to accomplish this are social media contests , which offer up a prize or reward in exchange for some audience participation. Contests are especially powerful because they have a tangible incentive, they include a natural means of engagement, and they’re highly shareable, thus making them highly visible and capable of yielding a strong ROI. But how can you make sure you’re getting the most out of your social media contests? How To Optimize Social Media Contests Step One: Choose the Right Function Don’t let the generic term “contest” confuse you; there are actually a number of different types of contests you could use to support your brand. Some will work better for you than others, but each have advantages and disadvantages. These are some of the most popular forms to choose from: Like and share contests. Like and share contests are very simple; every person who likes or shares the post you make will be entered into a drawing to win the prize. This will encourage lots of participation, but at a fleeting level of engagement. Purchase-based or offsite contests. This approach demands some external interaction, such as purchasing a product. It’s hard to motivate people to move past the barrier of a given social platform, but if you can succeed, you’ll earn direct revenue or conversions. Simple user-submitted content. These include things like caption contests or basic trivia — engagement is higher, but still reasonable to encourage lots of participation. Intensive user-submitted content. These include photo and video contests, or anything that demands higher skills or time investments. They’ll generate lower participation, but much more meaningful engagement and probably more visibility as well. Once you’ve chosen a “shell” form, you can move on to the next step. Step Two: Choose the Right Incentive The best social media contests have something truly special to offer their audience. What you choose should depend on your demographics, as well as your company. For example, if you sell consumer products, you could simply offer one of your most popular items for free as a prize. If you sell subscription software, you could offer a few months of free use. If you don’t sell something most consumers would like, or if your products and services are too expensive to give away, you can try offering something like an Amazon gift card, or some other generic prize package. As for the value, that depends on how big you want to make your contest — the bigger the prize, the more engagement you’re liable to receive. Step Three: Choose the Right Platform Next, you’ll want to choose the right social media platforms on which to host your contest. You could feasibly opt for multiple platforms here, but try to choose one that specifically fits your contest type. For example, Instagram is a platform custom-made for taking and uploading photos; if you’re trying to run a user-submitted photo contest, Instagram may be a better platform than something like LinkedIn. Step Four: Start Promoting and Diversify Your Approach Start promoting your contest with at least one strong visual, and a concise, compelling headline that gets people to participate. You’ll want to promote your material in different ways as well, posting at different times of day and possibly mentioning your contest to your current customers over email or your preferred communication medium. If you’re invested in this contest, you may also consider promoting it with paid advertising for an extra boost. Step Five: Repeat and Remind Just as you would syndicate content to increase its visibility, you’ll want to syndicate your contest a handful of times to make sure your entire audience gets the opportunity to see and interact with it. Be sure to change up your visuals and your copy, both to AB test and figure out what approach works best, and to differentiate your material so your audiences won’t get tired of seeing the same thing crop up in their newsfeeds over and over. Try not to do this more than once a day, with more frequent posts as you get closer to your contest deadline. Step Six: Show Off Your Winner(s) Eventually, you’ll have a winner (or winners), and you can wrap up the competition. Be sure to publicly recognize the winner, and post a picture of them with your prize (if possible). This will generate some extra visibility for the contest at the last minute, prove that your company followed through on the deal, and will generate more interest in future contests that you choose to hold. Social media contests aren’t for every brand, and following these steps isn’t a guarantee of success. Contests work best for brands that already have a decent following, or ones with a high propensity for going viral — such as ones that offer popular consumer products. Still, if you have a good angle for visibility and a good idea to support your intentions, there’s nothing stopping you from running fully-optimized, high-ROI social media contests for your brand. Prizes Photo via Shutterstock This article, ” How to Optimize Contests in a Social Media Campaign ” was first published on Small Business Trends

[via Small Business Trends]

