Running any business can have its challenges, but for entrepreneurs, the obstacles and risks seem to be constant. Every day may present a problem you haven’t encountered before, and decisions need to be made—quickly—and often in areas outside of your expertise. There is incredible competition for funding, customers and product innovation, and yet you eagerly share your ideas, advice and experiences, not just with friends but also with other entrepreneurs. Why?
There may not be just one reason, but it was this realization that sparked an idea in 2007. We witnessed during live events the insights being shared by speakers and, perhaps more importantly, among the business owners in attendance, and we wondered how to build similar access for more entrepreneurs. Our answer was OPEN Forum.
In the six years since then, OPEN Forum has grown in both features and audience. We introduced experts to contribute advice and added social tools for connecting and sharing. And, we’ve shifted our topical coverage to reflect the changing needs of our members. We made these changes as part of our mission, which, simply put, is to help entrepreneurs and business owners succeed. We do this because at American Express OPEN, we know that as small businesses grow and succeed, they help move the economy forward.
Now we present our next iteration under a different look and a slightly altered brand. More than a redesign (though we’re pretty excited about that, too), OPEN Forum features a community where you can give and get advice. It’s where you can find, save and share insights from OPEN Forum—and from around the Web. And it’s a place for meeting fellow entrepreneurs and business owners, experts and other like-minded individuals. We recognized that building connections is still as important today as it was in 2007; it’s just how we do it that’s evolved.
OPEN Forum still has great experts, articles and videos; now, you’ll also see insights from entrepreneurs within the community. You’ll be able to seek the input you need, and share your own. You’ll also find an invitation to join. We hope you will.
And, once you’ve had a chance to try the advice-sharing features of OPEN Forum, I hope you’ll let me know what you think of them—and of the site overall—by emailing me at email@example.com. Your feedback and ideas will help us continue to build and improve OPEN Forum.
Photos from top: Getty Images, iStockphoto, openforum.com