Small Business Week Ahead, Other Events on Tap

open sign

Small Business Week is here! We have put together a Monster List of activities for you to jump in and be a part of but there are some other featured events worthy of a look, too.

Online events this month include a session about developing leads, one about how to market to small businesses and a Twitter chat on improving productivity. Also check out live events across the country and around the world.

To see a full list or to submit your own event, contest or award listing, visit the Small Business Events Calendar.

Featured Events, Contests and Awards

The Triple Your Online Leads in 30 Days ChallengeThe Triple Your Online Leads in 30 Days Challenge
May 4, 2015, Online

Over 30 days, you’ll learn and implement a proven, easy-to-use system for capturing more online leads month-after-month.

The “Triple Your Online Leads in 30 Days” challenge is free this time only so don’t miss your chance to take part!


#Market2SmallBiz #Market2SmallBiz
May 6, 2015, Online

The Market 2 Small Business conference is a virtual event designed to educate those looking to sell to small businesses. This includes mature companies selling to small businesses, startups just starting their first small business focused campaign, public relations agencies and consultants advising their clients on marketing strategies and other companies and professionals selling to small businesses. You’ll learn how to better engage and ‘speak’ to the small business owner who is looking for your products and services. If you’re NEW to marketing or just struggling to get the attention of the small business market, this event is for you!

#SMBTalk Twitter Chat on Small Business Productivity Hacks#SMBTalk Twitter Chat on Small Business Productivity Hacks
May 7, 2015, Online

Join Small Business Trends CEO Anita Campbell (@SmallBizTrends) and SVP, Global Head of SMB Product at First Data Corporation, Peter Karpas (@FirstData) in this twitter chat on the topic of Small Business Productivity Hacks. The Twitter chat is an hour long chat on May 7th that begins on Twitter at 7:00 p.m. EST under the hashtag #SMBTalk.

Moz ConMoz Con
July 13, 2015, Seattle, Washington

Not your average stuffy networking event, MozCon features three days of forward-thinking, actionable sessions in SEO, social media, community building, content marketing, brand development, CRO, the mobile landscape, analytics, and more. MozCon speakers share advanced advice on everything from building a loyal community to making data-driven decisions in your marketing.

July 16, 2015, New York, New York

A conference celebrating women who blog. The mission is to create opportunities for women in social media to gain community, education, exposure and economic empowerment. The event will be co-hosted along with SheKnows Media in New York City at the New York Hilton.

Adobe MaxAdobe Max
Oct. 3, 2015, Los Angeles, California

MAX provides strictly unplugged, old-school inspiration with a mix of people from creative leaders, designers, broadcast and video pros, tech and business strategists, photographers, and more. This shared energy and passion sparks new ideas, drives new partnerships, and breaks new ground every year. MAX attracts inspirational and iconic speakers that share their personal stories. GRAMMY-award winning band Kings of Leon will be there and you can connect with 5,000 other creatives at daily social events.

Oct. 13, 2015, San Francisco, California

Whether you’re a company of five or a Fortune 500, you’ll learn a lot of innovative ways to improve your business at Dreamforce. With over 1,400 sessions and thousands of live solutions from the world’s largest cloud ecosystem, Dreamforce has tailored content specific to your business size and type, for any role in your company.

Global Small Business ForumGlobal Small Business Forum
Oct. 23, 2015, Chicago, Illinois

The Global Small Business Forum 2015 held in Chicago will help entrepreneurs and small business owners export successfully and network with their peers. It will answer such questions as: What’s the best way to ship goods? How will I get paid? Do I need a license? Should I sell direct or indirect? Does my business have what it takes to sell in China?

World Business Forum New York 2015World Business Forum New York 2015
Nov. 12, 2015, New York, New York

In 2015 the World Business Forum will present two days of powerful stories; of individuals who face shocks – both personal and organizational – and who use those shocks to achieve the extraordinary. Speakers include Sir Richard Branson, Jim Collins, a former faculty member at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Walter Isaacson, once the 14th editor of TIME magazine in 1996 and named Chairman and CEO of CNN in 2001, Adam Grant, author of the New York Times bestseller Give and Take and Herminia Ibarra, Professor of Leadership and Learning and Professor of Organizational Behavior at INSEAD.