Follow us @innovationheat – lists / @blackbolenay

{ 0 comments }

The online content discovery platform Outbrain has launched Outbrain for Chat, a new service that will help online publishers to launch content bots or applications across leading Messaging platforms. You may not have heard of Outbrain yet, but you most likely have come across some of their work online. Some of those alluring links that you come across at the bottom of websites like New York Post, Sky News, The Telegraph and CNN are powered by Outbrain and are tailored to attract individuals using Outbrain’s behavioral analytics. Now Outbrain, which makes money by taking a revenue cut from third-party link providers, wants to do more than provide links to content that you might be interested in. The company is now, using content bots for chat platforms, helping publishers to send you their stories through popular messaging apps like Slack, Telegram, Kik, and Facebook Messenger. What Outbrain for Chat Can Do Outbrain for Chat combines access to a proprietary Editorial Chat Management System (ECMS) with its unique personalization power. This results in a unique interactive content experience that allows publishers to marry true content personalization with editorial programming. As messaging evolves from simple peer-to-peer real-time communication into multiple communication platforms, Outbrain is paving the way by combining editorial controls with personalized recommendations within chat applications that result in seamless, smart and natural communication flow. In an interview with Small Business Trends, John Legioco, the Executive Vice President and member of the founding team at Outbrain said: “Outbrain for Chat allows publishers to deliver personalized content, using their own unique voice, inside messaging applications. For example, a user can type “top stories” and receive a list of top stories from the publisher while in the messaging app or if a user is interested in learning more about the Chinese Grand Prix, they can simply message the publishers “F1” or “Chinese Grand Prix” and it will respond with the latest news or most relevant story about it.” Outbrain For Chat Learns Outbrain’s content bots are dynamic and learn over time, presenting users with the most interesting stories and latest news, based on the individual’s interest graph. Users have the option to read the articles within the messaging app or save for later, plus much more. “As younger audiences spend more and more time on messaging apps, we’re helping publishers reach audiences on a personal level, everywhere they are,” Legioco  said in an article. “Outbrain is betting big on the upcoming ‘Bot Revolution,’ where messaging apps collide with content — chat apps are now so much bigger than social networks, and will soon become the new browser for how people access information.” Legioco says that messaging is the next frontier where audiences will spend their digital lives as content bots are replacing Web sites and apps while messaging apps are becoming the new browsers. He also says Outbrain will not disclose information about commercials at this time as the company is more focused on collecting data (e.g. audience habits) that will further inform its platform and strategy. Image: Outbrain This article, ” Outbrain Launches Content Bots for Chat Platforms ” was first published on Small Business Trends

[via Small Business Trends]

Follow us @innovationheat – lists / @blackbolenay

{ 0 comments }

In truth, neither view fully represents today’s business environment. Certainly, companies like Apple and Southwest are still able to dominate their industries, but the source of advantage has changed. We no longer compete in a resource economy, but a semantic economy where firms that can build, manage and widen connections win out. Continue reading →

[via Innovation Excellence]

Follow us @innovationheat – lists / @blackbolenay

{ 0 comments }

If you maintain a high balance for your personal banking, there’s a new program from Santander that might be of interest. The Santander Select program aims to provide a more personalized experience for clients with high balances. Chris Hsi, Director of customer strategy and cross-sell for Santander said in an email interview with Small Business Trends, “Santander Select was created in order to better serve our affluent clients who desire a more personal and specialized approach to meeting their financial goals, needs, and priorities. The program design ensures Santander can deliver the unique product and service needs of individual customers. The personalized nature of Select allows for bankers to build strong, long-term relationships with members, making their banking experience as seamless as possible.” Santander Select Personal Banking Caters to Client More specifically, the program provides clients with a personal banker who can cater the entire banking experience to each individual. They can even meet you at your home or office. There’s also a dedicated suite of Santander’s most valuable products and investment services available specifically to Santander Select Members. To qualify, customers must meet the balance requirement of $250,000 in deposit and investment accounts. If you meet that requirement, you can open up a select account at any of Santander’s 34 Select branch locations, which are located in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. The Select program is aimed specifically at personal banking customers. So it’s not something you’d necessarily use for business accounts. However, it is a program that could appeal to busy entrepreneurs for their personal banking needs. Santander Select Personal Banking Targets Entrepreneurs Hsi explains, “Select is attractive to entrepreneurs because the foundation of the program is relationship-based.  Because Select bankers only serve Select members, bankers are able to enhance the customer experience in a variety of ways, such as traveling to a member’s home or office if necessary. This type of personal access and availability of bankers to entrepreneurs ensures that their banking experience is supportive of their lifestyle.” Entrepreneurs are also likely to be in need of other types of banking or financial services. And since Santander Select is all about personalizing the experience to each customer, entrepreneurs who use the program can enjoy extra guidance and the ability to utilize a variety of different business and personal banking services that might be relevant. Hsi says, “Select bankers work with their customers to fully understand their full financial situation. This comprehensive analysis allows Select Bankers to connect customers that may be business owners with specialists at the bank (i.e. Financial Consultants, Mortgage Officers, Small Business Managers) to solve for their specific personal or business needs.” Santander Photo via Shutterstock This article, ” New Santander Select Adds Bells and Whistles to Personal Banking ” was first published on Small Business Trends

