Welcome to The Small Business Show!

Each week Dave Hamilton and Shannon Jean discuss topics related to starting, growing and managing your small business. You’ll find real-world advice from ourselves as well as from other business owners. Listen in and learn from our mistakes, share your successes and generally have a good time talking about small businesses.

Listen to the latest episodes of The Small Business Show below and subscribe to keep listening each week.

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You can also leave us a voicemail message or send us a text at 401-472-4249. Ask a question, tell a story or make a comment that we can share on the show!

Enriching Your Life Beyond Profits With Your Small Business – Small Business Show 167

enrich your life beyond profits with your small businessWhat’s the secret to living a Charmed Life and using your Small Businesses as fuel to create it? Join us today on the Small Business Show to learn how Dave Hamilton and Shannon Jean have founded a multitude of Small Businesses over their lifetimes to bring them much more than profits.

We’ve mentioned the Charmed Life on our show many times, in fact, it’s usually a sign-off message at the end of each show, encouraging you to “Keep living that Charmed Life!” It’s such an important part of our experience that we thought it was time to dig deep into the details and explain just what we mean with that phrase and how you can join us on this awesome journey.

You’ll learn about creating a Success Cycle that keeps you moving forward, enriching your life along the way, how to create simple Working Agreements that not only keep things clear between prospective business partners, but act as a “test” when you are just at the beginning of a potential partnership. We then jump into a discussion about Freedom vs. Flexibility and why understanding the difference can, well, make all the difference in your perception of just what success is.

Join us today and you’ll also gain some valuable insight on our concept of creating your own reality and why being able to write your own story is a huge part of the Charmed Life experience. During the discussion, we also touch on the financial benefits of your Small Business and why we believe that making money is secondary and that you will ultimately build more wealth with this method.

We wrap up the show with a discussion about “selfishness” and why it’s a positive thing to enrich your own self so you can help others along the way.

You don’t want to miss this episode of the Small Business Show!  Listen in, then come join hundreds of other Small Business owners in the Small Business Support Group.


  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #167 for Wednesday, April 18, 2018
  • 00:02:31 You’re building a set of stairs
  • 00:03:35 Why do you want to do this?
  • 00:06:09 When setup right, success comes quickly
  • 00:07:26 The nuts and bolts of that Working Agreement
  • 00:09:29 The Success Cycle
  • 00:10:26 Living the Charmed Life
    • Freedom vs. Flexibility
  • 00:11:29 Tell your own story, create your own reality
  • 00:13:11 Time is our most precious commodity
  • 00:14:47 Don’t feel guilty about the charmed life!
  • 00:16:52 Flexible financial picture
  • 00:18:38 90% of my life is tax deductible
  • 00:20:00 Creating your second family
  • 00:21:30 Be selfish about making yourself feel good when helping others
  • 00:22:35 Book a trip for someone else
  • 00:23:52 And then book a trip for yourself
  • 00:25:17 Non-taxable income
  • 00:25:25 Enjoy laughter
    • “We have a great time working very hard”
  • 00:28:00 The money is secondary
  • 00:29:39 SBS 167

How Much Risk is Right for Your Small Business? Episode 166 of the Small Business Show

Is all business risk bad? Searching for “small business risk” online and you’ll find most articles and resources are focused on minimizing or avoiding risk. Listen in to today’s episode of the Small Business Show to hear why we believe that taking risks is part of the “secret sauce” of business success. Without risk, you’re no different than the person working in the cubicle who never starts their business in the first place.

Your hosts, Dave Hamilton and Shannon Jean have some strong ideas about risk and why you should be embracing it, turning risk into opportunity for your Small Business. During the show, you’ll hear about how taking risks can create an advantage over your competitors and how the anxiety associated with taking risks can fuel your motivation.

You’ll also learn about minimizing risks and how to use successes of any size to create a Success Cycle that will propel you to even more awesomeness.

Join us today on the Small Business Show for all this and much more. Then, visit our Support Group to join the conversation!


Setting Customer Expectations and Empowering Employees to Solve Problems – Small Business Show 165

managing customer expectationsEver been frustrated when you’re waiting for a service provider to show up or a product to arrive and they/it are late? Today we turn the tables and discuss this problem as it relates to your Small Business performance and the importance of setting, then meeting (ideally exceeding!) your customers expectations. It’s time for episode 165 of the Small Business Show!

