As 2009 slowly fades away into the horizon I will remember it fondly for the strong bonds that Network Solutions created with Small Businesses and partners helping Small Business. Here is a list of my thoughts that made me proud of this year:
- Small Business Success Index : Despite the economy being gloomy Network Solutions along with the University of Maryland and Rockbridge Research went into the heart of the small business issues with 2 surveys to get to the core issues that affected small business. The results can be seen at GrowSmartBusiness.com/
- Year of the Web Site Builder and Free Websites : Network Solutions went to bat for the little guys ( part of the 47% of Small Business not yet online) to offer them a new cool web site builder tool and for those 47% businesses who are not online yet we gave them a choice to start with a Free web site
- Saluting the Folks at SCORE and partners at the Chambers of Commerce : Network Solutions collaborated with SCORE ( Where you can get some excellent business advice ) and our hats off to some great folks Ken Yancey, Christine Banning and DevonJopp at SCORE.Thanks also to The DC Chamber of Commerce, Greater Manassas Chamber, Loudoun Chamber, Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce , Arlington Chamber , Prince William Regional Chamber and several other small business organizations and partners who helped us extend our reach to help more small businesses.
- Small Business Gurus : Shaking hands and collaborating with Small Business Gurus was a thrill. Starting with Ramon Ray‘s SmallBizTechnology conference in Feb to our first ever Webinar with Anita Campbell of SmallBiztrends.com .
Other panelists were :
Kristina Bouweiri, CEO of Reston Limo, the largest independent limousine service in the Washington D.C. area
Anita Campbell, Editor of Small Business Trends
Kelly Muccio, Founder of Lost Boys, a fashionable clothing store recently featured featured in the Wall Street Journal
Surfy Rahman, Co-owner of Indique, a popular DC-area restaurant chain
- GrowSmartBusiness Conference : In a amazing event that Network Solutions organized for Small Business, of Small Business and by Small Business, attendees were exposed to what many called a Bootcamp for small Business. See the whole GrowSmartBiz Conference online. Thank you panelists, speakers, sponsors , attendees and media for making this conference a success. You folks are rockstars and Network Solutions was glad to share a stage with you.
- Unintentional Entrepreneurs : The job numbers being what they are along with partner Outright did a 5 city tour of San Francisco, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Washington DC , New York to encourage entrepreneurs and other innovators on ways to start their own business. The guys at Outright knew the cool and innovative spots in each city to have these events .Thank you Bob London, Wray Rives, Shannon Nash, Patrick Ford, Brent Leary, Dave Berkowitz, Paul O’Brien, Kevin Reeth.
- WomenGrowBusiness : In a amazing show of community support, the WomenGrowBiz community contributed excellent tips and advice to grow this amazing dynamic community. Kudos to Jill Foster and her amazing #WGbiz contributors.
- GrowSmartBiz Blog : Steve Fisher conducted the orchestra of more than 50 odd expert contributors who signed up to share their expertise on the GrowSmartbusiness Blog. Thanks everyone.
- SocStardom : Johns Hopkins in the Montgomery county ( Thank you Robin Ferrier) collaborated with Network Solutions and Mayra Ruiz to hold 4 events in the Montgomery County area where well known speakers shared their advice and expertise with folks from the DC area. Thank you Frank Warren, Rohit Bhargava, Jay Berkowitz, Jason Alba, Dave Evans.
- Saluting our Small Business audience : You folks who have supported us by visiting our blogs and commenting and encouraging nees a special salute. I hope we can count on your support in 2010. We depend on you to help us continue on the right path to provide the best resources for Small Business to succeed.
It is inevitable I have left out many people and organizations from this list. Believe me, I would probably blame my old age . But we remember the contribution of everyone who helped us in 2009 and here are a few more folks that come to mind – The excellent team at crt-tanaka, our blogger editorial team ( Jill Foster, Joe Loong, Ken Yeung, Mike Dougherty, Mayra Ruiz) , DC area folks and organizations like Larissa Fair – SMCDC, Frank Gruber – Tech Cocktail, Jimmy Gardner – East Coast Blogging, Kathy Korman Frey, Larissa Fair, Chris Geno, Kristina Bouweiri, Paul Worsham, Chris Abraham, Shonali Burke, Shana Glickfield, Shireen Mitchell, Geoff Livingston – traveling somewhere at the end of the world , DC Web Women, American Independent Writers and Kristen King, Liz Strauss and SOBCON, Alex Orfinger, David Stegon TechBisnow, the legal team at Network Solutions who took our calls even at major holidays, Shawn Collins of the Affiliate Summit, Network Solutions Social Media Advisory Board and all my colleagues at Network Solutions who helped in many ways than they realize. Of course our more than 200k visitors to our blogs and the millions of Network Solutions customers who help us help small businesses succeed.
Thank you everyone and looking forward to a successful 2010 for all of us. There are countless other folks who deserve thanks and we will always remember your help in our common goal of small business success.