Welcome to The Small Business Show!

The Award Winning Small Business Show is the only Small Business Podcast that is By, For and About Small Business Owners.

With over 40-years of Small Business experience between them, 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 guests that have started, run and sold Small Businesses both big and small. With over 200 episodes, there is a wealth of content, advice and interviews that we hope will inspire, educate and perhaps motivate you to start your own Small Business.

After the show, join us at the Small Business Support Group to join the conversation!

Interview with Greg Scown of Smile Software – Small Business Show 227

We constantly talk about maximizing our time on the Small Business Show and how using our time wisely is one of the key aspects of being successful as a Small Business owner. Automating processes and using tools to manage repetitive actions is part of a system to increase your productivity each day.

Today, we get a chance to talk with Greg Scown, Co-Founder of Smile, creators of life-changing and time-saving software applications like PDFpen and TextExpander. You’ll recognize TextExpander as a frequent sponsor of the show and software that both of your hosts use daily. 

Join Shannon Jean and Dave Hamilton as we try not to geek-out over one of our favorite pieces of software and focus on the business story of Smile and how they have found success by focusing on the productivity niche while transitioning one of their core products to a subscription model. There are some great lessons about communication, customer service and authenticity in Greg and Smiles story.

Listen in and then visit the Small Business Support Group to ask questions or share your own story.

Chapters/Timestamps:

  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #227 for Wednesday, June 12, 2019
  • 00:01:17 Greg Scown from Smile
  • 00:02:13 The Apps Came First!
  • 00:03:27 PageSender Fax Software ships in April 2002
  • 00:04:06 Meeting Philip Gower and DiscLabel
  • 00:05:14 PDFpen: The Riches are in The Niches
  • 00:06:53 Stick with your goal
  • 00:07:40 Accepting and Letting Go of an Eroding Product
  • 00:08:45 Be Honest with Your Customers
  • 00:09:23 TextExpander goes to a Subscription Model
  • 00:14:08 The Business case of Subscriptions
  • 00:15:21 When you see change coming, go there first
  • 00:16:09 SPONSOR: Linode. Instantly deploy and manage an SSD server in the Linode Cloud. Get a server running in seconds with your choice of Linux distro, resources, and choice of 10 node locations. Visit Linode.com/SBS and use promo code sbs2019 to start with a $20 credit.
  • 00:18:50 SPONSOR: The Alternative Board. TAB is a group of business owners & experts in your area that you can turn to for advice. Visit TheAlternativeBoard.com/SBS to apply for free today and find out if if there’s a board seat available in your area!
  • 00:20:09 Sustainability
  • 00:20:42 Best mistake: Over-committing to yourself
  • 00:24:16 Be less diverse: don’t hire jerks
  • 00:25:17 Podcast sponsorships to build a business
  • 00:26:51 Ask your customers “Where did you hear about us?”
  • 00:28:03 “Generally our Experiments run Six to Twelve Months”
  • 00:29:45 “Love and Respect Your Customers and They Will Love and Respect You Back”
  • 00:30:16 SBS 227 Outtro

Branding and Naming Strategies with Mike Pile of Uppercase Branding – Small Business Show 226

uppercase branding interview small business show

What’s in a name? Everything when it comes to your company or brand! As founders, owners, and stewards of Small Businesses, we all know how important your company or brand name is. Joining us today on the Small Business Show, Mike Pile, Founder of Uppercase Branding discusses his own business as well as sharing tips and methods for coming up with great names.

Mike discusses how prioritizing tasks and projects when you are the boss can be one of the most challenging adjustments after leaving a corporate job, along with being sure to disconnect at the end of the day to keep your creative juices flowing. We then move on to discussing how Uppercase got its start and what marketing methods worked the best for them. You might be surprised to hear what traditional methods produced the best results.

Later on the show, we spend time talking about how to come up with a great name for your business or brand with some examples of good and bad.

Listen in to your co-hosts Dave Hamilton and Shannon Jean and then post your comments and questions to our Small Business Support Group on Facebook!

