Breakfast: Navigating the changing landscape of social media and other marketing methods for local business – What’s changed, what hasn’t and does it even matter? (Tue, April 09, 2019)

Julie Niehoff will leave you with simple, manageable steps you can take right now to get more out of your own marketing without having to change the way you do everything and without having to spend a lot of money. This session will include time for Q&A with a focused discussion on whatever topics our participants bring into the mix.

2 for 2 Member Showcase features Blain Haig from Gold Standard Floor Care.

Free for AIBA members and prospective members. Thank you to Texas Coffee Traders for fabulous coffee and Tacodeli for delicious breakfast tacos to start our day off right! 

Julie Niehoff is an executive marketing coach, helping small businesses and nonprofit organizations tel their story and find their stride. She also helps big brands like Facebook, Microsoft and UPA better understand, reach and teach small organizations. She serves as Chief Marketing Officer for Austin-based Distance Learning Media and founded a popular event series called Local Biz Camps in 2016

Niehoff has more than 20 years in technology marketing and her background is largely focused on education and training. One of her most recent projects was to build the new AIBA website, IBuyAustin.com. Her speaking style is informal, non-technical and practical.



Source: Events

AIBA & SOS Alliance Spring Cruise (Wed, March 27, 2019)

Come have a fabulous time on one of Austin’s most beautiful treasures with a cruise on the lake. Capital Cruises takes us on their double decker for a cruise with food, friends, music and drink. And it’s all free! This cruise is dedicated to growing two great organizations—AIBA and SOS Alliance. So bring your friends and colleagues to support these important organizations through joining us. Free for members and prospective members of AIBA or SOS Alliance. We’ll have great pizza from Conans Pizza, a Special Dillo Drink with Tito’s Vodka as well as other selections to wet your whistle.

The boat opens at 5:30 and we leave the dock at 6 sharp. Parking is available in the Hyatt parking garage for $6.00 for the first four hours and $13 for 4-7 hours. Valet parking is available at the Hyatt for $15.00. Some street parking is available.


Source: Events

Breakfast: What Cheese Can Tell us About Austin Business (Tue, March 05, 2019)

The success stories of Austin businesses inspire us to greater and more enjoyable success ourselves.  This year, we’re highlighting newer and younger businesses at our AIBA breakfast meetings.  What energy they add to our town!

Antonelli’s Cheese Shop is a perfect example of younger people starting a business that really adds to Austin culture.  Kendall Antonelli writes, “Two years after John Antonelli announced on our honeymoon that he wanted to quit his job and “do something in cheese,” we unlocked the front door to our very own cheese shop on February 11, 2010.

We’ve been asked many times since, “Why a Cheese Shop?” and the answer is simple. After putting ourselves through cheese bootcamps, running a cheese club out of our house, attending cheese conferences, interning for French affineur Herve Mons, journeying through Europe, and eating our way through thousands of tasty cheese morsels, we honed in on our true passions. Then, over a bottle of wine one evening, we realized that working together behind a cheese case would allow us to fulfill them all: eat great cheese, share the stories of artisanal producers, and spread joy through good bites. Ignoring all evidence of a down economy we went for it, determined to be led by our mission: Do Good. Eat Good.

Today, we have our flagship brick-and-mortar cheese shop in Hyde Park, a cheese house where we host 200+ public classes and private events yearly, a wholesale program sourcing for over 150 Central Texas chefs, and an e-commerce site selling and shipping nationwide our monthly cheese club, gifts, and cheese trays.

We’ve been grateful to receive numerous accolades, including Best Cheese Shops in America (Travel + Leisure Mag), Best Food Shop (Austin Chronicle, Austin Monthly), and Local Heros (Edible Austin). But even those accolades couldn’t keep us from opening – and closing – our second location in downtown Austin in 2018. We’ve had some major wins, some heartbreaks, and lots of lessons learned.”

Come enjoy cheeses and a stimulating talk and discussion with John and Kendall Antonelli! Free for AIBA members and prospective members. Thank you to Texas Coffee Traders for fabulous coffee and Tacodeli for delicious breakfast tacos to start our day off right! 


Source: Events

7 Ways to Stay Productive Over the Holidays!

7 Ways to Stay Productive Over the Holidays!

Ah, the Holidays. Costumes, pumpkins, and candy. Turkey, ham, and hayrides. Trees, presents, and family. A wonderful time of year.  But for the entrepreneur or business owner, it’s a time when it’s easy to get sidetracked and forget that a startup never rests.  So by all means, have some fun, relax, enjoy yourself. But also find some ways to stay productive, and try not to lose momentum for your business.

