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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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

Thinking of selling your Small Business? Don’t miss this episode of the Small Business Show – SBS 127

What happens when you realize that you’re NOT the best owner for your Small Business? Join us today for episode 127 of the Small Business Show to hear the story from one of your co-hosts that made just such a discovery after 13-years of being at the helm of TechRestore.

Dave and Shannon discuss how finding the “right” buyer is critical to any sale, tips to find that person (or company) and what requirements will you have after the sale is completed. Shannon talks about separating assets to streamline the sale, how to quantify “soft” assets like goodwill and reputation as well as working with your accountant to be sure to limit your tax exposure based on how you allocate assets in your purchase agreement.

We spend time discussing how to be sure the sale keeps moving forward to completion and how history shows (in both your co-hosts cases), how things can go sideways at the last minute. Along the way, you’ll hear about making the sale more of a partnership with the buyer and seller – working in everyone’s best interest towards success can help accelerate your sale and keep everyone working closely together in a positive manner.

Shannon gives his usual “watch out for bankers and lawyers” speech that can kill a sale quickly, even though you’ll need to have both involved to close your deal and we spend some significant time discussing how to actually figure out what your business is worth, before you start the sale process.

Join us today and then visit the Small Business Support Group on Facebook to comment and ask questions about selling YOUR business!


  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #127 July 12, 2017
  • 00:01:13 We need your iTunes reviews <http://businessshow.co/itunes/>
  • 00:01:50 Shannon sold TechRestore!
  • 00:02:54 It only takes one buyer
  • 00:03:41 The slow realization that the best owner … is not you.
  • 00:05:31 How to find a buyer
  • 00:08:09 Sticking around after you sell
  • 00:09:58 What’s the asset for YOUR buyer?
    • Not just physical. Goodwill counts!
  • 00:15:11 How to tax-leverage the sale
  • 00:17:38 Get to know your buyer so they can get to know your business
  • 00:18:39 Make sure you have a plan B for your funding structure
    • Time Kills All Deals!
  • 00:20:36 Dave and Shannon almost sold a company once!
  • 00:21:42 Watch out for bankers
    • …and lawyers!
  • 00:23:23 Make the sale feel like a partnership
  • 00:26:14 The emotional struggle of the sale: The Story of TechRestore
  • 00:28:50 How to value your business
    • The charmed life doesn’t necessarily look good on paper
  • 00:33:33 The post-sale intensity
  • 00:37:13 SBS Outtro


How to keep your Small Business from joining the 50% of companies that fail within 5-years. Small Business Show episode 126

Longtime listeners of the Small Business Show know that we embrace optimism with a passion. However, today we’re talking about failure. Specifically, why Small Businesses fail and how to avoid it.

Dave and Shannon jump right into today’s Small Business Show with a discussion of your ROE, or Return on Energy for projects within your business, or new ideas that may not make you a profit, but can make you a better person and help to increase your energy levels throughout your Revenue Stack. Then, it’s on to a detailed discussion of a report published by Small Business Trends that focuses on why businesses fail.

The great news is that there’s never been a better time to start a new business, however, studies show that about half of all Small Businesses will fail within the first 5-years. Half! We think that number is much too high, so we’re digging into this report to help you avoid the pitfalls of the “other” 50% of Small Business owners that won’t make it to their 6th anniversary.

Listen in to episode 126 of the Small Business Show to learn how to adapt, how to change, when it’s time to trust your gut and how to build a culture of change within your company.

Join us, then click over to the Small Business Show Support Group to share your comments!


  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #126 July 5, 2017
  • 00:00:54 Small Business Support Group
  • 00:01:10 “Return on Energy” – ROE
  • 00:03:16 Always chasing $100 bills
  • 00:04:05 Half of all Small Businesses Fail Within 5 Years
  • 00:05:00 Restaurants do not fail more than other businesses
  • 00:05:47 Don’t make assumptions that customers aren’t going to like your product
  • 00:06:30 If you’re not adapting, you’re failing
  • 00:08:03 You’re making a choice not to change, too.
  • 00:08:47 Trusting your gut
  • 00:11:36 Building a culture of change
  • 00:13:30 A Players hire A Players… B Players hire C Players
    • But if an employee can’t adapt, you need to leave them behind
  • 00:17:21 Transparency with your employees
  • 00:19:17 99.7% of all businesses in the US are “small”
  • 00:20:50 Only 19% are outcompeted
    • Rework
    • Make your customer experience unbelievable!
    • Cash is King
  • 00:24:33 P&Ls are living documents
  • 00:25:10 Don’t ignore your customers
  • 00:26:40 Listen to your customers
  • 00:36:53 SBS Outtro

Small Business Interview with co-founders of GrowpoVR and GoVRed – Small Business Show episode 125

govred.comVirtual Reality and Augmented Reality are popular buzzwords we read and hear about a lot these days. Much of it sounds like it “will be” great someday, but what about Small Businesses that are in the VR/AR space and creating businesses TODAY? Joining us for episode 125 of the Small Business Show is Chase Dittmer and TJ Dishaw, co-founders of GrowpoVR Studios and GovRed.