(Original broadcast date: March 15, 2017)

Chapters/Timestamps:

00:00:00 Small Business Show #226 for Wednesday, June 5, 2019
00:00:25 SPONSOR: TextExpander.com/podcast gets you 20% off your first year
00:01:50 An Interview with Mike Pyle, Founder of Uppercase Branding

Mike Pile from Uppercase Branding joins us today
“Verbal Identity Consultancy”
Pulling out stories from companies
Prioritizing tasks and projects
Being your own boss: scary and liberating
Disconnecting to keep your creativity flowing
Marketing YOUR B2B Marketing business – using existing connections
A gift in the mail
“Brainstorming is a waste of time” Strategy and discovery
“A great name won’t help a bad business model” A bad name can be a distraction
Vetting your name is just as valuable as creating one
Norman Awards – Great new brand names.
“Adwash” – Samsung. Not so good: “Scion” – Hotels
Set a big stretch goal
00:33:41 SBS 226 Outtro

Positive Influence by Pacing and Leading – Small Business Show 225

Using persuasion techniques when working with customers and your employees can help everyone get the results they want. Specifically, using Pacing and Leading can help you build empathy and create a connection between people that then allows you to achieve a positive outcome.

“Pacing builds trust because people see you as being the same as them. After pacing, a persuader can then lead, and the subject will be comfortable following.” – Scott Adams

Join us today on the Small Business Show to hear your hosts Dave Hamilton and Shannon Jean discuss using Pacing in a positive fashion to achieve positive results with customers, employees, and vendors. You’ll learn what Pacing and Leading is and why it’s an important tool to add to your Small Business Toolbox.

Hear real-world examples to get your negotiations on the same side of the table, how Pacing is part of the Two Tokens method of resolving customer service problems and much more.

Listen in to this episode, then share your own story at the Small Business Support Group!

Chapters/Timestamps:

  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #225 for Wednesday, May 29, 2019
  • 00:01:00 Fake it ‘Til You Make It
  • 00:02:51 Rooting for Success
  • 00:05:24 “Pacing Builds Trust”
  • 00:07:07 Pacing with Commonalities
  • 00:10:08 Verbal Cues Build Credibility
  • 00:11:52 Pacing to build trust is ok because you’re trustworthy
  • 00:15:06 Creating Circular Process
  • 00:16:35 SPONSOR: Linode. Instantly deploy and manage an SSD server in the Linode Cloud. Get a server running in seconds with your choice of Linux distro, resources, and choice of 10 node locations. Visit Linode.com/SBS and use promo code sbs2019 to start with a $20 credit.
  • 00:19:19 Jean-Louis Gassee’s Two Tokens of Customer Service
  • 00:23:03 The long-term is circular
  • 00:24:35 Invoke empathy – “I know how frustrating this can be”
  • 00:25:13 Rehearse Your Small Talk
  • 00:29:00 Ask Questions First!
  • 00:31:27 Connections are the key to success
  • 00:31:52 SBS 225 Outtro

Communicating with Customers and Cross Promoting – Small Business Show 224

Being proactive when communicating with your customers helps to build trust and credibility. What happens when your customers find out about bad news before you tell them? Join your hosts Shannon Jean and Dave Hamilton for this episode of the Small Business Show to hear a great example of what NOT to do when things go wrong.

Dave shares his experience with poor communication that literally stopped a company from being able to do business in his local area. And of course, Shannon adds to the tale with his own experience with this business, but from an entirely different perspective. Oh, and it involves beer, which is always a good thing.

We then jump into a discussion about the right and wrong way to try to promote tie-in sales of, let’s just say, somewhat related businesses. You’ll hear why considering your demographic for one service before you try to promote a different product to that audience is critical to success, along with some other tips about growing your customer base.

There’s a lot more to learn and we couldn’t think of a better way to allocate 32-minutes of time for your ears. We also want to hear from YOU! Contact us and comment at the Small Business Support Group. Thanks for listening!

