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This Is Small Business

This Is Small Business

Author: JAR Audio

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This is Small Business explores the journey to success for small business owners by diving deep into the pivotal moments they have faced and conquered along the way. Brought to you by Amazon, this show is delivered through the unique perspective of a curious millennial trying to figure out what it takes to be a successful small business owner today. Episodes feature small business owners and industry experts from all walks of life who offer trends analysis, life lessons, and a different point of view. This is Small Business invites you to dig deep and find the tools you need to start, build, and grow your small business.

83 Episodes
Every entrepreneur needs a community - people who inspire us with their stories and share practical advice to help us make a decision or take the next step (or leap!). This is Small Business is that community. We hear from a diverse group of small business owners about how they found success, and the challenges they faced along the way.Not only will you feel inspired, you'll get tips you can apply to your own business right now. Whether you're trying to grow your business through social media, find a manufacturer to bring your idea to life, or figure out how to price your product - we got you!Hosted by Andrea Marquez, an aspiring small business owner, This is Small Business brings a diverse group of entrepreneurs and experts together to help you along your journey.New episodes are out every week. Follow the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen. You won't want to miss an episode!
Are you trying to figure out if it’s the right time to launch your first product? Just ask Trinity Mouzon Wofford, co-founder and CEO of Golde, who’s going to give us a look into all the behind-the-scenes work she put into their brand as she prepared to launch. She’ll teach us how to prepare your MVP (minimum viable product), tips on how to have a successful launch, and how to know that your product is ready to be on the shelves. In this episode you’ll hear:(05:56) - How distinctive packaging and vibrant colors helped Trinity's brand stand out in a crowded marketplace (07:58) - Copying big businesses' marketing tactics doesn't always work! Trinity explains how she found success by staying true to her vision(09:10) - How to leverage friends and family to gather early feedback on your product - before you launch(09:42) - Trinity explains how she knew she was ready to launch her business(11:06) - Andrea's key takeaways for launching your MVP
How do you nail the perfect price for your product? Just ask Mark Stiving, Chief Pricing Educator of Impact Pricing, who will share insights on pricing strategies. He’ll explain how understanding your business strategy and customer decision-making process can help you value your products and how to find out how much your customer is willing to pay. In this episode you’ll hear:(02:05) How figuring out your business strategy will influence your pricing.(03:00) How to find out how much your customer is willing to pay. (04:52) Should you start selling your products or services at a higher price point? (06:05) The benefits of a subscription model and how to build one.(07:50) How understanding the customer decision process can help you set prices.
Identifying your target market, without a plan, can be a struggle. Just ask Amber Murray, the founder of Fidget Stickers, who’s going to break down the customer journey into 5 simple steps and show you how you can improve it so your customers keep coming back for more. Amber also gives advice on how to find customers for your products in places you wouldn’t expect. After you’ve identified your ideal customer, Darian Kovacs, founder of Jelly Digital Marketing, spills the secrets on how to reach them. Darian tells us what social media platform might work best for you (spoiler: it’s all about trial and error) and breaks down how you can use SEO to get the right people to notice your business. In this episode you’ll hear:(02:50) Why Amber started Fidget Stickers.(06:05) Amber uses her business as a case study to explain the five phases of the customer journey: awareness, consideration, decision purchase, retention, and advocacy.(10:12) Questions you should ask yourself when you evaluate your customer journey. (12:54) How to identify your ideal customer BEFORE launching your product.(18:31) Tools that small business owners can use to learn more about their customers..(20:36) How to figure out what social platform you should be using to reach your ideal customer.(23:48) How to use SEO to be more discoverable.(25:59) Andrea's key takeaways for understanding your customer journey.
Wondering how to navigate common entrepreneurial pitfalls and ensure the success of your business? Just ask Christina Wallace, senior lecturer at Harvard Business School, who’s going to tell us the top three mistakes (or lessons learned as Christina calls them) early stage entrepreneurs make and how you can avoid them.In this episode you’ll hear:(01:18) Why you shouldn't do everything yourself. Christina recommends ways to overcome the entrepreneurial urge to do it all.(04:32) Why cash flow is important and the consequences of ignoring it.(06:11) How to manage your cash flow by putting liquidity in place before you need it, keeping an eye on any lumpy cash flow throughout the year, and being creative.(07:41) How to avoid scaling prematurely. 
