CHICAGO, Illinois –  The first Quickbooks Connect Chicago conference brought together over 300 Chicago small businesses, developers, and accountants for a day of expert advice, how-to sessions, and networking with fellow small business owners.

Guests arrived at The Geraghty Chicago and were given the VIP treatment from start to finish with a well organized and helpful group of Intuit employees available to answer questions and provide interactive product demos on QuickBooks, merchant services (credit card processing), and OWN ITQBconnect-ownit|QUICKBOOKS CONNECT CONFERENCE OFFERS VIP HOSPITALITY AND ADVICE TO CHICAGO SMALL BUSINESSES|ko-kidz (a trusted community for small businesses to connect with peers, exchange ideas, and learn from each other and experts).

Additional partners on hand were the Women’s Business Development Center, Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Lyft (ride service), Square, and Big Commerce.

Keynote Speaker

QBconnect-bill-rancic|QUICKBOOKS CONNECT CONFERENCE OFFERS VIP HOSPITALITY AND ADVICE TO CHICAGO SMALL BUSINESSES|ko-kidzBill Rancic, Entrepreneur and original winner of The Apprentice was an inspiring keynote speaker and offered his advice to winning in business.

“There are three things you need to be a successful entrepreneur: practical execution, agility, and risk,” he stated.  He emphasized the importance to “adapt, react, and adjust” as your business evolves and added “risk can be converted to unbelievable success”.

Why are businesses unsuccessful?  Bill summarized three common traits in people that do not succeed, “They are reactive, limited by environment (surrounded by negative people), and lack the power of potential.”  The ‘power of potential’ was described as the ability to tap into a vision and push yourself to accomplish the unexpected or ‘impossible’.

How-to Sessions

Featured speakers for Chicago Small Businesses breakout sessions included:

Jewel Burks, Google marketing expert provided four easy steps to find customers online: 1) Be Online 2) Be Found 3) Be Mobile and 4) Be Creative.

Rhonda Abrams, USA Today columnist and small business adviser shared common issues for small businesses and do-it-now action items to set your business up for success which included advice (and a complimentary copy of her book Hire Your First Employee) on how to hire employees and the best places to ‘get found’.

Additional experts from QuickBooks and Square presented on how to most effectively manage your business finances by organizing your accounting, automating business processes and uncovering insights to improve your business.


All Chicago small businesses were offered the opportunity to enter to win an ad in the Super Bowl and bi-weekly cash prizes at!  Businesses can continue to enter through August 7th for the Super Bowl ad and November 3rd, 2015 for bi-weekly prizes.  The Top 10 finalists will be announced on September 2 and Final 3 on November 3 with the winner getting a commercial at the big game on February 7th, 2016!


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