Chapters/Timestamps:

  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #224 for Wednesday, May 22, 2019
  • 00:01:05 Learning Languages and Instruments
  • 00:03:00 CAPTCHA and RE-CAPTCHA
  • 00:04:41 Hopsy’s Reaction to DICOM’s Shutdown
  • 00:11:00 Beware your own optimism!
  • 00:11:51 Contact Your Customers
  • 00:17:09 Desperation or Disconnect?
  • 00:19:12 SPONSOR: TextExpander.com/podcast gets you 20% off your first year
  • 00:21:54 SPONSOR: The Alternative Board. TAB is a group of business owners & experts in your area that you can turn to for advice. Visit TheAlternativeBoard.com/SBS to apply for free today and find out if if there’s a board seat available in your area!
  • 00:23:57 The New York Times vs. The Daily Podcast and Subscriptions
  • 00:29:45 Creative Engagement Solutions
  • 00:31:44 You Can Learn from Everything and Everyone
  • 00:32:26 SBS 224 Outtro

Focusing Your Subconscious to help you succeed – Small Business Show 223

We all have an inner judge that can help us or hold us back. Our subconscious mind is constantly absorbing information and playing it back to us, sometimes reminding us of our successes, but often replaying our failures and sabotaging our success. 

Can we focus the power of our subconscious to help us succeed?

Damn right we can. With some practice and consistent exercises, we can tune our inner judge to constantly propel ourselves towards success, instead of holding us back. 

Join us today on the Small Business Show where you’ll hear from two experts at programming their subconscious to help them live the Charmed Life off successful Small Business Owners. Your hosts, Dave Hamilton and Shannon Jean believe strongly in the power of programming ourselves for success and of creating our own reality each day to attract the “luck” that is so essential to achieving what we want. 

First up, we will discuss:

  • Our definition of the subconscious – What is it and why are we talking about it?
  • Why you need to get friendly with it – Friend or Foe, you get to choose
  • The Moist Robot theory – Create the program that you want

After the break, we jump into tips and tricks for Changing Your Mind:

  • Mastering our memory of mistakes – Learn from and move on. Yes, Coach!
  • Back to our childhood to use the “I’m rubber and you’re glue” concept
  • It’s a 24/7 commitment – Shannon’s “change the lyrics” story
  • Give yourself permission to dream – visualize where you want to be, who you want to be
  • Dismiss the Vampires in your life and attract other positive influences
  • Using Audio to change your programming
  • Success creates more success – create your Success List – no matter how small

Listen in for these tips and much more. Then share your own story at the Small Business Support Group!

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Chapters/Timestamps

  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #223 for Wednesday, May 15, 2019
  • 00:01:00 It’s that Junior College Tour Time of Year
  • 00:02:23 Managing Your Inner Judge
  • 00:04:37 It’s a system, not a goal!
  • 00:05:55 Triangulating your subconscious
  • 00:07:47 Send the message: I’ve already succeeded!
    • Start the day with three things:
      • [Variable task]
      • Visit Linkedin.
      • Follow 1,000 new followers.
  • 00:11:05 My first success of the day is getting out of bed when I want to.
  • 00:13:21 Programming your Moist Robot
  • 00:15:10 SPONSOR: Linode. Instantly deploy and manage an SSD server in the Linode Cloud. Get a server running in seconds with your choice of Linux distro, resources, and choice of 10 node locations. Visit Linode.com/SBS and use promo code sbs2019 to start with a $20 credit.
  • 00:17:39 SPONSOR: The Alternative Board. TAB is a group of business owners & experts in your area that you can turn to for advice. Visit TheAlternativeBoard.com/SBS to apply for free today and find out if if there’s a board seat available in your area!
  • 00:19:18 Monica Shah in SBS 219 – The fear of the unknown can convince you you’re not worthy
  • 00:22:20 Mastering your mistake memory
  • 00:23:15 Finding your rock bottom – Get Scared
  • 00:28:27 Identify and compartmentalize the vampires
  • 00:31:22 “Change the lyrics” to your life’s song
  • 00:33:49 Give yourself permission to dream of the person you want to be
    • What would your business look like at twice its size? Ten times its size?
  • 00:37:45 The power of audio
  • 00:39:06 SBS 223 Outtro

Overcoming and Finding Opportunities in Procrastination – The Small Business Show 222

There’s a procrastinator in all of us. When it comes to Small Business, putting things off can create problems, but it can also create opportunities. Join us today for episode 222 of the Small Business Show to hear how you can overcome this natural tendency and take advantage of the opportunities it creates.

