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!

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

Interview with Corey Gauteraux from G4 Design House – Small Business Show 157

corey gauteraux g4 design house interviewNeed help with your Small Business Online presence? How about branding, marketing, search engine optimization and the overall look and feel of your company website? Listen in to today’s episode of the Small Business Show to hear how Corey Gauteraux of G4 Design House created a company to help Small Businesses prosper online.

G4 Design House was created to leverage the skills of an in-house team of programmers and designers that had been creating websites and doing online marketing for 15+ years. They focused their efforts on Small Businesses, with an affordable subscription model that encompasses everything from logo and website creation, hosting, SEO, social media and other marketing efforts.

After discussing what G4 does and how their services work, we spend time talking about how Corey markets G4 services, how they came up with their pricing structure and the value of referrals. Dave and Shannon ask about competing in what seems like a crowded design marketplace and how G4 distinguishes itself and Corey shares his “favorite mistake” that leads into a discussion about clear communication with clients.

We wrap up the show with a talk about retaining staff and the pain that hiring the wrong person can cause. Join us today for this and more, then visit the Small Business Support Group to ask your questions and comment on the show!


  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #157 for Wednesday, February 7, 2018
  • 00:01:20 Corey Gauteraux from G4 Design House <https://www.g4designhouse.com/>
  • 00:02:15 Taking a developed skill and turning it into your product
  • 00:04:00 Tweaking the model from flat-upfront-rate to monthly plans
  • 00:05:12 Ramp-up period to demonstrate value
  • 00:07:06 If you build it… they don’t necessarily come.
  • 00:07:30 Building the website is just the first step
  • 00:09:29 Behind the curtain
  • 00:10:35 Handling your sales and marketing with SEO
  • 00:11:00 Cold-calling works, too!
  • 00:11:29 Gauging each business: new, small, large, old
  • 00:14:45 Homogenized pricing model
  • 00:17:42 Return clients and referrals as your yardstick for success
  • 00:19:11 Favorite mistake: not getting the details upfront
  • 00:23:27 A WordPress-based Business
  • 00:23:56 What’s the best part of your day?
  • 00:26:01 Retaining staff and avoiding turnover pays off
  • 00:27:31 Do what you can to avoid having the wrong staff
    • Intern program is the “100-Hour job interview”
  • 00:29:15 G4 Design House on Facebook

Attending Conferences, Referred Trust, Pricing Tactics and More– Small Business Show 156

Small Business Show It’s time for a Grab Bag episode of the Small Business Show! Tips and short topics that Dave Hamilton and Shannon Jean have been waiting for an open episode to share with you. Join us today while we talk about:

Why attending conferences and business events can have a huge positive impact on your Small Business and personal brand.

The power of Referred Trust and being cautious when using your Social Capital with referrals.

Pricing your product and services – is letting your customers set value and price a good idea? Using variable pricing in parts of your Small Business.

Using Premium Pricing to up-sell your customers.

Customer service and it’s impact on your brand. Using the Apple situation as an opportunity to learn.

Listen in to this episode of the Small Business Show for these topics and more! Then, join us in the Small Business Support Group to ask your questions and share your comments.


  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #156 for Wednesday, January 31, 2018
  • 00:01:19 Grab Bag Episode
  • 00:01:38 Becoming eBay Event
  • 00:04:04 eBay is trying to buy busses
  • 00:04:53 SBS 136: Why you need to attend events and conferences
  • 00:05:26 “Business is a Full Contact Sport”
  • 00:07:52 Referred Trust
  • 00:10:00 Being cautious with your social capital
  • 00:12:20 It’s all about the nuance
  • 00:12:48 The benefits and risks of inserting yourself as the middleman
  • 00:16:11 Letting your customers set their own prices
  • 00:21:51 What parts of your business make sense for variable pricing?
  • 00:25:20 Situational Pricing
    • “The $100 Pat on The Back”
  • 00:27:07 Variable relative pricing
  • 00:29:03 Alternative: showing the value of premium
  • 00:31:35 The keys to success: Free shipping and free returns!
  • 00:33:31 “Your profit margin is my opportunity”
  • 00:34:23 Apple’s hubris impacting their customer service
  • 00:39:25 Never forget: We’re all in the customer service business
  • 00:39:59 SBS Outtro

