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!

Forging Small Business Relationships with Vendors and Suppliers – Small Business Show 171

forging small business vendor relationshipsThe strength of your relationships with vendors and suppliers is critically important for the success of your Small Business. What’s the best method and when is the right time for you to start these relationships? Join us on episode 171 of the Small Business Show to hear our tips about this topic and more!

Listen in and you’ll hear why timing is important and ways to make a human connection with all your vendors. Learn why Shannon Jean and Dave Hamilton believe that a good personality fit is important and why you should not be looking for professional help when you really need it (like in an emergency). Taking the time to find the right vendors and support partners for your Small Business can make all the difference.

You’ll also hear how good communication can keep vendor relationships strong, how to leverage one good vendor to find another and the story behind why Shannon’s accountant fired him as a client!

Join us today for the Small Business Show and then share your comments on the Small Business Support Group!


  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #171 for Wednesday, May 16, 2018
  • 00:01:00 We want you to come on the show: feedback@businessshow.co
  • 00:01:53 Forge Relationships with your Vendors
  • 00:03:11 Get on their radar
    • Use your affinity credit cards
  • 00:07:29 When shipping: Beware the fees!
  • 00:09:58 Find your vendors before you need them
  • 00:12:30 Find the right vendors that fit your business
  • 00:14:00 Create a litmus test
  • 00:17:03 Find a good graphics person
  • 00:17:50 SPONSOR: GoDesignerGo.com/SBS – SBS50
  • 00:20:34 Keep your vendors up-to-date
  • 00:23:15 Shannon Got Fired! (by his accountant)
  • 00:24:43 Using Slack with your clients
  • 00:27:07 Don’t forget the humanity
  • 00:30:10 SBS 171 Outtro

Removing Obstacles to Your Small Business Success – Small Business Show 170

removing obstacles to small business successShould you cut corners to speed up starting a new business? If so, what corners can you safely cut that won’t create problems for you in the future? Join us today on the Small Business Show to get our take on what you should cut and what you should not!

We start this episode off with a rant from Dave about unreconciled accounts and leaving cash on your suppliers books (hint: don’t do this). Shannon discusses his experience with business people that didn’t think refunds should actually be, well refunded, and why the stuff you least enjoy doing (accounting, for example) might be just the stuff you need to pay the most attention to.

Our focus on this show is all about moving things forward. Not letting problems, delays or other peoples obstacles get in the way of your Small Business. Listen in and then join us at the Small Business Support Group to share your thoughts!


  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #170 for Wednesday, May 9, 2018
  • 00:01:02 Whine: Not catching an unreconciled deposit…. For 2 years!
  • 00:07:30 Managing Refunds
  • 00:09:57 When accounting isn’t your favorite!
    • Brian O’Connell on Small Business Show
  • 00:12:03 SPONSOR: Visit TextExpander.com/podcast for 20% off your first year.
  • 00:14:47 Cutting Corners – Taking the Liberty of Convenience
  • 00:20:51 Move things forward!
  • 00:23:25 Waiting for Permission is much worse than Taking the Wrong Action
  • 00:26:39 Our Small Business Support Group on Facebook
  • 00:28:50 aSBS 170 Outtro

The Power of Saying NO – Small Business Show 169

the power of saying no for your small businessLongtime listeners know that we believe that saying Yes more can help your personal brand and your business, but is there a point where saying No becomes more important? We think there is, and that part of your own Success Cycle is knowing when to say No and how it impacts your Small Business.

Join us today as Shannon Jean and Dave Hamilton share their experiences using No to manage projects and take on just the tasks that will fuel your own achievement system.

We discuss the differences between saying no in your personal life and in your Small Business and how you can easily fool yourself into thinking you’ve being productive, rather than just filling up your schedule. You’ll also hear about ways to say no to the request, not to the person making it, how to use a “conditional yes” to manage situations and we’ll help you stand strong against prioritizing other people’s emergencies.

Join us today for all this and more on this episode of the Small Business Show. Then, visit the Small Business Support Group to share your thoughts, ask questions and join the conversation.


