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!

Turning Small Business Mistakes Into Profitable Opportunities –  SBS 85


small business mistakes are opportunitiesAs Small Business owners, when posting to public social media, what are some things you should look out for? What comments could come back (maybe years later) to cause you headaches, legal problems and money? Dave and Shannon discuss some examples of what NOT to post on social media and that leads into a discussion about Mistakes as Opportunities.

When a supplier makes a mistake, Shannon explains, there’s an opportunity to leverage that mistake into a closer relationship (if you want one), a better price and more opportunity for future business. When you are the customer, there are several ways to make the most of a mistake with your supplier or service provider.

On the flip side, when you or your business make a mistake with a customer, you have a huge opportunity to earn their trust by making things right. Customers that experience just how good you or your employees are at fixing mistakes and solving problems typically become very loyal and very happy to spread the word about just how good you are.

Join us today on episode 85 of the Small Business Show to hear about these topics and more!


00:00:00 Small Business Show #85 September 21st, 2016
00:01:43 Being overwhelmed … and powering through it.
00:05:36 Publicly discussing hiring and firing specifics
00:17:59 Maximizing Mistakes
00:26:57 Changing contacts
00:29:29 Offer the return first.

Boss Life Author Follow-up, the benefits of being unemployable

business teamwork keeping your employees happyWelcome to episode 84 of the Small Business Show! Join us this week as we spend some time following up with our recent interview with Small Business owner, NYTimes.com blogger and author, Paul Downs.

Dave and Shannon then jump into a discussion about being “patently unemployable” and how identifying yourself as such can give a boost to the successful launch of your Small Business.

Other topics covered on the show today include the tremendous benefit of creating a safe environment for your employees to take risks and experiment.

Listen in and then jump over to iTunes to review the Small Business Show! We appreciate your support, the reviews really help!


00:00:00 Small Business Show #84 September 14th, 2016
00:03:14 Paul Downs Recap
00:08:03 Patently unemployable people can be helpful
00:10:08 Creating a safe environment for your employees
00:16:07 “All I had to do was write the book”
00:17:33 Don’t be so suspect about good people with opportunities

Paul Downs, author of Boss Life and NYT Small Business Blogger Interview – SBS 83

boss life bookHow prepared are you for the challenges of running your small business? What energizes you to make it through tough times and just how transparent are you (and should you be) to your employees and everyone else that you discuss your business with?  If you felt like your business was about to shut down, could you imagine reaching out to the New York Times with an offer to share the experience with thousands of people? Paul Downs thought it would make for a good story and he wrote for the NYTimes.com for 4-years before writing a “year in the life of my business” book: Boss Life.

You’ve never read a business book like Boss Life. The book quickly joined our list of “must reads” for all current and potential business owners. The work is the most honest and transparent business book that we have ever read and we encourage all of you to read it.

Today, Paul Downs joins Dave Hamilton and Shannon Jean on the Small Business Show where they dig a bit deeper into Paul’s story, into Boss Life and into the work ethic that has kept Paul in business for over 30-years.

Listen in and then help your fellow small business owners out by doing a quick review of the Small Business Show on iTunes.


00:00:00 Small Business Show #83 September 7th, 2016
00:01:05 Boss Life author Paul Downs – “Not suited to working for other people”
00:05:15 2008 Recession – laid off half staff – sure I was about to go out of business.
00:06:00 What would it be like to drive a business into the ground?
00:07:09 Make the offer
00:09:33 (Don’t) Hide until you’re successful
00:11:25 Think through your problems by talking about them and writing them down – this is what the NYT Blog did for Paul
00:13:45 Hang onto your threads. They’re all you’ve got.
00:15:13 Define your own definition(s) of failure
00:16:12 Be a clear thinker
00:16:57 Share your problems – with real small businesses “Real Businesses” – love this.
00:21:23 The genesis of Boss Life – The experience of running a business
00:29:57 Understanding profitability
00:31:55 Being candid won’t kill you.
00:34:04 Find out about Paul Downs Custom Conference Tables

Adjusting Your Sleep Schedule, Recognizing Your Expertise and Planned Obsolescence – Small Business Show 82

expert small business ownerAs Small Business owners, we’re always hustling and sleep can often be a casualty of the “up late, up early” workflow. What do you do when your brain just won’t shut down long enough to get some much needed sleep? Listener Elias asks Dave and Shannon for advice about disconnecting enough to fall asleep. Their suggestion might surprise you!

You’re an expert in some things and probably need help in other areas. We spend some time discussing why you should create an Expertise List to identify what you do really well and what areas you need to find some tools or people to prop you up a bit. Similar to our Success List exercise, the simple act of writing down what you are good at can help you tremendously to identify areas to get help with.

What areas of your business are changing? Yes, we know, all of them. But, if you had to pick revenue streams that you think will be decreasing in the next 12-24 months, could you? And once you identify those revenue streams that are drying up, what are you working on to replace them? We discuss Planned Obsolescence for areas of your business that are headed downward – the art of finding new streams of revenue for your business, before those older streams dry up.

We wrap up the Small Business Show this week with a quick mention of our interview with Paul Downs that is scheduled for next week. Paul was the Small Business blogger for the New York Times and is the author of Boss Life, a book you need to get your hands on.

Listen in and send us your comments or questions via text at 401-472-4249 or visit our Facebook page. We hope you enjoy the show!

