May 15th, 2011
Listen to the rest of the story from Tommy. He is a great guy with a great company. He is going to tell you why you should ALWAYS have your business card…and hand them out.
May 8th, 2011
How did such a young guy start a ski company? Find out by listening to more of our interview with Ben, the founder of Islantic Skis.
May 8th, 2011
Hear the rest of the story with Gregg. He not only reports the business news, he use to make the news too.
April 27th, 2011
From taking college not too serious, to being on a reality TV show, to building a multi-unit franchise, Nick and his partner Omar Soliman have proven themselves to be fabulous entrepreneurs. We were able to do a phone interview with Nick to find out how they started this company at such a young age and manage to succeed. The idea of the business is to move junk that no one wants or can move themselves, weather it is a lot of junk or just large items.
Nick sent us some books that he and Omar had written entitled Effortless Entrepreneur, and his philosophy was summed up in his inscription: “Keep living the Dream”.
We learned that there is a big difference in running a franchise of a junk business vs. actually hauling junk for people. There was a big learning curve to figure out how to sell and how to service his new customer: the franchisee. If you want to learn more about Nick, Omar, and their business College Hunks Hauling Junk, please visit their website.
Also joining us in the studio is Reed Silberman from Inkmonstrwho has started a great business out of his entrepreneurial drive: large format digital printing. They wrap cars, buses, building, and just about anything along with making signs and a whole host of other similar products. He has been able to turn his professional snowboarding career into a thriving business, and has some great information to share with small business owners.
April 26th, 2011
We continue our conversation with Nick, and learned a lot about what it takes to build a successful company right out of school. Despite his party lifestyle, he was able to make something of himself! I know this may be a disappointment to all those nose down in the book types, but running a successful business is often times more about relationships and building a team than reciting facts and finishing formulas.
Don’t miss our final half hour with Nick, and learn more about him at their website. collegehunkshaulingjunk.com
April 18th, 2011
How do you create a successful bar? How do you create 20 successful bars? Mark has build a great business building bars that all have their own unique feel and brand. They are kind of the anti-brand. Mark has figured out how to run the business of running a great bar and building a great team.
Everyone thinks they can open a bar. Mark shared with us the secretes of running a successful one, and what does it cost to start a bar. Mark’s father has been a bar designer and builder here in Denver for a very long time, and so his roots go deep in the industry. Mark virtually grew up in bars, just not open ones.
They started their concept with a dog theme, but after a few, started to experiment with some non-canine themes, but each has a unique name and look. The British Bulldog, The Doghouse Tavern, Irish Hound, The Elm, Salty Rita’s, and College Inn are just a few. We did get out of him his favorite bar: Don’s. It is close to his house, and the story of how they acquired it is special.
Each of their bars has it own website, but go here to find a bar near you.
April 17th, 2011
The great thing about the Peep Show, is that we can talk about just about anything. Mark is a great guy, a great business owner, and is not shy of sharing his ideas and what is on his mind. Mark owns the not so Little Pub Co in Denver. A string of 20 neighborhood bars in and around Denver, and also being a partner in the Icehouse bar downtown.
Mark has continued to focus one thing: the bar business. Something a lot of us entrepreneurs have a problem with. We have a tendancy to not have great focus. Despite not being an analytical thinker, he has a great ability to take a little information and move and make decisions. In laymans terms, he manages from the gut.
Thanks Mark for sharing with us this week. Contact Mark through the their website at www.littlepubco.com
April 13th, 2011
Creating a successful small business is one thing, but creating a successful international business, or even several successful international businesses is a totally different animal. Matt and co-founder Mark Harbottle have been widely successful in their multiple small business attempts. Matt has a great opportunity to travel and build strategic partnerships, while others take care of the day to day operations of the business.
If you have lived under a bigger rock than the two of us, then you might not have heard of 99designs.com. It is a website dedicated to helping match up anyone that would like to have something designed with a designer that submits ideas in hopes of winning a specified contest amount. The host sets up the parameters, and the prize, and everything else is left up to good old economics…supply and demand. The bigger the reward, the bigger the demand…the more designers that will compete to win. Contests can be created for anything from a simple log, to a full blown website.
