NSBW: Startup and Small Business Tips from Jack Dorsey
Posted by Erica Bell on June 21, 2013 in Business News, Marketing, Social Media, Startups [ 0 Comments ]
We’re sad to say that National Small Business Week is wrapping up. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), National Small Business Week began in 1963 and every year since then, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week. This year, events took place all week long across the nation in an effort to motivate, educate and entertain small business owners. More than 50% of Americans either own or work for a small business and this week is an opportunity to celebrate and support each of those people and their businesses. While there were a number of great interviews, breakout sessions and Google+ hangouts throughout the week, one that stood out the most is the armchair interview and panel with Jack Dorsey of Twitter and Square held in Pittsburgh.
Starting a Successful Business
Karen Mills of the SBA lead the interview and the panel. She asked Dorsey about starting a business and his serial entrepreneurial spirit. “I guess I never really thought about being an entrepreneur…but I had some ideas,” Jack Dorsey said. A common thread in all entrepreneurs starts by you waking up and saying I am passionate about this thing and am willing to do whatever it takes to make this work. To get started, it takes significant risk, often significant financial risk.
During the interview, Mills asked Dorsey about his biggest mistake or realization. He noted that the biggest realization he’s had is how important the team and the people that he works with is. The company and organization, according to Dorsey, need to be designed as much as the product is. Poor communication can manifest into failure. Effective and simple communication across a company is key.
Super-sized with Small Business Technology
Often times, companies will try to sell small businesses pricey POS systems, but small business owners are looking for something different. Not only can they often not afford the more expensive POS system, small businesses may not need something so robust or complex. According to Dorsey, the mission at Square is to make commerce easy. Square’s ability to charge a small percentage (2.75%) was revolutionary. They simplified the pricing and the application and found that it really resonated with people. Technology can level the playing field for small businesses as everyone has access to that same technology and the ability to really make the most of it.
Startups, Small Businesses and Social Media
Social media also plays a role for small business success. With Twitter, small businesses and food trucks have the ability to communicate deals, their current location, and engage with customers accurately and at a fast pace. Small businesses, and really all businesses, are focused on acquiring new customers. Word-of-mouth recommendations, Facebook, Twitter and other communication tools are critical as small and local businesses get started.
Social media campaigns that focus on engagement, not selling, are how startups and small businesses can be more successful. Addressing your online and social presence on a regular basis is a must. Even if you’ve been around for some time, social media can help place your brand at the forefront of past customers’ and prospective customers’ minds.
During the panel, each of the guests and Dorsey made a point to note that employee communications are part of their daily rituals. Some have standing meetings, others have creative discussions, and others set individual expectations for the day. Taking tips from those who have been successful is a great way you can learn from the mistakes and successes of others so that your business is more successful.
What tools does your small business use to be successful: social, Square, or something else?