Tips to Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners from BizTechDay


After two full days of panels, keynotes, and hallway conversations at BizTechDay, I collected the following tips and comments–mostly paraphrased–that I think will be most useful to entrepreneurs and small business owners.  (See also my post on Tim Ferriss’ tweeting style and Mark O’Leary’s lessons to small businesses).

On marketing

  • Claim your local business listing on Google for free at ~Ryan Hayward, Product Manager, Google Local Business Center
  • Unlock your business’ Yelp page at (only takes 5-10 minutes).  And don’t abandon your social media. ~Michelle Broderick, Marketing Director, Yelp
  • Try using Facebook instead of a newsletter so you can deliver nuggets of information to your fans and create conversations around your brand.  Set up custom tabs on your page to speak to different audiences. More than anything, make your Facebook page fun.  ~Hazel Grace, Founder, Socialbees
  • Use a handful of social networking sites.  Kevin Rose, Founder of watches a number of early-adopters to see what tools they use and then makes bets about which will become big by getting involved
  • Social media is here to stay. Be authentic and real.  ~Porter Gale, VP Marketing at Virgin America
  • A useful and attractive website is essential.  Yola has a number of resources to help you get started by building a free website

On publicity (from Jill Lublin, PR Strategist)

  • Get your name out there again and again and people will start remembering you.  Create the “I’ve heard of you somewhere” syndrome
  • The goal of publicity is to create credibility and visibility
  • Blogging is a must
  • Get free PR leads from Help a Reporter Out (beware – they send 3 emails/day)
  • Find your nugget and pitch it persistently and consistently

On running a small business

  • Do what you’re passionate about, and then everything becomes easy.  Edith Yeung, Executive Producer, BizTechDay
  • You must become distinct and separate from your company in order for it to thrive.  Michael Gerber

On fundraising

  • Follow up with potential investors. Very few entrepreneurs follow up.  We assume they are doing badly  ~Randy Williams, Founder, Keiretsu Forum
  • Fundraising is easier when you are working to make a difference in the world. (Music to my ears!) ~Matt Mullenweg, Founder,

On product development

  • Make a sidewalk where the grass is trampled because people are already walking there.  So in technology, see where users are already going and what they are doing and then build that. ~Matt Mullenweg, Founder,
  • Create a product that acts as a pain killer, not a vitamin.  Matt Mullenweg, Founder,

Amie runs Cobblestone Solutions, LLC, a consultancy focusing on business development, marketing, communications and strategy for mission driven companies. Previously, Amie served as Director of Business Development for Viv (a Bay Area environmental start-up), Program Manager for Social Venture Technology Group (a boutique consulting firm focused on measuring social and environmental impact), and Associate Consultant at Bain & Co (a global management consulting firm). She is particularly interested in innovations that reduce waste, altering consumer behavior for good, and leveraging the power of business to solve the climate crisis. You can read more from her on her blog, on, and on JustMeans.

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