Breakfast Session- 8:30am to 9:30pm

Start your day with food, networking and motivation

Sponsored by: Breakout Capital

Creating a Positive Passion for Success

Starting and growing a business can be daunting. Creating a successful business takes persistence and the ability to handle the ups and downs that are inevitable on your way to success. In this exciting and motivating talk Elaine Espinola Keltz, National Podcast Host for the Better Business Bureau series “The Bistro” and Mrs. DC America 2015, will discuss how you can tap into your own creative ideas, talents and skills to drive your passion. She will share her experiences and how consistent thoughts and actions you can help you weather the peaks and valleys of entrepreneurship. You will learn how to move forward with confidence as you build your dream company. Elaine will show you why it is important to be clear what success means to you and how to manage the failures and successes along the way. You’ll leave with a better understanding off how fears and insecurities hold us back, why we have them, and how to change your perspective through the power of positive thinking.”

Sponsored by:

Short Break (15 min)

Breakout Session 1 - 9:45am to 10:45am

Get the Most from Your Small Business Marketing Dollars

Join Kristine Jacobson, CEO of Conveyance Marketing Group, to understand where to spend and where you can skimp on your marketing spending and still draw in customers most effectively. Discover why some mediums, like social media, are often misused. Learn how you can avoid pitfalls so you know how much to spend and what to spend it on to get the biggest and best results

Funding Your Small Business (panel)

Bootstrapping, Crowdfunding, Traditional Loans, Alternative Financing, Factoring…what does it all mean and what’s best for me? Starting and growing a small business requires capital. It can be yours, someone else’s or from a lender. Join a panel of experts to explore the different ways small businesses can fund/finance their entrepreneurial venture.

Hiring for Success

Did you know: 1) Every employee you hire has the potential to propel your business towards success or sink it in its tracks? 2) It costs 2.5 times an employee's salary to replace her? 3) There are STRINGENT rules about when you can use contractors and breaking these rules can lead to fines, penalties, and even worse...lawsuits? This must-attend session is for anyone who is looking to add employees or other resources to their business. Join Jennifer Brown, CEO of People Tactics, and learn to establish a recruiting process that frees up your time, helps guarantee better hires, and achieves your business goals!

Short Break (15 min)

Breakout Session 2 - 11:00am to 12:00pm

5 Steps to Social Media Success

Many small business owners are overwhelmed with running their business, yet understand that social media is a key part of reaching their customers. Discuss who you are trying to reach, where you should be online, what and when you should post and how to measure success. Lisa Karl, Founder of Savvy Digital Media will look at the latest numbers from Pew Research, Nielson and others and uncover what the numbers mean, what should be measured and what goals are realistic. You’ll also learn best practices for posts on various platforms, plus the tools you can use every day to create engaging social content.

Using Financial Statements to Make Great Decisions for Your Business

Financial statements are a critical part of running and growing a small business. They give you key information about how your business doing. They can also be critical when you're seeking funding or financing to grow. Unfortunately many small business owners are not clear how to read and interpret the information in their financial statements. Join tax accountant, Krystal McCants, as she helps you understand how to draw helpful information from your own financials that can help you make the best decisions to grow your company. Whether you're deciding whether to invest in new equipment, hire employees, take on a new product line or negotiating with a supplier for better payment terms, your financial statements can hold the key to deciding to move forward or wait.

Surrounding Yourself with Top Advisors to Grow Your Business

An advisory board, or hand-selected community of advisors, is an essential tool and strategy for moving a business to the next level. Advisors provide experience, connections, resources, and accountability that businesses and CEOs otherwise don't have. However, most businesses don't know how to properly select the right advisors or how to manage their advisors to get the most out of their expertise. Join Marissa Lavin, , and explore how you can select the right advisors to help take your business to the next level. Discuss advisor compensation best practices, look at how to integrate advisors into your company and how to best leverage your advisors to get the most benefit for your business.

Lunch Keynote - 12:15pm to 1:45pm

Plated Lunch

Sponsored by: Access National Bank

Keynote: “How the New Era of Computing Will Change Every Business... and What to Do About It”

Established companies are being disrupted faster than ever before. According to The Academy for Corporate Entrepreneurship, 75% of the S&P 500 will be replaced by 2027. Whether a large business, small business or a start-up, the pace of business is faster than ever before and an abundance of new technologies are fundamentally impacting the way we deliver our goods and services, creating new forms of competition, and changing the way we retain and interact with customers. How will you keep up? We are entering a new computing era. This technology is as radically different from the programmable systems that have been produced by the IT industry for half a century. Commonly referred to as Artificial Intelligence, this new generation of technology and the cognitive systems it helps power will soon touch every facet of work and life – with the potential to radically transform them for the better. This is because these systems can ingest and understand all forms of data, which is being produced at an unprecedented rate. Cognitive systems like IBM’s Watson can reason over this data, forming hypotheses and judgments. Most importantly, these systems are not simply programmed, they learn – from their own experiences, their interactions with humans and the outcomes of their judgments. This keynote session will explore Cognitive Computing, its business impact and new opportunities being enabled from it. Attendees will learn about the next era of computing and the resulting opportunities for large business, small business and start-ups.

