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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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!

Building a Rental Car Small Business on the Turo Platform – Small Business Show 141

turo rental car small businessEver dream of driving an exotic sports car? How about having a dozen of them parked in your garage, all being paid for by your rental customers? This week Shannon and Dave meet two entrepreneurs who have built a fast-growing and successful Small Business using the Turo car rental platform. If you’ve ever dreamed of that new Porsche or Jaguar, but couldn’t figure out a way to pay for it, this is the show you don’t want to miss!

Gurjit Singh and Kevin Chou started The Gentleman’s Garage about two years ago and have expanded it to a dozen sports cars with availability in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Vegas. The guys share their story today, talking about the challenges of getting started, dealing with problems and removing obstacles to growth.

You’ll learn about managing risk, protecting yourself (and your cars) and the importance of having a strong platform that backs you up with insurance and background checks. We discuss how Gurjit and Kevin divide up their duties and how they have fine tuned their rental business to insure that each car is profitable – removing older, slower performing vehicles and adding newer models to keep their fleet fresh.

One key aspect becomes clear during the interview, Singh and Chou are focused on creating and managing the customer experience for customers that value convenience over price. By distinguishing there rentals with concierge style service, they have built a strong reputation with continued plans for growth.

Join us today to learn about these topics and more, then join the discussion on the Small Business Support Group!


  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #141 October 18, 2017
  • 00:01:36 Gurjit Singh & Kevin Chou – Using Turo as a Small Business platform
  • 00:03:46 It all starts with two Mustangs … and a BMW
  • 00:04:25 Turo covered the repair!
  • 00:05:36 Beware the damage claims
  • 00:06:47 Think about how people will drive your vehicles
  • 00:07:58 Turo manages the risk
  • 00:08:46 Turo valet service
  • 00:09:20 Each car makes 2-3x monthly payment
  • 00:11:31 The logistics of management
  • 00:13:34 One-way fee
  • 00:14:41 With affluent customers, you’re managing an experience
  • 00:17:17 If you’re going to rent it out, don’t buy new!
    • Certified Pre-Owned works very well for Turo
  • 00:20:23 Managing the fleet – new cars, selling cars, registrations
  • 00:21:38 The bankers slow you down!
  • 00:24:46 Did making it a business ruin your hobby?
  • 00:25:44 “The cars are still a thrill to drive”
    • Converting to a membership business
  • 00:27:45 Visit Gurjit and Kevin’s The Gentleman’s Garage on Turo … and Facebook
  • 00:28:57 SBS 141 Outtro

Small Business Contracts and Getting Paid on Time – Small Business Show 140

small business contractsEver been surprised by the small print in a contract that you signed for your Small Business? Join us today for episode 140 of the Small Business Show for tips on how to respond when companies try slip egregious terms and conditions into their contracts, how to shut down automatic bank withdrawals by using the Revoke Authorization tactic and much more.

Dave and Shannon then jump into a discussion about setting up clear and concise payment terms to be sure you get paid quickly for your products and services. Setting a clear payment policy that is shown up front to your customers is critical to avoiding problems with getting paid in full and on time.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for part 2 of our Getting Paid discussion when we’ll discuss the best ways to manage debt collection.

Next week, we’ll be joined by a pair of Small Business owners running their company on the Turo car sharing platform. Listen in and then jump over to the Small Business Support Group to comment and ask your questions.


  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #140 October 11, 2017
  • 00:01:20 Follow-up on Phone systems – Get enough data!
  • 00:04:20 Credit Card Follow-up
  • 00:06:51 Pay attention to contracts
  • 00:09:50 Learn about “Revoke Authorization” compliance
  • 00:13:46 Send important emails with the recipient on the phone – to confirm verbal receipt.
  • 00:16:45 Watch out for the arbitrary fees
  • 00:17:52 Mind the details
  • 00:19:15 Things you can do to make sure you get paid
  • 00:20:32 Have a very clear payment policy
  • 00:23:56 Get comfortable discussing money
  • 00:24:45 “The value of your skill drops precipitously once you perform it”
  • 00:27:12 Have a pre-services info sheet/agreement
  • 00:28:16 Make sure to bill for your time
  • 00:30:12 Debt Collection coming up!
  • 00:30:40 Turo.com car sharing platform interview coming up next week
  • 00:31:00 SBS 140 Outtro

Small Business Phone Systems – PBX, VOIP and Mobile – Small Business Show 139

small business phone systemWhat’s the best Small Business phone system? Join Dave and Shannon today on episode 139 of the Small Business Show to hear about options ranging from pricey PBX systems, to Voice Over IP services like Phone.com, RingCentral and Grasshopper.