  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #169 for Wednesday, May 2, 2018
  • 00:01:49 Shannon and Dave are here for the No Show
  • 00:02:59 The Personal “No”
  • 00:06:43 Managing your system
  • 00:09:24 The “Fill my Schedule” trap
  • 00:12:00 Procrastinating with Productivity
  • 00:14:53 Harvard Business Review: “Say no to the request, not the person”
  • 00:18:15 SPONSOR: GoDesignerGo.com/SBS – Save 50% off the start of your subscription with SBS50
  • 00:22:04 Understanding the “Conditional Yes”
  • 00:25:30 Is someone else going to have to do the work?
  • 00:26:23 Do you have the confidence to say “no”?
  • 00:27:39 Prioritizing Other People’s Emergencies
  • 00:29:41 The Empowered “No”
  • 00:31:01 Sometimes Exceptions become policy
  • 00:35:55 SBS 169 Outtro

Powering Through the Daily Grind of Running Your Small Business – Small Business Show 168

powering through small business problems

Running your Small Business is not always glamorous and full of inspiration. There’s going to be days (weeks, months) that you have to resign yourself to slogging through the muck, solving what may seem like insurmountable problems, all the while keeping yourself and your team motivated to make it through the day. On this episode of the Small Business Show, Dave Hamilton and Shannon Jean discuss adversity, sharing their own stories and offering some tips on how to endeavor to persevere.

On a recent episode, we focused on the Charmed Life that can be created by owning one or more Small Businesses. We got called out a bit in the Small Business Support Group from a business owner that was frustrated that we were forgetting about the struggle that many Small Business owners face each day, that living a “Charmed Life” just wasn’t an option for these folks. Based on that feedback, this episode focuses on the struggle, grinding it out each day when you need to and how to power through tough times. All the while, we remind the commenter that they were already creating their own Charmed Life by being able to make their own decisions, to control their own destiny by solving those problems, by battling through the struggle.

Join us today for a special episode of the Small Business Show, then visit the Support Group to take part in the conversation!


  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #168 for Wednesday, April 25, 2018
  • 00:01:05 Shannon and Dave get called out!
  • 00:02:04 All About that Grind
  • 00:04:31 Parable: The Flat-Panel TV Débâcle
    • Buy everyone’s problems
  • 00:07:41 Tip: Be able to adapt
  • 00:08:21 Scott, on Facebook: “Some of us haven’t gotten there yet!”
  • 00:08:53 Parable: “This will put us out of business.”
  • 00:12:44 When your self-worth is wrapped up in your business’s success
  • 00:13:34 Tip: Bull-headed persistence
    • Endeavor to Persevere
  • 00:18:46 Parable: The sleep-aid story
  • 00:20:14 Tip: Embrace the stress (at an acceptable level)
  • 00:21:10 “Find other people’s Problems” (translates to Dave’s “Take People’s Headaches Away”)
  • 00:22:48 SPONSOR: Visit TextExpander.com/podcast for 20% off your first year.
  • 00:26:02 The grind never ends
  • 00:26:31 Do you want to hear Dave and Shannon whine? feedback@businessshow.co
  • 00:28:01 Tip: Accept the definition of insanity
  • 00:28:58 Tip: Try new things and document them
  • 00:29:43 Tip: Force yourself to look at what’s not working
  • 00:31:33 Tip: Accept good fortune, but don’t count on it!
  • 00:33:53 Tip: Keep yourself mentally strong
  • 00:38:14 Tip: Embrace small successes
  • 00:42:17 Tip: Program your moist robot
  • 00:42:54 Tip: Look in the mirror, even when things are going bad
  • 00:44:55 SBS 168 Outtro

Enriching Your Life Beyond Profits With Your Small Business – Small Business Show 167

enrich your life beyond profits with your small businessWhat’s the secret to living a Charmed Life and using your Small Businesses as fuel to create it? Join us today on the Small Business Show to learn how Dave Hamilton and Shannon Jean have founded a multitude of Small Businesses over their lifetimes to bring them much more than profits.