GrowpoVR began as an arcade/studio business, offering up VR experiences for consumers. When Chase and TJ noticed lots of Police officers using the equipment, they quickly realized there was an underserved demographic, so of course, they launched a new business, GoVRed to focus on military and government agency VR use.

During the show, we also got a chance to learn about the Iowa Startup Accelerator and how GoVRed became a part of this 12-month startup program. We discussed how the business incubator provides support for design and engineering as well as legal and marketing areas.

The co-founders discuss how their youth has been a benefit as well as a challenge when developing their business and meeting new customers. One thing is for sure, there’s no lack of enthusiasm from either Chase or TJ. Listen in to this episode of the Small Business Show to learn about their *fast* journey, the problems they have faced and how they are making changes to their “virtual” business plan almost daily as they bring their new business to fruition.

After the show, be sure to join us at the Small Business Support Group on Facebook to share YOUR story!



  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #125 June 28, 2017
  • 00:01:19 Chase Dittmer and TJ Dishaw – GrowpoVR Virtual Reality Studio and Govred
    • Starting with the iPhone… of course
  • 00:02:36 Having the right tech means… a partnership was born!
  • 00:04:28 VR Arcade…to the military!
  • 00:05:44 Attracting the Military with Facebook
  • 00:07:08 Beware of being tied to your business plan
  • 00:07:26 Iowa Startup Accelerator
    • Accelerator provides Legal, Marketing, Design, Engineering
    • Clerky
  • 00:09:45 Don’t make assumptions about your customers
  • 00:11:47 Make your mentors be mean… or at least honest
  • 00:13:28 Age as a benefit as well as a negative.
  • 00:15:01 Use your product to sell yourself
  • 00:16:15 Be ready to move!
  • 00:18:00 Support your family, even when they’re crazy
  • 00:19:56 VR for your ice cream store
  • 00:21:07 VR/AR to enhance any business
  • 00:22:27 Use Vive for your Meetings
  • 00:24:58 HoloLens is Fake AR – more of a 360 viewer
  • 00:27:03 Learn about Govred, Chase and TJ
  • 00:28:25 GG Outtro

Interview with Paul Disselkoen of the Paypal Small Merchant Advisory Board – Small Business Show 124

paypal smaller merchant advisory delegationYou know the name, you’ve accepted the payment method. But, did you know that Paypal has a team of people focused solely on Small Business advocacy and public policy? Joining us today on the Small Business Show is Paul Disselkoen, Paypal Public Relations Specialist. Paul is charged with getting the voices of Small Business owners heard by politicians that are setting public policy that impacts Small Businesses throughout the country.

Join your hosts Dave Hamilton and Shannon Jean to learn about what Paypal is doing to insure that it’s not just the big companies that are sending lobbyists to Washington. You’ll get a chance to find out about the Paypal Small Merchant Advisory Delegation and how YOU can join and get your message heard and get some great publicity for your Small Business.

Paul takes us through the role that Paypal plays in helping to set policies that are favorable for Small Business owners and discusses the types of businesses they are looking for to connect with lawmakers locally, as well as in their annual trip to D.C. to connect with legislators on Capitol Hill.

Listen in to learn more and find out how you can join the Small Merchant Advisory Board to protect and promote your Small Business. After the show, click over to the Small Business Support Group to share your thoughts about the show!


  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #124 June 21, 2017
  • 00:00:49 Paul DisselkoenPayPal Government Relations Specialist
  • 00:02:45 Small Business Merchant Advocacy Delegation (SMAD)
  • 00:03:48 Lobbying for Small Business – getting the voice of Small Business owners heard
  • 00:05:26 Introducing SMB owners to their representatives in govt.
  • 00:08:17 How do businesses join SMAD?
    • Finding good stories from passionate SMB owners
  • 00:09:28 What makes a good SMAD member?
  • 00:11:09 Use PayPal to vet overseas suppliers
  • 00:12:38 Using SMAD to overcome challenges
    • Paypal SMB research report
  • 00:17:00 Thought leaders in the Small Business area
  • 00:18:21 PayPal hosts local events for Small Business Owners as well as trips to D.C.
  • 00:19:24 Small Business Pitted Together with Politics
  • 00:21:52 PayPal Public Policy on Twitter
  • 00:24:05 Check the “Join” Link at PayPal.com/publicpolicy
  • 00:24:34 SBS Outtro

Small Business Show Interview with Ryan Stewman, Founder of HardcoreCloser.com – Small Business Show episode 123

Arehardcore closer you a Closer? On the Small Business Show, we often say that all business owners are in the Customer Service business – but, we’re also in the Sales business. Wether you’re selling a product or service, you’ve got to sell to make your business grow. This week on the Small Business Show, you’ll get to hear the story of Ryan Stewman, Founder of HardcoreCloser.com.