Both Dave and Shannon have experiences they want to share with you about not having their expectations met when working with other businesses and how that impacted them, as well as the disruption is can cause at the company performing the work. The discussion focuses on how to set the customer expectation and how to manage communication during the process, so even if you can’t fulfill that expectation, your customers will still be happy.

We then jump into ways to insure that your customer feels valued and why breaking bad news early and transparently can earn you customer loyalty. Then it’s on to talk and tips about empowering your employees to solve problems without having to seek approval from you or their supervisor and why saying “Yes” more will bring on the customer love.

Listen in and then join the discussion on the Small Business Support Group!




  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #165 for Wednesday, April 4, 2018
  • 00:01:27 To-Do Lists
  • 00:03:43 Customer Services Tales
  • 00:04:48 Irving
  • 00:06:25 Set that expectation
  • 00:10:30 Then manage to that expectation
  • 00:13:36 Missed expectations are massively disruptive to everyone
  • 00:15:16 Own the communication of bad news
  • 00:16:10 Quote hours, not days
  • 00:17:45 Make the customer feel like they matter
  • 00:18:41 Communicate that value
  • 00:20:59 Why do these service companies fail at this over and over again?
  • 00:23:48 SPONSOR: Simple Contacts – Get $30 off at simplecontacts.com/sbs or enter SBS at checkout
  • 00:28:07 Apple
  • 00:32:28 We Screwed Up
  • 00:36:07 The Lesson is to find an empowered employee
  • 00:36:56 Empowerment Translates to Importance
  • 00:38:41 When you say “Yes” The Customer Loves You
  • 00:41:18 Shannon’s Contractor Sucked the joy out of the project
  • 00:42:04 The moral: set expectations, empower employees
  • 00:43:00 What would it take to change this?
  • 00:44:16 SBS 165 Outtro

Small Business Mediation Tips, Tricks and Advice from Dave Hamilton and Shannon Jean – Small Business Show 164

small business mediation tipsWhen there’s a disagreement with a customer, supplier or someone else, what is the best way to resolve the problem while keeping your Small Business running strong? Have you been sued or are you contemplating suing someone? Join us today on the Small Business Show where we discuss Alternative Dispute Resolution methods like Arbitration and Mediation.

If you are a party to a lawsuit, either plaintiff or defendant, chances are you’ll be pushed into mediation by a judge in an attempt to keep you out of court. Dave and Shannon have both been parties to mediation and as you can imagine, they have much to talk about when it comes to making the most out of your mediation experience.

Listen in to episode 164 of the Small Business Show to hear their stories and pickup some tips, including how to keep everyone’s ego out of the process, including your attorney’s, how to pick the right attorney to represent you, how the process works and why timing is so important for success.

After the show, keep the conversation going by joining us at the Small Business Support Group to share your mediation story, ask questions or comment on the show.


  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #164 for Wednesday, March 27, 2018
  • 00:01:09 Facebook Local
  • 00:02:00 Mediation vs. Arbitration
  • 00:05:03 Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • 00:07:18 Mediation brings a possibility that you can work things out
  • 00:09:27 The (painful) process
  • 00:10:41 Co-mingling the parties
  • 00:13:27 Picking the right attorney
  • 00:15:50 Finding an outcome that’s livable
  • 00:17:08 Avoid being intimidated
  • 00:20:59 SPONSOR: Visit TextExpander.com/podcast for 20% off your first year.
  • 00:23:24 SPONSOR: Visit JAMF.com/SBS to get your first 3 devices free for life!
  • 00:27:05 Mediation leads to a lesson
  • 00:32:19 The turning point
  • 00:35:24 Avoid awkward elevator conversation
  • 00:38:05 Avoiding the egos!
  • 00:38:52 Beware the attorneys (and their egos)
  • 00:41:01 Moving on is important
  • 00:44:26 Focus on the resolution
  • 00:46:07 Be aware of the lifespan
  • 00:46:34 Dave’s Valuable Negotiation Lesson
  • 00:48:42 SBS 164 Outtro

Small Business Interview with Caitlin Corkill of Paq-Source Packaging and Logistics – Small Business Show #163

If your business includes shipping products, having a strong relationship with a packaging and logistics company is critically important – In our experience, you can “leak” a tremendous amount of your cash out through your packaging and shipping costs.

To talk more about the importance of this topic, we’re thrilled to have Caitlin Corkill with us today. Caitlin is the founder of Paq-Source, a company that provides packaging and equipment, as well as logistics consulting to help you manage your shipping, packaging and warehousing. 

