Wednesday, September 28, 2016

David's European Car Wash Tour





















What do you learn when you tour various car wash businesses in Europe? You realize how important it is to challenge the assumptions you may have made about your business and how you operate it. 

Visiting with other small business owners also allows you to understand their unique perspectives. The different ways entrepreneurs operate their businesses can be a great source of inspiration for how to improve and grow your own small business.

As entrepreneurs and small business owners, we can easily become isolated from our peers. Whether it's because we are extremely busy, or we are hesitant to share knowledge with our competitors, it's easy to find ourselves on a lonely island. It's important for our personal health and the viability of our business, therefore, that we share and collaborate with other business owners.

David Begin recently toured several car wash operators in Europe, along with other members of the International Carwash Association. David & Henry discuss this topic on the latest episode of The How of Business podcast. 

Read more at the Show Notes Page
[Listen on iTunes[Listen on Stitcher]

 
The How of Business Podcast show is focused on helping you start, run and grow your small business. Co-Hosted by Henry Lopez and David Begin, we discuss small business topics and interview other entrepreneurs and professionals.


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Jessica Rhodes - Small Business Owner & Podcaster

Jessica Rhodes enjoyed a successful career in the corporate world before starting her first home-based business. 

She offered virtual assistant services in her first small business venture, and soon identified the emerging needs of the podcasting industy. This led to her next business - Interview Connections.

Interview Connections provides services for podcasters, and those who want to be guests on a podcast. She connects shows and guests, and also helps podcasters get better at what they do.

Jessica continues to operate and grow her business in a way that allows her the freedom to spend time at home with her family. This freedom of time is one of the greatest benefits she derives from being her own boss.

In episode 41 of The How of Business Podcast, Jessica shares her entrepreneur story and tips & advice for other small business owners. She explains how she built and now operates a business that allows her to continue as a stay-at-home-mom. She also shares great insights on how other small business owners are using podcasting to start a grow a business. 
Read more at the Show Notes Page
[Listen on iTunes[Listen on Stitcher]


 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Small Business Exit Strategy

Do you have an Exit Strategy for your small business?

Randy Long is our guest on episode 40 of the How of Business podcast. 

Randy is an entrepreneur, CPA, Attorney, Financial Planner and an expert on the topic of small business exit strategy.

An exit strategy plan prepares your business for an exit, which may include the sale of your business or the transition to your heirs.

The exit event may be planned - selling you small business or passing it to the next generation - or it may be unplanned as in the case of an untimely death. It's critical for the on-going success of your business that there be a plan in place to keep the business going in your absence. 

Randy helps entrepreneurs develop and execute business exit strategies and plans. He also helps small business owner maximize their returns when they sell their business.


In addition to his successful business, Randy is also the author of the book "The BraveHeart Exit - 7 Steps to Your Family Business Legacy", an excellent book for all small business owners. 

For more details on this episode, or for a link to purchase the book, please visit the Show Notes Page


 

The How of Business show is a podcast dedicated to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Our show features topic episodes and interviews with other successful entrepreneurs. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Website Basics for Small Business


Do You Have a Business Website?

According to various surveys, it's estimated that more than 50% of small businesses do NOT have a website! If you own a business without a website, then please keep reading...

The reasons vary widely, but they generally fall into the category of "I don't how" or "I have not had the time" to create a website for my business. 

Regardless of the reason - or excuse - in most cases it's simply not acceptable, and it's hurting your business if you don't have an online presence. 

There are two basic types of websites, Information sites (providing basic information about your business and how to contact and find you) and Commerce sites (where you sell a service or product online). Informational websites are fairly easy and inexpensive to build and maintain, while e-commerce sites are more involved and typically require a larger investment. 

For most small businesses, you simply need an information website. A site that provides basic information about your business, an overview of the products or services you offer, and how you want them to contact or visit you. 

Regardless of the type of website you deploy, the objective is always the same: to convert. That is, to convert a visitor to the website into a lead or a visit to your physical place of business. 

It's also critical to remember that in many cases your website is the first impression you make with a prospective customer for your small business. Savvy entrepreneurs understand that this first impression is critical to starting the process of converting the online visitor into a long-term customer. 