Ryan is an incredibly enthusiastic sales trainer and motivator that has overcome numerous obstacles to create a successful business that helps others succeed. Listen in to learn how Ryan started out washing cars and moved up to selling mortgages before the “Police kicked in the door” and everything came to a screeching halt. Keeping motivated and overcoming adversity propelled Ryan and before long he was back on top and running his own company.

As the Founder of Hardcore Closer,  Ryan teaches salespeople and business owners how to succeed using social media, the sales funnel concept and all about grinding-it-out everyday to create the life you deserve. You’ll hear about going from $25 a week to $20-50,000 per month in Facebook ads and what that gets you, along with what Ryan wishes he would have done sooner as a Small Business owner.

Join us today on the Small Business Show to listen to a guy who has dedicated his life to “creating millionaires” and then click over to the Small Business Support Group to comment and connect with other Small Business owners!


  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #123 June 14, 2017
  • 00:01:17 Ryan Stewman – Hardcore Closer
  • 00:02:11 From Car Wash to Mortgages… just like that!
  • 00:03:42 Hooked!
  • 00:04:13 The Police Kicked in My Door
  • 00:05:23 $770k in 2005 – all came to a screeching halt.
  • 00:06:08 Then the laws changed… and I couldn’t work.
  • 00:07:18 Putting that G.E.D. to Good Use
  • 00:09:34 Practicing for your business while on the clock
  • 00:10:24 Pivot OFTEN
  • 00:11:45 Keep the momentum going
  • 00:12:05 Daymond John – The Power of Broke
  • 00:13:18 Put your mask on first … but then make sure you help others!
  • 00:14:25 Dedicating to creating millionaires
  • 00:16:43 “I advertise heavily”
    • “Advertising is the thing that propelled me”
    • Facebook Ads
    • Retargeting
  • 00:20:14 You have to learn your market
  • 00:21:18 Writing the first book
  • 00:22:54 I write every day
    • Emails, Social Media, Books, Blog Posts
  • 00:24:00 I am a prolific mistake maker
  • 00:26:00 Embracing your mistakes -empowering yourself and others with your story
  • 00:26:56 Don’t be a lone wolf for too long: get help faster!
  • 00:28:53 SBS Outtro

Selling Your Small Business and Developing Multiple Revenue Streams – Kyle Baccus of KCTool Revisits – Small Business Show 122

revenue stream revenue stackWhat’s your Exit Strategy? You have one, right? That’s the question a business mentor asked of Kyle Baccus a few years ago that led to the eventual sale of one of his businesses. Today on the Small Business Show, Kyle joins us for a second guest spot to discuss the sale and to spend some time exploring our Revenue Stack concept of developing multiple streams of revenue as part of your path towards world domination.

We get a chance to learn about the three different types of business sales that Kyle has been involved in and what he’s learned from each of them, with the concept that you should “Keep saying Yes until there’s a reason not to” as a guidepost during the transactions. Business owners should consider going to a business-sales seminar to learn about selling a company, but be weary of paying cash up front to a business broker when you area ready to sell, according to Kyle. We then jump into a conversation about what is the most difficult part about selling a Small Business and how to avoid some of the usual pitfalls.

Shannon and Dave then steer the conversation towards the Revenue Stack that Kyle has developed over time, how he’s moved from being self-employed, to being a business owner and finally an investor. We dig deep into how a missing revenue stream can be replaced with a varied Revenue Stack.

Finally, we wrap up the show discussing how wealth can make you fear risk, how to leverage your strengths to overcome weaknesses and we discuss time management – or the lack thereof.

Join us today for episode 122 of the Small Business Show, then visit our Small Business Support Group to leave your comments!


  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #122 June 7, 2017
  • 00:01:43 Kyle Baccus – KC Tool 
  • 00:03:32 It’s a lot harder to count the failures than the successes
  • 00:04:17 Selling 3 Businesses
  • 00:05:19 Selling to a stranger is a different animal
  • 00:06:55 What is your Exit Strategy?
  • 00:08:00 Keep saying Yes until there’s a reason not to
  • 00:09:26 Go to a business-sales seminar when you don’t need to attend
  • 00:10:18 Learn how to price a business
  • 00:12:41 The Most Difficult Part About Selling
  • 00:14:33 Employees are the biggest challenge
    • Be appreciative of the fact that they are working for you
  • 00:15:35 Do Your Research!
    • Google “Business Selling Horror Stories”
    • Avoid the pitfalls
  • 00:17:00 When a sale goes south
  • 00:19:20 Avoid the embarassment of failure
  • 00:19:46 “I’m self-employed and working towards being a business owner”
  • 00:22:36 Replacing a missing revenue stream and building a revenue stack
  • 00:26:04 Money makes you fear risk
  • 00:27:10 Leverage your strong suit
  • 00:30:20 Maximizing your Time… For You
  • 00:34:38 Avoid Wipeout Risk
  • 00:36:07 SBS Outtro

