The Genesis of SOHO Victoria
Most people know me for running bWEST Communications. Many also know me for co-founding and producing Social Media Camp. I enjoy the challenge and the thrill of creating something new, especially when it brings value to people.
About six years ago, as part of my overall business growth strategy, I joined a networking group that meets on a weekly basis to share referrals and help each other with business. One aspect of the group is “Power Teams”. As a company that provides services to other companies I belong to the “B-B” Power Team which is comprised of business-to-business companies. This particular Power Team includes a bookkeeper, corporate lawyer, accountant, IT specialist, insurance specialist, and a few other professionals. The wisdom and experience in the group is pretty amazing.
We meet once a month and share business challenges, ideas and news and to help each other. I’ve known the members for about 5-6 years and many of us provide professional services to each other. The value I get from these meetings, and our interactions between meetings, is immense and worth 1,000’s of dollars if I was to add it all up.
About six months ago I was sitting in our regular meeting when it hit me. I get so much value from this group in terms of business advice, ideas, prospects and introductions to other professionals I need to grow my business – I wonder how other small businesses survive without this sort of help. Or how much more efficient, profitable and successful they could be if they had access to this sort of network and knowledge?
I know how to produce conferences from my experience with Social Media Camp. And, as a small business owner, I’m only too familiar with the challenges we all face. So I thought, why not design a conference for small businesses here in Victoria. I kicked the idea around with my Power Team and a few other colleagues and got positive feedback from everyone. Once I made the decision to go for it the rest was pretty much putting one foot in front of the other.
The essence is this. SOHO business owners (retailer, cafe owner, plumber, realtor, bookkeeper, freelancer, marketing firm, artisan, photographer, etc) are great at what they do, but generally not so great at the 20-30 other tasks (taxes, hiring, sales, marketing, insurance, financing, legal, etc) that are essential to a productive and profitable business. Lucky for me I know lots of pro’s that are not only experts in their fields, they’re also world-class speakers, panelists and workshop leaders.
SOHO Victoria is designed to help business owners:
- get help with their business challenges
- find quality, reputable professional service providers
- network with likeminded peers and make valuable connections
Or, if you are simply thinking of starting your first business we’ll have a panel covering that as well as professionals who can help you get started.
I hope you will join us. If you have any questions or ideas for how we can make SOHO better for you, please leave your comment below.
When he’s not creating new conferences or helping companies develop digital marketing strategies, Chris can be found paddling (the stand-up variety) on one of the many lakes and harbours on Vancouver Island.