We not only talked to Matt about the business, but we also uncovered his true passion in life…WINE. Besides Johnny, who doesn’t like wine? You’ll have to listen to our interview. Another good one.
April 13th, 2011
We continue our conversation with Matt, as we talk about live, wine, and ipads. How they all fit is a wonder, and you’ll just have to listen to find out. Matt is quite the jet setter, and works remotely most of the time. We caught up with him for a great interview with this Canadian entrepreneur. You can find out more about Matt and 99designs and their website www.99designs.com
April 6th, 2011
If you’ve lived in Denver for any amount of time, you know Comedy Works. It has been a staple in downtown Denver for over 25 years.
While Wende did not start the Comedy Works, she did save it from dieing. Wende started working in college as a cocktail waitress. Eventually bought into the company that had a few partners, and when things started to go bad financially, bought everyone out.
Most people are very familiar with the downtown Denver location, about 4 years ago, Wende decided to expand, and in the worst banking environment our generation has seen, Wende borrowed money to build a Greenwood Village location that houses the Comedy Works club, a martini bar, and an event center. Quite the accomplishment.
Wende is not only a fantastic club owner, she manages the carriers of several comics, and consults other would-be club owners. Wende is truly one of Denver’s best and most successful entrepreneurs. Find out more about Comedy Works at www.comedyworks.com
In our expert segment, we also spoke with Steve Collins today from PIP printing to talk to us about marketing our small business. We talked a little more about some traditional marketing avenues. Today, most people want to talk about social media and the Internet, but print and traditional marketing can still be really effective. You can learn more about how PIP Printing can help you at their website or by calling Steve at (303) 217-5577.
April 5th, 2011
We had a great time talking with Wende from the Comedy Works. Not sure we stopped laughing the whole time. Wende must be one of the hardest workers in comedy. She not only owns two locations here in Denver, but helps comics from coast to cost. Wende was a joy to get to know, and we know that you will learn a ton from this interview. One of the best ones we’ve done!
March 29th, 2011
This week we spoke with the founder of FreshBooks, an online business that helps small business owners collect money, streamline their business, as well as track time for billing. Mike started his business after feeling the pain that most small business owners experience with trying to collect money as well as track what money is owed. The system is super straight forward, and is very easy to use. It will allow the small business to collect their money through traditional means or through a credit card, whether you have a credit card processor or not. Simple is the key word.
Mike shared with us that it has been difficult to keep FreshBooks simple, and yet continue to add value added usability. Often times our customers keep asking us to do more and to offer more. Where do you draw the line?
Then we talked a little bit about the culture at FreshBooks, and what do they to to maintain it. From the hiring to the day to day operations, FreshBooks strives to hire those that would fit into the system with the same values. This has helped them build a team that can work together and strive to grow the organization in a consistant way.
In our final segment with Mike, we got to know him a little more on the personal level. He lives in Canada, he shared with us what was the first car he drove, and what was the latest book he read. Mike also shared with us that he mistakenly first named his business SecondSite, and then realized he needed a new name. Surfing in Costa Rica is his favorite place to vacation.
Mike also shared with us some of his marketing secrets and what they do to cultivate customers. Having a great product though is the key to marketing. Most small businesses overlook this, but it is very accurate. Mike and his management team then do a lot of great customer service activities to make sure all their customers are having a great experience.
If you’d like to learn more about Freshbooks, please visit their website at www.freshbooks.com . Thanks Mike for your time and your willingness to share your story.
March 29th, 2011
Nick and Johnny finish their conversation with Mike, and talk about what it takes to run and grow this successful online company. How do they deal with customers, and hiring, and where did it all come from. You can learn more about FreshBooks at their website at www.Freshbooks.com
March 26th, 2011
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Have you ever had your computer go down due to a virus? How do you protect it against all the junk out there? Forrest Pickett, owner of a Fast-Teks franchise in Denver joins us today to teach us what we need to do to protect one of our most valuable tools in small business…our computer. In this Small Business Access, we talk about fire walls, anti-virus, and what can happen if you don’t do the right things. If you need someone to help you FAST, call Forrest and his techs at Fast-Tek here in Denver at 303-221-FAST (3278).