[via Small Business Trends]

Follow us @innovationheat – lists / @blackbolenay

{ 0 comments }

The powerful combination of designing and providing something that pushes our existing knowledge, our boundaries, understanding or expectations — and capturing it in thought, explanation, or detailing the discovery makes up the art and science of innovation. We just need to find even better and consistent ways to combine them continuously. Continue reading →

[via Innovation Excellence]

Follow us @innovationheat – lists / @blackbolenay

{ 0 comments }

Cyber crime is on the rise and small businesses are increasingly becoming the target of hackers. New data from Symantec’s 2016 Internet Security Threat Report shows that small businesses have become a big target for phishers. Last year, phishing campaigns targeted small businesses  (PDF) 43 percent of the time. That’s up 9 percent over 2014 and a stark contrast to the mere 18 percent of attacks that focused on small businesses in 2011. Cyber Attacks Target Small Business Symantec’s report shows that about 1 in 40 small businesses are at risk of being the victim of a cyber crime. That pales in comparison to the 1 in about 2 large businesses which are targeted every year — multiple times — with a cyber attack. Still, the report indicates that hackers are indiscriminately choosing their victims. It’s not a matter of who they’re targeting but what they’re targeting … your money. These phishing attacks target employees largely responsible for the finances of a small business. Malicious email messages sent to these employees that are opened could hijack an entire company’s financial information and gain access to funds and personal information. Furthermore, Symantec also notes in its Internet Security Threat Report that ransomware attacks are also on the rise and targeting not only employees but any devices connected to a company’s hacked network. Symantec says it has instances on the record in 2015 of attacks on the Internet of Things, too. That includes attacks on smartphones, smart watches, and a smart television. In these attacks, there is a demand for some type of payment before a device may be freed by its attacker. Digging a little deeper into the data from Symantec’s report reveals a 55 percent increase from 2014 to 2015 in the amount of spear-phishing campaigns that target employees of a business of any size. Symantec classifies small businesses as any with up to 250 employees. Small Businesses Need To Prepare for Cyber Attacks So, what should small business owners do with this information? Be prepared is the simple advice. It’s clear that hackers will continue to target small businesses with phishing attacks. And since these attacks are targeting employees mostly, implementing a proper training and informational program on phishing schemes within your company is prudent. This type of training will hopefully help reduce the likelihood that an employee of yours will open a suspicious email by helping to better identify one. Since cyber attacks target small business, it’s more likely your small business will become the target or victim of a phishing attack.  Develop a plan for dealing with such a situation. Consult with your IT team or an IT expert on a comprehensive plan for mitigating the impact of a phishing or other cyber attack against your company. Finally, with the rise in attacks on devices connected to your company’s network, it’s best to limit the amount of those devices — employee smartphones and other IoT devices — you allow on it. Chart: Small Business Trends This article, ” 43 Percent of Cyber Attacks Target Small Business ” was first published on Small Business Trends

[via Small Business Trends]

