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.

Connect with us on Twitter @BusinessShowCo and Facebook.com/businessshow.co

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!

Bad Decisions in your Business – How to Avoid and Recover – Small Business Show 197

bad business decisionsLet’s face it, not every decision you’ll make for your Small Business is going to be a good one. What can you do to avoid bad decisions in the first place and how can you quickly recover from the ones that slip through? Join us today on episode 197 of the Small Business Show where your hosts share their own bad decisions and tips for minimizing yours!

Bad decisions can hurt your Small Business, kill your cashflow or destroy your reputation. The first step we discuss on today’s show to minimize the destructiveness of bad decisions is making sure you have enough information to make an informed decision. Shannon uses an example from his super-bad decision to get into the TV business of how not having enough info in hand should have stopped him from make that decision.

We then move onto to a discussion about timeliness and being sure you don’t get suckered in to a “limited time offer” situation, being sure that the data you are using is not out of date, not letting your emotions obscure the facts and the pitfall of being overly optimistic and letting best-case scenarios obscure reality.

You’ll also hear us talk about Dave’s “Fallacy of Sunk Costs” and not letting invested money and time obscure your ability to make good decisions about projects, not letting so-called experts change your gut instincts about a decision.

Join us for all this and more and then share your own story at the Small Business Support Group!

  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #197 for Wednesday, November 14, 2018
  • 00:01:41 Good decision: Nearly 200 Episodes of SBS!
  • 00:03:01 SPONSOR: Visit TextExpander.com/podcast for 20% off your first year.
  • 00:05:38 Bad Decisions can devastate your business.
  • 00:07:38 Shannon’s “no-manifest” story
  • 00:09:53 The confidence conundrum
  • 00:11:35 The most expensive TV on the planet!
  • 00:13:23 Next time you can walk away.
  • 00:16:42 Watch the things that slow you down
  • 00:18:25 Don’t be afraid of saying no.
  • 00:20:30 Get current info!
  • 00:21:23 SPONSOR: Visit TryHopsy.com/SBS to get the SUB home draft machine, 2 mini-kegs of beer (equivalent to 2 six packs), 2 Hopsy glasses and free membership in the monthly beer Club for $99.
  • 00:26:26 Don’t look for the best case scenario
  • 00:27:48 Avoid complacency
  • 00:28:56 Consider opportunity cost
  • 00:29:32 Acceptable risk
  • 00:33:18 Acknowledge confirmation bias
  • 00:36:57 SBS 197 Outtro

Small Business Tools for Success – Small Business Show 196

small business toolsFrom time to time we discuss the tools we use to run our own Small Businesses and why we couldn’t live without them. Join us today for our second installment of Tools for Small Businesses to hear from your hosts Shannon Jean and Dave Hamilton about their favorite business products.

We start out with a detailed discussion of Trello and how Dave’s team uses it for managing content creation on the MacObserver. while Shannon uses the Kanban style of project management that Trello visualizes to manage various projects throughout difference businesses. Then it’s on to Google Hangouts and how bringing your team together on video is a powerful way to keep everyone focused and connected.

The next set of tools comes from the good folks at Iwascoding with their GarageSale and GaragePay products – both essential tools for managing listing and product sales on eBay along with cashflow and reporting via Paypal.

Dave jumps in with his recommendation of Arlo Cameras and the Synergy Surveillance Station and then we’re on to some common sense tools like mini-breaks during your day and giant manilla envelopes to deal with the inevitable inflow of paperwork you need to hang onto for your Small Business.

Evernote rounds out our software list of essential tools along with a couple of other Podcasts you should be listening to and we wrap up the show with a call to always be carrying a pocket knife.

Listen in and share your own tools at the Small Business Support Group!

Listener Questions: Domains, Lawsuits and Selling Your Business – Small Business Show 195

small business questions and answersWe love answering listener questions. Not only does it make us feel much smarter than we actually are, it also allows us to connect with our listeners and help them solve problems. Send your questions to be featured on the Small Business Show!

On this episode, we hear from Louis with a question about setting up his website, selecting a domain name and getting help with both. We then talk about some options for your office software and how to keep older PC hardware running strong with alternative operating systems.

Carol then asks for help with a lawsuit caused by a dog being hurt at her boarding business. We discuss lawyers, insurance options and the best way to proceed to minimize the impact on her Small Business.

Then we’re on to a question from Jacob about options for selling his Small Business. His partner wants to pay a large up front fee to a business broker and Jacob is not as comfortable with that option.