March 23rd, 2011
Direct response marketing is not the sexy cool marketing activity that most people want to talk about, but Joy has built a great business helping small business owners market their businesses in a more traditional way. Direct response postcards are a cost effective way to get your message out to your perfect customer profile. she started her business after being a graphic designer, and having issues herself trying to kick off a postcard campaign to get customers. With the experience and knowledge she had from brokering print jobs and designing for customers, she decided that she could really grow a business that specialized in postcards after her bad experience in using another postcard company.
Starting her business in 1999, Joy launched PostcardMania. Due to their belief in their own marketing system and delegating tasks to key individuals, PostcardMania has experienced tremendous growth…so much so, that they actually use their own services by sending out 150,000 postcards each week to attract new customers. Joy does share her other keys to marketing their business. This has been a large strength: giving away the information. Joy shares with everyone, even her competitors.
While many business owners complain about the economy and how hard things are, Joy has decided not to participate in the recession, and she wants everyone to prosper. Beat the recession: market your butt off.
We talked about a lot of different things in marketing her business as well as yours, you can learn more about Joy and PostcardMania at their website: www.postcardmania.com
March 23rd, 2011
We continue our interview with the founder and owner of PostcardMania. Joy has had tremendous success with her “small business.” So much so, that many wouldn’t even consider her a small business any more. She has over 150 employees, and has continued to grow since they opened the doors.
Joy shared with us on the Peep Show about how important their sales system is, and what they do to improve it with their sales staff. She also shared with us how important and hard it is to get interaction with customers on their website.
Controversy is hard to capitalize, and Joy shared a story with us about a risque calendar that got send out. It did attract attention, but not necessarily good attention. This cased the men of her company to lay one of their larger men to pose very provocatively.
Culture is very important to PostcardMania, and believe in it so much, they hired some Batista’s, and now employees can order a latte via text message, and have it brought to their desk.
March 17th, 2011
There are 30,000 insurance brokers in the US. How do you stand out? Offer something different…duh! Mark Rollins talked with me about not only creating a solution that stands out in the marketplace, but also about doing business that aligns with your passion. While on a trip with his son to Nicaragua, Mark realized that there was more to life than making the almighty dollar. Continuing with this, he started to get involved more and more with non-profit organizations that made a difference in the lives of others. Out of this passion, he started NonProfit Guard: a division of the Rollins Insurance Agency. It is here, that Mark is able to fulfill his passion of helping those that have a passion for helping others. You can read more about them on their blog.
March 13th, 2011
Today we spoke with John from the Zappos Insight team. This interview is a little different than what Nick and Johnny usually do, but we felt it was a must do interview for small business owners. These guys at Zappos are really doing it right. They have this commitment to customer service like no other business we’ve seen, and we learned a ton from John on what we need to do in our businesses to provide great customer service.
Zappos is a little different place to work…it really is like family. We read Tony Hsieh’s (Zappos’ CEO) book called Delivering Happiness, and we convinced that they are doing a lot of things right. Zappos is a huge company, but their story is something all small business owners can relate to. It started with an idea. There were tons of struggles along the way. In the end, they created a behemoth company that got bought out by Amazon, but the things they learned along the way are great for us all. Visit them at www.zappos.com.
March 13th, 2011
Customer service Zappos style. This is a fantastic small business turned mongo business, and the real reason they have been so successful, is something we can all afford: Great Customer service. Not just talking about it, but doing it. AND with everyone involved. Not only your customers, but you vendors and with your employees as well. John Wolske from the Zappos team shared with us about what that looks like. You too can do it. Listen on the after show Peep show to our extended conversation.