Trying to figure out how and when you should start scaling your side hustle? Just ask Max Ash, the young creator and founder of MAX’IS CREATIONS, who managed to start his business at just 8 years old (with the help of his mom, Jen) and grew it into a successful business. Max and Jen will share their own experiences with protecting their intellectual property, licensing, manufacturing, and evaluating the future of their business. You’ll also hear from Verne Harnish, Founder and CEO of Scaling Up and the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, who shares actionable steps you can take to scale your business.In this episode you’ll hear:(02:15) How Max'is Creations started.(05:19) When Jen and Max realized that Max'is Creations could be more than a side hustle.(08:18) Jen talks about their experience with licensing – a way for you to partner with other companies without needing to do all the work yourself. (17:33) Verne emphasizes the importance of marketing and finding influencers to talk about your product or idea if you want to scale your business. (22:28) Having a routine can save you time.(23:48) Surround yourself with other like-minded entrepreneurs or mentors.(27:09) Verne tells us how being bold can land you opportunities.
Are you trying to figure out if a rebrand is worth the high price tag? Just ask actors turned entrepreneurs David McGranaghan & Julian Miller, co-founders of McMiller, a company that creates games designed to make you laugh, who went over-budget to rebrand their business. “Strong design [...] turns a four-star review into a five-star review, and I think that's definitely what we've learned, and it's money well spent [...] I would encourage people to put money into design," says David. In the season finale of This is Small Business, you’ll hear how Julian and David’s love story sparked the idea to start their business, the challenges and benefits of being married to your business partner, and how design can elevate your products. They’ll also talk about the importance of taking it slow when you’re first stepping into entrepreneurship.In this episode you’ll hear:(01:23) How David and Julian met and started Mcmiller (06:11) Why David and Julian wanted to get into entrepreneurship despite being professional actors(09:55) The challenges and benefits of starting a business with your romantic partner(12:28) How you could use reviews to improve your products(15:12) How design can elevate your products(22:36) How success can hurt your business if you’re not prepared for it(23:54) How to add sustainability into your business – Andrea mentions two This is Small Business episodes about sustainability. If you want to learn more, check out this season's bonus episode “How your business can have an impact” or an episode from season 4 called “How to Grow a Sustainable Business.”(25:58) Julian and David give us a look into their future goals and their upcoming game(26:55) Julian and David emphasize the importance of taking things slow when you’re starting your business – it’ll help you avoid mistakes and give you time to work on the best version of your product
Are you planning on selling your business but don’t know where to start? Just ask Emmet Apolinario, President of the International Resource Group. Having transitioned into becoming a business broker after navigating the pitfalls of selling his own business, Emmet offers insights on how to evaluate your business to spare you from the same mistakes he made. “Selling a business is not like selling real estate. It's not going to sell tomorrow.” says Emmet, “[...] preparing and planning is very important.” Learn how you can increase your business value, who you may need on your team, and when you could be selling your business.In this episode you’ll hear:(01:41) Why and when you could be selling your business(02:40) Challenges that might make your business difficult to sell(03:26) Who you might need on your team to sell your business(04:36) How to figure out what your business is worth(06:27) How to increase your business’ value
Considering buying a business? Whether it's your first venture or you’re trying to expand your business, it can be a game-changer. Just ask Brian Shields, an Acquisition Entrepreneur who knows what it takes to successfully buy a business. “Try to look at at least a hundred deals to help dial yourself in so you know what kind of risk you're willing to take, what kind of business plan you really feel comfortable with, what kind of industries you feel like make sense,” Brian says, “because once you get those under your belt, then you'll feel a little bit more sophisticated when the time really comes.”We’ll dive into the essentials: from why you should consider buying a business to breaking down all the thorough due diligence and financing options so you can find the right business that works for you! In this episode you’ll hear:(00:35) How Brian bought his first business(2:42) Why buying a business could be right for you(5:06) Research and analysis (aka due diligence) that needs to get done before you buy a business(6:39) Where you can find businesses to buy(8:01) Brian breaks down what the due diligence process looks like by using a coffee shop as an example(11:00) Three ways you can pay for the business you want to buy(13:50) Andrea and Brian go over three points you should focus on when you’re trying to find a business to buy
