Last week I attended the 16th Annual Small Business Show at the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center. This was the first time I have attended this event, someone suggested I check it out, and it was Free, so why not. My main reason for going was to attend the Presentations they had. I was excited to learn more about being an Entrepreneur and Starting & Owning a Small Business.
I attended the "Essentials of Entrepreneurship" presented by Brett E. Dawson, who is a Business Attorney and owner of Dawson Law Firm P.C. He started out his presentation with the Birth of Business, explaining how to structure your business. Make sure you do your research before starting a business, visit the State Secretary of State website to check your business name. Also check the US Patent Office website and use the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) to verify any Trademarks. Lastly, you want to do Google searches for your Business Name and keywords associated; learn about your competitors.
Be prepared when you are starting a business, you may have an excellent idea, product or service. But be sure to be organized in your business, and plan for the worst. Choosing how to structure your business can be a huge decision, deciding between Sole Proprietorship (where personal liability is something to be aware of). I know during this presentation taught me a lot about liability that I was unaware of, do your research!
The next presentation was "Rochester Open for Business" and Working with the City. In this demonstration, Kate Washington who works for the City of Rochester, NY. Went on explaining all of the Financial Assistance Programs available to Small Business owners, who are located in the city lines. In these Programs the City does partner with Monroe County and New York State, and provides recommendations for Financial Assistance Funding.
Applications are available online, at the City of Rochester, NY website, but Kate Washington suggested that you call City Hall [585-428-5990] or Visit City Call in person and discuss your business plan or project and they will help you find the right fit Grant Program for you.
One other presentation that was the finale at the SOHO Event of 2017. It was "Social Media for Your Business" Panel of Social Media Professionals and Experts. First, Steve Roberts from Zoey Advertising, is known for saying "If you don't have Social Media as apart of your Business Plan, YOU'RE A FOOL!" Which I completely agree!
Next, was Joseph Roberts, the owner of Digital Joe (or Joseph Roberts Designs, he is in the process of changing his name). The last panel speaker was Jeff, a co-founder of Digital Hyve, based out of Syracuse. They just opened a new office in Rochester, NY!
Here are a few suggestions and reasons that the panel discussed, that every business needs to be doing to be successful and grow their business online.
1. Social Media is not Traditional Marketing - you need to make your content and posts more engaging. Using Images and Videos is the best way to boost user engagements and get your brand noticed.
2. Agile Marketing - be sure to analyze the data and run tests with it. Experimenting with your marketing strategies will only improve your business and market targeting.
"Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half." ~John Wanamaker
3. Marketing Tracking is essential to success on the internet. You can get eaten alive by spending your advertising money on things that you have no idea if it is providing a positive ROI.
4. Creating a Funnel - you need to create a clear path for your consumer to follow to complete the sale. Adjusting and editing the funnel will help your conversion rate increase.
Those are just a few of the topics that were discussed and many more specific industry questions were asked.
I thoroughly enjoyed attending the 16th Annual Small Business Show [SOHO Rochester 2017] Event at the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center. I plan to attend other Small Business events that are available in Rochester.