Chapters and Timestamps:

  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #82 August 31st, 2016
  • 00:01:50 Elias – Waking Up in the middle of the night?
  • 00:07:05 The Obstacle Is the Way
  • 00:08:23 Reminders app
  • 00:09:10 Notes app
  • 00:13:42 Make Your Own Expertise List
  • 00:17:35 And One for Your Employees?
  • 00:20:54 Planned Obsolescence – It happens to YOU
  • 00:26:00 Shannon Says “Verticals”
  • 00:28:44 Perseverance – Next week with Paul Downs

Staying Healthy While Running Your Small Business – Small Business Show Episode 81

staying healthy while running small businessHow to you stay healthy and keep your energy level up while you are hustling to make your Small Business a success? Join Dave and Shannon for episode 81 of the Small Business Show to hear about how these two have managed while starting and growing multiple small businesses.

Before we jump into health and energy, we start the show with a quick discussion of encryption and why it’s so important for your Small Business website. Dave discusses a new free option, Let’s Encrypt, that allows you to setup free security certificates for your website.

After the exciting topic of encryption (Dave the nerd loves talking tech!), we jump right into bed. To discuss sleep, of course, and why it’s important to set a sleep schedule based on your energy levels, rather than traditional hours – if you have the flexibility to do so.

Food then takes center stage as the benefits of grazing vs. big meals is discussed, followed by another favorite: Caffeine! Red Bull or Coffee? You make the call! We then jump into (no pun intended) exercise, the benefits of walks and again, coming up with an exercise plan that works for you.

Finally, we point out that your business is not your life and that to keep healthy, you need to often step away and work ON your business, not in it. We recommend the awesome book, Rework from the folks at 37 Signals. Check it out and listen in to hear more!

Failure, Success, a Business in Your Pocket and New Books! Small Business Show episode 80

small business successJoin us today for episode 80 of the Small Business Show where we spend some time discussing our recent interview with Greg Mercer of JungleScout! Dave and Shannon both agree that Greg is a “career escape artist” and has created a unique business to take advantage of missing data and support in the Amazon FBA marketplace.

We also talk about the difference between failing often as a Small Business Owner (which we encourage) vs. being flakey (which we don’t). One way to insure your failures are learning lessons that help you to success is to hold yourself accountable, more accountable than anyone else will.

Our Success List idea comes up again during the show and we encourage every Small Business owner to start building their list to refer back to when you need to pull yourself up, to recognize that you are making strides and moving in the right direction.

Since it’s a mix of topics today, we also get an update on Shannon’s “Can I create a social media business that runs solely on my iPhone” experiment. You’ll hear some revenue and profit numbers and more tips on managing time demands when your business is always in your pocket.

Finally, we discuss our favorite new Small Business book, Boss Life by Paul Downs, 2nd only to the E-Myth in our opinion. Which book should you read first and why? Listen in to find out!

Escaping Employment – Small Business Interview with Greg Mercer of JungleScout

junglescout.comToday on the Small Business show we are joined by Greg Mercer of JungleScout! Greg shares his story of “escaping employment” to become a small business owner, first by selling wholesale products on Amazon, then developing private labeled goods to distinguish his company with quality products and customer service.

Along the way, Greg realized that he could really use some software that would help him figure out what products to sell on Amazon by tracking demand, sell-through and other data. Since no such software existed, Greg decided to create it and JungleScout was born! The company now provides a number of different analytic tools for Amazon sellers along with other products like ReviewKick, Splitly and Fetcher.

Listen in and we guarantee you’ll learn as much as Dave and Shannon did during their chat with Greg!

Small Business Rock Stars, Wish Lists and Making Your Own Reality – SBS 78

create your own realityJoin us for this week’s edition of the Small Business Show! Dave and Shannon spend some time going over their interview with Tim Cote of Commonwealth Foreign Exchange from the last episode and then quickly jump into some of their core beliefs about how to succeed with your Small Business:

Convince yourself (lie if you have to!) that you are a rock star, that every small success you have will build a foundation for larger successes down the road
Make your own movie: So what if reality tells you otherwise!? You’re in charge of how your life goes, keep a smile on your face, tell yourself all the great stuff your learning, (even if you are failing a lot) and keep moving forward.
Keep your Success List up to date: Be sure to recognize those small successes you have every-single-day
Like Scott Adams, we’re bigger fans of Systems than Goals

Listen in and then let us know what you think! What works for you to keep you headed in the right direction with your Small Business? Stop by our new Facebook Small Business Support Group and share your thoughts.

Small Business Show Interview: Tim Cote from Commonwealth Foreign Exchange

commonwealth foreign exchangeHow many business ideas have come from a group of people sitting around over a few beers? Must be thousands, maybe millions, right? But when you look beyond the idea stage and see how many of those folks actually executed on one of those ideas, the numbers drop exponentially. This week on the Small Business Show, we get to spend time with one of those guys that has executed and built a wildly successful business. Listen in and learn how Tim Cote took Commonwealth Foreign Exchange from an idea over a few beers to a powerhouse in the currency exchange and payment processing industry. Tim shares some great stories about hustling to pay the bills when Commonwealth was young to hiring their first employee that is still with them today.

We had a great time talking to Tim, learning about Commonwealth and sharing stories about moving from idea to execution. Join us and let us know what you think! Send a text or leave a voicemail at 401-472-4249.

Community Banks, Social Media Small Business and Finding Suppliers – SBS 76

Product sourcingWelcome to episode 76 of the Small Business Show!

This week, Dave is back from Europe and shares some time saving strategies that are good for travel as well as in your daily business. We then get an update from Shannon about his social media business experiment (spoiler alert: it’s working!) and we spend a few minutes sharing Scott from DC’s experience with community banks and why he feels they are a good fit for cash businesses. Want to share a story, ask a question or offer a critique? You can text or leave us a voicemail at 401-472-4249.

We wrap up the show with a question from Sharon L. who wants to know how and where to source products to sell. It’s a tricky question, Sharon, but we hope we at least got you started on the right path to finding sources for a product that might work for you.

Listen in for these stories and more!