2011 National Urban League Conference: Small Business Matters! (One day Entrepreneurship Summit)
For all my entrepreneurs and small business owners who are looking to Run the Point (Take Action) but could not make it out to the National Urban League Convention on Saturday for the 1-day Small Business Matters–I got you covered. Here is a recap of the event. I could easily give you a summary, but thought I would do something a little different by providing you a summary of my Tweets from the event. “Yes,” it means I missed some stuff, but this will give you the essence of what took place. You can also reach out to the panelist if you are interested in what they are working on.
Session 1: Reach Your Customers With a Personal Touch and Grow Your Business
Moderator: Sheryl Battles, Vice President, Corporate Communications, Pitney Bowes, Inc.
Melinda F. Emerson, President, MFE Consulting, LLC Host SmallBizChat
Brad Dudas, Vice President, Product Management & Business Development, Pitney Bowes, Inc.
Debra Thompson-Van, Vice President, Small Business and Medium Business Marketing, North America, Pitney Bowes, Inc.
- Thanks for the great answer on content generation. @SmallBizLady #nul11
- “if you love me, refer me.” @SmallBizLady #nul11
- How to communicate w ur customers: send an article of interest. @SmallBizLady #nul11
- “have 3-5 calls to action.” @SmallBizLady #nul11
- “make sure your free stuff is good or people will not buy your stuff.” @SmallBizLady #nul11
- “promote it before you need to sell it.” @SmallBizLady #nul11
- “someone should be able to tell who ur customers are by reading your twitter stream.” @SmallBizLady #nul11
- Shout out to 3rd party tools to help w social media. @SmallBizLady #nul11
- Should be getting a triple ROI: investment(time), influence, identity. -@SmallBizLady #nul11
- “communication is just as important as customer service, so you don’t lose your customers to the competition.” #nul11
- The combination of multi-channel communication mediums for the same message has the best return. #nul11
- Brad Dudas sharing some multi-channel methods you can use to communicate with your customers. #nul11
- The complexity of the tools can slow people down. -Debra Thompson #nul11
- “don’t be an expert in the tools. Be an expert on your customers.” Debra Thompson #nul11
- Share of mind: engage in a way that u have some of their mind set. When they need u you are top of mind. Debra Thompson #nul11
- Relevance: “people want to hear from u when there is a good reason.” Debra Thompson #nul11
- “Access: be where customers want to buy” Debra Thompson #nul11
- One key to effective communication is to understand the environment and who u r speaking to. #nul11
Session 2: Effective Networking (B to B and B to C)
Moderator: Alfred A. Edmond, Jr., Editor-At-Large, Black Enterprise (@AlfredEdmondJr)
Getting ready for the Effective Networking (b to b and b to c) moderated by @AlfredEdmondJr .
On the networking panel: @HajjFlemings, @SmallBizLady, @Pamperry, @marshawnEvans #nul11
- You cannot invest too much in your image, your writing and your speech. – @AlfredEdmondJr
- You can’t wait until you need something to reach out. – @AlfredEdmondJr
- Great story about your tech start-up @HajjFlemings . Way to Run the Point (take action)
- At the end of the day, people do business with people they like and respect. – @HajjFlemings #nul11
- At the end of the day, everyone wants to feel valued. @HajjFlemings #nul11
- Advice for brothers: realize u live in multiple worlds. Make sure all points say trust and credibility. – @HajjFlemings #nul11
- Be clear, be brief, and have a compelling story. – @HajjFlemings #nul11
- The Internet is run by links. @HajjFlemings #nul11
- You need to have visual queues to match your brand. @HajjFlemings #nul11
- We work about 92000 hrs in our life. What do you want to be spending your life doing. @HajjFlemings #nul11
- Be seen as an expert at what you do. www.meuniversitylive.com – @marshawnevans #nul11
- Tip for ladies: set up meetings at lunch, breakfast or coffee. dinner is a date. @marshawnevans #nul11
- Think about the networking process like an audition. – @marshawnevans #nul11
- @marshawnevans “it’s about who wants to meet you.” #nul11
- @marshawnevans reinvent yourself
- Do you have a follow up system? @SmallBizLady #nul11
- The fortune is in the follow-up. – @SmallBizLady #nul11
- “you can’t bring your A game, in your B suit.” @SmallBizLady #nul11
- Set a goal @SmallBizLady #nul11
- When you go to an event go as a host and not a guest. – @pamperry #nul11
- “relationships are critical.” @pamperry #nul11
The books you read and the people you meet will have the greatest impact on your life.
Recommended Reading from the sessions:
The $10,000 60-Second Business Pitch Competition
Two lucky (more like super prepared) winners would win $10,000 for their business idea after they pitched before a panel of judges. The competition was created by 100 Urban Entrepreneurs. The two winners definitely deserved it. One ideas was an incentive plan for students to get good grades in exchange for discounts at stores where they shop (GZ Points) and the other idea was a head rap for women that promised to stay on all night (My Crown Jule).
On a personal note, this pitch competition was extra special because I just met one of the winners earlier that morning. Veronica and I have been playing email tag and met for the first time at the conference. We have a mutual friend and immediately hit it off. You can imagine how excited I was to see her win. You know what they say, “Birds of a feather…” I guess that makes me a winner by default–minus the 10 grand.
Nationwide surprised us and chose another $10k winner.
“My Crowning Jule!” I know her!#nul11