There’s a lot to learn on this episode, join us, then visit the Small Business Support Group to ask questions and share your own story.


  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #163 for Wednesday, March 21, 2018
  • 00:00:56 Caitlin CorkillPaq-Source
  • 00:02:01 Worked for a family friend and then time to leave.
  • 00:02:27 Eight months notice led to … not leaving!
  • 00:03:37 Finding an overlooked city
  • 00:04:10 Consolidating two offices
  • Finding reliability inside efficiency
  • 00:05:13 You learn so much about a business by being on a sales call
  • 00:06:04 Are you ever surprised?
  • 00:07:40 It’s like toner!
  • 00:08:33 The importance of customer referrals
  • 00:09:50 No Catalog, Just Solutions!
    • Avoid the bottom-feeders
  • 00:11:38 “We sell commodities but we are not to be commoditized!”
  • 00:12:50 Growing companies are our bread-and-butter
    • “The companies where we thrive are the companies that are growing.”
  • 00:13:35 What’s your sales/marketing process?
  • 00:15:11 “Making money is easy, making it worth something is the fun in running a business.”
  • 00:15:55 CARES = Customer Centric Adaptable Experts Solid.
  • 00:16:19 Ten Paq Commandments (h/t to Biggie Smalls)
  • 00:17:40 It’s a community you have, not just a business
  • 00:21:27 Process, Process, Process (Process!)
  • 00:24:40 Running between two cities
  • 00:25:23 SBS 163 Outtro

Search Engine Strategies for your Small Business – Small Business Show 162

What does it take for your Small Business to rank high on search engines when customers are looking for your products or services? Should you be allocating most of your ad budget to search, or are there better methods for your particular business to connect with customers? Join us on this episode of the Small Business Show for these topics and much more!

Don’t miss the episode where your co-host Shannon Jean admits: “I hate search, it makes me feel stupid.” Hear his story and either laugh at or commiserate with him as he shares his frustration about ranking high on page one of search results. You’ll also learn why he feels that search engines are just another marketplace, like eBay or Amazon, only focused on selling your business information and how that changed his focus and approach to success with search.

Dave Hamilton shares his story of battling scraper sites that market his own content, while blocking the original posts on search engines and how he is working to solve the problem.

We then spend time helping you to focus your SEO priorities to better achieve success with tips and tricks about using SEO companies, consultants and in-house talent to raise your rankings. We wrap up the show with advice about ignoring your competitors that you don’t want to miss.

Listen in to episode 162 of the Small Business Show and then join us at the Small Business Support Group to share your story and get your questions answered.



  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #162 for Wednesday, March 14, 2018
  • 00:01:17 SXSW Conference and Festivals
  • 00:03:22 Watch your intake
  • 00:04:51 Drunk words are sober thoughts
  • 00:06:29 Managing the party
  • 00:07:40 Building a Different Bond
  • 00:09:08 Near Me Searches on Small Business Show
  • 00:09:51 SEO and Keyword Optimization
  • 00:12:48 Value vs. Relevance
  • 00:13:34 SPONSOR: Visit TextExpander.com/podcast for 20% off your first year.
  • 00:16:48 Dave’s SEO Story with Duck Duck Go
  • 00:18:52 Bing and Yandex feed Duck Duck Go
  • 00:20:20 Scraper sites are the worst!
  • 00:21:56 Your site has a block on it
  • 00:23:28 DMCA Requests to the scrapers
  • 00:24:45 Defining your SEO priorities
  • 00:26:31 Is SEO the best method for you to connect with your customer?
  • 00:27:52 Bring your SEO in house if it’s that important
  • 00:29:10 Use Free SEO Consultations as Sales tools
  • 00:30:00 Beware Black Hat SEO
  • 00:32:05 Don’t forget the human aspect
  • 00:33:59 Avoid Competitive Keyword Battles
  • 00:35:26 SBS 162 Outtro

Small Business Tax Tips for Filing your Tax Returns – Small Business Show 161

small business tax filingWith just about a week to go before tax filings are due for LLC and S-Corp Small Businesses, it’s time to discuss what to do when your NOT ready to file and the repercussions of missing a tax filing deadline. Join us for episode 161 of the Small Business Show as we dive back into the world of Small Business taxes!

