Report from the New York Times Small Business Summit

This past week I attended the New York Times Small Business Summit. I met with business owners in the American Express OPEN Advice Cafe.

I learned a lot about what was on the minds of business owners. Among the 45 or so that I talked with, they seemed to be equally split on whether their businesses were doing well or were hurting due to the economy. A few of the business owners were having record years. A few others reported sales off by 50% or more.

I wrote up a full report over at the OPEN Forum, including the questions and concerns we discussed: Partnering, Online Marketing, Hiring – What Biz Owners Wanted to Know at the OPEN Advice Cafe.  I think you can glean some good information from my report — you may be facing similar issues in your own business.

Prior to the event I had put together 7 tips for dealing with tough economies. Here’s a PDF of the printed booklet containing those tips that was handed out to attendees.  I thought you might like to see it — it’s a quick and easy read:

7 Things You Can Do to Make Your Business More Resilient, Now


Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder, CEO and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses.

8 Reactions
  1. Anita,

    Did you have a good time in the “Big Apple”? Did the American Expressen OPEN Advice Café have a barista, service coffee? 🙂 It would perfect to read your 7 tips and drink a espresso, macchiato, cappuccino, caffè latte, etc. 🙂

  2. Thanks for the great resources and sharing your insights as always. I imagine the split between business owners would have something to do with their industry. Some are being a hurt a bit more due to circumstances beyond their control.

  3. @Martin, well they had coffee in the Cafe, along with some tables where you could sit down. They also had a line of computers set up so that people could check their email. It was quite a nice setup — although I didn’t notice espresso machines around. 🙂

    @Chris, yes that’s partly right. Some industries are getting hit and others not so much. I think some also has to do with the attitude of the business owners. It’s a foward-thinking business owner who attends an event like that when business is booming.

  4. Anita,

    Nice setup! Do you have photos from the event?

  5. So far I have one photograph showing me leading a roundtable discussion. (I was way too busy non-stop talking with attendees, to take any photos myself.)

    I posted it over at my article at the OPEN Forum — you can see it here:

  6. Anita: It looks like you had a jolly good time. Did you have time to listen to some of the speeches?

  7. A few others reported sales off by 50% or more. — This sounded too bad for me. Of all the participants you’ve talked with Anita, how many of them do experience this?

  8. Having sales drop around 50% is a tough blow for any business to take. I’m wondering how that business is handling that and how optimistic they are that their business will be able to survive.

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