Be sure to see the show notes for links to previous episodes where we discuss these situations in detail. There’s some great interviews with Small Business Owners about solving these types of problems. Join your co-hosts Dave Hamilton and Shannon Jean as they answer these questions and more on this episode of the Small Business Show.

Embracing Change for Small Business Success – Small Business Show 194

embracing change for small business successChange is coming for you and your Small Business! How you manage change and how you integrate change into your company culture is an important part of your long term success. Join us today for episode 194 of the Small Business Show as we take a deep dive into welcoming and benefiting from change.

We start the show with a discussion about SCORE Mentoring and your co-host Dave Hamilton’s decision to connect with his local SCORE representatives to discuss changes in his business and how having an accountability partner can dramatically increase your productivity. Then, it’s on to tips for using small changes in your personal life to get you comfortable with larger changes that are inevitable and eventually heading your way. Shannon’s premise is that these small changes help to “re-wire” your brain so you welcome larger changes and use them in a productive manner.

Once you find yourself embracing change, it’s time to work on your Small Business!

You’ll hear how to make change part of your Small Business story, how to use casual comments and frequent actions to get your employees used to and ready for change and how to use the Two Week Trial method to introduce changes in your business. We wrap up the show with a discussion of the new Small Business Show mailing list and why you should subscribe.

Join us, then click over to the Small Business Support Group to share your story, ask questions and more.

  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #194 for Wednesday, October 24, 2018
  • 00:01:46 Constant Change is here to Stay
  • Small Business Show Episode 70 – Change!
  • 00:02:41 SCORE Mentoring for Change!
  • 00:08:15 Accountability matters!
  • 00:09:26 SPONSOR: New Square Payroll App – Everything you can do on a desktop you can do in the app. Visit Square.com/Go/SBS for More
  • 00:11:15 SPONSOR: Visit TextExpander.com/podcast for 20% off your first year.
  • 00:13:28 Tweak your systems to accept change that happens
  • 00:14:37 Complacency kills
  • 00:15:03 Small change conditions you!
    • Change the side of your bed
    • Change seats at the dinner table
    • Take a different route to the office
  • 00:17:49 Dave faces the Comscore Gestapo
  • 00:20:52 Get yourself comfortable with change first
  • 00:21:44 Make change part of your company’s story
    • Manage to your audience
  • 00:24:02 The casual mentions of change
    • “What side project would you like to work on here?”
    • “Your job is going to change all the time.”
    • “What do you want your next job to be?”
  • 00:28:20 Try out change for two weeks!
  • 00:32:32 Lose the past. Consider sunk costs!
  • 00:34:06 Change is coming!
  • 00:34:25 Change at SBS: Small Business Show Mailing List
  • 00:35:20 SBS 194 Outtro

Small Business Content Creation and Marketing – Small Business Show Episode 193

content marketing for your small businessHow important is creating content to share with your existing and potential customers to your Small Business success? And what are some of the keys to being successful with a content marketing plan? Join us today for episode 193 of the Small Business Show to hear how your co-hosts Shannon Jean and Dave Hamilton have used relevant and timely content in their businesses to connect with followers, drive new business and keep in touch with their existing customers.

We jump right into what we believe is one of the most important aspects of getting the biggest impact with content marketing: consistency. Creating a plan and sticking to a publishing schedule will make your content marketing exponentially more successful than just posting random content every now and again.

You’ll hear more tips and real-world examples about tapping into your employees expertise, why newsletters and mailing lists are so powerful and why being authentic and sharing your personal stories are ways to fast track your success. Listen in for these topics and much more, then come join us at the Small Business Support Group to share your tips and comments. Cheers!

Chapters/Timestamps:

  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #193 for Wednesday, October 17, 2018
  • 00:01:13 Content requires a Commitment to Consistency
  • 00:02:49 Every business is in the Content Business
  • SBS Interview with Ben Schroeder from Santa Barbara Cider
  • 00:05:27 Use content to highlight – and share – your expertise
  • 00:07:40 Tap your team’s expertise
  • 00:09:57 Use the Newsletter
  • 00:12:50 Later is now!
    • $Later = NOW()
  • 00:15:22 SPONSOR: Timing, for anyone billing their hours. Visit timingapp.com/smallbusiness
  • 00:18:15 SPONSOR: Gusto is refreshingly easy payroll, benefits, and HR for the modern small business. Visit Gusto.com/SBS for a free, 3-month trial.
  • 00:20:11 Be authentic!
  • 00:21:21 Share your personal brand
  • 00:23:55 Balance your requests for information with shared value
  • 00:26:47 Be honest about the perceived value of your content
  • 00:28:10 “We lied”
  • 00:29:14 Workshop: Start an email list
    • Shannon: Creates the content
    • Dave: Creates the form, Links the engine
  • 00:34:39 Always be Creating!
  • 00:35:20 SBS 193 Outtro

