The Small Business Owner in all of us

The Small Business Owner in all of us

(NAPS)-Build a community-and a business-around something you're passionate about. With the help of new online tools, people can gather around the things they're interested in, plus these tools make it easy to create a small business that facilitates collaborative learning and sharing in your area. The online platform called Eventbrite (www.eventbrite.com) is a website anybody can use to create events, from crafting or cooking classes, to Stella & Dot parties, to yoga lessons.
Here's How
You just follow three simple steps.
1. Start by going to the site to create a customized event webpage. Simple tools help you add logos and images; you can customize your page URL; and the platform generates a bar-coded ticket for each attendee. Because event pages are accessible anywhere, online or by mobile, it's quick and easy for people to buy tickets and register for your event. You can easily collect credit card payments online with the site's own credit card processor, PayPal, or Google Checkout.
2. Next, promote your event. Send e-mail updates and beautifully designed e-mail invitations to your contact lists, thanks to Eventbrite's partnership with Paperless Post. You can keep the event private or make it accessible via search engines and Eventbrite's event directory. It's also easy for you and your guests to post event details on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. The site even lets you track your attendance. You can view your ticket and registration sales and ramp up your promotional activity as needed.
3. Finally, manage check-in at your event. As responses start to pour in, the site automatically generates the guest list. Use the free Entry Manager app to check people in with your phone-either by name or by scanning the bar code on their tickets. If you want to continue selling tickets at the door, process additional purchases and collect customer information, Eventbrite At The Door, a free iPad app, creates a mobile box office.
Helpful Hints
Once you've got all that down, you can think about the event itself. Here are a few ideas:
* Gather additional information from your guests by adding customized questions to your event page. Hosts can collect suggestions for snacks, figure out what crafting supplies to purchase, or vote on a book to read together.
* Think through the "run of show." If you're going to need plates and napkins, extra garbage bags or folding chairs, having that set up ahead of time will help you focus on your guests during the event.
* Determine what you'll do about guests' parking or other transportation needs.
Learn More
Eventbrite is free to use for events that are free to attend. For events where the host collects money, there's a service fee of 2.5 percent of the ticket price plus 99 per ticket. The site also reduces its fees for 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations.
To learn more about how to turn your favorite hobby or skill into profit by getting people together in your community, visit www.eventbrite.com.


Photo credit: Tatsu Ikeda