Keeping Your Online Business Legal – Interview with Attorney Richard Chapo – Small Business Show 155

Richard Chapo Internet Attorney InterviewHave an online business? Want to know how to protect yourself against copyright claims, privacy policy litigation and more? Join us today on the Small Business Show as we talk with Richard Chapo, an attorney that specializes in internet businesses, small and large.

Richard has been practicing law for over 24-years with a current specialty in advising businesses and keeping them in compliance within the ever-changing legal system. Listen in and discover the most common mistakes internet businesses make when first getting started, as well as how to prepare your company for legal claims and how respond to them when they do arise.

Dave Hamilton and Shannon Jean dig deep with Richard when discussing the DMCA and how to use it to protect your business, along with the requirements to insure you’re compliant. We discuss why it’s important to sit down once per year with your attorney to talk about the weak parts of your business that may be exposing you to risk, and why full disclosure with your attorney is critically important.

You’ll also learn about the new EU General Data Protection Regulations that you might be shocked to learn could impact your online business and we spend some time discussing the right way to handle recurring billing of your customers to not run afoul of the law.

Listen in and then jump over to the Small Business Support Group to discuss the show, ask questions and help other Small Business Owners like yourself.


  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #155 for Wednesday, January 24, 2018
  • 00:00:49 Interview with Attorney Richard ChapoInternet Business Lawyer
  • 00:01:36 From sabbatical to Internet Law
  • 00:02:46 Lack of getting legal advice – most common issue for online businesses
  • 00:05:14 Charge ahead!
  • 00:06:17 Common problem: Terms & Conditions
  • 00:07:18 Beware your own Privacy Policy
  • 00:08:48 Today’s Internet age is “The Empire Strikes Back”
  • 00:09:52 Sit down once/year with your attorney
  • 00:11:03 General Data Protection Regulation
  • 00:13:10 Hidden trap with the fair use defense
  • 00:13:32 SPONSOR: Meet the PDFpen family – Powerful PDF tools for Mac and iOS. Edit, sign, scan, and OCR at your Mac or on the go.
  • 00:16:17 Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA)
    • Are websites liable for copyright infringement for content uploaded by their users?
  • 00:17:32 Is Facebook liable for any infringement by users?
  • 00:19:43 You must now designate an agent for DMCA complaints
  • 00:21:32 DMCA = Guilty until proven innocent.
    • When you receive a takedown notice, take down the content first
  • 00:24:05 Dave shares a tidbit when he was fought with the DMCA
  • 00:26:08 Recurring billing can be an issue
    • You must put up notice re: charges, contact info and how to cancel
  • 00:30:09 On the Internet, charging by the hour doesn’t work as well
  • 00:32:39 As an attorney: I care about the weaknesses
  • 00:34:30 Resist your natural temptation to ignore your business’s faults
  • 00:34:59 Meet with your attorney once per year
  • 00:35:10 SBS 155 Outtro

Leveling the Playing Field in Employment with Ladan Davia from Beeya.com – Small Business Show 154

The very essence of business success is all about finding a solution to a problem. When Ladan Davia was searching for employment, she found the process of using online employment websites frustrating and the results less than useful. Like any good Entrepreneur, Ladan founded Beeya.com to make things right.

Recently, Dave and Shannon spoke with Ladan during a pre-sponsorship call for Beeya on the Small Business Show. During the call, they realized that Ladan would make a great guest and asked her to come on the show for an interview. Ladan joins us today to share her story.

