Interview with Kelan Raph of Optimum Supply Chain – Small Business Show 213

If you’re selling products, logistics is a critical part of the equation and being logistics-smart can mean the difference between making a profit or losing money on a product. Should you be handling your own shipments, using Amazon’s fulfillment services or perhaps a 3rd Party Fulfillment company to get your orders out? We discuss those options and much more on today’s show.

Joining us today to discuss these topics is Kelan Raph, a logistics expert and President of Optimum Supply Chain

Listen in as your hosts Shannon Jean and Dave Hamilton discuss and learn about the challenges of getting your products to your customers in a timely manner while keeping your costs low and errors to a minimum. You’ll learn about the latest Amazon FBA changes that have caught some sellers by surprise and how you can minimize your reliance on FBA by using a 3rd Party Logistics company to handle your product fulfillment.

Join us today to learn about optimizing your product delivery and then join the conversation at the Small Business Support Group!

Chapters/Timestamps:

  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #213 for Wednesday, March 6, 2019
  • 00:01:04 Kelan Raph, President Optimum Supply Chain
  • 00:02:12 Start at DHL while finishing MBA, then… Create a Business!
  • 00:04:59 What problem are you solving?
  • 00:05:34 Upcoming Changes to the Fulfilled By Amazon Program
  • 00:09:01 Is FBA still a good solution?
  • 00:11:02 FBA’s stumbles … create FBA competitors!
  • 00:14:08 SPONSOR: Molekule. Air purification reinvented. For $75 off your first order visit Molekule.com and at checkout enter code: SBS
  • 00:16:20 SPONSOR: Keeps. To receive your first month of treatment for free, go to Keeps.com/SBS
  • 00:18:40 Distributed Inventory can Save You Money
  • 00:22:02 Grand Canal and Optimum
    • “Freight fees are often what kill you the most”
  • 00:26:11 Are you a broker or an advisor? Which do you want to be?
  • 00:29:12 The Challenge of Awareness
  • 00:31:15 Raising Marketing Money
  • 00:33:17 With VC, Be Aware of Actual Profits
  • 00:34:35 Keeps Your Eyes on Your Customer
  • 00:37:18 Knowing customer expectations
  • 00:40:06 SBS 213 Outtro

Adding Recurring Revenue to your Small Business – Small Business Show 212

Have you added a recurring income stream to your Small Business? Are you selling subscriptions, service plans or other passive income as part of your business model? Creating a recurring income stream is a powerful way to increase profits as well as creating a more lasting relationship with your customers. 

What are some typical recurring income streams?

  • Service plans
  • Subscriptions – physical products or content
  • Memberships
  • Affiliate revenue 
  • Retainers
  • Online Courses
  • Recurring upgrades
  • Donations

Service plans – if you are selling a product that may require service to keep it functioning, you should be selling extended warranties and service plans. Sell your own plan or sell a third party plan (Square Trade) – but sell something that adds value to your product line.

Subscriptions – can you add a subscription model to your business? Think about your product or service offerings and your current pricing – is there a monthly or annual subscription model that you could offer? Think Netflix – use the automatic recurring model to normalize your monthly revenue. You can be selling physical products with an automatic delivery schedule or services that renew each month.

Memberships – does your website offer a members only area with valuable content? Can you offer discounted prices for your services to paying members? Look at the movie business – you see both theatre chains and independent companies really pushing memberships.

Affiliate revenue – do you generate good traffic on your company website? Create an affiliate account with affiliate aggregators like Commission Junction, Amazon or others to create recurring revenue. 

Retainers – Do you offer services that your customers may want quick access to your attention or expertise? Charging a monthly retainer can be a great way to monetize this

Online Courses – Can you create an online course related to your business? I’m sure you can. Think about all your own knowledge or your employees and consider creating an online course that you can monetize. Most of you are experts in something – people will pay for value – think about sharing your knowledge – entice with some free content and some paid.

Recurring Upgrades – do you sell a product that has an upgrade cycle? Are newer models coming out frequently that have features your customers want? What about a program that allows them to automatically upgrade on a regular basis? Apple and companies like Verizon do it with phones, can you use that model and apply it to your products?

Donations – is your Small Business a cause or non-profit? Are you using the Paypal donate button on your website or Patreon to setup recurring donations? You should be.