March 10th, 2011
Today I talked to a friend of mine that helped me realize what success looks like. I think it was about 4 years ago, Nigel asked me what would I do I money wasn’t an issue? What would I do if I won the lottery and could just do what I wanted?
Today I talked to him about what you need to be successful, and I believe this is the key. We get all these notions of what we are suppose to do. What our parents want us to do. What society says we should do. But I believe that God has created each and every one of us to be unique, and to be used for a certain purpose. If we can figure out what that is, I believe we are well on our way to discover what true success looks like. If you want to get in contact with Nigel, you can visit him at www.nigelclaytoncoaching.com
March 7th, 2011
Walter and Patrick Hessert
This week we spoke with Walter and Patrick, two brothers on a mission to encourage and motivate true small businesses across the country. They bought an Airstream trailer and are driving the country to hear their stories, tell their stories, and to give out grants.
Meeting business owners in small towns across America, they have really spoken to some of the most exciting businesses that are working in their passion. They told us about the folks about Perky Jerky and Ink Monstr in Denver, a brewery in Austin, TX, a cigar company in Montana, and a ton of others.
We learn about them outside the business as well in our Getting Naked Section: where are they from, what’s hard about being on the road, relationship status (which got interesting), and their best pick up line…”I’m Walter, and I live in a trailer.”
On the business side, they shared with us their unique ability to fund their road trip business. With a 90% closing ratio, they have been able to obtain a ton of sponsorships…over $150,000 to date. If you want to follow Patrick and Walter’s adventure, check out their website, but we will be checking in with these brothers from time to time as well.
March 6th, 2011
We continue our conversation with brothers Walter and Patrick who are on a road trip to talk to entrepreneurs across the country. On the journey, they are giving out small grants to small businesses to keep taking risks.
For more information, check out their website at milliondollarroadtrip.com
March 5th, 2011
Ok, we sensationalalized just a bit. CRAP does stand for something, but you will have to listen to hear and find out. Shennandoah owns Brass Knuckles Media and shared with us some keys we need to know as small business owners as we look at branding. To find out more about Brass Knuckles Media, you can visit them on their website.http://www.brassknucklesmedia.com
March 4th, 2011
Today I interviewed Matt from ePageCity about building a website. He was quite convincing that it really can pay big dividends by hiring the right company to build a website that not only makes you look good, helps you compete with the big dogs, but also makes you money. There is a lot of things that go into a website, and research and planning is a key component. Listen in to this podcast on making a website that can be better than an employee.
March 2nd, 2011
Everyone wants to talk about social media and search engine optimization. Direct mail to some, is dead, but today, I talked to Brian Sutter, from Wasp Barcode. No, they are not a marketing company, but Brian runs the marketing department for Wasp, and uses a direct mail campaign to compliment all their other marketing efforts. As you will hear, the importance of repeat exposure in a direct mail campaign is key.
At Wasp, they help small businesses track their inventory as well as track equipment with a simple, and user friendly tracking system that includes software and hardware. Brian reported that it can save a small business thousands of dollars – depending on the size of course. To find out more about Wasp Barcode, please visit their website www.waspbarcode.com/
Using direct mail can be an integral part of your small business marketing mix. Determine your budget, start small, find out what is effective, then be consistent. Your list and your message is very important to the campaign’s effectiveness, so if you need help, I suggest you find a good resource. If you need one, we recommend PostcardMania. An interview will be on our website in a few weeks with the founder, Joy Gendusa.
February 27th, 2011
Have you heard of the term: Fast-Casual? If not, it is one of the fastest growing trends in restaurants today. If you have been to Tokyo Joe’s, Noodles, Qdoba or a number of other restaurants, like them, you know what I mean. Mad Greens is smack in the middle of this great concept…with the added fact that you can eat healthy when you are on the go.
Mad Greens is growing like crazy, and Dan and Marley came in to tell us all about how they started this new concept…and where they are trying to go. From starting their very first location where they worked IN THE BUSINESS. Now they have eleven stores, and truly get to work ON THEIR BUSINESS. I know, this has become a big cliche in small business, and I promis to never say it again. This is a great entrepreneurial story, and we get to say we knew them when they only had 11 stores!