Expanding your business and drawing in more customers may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be! Just ask Amy Porterfield, New York Times bestselling author of Two Weeks Notice and Host of The Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast, who managed to increase her sales in only a year. “The people who need you will find you, even if you put a stake in the ground.” Amy says. “If your message resonates with them, but doesn't fit perfectly, that's okay. If they like what you're saying and they find value, they will find you.”Learn how you can replicate Amy’s growth by managing your mindset, creating a customer avatar, and growing your email list. In this episode you’ll hear:(00:45) How Amy started her business(03:02) How negative thoughts can impede growth(05:57) How to build your customer avatar(08:11) How content creation helped Amy grow(09:27) How to grow your email list(12:16) Common mistakes that might affect your growth
Want to build a loyal following of people who are excited to buy what you're selling? Stop spending your valuable time on the wrong marketing channels, and prioritize an email list. So says Jenna Kutcher, a digital marketing expert and host of The Goal Digger Podcast. After attracting thousands of followers on social, but seeing so few convert to customers, Jenna learned about the power of owning an email list - and she hasn't looked back! It's the number one ways she drives sales in her business.You'll learn how to start a list, where to find your first subscribers, and how to grow and maintain a list. Plus, the surprising benefits of an email list - beyond the high ROI.(06:40) Where to find your first subscribers(07:25) How to use your email list to test out new business ideas(09:40) The TWO things you need to focus on as an entrepreneur(11:00) Tacticts Jenna uses to drive followers from social and the podcast to her list(14:30) How to make time for your email list(15:50) Don't make these two mistakes with your email list!(18:00) Convinced? Here's how to start your listLearn how to go from zero subscribers to an engaged list that lasts. Sign up for Jenna's FREE Email Building Master Class at It only happens once a year - don't miss out!
Ready to make a difference with your business but don’t know where to start? Just ask Thomas Ling, founder of Kin+Kind, who combined his passion for the environment and love of animals to create eco-friendly pet products. Thomas breaks down what makes a business sustainable, the importance of transparency and authenticity, and how you can start a business that does good in the world. “It's important that we are running the kind of company that we want to see out in the world.” Thomas says.Learn what it takes to be a clean business, and the benefits that come with it.In this episode you’ll hear:(01:09) Kin+Kind’s story.(02:56) How Kin + Kind brings transparency and authenticity into their products.(04:11) What are clean ingredients?(06:34) Being a clean company is about more than using good ingredients, it’s also about how you treat your employees.(07:25) What is greenwashing?(09:15) How to start a sustainable business.(10:50) The benefits of having a clean business.
The more people see your products, the more sales you’ll probably get – and a marketing strategy can help you do that. Just ask Elena Fahrländer, the Chief Commercial Officer of Danish Endurance, a company that sells their products worldwide. She’ll be sharing what they do to find their target audience and how their approach to marketing changed as they grew. You’ll also hear from Elizabeth (Liz) Downing, director of partnerships at The Ecom Cooperative. She’ll give more actionable advice on how to build your marketing strategy using realistic goal setting and data analysis. “It's really important to look inward, really examine who you are as a business, and then set your goals and your expectations based on what you think you can achieve,” says Liz, “and it all comes down to the data.”In this episode you’ll hear:(02:18) Danish Endurance’s story(04:02) How to find your target audience(07:02) The importance of clear and realistic goals and budgeting when building your marketing strategy(11:02) Starting out with a structured marketing strategy(11:50) How and why Danish Endurance constantly updates their marketing strategy 
Your small business (or idea if you haven’t started yet) is a lot more important than you think. Just ask Karen Kerrigan, the president and CEO of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council. She’ll be sharing a ton of fun facts about how small businesses drive innovation, help the economy, and create jobs. You’ll also hear from Kylie Jiwon Hwang, an Assistant Professor at the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management. She’ll give us more insights on how entrepreneurship can help marginalized individuals and how starting your own business can benefit your community.Get a quick refresher on why the work you’re doing (or planning to do!) is important and learn all the benefits and challenges you might encounter on your entrepreneurial journey.In this episode you’ll hear:(01:42) Why Small Businesses are important.(04:27) Why Marginalized individuals are gravitating towards entrepreneurship and the benefits that come with it.(07:33) Challenges that you might face when starting a business.(10:48) How technology has been helping small business owners overcome some of the challenges they face.(14:41) The importance of being prepared before starting a business.
