In March 2020 the world was quickly overwhelmed with confusion, uncertainty, and fear due to COVID-19…
Small businesses did not escape this anxiety.
While we were grateful to see government, business and community leaders giving so much attention to small businesses, it was clear that this firehose of information would make it difficult for the small business community to sort through what was real, what was a rumor, and what actually applies to them.
We needed to do something!
Our team put together a web page with links to COVID-19 related resources, but we knew that wasn’t enough. We were just adding to the firehose of information being thrown at small business owners, and we wanted to do more.
We’ve been in business for almost 15 years, and we’ve survived many challenges. We asked ourselves, “How can we take what we’ve learned, package it, and share it with other small business owners to help them get through this pandemic known as COVID-19?”
And then this idea popped into my head when I was in the shower – it’s where some of my best ideas come from – “Let’s hold a full-day summit, invite some of our best subject-matter experts, and let’s just talk about how we as small businesses can help each other survive this challenging time.”
We put together a list of experts, reached out to them individually, and were humbled by the quick and enthusiastic responses we received. Thanks to them, our first Thrive NOW™ summit was a huge success.
What is Thrive NOW™ Virtual Summit?
What was our goal with Thrive NOW™?
It was to provide a space where small business owners could access practical, tangible advice in real-time, so they could make smart decisions in such an unprecedented time.
We designed it to provide clarity and help others to think strategically about how to take the next steps for their businesses.
It is thrilling to share with you the content from our virtual summit for small business development.
On April 14, 2020, more than 300 small business owners attended our virtual summit, and now the content from each of the one-hour sessions is available for you. Attendees rated each session 4+ (on a scale of 1 to 5), which tells us we hit the mark with the right guests the right topics for small business owners — which makes sense because each of them is a small business owner as well.
If you are a small business owner, minority-owned business, woman-owned business or entrepreneur, you don’t want to miss these sessions.
Session 1: “How to Overcome Your Fears and Rewire Your Thinking for Success”
Fear certainly can be a barrier for small business owners during a pandemic!
That is why we brought in an expert to help you overcome this challenge.
Michele Molitor is a speaker, author, and CEO and founder of Nectar Consulting. Michele is a professional business coach with nearly 20 years of experience.
Her topic was the perfect kickoff for the Thrive NOW virtual summit. You’ll learn about her technique called “Rapid Rewiring,” which helps you overcome fears (we all have them) and rewire your thinking for success.
Rapid Rewiring involves retraining your mind to think differently about negativity — turn fears into opportunities and goals, for example. She has a number of techniques she teaches, including visualization, which is a powerful tool that can shift and improve your way of thinking.
If you need to overcome challenges with your mindset, we highly recommend Michele’s session.
Session 2: “Legal Considerations: Action to Take Now and Pitfalls to Avoid”
Our good friend and attorney Brian Ripley discussed legal considerations arising from COVID-19.
Brian represents hundreds of small businesses including restaurants, retailers, service providers, manufacturers, and tech companies.
We reached out to Brian and invited him to participate in Thrive Now because we know he would give immense value to small business owners. Not only is he a colleague, but he’s our small business attorney. After working with Fortune 100 enterprises across several industries, he now works exclusively with small businesses.
Don’t miss Brian’s session, where he offers solid advice about reviewing contracts, communicating with your suppliers and vendors, and the SBA’s Payroll Protection Program. Brian’s information applies not only to the current state of the economy but also to any type of crisis that affects small businesses.
You’ll learn about contractual obligations, business interruption insurance, and other topics that apply to small businesses during times of crisis.
Session 3: “Get Your Business Found Online and Attract New Customers”
The majority of the world is under quarantine…
How will small businesses thrive if they are stuck in the house?
The summit would be incomplete if we missed highlighting the need to get your business found online.
Wil talks with digital marketing expert Tom Petty about how businesses can build online audiences, attract new customers, and fill their lead pipelines. His advice applies not only to surviving an economic downturn but also thriving during an economic boom.
We knew Tom would have practical advice that you can use, and he definitely delivered.
In his session, you will learn how small businesses can improve their presence online by targeting questions that their customers ask in addition to targeting solutions. Tom also covers reputation management and how small businesses can build an audience online and convert that audience into customers.
This is a must-hear for you as a small business leader!
Session 4: “How to Lead a Virtual Team”
Working virtually is THE new reality!
How can your small business thrive in a virtual world?
Tara Powers wrote the book, literally, on building virtual teams. She is the author of “Virtual Teams for Dummies,” and is a small business owner too. Tara has worked with hundreds of organizations and thousands of people to help them build and manage virtual teams.
Smart Simple Marketing has been producing virtual events for many years, and we have collaborated with Tara on a number of projects.
Tara emphasizes the importance of communication when team members are distributed not only geographically but also virtually. And she reminds us that the complications and stress of physical distancing can complicate communication even more.
We learned some practical lessons about virtual events and communication from Tara, and I know you will too!
Session 5 “Creating New Streams of Revenue”
What is one of the best questions a small business owner can ask right now?
“Can I grow my business during this unprecedented time?”
Elaine Betts answers this question.
(Seriously, you want to get the answer so click the link below.)
Elaine shares resources that small businesses can use to grow their businesses. A hugely valuable piece of advice she gave was a reminder not to assume that everything we hear about the economy and financial resources is 100% accurate.
She suggests going straight to the source — our banks, attorneys, and financial advisors — to get the most accurate information.
Get in Touch, Stay Connected
We are thrilled about the success of our first Thrive NOW™ summit, and we will keep you posted on our future virtual events.
While we prepare for our next event, we want to hear from you, especially if you are a minority-owned or woman-owned small business.
- What are your challenges as a small business leader?
- What is the one thing you wish you’d known before COVID-19?
- How has COVID-19 changed the way you’ll do business in the future?
- How can we help you thrive in 2020 and beyond?