Join your hosts Dave Hamilton and Shannon Jean – two experts at procrastination and how to turn it into an advantage in your Small Business life as we take a deep dive into why we all put things off and how many of us miss the opportunities it can present.

First up, we discuss why we procrastinate:

  • Lack of instant gratification
  • Seems overwhelming
  • May cause a negative outcome
  • Unpleasant to deal with – firing an employee for example
  • Easily distracted: Squirrel!

Then we jump into ways to manage procrastination.

  • Mix things up – spend time on the stuff you don’t want to do, interspersed with things that get you excited, motivate you, etc.. – Plan your day around this concept. 
  • Don’t create the monster To-Do list – it can overwhelm you. Use the To-Did list concept to motivate you throughout the day and to recognize what you did accomplish.
  • Break down tasks into smaller chunks – easier to think about and accomplish – especially if it’s a negative.
  • Unplug – focus on the task at hand – put your phone down, go DND. Set a timer.
  • Don’t overcommit your time.
  • Think about when you are most productive? Early morning, late at night – use that power accordingly.
  • Use tools to help – software tools, sonic-boom alarm clock, timers.
  • Form habits – do something new for 30+ days and you’ll create a new habit.
  • Create a work environment – home office, closed door, work hours.

We wrap up the show with a discussion of how procrastination by others can create a business opportunity for you. Dave shares the story of starting Backbeat Media to handle tasks that other publishers had put off and Shannon discusses creating a business to handle inventory that large retailers neglect and let pile up.

How about you? Share your stories of overcoming procrastination and what methods work for you at the Small Business Support Group. Thanks for joining us again this week!

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Chapters/Timestamps:

  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #222 for Wednesday, May 8, 2019
  • 00:01:22 The symbiosis of different desires
    • “If we accepted a student body made up entirely of class presidents, nothing would ever get done on campus” -UChicago College Tour
  • 00:06:29 Procrastination
  • 00:09:24 Overcoming your inner procrastinator
  • 00:13:00 The optimist procrastinates!
  • 00:14:40 To-do list (and to-did list!)
  • 00:18:00 Use calculus every day
  • 00:20:21 Time is warped
  • 00:22:06 SPONSOR: TextExpander.com/podcast gets you 20% off your first year
  • 00:25:06 The podcast system
  • 00:26:56 The accountability partner
    • No one ever said, “man, I wish I waited longer to do that!”
  • 00:29:53 Learn your time schedule
  • 00:32:00 Take small steps with your system
  • 00:32:22 Procrastination Creates Opportunity
  • 00:34:30 Where’s your junk?
  • 00:37:59 SBS 222 Outtro

Interview with Kirk La Sala – Digital Marketing Expert – Small Business Show 221

Marketing your business online, whether on search engines or social media can be challenging. There are so many platforms, where do you focus most of your energy? How do you measure results and what tactics have the biggest impact with a limited marketing budget? Today on the Small Business Show, we’re going to answer those questions and more as we’re joined by Kirk La Sala, digital marketing expert from Tanglefree.

Join us today for an in-depth dive on digital marketing, along with insights from Kirk and your hosts Shannon Jean and Dave Hamilton from their own experiences with marketing Small Businesses online.

You’ll hear the story of how Kirk developed his Talent Stack over 15-years by running his own businesses, as well as managing online marketing for other companies. Kirk shares a number of valuable tips that will help any Small Business owner plan and improve their digital marketing.