Beeya was founded on the premise that employment sites should be easier to use, provide a better experience and use better algorithm’s to match up prospective employees with employers. Along the way, Ladan wanted to level the playing field and provide everyone the same job opportunities, regardless of connections and to help effect positive social change with her company.

Ladan speaks about raising capital to start the business, the importance of matching her company vision with prospective investors and working harder to protect other peoples money, and much more.

Join us today on the Small Business Show, then visit the Small Business Support Group to share your questions and comments.


  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #154 for Wednesday, January 17, 2018
  • 00:01:32 Ladan Davia from Beeya.com
  • 00:02:24 From Hard News to Entertainment Industry to Business Owner
  • 00:04:54 “I had never applied for a job”
    • It’s hard to find a job
  • 00:06:54 Balancing everyone’s opportunities
  • 00:08:14 Beeya’s algorithm is different
  • 00:09:06 Starting a funded business
  • 00:12:13 The process of raising money.
  • 00:13:23 Matching visions with investors.
  • 00:15:40 Working harder for other people’s money.
  • 00:16:42 $50,000 is a very big loss
  • 00:18:26 Paperwork doesn’t mean anything
  • 00:19:41 Podcasts are better than Google AdWords
  • 00:22:49 An employment website that can make positive social change
  • 00:28:11 SBS Outtro


How will the 2018 Tax Reforms Impact Your Small Business? Small Business Show Episode 153

small business tax reformWe’re starting a brand new business year with a brand new tax reform act that will impact your Small Business. Get yourself ready by listening in to this episode of the Small Business Show!

On the Small Business Show, we believe that you are a better steward of your money than the government, especially when it comes to investing in your business, your employees and your community. So why not learn the details of the new tax laws and work with your accountant to minimize what you have to send away to the federal government?

Dave Hamilton and Shannon Jean jump right in to discuss the details of the tax changes and how you may want to start thinking differently about the structure of your business to take advantage of the new laws. You’ll learn about Pass-through business entities and the new 20% deduction for those types of businesses, along with the restrictions put into place for service businesses such as accountants and attorneys. You’ll be encouraged to ask yourself the all-important question: Are you an employee, business owner or both? Why does it matter and how do you use this decision to minimize your tax burden?

We then spend some time talking about employee-driven businesses (manufacturing companies and restaurants for example) and how they are limited to a deductible that is no larger than 50% of their payroll amount in an effort to encourage Small Businesses to hire more awesome employees. Then it’s time to talk about capital investments and the fact that you now have a 5-year window to expense 100% of your short-lived capital investments within a calendar year. What’s a short-lived capital investment? We thought you’d never ask! Listen in to learn more.

We close out the show with some juicy details about Carry-forward losses and Carry-back losses and how the new tax reform laws impact both. You don’t want to miss this part.

Thanks for joining us today! After you listen, share your story by visiting the Small Business Support Group – we would love to hear from you!


  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #153 for Wednesday, January 10, 2018
  • 00:01:39 How Will the Tax Law Impact Small Businesses?
  • 00:02:37 Do your homework!
  • 00:03:18 The New Pass-through 20% Deduction
  • 00:07:28 Limitations for highly-profitable service-based businesses
  • 00:10:17 Are you an employee, business owner, or both?
  • 00:12:11 Learn the new laws as they apply to your business
  • 00:13:03 Employee-driven businesses are limited to 50% of payroll
  • 00:13:48 Find your own path
  • 00:14:53 SPONSOR: Meet the PDFpen family – Powerful PDF tools for Mac and iOS. Edit, sign, scan, and OCR at your Mac or on the go.
  • 00:18:00 SPONSOR: Create a FREE Beeya.com account today to find jobs AND find employees.
    • Beeya.com’s algorithm is the first of its kind to match employees with employers based on each party’s specific requirements.
  • 00:20:09 A note about the way we handle our sponsorships
  • 00:21:08 You are a better steward with your own money
  • 00:22:04 Expensing 100% your short-lived capital investments
    • Like Section 179 deductions for your business
  • 00:24:16 Changes to Carry-forward Losses and Elimination of Carry-Back Losses
  • 00:27:02 Strategically Using Losses
  • 00:28:22 Corporate tax reductions to rates and foreign earnings
  • 00:29:59 Tax extensions are your friend!
  • 00:31:58 “One Time” doesn’t always mean one-time
  • 00:33:01 SBS 153 Outtro