During the discussion, Shannon spends some time pointing out how critical your phone auto-attendant can be when showing your customers what type of company you are. Current and potential clients will quickly learn about your business, based on how they are treated when calling your Small Business.

We then jump into a discussion about mobile phone plans using traditional carriers, along with new offerings from Xfinity Mobile. Watch out for hardware compatibility issues and be sure to do the math correctly when comparing plans.

Join us today and then share your phone tips at the Small Business Support Group!


  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #139 October 5, 2017
  • 00:01:08 Beware of too much time on your hands
  • 00:02:30 Gone is the $10,000 PBX Phone System!
  • 00:05:25 Are wired phones obsolete for your business?
  • 00:12:14 Your phone system’s auto-attendant defines you
  • 00:15:53 Question your existing systems
  • 00:18:57 Beware the snowballs
  • 00:23:26 Xfinity Mobile
  • 00:27:15 Make sure you do the math!
  • 00:29:14 SBS 139 Outtro

Mistakes to Avoid and Tips about Small Business Financial Statements – Small Business Show 138

Mistakes to avoid small business financial statementsHow important is it to understand and review your Small Business Balance Sheet, Profit and Lose Statement and Cash Flow Statement and how often should you be doing it? Join us today on episode 138 of the Small Business Show for our thoughts on these issues and more!

Your financial statements are a window into your business. Failure to understand and review them frequently can lead to some massive headaches (take it from our own experiences!). On today’s show, we discuss where to get help in understanding what the data in your financials means and how to spot red flags that can be addressed early, before they become major issues. We then discuss the pitfall of focusing solely on Revenue instead of Cash flow that is the blood of your business. Many “profitable” Small Businesses have closed up shop for lack of cash.

Then it’s time to roll out the idea of sharing your financials with your employees – in ways that protect your information but help to explain just how your Small Business makes money and where that money goes. There’s no doubt that your employees think your making more cash than you actually are, so it’s important to let them in on the data that shows how much it really costs to run your company.

Finally, we discuss how often you should be meeting with your accountant – definitely NOT just at tax time.

Join us for these topics and more and then click over the the Small Business Support Group to comment and provide your own tips!


Resources mentioned on this episode:

The Balance: Guide to understanding financial statements
QuickBooks: Warning signs in your financial statements

The Balance: How to prepare a Cash Flow Statement

Small Business Website Names and the Exciting World of Credit Card Merchant Processing – Small Business Show 137

small business credit card processingShould you be worried about only using a .COM domain name for your Small Business? How do you deal with coming up with a domain name if your Small Business name is not available as a .COM web address? Join us for episode 137 of the Small Business Show to find out what longtime, serial Small Business owners Dave Hamilton and Shannon Jean think about this and much more.

We then jump into a riveting discussion about old-school merchant credit card processing vs. newer solutions from Stripe, Square and Paypal. Dave shares his story of having to dig deep into actual paper reports to find out just how much his business has been getting charged and what roadblocks are being put in his way to keep his customers ongoing, subscription based payments intact when he changes processors.

In the end, we agree with Paypal COO Bill Ready when he says “Talking about payment processing just for the sake of payment processing is just not that interesting.” The discussion needs to be about how transparent, contextual and portable can payment processing become.

Listen in and then visit the Small Business Show Support Group on Facebook to ask your questions or comment!



  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #137 September 20, 2017
  • 00:01:00 The concept of limited willpower
  • 00:03:04 Todd-URLs for your Company name 
  • 00:07:25 Changing Merchant Providers
    • Traditional gateway/bank processor vs. Stripe, Square, Paypal
  • 00:11:06 The power of printing reports on paper to find out what’s going on
  • 00:13:07 Watch the numbers!
  • 00:15:27 Authorize.net tries one last time to screw Dave
  • 00:17:50 Watch out for old-school, handcuff business models
  • 00:23:19 Payments should be a boring thing, with the price going down
  • 00:24:54 SBS Outtro

Why You Should be Attending Small Business Conferences and Let’s Get Vulnerable – Small Business Show 136

cNow Paypal Conference and The ProfitDo you take the time out to attend Small Business conferences and trade shows? Would you like to make some powerful connections, meet some great people and renew your energy? Listen in to episode 136 of the Small Business Show to find out how you can have all this and more!

Shannon just returned from the Paypal cNow conference in Chicago and he’s ready to talk about the people he met and what he learned. The conference included roughly 50 Small Business owners from across the country that got a chance to meet Paypal, Braintree and Venmo executives to see their latest “Contextual Commerce” payment products and sit in on some excellent Small Business discussions.