We discuss applications of Pull Marketing using keywords on search engines or Push Marketing using social media and which method you should be using, or mixing together, as well as using a Pick Chart to help focus where your attention should be to have the biggest impact on your success. You’ll hear why setting up your analytics correctly at the start of any digital marketing program is key to success and how email marketing should be an important part of your program.

There’s a wealth of information on this episode that you don’t want to miss. Listen in, then join us at the Small Business Support Group to ask questions and share your own stories.

Chapters/Timestamps:

  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #221 for Wednesday, May 1, 2019
  • 00:01:55 Kirk La Sala from Tanglefree Waterfowl
  • 00:02:59 I had money for three months and $100 for beer!
  • 00:04:37 Affiliate Marketing to the Rescue
  • 00:08:18 The Only Way to Scale a Service Business is by Hiring People
  • 00:10:40 The importance of early adoption
  • 00:11:47 “Out of Necessity I had to learn…”
  • 00:16:00 Add to your talent stack
  • 00:17:55 Are you selling something people are already looking for?
  • 00:21:30 Chart your objectives based on impact and time
  • 00:24:02 Starting Look at Mommy
  • 00:28:27 Supportive employers
  • 00:31:13 Shift from wholesale to direct to consumer with Tanglefree
  • 00:34:59 Next level: Mixing Pull and Push
  • 00:36:30 Email Marketing isn’t Dead
  • 00:39:40 Create an editorial calendar
  • 00:44:23 Set up your Analytics and Look for Unexploited Channels
  • 00:46:59 SBS 221 Outtro

Interview with Chris Prefontaine of Smart Real Estate Coach – Small Business Show 220

Continuing our series of shows about Coaching and Mentoring, today we’re joined by Chris Prefontaine, Founder of Smart Real Estate Coach. Chris and his family have been in the Real Estate business for over 25 years and after building 100’s homes and buying and selling over 80 million in properties, Chris decided it was time to share his expertise with others. 

Join your hosts Shannon Jean and Dave Hamilton today for this episode of the Small Business Show to hear how a drop in the market caused Chris to expand his Revenue Stack and add the Smart Real Estate Coach services to his business. You’ll hear Chris’ best practices for working with family, and how creating new systems for training and guidance are the next steps for Chris’ business.

You’ll also learn why becoming an authority in your niche is critically important for long term success, how managing expectations are key to customer success and much more.

Listen in to hear Chris’ journey and how he has created success with Smart Real Estate Coach, then join us at the Small Business Support Group to discuss the show, ask questions and share your own story.

Chapters/Timestamps:

  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #220 for Wednesday, April 24, 2019
  • 00:01:01 Chris Prefontaine from Smart Real Estate Coach
  • 00:02:49 Not a transition, an addition!
  • 00:04:40 You can join the information business
  • 00:05:52 The organic evolution of a family business
  • 00:07:22 “Nothing negative or challenging comes home”
  • 00:08:24 Match all decisions with your corporate values and mission
  • 00:08:53 Helping your Customers Manage their Expectations
  • 00:12:48 Who are your customers?
  • 00:13:58 SPONSOR: The Alternative Board. TAB is a group of business owners & experts in your area that you can turn to for advice. Visit TheAlternativeBoard.com/SBS and get the “25 Timeless Principles of Exceptional Businesses” e-book free!
  • 00:15:50 SPONSOR: TextExpander.com/podcast gets you 20% off your first year
  • 00:18:00 Maintain your focus
  • 00:19:17 Total Automation to Manage Your Business Flow
  • 00:21:30 Learn from your customers
  • 00:23:34 Don’t be afraid to Fish in a Different Pond
  • 00:25:01 Let a Big Mistake Fuel your Drive to Build a Business
  • 00:27:29 Empathy can help build Trust
  • 00:29:22 Building Marketplace Authority
  • 00:31:01 Success Leaves Clues
  • 00:32:15 SBS 220 Outtro

Interview with Monica Shah, Founder of Revenue Breakthrough – Small Business Show 219

Starting a business, creating revenue streams and building wealth are topics we discuss on the Small Business Show every week. It can often seem like a daunting task: what to start first, where to focus your energy and how to develop a system based approach to achieve what you want.