On this episode, Dave and Shannon spend time discussing tax extensions, how they work, why you would want to use one and what do in the event that you don’t have the cash to pay your tax bill. We share our thoughts on relationships with Accountants and why a few weeks before taxes are due is not the time to be searching for a new one. You’ll also find out why keeping your Accountant involved in both your personal and business life can help you save money when filing your taxes.

If you’re already having IRS problems, we’ve got some tips and tricks for changing the relationship you have with the them and what to do if you are not getting the kind of help you think you should be getting from a particular IRS agent. We wrap up the show with advice on how to not miss important deductions, tracking expenses and using retirement accounts as well as hiring your kids to lower your taxable income.

Join us today for all this and more on the show that is by, for and about Small Business!


  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #161 for Wednesday, March 7, 2018
  • 00:02:23 Taxes can be fun!
  • 00:03:52 Find an accountant you enjoy talking with
  • 00:05:30 Tax Deadlines for 2017
  • 00:06:43 Understand Tax Extensions
  • 00:10:00 Why aren’t you ready?
  • 00:11:06 When should you send your forms to your accountant?
  • 00:12:35 Let your accountant file your extensions
  • 00:13:32 SPONSOR: Visit JAMF.com/SBS to get your first 3 devices free for life!
  • 00:16:26 Don’t hire an accountant today
  • 00:17:14 Humanize your Relationship with the IRS
  • 00:18:40 You are the IRS’s customer
  • 00:20:20 Request a different agent
  • 00:20:48 Communicate with the IRS
  • 00:23:07 The new 2018 Tax Laws
  • 00:24:00 Tracking – and finding – your deductions
  • 00:27:00 Put your business owner hat on and ask for NFL tickets
  • 00:29:45 Look at your personal retirement accounts and options
  • 00:31:37 SBS 161 Outtro

Optimizing your Small Business for Near Me Searches – Small Business Show #160

optimize-for-local-searchDoes your Small Business rank high for “Near Me” searches on Google, Siri and Bing? Join us on this episode of the Small Business Show for tips and tricks to be sure you are optimizing your website, your address and your business map records to steer more customers to your location.

Local search is a critical part of Small Business success. Dave Hamilton and Shannon Jean focus on getting your company name to come up when potential customers are using the terms “near me” when searching for a product or service that you may be offering. You’ll learn about setting up local resource pages, how to hack your address, phone verification tricks, using reviews to show activity and much more.

Join us for episode 160 of the Small Business Show, then tell your story, comment and ask questions in the Small Business Support Group!


  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #160 for Wednesday, February 28, 2018
  • 00:01:20 Optimizing your business for “Near Me” searches
  • 00:02:39 Create or Edit Your Business listing on Google Local Search
  • 00:03:54 Remember that this is all local – use your local number
  • 00:05:14 Staying within the Google and/or Apple Maps framework
  • 00:07:49 Different photos for each location
  • 00:08:36 Requires regular attention
  • 00:10:58 Consider your physical address
  • 00:12:23 The UPS Store gives you a “Suite Number”
  • 00:13:07 Phone number verification can be a problem
  • 00:14:13 SPONSOR: Visit TextExpander.com/podcast for 20% off your first year.
  • 00:17:35 end sponsor block
  • 00:17:39 How to verify your phone number and your account
  • 00:21:08 Make sure your business name, local address, and local phone are on every page of your website
    • Remove “Inc.” or “LLC”
  • 00:21:48 Create different local pages
  • 00:24:33 Become a resource
  • 00:25:30 Your Local SEO Management System
  • 00:26:27 Cross-linking your Google Reviews
  • 00:29:20 Promote even some of the criticisms
  • 00:30:09 Link Yelp, BBB, Chamber of Commerce on your Local pages
  • 00:32:00 Working to gain trust
  • 00:33:33 Be sure to mention your location regularly on your blog
  • 00:34:31 Contact us!
  • 00:35:01 SBS 160 Outtro

Website Feedback, Simplifying Your Message, Acquisition Deal Sponsors and more: Small Business Show 159

Does your website communicate in ways that potential customers can quickly grasp your story, what your services or your product line are? How do you simplify your message to capture the short attention span and should you rely on your Terms and Conditions to “protect” you from your customers?

If your Small Business is getting interest from a larger company that wants to acquire you, who should you focus your energy on? The Deal Sponsor concept can help you narrow down your focus on which person you need to work closely with to make your merger or acquisition a success.

Join us today on episode 159 of the Small Business Show for these topics and more!

