Small-business owners from throughout the world are set to gather in the Lake Geneva area this week to obtain ideas about growing their business and to interact with each other.
The Idea Collective Small Business Retreat is set to be held Nov. 10 through Nov. 12 at the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa, 7036 Geneva Way in the Town of Lyons.
The retreat will feature keynote speakers, workshops, brainstorming sessions, networking events and mentoring sessions.
Pat Miller, founder of the Idea Collective, said he expects about 150 small-business owners from throughout the world to attend the retreat.
“We have people flying in from Canada, Australia and the east coast, and they will meet up for a series of workshops, keynote speakers, networking, brainstorming sessions and informal connection times, so they can build their bonds and get to know each other better,” Miller said. “The retreat’s purpose if to remind small-business owners that running a small business is lonely and hard, and it’s better when we build it together. We don’t have to build it ourselves.”
People are also reading…
Miller of Wauwatosa said he started the Idea Collective in June 2020 as an online source for small-business owners to obtain resources and information, share ideas and network with each other during the pandemic.
About 60% of the members are Wisconsin business owners.
The Idea Collective website, www.ideacollectiveincubator.com, includes online webinars, workshops, accountability groups, brainstorming sessions and idea-sharing sessions.
Miller said the group gives small-business owners an opportunity to interact and encourage each other.
“There aren’t places for small business owners to connect with one another and help one another. They have a certain set of needs,” Miller said. “Fear and doubt is real among small-business owners. They also have inexperience where they have to do things they don’t know how to do, and it freezes them and holds them back. It’s also easy when you’re trying to start your small business to feel very isolated, like no one understands what you’re going through. So when you bring people together in an online community, you get after those problems.”
The first Idea Collective Small Business Retreat was held in November 2021 at the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa, with about 110 people attending.
Miller said he started the retreat to give the Idea Collective members an opportunity to meet with each other in person.
“The retreat is the in-person connection point for our online business community,” Miller said. “This is our one in-person event every year. It’s why everyone comes from all over to meet, get to know each other and plan their 2023 business goals.”
Miller said the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa has proven to be a good location for the event.
“They have been a great partner. It is a beautiful facility, very easy to work with, great food and a great team,” Miller said. “If the people who work there aren’t on board to make sure everything goes really well, it can be difficult. But their team has been great every moment for the past two years.”
Miller said the number of people starting their own business has grown during the past few years. He said there are about 27 million small-business owners in the United States.
“There are more small businesses now than ever,” Miller said. “So it’s a massive number of people who have decided to put it all on the line and try to start a business.”
Miller said he feels part of the reason for the increasing number of small businesses is because people became use to working at home during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Our perception of working from home and working remotely has unlocked people’s value system. We value our time and freedom more than we did prior to the pandemic,” Miller said. “If you can start a small business that can sustain your family’s goals, it is a great way to build time and freedom and build a future that can really work for you and your family. So I think it’s an attractive outcome to people who can make it work.”
Miller said some of the challenges that small-business are currently facing include inflation, supply chain issues, feelings of fear and doubt, and finding employees.
“Hiring is still not back to pre-pandemic activity,” he said.
Miller said he has enjoyed operating the Idea Collective during the past two years and helping people grow their business.
“It has been very rewarding and very exciting. I want every small-business owner to know that their smart enough and talented enough to succeed, and when we work together we can find success,” Miller said. “When you lead a group like this and you see people connecting with each other and knocking down their goals and doing things they weren’t sure were possible, as a leader it’s exciting because people are growing in a small-business scenario.”
For more information about the Idea Collective Small Business Retreat, visit www.smallbizretreat.com.
PHOTO GALLERY: Autumn leaves around Snake Road, Geneva Lake & more