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Small Business Hacks at Web2Open

We’ve got a cool new development on the Web2Open front: Jen Bekman, Don MacAskill and Bryan Mason will be joining us for “Small Business Hacks,” an open discussion moderated by Tony Stubblebine.

Particularly neat is that each of them has worked on a Web 2.0 company with a different business model. Jen started 20×200 as a site connected with her gallery; she sells emerging artists’ work directly to new collectors. Don is the founder and chief geek at SmugMug, a photo-sharing site that runs on a subscription basis. Bryan is the COO of Adaptive Path, a firm that consults on Web 2.0 design and usability. And Tony is the owner of CrowdVine, an online social-networking service currently focused on corporate sales.

The session is 1:30 – 2:20p on April 24, and with a good mix of perspectives from among the panelists and participants, it ought to be a very lively conversation. Meantime, if you have any small biz hacks to share now, go ahead and post in the comments.

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  • http://www.stubbleblog.com Tony Stubblebine

    My goal for the session is to get at the tricks that nobody ever teaches you but that end up being hugely successful to your business.

    Here’s a time management trick that I use that I call “How to get off the phone.” I’m super chatty and when I get a biz dev call there’s a chance we’ll talk for an hour while I try to find out their life story. But the reality is that the call is 95% about a partnership that doesn’t make sense or a service that I don’t want to buy. So I’m constantly practicing one- or two-liners that both qualify and express a firm but polite no. The goal is to be off the phone in 30 seconds. My two most common are:

    “Our rule of thumb is to only pursue partnerships when when there’s an existing request from a customer. Do you have a customer asking for X?”

    “Can you send an email with this information to X@crowdvine.com and then I’ll get back to you if we’re interested. Thanks, bye… pause… click.”

    These two scripts save me at least three hours every week compared to when I first started the business.

  • http://picme.raizlabs.com Greg

    I was invited to a conference and I wanted to go demo my software and network but the conference people wanted $5000 for the event. I didn’t care about the sessions, I just wanted to network and didn’t want to spend $5k networking.

    On the day of the event I looked up the hotel where the conference was and went and hung out in the hotel lobby. The hotel lobby is free. I met a ton of people from the conference and networked for free. I made a bunch of connections none that I could have made if I was stuck in sessions all day.