Delegating more in your Small Business, learning to say no and surviving the $15 minimum wage increase – Small Business Show 121

helpful small business tipsStop for a moment. Think about your day. Are you doing work that should be delegated to your employees or contract workers? Small Business owner Robert is feeling overwhelmed and looking for tips to save time and increase his profits at the end of each month.

Would you be surprised to hear that your Small Business Show co-hosts have experienced this situation a few times? Dave and Shannon offer Robert some advice about delegating and keeping the phrase “Who is going to do this for me?” in his thoughts as he moves from working IN the business each day to working ON the business to become the manage and leader his company needs. Additional tips include saying no more often, raising your prices to reach an equilibrium between revenue and profit that works for you and your business and developing an Organization Chart to really see who’s doing what each day.

We then jump into a question about the impact of an impending increase of the minimum wage to $15 on Gail’s local Ice Cream business. The guys suggest offering more self-serve options, “gamifying” your product to incentivize customers to spend more, starting a membership or loyalty program and more. Just as important, your co-host remind Gail to be unique; “Don’t sell Vanilla”, with some examples of other food small businesses that have succeeded by being different.

Join us today for episode 121 of the Small Business Show! Then, follow us over to the Small Business Support Group to get YOUR questions answered.


Answers to your Small Business questions – Small Business Show 120

You’ve got questions about your Small Business and we’re here to help! Join Shannon and Dave today on the Small Business Show to hear their thoughts on setting up data sharing for a virtual office and the pros and cons of freelancers vs a business partner that has the skill set you are missing.

If you need to share real-time data with your team that is working from different locations, what’s the best solution? Dropbox? Google Drive? How about a private solution like the Synology CloudStation? Your hosts spend time discussion these options and more to help one listener keep the data flowing between team members.

We’ve spoken at length on the Small Business Show about outsourcing talent to help your business. Todd M. wants to hear what we think about hiring a freelancer vs bringing in a business partner for his technical needs. The guys talk about their experiences in this area and what to look out for with both solutions before making their recommendation.

Listen in to episode 120 of the Small Business Show for all this and more! Then, join us in the Small Business Support Group to get your questions answered.


Small Business Interview: JobRack Founder Neil Napier on Outsourcing – Small Business Show 119

Have you used outsourced talent for specific tasks in your Small Business? Ever run into quality problems? We thought so.

Neil Napier ran into so many problems outsourcing that he realized there was a business opportunity to minimize headaches and increase the quality of the talent pool and thus, JobRack was born!

Listen in to episode 119 of the Small Business Show and learn about the importance of having systems and procedures in place BEFORE deciding to outsource projects and how to get help if you don’t have either. We also discuss the pros and cons of outsourcing and what type of tasks lend themselves to using outsourced talent. Neil offers up some great tips to increase the likelihood of success with your outsourcing by developing Key Performance Indicators to insure that all progress is measurable.

We then jump into ways to use larger companies to jumpstart your business, riding on the “coattails” of a larger company to launch your own, how to educate your customers about quality over quantity and Neil takes the time to share with us how outsourcing is just like sex. Don’t skip ahead to this section!

Join us today for these tips and more, then click over to the Small Business Support Group to comment and get your questions asked!


  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #119 May 17, 2017
  • 00:01:23 Neil Napier – JobRack
    • Forced to become a business owner – lost job and found inspiration
  • 00:05:00 Instant International Businessperson
  • 00:06:19 Systemizing Outsourcing
  • 00:08:36 Marketing Tool: Offering guidance
  • 00:09:22 Who benefits from Outsourcing?
  • 00:10:11 Managing expectations of your customers
  • 00:10:50 KPI: Set Key Performance Indicators for tasks within your business
  • 00:12:27 Riding on the coattails of a larger business to launch your own
    • Joining business forums to market your business.
  • 00:14:49 Quality over Quantity: Going beyond connecting people
  • 00:19:28 Difficulty turning brand evangelists into affiliates
  • 00:22:00 Best Mistake: subscription model priced too low
  • 00:24:38 Beware the ego of the entrepreneur!
  • 00:25:30 Outsourcing is like sex!
  • 00:26:39 Educating your clients – critical to growing your business
  • 00:27:45 Lesson: Be ready to serve each client individually
    • Be more aggressive!
  • 00:29:29 SBS Outtro