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!

Small Business Website Names and the Exciting World of Credit Card Merchant Processing – Small Business Show 137

small business credit card processingShould you be worried about only using a .COM domain name for your Small Business? How do you deal with coming up with a domain name if your Small Business name is not available as a .COM web address? Join us for episode 137 of the Small Business Show to find out what longtime, serial Small Business owners Dave Hamilton and Shannon Jean think about this and much more.

We then jump into a riveting discussion about old-school merchant credit card processing vs. newer solutions from Stripe, Square and Paypal. Dave shares his story of having to dig deep into actual paper reports to find out just how much his business has been getting charged and what roadblocks are being put in his way to keep his customers ongoing, subscription based payments intact when he changes processors.

In the end, we agree with Paypal COO Bill Ready when he says “Talking about payment processing just for the sake of payment processing is just not that interesting.” The discussion needs to be about how transparent, contextual and portable can payment processing become.

Listen in and then visit the Small Business Show Support Group on Facebook to ask your questions or comment!



  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #137 September 20, 2017
  • 00:01:00 The concept of limited willpower
  • 00:03:04 Todd-URLs for your Company name 
  • 00:07:25 Changing Merchant Providers
    • Traditional gateway/bank processor vs. Stripe, Square, Paypal
  • 00:11:06 The power of printing reports on paper to find out what’s going on
  • 00:13:07 Watch the numbers!
  • 00:15:27 Authorize.net tries one last time to screw Dave
  • 00:17:50 Watch out for old-school, handcuff business models
  • 00:23:19 Payments should be a boring thing, with the price going down
  • 00:24:54 SBS Outtro

Why You Should be Attending Small Business Conferences and Let’s Get Vulnerable – Small Business Show 136

cNow Paypal Conference and The ProfitDo you take the time out to attend Small Business conferences and trade shows? Would you like to make some powerful connections, meet some great people and renew your energy? Listen in to episode 136 of the Small Business Show to find out how you can have all this and more!

Shannon just returned from the Paypal cNow conference in Chicago and he’s ready to talk about the people he met and what he learned. The conference included roughly 50 Small Business owners from across the country that got a chance to meet Paypal, Braintree and Venmo executives to see their latest “Contextual Commerce” payment products and sit in on some excellent Small Business discussions.

Dave and Shannon spend some time discussing the power of attending these types of events and why you should be seeking them out as part of your business development system and the building of your personal brand. You’ll learn how to engage with the speakers, make long term connections and how to work your way onto discussion panels and to ultimately become an invited guest.

Shannon also discusses his meeting with Marcus Lemonis from The Profit and why Marcus thinks that we all need to be more vulnerable when managing our employees, customers and suppliers. We wrap up the show with a discussion of “handshake deals”, Working Agreements and how to sniff out the people that just want to make you their race horse.

Join us on this episode of the Small Business Show for all this and more! After you listen, click over to our Facebook Small Business Support group to ask questions and comment on the show.


  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #136 September 13, 2017
  • 00:00:43 Paypal cNow (C for commerce) conference in Chicago
  • 00:03:46 The power of attending conferences
  • 00:09:12 Don’t give in to feelings of inadequacy
  • 00:10:55 Engage when you’re there
  • 00:13:02 Contact us! feedback@businessshow.co
  • 00:13:14 Marcus Lemonis from The Profit
  • 00:15:05 The Most Important Word in Business
  • 00:18:03 Digging into vulnerability
  • 00:20:34 Confidence erodes empathy
  • 00:22:07 Be careful using other people’s tools
  • 00:24:36 Lack of confidence… breeds lack of confidence!
  • 00:26:10 Maybe “we’re struggling here” is OK to say
  • 00:28:47 Handshakes vs. Lies
  • 00:31:50 Working agreements
  • 00:34:20 Beware the pitchers!
  • 00:37:12 SBS Outtro

Tips for Running Your Small Business from Home – Small Business Show 135

running your small business from homDo you run your Small Business from your home? Are you tempted to wear sweatpants everyday and move your desk close to the refrigerator for convenience? Join us today on the Small Business Show to get some great tips on how to stay motivated and disciplined while working from home.

Long-time home office Small Business owner Dave Hamilton answers questions today as Shannon transitions from going into the office each day (24-years!) to working out of his home. We discuss finding a routine that works for you, checking in with your remote employees or partners each morning and the power of regular video meetings in Google Hangouts.

We also spend time going over ways to manage remote interruptions, since no one can “see” that you’re busy when they ask for your help, using Slack reminders and the importance of actually combing your hair before you start work each day.

Join us for these topics and more and then jump over to the Small Business Show Support Group to comment and offer us your own tips about working from home.