Consulting as a Small Business – What you need to know – Small Business Show 152

Everyone is an expert…at something. Listen to this episode of the Small Business Show for tips about using your expertise to start a consulting Small Business that can help you transition from an employee to an employer.

Listener James B. asks some great questions about starting his technical support consultant business and Dave and Shannon are happy to spend the entire show discussing consulting as a Small Business. You’ll learn about the importance of getting paid immediately for your work and options for how to make billing your clients simple and efficient. We then discuss accounting software options and service contracts to make your billing happen automagically each month.

Dave focuses in on how to respond when problems recur and how to avoid any confusion on repeat work before you leave the worksite. Shannon offers up his theory that communication before, during and after is the critical piece of the consulting puzzle, with tips for each type of communication and how to make it effective. You’ll also learn about effective marketing of your consultant business using Google Local Ads, Yelp, word of mouth and other options as well as the importance of branding your business beyond just your name.

We wrap up the show with a discussion about removing obstacles that might keep you from getting started. Just start and then adjust. Don’t worry about things like certifications that may help with future marketing, but are not necessary to get your first clients.

Listen in for these tips and more, then join us in the Small Business Support Group to share your stories and ask questions!


  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #152 for Thursday, January 4, 2018
  • 00:01:42 James-Advice to get started consulting
  • 00:03:59 Figure out how to get paid immediately when services are rendered
  • 00:05:50 Service contract model with subscription billing
  • 00:07:52 What to leave behind?
  • 00:08:35 What happens if the problem recurs?
  • 00:10:01 Prioritize effective communication
  • 00:12:25 Don’t be afraid to talk money
  • 00:18:02 Marketing Your Business
  • 00:19:30 SPONSOR: Create a FREE Beeya.com account today to find jobs AND find employees.
    • Beeya.com’s algorithm is the first of its kind to match employees with employers based on each party’s specific requirements.
  • 00:22:34 Don’t over-prioritize certifications
  • 00:24:15 Just start your business
  • 00:25:21 Communicating during the consultation
  • 00:27:08 Talk through it actively
  • 00:34:55 Don’t obsess over the hours
  • 00:36:02 What happens after you do the work?
  • 00:38:21 Get those referrals!
    • Always Following Up!
    • Define the “end”
  • 00:38:32 SBS 152 Outtro

The Small Business 2017 Year in Review – Small Business Show 151

2017 Small Business Year in ReviewJoin us for our last episode of 2017 where we share Small Business tips from our favorite shows of the past year. Dave and Shannon both have their favorite guests, topics and advice from episodes of the Small Business Show that aired during the year.

We hope you’ve been able to live a Charmed Life during 2017 and we wish you the best for 2018!


First Year Small Business End of Year Checklist – Small Business Show 150

first year small business end of year tasksIt’s your first year in business and with just a couple of weeks left in the year, what tasks should you be working on? Join Dave Hamilton and Shannon Jean for this episode of the Small Business show that is dedicated to helping new Small Business owners close out their first year of business.

Listen in and learn about making sure you select the right type of entity for your business – should you choose an LLC, S corp or something different? Dave spends some time discussing how Pass-through business entities work and ways to protect yourself while saving on taxes with the entity type you select. We also spend time discussing multi-member LLC companies vs. single member and why you might select one over another.

We then jump into a discussion about meeting with or finding a good accountant, identifying and tracking expenses and if you work out of your home, what type of deductions you may be able to take. All decisions that are important to discuss with your accountant, before they get busy with tax season.

