If you’re an entrepreneur or an Internet junkie and happened to be in Raleigh this past week, you had a diverse menu of choices to feed your brain. Triangle Entrepreneur Week and The 2011 Internet Summit were the ‘must attend’ events starting on Monday, November 14. Panels were filled with local and nationally known speakers sharing their best new ideas.
Jon Leonardo from TEW invited me to join a panel focused on the food business. Entrepreneurs and foodies joined myself, Trevor Chambers from Bella Monica Flatbread Company and host Sarah Wechsberg at Sitti restaurant in downtown Raleigh on Tuesday morning. Trevor is a friend, a former customer of Anna’s Gourmet Goodies and a great guy to hang out with and talk about food. We shared different perspectives on the food business (wholesale vs. online retail) but we both share a common passion for making truly exceptional products and taking great care of our customers.
After the panel ended, I headed over to The 2011 Internet Summit where I had a chance to mingle with the tech savvy Triangle crowd and hang with my friends Jack Spain and Susan Maravetz from TheMGen.com. As is the case with most conferences, I suffered from severe information overload, trying to catch as many presentations as possible. I connected with some great people and walked away with some ideas and perspectives I hope to apply to Anna’s Gourmet Goodies.
Some bite sized nuggets I picked up:
It’s a mobile world – 62% of people under 50 have a Smartphone
“Governments don’t create jobs any more than hospitals create children” – Marc Cendella, Found of TheLadders.com
If you are into improving your search ranking, you really need to be on Google+ – look at authorship markup
14% of people tune out TV commercials – 43% of people tune out banner ads
“The Devil has a Prada iPad case”
33% of FB use is on a mobile device
The Internet continues to shift the power away from companies that used to control their message, into the hands of consumers. Social media is about the democratization of opinion, where anyone with an Internet connection and a phone or camera can immediately have a large and potentially long lasting impression on virtually any company or product. If you’ve been hiding behind poor quality or shoddy service, your days are numbered.
This is great news for Anna’s Gourmet Goodies. We started our company by creating great products and making people happy. Customer service is not something we do because ‘we have to’ – it’s a part of who we are and how we live our life – period. We’re continuing to improve how we use the Internet and social media to tell our story and reach those customers who value what we do and want to do business with Anna’s Gourmet Goodies. Forget about the bad economy, this is a great time to be in business if you love to serve your customers.
I’ll be filtering through ideas in between baking cookies over the next month and a half or so. Our holiday schedule is already filling up, so I expect that I’ll have to leave some of the things I picked up at the Summit in the proofer to rise for awhile. We’ll be living our lives in ‘five minute increments’, spinning cookies, packing boxes, and making people happy. It was a good week for sure and a great source of energy to get me going for the holiday gift season.