We would love to hear how you are using Recurring Income streams to grow your business and keep connecting with your customers. Share your story at the Small Business Support Group

  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #212 for Wednesday, February 27, 2019
  • 00:01:55 Recurring Revenue, Mailbox Money,
  • 00:02:44 Safe by HUB6
  • 00:03:56 Recurring revenue is relationship-based
  • 00:05:01 Third-party warranty companies
  • 00:07:34 Subscriptions
  • 00:11:59 SPONSOR: TextExpander.com/podcast gets you 20% off your first year
  • 00:14:08 SPONSOR: Abby Connect. Get $95 off your first bill at AbbyConnect.com/sbs
  • 00:16:34 Memberships
  • 00:19:28 Costco’s profits? Membership value!
  • 00:21:17 Use recurring revenue to stop selling to your customers
  • 00:26:58 Additional Content for Subscribers
  • 00:29:39 Thinking about Donations as Membership
  • 00:33:26 Recurring upgrades
  • 00:35:08 SBS 212 Outtro

What is Aspirational Marketing and How Can You Use it in Your Small Business? – Small Business Show 211

We all aspire to greatness. Marketers have used this urge to be a better person, to own the best thing, to achieve the most and to be unique to create iconic brands that we all recognize. Just what is aspirational marketing and is there a way to use to in your Small Business?

Aspirational marketing involves striving in a long-lasting and meaningful way to achieve or become something in particular. This urge for something better or unique is so strong that people will make terrible financial decisions to be seen driving a particular brand of car, wearing a particular brand of clothing, carrying a particular brand of handbag. 

Think gym memberships in January – they are selling an aspirational story of what you COULD become, if only you will signup for a membership.

Think fashion shows by companies like Chanel, Gucci or Victoria Secret – they are trying to drive customers to their brand and stores that aspire to look something like they see on the runway – even if that’s impossible. 

Recently your hosts Shannon Jean and Dave Hamilton been thinking a lot about aspirational marketing and how Small Businesses might use some of these tactics to engage with our customers on a deeper, emotional level, to attract new customers and ultimately increase our sales.

Join us today for this episode of the Small Business Show to discuss how Aspirational Marketing can help your business. After the show, join us on the Small Business Support Group to share your story.

Chapters/Timestamps:

  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #211 for Wednesday, February 20, 2019
  • 00:00:57 Send in your feedback: feedback@businessshow.co
  • 00:01:50 What is Aspirational Marketing?
  • 00:05:23 Show people something they won’t buy
  • 00:07:37 SPONSOR: Abby Connect. Get $95 off your first bill at AbbyConnect.com/sbs
  • 00:10:26 SPONSOR: ExpressVPN – Take back your Internet privacy TODAY and find out how you can get 3 months free, go to ExpressVPN.com/SBS.
  • 00:12:34 Analyze your company’s product or service
    • What can your customer achieve with your product or service?
    • How can your customer create a better self with your product or service?
    • How does your product or service make your customer feel unique?
    • How can your product or service make your customer feel smarter?
    • How can you product or service make your customer feel healthier?
  • 00:14:31 The feeling of empowerment
  • 00:16:25 Don’t sweat the scratches and dings
  • 00:20:00 Sell the experience
  • 00:22:37 The value of artificial scarcity
  • 00:24:28 If you’re the product, make yourself scarce!
  • 00:26:42 Let your customers own a piece of your aspiration
  • 00:29:12 The Yeti Cooler Aspiration
  • 00:31:04 SBS 211 Outtro

Interview with Gilbert Gautereaux of HotelsVillasDirect.com – Small Business Show 210

We often talk about travel being one of the huge benefits of owning a Small Business. Being able to expand your world with travel is certainly a big part of living the Charmed Life of a Small Business owner.

Today, we get a chance to talk with someone who’s been on the other side of that equation, running travel and lifestyle related businesses. Gilbert Gauteraux has started, built and managed several travel and lifestyle businesses including JustLuxe.com and his latest venture, HotelsVillasDirect.com.

Gilbert has had some significant corporate experience, as well as starting and running his own Small Businesses, so we get a chance to dig deep into the pros and cons of each type of experience to get the show started.