1)      Don’t Make Resolutions, Make Plans.  This is a great time to reevaluate your business and your strategy. Evaluate where you are, and where you want to be, and work on any necessary course corrections while it’s quiet and there’s no one around to bug you. There’s never enough time for strategic planning, so use any lull during this time of year for this vital, but often neglected, activity.

2)      Use Holiday Parties as a Networking Opportunity.  This is the time of year for parties. Yay, parties! So go, enjoy without guilt, and spend some time meeting new people and making new connections for your business. People are in a good mood, spirits are high, and this can be a great time to build some new relationships. But watch out for that killer eggnog. It really sneaks up on you!

3)      Host an Open House or Party. Want a chance to show off your digs, or otherwise bring people up to date on what you’ve been up to, and get a little PR for your company? Host a party! It’s a great time of year to get people to come and enjoy a libation or snack, and learn about your company at the same time. But a word of caution here – check the calendars very carefully to make sure you’re not scheduling your event at the same time as 15 other hot-ticket parties. If it’s a Facebook party or your little shindig, Facebook probably wins (nothing personal).

4)      Get Organized and Catch up on Your Emails. If business is a little slow, and no one’s around to meet with, great! Spend some time getting to “inbox zero,” and following up on all those little tasks you’ve let slip by. Clean off your desk! Purge old files! Throw out the dead plants! Whatever you’ve been neglecting, now’s a good time to get it done and start the new year with a fresh slate.

5)      Catch up on Your Reading. Have a pile of magazines you haven’t read? A long list of bookmarked articles you haven’t had time to get to? 50 Pinterest boards you’ve been meaning to check out? 150 YouTube videos you’ve been meaning to watch? Got a stack of business books you really wanted to read, but just haven’t had time? Put your feet up and spend some time catching up on all of it. Maybe you’ll learn something that will help you improve your business or your life. You never know!

6)      Take a Day Off.  As a startup, entrepreneur, or small business owner, it’s likely you don’t take much time for yourself. Constant sleep deprivation and packed schedules can take a toll on your overall productivity and satisfaction with your business.  If you need a break, now’s a good time to take it. Maybe just an extra day here or there, maybe just a long weekend or two, or maybe just starting later in the day once or twice. Catching up on your rest, seeing a movie, seeing your family, spending time with friends, all of these can improve your overall outlook and health, and help you to return to full productivity on your return. If you can do it, maybe take a whole week off and head out of town. It’s amazing how refreshing a real vacation can be. But at this stage, that might be asking a lot. A long weekend, properly spent, can be pretty darned refreshing.

7)      Keep an Eye Out for Bargains. Everything goes on sale this time of year, from office furniture to professional services, as folks try to end the year on a positive note. If you’re in the market for anything that might go on sale, spend a little time bargain hunting. You may save some cash, and gain the feeling of accomplishment that comes with getting a good deal. That being said, I’d still stay out of the stores on “Black Friday.” That level of shopping stress can negate the restful benefits of a whole month of long weekends.

We hope you find these tips helpful. I’m sure you have a few we haven’t thought of, so be sure to add them in the comments!

Conflict to Conversation to Calm: Managing Conflict Step by Step (Wed, October 24, 2018)

This is the fourth event in a four-part series: Conflict to Conversation to Calm: How to Part in Peace, Not Pieces. 
Managing Conflict Step by Step is a panel discussion.

Our panelists bring a reasoned step by step approach:

Holly AcostaKazdon, Inc., informs us about effective HR policies and how to create them

Kris Donley, Dispute resolution Center, provides successful language you can use.

Jetta Todaro, Jetta Todaro Mediation, outlines when to call for help and gives us resources to contact

David LautersteinLauterstein Conway Massage School, leads us in healing after conflict.

We’ll enjoy a delicious Speciality Taco Dinner Buffet. If your dietary needs do not include tacos, please contact Dixie Patrick. AIBA events are open to members and prospective members.

Get a FREE Lunch! If you aren’t yet an AIBA member, become a member of AIBA at this event and lunch is on us! If you are an AIBA member, bring a colleague who isn’t yet a member. When they join AIBA at the event, we’ll cover both your lunch and theirs!


Source: Events