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In a complex world we have increasing specialization, and it can be hard for any one person to have all the knowledge or discipline required to meaningfully engage with their work and get everything accomplished. At the same time, handling all aspects of the business (e.g. marketing, accounting, technology) there is an increasing need for a strong web presence with the right technical infrastructure.
Smaller organizations have limited resources to outsource work and limited information to inform their decisions about who to hire and how to proceed. The success of a small business can depend on what you might call "training issues" around the various business aspects that seemingly fall outside the core focus of the organization. This is especially true for creative businesses that focus on what they create, but they must also focus on the business aspects of their projects.
Creatives Meet Business in Austin
Creatives Meet Business is an Austin community effort, founded by Ashland Viscosi and built to address the business information needs of Austin creative business owners. The website describes CMB as "a community for creatives of all walks to come together and learn from the business world so that they can have sustainability in their careers."
The website goes on to explain that "we’re an event and podcast series that helps empower Austin’s creative sector by connecting them with the various businesses who support them. At each event, we gather six professionals from a highlighted field for six roundtable discussions to share principles and practices from their industry."
Polycot Associates and CMB Collaborate
Polycot Associates first connected with the Creatives Meet Business (CMB) community last October when I joined the organization's Website Edition event. I was on board as a web professional invited to host roundtable discussions with six groups related to content management platforms.
The talks were recorded and edited into a podcast
Polycot is a worker co-operative focused on web development, but we each member has deep roots in a range of creative endeavors. We love to work with other creative business owners.
Mentoring Creative Business Owners
I had a great time hanging out with the CMB community, presenting my perspective on the website platform universe. If you listen to the podcast, you'll note that I was talking pretty fast due to the time limit for each of the six talks - and covering a lot of ground. That's a great way to stay sharp about your subject. While helping others through a soft but effective mentoring process, I had the opportunity to refresh myself too.
The creative business owners who heard my presentation found it useful. Platform selection is hard for novice or non-technical users. It is even more difficult because there is so much unfiltered, subjective information on the web about the available content management systems and their relative strengths. It's helpful to have someone with experience talk one-on-one in a highly interactive setting. Plus, I learned so much from the questions and feedback in the sessions. Win-win!
Another Event This Month
Coming up September 14-16, CMB is hosting the Creatives Meet Business Experience . It is a conference with highly interactive workshops in a three-day learning experience for creative business owners.
Polycot Associates will be onboard again for this conference. Three of us member-owners will be answering questions and providing website reviews from 11:00am to 2:00pm on September 14th. We look forward to another opportunity to reach, mentor and learn in a context that supports the flourishing of local creativity.