Interview with Santa Barbara Cider Founder Ben Schroeder – Small Business Show 192

  • Santa Barbara cider interviewEver thought of starting a Small Business from your hobby? We often hear about home beer brewers taking the leap and launching a company built around their love of beer, but what about Cider makers? Join us today as we talk with Ben Schroeder, founder of Santa Barbara Cider!

Many of us follow our interests and passion from hobbies to Small Business owner. Ben Schroeder spent 7-years perfecting his different cider flavors in his garage before opening the Santa Barbara Cider taproom with his sister, Twilight and close friend Niklas. Today they create over 60 flavors with 12 rotating taps at any one time. Ben shares how he made steady, methodical steps to get the business off the ground and to grow it to where it is today, serving a large community at their tap room and expanding into other local venues.

Listen in and you’ll hear about the importance of creating an experience your customers will love, how asking for help can get people on your side and how starting with your neighbors is the key to getting final approval when applying for a federal liquor license.

There’s a lot of great tips on this episode of the Small Business Show. Listen in, then ask your questions and comment at the Small Business Support Group. Cheers!

Chapters/Timestamps:

  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #192 for Wednesday, October 10, 2018
  • 00:00:44 Interview with Ben Schroeder from Santa Barbara Cider
  • 00:01:29 Celiac disease points small business to Cider!
  • 00:02:57 “This is great, where did you buy it?”
  • 00:05:14 So many small steps and eventually it’s a business
  • 00:07:02 How many hours means “full time” for this business?
  • 00:07:41 Create an experience
  • 00:09:33 Marching band supplies lead to Cider
  • 00:10:53 Only 100 gallons per year
  • 00:12:05 “Hey I need some help”
  • 00:13:27 Are your neighbors comfortable with what you’re doing?
  • 00:14:57 Time to distribute!
  • 00:18:23 SPONSOR: Visit TextExpander.com/podcast for 20% off your first year.
  • 00:20:31 SPONSOR: Gusto is refreshingly easy payroll, benefits, and HR for the modern small business. Visit Gusto.com/SBS for a free, 3-month trial.
  • 00:22:07 Social media? Be social!
  • 00:24:06 Relational not Transactional
  • 00:24:59 Mistakes: Rushing, Doing too Much, or Completely Distracted
  • 00:27:44 Find Santa Barbara Cider on Instagram or Facebook or at sbcider.com

Managing Conflict with Customers and Partners – Small Business Show 191

small business conflict resolutionWhat’s the best way to handle conflict when things go wrong with a customer, partner or employee? Join your hosts Shannon Jean and Dave Hamilton for this episode of the Small Business Show to hear about their experiences in managing, resolving and de-escalating conflicts that will inevitably try to ruin your day.

One of the cornerstones of most conflicts is the misunderstanding of the intention of one or both parties. You’ll learn about methods to be sure your good intentions are interpreted correctly and when sometimes you or your employees will just have to pickup the phone to clear the air.

Next, we jump into a discussion about how to make written correspondence (email, text, chat) show empathy and how creating templated responses can help you set the correct tone you want your customer service department to use when solving conflict. Then it’s on to a discussion about your sense of justice and why it has no place when trying to resolve conflicts with your customers!

You’ll hear us discuss the power of apology (even when you’re not at fault), how to train instruct your team that these are just business decisions and not personal battles and how the Two Token Concept of Customer Service is critically important for success.

Join us today, then ask questions or share your Small Business story at the Small Business Support Group!