Follow us @innovationheat – lists / @blackbolenay

{ 0 comments }

Constant Contact recently announced the newest class of startups participating in its prestigious Small Business Innovation Program, an accelerator that supports entrepreneurs as they refine and grow their early-stage companies, and develop and solve issues for small business owners and nonprofits. Launched in January 2014 , the first-of-its-kind accelerator program runs from April 1 through July 1 and is hosted in the 30,000 square foot Innovation Loft (InnoLoft) space in Constant Contact’s Waltham headquarters. There was some uncertainty over whether or not the program would continue, given Constant Contact’s recent acquisition by Endurance International Group Holdings Inc. With the start of the new class, however, those uncertainties have been put to rest. How Startups Qualify for the Constant Contact Innovation Program To qualify for the Constant Contact Innovation Program, startups must have a product or solution that already exists in the marketplace and has a user base, even if it is small. It also has to be designed with the intention of helping small businesses be more successful, which Constant Contact defines as “building stronger, more meaningful relationships with customers and prospects and being able to grow.” Lastly, the company has to be willing to relocate to the InnoLoft for the duration of the class, which lasts three months. Startups Participating in the Program Five Boston-area startups have taken up residence at the facility and will get access to mentors, investors and marketing resources to build their products and services. Those companies include: Campseekers Campseekers makes summers more affordable by selling excess spaces in the $15 billion summer camp market to families at below market rates. Similar to Priceline.com, Campseekers sells these spaces via public auctions as well as private sales events to subscribers and corporations. The company also maintains a summer camp directory with over 5,000 camp sessions searchable by week, location, age and specialty. Campseekers was founded by Shayne Gilbert, widely known for her role in building networks as the co-founder of the Nantucket Conference and Convergence: For Leaders in Healthcare Innovation. ClearGov ClearGov transforms complex municipal financial statements into infographics, to help citizens better understand how the government is putting their tax dollars to use. Local governments leverage ClearGov to communicate more clearly their financial performance to build citizen trust and support through transparency. ClearGov is the fifth startup founded by CEO, Chris Bullock. Most recently, he co-founded a legal analytics company called Sky Analytics, which was successfully acquired by Huron Consulting Group. Decidedly Co-founded by business executive and MIT Sloan School of Management graduate Kai Chuang, Decidedly is tackling a problem that sales and marketing professionals face every day, that of connecting with and engaging prospects online. Decidedly’s technology platform accelerates the qualifying process and gets two to five times more responses than other methods. Lure Boats Founded by brothers Mike and Jeff Devlin, Lure Boats aims to transform the recreational fishing industry by providing a way for anyone to search, compare and reserve chartered fishing boats anywhere in the world through a few clicks on their laptop or mobile device. SuperHealos Through a focus on imagination, education and play, SuperHealos is dedicated to creating adventure stories, products and digital games that make children facing medical treatments feel like superheroes. The CEO and founder, Yuan Yin, is a former IBM sales representative. Her husband, Dylan Murphy, the chief technology officer, brings extensive technology and product management experience that he gained while at IBM. The company recently tweeted: Settling down and working hard at #SMBInnoLoft #startup @ConstantContact pic.twitter.com/vIxxh102AU — SuperHealos (@SuperHealos) April 1, 2016 There’s no lack of ideas, especially in Massachusetts, a hotbed of innovation and one of the top places in the world to start a business,” said Andy Miller, chief innovation architect at Constant Contact in a statement announcing the class. “The challenge comes in daring to see it through — taking that idea and shaping into a company.” “That’s where the Constant Contact Innovation Program comes in,” Miller added. “We provide the mentorship and marketing resources to help take these startups’ products, features, and services to scale. When coupled with access to angel investors and venture capital firms, the experience can be game-changing.” The Constant Contact Innovation Program runs two times per year, with the next class scheduled for the fall. For more information and to apply for future classes, visit the SMBInnoLoft website and follow #SMBInnoLoft on Twitter. This article, ” 5 Startups Participate in Prestigious Constant Contact Innovation Program ” was first published on Small Business Trends

[via Small Business Trends]

