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Thoughts from Microsoft Vision to Venture Event

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What an inspiring day! I attended Microsoft Office Live Small Business Vision to Venture event in Austin last week and spent time with women entrepreneurs – some who have already launched their businesses and others who are thinking of starting one.

Susan Wilson Solovic, CEO and Chairman of SBTV.com kicked off the morning as keynote speaker detailing her Six Surefire Success Strategies. Here is a woman who started her first business venture at age 15 teaching young girls how to twirl a baton! My favorite take-away from the session was Be Confident: think big, bold and audacious and recognize that most small businesses fail or flounder because they aren’t thinking big enough.

Rich Sloan, CEO of StartupNation was up next and kept the crowd entertained as he provided his 8 Overlooked Secrets to Starting Up. One thing that really resonated with me was that life planning should come before business planning. Rich also told the audience to respect the “2X Factor” – expect everything to take twice as long and cost twice as much as you expect – at which point I noticed every head in the audience nodding in agreement.

John Jantsch, creator of Duct Tape Marketing rounded out the day with his 8 Step Marketing Plan. John emphasized the importance of knowing your talking logo. A talking logo allows you to communicate verbally the single greatest benefit of doing business with you. A talking logo is a short statement that quickly communicates your position and forces the listener to want to know more. John shared a great example – if you ask an architect – “what do you do for a living?”, which do you think is more powerful? “I’m a registered architect” or [Talking Logo] “I show contractors how to get paid faster.” The second statement focuses on addressing a key frustration that architects knows contractors (their target market) have.

I encourage you to sign up for the free on-demand webcast which will be available in late May – it’s a great way for you to experience Vision to Venture in case you weren’t able to attend in person.

Here are some resources that the speakers and other attendees recommended:

· Office Live Small Business Women’s Resource Center

· SBTV.com Women’s Channel

· Duct Tape Marketing Coach

· Score

· Count Me In

· National Federation of Independent Business

· WomenOwned.com

· Ladies Who Launch

· Center for Women’s Business Research

I did vlogs with the speakers so expect to see those in the upcoming weeks!

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