SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — Over 70 businesses were at the Small Business Show in the Downtown Syracuse OnCenter on Oct. 16 to network and share ideas about how to build successful small companies.
Businesses have been networking annually at the Small Business Show for 21 years. But, not all the businesses have survived.
“You go back to 2000, and you look at all the exhibitors, half of them don’t exist anymore,” said event organizer Steve Becker. “Those companies either went out of business or merged or became another company.”
The companies that have made it have learned to adapt to what current needs are. Many of the tools small businesses use to advertise and connect with clients have changed.
“Technology has really affected how we do our business now,” said Becker. “I’m a one-person business, I work out of my house, that’s where my company is and I couldn’t do that without technology.”
One of the companies at the Small Business Show that has integrated digital technology is Karate John’s. The karate studio has everything from their own app to private Facebook groups for instructors and parents to share achievements.
Students at Karate John’s use the app to track their progress not only in karate, but also at home through things like making their bed or putting their shoes away. This encourages students to stay disciplined and consistent.
“Implementing push notifications, challenges on social media, like, if your child eats a new food group at Thanksgiving dinner, you get a star,” said Karate John’s founder John Annable.
The app, just like other social media, sends notifications and rewards students with in-app badges their peers can see. Those rewards send little hits of dopamine to the brain (similar to getting likes on Facebook and Instagram) that keeps students coming back, Annable said.
“We want the kids thinking of Karate John’s and our brand all the time, not just twice a week or three times a week,” said Annable.