We’ve mentioned the Charmed Life on our show many times, in fact, it’s usually a sign-off message at the end of each show, encouraging you to “Keep living that Charmed Life!” It’s such an important part of our experience that we thought it was time to dig deep into the details and explain just what we mean with that phrase and how you can join us on this awesome journey.

You’ll learn about creating a Success Cycle that keeps you moving forward, enriching your life along the way, how to create simple Working Agreements that not only keep things clear between prospective business partners, but act as a “test” when you are just at the beginning of a potential partnership. We then jump into a discussion about Freedom vs. Flexibility and why understanding the difference can, well, make all the difference in your perception of just what success is.

Join us today and you’ll also gain some valuable insight on our concept of creating your own reality and why being able to write your own story is a huge part of the Charmed Life experience. During the discussion, we also touch on the financial benefits of your Small Business and why we believe that making money is secondary and that you will ultimately build more wealth with this method.

We wrap up the show with a discussion about “selfishness” and why it’s a positive thing to enrich your own self so you can help others along the way.

You don’t want to miss this episode of the Small Business Show!  Listen in, then come join hundreds of other Small Business owners in the Small Business Support Group.


  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #167 for Wednesday, April 18, 2018
  • 00:02:31 You’re building a set of stairs
  • 00:03:35 Why do you want to do this?
  • 00:06:09 When setup right, success comes quickly
  • 00:07:26 The nuts and bolts of that Working Agreement
  • 00:09:29 The Success Cycle
  • 00:10:26 Living the Charmed Life
    • Freedom vs. Flexibility
  • 00:11:29 Tell your own story, create your own reality
  • 00:13:11 Time is our most precious commodity
  • 00:14:47 Don’t feel guilty about the charmed life!
  • 00:16:52 Flexible financial picture
  • 00:18:38 90% of my life is tax deductible
  • 00:20:00 Creating your second family
  • 00:21:30 Be selfish about making yourself feel good when helping others
  • 00:22:35 Book a trip for someone else
  • 00:23:52 And then book a trip for yourself
  • 00:25:17 Non-taxable income
  • 00:25:25 Enjoy laughter
    • “We have a great time working very hard”
  • 00:28:00 The money is secondary
  • 00:29:39 SBS 167

How Much Risk is Right for Your Small Business? Episode 166 of the Small Business Show

Is all business risk bad? Searching for “small business risk” online and you’ll find most articles and resources are focused on minimizing or avoiding risk. Listen in to today’s episode of the Small Business Show to hear why we believe that taking risks is part of the “secret sauce” of business success. Without risk, you’re no different than the person working in the cubicle who never starts their business in the first place.

Your hosts, Dave Hamilton and Shannon Jean have some strong ideas about risk and why you should be embracing it, turning risk into opportunity for your Small Business. During the show, you’ll hear about how taking risks can create an advantage over your competitors and how the anxiety associated with taking risks can fuel your motivation.

You’ll also learn about minimizing risks and how to use successes of any size to create a Success Cycle that will propel you to even more awesomeness.

Join us today on the Small Business Show for all this and much more. Then, visit our Support Group to join the conversation!


Setting Customer Expectations and Empowering Employees to Solve Problems – Small Business Show 165

managing customer expectationsEver been frustrated when you’re waiting for a service provider to show up or a product to arrive and they/it are late? Today we turn the tables and discuss this problem as it relates to your Small Business performance and the importance of setting, then meeting (ideally exceeding!) your customers expectations. It’s time for episode 165 of the Small Business Show!

Both Dave and Shannon have experiences they want to share with you about not having their expectations met when working with other businesses and how that impacted them, as well as the disruption is can cause at the company performing the work. The discussion focuses on how to set the customer expectation and how to manage communication during the process, so even if you can’t fulfill that expectation, your customers will still be happy.

