SALT LAKE CITY — Growing a moneymaking idea into a successful enterprise can be challenging, especially if you have little experience in the realm of running a business or entrepreneurship. But it certainly would be easier if you got some advice from people who had already done it.
A group of local small-business owners Friday received sage counsel on the topic at the annual Small Business Summit hosted by the Salt Lake Chamber. The half-day event offered small-business owners, entrepreneurs and managers the opportunity to network, discover new tools, gain practical knowledge and skills, as well as make connections that could support the growth and potential success of small businesses in Utah.
The conference included breakout sessions on topics such as risk management, marketing and sales, cybersecurity, succession planning, along with talent recruitment and retention.
“A lot of times, as business owners, we get very concerned about our businesses, our goals and objectives, and sometimes we unintentionally neglect our own professional development,” said Ingolf de Jong, Salt Lake Chamber Small Business Committee chairman. He said the summit was designed to help people learn specific tactics, ideas and information they can take with them to improve their business and as individuals.
One of the keynote speakers was University of Utah graduate and former Microsoft executive Bryan Trussel, co-founder and CEO of Glympse — a location sharing startup based in Seattle. Speaking to the audience at the Radisson Hotel Salt Lake City Downtown, he shared some of the strategies he used when considering whether to launch his new venture and explained the importance networking and learning from other entrepreneurs.
“One of the really useful things for me when I was trying to decide if I was going to leave the comforts of Microsoft … I would go talk to a lot of CEOs,” Trussel said. “Anybody who’s been through many years at a company has takeaways; where they were super successful, where they floundered, where they had a huge flameout. There’s really good learning there.”
Milavetz added that figuring out financing is also a major consideration in the early stages of development for any new business. Learning about available resources can help in determining the best choice to make, she said.
“Whether you ‘bootstrap’ with a loan from yourself, debt finance or raise capital, there are different levers and lots of people (in the community) that can help you answer those questions,” she said.Comment on this story
Entrepreneur Jonathan Tanner, co-founder of Nightingale Nursing College, said the conference provided useful information that his company can work to implement as the enterprise attempts to grow.
“Hearing from successful entrepreneurs ignites the spirit in you to think innovatively and want to do things better,” he said. “Also, there is a great network here (in Salt Lake) and if you can get out of your shell you can build a network of fellow entrepreneurs that you can really rely on for help when you need it.”