What’s on Your To-Did List? Small Business Show 215

On this episode of the Small Business Show, your hosts Dave Hamilton and Shannon Jean discuss how to build a reward system for volunteers or interns at your Small Business, managing your time and making connections at events and using a twist on the to-do list to see how your day went.

Dave returns from SXSW with stories and tips on connecting with people by creating your own serendipity and going out of your way to meet people, even if it’s just for a brief moment. We discuss the enormous contribution that volunteers make at SXSW and how to apply that concept to your Small Business.

After a word from our awesome sponsors at Care/of and Abby Connect, we learn about the To-Did list.

Shannon is not a fan of structured to-do and time management systems like GTD and others. It just doesn’t work for him and it takes too much time to manage the information on these lists.

On the other hand, at the end of the day, it’s important to see how productive you were, or how much you didn’t get done. The concept of the To-Did list is simple: keep a loose list, or set reminders to keep you focused on important tasks. Then, as you move into other tasks or unexpected interruptions throughout the day, record those on your list. Write down (digital or old school pad of paper) what you achieved that day. Check in hourly and be sure you are on task.

Listen in for more details about the To-Did list concept and why it can be a powerful tool to help create success, create your own reality and ultimately help you to live the Charmed Life of a successful Small Business owner.

Chapters/Timestamps

Remote Small Business Management – Interview with Joseph Stewart – Small Business Show 214

Being the owner of a single small business is challenging in itself. Owning multiple, successful businesses that you remotely manage and eventually selling them is something to be proud of. Today we’re joined by a longtime friend and business colleague, Joseph Stewart, former owner the Mac Outlet in Colorado and Felt Pool and Billiards.

Listen in to this episode of the Small Business Show to find out how Joseph managed both companies from another state and how being a remote business owner forced him to develop better systems and processes for success. You’ll learn about the importance of the work you do each day by asking yourself: Is this $10 per hour work or $1000 per hour work?

Your hosts Shannon Jean and Dave Hamilton learn how Joseph used the cash flow from his businesses to purchase the building they were operating in and how being a landlord eventually led him to start his second company at the same location.

We then jump into a discussion about preparing your business to sell and whether you should be meeting with a business broker or handling things on your own. Joseph went the DIY route and all that prep work to develop stand-alone systems and processes for the businesses to succeed paid off.

Join us for another Small Business Show for all this and much more. Then head over to the Small Business Support Group to join the discussion!

Chapters/Timestamps:

  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #214 for Wednesday, March 13, 2019
  • 00:01:06 Joseph Stewart Former BadAss and Owner at Felt and Mac Outlet
  • 00:02:27 Tenant Turns into a Business Acquisition
  • 00:05:32 Real estate as an investment
  • 00:08:24 Read the Four-Hour Workweek move to San Diego
  • 00:11:40 Finding the Sweet Spot of Micro-Managing
  • 00:13:12 Find a manager that can see your vision
  • 00:14:25 Make sure the customer’s have exceptional experiences
  • 00:15:55 SPONSOR: TextExpander.com/podcast gets you 20% off your first year
  • 00:17:37 SPONSOR: Abby Connect. Get $95 off your first bill at AbbyConnect.com/sbs 00:19:29 Structuring your trust scenarios
  • 00:20:20 Never forget about FileMaker!
  • 00:21:01 Know your Fundamentals
  • 00:22:15 Recognizing change
  • 00:25:31 Distance is an opportunity
  • 00:28:00 DIY Business Selling
  • 00:30:15 Now what?
  • 00:32:15 Keep your eye on the ball during the sales process
  • 00:34:05 Mistake: Don’t be a cheapskate with your employees
  • 00:37:48 Track 15 minute increments, and apply an hourly rate to each
  • 00:39:30 Pretend you’re going to be an absentee owner
  • 00:40:51 SBS 214 Outtro

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

Attending Conferences and Trade Shows Like a Pro – Small Business Show 208

Chances are, you’ll be attending a Conference or Trade Show related to your Small Business at some point. How do you maximize your time and have the best possible experience from attending a Conference or Trade Show? Join us for episode 208 of the Small Business Show to find out!

Your hosts Dave Hamilton and Shannon Jean have attended, reported on and exhibited at hundreds of Conferences and Trade Shows. From small events with just a few hundred people to the Consumer Electronics Show with hundreds of thousands of attendees. Each of these events requires planning and purpose to be sure you get the best result out of your attendance.