Dave and Shannon spend some time discussing the power of attending these types of events and why you should be seeking them out as part of your business development system and the building of your personal brand. You’ll learn how to engage with the speakers, make long term connections and how to work your way onto discussion panels and to ultimately become an invited guest.

Shannon also discusses his meeting with Marcus Lemonis from The Profit and why Marcus thinks that we all need to be more vulnerable when managing our employees, customers and suppliers. We wrap up the show with a discussion of “handshake deals”, Working Agreements and how to sniff out the people that just want to make you their race horse.

Join us on this episode of the Small Business Show for all this and more! After you listen, click over to our Facebook Small Business Support group to ask questions and comment on the show.


  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #136 September 13, 2017
  • 00:00:43 Paypal cNow (C for commerce) conference in Chicago
  • 00:03:46 The power of attending conferences
  • 00:09:12 Don’t give in to feelings of inadequacy
  • 00:10:55 Engage when you’re there
  • 00:13:02 Contact us! feedback@businessshow.co
  • 00:13:14 Marcus Lemonis from The Profit
  • 00:15:05 The Most Important Word in Business
  • 00:18:03 Digging into vulnerability
  • 00:20:34 Confidence erodes empathy
  • 00:22:07 Be careful using other people’s tools
  • 00:24:36 Lack of confidence… breeds lack of confidence!
  • 00:26:10 Maybe “we’re struggling here” is OK to say
  • 00:28:47 Handshakes vs. Lies
  • 00:31:50 Working agreements
  • 00:34:20 Beware the pitchers!
  • 00:37:12 SBS Outtro

Tips for Running Your Small Business from Home – Small Business Show 135

running your small business from homDo you run your Small Business from your home? Are you tempted to wear sweatpants everyday and move your desk close to the refrigerator for convenience? Join us today on the Small Business Show to get some great tips on how to stay motivated and disciplined while working from home.

Long-time home office Small Business owner Dave Hamilton answers questions today as Shannon transitions from going into the office each day (24-years!) to working out of his home. We discuss finding a routine that works for you, checking in with your remote employees or partners each morning and the power of regular video meetings in Google Hangouts.

We also spend time going over ways to manage remote interruptions, since no one can “see” that you’re busy when they ask for your help, using Slack reminders and the importance of actually combing your hair before you start work each day.

Join us for these topics and more and then jump over to the Small Business Show Support Group to comment and offer us your own tips about working from home.


  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #135 September 6, 2017
  • 00:01:19 Blue… and Normal
  • 00:02:39 No office is a joy… until it’s not!
  • 00:05:47 Finding a routine that helps motivate and discipline your workflow
    • Slack: Good morning! Water Cooler
  • 00:10:41 Regular, Virtual meetings with your team or co-workers – facetime is important.
    • Google Hangouts, Skype, FaceTime. Keeping you connected
  • 00:12:03 Get More Done: 18 Tips for Telecommuters
  • 00:12:50 The Pomodoro Method with Bob Levitus on Small Business Show
  • 00:13:21 Recognizing that remote team members don’t know if you’re available and may contact you at the worst time.
  • 00:17:25 Slack Reminders to keep you (and your team) on task when you are tied up and need to come back later to review
  • 00:19:52 Get dressed. No Sweatpants! Comb your hair, bro!
  • 00:22:42 Set clear boundaries and work hours for family and friends
  • 00:25:21 Use the kitchen wisely!
  • 00:28:59 Watch that your routine doesn’t become a rut
  • 00:30:00 Make yourself accountable to YOU
  • 00:31:26 SBS Outtro

Small Business Show Interview with Cory Fosket and Doug Butcher of Tanglefree Waterfowl – Small Business Show 134

tanglefree waterfowl interviewWhat’s the best way to build your companies brand and create fans that are passionate about your products? Cory Fosket and Doug Butcher took a company focused on a single product line and expanded it over the last 13-years into a trusted brand for waterfowl hunters and outdoor enthusiasts. Along the way, they’ve learned about the importance of quality and how to step outside the business to plan 3-5 years ahead rather than just grinding it out day-after-day. Listen in to this episode of the Small Business Show to hear the Tanglefree story!

During our discussion today, we get some great tips on creating strong relationships with your customers as well as your overseas suppliers to create a win-win environment where your company and suppliers profit while the customer gets a great value, high quality product.

Cory and Doug spend some time discussing various measures of success and what means the most to each of them, as well as what they are doing to power through obstacles to propel Tanglefree into the future. We also learn about the pros and cons of selling to big-box retailers vs smaller stores and how to manage each different type of relationship. Finally, you’ll learn what to watch out for when developing products in China and how to create long term success with factory owners.

