Several months ago, I started offering what I called “Open Office Hours” to give free advice on blogging and social media. After posting about my hours on Facebook, I would sit each Saturday morning at Downtown Credo and see who walked in. Each time I’ve had wonderful people hungry for help, eager to advance themselves and their online presence. The sense of satisfaction I got from being able to help others was amazing.
What was even more surprising, though, is the number of other people who said, “I think I’ll do some office hours, too.” David Laietta of Orange Blossom Media did a whole week of open office hours, offering free WordPress advice to those wanting to create a website. Chef Dennis Littley and Carolyn Capern and Greg Trujillo of CT-Social all offered open office hours on using Google Plus. Slowly even more people started offering their time and expertise, too. So it got me thinking… how cool would it be if we had a whole network of experts offering open office hours? Just think what an incredible resource that would be for Central Floridians!
How many people out there just need a little advice, a little nudge, or a little direction or guidance? Imagine if there were a network of bloggers, social media pros, financial advisors, attorneys, and the like, all offering a little bit of their time and expertise for free! Just think of the number of entrepreneurs and future small business owners that don’t ever get started because they don’t have the resources to figure out how to… yes, there is the National Entrepreneur Center and other organizations, but somehow they are a bit overwhelming and stuck in one centralized place – our network of experts could be spread out over the entire Central Florida area!
So, my ultimate solution would be an “Open Office Hours” app with a whole network of experts from differing fields donating their time. It would be quick and easy to reserve time and get the info needed. Those who receive help could rate the experts, therefore it would become self-regulating as to the quality of advice given.
It takes a village to support budding entrepreneurship, and I am more than happy to play my part! Join me?
And, yes, I do still offer Open Office Hours on most Saturdays between 9 am and 11 am at Downtown Credo in College Park. Tweet me at @Bess_Auer to make sure I am in town before heading there though!
This post was written by GottaGetBlogging founder Bess Auer as part of Orlando’s BIG Exchange and the Global Entrepreneur Week. Be sure to check out all the events happening! And if you have an idea that would benefit Central Florida, let them know at the BIG Exchange!