More Events

More Contests

This weekly listing of small business events, contests and awards is provided as a community service by Small Business Trends and SmallBizTechnology.

Open Sign Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “Small Business Week Ahead, Other Events on Tap” was first published on Small Business Trends

from Blogger

Stick to Your Budget, Choose Great Keywords and More


There are so many little things that go into running a successful business. From creating budgets to choosing SEO keywords, business owners need to be able to master a variety of different skills and concepts. This week, members of the small business community shared some quick tips and business knowledge to pass along to fellow business owners. Read on for the full list in this week’s Small Business Trends community and information roundup.

Stick to Your Budget with This Quick Tip

(Kimberly Haydn)

Setting a budget for your business is one thing. Actually sticking with it is something totally different. But in this post, Kimberly Haydn shares a really quick and easy tip that you can use to stick with your business budget. And she learned it from, of all places, Starbucks.

Choose the Right Keywords for SEO

(Ignite Visibility)

Keywords are obviously a very important part of your SEO strategy. But how can you be sure that you’re choosing the right ones? John Lincoln shares some keyword tips and tools that successful marketers have used.

Learn Everything You Need to Know About Social Media Marketing

(Marketing Land)

Social media is constantly changing. But there are some basics that every marketer should be aware of before creating a full social media plan. In this post, Sahil Jain shares some common social media questions along with answers and tips for marketers.

Promote Your Business for Small Business Week

(Yodle Insights)

Small Business Week is an annual event that highlights local and independent shops, restaurants, and other businesses. As it is quickly approaching, it’s time for your business to come up with a plan to best take advantage of the event. Melissa Lachman shares a few ways you can promote your business for Small Business Week in this post.

Use Analytics to Make the Most of Your Website

(Uprise Marketing)

In order for your website to be as effective as possible, you need to know how well it is performing and what parts of it might be performing better than others. Analytics can help you with that. This post by Laura Mackenzie includes some analytics features that might be beneficial for your business website.

Manage Your Stress

(Corporate Coach Group)

Stress is normally considered to be a bad thing. But a little bit of stress can actually be beneficial for you and your business. So it’s important to find a happy stress medium, as Chris Farmer points out in this post. BizSugar members also share thoughts on the post.

Make Your Content Stand Out

(Mike Beauchamp)

The sheer amount of content being created and shared on social media means that there’s a lot of noise out there for consumers. So for your content plan to be successful, you need to create well-crafted content for a specific audience. Mike Beauchamp shares some thoughts about content marketing and social media.

Learn from These Marketing Blogs


Marketing can be a tricky concept to master, since there are so many different facets of it. That’s why it’s important to gather knowledge from a variety of different sources. This post by Rachel Daley includes 30 marketing blogs that you can use to gather knowledge. And Small Business Trends is honored to be included.

Design Your Way to a Modern Business

(Well Kept Wallet)

In today’s business world, it’s important to plan for the business you want. That’s what Renae Justin of Lasting Impressions Design did, as outlined in this post by Deacon Hayes. The post also includes some lessons and tips for other entrepreneurs.

Use These Marketing Concepts to Fuel Your B2B Content

(The Marketing Eggspert Blog)

Creating content for a B2B business isn’t the same as creating content for a B2C business. In this post, John Sollars shares some marketing concepts that you can use to create great B2B content. The BizSugar community then discusses the post.

Help make future Small Business Trends community roundups even better. Suggest some of your favorite content. Send suggestions to or simply submit your posts to the BizSugar community.

Budgeting Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “Stick to Your Budget, Choose Great Keywords and More” was first published on Small Business Trends

from Blogger

At Sam-Son Productions, TV is a Family Business

Sam-Son Productions

It might be strange to think of television production, with its big budgets and expensive equipment, as a mom and pop business. But for the Lesante family of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, that is exactly what it has become.

Launched in 1984, the video production company, which creates everything from talk shows and commercials to hyper local news programming for local cable, has done it all. Yet, Sam-Son Productions is still a small business. It is owned and operated by Sam Lesante Sr., his wife Deborah Lesante, their daughter Jeannine Lesante-Mazurkiwecz and son Sam Lesante Jr.