  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #135 September 6, 2017
  • 00:01:19 Blue… and Normal
  • 00:02:39 No office is a joy… until it’s not!
  • 00:05:47 Finding a routine that helps motivate and discipline your workflow
    • Slack: Good morning! Water Cooler
  • 00:10:41 Regular, Virtual meetings with your team or co-workers – facetime is important.
    • Google Hangouts, Skype, FaceTime. Keeping you connected
  • 00:12:03 Get More Done: 18 Tips for Telecommuters
  • 00:12:50 The Pomodoro Method with Bob Levitus on Small Business Show
  • 00:13:21 Recognizing that remote team members don’t know if you’re available and may contact you at the worst time.
  • 00:17:25 Slack Reminders to keep you (and your team) on task when you are tied up and need to come back later to review
  • 00:19:52 Get dressed. No Sweatpants! Comb your hair, bro!
  • 00:22:42 Set clear boundaries and work hours for family and friends
  • 00:25:21 Use the kitchen wisely!
  • 00:28:59 Watch that your routine doesn’t become a rut
  • 00:30:00 Make yourself accountable to YOU
  • 00:31:26 SBS Outtro

Small Business Show Interview with Cory Fosket and Doug Butcher of Tanglefree Waterfowl – Small Business Show 134

tanglefree waterfowl interviewWhat’s the best way to build your companies brand and create fans that are passionate about your products? Cory Fosket and Doug Butcher took a company focused on a single product line and expanded it over the last 13-years into a trusted brand for waterfowl hunters and outdoor enthusiasts. Along the way, they’ve learned about the importance of quality and how to step outside the business to plan 3-5 years ahead rather than just grinding it out day-after-day. Listen in to this episode of the Small Business Show to hear the Tanglefree story!

During our discussion today, we get some great tips on creating strong relationships with your customers as well as your overseas suppliers to create a win-win environment where your company and suppliers profit while the customer gets a great value, high quality product.

Cory and Doug spend some time discussing various measures of success and what means the most to each of them, as well as what they are doing to power through obstacles to propel Tanglefree into the future. We also learn about the pros and cons of selling to big-box retailers vs smaller stores and how to manage each different type of relationship. Finally, you’ll learn what to watch out for when developing products in China and how to create long term success with factory owners.

Join us today on the Small Business Show for these tips and more! Then, jump over to the Small Business Show Support group to discuss the show.


  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #134 August 30, 2017
  • 00:01:17 Duck season and Ducks Unlimited
  • 00:01:24 Cory Fosket and Doug Butcher from Tanglefree Waterfowl Products
  • 00:02:20 An Intentional Family Business
  • 00:03:30 Acquire a minor line in someone else’s business and expand it
  • 00:04:57 Expand the staff by bringing in more family
  • 00:07:49 Building a brand in today’s world
  • 00:10:28 Making brand engagement a daily focus
  • 00:11:28 Relationships with Customers
  • 00:13:40 Redefining a relationship ahead of its time
  • 00:15:23 Favorite mistake: Not applying vision
  • 00:16:38 The other favorite mistake: learning that quality is better than price
  • 00:19:04 Success metric: Brand Engagement
  • 00:21:40 Look three-to-five years out
  • 00:22:46 Focus on relationships
  • 00:26:01 For a business relationship to work, both parties need to make money
  • 00:29:45 Reward Quality Control
  • 00:30:12 SBS Outtro


Tips for Naming Your Small Business + Listener Questions – Small Business Show 133

tips for naming your businessWhat’s the best method for naming your Small Business? Go with your instincts, listen to friends and family or use an online tool? Listen to this episode of the Small Business Show for tips to come up with a great name for your business and avoid some common mistakes with the help from our friends at Entrepreneur magazine. We also discuss the power of Taglines to enhance your Small Business name and just how much effort should you put into that killer logo?

Then we’re on to listener questions with a discussion on how to power yourself up so you can best represent your Small Business during the sale process and a quick primer on why Cash is King to keep the gears of your business turning smoothly.

Join us for these topics and more on episode 133 of the Small Business Show!


  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #133 August 23, 2017
  • 00:00:41 Breaking your routine to keep you fresh
  • 00:02:08 Should you be able to do each job?
  • 00:05:16 Naming your business
  • 00:09:05 Make sure you and your team are happy with the name/logo
  • 00:10:36 Taglines matter
  • 00:12:49 Your online profile matters more than the SEO of your name
  • 00:16:15 Find a name you like, and go!
  • 00:16:43 Shary-Finding a buyer for your business
  • 00:21:42 Jay-Cash Flow issues
  • 00:27:03 Use credit cards instead of HELOC
  • 00:28:00 Cash flow first, profits second
  • 00:29:46 SBS Outtro

Employee, Self-Employed or Entrepreneur – who makes the best partners? Small Business Show 132

Do you know the signs that tell if a person is an Employee, Self-Employed or an employee or entrepreneurEntrepreneur? Join Dave and Shannon for this episode of the Small Business Show to find out!