It’s also a good time to start thinking about what types of insurance you might need for your new Small Business. You’ll hear some tips on selecting an insurance broker and why you will want to add them to your Board of Advisors.

We wrap of today’s show with a discussion about reviewing and negotiating supplier contracts and being sure to give yourself some credit for everything you’ve achieved and learned during the past year.

Join us today for episode 150 of the Small Business Show and then visit the Support Group to share your story, get your questions answered or help another Small Business Owner.


  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #150 for Wednesday, December 20, 2017
  • 00:02:24 Welcome to your first year in business
  • 00:02:53 What type of entity should your business be?
  • 00:06:03 What is a Pass-through business like an LLC or an S-Corp
  • 00:06:58 Multi-member vs. Single-member LLCs
  • 00:09:01 Meet with – or find – your accountant
  • 00:10:00 What are profits and losses and expenses?
  • 00:12:42 Expenses for working out of your home?
    • Internet Access
    • Home office deduction
    • Insurance
    • Maintenance
  • 00:13:36 Managing Freelancers
  • 00:16:15 Administrative Fees are Fair Game
  • 00:18:38 Find your deductions!
  • 00:21:09 SPONSOR: Storyblocks.com/sbs gets you their Triple Bundle for just $149
  • 00:24:05 Insurance
    • Find a good insurance agent!
  • 00:29:00 Negotiating any existing suppliercontracts
  • 00:30:03 Pay all bills with your credit card
  • 00:30:40 Inland Marine Insurance
  • 00:31:25 Give yourself some credit
  • 00:32:18 Don’t be afraid
  • 00:34:59 SBS 150 Outtro

The Entrepreneur Ethos – Interview with Jarie Bolander and Mihir Shah – Small Business Show 149

Jarie Bolander & Mihir Shah interviewed on The Small Business Show Podcast 149

Timing plays a critical role in the success of your business. When you launch your products, when you hire new employees, and in the case of Jarie Bolander, when you publish your book. Join us this week on the Small Business Show as we meet Jarie to discuss his new book,The Entrepreneur Ethos along with his good friend, Mihir Shah CEO of Drobo.

Listen in and hear why Jarie felt compelled to create a roadmap for entrepreneurial success by building more ethical, inclusive and resilient companies.

We also have a bonus today with Mihir Shah adding his comments to the discussion about the “why” of being an entrepreneur and how stepping in to solve problems can be rewarding far beyond any financial gains.

Listen to the show, then join us on the Small Business Support Group to ask more questions and to add your voice to the discussion!


  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #149 for Wednesday, December 13, 2017
  • 00:02:17 Mihir Shah – from VC to CEO… always turning things around
  • 00:03:32 It’s fun to strategize, but more fun to be hands-on
  • 00:04:25 Jarie Bolander – the classic, patently-unemployable entrepreneur
  • 00:06:17 The Entrepreneur Ethos
  • 00:07:45 What’s the “why?” behind being an entrepreneur – Speak your truth
  • 00:09:33 “If you want to be the best entrepreneur in the world, you need to aspire to the ethos”
  • 00:10:44 The importance of timing – Patience vs. Procrastination
  • 00:12:18 “I’ve always wanted to run my own business”
  • 00:13:24 Failure is an option, but never the end result
  • 00:14:03 SPONSOR: TextExpander.com/podcast gets you 20% off your first year
  • 00:17:28 SPONSOR: Storyblocks.com/sbs gets you their Triple Bundle for just $149
  • 00:19:36 Always stepping on landmines and learning how to diffuse them
  • 00:22:39 The Drobo 5C – first USB-C product of its kind in the marketplace
  • 00:23:56 The meeting of two minds, focusing on the positive
  • 00:27:21 Unacceptable behavior is (finally) being called out
  • 00:29:36 Stay away from the hardware business
  • 00:32:23 Self-awareness matters!
  • 00:35:33 Focusing on how to grow “You”
  • 00:39:34 SBS149 Outtro