It’s National Small Business Week, the best time to chow down at your favorite local diner, splurge on a necklace at the nearby boutique, or hang out in the hidden record store across town. It’s also time for small business owners to think about what their business needs to make it to the next National Small Business Week.
Small businesses often face many of the same challenges as nonprofits: understaffing, limited resources, or time constraints. But both nonprofits and small businesses serve as critical building blocks of healthy communities, so we need them to not just survive, but thrive!
Can small businesses benefit from skilled volunteers like nonprofits?
Absolutely! At Taproot, we know how powerful skilled volunteers can be for nonprofits navigating roadblocks and hurdles—even one phone call with an expert can have a major impact. That’s why we made a popular service available to small businesses like yours: Sessions.
What are Sessions?
Sessions are 60-minute conversations with business experts to help troubleshoot, brainstorm, or suggest solutions for your marketing, HR, technology, strategy, or finance issues. Your volunteer(s) provide free, high-quality consultations to help you tackle your business concerns, such as how to revamp your finance system, grow your email list, hire your first employee, or more.
Connecting with skilled volunteers is easy:
- Create an account on Taproot Plus
- Submit a Session request
- A Taproot employee (yes, a real person!) reviews your request, contacts you with any questions or suggestions, and publishes the request
- Qualified volunteers browse open listings like yours
- An interested volunteer applies and suggests times to hold the call
- You review their statement of interest and their LinkedIn profile or resume
- Then, you decide if you want to connect with the volunteer
You can recruit more than one volunteer
After confirming a Session with a Taproot volunteer, you can keep recruiting professionals to consult with you, even on the same topic.
- This is a great option if you want feedback from multiple experts.
- You can talk with up to 5 volunteers for each Session request.
- It’s important to note that these are still one-on-one calls, but you can get advice from multiple volunteers on the same topic.
What can I really accomplish in a 60-minute conversation?
Don’t underestimate the value of a one hour with a business expert! The average hourly value for a skilled volunteer’s time is $195. Some ideas for a productive Session include:
- Connect with a strategy expert on how you can modify your business model to be more flexible in times of flux.
- Brainstorm creative, fresh strategies to engage your customers on social media with a marketing pro.
- Explore different types of e-commerce platforms for your website with a web developer.
- Share the technology issues you’re experiencing with an IT expert.
- Discuss how to notify your customer base about your business’s re-opening plans with a communications professional.
- Talk with an HR professional about creating an employee handbook.
Here are some additional Session ideas – our volunteers are ready to take on your pressing business concerns.