Follow us @innovationheat – lists / @blackbolenay

{ 0 comments }

I love the fresh, fun, wide-eyed look of new handmade entrepreneurs. Everything is exciting and new, and the idea of creating a life composed of making and selling products you pour your heart into is a compelling and thrilling ideal. But the fun and fresh look can quickly turn into dread and tears if you are not fully prepared for what life as a handmade entrepreneur is truly like. This article is designed to give you a heads up. If you are a newbie, read it carefully and take notes, and share it with other new entrepreneurs. I wrote it not to scare you, but to empower you. I want you to be ready for the real deal. With that in mind, here are seven checks for new makers and handmade entrepreneurs. Life As A Handmade Entrepreneur 1. You Will Not be Able to Just “Make” All Day I know that one of the reasons you started your business is to make money by continuously making the things you love to make. While you may anticipate that your life as a maker business owner will be a right-brained playground, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, in order to make money, you’ll spend about a quarter of your time making things. The rest of the time will be invested in marketing, sales and leadership activities. Be prepared for this from the start. 2. You Will Need to Hire Help Before you are Ready In line with the advice above, to ensure that you have enough time to market and sell your products and lead your business, you will need to hire help — and probably faster than you’d like to. What kind of help you hire first will depend on you. Generally, it’s best to hire people to do the things that you either don’t like doing or do not do well. For example, if you hate fiddling with technology, your first hire should be someone to help you with technology including your website, SEO, social media, etc. Conversely, if you are a geek, but really don’t want to be making everything all the time, you’ll want to train someone to help you make your products so you can be free to focus on other things your business needs — things you enjoy doing. 3. You Will Need to Take Some Phone Calls During Family Time You may think that you’ll be able to work during the day and never have to take a business call during the family dinner hour. Don’t hold your breath on that one. While there will certainly be some days when you can sashay out of your studio in time to prepare and enjoy an uninterrupted home-cooked dinner, most days will not be that way — especially at the start of your business. Get used to this, and more importantly, make sure your partner understands that this is a reality of entrepreneurship. 4. You Will Need to Keep Up with Technology One thing I hear makers and handmade entrepreneurs talk about frequently is their reluctance to embrace and leverage technology. Unfortunately, this leads to a domino-like effect from which it is difficult to recover. Failing to intentionally make time in your work week to study how you can leverage technology to engage your customers automatically results in lost sales. In order to be successful, you will need to embrace social media and certain types of automation. You will also need to learn to leverage video and audio technologies and, yes, you will need to embrace living life outside of your comfort zone where a lot of technology is concerned. The idea of embracing technology may sound scary at first, but believe me, it is not as scary as dumping piles of cash into a business and never making enough money to even keep up with inflation. 5. You Will Need to Create New Income Streams You will likely start your business thinking that you will be able to make whatever you make, and sell enough of it to make enough money to secure your future. That may happen to you, but it does not happen to most makers. Most makers eventually discover that, in order to make enough money to sustain the type of life they want, they will need to create additional sources of income. Do not let this idea scare you. In fact, this is where the fun can actually begin. By the time you have been in business about five years, you should have enough help and enough systems in place that the business can run without your day in and day out involvement. That’s when you can begin to consider creating additional sources of income. From writing and selling books to speaking at conferences and events to teaching classes to leading membership programs — once you have built one successful brand, you can build another. Look forward to this, but don’t put the cart before horse. Make sure to build one brand out before you start building another one. Eventually, you can build as many as you’d like, with all of the preceding ones supporting the ones to come. 6. You Will Need to Learn How to Write Well Many maker’s sigh when I say this. While a product must be made well before it can be sold, the bulk of your sales success still depends on your ability to write well. Your product descriptions must be well written. You will need to write well enough to connect with your audience on social media and at your blog and/or newsletter. Brochures, direct mail pieces, Tweets, Instagram posts, thank you letters — every word that represents your brand must be carefully crafted to represent you and your customers well. If you were not in advanced placement writing classes in school, don’t worry. There are plenty of places (online and offline) where you can begin to hone this important craft. 7. Some of Your Friends Will Turn Out Not to be so Friendly It is a sad fact of life that some people are uncomfortable with the success of others. Unfortunately, it can be those closest to you who are most likely to try to discourage you from pursuing your entrepreneurial desires. While it is not always possible to figure out exactly why someone is not supportive of your work, it’s not hard to notice when that’s the case. Understand that everyone will not be as excited as you are about your new venture. Share your journey with those who show that they are committed to encouraging you to grow and be successful. As an entrepreneur, you will need heaps of positive energy around you all day every day. Be discerning. Carefully choose the people you want to travel your entrepreneurial journey with you. Minimize people who are spiteful or who don’t take you seriously. Don’t get comfortable if you have not seen them yet. They’ll come. It’s just a matter of time. I could go on from here, but I’ll stop. I realize that some of these points may be discouraging. You may think I’m trying to rain on your parade. I am not. I just want you to be ready. I want you to be prepared for the bad and the ugly, as well as for the good. There’s plenty of both, and if you use the points in this post as a guide, you’ll find that you have more good than bad and ugly. What do you think? What do you think, do you have what it takes to live life as a handmade entrepreneur?  If you’re a seasoned maker, what advice or “reality checks” do you give to those coming along behind you? I’d love to know your thoughts and advice in the comments below. Reality Photo via Shutterstock This article, ” 7 Reality Checks For New Makers and Handmade Entrepreneurs ” was first published on Small Business Trends

