One of the best parts about working at Shoeboxed is getting to know our customers – the hard-working, risk-taking, economy-building small business owners of the world. Your stories and experiences are so inspiring that we thought pretty much everyone could benefit from hearing them.

A sizable number of Shoeboxed users are businesses that are just starting out, and we thought it would be great to harness the accumulated knowledge of our more experienced entrepreneurs. So today, we want to hear from the experts: YOU! What’s the one piece of advice you wish you’d heard when you were starting your business?

Welcome to the first ever Small Business Real Talk contest! Simply submit the best piece of small business advice you’ve got, and our three expert judges will pick the overall winner. Then we’ll award one year of free Shoeboxed service to the person that submitted the winning piece of advice.

How to Enter

Head on over to the Small Business Real Talk page to submit your advice. No one can provide more helpful advice to a new small business owner than a successful one, so we hope you participate and support small businesses across America!

Meet the Judges

Melinda Emerson Shoeboxed Small Business Real TalkOur first judge is a small business expert with unmatched expertise in leveraging social media and online marketing for conversions and growth. Melinda Emerson, also known as her Twitter persona @SmallBizLady, is a seasoned entrepreneur, professional speaker and best-selling author whose mission is to end small business failure.


Steve Strauss Shoeboxed Small Business Real TalkHave you heard of The Small Business Bible? Then you’ll know our next judge: Steve Strauss! Steve is a renowned small business expert and columnist for USA Today. Highly sought after by companies and media outlets alike for his knowledge and advocacy of small business, Steve has also written 15 books.


Casey Steinbacher Shoeboxed Small Business Real TalkRounding out the panel is Casey Steinbacher, the President and CEO of the Durham Chamber of Commerce. Shoeboxed is lucky to be located in downtown Durham, N.C., home to one of the most progressive and innovative Chambers of Commerce in the country. Casey brings unparalleled practical experience in helping small businesses find the resources they need to succeed to the judging panel.


Shoot us an email at if you have any questions.

Stay Organized,

The Shoeboxed Team