Sponsored by:

Short Break (15 min)

Breakout Session 3 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm

How to Think (and Act) Like a CEO (panel)

Transitioning from being a small business owner to being a Chief Executive Officer, or CEO, can be a real challenge for many entrepreneurs. A true CEO does much more than just manage the business so it can serve customers every day. The CEO function is to make sure the company can serve customers day after day, year after year. The CEO must think much more about the strategic growth of the company. That requires longer term thinking, time to focus on where the business it is now and where it needs to go in the future to remain viable and profitable. How do you make the transition from 'general manager' to CEO to keep your company growing? This panel of experienced small company CEOs will discuss their journeys, pitfalls to avoid and how to adopt a CEO mindset to lead your company into the future. Panel to be announced.

Financing Options to Fuel Your Business Growth (panel)

Don’t be afraid of financing your company’s growth. Most companies use credit lines and/or loans to propel their business forward. Come to this session and learn the differences so that you can make smart choices. In this session you will better understand the differences between a variety of options like Credit Lines, SBA Loans, 504 Loans, Veterans Loans, USDA Loans, Bridge Loans, Term Loans, Fixed Loans and more. Experts will help you understand the distinctions, when each form is best, who qualifies, and where you can get them. Come away with valuable information so you can have a productive discussion with a bank or financial institution about to help your business grow and prosper. Panel to be announced.

Franchising as a Business Model for Growth

Franchises receive nearly half of the dollars earned by all retail and service businesses in the US, though only 10-12% of all businesses are franchised. Join Rita Huggins-Halstead, a Franchise Specialist with FranNet, to learn how franchisors evaluate market opportunities, how to systematize core processes, 5 franchise industry trends EVERY prospective business owner should consider, when a franchise makes sense, and when it doesn’t. Independent businesses will learn how franchises think about systems and their industries/markets. Potential entrepreneurs considering going into business as a franchisee will learn about options, the most dynamic industries, and factors to consider when evaluating a franchise.

Short Break (15 min)

Breakout Session 4 - 3:15pm to 4:15pm

Successful Sales Strategies

Sales is the life blood of any small business. This session will delve into practical ways to set up a steady flow of potential customers and how to make sure customers actually buy. Developing and managing a selling 'pipeline' for your company requires focus and thought. Determining how you want to approach customers and prospects to ensure you can consistently drive revenue month over month. There are many styles of selling and many different processes and tools that go into a good sales system. In this dynamic session Tina Fox, of The Fox Paradigm, will help you learn to prioritize this critical aspect of growing your business to make sure your sales efforts are effective and right for your particular company. She will share concepts, processes and tools that can help you ensure your small business continues to keep that pipeline full and the revenue flowing.

Simple Tips and Techniques to Manage Cash Flow

Cash flow is absolutely critical to successfully running and growing a small business. You may show a profit at the end of the year but if you can't manage your cash those profits are meaningless. There are many stories of small businesses that were profitable on paper but ended up in bankruptcy because the way cash came into the company didn't line up with the cash that went out. If you can't manage your cash flow well you will probably have difficulty making the investments needed to compete, or you may have to pay more to borrow money to just keep the doors open. In this session Clint Thomas, CPA and Partner at Updegrove, Combs and McDaniel PLC, will discuss ways you can start to get control of your own business cash flow and keep it on the positive side of the ledger.

Strategies to Expand Your Business

There are many ways to grow your business and many potential strategies that could work for your business. Join our lunch keynote speaker, Craig Rhinehart, for an exploration of different methods successful business have used and how to evaluate whether they could work for your business too.

Resource Reception - 4:30pm to 6:00pm

End the day by networking with speakers and other attendees. Visit 30 small businesses resource organizations ready to help you run and grow your company more successfully and profitably. End the day by networking with speakers and other attendees. Visit 30 small businesses resource organizations ready to help you run and grow your company more successfully and profitably.
Hors d’oeuvres provided - Open bar available