We then jump into ways to insure that your customer feels valued and why breaking bad news early and transparently can earn you customer loyalty. Then it’s on to talk and tips about empowering your employees to solve problems without having to seek approval from you or their supervisor and why saying “Yes” more will bring on the customer love.

Listen in and then join the discussion on the Small Business Support Group!




  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #165 for Wednesday, April 4, 2018
  • 00:01:27 To-Do Lists
  • 00:03:43 Customer Services Tales
  • 00:04:48 Irving
  • 00:06:25 Set that expectation
  • 00:10:30 Then manage to that expectation
  • 00:13:36 Missed expectations are massively disruptive to everyone
  • 00:15:16 Own the communication of bad news
  • 00:16:10 Quote hours, not days
  • 00:17:45 Make the customer feel like they matter
  • 00:18:41 Communicate that value
  • 00:20:59 Why do these service companies fail at this over and over again?
  • 00:23:48 SPONSOR: Simple Contacts – Get $30 off at simplecontacts.com/sbs or enter SBS at checkout
  • 00:28:07 Apple
  • 00:32:28 We Screwed Up
  • 00:36:07 The Lesson is to find an empowered employee
  • 00:36:56 Empowerment Translates to Importance
  • 00:38:41 When you say “Yes” The Customer Loves You
  • 00:41:18 Shannon’s Contractor Sucked the joy out of the project
  • 00:42:04 The moral: set expectations, empower employees
  • 00:43:00 What would it take to change this?
  • 00:44:16 SBS 165 Outtro

Small Business Mediation Tips, Tricks and Advice from Dave Hamilton and Shannon Jean – Small Business Show 164

small business mediation tipsWhen there’s a disagreement with a customer, supplier or someone else, what is the best way to resolve the problem while keeping your Small Business running strong? Have you been sued or are you contemplating suing someone? Join us today on the Small Business Show where we discuss Alternative Dispute Resolution methods like Arbitration and Mediation.

If you are a party to a lawsuit, either plaintiff or defendant, chances are you’ll be pushed into mediation by a judge in an attempt to keep you out of court. Dave and Shannon have both been parties to mediation and as you can imagine, they have much to talk about when it comes to making the most out of your mediation experience.

Listen in to episode 164 of the Small Business Show to hear their stories and pickup some tips, including how to keep everyone’s ego out of the process, including your attorney’s, how to pick the right attorney to represent you, how the process works and why timing is so important for success.

After the show, keep the conversation going by joining us at the Small Business Support Group to share your mediation story, ask questions or comment on the show.


  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #164 for Wednesday, March 27, 2018
  • 00:01:09 Facebook Local
  • 00:02:00 Mediation vs. Arbitration
  • 00:05:03 Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • 00:07:18 Mediation brings a possibility that you can work things out
  • 00:09:27 The (painful) process
  • 00:10:41 Co-mingling the parties
  • 00:13:27 Picking the right attorney
  • 00:15:50 Finding an outcome that’s livable
  • 00:17:08 Avoid being intimidated
  • 00:20:59 SPONSOR: Visit TextExpander.com/podcast for 20% off your first year.
  • 00:23:24 SPONSOR: Visit JAMF.com/SBS to get your first 3 devices free for life!
  • 00:27:05 Mediation leads to a lesson
  • 00:32:19 The turning point
  • 00:35:24 Avoid awkward elevator conversation
  • 00:38:05 Avoiding the egos!
  • 00:38:52 Beware the attorneys (and their egos)
  • 00:41:01 Moving on is important
  • 00:44:26 Focus on the resolution
  • 00:46:07 Be aware of the lifespan
  • 00:46:34 Dave’s Valuable Negotiation Lesson
  • 00:48:42 SBS 164 Outtro

Small Business Interview with Caitlin Corkill of Paq-Source Packaging and Logistics – Small Business Show #163

If your business includes shipping products, having a strong relationship with a packaging and logistics company is critically important – In our experience, you can “leak” a tremendous amount of your cash out through your packaging and shipping costs.

