Or, more specifically, what does your business need? If you’re like the majority of small business owners we’ve spoken with, then the answer is quite simply “more customers.” Solving that problem, however, isn’t so simple. It’s an ongoing challenge, evolving with the economy, markets and even technology. Once you think you’ve figured out how to reach potential customers in one channel—another one pops up. Think you’ve mastered Web marketing? Well, now you have mobile and social media…and more.
It’s an exciting challenge, though—one for which we at American Express OPEN continue to seek new solutions. And it’s with that in mind that we are working with General Assembly to bring together some of the brightest digital minds for a weekend of collaboration and a little competition. We’re holding the first-ever OPEN “Hackathon”, Nov. 5 and 6, at the General Assembly campus in New York City with the goal of developing solutions to some common small business problems.
And that’s where you can help. We want to hear what your most pressing issues are. Is it marketing to new customers? Maintaining relationships with existing one? Managing cash flow? Add your comment below. The responses will then be integrated into the challenges posed to the teams.
We’re calling this event “Reinventing Local,” because while technology has broken down many global barriers, there’s still much more that can be done to help small, local businesses attract more customers. So we’re hoping that by bringing together these designers, developers and tech entrepreneurs, we’ll come away with great ideas and maybe even the beginnings of new products.
I’m excited to see what comes from our Hackathon—and from this new relationship with General Assembly. For those not familiar with them, General Assembly is a New York-based community providing support, infrastructure and education for aspiring entrepreneurs to start and succeed in new ventures. Given their mission, this collaboration makes a lot of sense to us, and I look forward to doing more with them. In fact, during the Hackathon weekend, we’re also kicking off the first in a series of educational events and mentorship programs for local startups.
At OPEN, our mission is to help small businesses do more business. Working with General Assembly and other startups like them (including Veri, as we had recently announced with our Crash Courses) helps us open up more opportunities to tap innovative thinking toward creating real solutions. And, given the problems small business owners face, more ideas are always welcome.
So, if you have a specific business problem or even ideas of your own, share them below. Let’s see if working together, we can Reinvent Local.