Last weekend I went to the Women Entrepreneurs' Small Business Bootcamp. It was quite fun to see so many women business owners and to hear their stories about starting their own companies. It was very motivating. I was there to get some "basic training."
Here is some of what I learned:
1. There is a tax dollar supported organization that will help you evaluate your business ideas and coach you through the process of writing a business plan and applying for funding.
Lisha Garcia from the Small Business Development Center educated us about the counseling, information, and training resources available to women and minorities who want to start a business. I am excited about the availability of impartial evaluation and counseling - friends and family tend to over-encourage or dissuade.
2. There is an organization called NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners) that offers news updates, networking, education, and mentoring to women small business owners. (NAWBOPhx.org)
3. A panel of print, radio, and television media experts shared strategies for getting a small business in the news. Success has a lot to do with knowing the media company's audience, respecting the contact's time and reaching out at an appropriate time of day, identifying an interesting and timely "angle," and preparing a concise pitch in advance.
4. I enjoyed the sessions about successful marketing, however, most of what I heard affirmed what I already know from experience and from reading various books on the topic. There was a great discussion about social media, which continues to rise in popularity and is an excellent avenue for viral marketing.
The organizers of the bootcamp took video of all of the sessions and I am eager to attend Bootcamp Online so that I can view the break out sessions I missed! I am sure there is much more to learn.
Oh yeah, and I got to talk with small business owners about Infusionsoft's marketing automation system and share my excitement about working there.
Let's Talk. What does "basic training" look like for an entrepreneur? What resources do you recommend?