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American Contractor Business Show

Marketing a Small Business with Timbo Reid

This week, we brought back one of our favorite guests to talk more about small business marketing:  Tim Reid from the Small Business BIG Marketing podcast.  Tim comes from a background of corporate marketing, but helps small businesses all over the world by encouraging them to take action.  Tim can often be found saying: “There has never been a better time to market a small business.”  But before you market your business, you need to know your WHY and figure out WHAT your message is before you figure out WHERE to put it…and that is exactly what we talk about today. To listen to the entire interview, please visit us on iTunes or Stitcher or at our website, smallbusinessnaked.com.  Small Business Naked is one of the best free small business podcasts to listen to if you are an entrepreneur, a small business owner, or you are stuck working for The Man and are looking for small business ideas.  Please give us a review on iTunes and follow us on Facebook.

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How to get ahead in small business.

Have you ever found yourself asking “What am I doing?”  It’s a great question.  A lot of times as a small business owner, we keep doing a list of things, and we keep trying to stay busy for busy sake.  Does it ever feel like you’re banging your head against the wall and getting nowhere fast?  I know, I have days like that and we all will; but how do you avoid it on a regular basis? How do you get ahead in small business?  How do you create a successful small business? I met with a guy last week that looks like this on a daily.  He is staying busy and working seven days a week.  He’s working to please customers with no clear understanding or process, and making hardly any money.  Many of us have all been there.  The problem is, if you don’t open your eyes, and see the futility of it, you will continue to do the same things, and continue to get the same results.  How do you break out of it?  If you are in this place right now, I want to give you a few things that will hopefully get you out of the rut, and back on track.  You need to know where you are going at all times.  You need to set a ONE year plan, and commit to it for the entire year. Small business owners need to have a bigger vision for what they are doing and where they are going, but spending too much time on a fancy business plan can be a HUGE waste of time.  I don’t know about you, but my strategic plan has a tendency to shift from year to year, especially in the first 5 years.  You must have a clear idea about where you want to go over the next 12 months, how you get there will certainly change along the way. Your plan must be based and grounded in reality.  Do you really think you can grow at a 300% rate, month over month for six months?  If you have only been adding one new customer a week for the last 2 months, what makes you think that all of a sudden you will be able to add 5 per week?  Be realistic.  Don’t set yourself up for failure which leads to frustration and burn out.  Look at past history; figure out how you achieved those numbers.  Do less of what did not work.  Do more of what produced good results.  Follow the 80/20 rule.  More on that later. Meet with a group of like minded business owners that can give you feedback and accountability.  The best thing about being a business owner is that we don’t have a boss.  The worst thing about being a small business owner is that no one is telling us what we need to do.  It’s a double edge sword.  If you meet with a peer group you will be able to stay on track and get good feedback on the steps you are planning on taking.  You must be receptive to the advice of others.  Most successful people realize their limitations and that they may not have all the answers.  We all have room for improvement.  I have a friend that is more organized than just about anyone.  He has a place for everything, and nothing is EVER out of place.  The great thing is that he always tells me, “I have to get more organized I can do better.”  If we all had this understanding, and acted on it, we would all continually improve and make our business better. My friend and I were talking the other day, he going on a cruise in 3 weeks, at the time we spoke, I was leaving for a vacation the next day.  He had already packed for his vacation, and I had not packed.  He is far more intentional about the things he does, and it doesn’t matter if we are talking about business or personal.  I need to be more like him and be more organized. If you become involved with a peer group: be open.  Listen to the advice of others and don’t think you know it all.  You may just need the perspective of an impartial person to help you see the pitfall you are about to drop into, or the gold rush that awaits you right around the corner.  If two minds are better than one, than what do you think 8 or 10 can do? So what ARE you doing?  Are you being strategic?  Are you setting goals?  Are you moving your business forward?  Take steps right now to make this a priority. For more ways to grow your business, to hear stories from successful small business owners, and more from Nick May,  listen to the #1 Small Business Podcast from Denver, Colorado, Small Business Naked  

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What’s UP?? Summer 2015. Discussing: Changing management, Costco, Chic-fil-A, and Minimum Wage.