[via Small Business Trends]

Follow us @innovationheat – lists / @blackbolenay

{ 0 comments }

May 1 of this year marks the first day of National Small Business Week. That means its time for a huge variety of different events aimed at celebrating all things related to small business and entrepreneurship. The U.S. Small Business Administration hosts a series of different events aimed at small businesses throughout the week, as it has done in past years. But there are also plenty of other organizations, communities and businesses hosting their own National Small Business Week 2016 events as well. The list below includes many of the events scheduled for this year’s National Small Business Week. Some take place in communities around the country while others happen online. We’ll also continue adding to this list throughout the week as we come across new events, so keep checking back to keep up with the latest events. National Small Business Week 2016 Events Sunday, May 1 National Small Business Week Kick-off The SBA kicks off National Small Business Week 2016 with a kick-off event  at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. The event includes a keynote from SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet and a number of small business related awards. The event goes from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. ET. And you can even watch live on the SBA’s website if you can’t make it in person. Kiva Oakland Pledge Drive The city of Oakland, California is hosting a pledge drive to help Oakland entrepreneurs with micro-loans on Kiva. The City of Oakland, Main Street Launch, Capital One, and the Miller Family Foundation are also matching loans up to $225,000. Monday, May 2 Awards Ceremony at the United States Institute of Peace This event features the announcement of the National Small Business Person of the year award winner. Nominees from each state and territory will be present at the ceremony and potentially take home that top honor. There are also a number of other small business awards being presented at the event, which takes place from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. ET at the Institute of Peace. Cybersecurity Panel Discussion Later in the day, the SBA is also hosting a discussion and panel about cybersecurity at the Institute of Peace. The event will feature SBA Deputy Administrator Doug Kramer along with experts from Microsoft, ADP, and ESET. And you can also watch live on the SBA’s website or join the conversation on Twitter using the #DreamSmallBiz hashtag. Reaching Out to You The Kauffman Conference Center in Kansas City, Missouri from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. will host this event .  It features a panel speaking about accessing capital as well as breakout sessions on various subjects. Access to Capital: Business Lender Workshops & Resource Fair This event takes place at the Oakland, California City Hall and features panel discussions in English, Spanish and Mandarin about finding the right financing for your business, how to prepare to meet lenders and sources of capital. There’s also a lender and resource fair. The event takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Celebrating Oakland Businesses: Legacy and Future Another event at the Oakland City Hall, this one is meant to celebrate Oakland’s family-owned businesses with a reception hosted by Mayor Libby Schaaf. It takes place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 3 National Small Business Week Live from Atlanta This event features SBA Deputy Administrator Doug Kramer and small business experts discussing upcoming business trends. There are also more specific workshops after the general session. The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET at Georgia Tech’s Research Institute Conference Center. My Brother’s Keeper Millennial Entrepreneurs Initiative The Apollo Theater in New York City features a video series, interactive session and networking opportunities, all aimed at millennials. You can also watch the event online or follow on Twitter using the #DreamSmallBiz hashtag. Digital Solutions for Small Businesses This free event takes place at the Oakland City Hall and features intensive workshops focused on various digital solutions for Oakland small businesses. It takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. PT. Think Outside the Boss: A Workshop on Worker-Owned Cooperatives This workshop  includes an introduction to running a cooperatively owned business, including explanations about things like legal issues and employment. It is part of Oakland’s celebrations surrounding National Small Business Week and takes place at Oakland City Hall from 1 to 5 p.m. PT. Oakland City Council: Honoring Local Small Businesses This event features the Oakland City Council members presenting congratulatory proclamations and honoring small businesses from their respective districts. You can view the festivities online as well. Wednesday, May 4 Colorado Small Business Week Awards Ceremony Live From the History of Colorado Center SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper will honor Colorado area small business owners.   