Thanks for asking. Our Oregon Small Business Boost day (business plan software free for Oregonians) yesterday went even better than expected. I like this summary from our local newspaper, which tagged it as “frenzy” on its front page this morning.
And you can click here for our summary of it.
We distributed 16,200 cards through 85 locations. By the next morning, we’d had people logging in and registering their new software from more than 170 different cities and towns in Oregon.
When some locations ran out of cards, we got them more units, even though we’d run out of the formal preprinted cards. We made do. As far as we know, no adult Oregonian who went to one of those locations to get Business Plan Pro for free was turned down.
That was hard. One location had 80 people waiting when they opened the doors. Several locations ran out within the first hour or two.
Was it worth it? Well, just for the skeptics, this was not a light version, hoping for an upgrade. It was Business Plan Pro Premier, the more expensive of the two versions we have. And it was not an end-of-market version either; it’s our latest, and just in case anybody notices a later version within the next few months, if that were to happen, it would be upgradable for free.
So was it worth it? I’m big on planning, objectives, and metrics. Here are some values:
- We won’t know for a while how many people actually used the software to create new businesses or manage existing businesses better. That will be hard to track. We will be asking people for stories.
- We know for damned sure that we’ve already helped a bunch of people think about their businesses better. And we’re ready to bet that the massive distribution of business plan software is going to end up helping small business, in general, in Oregon. Which means job and economic improvement.
- Our 85 distribution spots were organizations trying to help business, not commercial businesses: either chambers of commerce, Small Business Development Centers, economic development agencies, town halls, or similar organizations trying to help people do business. None of them had commercial motives. Calling attention to those locations is a good thing. It did our hearts proud to see crowds outside the SBDCs, for example.
- We met a lot of cool people, doing good work, within those organizations. That makes us very happy.
So we’ll see. It will be fun to watch. If you’re one of those who got a copy yesterday, keep us posted, okay?