Summer of 2015 was hard on us, but WE’RE BACK!! I hope you missed us. In today’s podcast we talk about how the wheels fell off for both of us this summer.  Some good, some bad.  This lead to a great discussion about managing a small business:  do you work on your business or in your business…OR both!  John has decided to take a step out, and let his team run the business without his constant input.  Nick has had to go the other direction and be more integral in the day-to-day due to his field manager leaving.  Both have experienced some new and interesting dynamics in their businesses. Then we went on to talk about minimum wage and how to best compensate employees.  Some think raising the minimum wage to a livable level is better, but we disagree.  We believe that it is better to pay someone more based on the value they bring to the business.  But businesses like Costco and The Container Store have raised the bar, and have higher expectations on their employees, and so they just pay those team members more.  You get what you pay for I always say. Look for a new podcast every OTHER week, as we are trying to set a feasible rhythm for the podcast moving forward. We have some good stuff planned (and we talk about a little of it), so stay tuned for the Fall Season of Small Business Naked.

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31 – Jake Nickell is Threadless Chicago

  This is the shirt design that caught our eye, and the reason for Nick to break into song.  You will have to wait for it though (it is in the outtake real). Have you heard of Threadless Tees?  It is a hugely popular crowd sourcing website started by our guest today, Jake Nickell.  The most impressive thing is that Jake started this multi-million dollar business by bootstrapping it with only $1000.  Jake is a soft spoken guy that has a crazy successful business Threadless Chicago, and while I am not sure that Jake was all that comfortable with us at first, he sure opened up by the end, and gave us the good stuff. The most popular shirt on the site was one called The Communist Party seen here.  If you want to see examples of all the shirts over the years, you need to go visit their hidden page.  Threadless Chicago hosts a ton of events for it’s designer community.  Their 50,000 sq. ft facility is an amazing space. They have some cool digs too.   Jake had lots of good stuff to share with us, from how he started this as a second or side business, to the fact that they didn’t event think it was a great idea to start with.   They tried several different business ideas, until they finally realized, oh, this Threadless tees thing is the ticket. To listen to the entire interview, please visit us on iTunes or Stitcher or at our website, smallbusinessnaked.com. Small Business Naked is one of the best free small business podcasts to listen to if you are an entrepreneur, a small business owner, or you are stuck working for The Man and are looking for small business ideas.  Please give us a review on iTunes and follow us on Facebook.  

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ACBS- A Growth Process Should be a Marathon not a Sprint with Charmane Sellers

Solid business advice from a former U.S. Air Force Avionics Analyst. Charmane Sellers started her successful renovation business, Aleon Properties, in 2003. She speaks about her passions, leaving a legacy and how Aleon Properties has successfully weathered the economic storms of the housing market for 11 years through mistakes and diversification.  

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38 – What’s Up: Getting off the tools by getting on the tools.

On today’s podcast of Small Business Naked, we talk about podcasting, working in and on your business, how to retain a employee, how different the United States is from Australia, and Johnny gets a really strange accent. No, today, Nick is joined by Warrick Bidwell from The Tradies Business Show podcast.  Warrick is a co-host with Michaela Clark, and together they host a podcast dedicated to helping Tradies (tradesmen and women in Australia) get off the tools, and into real business ownership. Warrick is a business coach, speaker, and obviously a podcaster…and one good looking bloke! Johnny is so slammed with work, that today, he had to get on the tools and away from the tools.  Maybe he needs to meet Warrick?  But in all seriousness, Johnny is just in the weeds, and I asked Warrick to come on the show and have a bit of a chin wag, as they say Down Under.

