The Genesis of SOHO Victoria

33570_441080007930_370566977930_5328463_7866830_nA number of people asked where I came up with idea for SOHO Victoria, so I thought that would be a logical place to start with the first SOHO blog post.

Most people know me for running bWEST Communications. Many also know me for co-founding and producing Social Media Camp. I enjoy the challenge and the thrill of creating something new, especially when it brings value to people.

Power Team

About six years ago, as part of my overall  business growth strategy, I joined a networking group that meets on a weekly basis to share referrals and help each other with business. One aspect of the group is “Power Teams”. As a company that provides services to other companies I belong to the “B-B” Power Team which is comprised of  business-to-business companies. This particular Power Team includes a bookkeeper, corporate lawyer, accountant, IT specialist, insurance specialist, and a few other professionals. The wisdom and experience in the group is pretty amazing.

We meet once a month and share business challenges, ideas and news and to help each other.  I’ve known the members for about 5-6 years and many of us provide professional services to each other. The value I get from these meetings, and our interactions between meetings, is immense and worth 1,000’s of dollars if I was to add it all up.

About six months ago I was sitting in our regular meeting when it hit me. I get so much value from this group in terms of business advice, ideas, prospects and introductions to other professionals I need to grow my business – I wonder how other small businesses survive without this sort of help. Or how much more efficient, profitable and successful they could be if they had access to this sort of network and knowledge?

originalGame On

I know how to produce conferences from my experience with Social Media Camp. And, as a small business owner, I’m only too familiar with the challenges we all face. So I thought, why not design a conference for small businesses here in Victoria. I kicked the idea around with my Power Team and a few other colleagues and got positive feedback from everyone. Once I made the decision to go for it the rest was pretty much putting one foot in front of the other.

The essence is this. SOHO business owners (retailer, cafe owner, plumber, realtor, bookkeeper, freelancer, marketing firm, artisan, photographer, etc)  are great at what they do, but generally not so great at the 20-30 other tasks (taxes, hiring, sales, marketing, insurance, financing, legal, etc) that are essential to a productive and profitable business.  Lucky for me I know lots of pro’s that are not only experts in their fields, they’re also world-class speakers, panelists and workshop leaders.

SOHO Victoria is designed to help business owners:

  • get help with their business challenges 
  • find quality, reputable professional service providers
  • network with likeminded peers and make valuable connections 

Or, if you are simply thinking of starting your first business we’ll have a panel covering that as well as professionals who can help you get started.  

I hope you will join us. If you have any questions or ideas for how we can make SOHO better for you, please leave your comment below. 

Chris Burdge

Chris BurdgeChris is the Founder of SOHO Victoria as well as the Co-founder of Social Media Camp and President of bWEST Communications Inc. 

When he’s not creating new conferences or helping companies develop digital marketing strategies, Chris can be found paddling (the stand-up variety) on one of the many lakes and harbours on Vancouver Island.


One response to “The Genesis of SOHO Victoria”

  1. Sue Maitland says:

    Thanks for sharing how the SOHO Victoria Conference concept came about Chis. I too find tremendous value sharing ideas and brainstorming with other entrepreneurs about how to grow my business and better serve my clients. Really honoured to be part of this event. I know it’s going to be jam packed with great speakers and I’m sure participants will come away energized and motivated to put what they’ve learnt into practice in their small business.

    Sue Maitland
    Life & Career Transitions Coach

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