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

8 Comments ▼

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:

    http://blogs.openforum.com/2008/11/21/partnering-online-marketing-hiring-what-biz-owners-wanted-to-know-at-the-open-advice-cafe/

  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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