…and by everyone, I mean me.

But so far it seems the clear consensus has been “it’s the ultimate reset for the entrepreneur community.”

Before I eloquently describe the abundance of knowledge I gleaned from visiting 3 business seminars, the only regret I have is that I was unable to attend all 5 days to sit in on the over 100 free workshops.

In a fashion that can only be described as the amazing race, bouncing around the picturesque City of Chattanooga became all the rage during #StartupWeekCHA. Just like in The Amazing Race where the first one to the finish line wins, prizes were awarded every hour in the form of expert business wisdom freely shared by countless mentors in an array of industries.

If you are an entrepreneur you know how lonely life can be. Long hours, late nights, and hard work are typically accomplished solo so it is more understandable why the nickname “the ultimate entrepreneurial reset” is so appropriate.

The marathon to greatness we find ourselves in, is ever so much more refreshing with the annual speed style learning sessions that get us out among other humans a garner insight and encouragement from our counterparts.  To top it off we are placed in the presence of others who help find solutions to problems we may not even realize we have.

The following perspective is from a fellow entrepreneurs takeaways from the October 5th session of startup week.

  1. The Art of negotiations for female entrepreneurs: taught by Amanda from Jelks Law and Katie from Katie king law. The delightfully elegant yet rustic setting of the Wildflower Tea Shop provided a safe space for this extraordinary group of woman to talk out some of the most difficult concepts that almost every woman in business deals with today; how to value ourselves through our work.

In this open discussion style setting Katie and Amanda almost immediately opened the floor to questions after sharing their intros and a few very pointed topics that would set the stage for the chat.

My greatest takeaways were to be prepared both legally and mentally for each negotiation. Know what you are asking for and do so confidently. Once your offer has been presented, be prepared to sit in silence until the party across the table counters.

Listing to this crowd of talented and successful ladies made me realize we are all in this together. Similar stories of price cutting to “make a sale” emerged over and over again. A practice I’ve been guilty of myself. But the savvy lawyers hosting the class made one bold point that will stick with me forever, “Having the lowest price is not your competitive edge, your talent is.”

This gave me and hopefully all the woman in the room the confidence to never slash prices again, unless it was in a mutually respectful negation agreement that I am comfortable with without feeling like I’ve compromised my morals.

I also learned silence is powerful, and makes people feel very uncomfortable. Never underestimate the power of silence in negotiations.

  1. Pass it Down hosted my favorite chat of the day where 4 CEO’s shared their business stories to help offer long term perspective into the mind of startup entrepreneurs.

Without knowing the history of any of the CEO’s scheduled to pass down well-earned knowledge I took a chance that there was something special that I could glean from.

I was not disappointed.

There were about 5 questioned asked during the course of the glorious hour I spent writing down their most insightful knowledge, but as a startup I was most interested in one question in particular and that’s the one I’ve chosen to hover on in this post and you can read the full details of this fireside style chat, HERE.

  1. Google My Business. My day ended with the 12:30-2PM session of Googleize your business & get found online hosted by TSBDC of Chattanooga located at the Hamilton County Incubator on 100 Cherokee Boulevard.

What a perfect top off of to the day to learn not only the importance of verifying your business with google but also how. This hands on class walked the over 50 attendants through the process of getting their business found on the map, literally!

Did you know 97% of consumers look online to decide where to shop for local goods and services? The reality of that means 4 out of 5 consumers in this area use search engines, like Google, to locate nearby solutions to the problems they are trying to solve.

Search queries tend to look like this:

“Where is the closest garden shop that sells pumpkins?”

“What’s the most dependable auto repair shop, with the shortest wait time?”

“Which local grocery store is having the best deal this week?”

These long tail searches are the reason why Google keeps pushing their mathematical algorithm capabilities in order to precisely offer the most relevant results based on what local consumers are searching for. When these searches take place the matching process becomes difficult for Google when businesses are left unverified.

Only 37% of business have claimed a local business listing through Google verification, which means 64% of businesses are missing the opportunity to be quickly matched to a related consumer search request.

Google wants to help every business in your community get found on the web – starting with yours.

Here’s how you can start your own verification process to ensure your business is accurately presented the next time a potential customer is looking for you.

startup week chattanooga tn