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33 – Software for Small Business – Mhelpdesk

Today on the show, we interview a super interesting entrepreneur who got his start by selling Chameleons online.  He sold so many chameleons on Screameleons.com, he was ablet to afford to buy a Lamborghini and a house!  Vincent Wong may have started out with lizards, but soon graduated to a super-successful online software company that he co-founded with a friend called Vincent Wong may have started out with lizards, but soon graduated to a super-successful online software company that he co-founded with a friend called Mhelpdesk.com . Mhelpdesk is field service software for small to medium size businesses.  Nick has been using Mhelpdesk almost since their inception. Vincent shared some great nuggets of wisdom in our chat.  Everything from lessons on how to become an entrepreneur to some great advise on how to manage a company and what to look for.  Another amazing entrepreneur. To listen to the entire interview, please visit us on iTunes or Stitcher or at our website, smallbusinessnaked.com. Small Business Naked is one of the best free small business podcasts to listen to if you are an entrepreneur, a small business owner, or you are stuck working for The Man and are looking for small business ideas.  Please give us a review on iTunes and follow us on Facebook.

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34 – What’s Up: The Website Competition!

Big show today on our small business podcast.  Even though it is just the What’s Up episode.  Several announcements. FIRST, we have a new phone number.  If you have a question, comment, or just want to get on the show, call us and leave us a message. The number is (775) Fi – NAKED or (775)346-2533.  We would love to hear from you. Second:  We are on MeetUp in Denver and in Boulder (in April).  We would love to have you join us.  AND, if you are interested in having a Small Business Naked MeetUp in your city, let us know.  We want to expand it soon. Third:  We have a new sponsor!!  MhelpDesk.com can help you if you have a service based business.  Nick has been using them for about two years.  Check them out FOR FREE!!!  It is all cloud based, and easy to use.  Even Nick can use it. Then, we spent most of the time talking about how we both need new websites, and that we have each selected different companies to build new websites for each of us.  AND yes, we are spending real dollars.  If you have ever had a website built for your small business, you know what a chore and a time suck this can be.  We have each chosen very different companies to do each site, and we are going to be reporting back and sharing how things go.  Stay tuned! To listen to the entire interview, please visit us on iTunes or Stitcher or at our website, smallbusinessnaked.com. Small Business Naked is one of the best free small business podcasts to listen to if you are an entrepreneur, a small business owner, or you are stuck working for The Man and are looking for small business ideas.  Please give us a review on iTunes and follow us on Facebook.

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The Busy Small Business Owner

I’ve been so busy lately.  What about you?  How do we get so busy?  Why do we let our calendars fill up so much.  It is great that as a business owner you can work whatever 80 hours you want, but why don’t we stop at 70, or 60?  And are we taking time for ourselves? We run from meeting to meeting, task to task, and there never seems to be a moment when I feel caught up.  Right now, as I sit at my desk, there are three TOP priorities on my To Do list and a full calendar of things waiting for me.  I decided to NOT go to my 7:30 meeting.  It wasn’t with a client or to network, but it was to go to a meeting that will help me do things better.  The problem is, I always feel busy.  So I decided to miss that meeting, slow down, and reflect on what is going on…so I thought blogging about it would be helpful…for me and for you. As an owner of a small business, there seems to be a constant urgency of the now.  I have to do this.  I have to meet with him.  I need to get that done.  There is never enough time in the day.  I was listening to a podcast (imagine that) in the car yesterday, and the guy being interviewed was talking about meditation.  No, this is not a typical topic for me.  He was being interviewed because he has self-published over 20 books (or something crazy like that), and his topic just happened to be on meditation and spiritual practice.  They discussed mostly how he knocked out so many books (in the past two years by the way), and when given the opportunity to give a piece of advice to the audience, he suggested that everyone meditate each morning. Coming from a Christian background, the idea of having a quiet time is not foreign, but the idea of meditation, now that kind of freaks me out.  But it does intrigue me a bit.  I have heard of a lot of very successful people that spend a chunk of time meditating each morning.  In fact, I just heard an interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger with Tim Ferris, on his podcast, where Arnold talked about starting to do meditation when his career with acting and body building were at its peaks.  It helped him to calm down and make better decisions. Another guy I like in the entertainment world is Jerry Seinfeld. I heard him interviewed as well, and he talked about meditating daily.  Many may just think of him as a comedian, but Jerry is one of the best at his craft.  SUPER focused and brilliant. I have not resigned myself to meditating…yet.  But I am thinking there must be something to slowing down, blocking out the noise, and clearing the head.  If your calendar is anything like mine, that will not be easy.  But when you schedule a meeting, an appointment, or sign up to attend something, you should at least ask yourself, do I really need to do that right now?  Could I NOT do that, so I can focus on what is really important?  But before you do that, you might need to ask yourself:  What is really important to me?  And that, is a topic for another day. For more ways to grow your business, to hear stories from successful small business owners, and more from Nick May,  listen to the #1 Small Business Podcast from Denver, Colorado, Small Business Naked    