The family’s first ever broadcast was a local talent show called “Spotlight Talent Showcase,” which featured a variety of talented people in Northeast Pennsylvania and was hosted by Lesante Sr. The family’s initial interest in show business stemmed from Lesante Sr.’s friendship with Oscar-winning actor Jack Palance, as well as his ownership of some local music stores.

But Lesante Sr. also had the desire to provide some hyper local news content to his community. He said in a phone interview with Small Business Trends:

“Local towns like Hazleton don’t usually have their own local TV news. They usually have to rely on the news from a nearby city. And that news might be about someone getting shot or a fire or other incidents in the city. But we have a lot of happenings in our smaller communities as well. And those aren’t usually covered on city news. We cover good news, too.”

jack palance memorial

So he started “FYI News 13” in 1994. And the next year, the family started producing other local programs and commercials for the Hazleton community. They even created a nationally syndicated show. It was called “On the Road with Sammy & Elaine.” And it featured Lesante Sr. and Elaine Palance (wife of actor Jack Palance) traveling the country to interview interesting people.

The Lesante family still gets in front of the camera with their own shows including “The Sam Lesante Show,” where Lesante Sr. interviews various community members, entertainers and even national celebrities. Another show, “The Girls,” was created by and stars Deborah Lesante and Lesante-Mazurkiwecz.

Sam-Son Productions

Behind the scenes, the members of the Lesante family also have their own roles. Lesante Sr. serves as CEO while his wife serves as president of the company. Lesante-Mazurkiwecz is the vice president in charge of marketing and Lesante Jr. is vice president in charge of production.

Though running a family business can pose challenges, such as the temptation to constantly talk about work even during family vacations and holidays, Lesante Sr. insists that the benefits greatly outweigh the negatives. In particular, he loves the family friendly atmosphere at Sam-Son Productions.

The company mixes its own content with production work for clients from across the country. Even though the company is a small operation in a small town, Lesante Sr. says its high tech equipment allows productions that are just as high in quality as those by larger companies. But the small town setting and lower overhead costs allow production on a  much lower budget.

Sam-Son Productions

Lesante also insists at the heart of the business is simply his family’s desire to serve its community. The Lesante family has been heavily involved in the Hazleton community for years and aims to provide quality content to inform and entertain their fellow residents. Lesante says this dedication to local community is the key not just to his company’s success, but the success of similar local broadcasting in communities across the country. Lesante Sr. explains:

“These days, broadcast viewership is declining and network cable shows are declining. But the only thing that seems to be increasing are things like our production company that are producing very local shows.”

Images: Sam-Son Productions

This article, “At Sam-Son Productions, TV is a Family Business” was first published on Small Business Trends

from Blogger

Baltimore Reacts to State’s Attorney’s Announcement: Baltimore, Maryland (Dispatch 3)

On Friday morning, the Baltimore State’s Attorney’s office announced that Freddie Gray’s death following his arrest by city police had been deemed a homicide, and that it had issued warrants for the arrest of six officers on various charges related to the murder. VICE News spoke with residents of Baltimore following the State’s Attorney’s announcement, including Kevin Moore, the man who filmed footage of Freddie Gray’s arrest. The six Baltimore police officers who have been charged in the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray turned themselves in on Friday afternoon. They have since posted bond. Watch “Protesters Demand Police Accountability (Dispatch 2)” – Watch “First Night of Baltimore’s Curfew (Dispatch 1)” – Read “Six Baltimore Police Officers Charged in Freddie Gray’s Death” – Subscribe to VICE News here: Check out VICE News for more: Follow VICE News here: Facebook: Twitter: Tumblr: Instagram: More videos from the VICE network:
From: VICE News
Views: 301
148 ratings
Time: 14:18 More in News & Politics

from Blogger

Ageless Entrepreneur Shows It’s Never Too Late

ageless entrepreneur

The Problem: It’s a Battle of the Ages

In marketing and in business, age is often seen as a negative. If you get too old, you need to retire. If you are too young, you don’t have experience. Millennials are addicted to social media and Baby Boomers are addicted to the “good old days”. In the job market, Millennials are often pitted against older generations, who have more experience. On a larger scale, companies who have been around for a long time are battling start-ups for the hearts and minds of customers who don’t see business the way older generations did. 

Not a happy picture, is it? 

