2023 Small Business Leadership Conference: Day Two Recap

Lauren Sparling

To start off the second day of the Small Business Leadership Conference, attendees grabbed breakfast and sat down for a Morning Motivation session with Tania Bartolini. Tania is a seasoned workshop leader and her session encouraged business owners to  “find your why” and set goals for success.

Tania has previously led workshops at the Small Business Leadership Conference and says, “Every year the conference gets better and better. They have amazing speakers and information that helps businesses. I highly recommend it to anyone in business, who wants to own a business, or that has anything to do with business because it really opens your eyes to different aspects and gives you a lot of perspectives on things that are important, easy to use, and can help you strive.”

Jay Owen, founder of marketing agency Business Builders, followed up after Tania with a keynote session on Building a Business That Lasts. Jay uses his knowledge from his 20+ years as an entrepreneur to develop his ‘12 Keys’ of business which he shared during his session.

Following the opening speakers, attendees were able to attend workshop sessions on a variety of topics including financial statements, continuity plans, and customer-centric brands. Lauren Little, Program Associate for the Jim Moran Institute in Jacksonville, discussed the Business Model Canvas, a tool you can apply to develop solutions for any business obstacle you might face.

For the keynote luncheon, Prediq CEO, Alex Oliveira, spoke about using new technologies in his session, ChatGPT and AI: The Next Small Business Marketing Revolution. Alex used this time to demonstrate various AI tools that are available and explained how they can be utilized by business owners. Addressing the hesitation that some entrepreneurs face when it comes to using AI, Alex says “Those who don't want to adapt and adopt these tools won't be around….I think that they’re going to be at a disadvantage because they could bring more to their clients and employees by using these resources.”

Attendees finished up their lunch and took a networking break where they were able to make connections with other small business owners before continuing onto the rest of the conference.

Next, was the third round of workshops for the day which included a followup session with Alex Oliveira about ChatGPT, as well as sessions on sales infrastructure, leadership development, capability statements, and exit strategies.

Eight contestants were chosen to enter the semifinal round of the pitch competition after the day’s workshop sessions were over. Six finalists from the competition moved on to the final round, which will take place Wednesday morning after breakfast to once again present their pitches and determine the winners.

Day 2 of the conference ended with a reception of charcuterie and sushi and gave an opportunity for attendees to mingle and reflect on their experiences before their final day on Wednesday.