Yesterday Intuit hosted a Town Hall at NASDAQ where there were sessions on Small Business, Kid & Money and Personal Finance. I attended the Small Business and Personal Finance sessions. It was curious to note that the event was held at NASDAQ since it was also the first stock market in the United States to advertise to the general public. When I was in college studying finance, I considered it to be the stock market for real people. Coincidentally, Rhonda Abrams stated at the end of the small business panel that small businesses “make up the real economy”. According to Intuit’s small Business Index, small businesses with fewer than 20 employees added 66,000 new jobs in April and 300,000 new jobs since June 2009.
Let jump back up to the beginning. For this event, I was press and was escorted up the studio where the town hall was being held. The event was livestream and the panel included about a dozen small business owners. I know a few of them which included Sarah Endline (Sweet Riot), Jill Frechtman (Fretzels) Beth Schoenfeldt (Collective-E) Marlo Scott (Sweet Revenge). Rhonda Abrams and Cameron from Intuit moderated the panel. The conversation talked about hiring employees, using social media, handling cash flow and health insurance and markteting. There were great contributions to the discussion by the panelists that I took note.
Regarding the economy– Sarah Endline said, “can we talk about thrive instead of survive? We all want to move into the thrive part right now, but maybe we’re somewhere between survive and thrive.”
On Cash Flow: “The small business community is currently a self-financing ecosystem. Everyone’s paying late.”
On Health Insurance: “My health insurance is looking both ways before crossing the street.”-Marlo Scott, Sweet Revenge
On Marketing: Jill uses social media–Facebook, Twitter and does monthly giveaways on Fretzels’ Facebook Page. Drew, the owner of Dead Apple Tours does a lot of local offline guerrilla marketing with signage, posters. Alexis of The Beauty Bean uses twitter to find people who may be talking about beauty products. She also schedules tweets so at to manage her time.
“As a small business owner by nature, you have to be optimistic.”
After the panel ended, there were lunch and some of Sweet Revenge cupcakes were there. As required by my duties as a cupcake blogger, I tasted the Tart, a new seasonal lemon cupcake made with lemon curd.