Insights from the New York Times Small Business Summit

June 28, 2012[ssba]

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Hundreds of small business owners gathered in New York City this week to glean tips and tools from some of the best business minds. ImageThink scribed four breakout sessions. The ideas ranged from how to get more things done, to how to make your product stand out in a crowded marketplace. As small business owners ourselves, it was a great opportunity for our own learning.

One of these boards will become a short animated video, stay tuned to the American Express OPEN Facebook page to find out which one.

Becoming an Ultimate Productivity Ninja

Graphic Recording by Heather Willems

Click on the image to zoom in on some recommended time saving tools and more takeaways from highly productive small business people.

Key tips:

  • Schedule “in days” for paperwork and creative projects, “out days” for meetings and errands
  • Check email every few hours instead of constantly
  • Do less with more focus
  • Saving 5 minutes a day will get you 30 extra hours per year

You Are Your People: Recruiting & Hiring

Key tips:

  • Stay up on the distinctions between independent contractors and employees so you don’t end up on the hook for back taxes
  • High performers are the future of your company, so recognize them often and publicly
  • It’s pretty simple: be nice to people
  • Dig into someone’s character and accomplishments in the interview process to protect your brand and your team

Casting the Social Net

Key tips:

  • Use the social media platforms that make sense for your audience
  • Content is king.
  • Don’t just target your customers, look for people with shared interests.
  • Images are highly shareable and get much more engagement on Facebook.
  • Each platform has a different purpose, tailor your content accordingly.

Evolve Your Brand

Key tips:

  • Your brand isn’t just a logo, it’s the essence of your company and what it stands for.
  • Stay fresh — watch for signs it’s time to rebrand (click on image to zoom in for those signs).
  • Get passionate about your niche.
  • Trust your inner voice and ignore focus groups.