Sometimes having a coach provide you with guidance is just what you need. Today, we’re joined by Monica Shah, founder of Revenue Breakthrough, a coaching and training resource that helps their clients breakthrough many of the obstacles they face to achieve success.

Monica shares her own story of powering through bleak times to achieve success, how she learned that finding a good business coach was critical and how it led to her starting Revenue Breakthrough. After 15-years of coaching, mentoring and helping people achieve success, Monica has some powerful tips to share.

Don’t miss this episode of the Small Business Show. Listen and then join us at the Small Business Support Group to comment, ask more questions and join the discussion.

Chapters/Timestamps:

  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #219 for Wednesday, April 17, 2019
  • 00:00:52 Monica Shah from Revenue Breakthrough
  • Focusing on Marketing and Sales to help Entrepreneurs make more money
  • 00:05:55 Rock Bottom: Sitting on the floor of the NYC Subway
  • 00:08:57 The metaphorical 100 steps
  • 00:10:33 Find a coach that lets you be you
  • 00:11:21 Look to be challenged
  • 00:14:04 SPONSOR: The Alternative Board. TAB is a group of business owners & experts in your area that you can turn to for advice. Visit TheAlternativeBoard.com/SBS and get the “25 Timeless Principles of Exceptional Businesses” e-book free!
  • 00:16:30 The awkward money conversation
  • 00:18:12 Money fears
  • 00:21:15 Getting comfortable with fear
  • 00:22:48 Own the stage. Command the stage.
  • 00:27:10 Who am I waiting for before I make money?
  • 00:30:43 Speaking as marketing
  • 00:32:21 Sponsoring as lead generation
  • 00:32:45 Webinars
  • 00:33:39 How visible can you be?
  • 00:34:39 The 90-Day Rule
  • 00:36:37 The more you do, the more you will fail
  • 00:40:36 Create time to save money
  • 00:42:10 SBS 219 Outtro

Delegating by Outsourcing, Dispute Resolution, a​​n​d Boomerang Employees – Small Business Show 218

If you’re a Soloprenuer, there’s no one to delegate to. But, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be delegating tasks outside of your core competency. Join us today for this episode of the Small Business Show as we discuss methods to use outsourcing to delegate so you can win the 10/1000 battle. We discuss outsourcing resources, how to be selective when choosing a contractor and much more.

Your hosts Shannon Jean and Dave Hamilton then jump into a discussion about dispute resolutions with 50/50 partners. Shannon offers us a method of assigning votes and how to find an independent voice that can represent the business’s best interests, vs you or your partners.

Then it’s on to the topic of Boomerang Employees. These are employees that leave your business for one reason or another, then want to come back. Should you re-hire? What questions do you need to ask yourself (and the employee) before you consider re-hiring? What message does re-hiring send to your other employees and customers? If you do decide to re-hire, should you put that person back in the same position? Does their salary change? Listen in to find out our thoughts on these employee issues and more.

After the show, come share your own experiences, questions and thoughts at the Small Business Support Group. Thanks for listening to this episode of the Small Business Show!

Chapters/Timestamps

  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #218 for Wednesday, April 10, 2019
  • 00:01:38 The hardest thing I do everyday
  • 00:04:44 “We try to be as inefficient as possible”
  • 00:09:26 Dispute resolution in 50/50 Business Partnerships
  • SPONSOR: TextExpander.com/podcast gets you 20% off your first year
  • 00:23:00 Scott-The idea of outsourcing as delegating
  • 00:28:20 Boomerang Employees – Rehiring someone that used to work for you
  • 00:31:51 Why did the employee leave? Address the split.
  • 00:32:58 (Re-)Define the (new) position.
  • 00:37:28 Boomerang can send a positive message
  • 00:38:39 Does the pay scale change?
  • 00:40:13 Intentionally retrain.
  • 00:42:28 Avoid old habits
  • 00:45:07 Be Self-Aware
  • 00:46:35 Allow yourself to over-analyze
  • 00:48:37 SBS 218 Outtro