Jump starting your own business is never an easy task from the get-go. It takes long hours—self promoting and taking out the latest ad in a paper to get your start-up noticed – which can be always difficult. One person who has mastered the ability to run a successful business is Jack Dorsey, co-founder of the social media network Twitter and CEO of mobile payments processor Square. Dorsey, 37, best believes there is a main way in which you can get your small business recognized in a jiffy: communication. Through the word of mouth and talking to several other small businesses and learning the ins and outs about their companies, well, is said to be bring those individuals together in efforts to create a healthy climate of collaboration among one another, to achieve long success for each brand. Dorsey will be sharing his business-savvy advice in Harlem at the renowned Apollo Theater as a part of the Square’s nationwide “Let Talk” series, which has already taken over big cities such as: Detroit, New Orleans and St. Louis, to name a few.
“There is an electricity in Harlem especially around merchants who helped to stabilize the neighborhood,” said Dorsey, who added he visited Red Rooster just a few months ago. “We believe it’s our responsibility to not just build services and software but to make sure there is a venue for conversations.”
“There is a real culture of mentorship and a great sharing of information,” Dorsey said.
That’s something that Seven Brown, owner of Harlem Skin Clinic, said she’d like to see more of in Harlem.
“Most small businesses don’t have the opportunity to get together to share information and work off one another,” said Brown who will sit on the panel along with the owners of Astor Row Cafe, Hue-Man Bookstore and the executive director of Maysles Institute.
One area where she could have used some advice when she launched her store two years ago was marketing, said Brown.
“I did not understand how important the reviews were,” said Brown. “I asked someone how they had heard of me and over and over it was Yelp.”
Erika Dilday, executive director of Maysles Institute, said Harlem businesses need one another.
“The only way to survive and to keep the Harlem we know is to be supportive of one another,” she said.
Maysles often participates in partnerships with other local businesses such as offering discounts at restaurants or cafes with the purchase of tickets for a movie or event.
Dorsey said small businesses help make up the “fabric of the neighborhood” but need to collect the right data to help understand how their business fits into the neighborhood and how to improve it.
“There’s also the importance of having a good sense of how your business is doing. Being comfortable reading sales reports, having a sense of how much you’re selling, what are your busiest days, and what happens when it rains are very important,” added Dorsey.