Small Business Interview with Sara Beznicki of A Gilded Leaf – Small Business Show 107

What if you were tasked with taking a thriving brick and mortar business with an established clientele and transitioning it to an ecommerce business selling a completely different product line to a new demographic? How would you handle the stress of trying to keep existing customers happy while attracting new customers to grow the business? Sara Beznicki and Isabelle Tan jumped into this situation in 2015, leaving the corporate world to successfully launch A Gilded Leaf to find new customers and growth, while protecting the companies existing customer base.

Join us today on the Small Business Show to hear about how the company sells on multiple marketplaces and converts customers to direct purchasing from their website, how independent user testing helped to change their website design and how focusing on specific customer groups rather than just sheer numbers has helped the business grow.

After the show, join in on the conversation on the Small Business Support Group! 

Chapters/Timestamps:

  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #107 February 22, 2017
  • 00:00:58 Sara Beznicki from A Gilded Leaf Jewelry <https://www.agildedleaf.com>
  • 00:02:52 Changing your parents’ business
  • 00:03:24 moving from corporate to small business – doing it all. Many tasks –
  • 00:07:02 Going to where the customers are
  • 00:10:13 Try, try and try again. Don’t get stuck.
  • 00:10:41 Use UserTesting.com to test your site <https://www.usertesting.com>
  • 00:12:24 Shopify Platform <https://www.shopify.com>
  • 00:14:02 Use Pinterest and then boost
  • 00:16:00 Brick and mortar to Appointment Only
  • 00:17:24 Robots don’t buy your products!
  • 00:19:33 Customer feedback as a success metric
  • 00:21:06 Stay Calm

Evil Multitasking or Powerful Spotlighting to Manage Your Time – Small Business Show 106

multitasking small businessHow many tasks are you “managing” at one time? How effective are you while doing those things and how does multitasking impact your creativity? Join us this week on episode 106 of the Small Business Show and find out how your hosts deal with the urge to instantly respond to Slack posts and Messages.

Dave brings up the concept of Spotlighting vs. Multitasking after Shannon explains his typical method of quickly jumping in and out of many different tasks during the day. We also discuss ways to push back on distractions and how to bring back some of that missing downtime in your life.

Finally, since the guys love “Spotlighting” from one topic to another, you’ll here about the concept of allocating as much time to the news as it impacts your life. This proportional allocation can help to put things in perspective.

So, turn off all those distractions and listen in to this episode of the Small Business Show!

Chapters/Timestamps:

  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #106 February 15, 2017
  • 00:02:16 The power of powering through
  • 00:04:20 Why You Shouldn’t Multitask
  • 00:07:48 Don’t multitask, Spotlight instead
  • 00:12:45 Implied urgency
  • 00:15:33 Internal vs. External distractions
  • 00:16:22 Downtime is when good ideas come
  • 00:19:13 Allocating proportional time to the news
  • 00:23:08 Understanding your own mental bandwidth… and living within it.
  • 00:27:33 Synchronous vs. Asynchronous Messaging
  • 00:29:48 SBS Outtro

Planning for failure? Use the Pre-Mortem technique to test your project or business concept– Small Business Show 105

use the pre-mortem to test your ideaThe thought of even pretending to fail is anathema to your hosts on the Small Business Show. However, Dave came across the concept of the Pre-Mortem and the guys go all-in today to see how it works.

“A pre-mortem — also known as a premortem — is a managerial strategy in which a manager imagines that a project or organization has failed, and then works backward to determine what potentially could lead to the failure of the project or organization.”

Can you see why this kind of freaks us out? Your Purveyor’s of Positivity, your Champions of the Charmed Life don’t like to let the concept of failure get in the way of their ideas. This has worked for both Dave and Shannon for decades, launching new businesses and letting new ideas develop before they get squashed by negativity. But, we think this Pre-Mortem idea has some real value and on this episode of the Small Business Show, we turn the tables and tear into our own show using the pre-mortem technique.

So, how did we do? Listen in to find out and then jump over to our Support Group to share your thoughts on using a pre-mortem on your own business.

Podcast Chapters & Timestamps

  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #105 February 8, 2017
  • 00:03:40 A pre-mortem
  • 00:05:14 Is it a good idea?
  • 00:06:18 Balancing optimism and pessimism
  • 00:07:26 Pre-mortem of the Small Business Show
  • 00:09:35 Danger: no financial gain
    • Grow listeners to grow sponsors
  • 00:12:27 Direct vs. Indirect revenue
  • 00:15:17 1,000 True Fans
  • 00:18:25 Danger: Not seeing the numbers
  • 00:22:52 Voicing doubts without being a naysayer
  • 00:28:07 Outtro

Articles mentioned:
Harvard Business Review: Performing a Project Premortem

Riskology: The Pre-Mortem: A Simple Technique to Save Any Project From Failure

1000 True Fans

Small Business Interview with David Oliva of RD Appliance Service – Small Business Show 104

rd appliance interview with David OliviaIf you had the choice, would you continue the traditions of a multi-generational business that provided decades of support for those that came before you? Or would you turn things upside down and commit to growing the business and challenging yourself (and your company) to embrace new technology, new customers and a new workforce?

If you are a Small Business Show listener, we think we know what your answer is.

Join us today as we spend some time with David Oliva of RD Appliance Service as he describes the journey from a self-employed entity founded over 50 years ago to a fast growing company that embraces change and challenges traditional methods to become the very best they can be.

During our interview, we covered a ton of great Small Business topics such as working with your spouse, expansion with new employees, raising your prices and finding a new high-end service niche and much more.

Listen in to episode 104 of the Small Business Show, then jump over to the SBS Support Group on Facebook to share your comments!

Chapters/Timestamps:

  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #104 February 1, 2017
  • 00:01:28 Interview: David Oliva from RD Appliance Service
  • 00:02:47 The multi-generational transition
  • 00:03:42 Changing the vision
  • 00:04:38 Working with your spouse
  • 00:05:54 Expansion via hiring and partnerships
  • 00:07:08 The challenge of employees – keeping your “edge” and challenging yourself
  • 00:09:24 It’s time to raise prices … a lot!
    • Being a great Tech does not make you a great business owner.
  • 00:11:58 Making changes with your parent as a partner
  • 00:13:22 Going upscale! Finding your niche –
  • 00:21:02 Best mistake: Worker’s Comp is a variable cost!
  • 00:23:14 Stock parts: arrive prepared for each client
  • 00:24:08 Service providers: watch out for aftermarket warranties
  • 00:25:51 Scheduling time to work on your business
  • 00:26:35 Being the best is the best success
  • 00:28:04 Learn from other Small Business Owners
  • 00:28:31 Don’t underestimate the value of your skills