Aside from a regular paycheck, what more can you do for your employees? And can going the extra mile for them really help your business' bottom line? Listen in to hear from brothers and founders of Mr. Tortilla, Ron and Anthony Alcazar. Their approach to business was formed at an early age, while watching their parents work hard with no buy-in. And then we’ll speak with Ludmila Praslova, PhD. Professor of Industrial Organizational Psychology, and author of The Canary Code: A Guide to Neurodiversity, Dignity, and Intersectional Belonging at Work. "Imagine having to walk in shoes that are extremely big or way too small, way too wide, way too narrow" said Ludmila. "That's painful, that's not comfortable, …flexibility just makes sense."In this episode you’ll hear:(00:43) Why Mr. Tortilla wanted to take care of their employees(03:26) How it’s good for business to prioritize a healthy workplace(04:58) The bare minimum an employer could do for its employee(06:40) The importance of flexibility and how to implement it into your company(12:18) How to start a conversation with your employee about their needs
Dealing with audits doesn’t have to be scary as long as you’re prepared for it. Just ask Erick O. Bell, an accounting professor at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, who used to work at KPMG LLP in the Audit Risk Advisory Services. Erick simplifies everything you need to know about audits – even the IRS audit – so it doesn’t feel as daunting. “Most audits that are happening. They're not audits that are at odds with each other,” Erick says. “A typical audit generally is just, you've made an assertion. Can we verify that that assertion is accurate?”Learn about typical audits, how to navigate them, and when you might need them.In this episode you’ll hear:(01:00) When should you get an audit(03:45) About IRS audits(07:36) How to navigate a typical audit
Getting a Patent can be a complicated and expensive process, but it can protect your idea as you work on bringing it to market. Just ask Becca Davison, the CEO of UnbuckleMe, who got a patent early on in her small business journey. Becca explains how she came up with UnbuckleMe, why she decided to patent her idea early on, and what that process looked like for someone who was new to entrepreneurship. You’ll also hear from Colleen Chien, a professor at Berkeley Law School and the founder of the Paper Prisons and Diversity Pilots Initiatives. Colleen digs deeper into how a patent can protect your idea and breaks down everything you need to know before and during your patent application. Learn whether you should even get a patent, how you can protect your idea from copycats, and what the patenting process looks like.In this episode you’ll hear:(00:38) What is a patent?(02:29) How Becca came up with UnbuckleMe(05:28) The different types of Patents(06:45) The process of filing a patent(11:46) Why copycats can still show up even after you get a patent(13:28) How to protect your idea from copycats(14:41) The difference between copycats and competitors
Accidents happen, we make missteps, sometimes our brands are tarnished. So how do we prepare for the inevitable and mitigate impact? Indya ‘Icy’ Wright, the Founder and CEO of Artiste House, a PR firm that prioritizes diversity, inclusivity, and representation, has some answers. According to Wright, “all we can do is try to minimize the results of what happened, rectify it, and if things go well, move forward.”In this episode you’ll hear:(02:35) How do you figure out what your story is?(05:22) How do you determine which issues to take a stance on publicly?(07:52) You never know when a crisis will strike, how do you prepare?(08:27) After a crisis, how do you deal with the potential loss of business?
If there's one thing we’ve learned over the many episodes of this show, it’s that owning and operating your own business is hard. You have to overcome challenges you didn’t even know existed.Thinking of becoming an entrepreneur or you’re wondering if you should stick it out? We have Dr. Laura Morgan Roberts, scholar, speaker and consultant, who studies the science of maximizing human potential, to guide us through. “I do think for every market need, for every human desire, there is an entrepreneur who is inspired and equipped to meet that need and to help for people to connect with that desire”And Pamela Wirth, of Hello Health, will share what she’s learned on her path to entrepreneurship. Learn from an expert and those who have been there! In this episode you’ll hear:(03:49) Why connecting with others is one of the most important traits of an entrepreneur(05:23) What qualities you need to be an entrepreneur (08:17) If you can't go all in on your business because you need the financial security of a 9 to 5, how else can you start your business journey?(10:24) How do you start a business if you have too much on your plate?(12:56) An entrepreneur is also a leader, so what qualities do you need to be a great leader?(15:38) What are some hurdles that entrepreneurs might have to overcome when they're thinking about starting a business?(18:45) What are some of the qualities you need to help you get through the tough times?
Money is such an integral part of your business. So when the time comes and you need to secure more, where do you start? Who do you turn to? We’ve got Iman Cotton, a loans officer with CDC Small Business Finance to guide us through it. Iman says that a good place to start is by thinking, “something that sounds too good to be true, probably is.”Learn how to best prepare you and your business for a loan.In this episode you’ll hear:(01:39) How do you find a good lender?(03:29) What documents do you need to apply to a small business loan?(04:31) Mistakes small business owners make when they want to apply for a loan.(07:34) Now that you have the loan, what happens if you’re struggling to pay it back?
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