To talk more about the importance of this topic, we’re thrilled to have Caitlin Corkill with us today. Caitlin is the founder of Paq-Source, a company that provides packaging and equipment, as well as logistics consulting to help you manage your shipping, packaging and warehousing. 

There’s a lot to learn on this episode, join us, then visit the Small Business Support Group to ask questions and share your own story.


  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #163 for Wednesday, March 21, 2018
  • 00:00:56 Caitlin CorkillPaq-Source
  • 00:02:01 Worked for a family friend and then time to leave.
  • 00:02:27 Eight months notice led to … not leaving!
  • 00:03:37 Finding an overlooked city
  • 00:04:10 Consolidating two offices
  • Finding reliability inside efficiency
  • 00:05:13 You learn so much about a business by being on a sales call
  • 00:06:04 Are you ever surprised?
  • 00:07:40 It’s like toner!
  • 00:08:33 The importance of customer referrals
  • 00:09:50 No Catalog, Just Solutions!
    • Avoid the bottom-feeders
  • 00:11:38 “We sell commodities but we are not to be commoditized!”
  • 00:12:50 Growing companies are our bread-and-butter
    • “The companies where we thrive are the companies that are growing.”
  • 00:13:35 What’s your sales/marketing process?
  • 00:15:11 “Making money is easy, making it worth something is the fun in running a business.”
  • 00:15:55 CARES = Customer Centric Adaptable Experts Solid.
  • 00:16:19 Ten Paq Commandments (h/t to Biggie Smalls)
  • 00:17:40 It’s a community you have, not just a business
  • 00:21:27 Process, Process, Process (Process!)
  • 00:24:40 Running between two cities
  • 00:25:23 SBS 163 Outtro

Search Engine Strategies for your Small Business – Small Business Show 162

What does it take for your Small Business to rank high on search engines when customers are looking for your products or services? Should you be allocating most of your ad budget to search, or are there better methods for your particular business to connect with customers? Join us on this episode of the Small Business Show for these topics and much more!

Don’t miss the episode where your co-host Shannon Jean admits: “I hate search, it makes me feel stupid.” Hear his story and either laugh at or commiserate with him as he shares his frustration about ranking high on page one of search results. You’ll also learn why he feels that search engines are just another marketplace, like eBay or Amazon, only focused on selling your business information and how that changed his focus and approach to success with search.

Dave Hamilton shares his story of battling scraper sites that market his own content, while blocking the original posts on search engines and how he is working to solve the problem.

We then spend time helping you to focus your SEO priorities to better achieve success with tips and tricks about using SEO companies, consultants and in-house talent to raise your rankings. We wrap up the show with advice about ignoring your competitors that you don’t want to miss.

Listen in to episode 162 of the Small Business Show and then join us at the Small Business Support Group to share your story and get your questions answered.



  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #162 for Wednesday, March 14, 2018
  • 00:01:17 SXSW Conference and Festivals
  • 00:03:22 Watch your intake
  • 00:04:51 Drunk words are sober thoughts
  • 00:06:29 Managing the party
  • 00:07:40 Building a Different Bond
  • 00:09:08 Near Me Searches on Small Business Show
  • 00:09:51 SEO and Keyword Optimization
  • 00:12:48 Value vs. Relevance
  • 00:13:34 SPONSOR: Visit TextExpander.com/podcast for 20% off your first year.
  • 00:16:48 Dave’s SEO Story with Duck Duck Go
  • 00:18:52 Bing and Yandex feed Duck Duck Go
  • 00:20:20 Scraper sites are the worst!
  • 00:21:56 Your site has a block on it
  • 00:23:28 DMCA Requests to the scrapers
  • 00:24:45 Defining your SEO priorities
  • 00:26:31 Is SEO the best method for you to connect with your customer?
  • 00:27:52 Bring your SEO in house if it’s that important
  • 00:29:10 Use Free SEO Consultations as Sales tools
  • 00:30:00 Beware Black Hat SEO
  • 00:32:05 Don’t forget the human aspect
  • 00:33:59 Avoid Competitive Keyword Battles
  • 00:35:26 SBS 162 Outtro