During today’s episode, we get to spend time dissecting personality types so you can understand who would make a good employee vs. who would make a good business partner. We discuss Do’ers vs delegators and ways to create a Working Agreement to help you find out if you all have what it takes to build a successful partnership.

Communication is key and your hosts speak about methods to keep the dialogue going when their is an inevitable problem with your business partner (Partner Therapy, anyone?). Find out why how much risk and accountability your employees are willing to take starts with YOU, the business owner and just how to get past the Superhero complex that is so common.

We wrap up the show with a discussion about getting-out-of-the-way of your employees so they can do their jobs and grow your business along with the importance of sharing your crazy ideas (business or otherwise) with the right type of people if you expect to get a useful response.

Join us for episode 132 of the Small Business Show and then visit our Small Business Support Group to talk about the show!


  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #132 August 16, 2017
  • 00:00:55 Love What You Do and You’ll Never Work a Day In Your Life
  • 00:01:31 Passion vs. Motivation vs. Discipline
  • 00:02:58 The Peter principle
  • 00:04:58 The differences between employees and entrepreneurs and self-employed people
  • 00:06:00 Finding a good business partner: someone who is good at what you are not
  • 00:06:23 Do’ers vs. delegators
  • 00:07:15 Create a Working Agreement
  • 00:11:34 Similar financial needs and goals
  • 00:13:00 Beware the double-dippers, even yourself
  • 00:17:17 Partner therapy
  • 00:17:44 Different Mindsets: Employee vs. Business Owner
  • 00:19:38 Mirror vs. Window
    • Risk vs. Accountability
  • 00:22:34 The Superhero Complex as it relates to Solopreneurs vs. Business Owners
  • 00:27:02 From Business Owner to Investor
  • 00:27:58 Give your employees autonomy
  • 00:29:03 You are your own impediment
  • 00:32:31 Break out of your own bubble
  • 00:35:47 SBS 132 End

Being Productive at Conferences, selling on eBay and Motivation vs. Discipline – Small Business Show Episode 131

be productive at conferencesWhat’s the best way to find real value in attending Trade Shows, Conferences and Workshops? Do you sit in the back row and head right back to the hotel after the event? You can probably guess what your Small Business Show co-hosts would say about that. Join us for this episode to discuss maximizing your time at these types of events as Shannon discusses attending eBay Open 2017 in Las Vegas a few weeks ago.

During the eBay discussing, we touch on eBay’s dramatic shift during the last 2-years regarding their attitude towards the Small Business seller community and how your business can benefit from it. We discuss the new eBay Concierge customer service platform, ways to reach eBay’s 171 million buyers and new initiatives like eBay Authenticate, Shop with Images and Direct Shopify Integration to sell your products on eBay. Shannon believes that it’s time for another look at selling on eBay if you’ve been away for a few years.

Dave then jumps in to discuss the critical difference between Motivation and Discipline and how you need both (but maybe discipline more!) to keep yourself successful as you work hard on your systems approach to achieve what you want with your Small Business.

We wrap up the show with a discussion about working smarter with Bob Levitus’s tips from the Small Business episode 109 interview and just what the heck is the Pomodoro Technique? Listen in the find out all this and more!

Want to join in the discussion? Visit the Small Business Support Group on Facebook and find answers and help others in the SBS community.


Brittany Alwerud from Handlr Business Management – Small Business Show Episode 130

Could you make the leap from dog walker / poop-picker-upper to creating a software platform for service related Small Businesses? Well, Britt Alwerud did just that, creating the Handlr Business Management suite of tools to help manage your employees or contractors, communicate with customers, generate reports and perhaps most importantly, get paid on time!

Join Dave and Shannon for episode 130 of the Small Business Show and our awesome interview with Britt from Handlr.

During our talk, you’ll hear about how Britt had to hit rock bottom and be told by a client that she was “…not a businesswoman, you’re a dog walker” before she realized she needed to create a software platform to help manage her company so she could become the businesswoman she knew she could be. We jump into a discussion about marketing (cold calling!) and we hear about mistakes (lessons learned) made along the way during the creation of Handlr.

We explore what it takes to find and hire a reputable software developer and what methods Britt and her team are using to expand Handlr to create a complete ecosystem of businesses and customers that can benefit from using the platform.

Wrapping up the interview, we discuss using Asana and SCRUM to keep your tasks moving forward and on time and the importance of advisors and mentors to help bring a product to market.

Join us for all this and more before jumping over to the Small Business Facebook Support Group to comment and ask your own questions!


