Inside SF Small Business Week 2014

Last Wednesday, on a beautiful, 88 degree sunny day, we traveled to San Francisco’s Holiday Inn to take part in the Small Business Week festivities.

We started the day with a series of inspirational TED-style talks at San Francisco’s Small Business Conference. Some of our favorite speakers included Lenore Estrada, co-founder of Three Babes Bakeshop.

Lenore talked about the importance of building your brand and keeping your startup lean and profitable. She and her best friend, Anna, had a dream to open up a bakery, but didn’t want to commit to paying the steep price of rent. The solution? Rent a kitchen in San Francisco to do all the baking by night and then deliver their pies via USPS shipping services.

Lenore encourages all small business owners to look for creative ways to get their businesses up and running without being in the red.

Ecommerce business owner, Lenora Estrada, stands up on stage at San Francisco Small Business Week.
Lenore Estrada, co-founder of Three Babes Bakeshop, shares advice for
creating an authentic brand without losing your shirt.

Next, David Silverglide, CEO of Split Bread Company/Mixt Greens, discussed the value of being a cashless business. He made the extreme decision to stop taking cash when he came to the realization that cash is a friction point. By taking cash out of the equation, David’s business was able to truly interact with customers instead of being caught up in the transaction. Removing cash means less time guarding a register and more time serving customers.

David Silverglide up on stage of San Francisco Small Business Week, presenting on the benefits of being a cashless business.
David Silverglide, CEO of Split Bread Company/Mixt Greens
shares the value of being a cashless business

We also loved Lisbeth “Lis” McKinley, owner of LET’S MAKE ROOM, and her advice on how to stay organized (which can be difficult when you run a small business). Businesses tend hoard lots of paper, so it’s important to learn when it’s time to throw something out. Lis joked, “Only keep a business card if you plan to hire someone, want them to hire you or plan to ask them out for coffee.”

Afterwards, we headed downstairs to the Goldrush Ballroom for the Small Business Expo, where we had the opportunity to chat with different vendors about their small business solutions.

Small business owners and entrepreneurs mixing and mingling at the Small Business Expo.
Lots of mixing and mingling at the Small Business Expo

As the event drew to a close, we decided there was no better way to celebrate Small Business Week than to end the day at a small, locally-owned restaurant. So, we headed over to Modern Thai, where we chatted about our favorite speakers over a plate of deliciously spicy fried papaya salad.

Celebrating small businesses by eating a plate of Thai fried papaya salad from a small, locally-owned restaurant in San Francisco.
Modern Thai’s famous Fried Papaya Salad

We hope you enjoyed experiencing Small Business Week with us. If you’re an ecommerce business looking to prep for next year’s event, be sure to check out last week’s blog post about how to make the most of Small Business Week.

For more insight and news, check out our ecommerce tips and trends page.

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