Chapters/Timestamps

  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #191 for Wednesday, October 3, 2018
  • 00:01:07 Sharing the Charmed Life excitement
  • 00:02:31 Know your audience
  • 00:04:27 How to de-escalate
  • 00:04:53 “How can I take your headache away?”
  • 00:07:47 Misunderstanding intention
  • 00:08:34 Get on the phone!
  • 00:09:30 Show that you care, and are willing to listen
  • 00:10:30 Use emojis!
  • 00:12:17 Lead with the right message
  • 00:13:50 Emotion engenders loyalty
  • 00:17:37 SPONSOR: Timing, for anyone billing their hours. Visit timingapp.com/smallbusiness
  • 00:19:35 SPONSOR: Gusto is refreshingly easy payroll, benefits, and HR for the modern small business. Visit Gusto.com/SBS for a free, 3-month trial.
  • 00:21:18 About our sponsors
  • 00:22:10 Justice doesn’t matter
  • 00:23:29 Amazon: “That is a business decision”
  • 00:26:10 Empower your team to avoid escalation
  • 00:27:37 Permission to apologize
    • “I’m sorry that things haven’t gone right for you.”
  • 00:29:51 Add empathy to the scenario
  • 00:32:02 Remember Meatloaf!
  • 00:33:07 Define an escalation path
  • 00:34:04 Leverage loyalty: “What do you want to do?”
  • 00:34:48 Customer service ain’t for everyone!
    • Pacing and Persuasion
  • 00:36:13 Find common ground
  • 00:37:15 SBS 191 outtro

What Type of Leadership Leads to Small Business Success? – Small Business Show 190

small business leadershipStart a business and you become a leader. Not just for employees, but to your customers, suppliers and other partners. What type of leadership style creates the most successful Small Businesses? Join your hosts Dave Hamilton and Shannon Jean today to learn about different leadership styles and why you’ll need more than one type for success.

Should you be a constant cheerleader, or a steady, persistent force that your followers count on? We’ll discuss why you’ll need to be both and when it’s appropriate to use each style. You’ll hear about prioritizing relationships over tasks and how you’ll get better results from your followers this way. Shannon discusses his favorite “Mirror vs. Window” analogy for praise and accountability and Dave discusses the differences between leadership and just working hard.

We share our tips about granting autonomy, how ethics play a role in what your followers think of you and how persistence needs to be your super power. We wrap up the show with a discussion about emptying the trash and cooking lunch for your followers – always fun topics.

Listen in and then share your own leadership tips at the Small Business Support Group.

Chapters/Timestamps

  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #190 for Wednesday, September 26, 2018
  • 00:00:57 Better than the alternative
  • 00:02:08 The definition of retirement: Dave’s Ice Cream Truck!
  • 00:05:49 No results for Leadership!
  • 00:06:36 SPONSOR: Timing, for anyone billing their hours. Visit timingapp.com/smallbusiness
  • 00:09:13 What type of Leadership creates a successful small business?
    • Leadership vs. Just Working Hard
  • 00:12:23 Setting the priorities: Dashboard-level view of your business
  • 00:13:17 Categorize problems: systemic or one-offs
  • 00:13:45 Cheerleader vs. Steady Hand that Leads through Crisis
  • 00:14:48 Leverage silence
  • 00:15:28 Spin your perspective
  • 00:18:33 Always make a decision!
  • 00:21:12 Openly praise, privately correct
    • Build a Safe, Trusting Environment
  • 00:23:09 SPONSOR: New Square Payroll App – Everything you can do on a desktop you can do in the app. Visit Square.com/Go/SBS for More
  • 00:25:10 Small Business Support Group
  • 00:25:31 Managing your management: focusing on tasks vs. relationships
    • “These people worry about the business more than I do.”
  • 00:27:23 Developing your people
    • Adjust roles to take advantage of skills and strengths
    • Take a genuine interest to learn who your employees are
    • Create an environment you enjoy!
    • Ask: “Do you need anything?”
  • 00:32:11 Pay attention to the new person
  • 00:33:23 Extend financial autonomy
  • 00:34:17 Monitor your ethics
  • 00:36:21 Persistence – Communicate during crisis
  • 00:38:17 Be the janitor and the cook!
  • 00:39:18 SBS 190 Outtro

Bill Ready Paypal COO Interview, Funds Now and Customer Experience – Small Business Show 189

Paypal COO Bill ReadyGetting paid might be the most important task for your Small Business. Processing payments quickly for your customers, avoiding fraud and managing your cash are all critical and daily tasks. Today’s guest on the Small Business Show has a wealth of experience in the payments processing business and is currently the COO of PayPal. Bill Ready joins your hosts Shannon Jean and Dave Hamilton to talk about PayPal’s new Funds Now service and much more.