Join us today on the Small Business Show for these tips and more! Then, jump over to the Small Business Show Support group to discuss the show.


  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #134 August 30, 2017
  • 00:01:17 Duck season and Ducks Unlimited
  • 00:01:24 Cory Fosket and Doug Butcher from Tanglefree Waterfowl Products
  • 00:02:20 An Intentional Family Business
  • 00:03:30 Acquire a minor line in someone else’s business and expand it
  • 00:04:57 Expand the staff by bringing in more family
  • 00:07:49 Building a brand in today’s world
  • 00:10:28 Making brand engagement a daily focus
  • 00:11:28 Relationships with Customers
  • 00:13:40 Redefining a relationship ahead of its time
  • 00:15:23 Favorite mistake: Not applying vision
  • 00:16:38 The other favorite mistake: learning that quality is better than price
  • 00:19:04 Success metric: Brand Engagement
  • 00:21:40 Look three-to-five years out
  • 00:22:46 Focus on relationships
  • 00:26:01 For a business relationship to work, both parties need to make money
  • 00:29:45 Reward Quality Control
  • 00:30:12 SBS Outtro


Tips for Naming Your Small Business + Listener Questions – Small Business Show 133

tips for naming your businessWhat’s the best method for naming your Small Business? Go with your instincts, listen to friends and family or use an online tool? Listen to this episode of the Small Business Show for tips to come up with a great name for your business and avoid some common mistakes with the help from our friends at Entrepreneur magazine. We also discuss the power of Taglines to enhance your Small Business name and just how much effort should you put into that killer logo?

Then we’re on to listener questions with a discussion on how to power yourself up so you can best represent your Small Business during the sale process and a quick primer on why Cash is King to keep the gears of your business turning smoothly.

Join us for these topics and more on episode 133 of the Small Business Show!


  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #133 August 23, 2017
  • 00:00:41 Breaking your routine to keep you fresh
  • 00:02:08 Should you be able to do each job?
  • 00:05:16 Naming your business
  • 00:09:05 Make sure you and your team are happy with the name/logo
  • 00:10:36 Taglines matter
  • 00:12:49 Your online profile matters more than the SEO of your name
  • 00:16:15 Find a name you like, and go!
  • 00:16:43 Shary-Finding a buyer for your business
  • 00:21:42 Jay-Cash Flow issues
  • 00:27:03 Use credit cards instead of HELOC
  • 00:28:00 Cash flow first, profits second
  • 00:29:46 SBS Outtro

Employee, Self-Employed or Entrepreneur – who makes the best partners? Small Business Show 132

Do you know the signs that tell if a person is an Employee, Self-Employed or an employee or entrepreneurEntrepreneur? Join Dave and Shannon for this episode of the Small Business Show to find out!

During today’s episode, we get to spend time dissecting personality types so you can understand who would make a good employee vs. who would make a good business partner. We discuss Do’ers vs delegators and ways to create a Working Agreement to help you find out if you all have what it takes to build a successful partnership.

Communication is key and your hosts speak about methods to keep the dialogue going when their is an inevitable problem with your business partner (Partner Therapy, anyone?). Find out why how much risk and accountability your employees are willing to take starts with YOU, the business owner and just how to get past the Superhero complex that is so common.

We wrap up the show with a discussion about getting-out-of-the-way of your employees so they can do their jobs and grow your business along with the importance of sharing your crazy ideas (business or otherwise) with the right type of people if you expect to get a useful response.

Join us for episode 132 of the Small Business Show and then visit our Small Business Support Group to talk about the show!


  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #132 August 16, 2017
  • 00:00:55 Love What You Do and You’ll Never Work a Day In Your Life
  • 00:01:31 Passion vs. Motivation vs. Discipline
  • 00:02:58 The Peter principle
  • 00:04:58 The differences between employees and entrepreneurs and self-employed people
  • 00:06:00 Finding a good business partner: someone who is good at what you are not
  • 00:06:23 Do’ers vs. delegators
  • 00:07:15 Create a Working Agreement
  • 00:11:34 Similar financial needs and goals
  • 00:13:00 Beware the double-dippers, even yourself
  • 00:17:17 Partner therapy
  • 00:17:44 Different Mindsets: Employee vs. Business Owner
  • 00:19:38 Mirror vs. Window
    • Risk vs. Accountability
  • 00:22:34 The Superhero Complex as it relates to Solopreneurs vs. Business Owners
  • 00:27:02 From Business Owner to Investor
  • 00:27:58 Give your employees autonomy
  • 00:29:03 You are your own impediment
  • 00:32:31 Break out of your own bubble
  • 00:35:47 SBS 132 End