The ceremony takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. MT at the History of Colorado Center. You can also watch the event online or follow the #DreamSmallBiz hashtag on Twitter. Diversity in Entrepreneurship is Good Business Workshops These free workshops aimed at women in business, minority entrepreneurs and members of the LGBT+ community are held in Oakland. Events take place at the Oakland City Hall from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Access to Capital Event The city of West Covina, California hosts this panel event focusing on helping small businesses access capital at the West Covina City Hall from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 5 Armchair Discussion with SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet and Veteran Entrepreneurs This event takes place at the Arizona Biltmore, McArthur Ballroom in Phoenix and features SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet having an in-depth discussion with Eli Crane of Bottle Breacher, former Shark Tank participant and Navy Seal and Angela Cody-Rouget of Major Mom, Professional Organizer and former Shark Tank participant. The event takes place from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. PT. Or you can follow online or using the #DreamSmallBiz hashtag. Oakland’s Creative Industry: Makers & Artists Workshops & Mixer Aimed specifically at creative business owners, this free event is held at Oakland City Hall from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and features various workshops throughout the day all related to creative businesses. You can register for each workshop individually. Annual SBA Gala and Networking The Small Business Week of Eastern Missouri is hosting a gala and networking event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to provide opportunities for small business owners in the St. Louis area. Celebration of National Small Business Week The Club at Eaglebrooke is the site of the National Small Business Week celebration in Lakeland, Florida.   The event will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The event features food and drinks to celebrate the area’s small businesses and small businesses around the country. Friday, May 6 National Small Business Week live from San Jose This event takes place at the San Jose city hall and features SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet and San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo as they discuss business trends and resources to help you start and grow a business. You can register to attend in-person from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. PT or watch online or follow on Twitter. Healthy Business, Healthy Communities! Reception This reception at Hiram Hall in Oakland, California features SBA Administrator Maria Contreras Sweet, Congress Member Barbara Lee and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf as they honor Oakland’s emerging healthy food industry. The event takes place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. San Antonio Small Business Week Awards Ceremony Held at the Omni San Antonio Hotel from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., this event honors the district’s 2016 Small Business Week winners in a special awards ceremony. The event also recognizes SBA resource partners and community organizations. Saturday, May 7 Shop Local – Shop Oakland The city of Oakland, California hosts this shopping celebration  around its business districts. Businesses throughout the city will host promotions and sidewalk sales to encourage people to support small businesses during National Small Business Week 2016. Events Running All Week Chambersburg Small Business Workshops Throughout the week, the Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce in Pennsylvania is hosting a series of different workshops and other events aimed at helping small businesses. These include a social media workshop, a panel speaking on raising capital and even a networking mixer. Pike’s Peak Region Small Business Week The Pike’s Peak region of Colorado hosts various events throughout National Small Business Week 2016, including a food truck cook-off and small business marketing panels. Did we miss a National Small Business Week 2016 event?  Let us know by leaving a comment below or emailing sbtips@gmail.com . Image: SBA.gov This article, ” Killer List of National Small Business Week 2016 Events ” was first published on Small Business Trends

[via Small Business Trends]

Follow us @innovationheat – lists / @blackbolenay

{ 0 comments }

Recently I had an opportunity to interview Chris Laping, the former Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the Red Robin restaurant chain about some of the challenges in achieving successful organizational change. Chris’ is a voice that emerged from the darkness as I was creating the Change Planning Toolkit™ and conducting the research for my latest book Charting Change and its focus on beating the 70% change failure rate. Continue reading →

[via Innovation Excellence]

Follow us @innovationheat – lists / @blackbolenay

{ 0 comments }