The Mission: Create a World of Entrepreneurs

Fred Dawkins would agree with you. He would also agree that everyone (individuals and businesses) have to find a better way to cope with these rapid changes. His approach, however, is not to focus on inventing the next tech startup or on chatting with Millennials on Twitter. 

Dawkins is the author of “Ageless Entrepreneur: Never Too Early, Never Too Late“. He believes that the answer lies in expanding the idea of entrepreneurship, no matter if you are 17 or 71. He wants small businesses to stop fearing the “big companies” and thrive within their niche. 

He wants to create a world where entrepreneurs are ageless. 

The Message, Part 1: Age is Not the Obstacle

Dawkins, like many others,  believes that rapid and unpredictable change will be a constant in today’s world. While change and unpredictability has always been a part of life, the level of change is at unheard of levels. Businesses must now face increasing competition from outsourcing, technology and globalization. Only those who thrive will survive. 

His answer to this change is where Dawkins differs from the rest. Rather than look forward to capitalizing on the next debate on “Big Data,” Dawkins advises that entrepreneurs go back to the concept of entrepreneurship. Focus on getting the business right: concept, planning and execution. That will hopefully ensure your business has a stable foundation to move forward. 

The changes caused by technology and outsourcing have disrupted whole industries, so Dawkins shifts readers’ focus to themselves. He advises readers to focus on continually growing and refining their skills and taking on upward-moving opportunities.  Although the ways we interact have changed, there is one thing that has not. People want a good product or service and are more than willing to pay for it.

The Message, Part 2: Embrace the Obstacles of Entrepreneurship

Dawkins, however, steps back from heralding a “golden age” where everyone and anyone can make a quick buck as an entrepreneur. He embraces a careful approach to entrepreneurship coupled with hard work,  mentoring and networking. He demonstrates this through the use of an extended entrepreneurship workshop led by Sam McLeod, a childhood friend of the author, which forms the core of the book. McLeod leads a group of nervous wanna-be entrepreneurs to become empowered business people. 

His message to his group of wanna-be entrepreneurs (and readers) focuses on moving past old ways of thinking (“Every business needs to be a tech start-up”) and obstacles (“I’m too old to start a business”) toward solutions. To illustrate his point, McLeod brings in speakers who developed businesses out of simple ideas without the need to invest in venture capital or high-priced loans.

He calls in a teenager who started a successful errand-running service for seniors, as well as his grandfather, who started a transportation service for seniors. He calls in a former college student who opened his own house painting business because he couldn’t find a summer job. 

McLeod’s point in bringing these people in is to show that our old belief in “safe careers” or “the perfect time or perfect opportunity” for a business is misguided. There will always be obstacles. Entrepreneurship will always be hard. There will always be unpredictability. The key is finding the best way to address and manage the unpredictability to reach your goal. 

Critique: Great Motivation Aimed at the Nervous “Wannapreneur”

One glaring feature of “Ageless Entrepreneur” is its focus on small business. The majority of the advice in this book (about 95 percent) is aimed at the individual who wants to start his or her own company. The focus is on encouraging “wannapreneurs” or people who want to own a business, but feel it’s too risky. Dawkins does not deny the risks of entrepreneurship, but he advises readers to work through the obstacles, rather than stop because of them. He mentions often in the book that obstacles represent a problem to be solved. It is up to the entrepreneur to figure out when it will be solved, not if. 

Another feature of “Ageless Entrepreneur” is the intentional focus away from tech startups. Dawkins isn’t particularly a big fan of tech start-ups (crowded market, risky capital, etc) for wannapreneurs. He would rather have aspiring entrepreneurs cater their own talents (tech or not) to a niche audience and grow from there. He advises finding and working with mentors and networking groups to expand and develop the pipeline of business. 

About the Author

Fred Dawkins is a Canadian entrepreneur and author. He can be found online at his website ( or on Twitter (@dawkinsfred). His book, “Ageless Entrepreneur: Never Too Early, Never Too Late” will be available on Amazon May 9. This article was prepared from an electronic copy of the book made available for reviewing purposes.




