(Dear readers: this is the first part of a two part post about SmallBizChat Live Telesummit. Part two will post on Friday, November 13, 2009.)
Every week as SmallBizLady, I conduct interviews with experts on my Twitter talk show #SmallBizChat. This past week, I presented the first annual #SmallBizChat Live Telesummit. The goal was to give the audience the information to create a new plan for their business in 2010. After nearly a year of communicating in writing on this blog and using Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, I wanted to interview small business experts over the phone. I also wanted our followers to have access to some experts who do not use Twitter, but who have fantastic information to share. In today’s blog post, I have prepared a recap of three key points that each expert shared with us.
Mike Michalowicz @TPEntrepreneur kicked off our Telesummit. Mike is small business expert who is known as the Toilet Paper Entrepreneur. For more information, please visit toiletpaperentrepreneur.com Michalowicz talked about using social media a build your business.
Here are Mike’s key takeaways:
1. Use a 4 to 1 ratio in your content posted on social media sites. Only promote yourself once in every four times you communicate. Always seek to add value to your audience.
2. Take a non-traditional position to stand out among other experts in your field.
3. Blogging and participating in forums is a great strategy, but using Google ad words can be effective as well.
Karyn Greenstreet @kgreenstreet was our second guest. She’s a self-employment expert who runs thesuccessalliance.com. Her website has all the resources a business owner needs to start or run a mastermind group. Karyn talked to us about mastermind group best practices.
Here are Karyn Greenstreet’s key takeaways:
1. Being involved in a mastermind group is something successful entrepreneurs do.
2. Think about the other skills you need in your business when you want to recruit members to start a mastermind group. Mastermind groups are typically four-to-ten people.
3. Develop set procedures for how your group will operate and get all participants to sign the agreement. Using an agreement is one of the best ways to get participants to commit to the terms and then fully participate.
Dr. Mel Gravely @melgravely kicked off day two of the Telesummit. Mel is the founder of the Institute for Entrepreneurial Thinking, the leading think tank on issues related to business development. For more information, please visit entrethinking.com Mel talked about how to retool your business in tough times.
Here are Dr. Gravely’s key takeaways:
1. It is more important than ever to focus on your niche market and your value proposition. Gone are the days of the generalist consultant.
2. Do not launch any new marketing initiative that you can’t afford to keep up for at least a year.
3. Business shouldn’t always be a struggle. If you have been struggling in your business for more than four years, and it’s never been profitable; it might be time to move on from that business or that business model.
Tim Berry @Timberry is president and founder of Palo Alto Software the makers of Business Plan Pro, and founder of bplans.com. He’s the author of The Plan-As-You-Go Business Plan, Entrepreneur Press. Tim talked about Managing Cash Flow in a Tough Economy.
Here are Berry’s key takeaways:
1. Make sure you know how your clients process invoices. When you can, build a relationship with someone in accounts payable. When evaluating a deal with a major corporation, make sure you’ve got enough cash reserves to wait on your money, or don’t do the deal.
2. Would you walk a city-block blindfolded? Well that’s what is it like to run a business without up-to-date financial statements. You must have a current statement of cash flow, profit & loss statement, and a balance sheet every month.
3. Do not use your line-of-credit to finance marketing efforts to generate sales. Use you line of credit of finance business you have already won.
(NOTE: This is part one of the #SmallBizChat Live Telesummit recap. Part two will post live on Friday, November 13, 2009.)
If you missed the SmallBizChat Live Telesummit, do not worry! We are editing and packaging the calls to make them available shortly… so stay tuned.
My co-host Cathy Larkin @cathywebsavvyPR and I presented the 1st Annual SmallBizChat Live Telesummit because it is our mission to end small business failure. We will be back November 2010 to do this again.
Please follow us at @smallbizchat and join us for #SmallBizChat every Wednesday from 8-9pm Eastern on Twitter. #SmallBizChat is the trusted resource on Twitter to discuss everything entrepreneurs need to know about launching and running a profitable small business.
How to participate in #SmallBizChat: http://bit.ly/S797e
For more tips on starting or growing your small business subscribe to Melinda Emerson’s blog at www.succeedasyourownboss.com