Shannon and Dave also revisit the “Beer Test” to insure that you have a cultural fit before entering into a partnership, joint venture or acquisition and why you need to have all office doors open during a crisis. We spend some time discussing Mihir Shah’s 5 C’s of a Turnaround and why these points surely apply to all businesses.

Listen in and then join us in the Small Business Support Group to share your story or ask questions.


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  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #159 for Thursday, February 22, 2018
  • 00:02:00 G4 Design – benefits of telling your story, and having people comment on it.
  • 00:05:39 Teasing out the message
  • 00:07:00 “Wow! I didn’t get that from your website at all!”
  • 00:07:46 Learn to simplify your message
  • 00:08:40 Don’t rest on your T&Cs
  • 00:10:48 SPONSOR: Visit JAMF.com/SBS to get your first 3 devices free for life!
  • 00:13:05 Mihir Shah from Drobo on Small Business Show
  • 00:13:54 Mihir’s concept of a “Deal Sponsor”
  • 00:15:44 “The Beer Test”
  • 00:17:12 Spouse/Family Buy-in
  • 00:17:37 Due diligence on your Deal Sponsor
  • 00:18:32 What’s the “cost” of working with your acquirer?
  • 00:19:16 “The business needs someone else”
  • 00:20:36 Mihir Shah’s 5 C’s of a Turnaround
  • 00:22:12 “Talk to 500 Customers per year”
  • 00:23:45 Cash is King
  • 00:26:22 Accepting when it’s time for Plan B
  • 00:28:14 Culture is the “Fatalyst”
  • 00:28:44 Your partners need to believe in your vision
  • 00:29:29 Forced Vesting
  • 00:31:42 “Nobody’s Door Gets Closed”
  • 00:32:41 Owed money can’t be the elephant in the room
  • 00:34:08 Jean-Louis Gassée’s Two Tokens Customer Service
  • 00:37:34 The Hubris of Apple
  • 00:38:30 A Customer problem is a customer opportunity
  • 00:39:35 SBS 159 Outtro

Interview with Mihir Shah, CEO of Drobo – Small Business Show 158

Are you ready to be acquired? Is your Small Business in a position to deal with a larger company that is interested in buying you for your products, your technology or your service revenue? Join us today on the Small Business Show to hear from an expert in mergers and acquisitions, Mihir Shah, CEO of Drobo.

Mihir has had years of experience helping companies to analyze possible acquisitions and mergers, working to implement policies and procedures to insure a successful combining of two entities. You’ll learn about the two most important aspects of creating a successful acquisition and how your work on the front-end of the deal can help to insure things go right after the paperwork is signed.

We also dig deep into supply chain management and how embracing change and understanding that a crisis is just another problem to solve can propel your business success.

Listen in for this and much more on this episode of the Small Business Show, then visit the Small Business Support Group to ask your questions or to comment on the show!


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  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #158 for Wednesday, February 14, 2018
  • 00:01:03 Mihir Shah from Drobo
  • 00:02:19 Cadavers are … not for me!
  • 00:04:15 Going into the generation-old family business … of business!
  • 00:04:56 Acquisition advice: Find a product market fit
  • 00:06:25 Ensure a cultural fit
  • 00:07:21 Beware science projects
  • 00:09:09 If you’re being acquired, understand your acquirer’s Business Case
  • 00:12:04 Understand that process is instrumental
  • 00:12:51 Get to know your deal sponsor!
  • 00:14:25 Deal sponsor and founder should understand each other’s companies
  • 00:15:44 Sit on the same side of the table
  • 00:16:30 Use “We”
  • 00:17:01 SPONSOR: Visit TextExpander.com/podcast for 20% off your first year.
  • 00:18:28 SPONSOR: Visit JAMF.com/SBS to get your first 3 devices free for life!
  • 00:20:35 Mihir’s arrival at Drobo
  • 00:21:27 Hurry up and get money
  • 00:25:17 Dialing for Dollars
  • 00:25:35 “My Brand is Crisis”
  • 00:28:00 Find revenues and expense-to-revenue ratios for a similar, larger company
  • 00:28:45 Favorite mistake?
  • 00:29:27 Don’t underestimate the hardware business
  • 00:30:05 How quickly can you adapt to a mistake?
  • 00:31:16 Everything’s a challenge! Embrace it.
  • 00:33:38 Don’t stop learning!
  • 00:35:21 SBS 158 Outtro