This article, “Ageless Entrepreneur Shows It’s Never Too Late” was first published on Small Business Trends

from Blogger

Raw Coverage from Baltimore

This morning, Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced that the six officers involved in Freddie Gray’s arrest and subsequent death have received criminal charges. Monica Villamizar reported live from Baltimore. More on Police Shootings in the US: Subscribe to VICE News here: Check out VICE News for more: Follow VICE News here: Facebook: Twitter: Tumblr: Instagram: More videos from the VICE network:
From: VICE News
Views: 207
468 ratings
Time: 01:07:41 More in News & Politics

from Blogger

Facebook Faux Pas: Avoid Bumming Out Your Customers

facebook faux pas

You’ve probably seen things pop up in your Facebook News Feed that you’d rather not see, an embarrassing photo or an annoying game request are typically the worst of them.

However, one Facebook feature, called ‘Year in Review’, has come under fire recently for it’s uncanny ability to occasionally remind people of the worst parts of their year, creating more than one Facebook faux pas.

In Facebook’s defense, this is not by design — exactly. But since the feature is entirely automated, it has ended up making some truly horrible content picks since its launch. It’s an algorithm, not a person, and therefore lacks a certain social finesse when it comes to more delicate subjects.

The feature sounds innocent, and the algorithm works pretty simply. It chooses your most engaged photos and arranges them into a short video which you can then share on your wall with your friends. Unfortunately, sometimes your ‘most engaged’ photos aren’t of your happiest memories. They may even depict memories you are trying to forget.

Imagine if while sending an email to a prospect, you inadvertently reminded him or her of a tough time in their life. Perhaps it was a time when they were out of work or were struggling with an illness or a death in their family. You might not have that prospect interested in you for very long.

But when Facebook began rolling out ‘Year in Review’, some users ended up,logging on and being reminded of the loss of a loved one, a job, or a home, right out of the blue.

One example comes from Web designer Eric Meyer, who was met with an unwanted reminder of the most tragic event from his year on Christmas Eve of 2014. Meyer lost his daughter, Rebecca, earlier that year, and had been avoiding creating a video that reminded him of his loss. However, he was met with an ad on Facebook on Christmas Eve, with his daughter’s face, and the tagline ‘It’s been a great year! Thanks for being a part of it!”

Meyer wrote about the incident on his blog, and within a day it went viral. His story has been featured in Slate and the Guardian and Slate as an example of what seemed to be insensitive design. In his blog post, Meyer says:

“Where the human aspect fell short, at least with Facebook, was in not providing a way to opt out. The Year in Review ad keeps coming up in my feed, rotating through different fun-and-fabulous backgrounds, as if celebrating a death, and there is no obvious way to stop it.  Yes, there’s the drop-down that lets me hide it, but knowing that is practically insider knowledge.  How many people don’t know about it?  Way more than you think.”

Facebook is trying to fix the problem, the Guardian reports. But without that human touch, there’s probably no way to avoid these issues completely. Of course, there’s the option of removing the feature completely. The wording on the ads did change to something a bit more neutral, now reading “See you next year!”

Unfortunately, this problem will most likely remain, whether through Facebook or another platform. As Meyer says:

“This happens all the time, all over the Web, in every imaginable context. Taking worst-case scenarios into account is something that Web design does poorly, and usually not at all.”

Facebook Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “Facebook Faux Pas: Avoid Bumming Out Your Customers” was first published on Small Business Trends

from Blogger

The British Election (Series Trailer)

The United Kingdom will hold its general election on May 7, deciding which party, or parties, will form the next government. But until then, the mudslinging between the political groups continues as they jostle for both the media and the public’s attention. While the party leaders are managed by slick spin-doctors and broadcast carefully constructed messages, there is a growing disillusionment with the current state of British politics. But even as the general public’s attention dwindles, groups of committed students, activists, and concerned citizens from a variety of backgrounds are pushing to make their mark. In our week-long election series, VICE News ventures beyond the political party machine — from the movement against cuts to education to the right to freedom of expression for young Muslims, and from the migrants caught in limbo in France to class war in the English countryside. Watch “Anti-Islamists Demonstrate in Britain: Hate in Europe” – Read “The UK’s Next Leader Is Going to Face Some Serious Questions on Nukes” – Subscribe to VICE News here: Check out VICE News for more: Follow VICE News here: Facebook: Twitter: Tumblr: Instagram: More videos from the VICE network:
From: VICE News
Views: 301
65 ratings
Time: 00:59 More in News & Politics

from Blogger