Listen in to hear how Small Business is part of Bill’s DNA, starting out by working for his parents auto repair business and taking those lessons to become an “accidental entrepreneur” that eventually led him to be involved with five startups, including Braintree and Venmo, eventually landing at Paypal and to the Chief Operating Officer role that he fills today.

We all know that getting access to your cash is paramount for Small Business Owners. Bill discusses PayPal’s new Funds Now service that allows for instant access to funds for Small Businesses using Paypal. We discuss PayPal’s goal of “democratizing access to the digital economy” for Small Businesses of all sizes and why this is so important for Bill and Paypal.

You’ll hear some great tips on the customer experience and some unique advice about scaling your business that you might not have considered. Join us today for this very special episode of the Small Business Show and then visit the Small Business Support Group to ask more questions and to share your comments!

Chapters/Timestamps:

  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #189 for Wednesday, September 19, 2018
  • 00:00:39 Bill Ready from PayPal, Braintree, Venmo
  • 00:01:41 Small business in the blood
  • 00:03:05 The accidental entrepreneur
  • 00:05:07 The joy and the burdens of small business are tremendous
  • 00:06:52 PayPal’s new Funds Now
  • 00:11:30 Going international… with immediate funds.
  • 00:14:16 PayPal extends trust
  • 00:16:20 SPONSOR: Gusto is refreshingly easy payroll, benefits, and HR for the modern small business. Visit Gusto.com/SBS for a free, 3-month trial.
  • 00:18:00 SPONSOR: Visit TextExpander.com/podcast for 20% off your first year.
  • 00:20:30 Don’t Truck the Farmer’s Livelihood
  • 00:22:47 Always remain customer-focused
  • 00:24:27 Democratizing access to the digital economy
  • 00:27:50 It’s all about the customer
  • 00:29:23 Paypal’s customers are buyers and sellers
  • 00:31:56 To scale, you need repeatable process
  • 00:33:08 ….and you need to hire passionate people
  • 00:34:55 Visit the Business section at PayPal.com
  • 00:35:55 SBS 189 Outtro

Time Management Tips and Tricks for Small Business Owners – Small Business Show 188

small business time managementTime is arguably our most important asset as Small Business owners. You can’t create more of it, but you can increase your efficiency and hack how you use time each day to make it work in your favor. Today on episode 188 of the Small Business Show, your hosts Dave Hamilton and Shannon Jean share their tips and strategies for getting the most out of your 24/7.

The subject of time and the lack of it was brought up by longtime listener Todd McCann of the The Trucker Dump Podcast. Todd has the same problem we all do: not enough time in the day. You’ll hear our thoughts on making some changes that could open up more hours for Todd, along with some questions we ask of Todd that just might help your day become more efficient.

Join us today and you’ll also hear about sacrificing some things to succeed, flexibility vs. freedom, learning to Spotlight your time and ignoring those time-killing distractions, scheduling time with yourself, why communicating your time needs to others is critical and if money is what you’re seeking at a particular moment, the most important question to ask yourself that will focus you in the right direction.

Listen in, then share your story with us at the Small Business Support Group!

Chapters/Timestamps:

  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #188 for Wednesday, September 12, 2018
  • 00:01:19 About our sponsors
  • 00:02:27 Todd-What Happens When I Really Don’t Have Time?
  • 00:05:42 Recording behind the wheel
  • 00:07:30 Two different shows
  • 00:08:55 Creating more time
  • 00:10:08 Be intentional with your time
  • 00:11:14 Are you willing to pay the price?
  • 00:12:28 Go back to work at night
  • 00:12:55 Flexibility vs. Freedom
  • 00:13:26 Learn to Spotlight your time
  • 00:16:49 Keep a pad next to you
  • 00:17:17 Bob LeVitis on the Small Business Show
  • 00:18:58 SPONSOR: Timing, for anyone billing their hours. Visit timingapp.com/smallbusiness
  • 00:21:00 SPONSOR: Gusto is refreshingly easy payroll, benefits, and HR for the modern small business. Visit Gusto.com/SBS for a free, 3-month trial.
  • 00:22:44 Schedule Time with Yourself
  • 00:24:57 Communicate your schedule with the people around you
  • 00:28:07 Create your system
  • 00:28:59 Tools… and services!
  • 00:29:47 Managing optimism and realism
  • 00:30:19 Question: What can you be doing right now that will increase your revenue?
  • 00:32:19 Decide that you DO want to know this information!
  • 00:33:38 SBS Outtro

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