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What’s Up: In the weeds

We are a little behind with getting episodes us, but today we talk about why that is the case.  This week, we talk frank.  Both are having a tough go in their businesses with employees, cash flow, hiring, retention, production, and just about anything related to people.  Maybe you can relate.    So often, all people want to talk about is how well their businesses are going, but if you have been in business a while, you know that is not always the case.  Hopefully we learn in the tough times and grow from it.

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The Champion Entrepreneur, Anthony Witt on the Importance of Group Involvement

The drastic difference between people is that some people limit themselves, whether it be with their weaknesses or strengths. If you place yourself around people who have similar problems, or roadblocks and are able to discuss these limitations as a group, like Masterminds, you can gain a perspective of change that will lead to actions. These actions will push you forward to become a Champion Entrepreneur.

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39 – Multiple businesses from ONE business

This week Johnny and Nick talk to Donnie Shelton from Triangle Pest Control in North Carolina.  Donnie has a unique story on getting into business ownership…the MBA cost too much and he thought killing bugs sounded better.  Now Donnie is a smart guy and a hard worker. To listen to the entire interview, please visit us on iTunes or Stitcher or at our website, smallbusinessnaked.com. Small Business Naked is one of the best free small business podcasts to listen to if you are an entrepreneur, a small business owner, or you are stuck working for The Man and are looking for small business ideas.  Please give us a review on iTunes and follow us on Facebook.

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35 – Charlie Mullins: Plumber to the Stars in London

Before you we go any further, WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU.  Call us on our new phone number, (775) Fi NAKED or 775-346-2533.  You can tell us anything.  What do you like about the best small business podcast: Small Business Naked?  What kind of business do you have?  What has been you favorite episode of the Small Business Naked podcast?  Who do you think is better looking? Today, Johnny and Nick interview maybe the most successful plumber in the world.  Charlie Mullins bunked off school at age 9 and dropped out of school by 15, started working for himself by 19, and never looked back. They run over 120 trucks on the road and over 150 staff, doing around 20 million pounds a year.  Charlie’s company, Pimlico Plumbers clears drains for James bond and the Prime minister. Pimlico Plumbers:  The UK’s largest independent plumbing company and the most recognized plumbing company in the world.  They have expanded into all sorts of services for the home and work around the clock…24 hours a day. Best small business tip from his book Bog-Standard Business:  Give someone the best service you can give them.  You can buy it on Amazon! Charlie likes to employ a great mix of people.  He had Buster working for him at 104 cleaning vans.  Charlie knows the value of having older team members and younger people.  Charlie thinks we can learn something from older and younger people. Business is like making a cake:  a bit of this and a bit of that.  Eventually, you will find the right mix.  When you get the right mix, stick with it. Charlie like to say that he runs his business on common sense and hard work. Charlie has a fantastic small business, and is a wonderful guy.  Charlie gave us, and our listeners an open invitation to come see their offices if you find yourself in London. If you want to hear the full story, sign up on the right to join our mailing list and you will get access for exclusive content.  We have at least another 30 minutes of juicy content to share with you.  This is new, but you will also get access to all the additional edited content from our interviews. To listen to the entire interview, please visit us on iTunes or Stitcher or at our website, smallbusinessnaked.com. Small Business Naked is one of the best free small business podcasts to listen to if you are an entrepreneur, a small business owner, or you are stuck working for The Man and are looking for small business ideas.  Please give us a review on iTunes and follow us on Facebook.

