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Welcome, Fellow Floridians!

We are fortunate that so many talented business leaders, like you, have chosen to establish and grow their businesses in our great state. Diversifying our economy is necessary for long-term prosperity, but it is also vital that our small businesses continue to grow, prosper and remain in Florida. That is why I have partnered with the Jim Moran Institute to put together the 2012 Small Business Leadership Forum.

This Forum will provide you access to resources and information that will positively impact your bottom line. Take a minute and look around this site to discover the different speakers and panels that will be featured and how you can connect with us via social media before the event.

Florida is an excellent place to own and operate a business. While we continue to see positive trends in business and employment growth, I know our state can do more to assist small businesses already established in our state.

--Jeff Atwater

Panel Information

Small Business and Florida’s Economy

Learn from the experts about economic events and issues that will help your business stay ahead in Florida’s marketplace. Review the major economic trends that will affect your bottom line with top economists in our state.

Universities and the Business Community

Join representatives from universities across the state and discover how they are leveraging their resources to promote a thriving economic environment, and what that means for your business.

Growing Your Small Business

These panelists will provide small businesses with advice on how to finance their ventures to expand and grow. Representatives from the private sector can discuss strategies for small businesses to secure loans from private institutions. Officials from the federal and state government will review what programs are available to acquire capital.

Breakout Sessions

Track 1: Selling Your Product

This session will present best practices for small business owners selling their products or services. This training will provide the small business owner with an understanding of “Best in Breed” selling concepts, including SPIN questioning techniques and strategic account management concepts.

Track 2: Managing and Protecting Your Brand

This session will focus on all aspects of brand management. For small businesses, word-of-mouth business is vital, and the reputation of the business is critical to success. From communicating the benefits of a new product or service to focusing on the key messages to diffuse a crisis, this session will cover all aspects of brand management. Additionally, this session will introduce creative approaches to winning customers and capturing markets, with a particular focus on branding and reputation management through emerging technologies and social media.

Track 3: People Matters and Small Business Legal Issues

This session will focus on practical advice for small business owners when dealing with employees. Topics will include the practical and legal information needed to handle the employee problems facing small businesses and how to create policies and procedures that will reduce the number and degree of future problems. Additionally, this session will cover the most common legal issues faced by small business owners, introduce strategies positioned to mitigate the impact of those issues on the functioning of the business, and present legal resources available to small business owners. Other legal topics covered will include forms of intellectual property protection.

Track 4: Dashboard Management and Cutting Costs

This session will introduce participants to the fundamentals of supply chain management for small businesses, with a particular focus on cost control and supplier management. The session will also cover how to manage and reduce costs by implementing supply chain management best practices, and how to establish, measure, and monitor key metrics.

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