Listen in and you’ll hear about the importance of researching the event so you’ll be confident and comfortable, how building trust with existing and new contacts is critically important and why hanging out in conference hallways can be a great way to make connections.

We discuss the importance of listening more than talking, planning meetings before the show while also keeping some flex time available for what may come up and why connecting in the evening could be the best part of the event.

Join us for all this and much more in this episode of the Small Business Show! After the show, click over to the Small Business Support Group to share your own tips.

Chapters/Timestamps:

  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #208 for Wednesday, January 30, 2019
  • 00:00:58 The cycles of business and weather
  • 00:02:58 The Trade Show/Conference Episode
  • 00:03:50 How can you be comfortable and confident at the show?
  • 00:06:15 Proper planning
  • 00:07:56 Goal: building trust
  • 00:10:22 The Hallway Track
  • 00:11:56 Listen to People
  • 00:13:59 On-the-fly Juggling
  • 00:15:53 SPONSOR: Abby Connect. Get $95 off your first bill at AbbyConnect.com/sbs
  • 00:18:31 SPONSOR: TextExpander.com/podcast gets you 20% off your first year
  • 00:20:36 Most of the business happens after the show floor ends
  • 00:28:59 Manage your body!
  • 00:30:31 Eat no meals alone
  • 00:33:21 Managing business cards
  • 00:37:26 GG 208 Outtro

Small Business Cashflow, Crisis and Efficiency – Small Business Show 204

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Join us this week as your hosts Dave Hamilton and Shannon Jean discuss resolutions for your Small Business, how being productive is a great motivator to propel you forward and how focusing on efficiency can start your New Year off strong.

We then jump into a discussion of using Debt as a Catalyst to massively-positive cashflow. Dave explains this concept while Shannon tries to poke holes in the idea, but then gets onboard.

The debt discussion leads us to a talk about not knowing what you’re capable of until you are forced to act and how Crisis can be a powerful change-agent for you and your company.

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

  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #204 for Wednesday, January 2, 2019
  • 00:02:05 The benefits of feeling productive
  • 00:03:17 Resolutions: Intentional change, Prioritizing Efficiency
  • 00:06:40 Managing Your Staffing Equation
  • 00:08:59 Using Debt as a Catalyst to massively-positive cashflow
  • 00:14:05 Competition is a catalyst, too
  • 00:15:20 Learning your own capabilities
  • 00:20:20 Lack of Crisis Creates Complacency
  • 00:23:09 SBS 203 Outtro

Stop Micromanaging and Start Persuading – Small Business Show 202

If you’re a Small Business owner, chances are you like things to be done a certain way – that may be why you don’t work for someone else, doing things their way. This is a powerful trait that can push you to succeed – but, it can also turn you into a micromanager when it comes to your employees, contractors and partners.

So, how do you avoid being a micromanager while at the same time being sure things are getting done and that people are embracing change and not getting stagnant? Let’s figure it out together on this episode of the Small Business Show.

Join Dave Hamilton and Shannon Jean as they discuss their own micromanaging issues and how they have worked hard to overcome them with tactics like up-front communication, planned check-ins and perhaps most importantly, using persuasion to nudge things along in the direction that you want, while protecting the autonomy of your employees, contractors and partners.

During the discussion, we come up with ways to promote change and avoid getting stuck at a “comfort level” for your team along with ways to foster change as a foundational part of your business.

Join us for this and much more on this episode of the Small Business Show, then come share your story at the Small Business Support Group.

Thanks for listening!

  • 00:00:00 Small Business Show #202 for Wednesday, December 19, 2018
  • 00:02:56 Working your own way
  • 00:03:54 Creating Perpetual Change
  • 00:07:01 Set check-in/adaptation points
    • “You’re going to get bored if we don’t change it”
  • 00:09:02 Why is micromanaging so bad?
    • “I’ll back up every decision you make, but I reserve the right to critique them with you”
  • 00:13:34 Delegate the work, and set Clearly-defined Checkpoints
    • Fostering Autonomy
  • 00:15:45 Don’t get comfortable
  • 00:18:21 Use the illusion of choice to foster buy-in
  • 00:20:23 Have that removed!
  • 00:23:07 Treat people the way they need to be treated, not the way you need to be treated
  • 00:24:03 Embrace change, reward risks
  • 00:25:48 Eradicate the Resistors!
  • 00:30:03 SBS 202 Outtro