Listen in and you’ll hear how HotelVillasDirect uses content creation to add value to their customers (both B2B and consumers) while driving leads to their website. You’ll also learn how the online travel market works, the multiple layers of information needed to close a sale and why it’s important for a hotel to be in control of the customer service experience directly.

Gilbert also spends time talking about leveraging the customer relationship in as many ways as possible and the challenges of educating investors and partners about what their business model really is, versus the perception of how the market operates.

Join us today for this episode of the Small Business Show with your hosts Shannon Jean and Dave Hamilton. There’s some great insights from this episode that will help any Small Business owner.

After the show, join us at the Small Business Support Group to ask questions, make comments and share your own Small Business story.

Chapters/Timestamps:

  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #210 for Wednesday, February 13, 2019
  • 00:00:58 Gilbert Gautereaux from JustLuxe.com and HotelsVillasDirect.com
  • 00:05:07 Working on your own vs. Working for someone else
  • 00:05:57 Taking notes in the middle of the night
  • 00:08:09 Starting HotelsVillasDirect
  • 00:12:49 Prioritizing the Customer Service Relationship
    • “One Throat to Choke”
  • 00:16:49 SPONSOR: Abby Connect. Get $95 off your first bill at AbbyConnect.com/sbs
  • 00:19:00 SPONSOR: TextExpander.com/podcast gets you 20% off your first year
  • 00:21:14 Content Creation to Acquire Customers
    • Sojoun Blvd
    • HVD Marketing Inc. – Lead generation platform and travel publishing group
  • 00:27:05 Three Pillars: Custom Content, Search Engine, Digital Solution
  • 00:29:16 Content for Conversions
  • 00:31:07 Making noise is difficult, focus on your business model
  • 00:33:14 Try to leverage your customers in as many ways as possible
  • 00:36:15 SBS 210 Outtro
    • gilbertg@hotelsvillasdirect.com

Adapting to Business Cycles – Small Business Show 209

The only constant in business is change. Every Small Business goes through various cycles in its lifetime and you’ll need to learn to adjust your management style, your activities and your attitude to match whatever cycle your are in. How many cycles will you encounter? It really depends on the type of business you are running, but on this episode of the Small Business Show, we’ll be focusing primarily on 5 different cycles.

  • Launch – Implementation – Action
  • Growth
  • Peak
  • Maturity
  • Decline

Listen and and you’ll learn why adapting your management style and anticipating the next business cycle is critically important for your success as a Small Business Owner.

Your hosts Dave Hamilton and Shannon Jean have owned businesses that have gone through all of these cycles; from the excitement of the Launch, all the way to the misery of decline. During each cycle, there are adjustments to be made and actions to be taken that will steer your business in the right direction. Learn from our mistakes and successes and mix in your own experience to keep your Small Business growing.

Join us for all this and much more on this episode, then visit the Small Business Support Group to share your own tips and to join in on the conversation!

Chapters/Timestamps:

  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #209 for Wednesday, February 6, 2019
  • 00:01:20 The Disaster version vs. the Planning Version
  • 00:03:09 Constant Change is Here to Stay
  • 00:04:10 Don’t Ignore Decline
  • 00:06:27 There is no Idea Cycle!
  • 00:07:26 It takes action to open the gate
  • 00:09:49 Get on the same page, then dispense with the internal paperwork
  • 00:11:41 Suddenly… viability!
  • 00:13:28 Have an operations person
  • 00:14:59 SPONSOR: ExpressVPN – Take back your Internet privacy TODAY and find out how you can get 3 months free, go to ExpressVPN.com/SBS.
  • 00:17:35 Don’t fall in love with the numbers!
  • 00:18:31 Cash FLOW is King
  • 00:21:48 Grow for ONLY good reasons
  • 00:22:41 Working IN the business vs. ON the business
  • 00:24:39 Expand Your Revenue Stack at Your Peak
  • 00:27:07 Your margins are my opportunities
  • 00:28:22 Jumping back in!
  • 00:29:56 What does maturity look like?
  • 00:31:35 Did you embrace change? Let us know at feedback@businessshow.co <https://businessshow.co/facebook>
  • 00:31:48 Options in decline: merge, sell, re-partner, close?
  • 00:34:27 Nothing lasts forever, even the bad stuff!
  • 00:37:40 Just Start!
  • 00:39:51 SBS 209 Outtro