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Roger Whitney - The Retirement Answer Man

Roger believes that using your family’s priorities as a focus point for your investing is the smartest move. His 1, 3 and 5 year priority process leads to a balance between positive cash flow and debt. Don’t be caught in the middle of the stream when the financial rapids come. His Retirement Answer Man podcast can help investors to make good, solid decisions.    Key Takeaways: [2:16] How Roger got started [2:47] The Retirement Answer Man Podcast [3:09] What subjects do you tackle on your podcast [3:45] Why Roger doesn’t trust the stock market [4:33] Is there a way to invest and expect to win [5:18] Don’t look at wealth creation [5:44] Savings and Investing - A small part of the overall solution [7:14] Why Roger’s strategy is different [8:13] Define 1, 3 and 5 year priorities  [8:58] Free cash flow [9:37] Earning more money [10:07] What are you doing with excess assets  [10:40] Different vehicles to build wealth [11:58] Which wins are right for you [13:05] Entrepreneurs embrace risk more [13:40] A tech bubble example [15:30] Stay away from unbalanced risks [16:21] A difficult thing to do for entrepreneurs [18:10] Boring investments [19:01] Minimize uncertainty  [19:30] Manipulated financial data  [20:32] An average investor example  [22:18] The last 25 years [23:21] The stream example [25:40] Ken Davis quote [27:06] The millionaire next door types [28:10] Contact info for Roger    Mentioned in this episode:  Rogerwhitney.com The Retirement Answer Man Podcast

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Daredevil Marketing with Danielle Keperling

On this episode of The American Contractor Business Show, Danielle Keperling talks about her time with Historic Restorations, her book, Daredevil Marketing and how she is helping other construction companies achieve success, as well.

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GOT JUNK? with Brian Scudamore

  We are very excited to share a really great interview with you today.  We speak with a lot of really  great entrepreneurs, but few achieve the kind of success that Brian Scudamore has achieved.  He owns three businesses, but the most well known is 1-800-GOT-JUNK.  It started as Rubbish Boys.  He idea for the  trash business came while Brian was in college, and the idea was born when he was sitting in a McDonald’s parking lot.  After doing about a million dollars in business, he realized that the name was not going to be a great long term play, especially because he knew he wanted to expand into the United States, and Rubbish just did not have the same ring in the States as it did in Canada. Brian than added a second business concept called WOW 1 Day Painting after trying to hire a paint contractor for his own home.  They currently have franchises spread across Canada and the United States. The most recent business model Brian has started is You Move Me.  A moving company focused on creating a fun and pain-free move experience. When Brian starts a new franchise model, he looks for models that can scale to multi-millions. “People don’t fail, systems do.”  Brian Scudamore What they do different than their competition?  They take the ordinary, and do it exceptionally.  They look for the little things to blow the customers away; whether it is moving, painting, or removing junk. We also interviewed Hugh McKee who owns a franchise of Wow 1 Day Painting. To listen to the entire interview, please visit us on iTunes or Stitcher or at our website, smallbusinessnaked.com. Small Business Naked is one of the best free small business podcasts to listen to if you are an entrepreneur, a small business owner, or you are stuck working for The Man and are looking for small business ideas.  Please give us a review on iTunes and follow us on Facebook.  

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Nick May - Painter by Trade, Artist at Heart

Nick May of Walls by Design gives his insight on how delegating tasks can lead to growth and how specific job descriptions can get you the best job candidates. Based in Denver, Nick not only manages his company but also hosts the respected podcast Small Business Naked and organizes group forums that educate and inspire small business owners from other fields.

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What’s Up: Hiring for your Small Business

If you have owned a small business for a while, one of the biggest things you deal with is hiring.  I don’t know about you, but I’ve hired thousands of people over the years.  Yes…THOUSANDS.  Johnny and I have lots of fun on today’s show sharing our pains and victories in hiring staff.  Probably more pains than victories though.  If you run a seasonal business that is dependant on employees, you know just how hard it is to hire the right people.  Sometimes you might just want a warm body though…like Johnny. We talk about systems for finding key employees, how to bonus employees, problems with hiring, hourly pay vs. performance based pay. Nick and Johnny Battle talk about the hard issues of hiring, finding the right person, and just finding a person.  It gets a bit real on this weeks episode of Small Business Naked.

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