  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #130 August 2, 2017
  • 00:00:47 Next week: Shannon’s eBay conference experience
  • 00:01:02 Brittany Alwerud from Handlr Business Management
  • 00:01:58 From dog poop scooper to business owner
    • “You’re not a businesswoman, you’re a dog walker”
  • 00:05:06 Britt hit a wall… and needed a system
  • 00:07:27 Uber for running your business on demand
  • 00:09:02 Freemium… for businesses!
  • 00:09:43 Find an ecosystem and then build it
  • 00:11:47 Cold calling and SEO
  • 00:13:27 $10MM/year from Dog Walking!
  • 00:13:59 Make money by judging people’s appearances
  • 00:14:41 Launch quickly, but not too quickly
  • 00:16:26 Finding a reputable and reliable developer
  • 00:18:37 Expanding the platform
  • 00:21:38 Cross-promotion as a growth path
  • 00:22:44 Letting your customers be your advisors
  • 00:26:49 Steer clear of technology and invent a poop-eliminating spray!
  • 00:28:26 Finding Handlr
  • 00:28:58 SBS Outtro

The Business of Podcasting – Small Business Show Episode 129

Are you making a living with your Podcast? We need to talk. Join us today on the Small Business Show and learn about the business of podcasting. Specifically, what’s happening in the world of Podcast advertising, what are sponsors looking for and how is success being measured.

Dave shares his expertise about how a typical Podcast audience is made up of Intentional Listeners that have made the effort to seek out your content, subscribe and in many cases, download it to their device for future listening. These people are valuable and they have put their trust in your hands. How do you educate advertisers (and ad agencies) about that value and protect that trust at the same time? Listen in to hear some tips!

We round out the show by revisiting the 1000 true fan concept and how it might apply to Podcasting and what additional value your Podcast can bring to you, beyond revenue.

Join us today on the Small Business Show for all this and more. Then, visit the Small Business Support Group on Facebook to join the discussion.


  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #129 July 26, 2017
  • 00:01:00 Being intentional with your time
  • 00:02:35 Deadlines are awesome motivators
  • 00:04:32 Recognizing the value of obsessing over the future
    • “Did I achieve something today that moved things forward?”
  • 00:05:34 Podcast sponsorship is changing
  • 00:06:19 Intentional listeners – no accidental subscribers – leveraging that value to sponsors
  • 00:08:03 The value of podcast sponsorships
    • Cost per thousand subscribers: $15-50 for advertising
  • 00:11:50 Tailoring the sponsor message to your listeners
  • 00:13:44 QA to “test” the effectiveness of the advertisement
  • 00:18:20 …and again!
  • 00:23:14 You can’t quantify trust
  • 00:24:00 You can’t leverage a relationship if you micro-manage it
  • 00:25:36 Beware of the low-hanging fruit.
  • 00:27:29 What’s your value?
  • 00:30:30 1,000 true followers at $10/month is a living
  • 00:34:57 SBS Outtro

Selling Your Small Business – Interview with Abbi Vakil of U-Socket– Small Business Show 128

What is the most important thing to remember when selling your business? Today on the Small Business Show, we continue our discussion about selling your business with advice from Abbi Vakil, inventor of the U-Socket USB wall plug.

Listen in to hear us discuss cash-flow vs. profits and which is most important and what do to when you’re business is not succeeding OR failing. We touch on one of the tips from ReWork about ignoring your competition, since you don’t know what’s going on inside their business or if their profitable. Continuing on the tip from episode 127 of the Small Business Show, finding the right buyer and making it “easy” for them to buy your company is brought up with some tips on how to make this happen.

Finally, we discuss how to keep growing your “Revenue Stack” after you sell your business with some creative ways to handle investing in startup companies.

If you think (dream?) about selling your business now or someday, you’ll want to join us for this episode! After, click over the the Small Business Support Group on Facebook and share your thoughts and comments with Abbi, Shannon and Dave!


  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #128 July 19, 2017
  • 00:01:12 Abbi Vakil from AllMac
  • 00:02:18 Abbi sold U-Socket
  • 00:05:00 The hamster wheel of fame & cash flow, but no profit
  • 00:06:18 Not succeeding or failing… what to do?
  • 00:08:13 When should you give up?
  • 00:10:31 Finding the right buyer
  • 00:13:26 The relief of selling mixed with losing your baby
  • 00:15:18 The Todd Rundgren $1 Royalty
  • 00:16:28 Never sell to your staff and finance that same staff
  • 00:19:11 Valuation of U-Socket
  • 00:22:06 Make it easy for this person to buy your company
  • 00:22:30 What happens to the revenue stack after you sell
  • 00:25:00 Startup Investing in what you know
    • Asset investing
  • 00:28:37 feedback@businessshow.co or our Small Business Support Group
  • 00:29:00 Keep good books … and have pride!
    • Don’t drop your shorts!
  • 00:32:12 SBS Outtro