Another compelling and critical fact to understand is that the vast majority of people will find you and interact with your business online via their mobile devices. Specifically, their smart phones

To that end, your website must be what is referred to in technical terms as responsive. This means that whether I access your website on my desktop or my phone, the layout, images and buttons all adjust to the size of my device such that my user experience is as efficient as possible. 

Not having a responsive, or mobile-friendly, website will result in being penalized by Google for search results. In other words, Google search will give preference to websites that are mobile-friendly. So, if you want to be visible to potential clients on Google, having a responsive website is simply a must have.

To build your website you essentially have two options: build your own, or hire someone to create it for you. There are various platforms on the market today that allow you to build your own site with little to no technical knowledge. These include services like Wix and Squarespace. For more complex websites - like an e-commerce site - or if you simply don't have the time nor desire to build your own, then there are a multitude of businesses that offer this service. 

If you decide to hire a person or company to build your website, be sure to ask lots of questions and get a clearly defined (and written) scope of work along with a price quote. 

Want to learn more about the basics of websites for small businesses? We suggest listening to The How of Business podcast Episode 39 - Website Basics.

 
The How of Business show is a podcast dedicated to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Our show features topic episodes and interviews with other successful entrepreneurs. 



Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Growing Through Referrals

On the latest episode of The How of Business podcast, we have the pleasure of chatting with Tim Templeton!
Listen to this interview with Tim:
[Listen on iTunes[Listen on Stitcher]

Tim is an accomplished business man with a tremendous background and an interesting entrepreneurial journey. In this episode he shares insightful stories from his early life and starting his first business.

His latest book, "The Referral of a Lifetime" provides valuable advice for anyone starting or growing a business that depends on attracting and retaining clients. He has developed a comprehensive and proven process for generating what he calls "Qualified Pre-Endorsed Referrals". This latest book is part of the Ken Blanchard series. 

If you are thinking of becoming your own boss, or your currency have a business that depends on a consistent stream of high-quality referrals, then this episode if for you.

You can find more details about this episode, and listen to it, at the Show Notes Page. You can also find out more about Tim's books and other resources for small business owners at TheReferralBook.com

 

The How of Business show is a podcast dedicated to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Our show features topic episodes and interviews with other successful entrepreneurs. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

How to use Virtual Assistants

It's now easier than ever for small businesses to outsource many of the functions and tasks that are not necessarily your core competency. From back-office functions like bookkeeping, to creating written content for your online sites, "hiring" a virtual assistant may be your best option. 

The internet and other technologies make it easy to leverage the specialties of others, without having to actually hire an employee. By "hiring" a Virtual Assistant - meaning that you engage them for a specific project or task at a predetermined rate and for a specific period of time - you accelerate the growth of your business without the full burden of having to increase your payroll expenses. 


In the latest episode of The How of Business, Gina Horkey introduces the Virtual Assistant business model and also shares productivity tips to help you start and grow your small business.

Some highlights from our Interview with Gina:
  • Virtual Assistant services she offers include e-mail management, customer services tasks, marketing activities, website or blog management, and social media management.
  • Gina offers tips for those who are hesitant to consider outsourcing their e-mail management to a virtual assistant.
  • In this episode Gina also shares tips & advice for getting better organized, including shorter to-do lists, grouping like tasks, using virtual assistants, an organization tool like Trello.
Read more at the Show Notes Page

Listen to this interview with Gina Horkey: [Listen on iTunes[Listen on Stitcher]

 
The How of Business show is a podcast dedicated to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Our show features topic episodes and interviews with other successful entrepreneurs. 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Vending Franchise Owner - Matt Miller

Matt Miller is an entrepreneur, and founder of School Spirit Vending – a franchise business that helps schools and their clubs and organizations raise money through vending.

After graduating from the Air Force Academy, Matt was an Air Force pilot. After retiring from the Air Force he went on to a successful sales career, and eventually starting his own business.

As Matt explains, it all started with a gum ball machine! A friend introduced him to the gum ball vending business, and that side business grew into his current business - School Spirit Vending. 

His franchise business offers a great opportunity to start a small business on the side, while you keep your day job. It allows you to develop and alternate income stream, with a relatively low investment and reduced risk. 

We recently had the opportunity to interview Matt on our podcast, The How of Business. In this episode he shares his entrepreneurial story, tips and advice for other small business owners, and what he enjoys most about being his own boss.

Read more at the Show Notes Page

[Listen on iTunes[Listen on Stitcher]