February 27th, 2011
Dan Long and Marley Hodgson
In the post show, we continue our conversation with the founders of Mad Greens. Execution is very important in the restaurant industry for consistency to safety. We start our conversation by talking about how they do this.
Dan and Marley told us about going to the fields! They actually went out to the farmers to see where their food is grown. Having the right system to get their food to them within day, no to mention to find out if there is a problem with any of the food. This can help if a problem arises with any of their food, and the problem can me contained.
When you have this many locations, finding employees, and the right employees is vital. Then creating a culture where people can be thrive as well as be excited about their work. Otherwise there will be problems with having good customer service.
Adding locations can be a huge challenge. This also brought Dan and Marley into new rolls in their company. Holding employees accountable is key.
Get ready Texas, Arizona, and California…Mad Greens is coming your way. After that, who knows.
February 24th, 2011
Today I interview the founder of Red Bud’s Raw, a producer of natural dog food. After a successful stint in marketing and PR with Chipotle Mexican Grill, Jim decided it was time to grow his own business, surrounding his passion for his dogs.
Jim had learned a lot about what it meant to raise natural beef for the meat used at Chipotle, and found that there were a lot of the same benefits if applied to dog food. The reality is that the dog food industry came out of a surplus of grain in our farming communities. But, the problem is, dogs are not made to eat grain, but to eat meat.
Creating a product that requires some level of education to the consumer can be challenging, but in the pet industry, many consumers are passionate about their pet. Jim aims to help as many of them as possible.
Jim has faced a lot of challenges, but remains optimistic that persistence will pay off, and that retails and pet owners will start to see the huge benefits of feeding their pets a natural diet of meat, fruits, and vegetables. For more information on Red Bud’s Raw, visit their website at www.redbudsraw.com
February 23rd, 2011
Would you benefit from planning a little for your marketing? We talked to Randye about the importance of planning out. Big business do this, why do so many small businesses not do it?
We talked about what are the three key components to an effective direct MAIL campaign. Yes, I said mail. Postcards are not dead, but there is a trick, just like in riding a bike. Not sure I remember what that trick is, but there is one. What does marketing a BMW have to do with this, or fishing? You will have to listen to find out.
We also talked about how much as a general rule should you spend on marketing. That is a big moving target. If you have a plan, you won’t spend aimlessly. If you want to get in touch with Randye, you can find her at www.myaffordablemarketing.com
Thanks Randye for your great small business information.
February 22nd, 2011
John Sturdivant from Biz Amp
Today we talked to John about web sites. We all need one, but is yours doing what you need it to do? If you are like most entrepreneurs, you need it to do more than it does, simple because you can’t afford to pay what it takes. John’s company, Biz Amp has a low-cost solution for small business owners. They are known for offering a fully functioning website for $149! No, that is not a typo. And yes, there is a catch…if you want more bells and whistles, it will cost more. But yes, this is a fully custom site that will get you up and running on the web. If you are wondering what the high end is, their fully loaded site go for around $1000.
John shared with us how they believe in creating a relationship with their customers, and know that it is an ongoing process to manage a website. Listen to the podcast, and if you need a website, or are thinking about getting a new one, contact John at 888-613-1119, they even have 72 hr turnaround. Now that is fast!
February 20th, 2011
Today we spoke with Waylon about Elephant Journal and joining the original owner of the publication called. After wrestling with having a partner, he took over as the sole owner and editor. After realizing he needed to be more environmentally friendly and in line with what they stand for, he moved the publication 100% online.
Waylon hales from the prestigious Boston University with a degree in Journalism. News media is experiencing a huge shift with the advent of this new “internet”. They have tried to figure out how to make money in this new environment, and are now on the right track.
“Mission is not bad for business.” -Waylon Lewis
Then we got a little personal with Waylon. He grew up in Boulder in a Buddhist family, loved to write, and loves living eco friendly. So he was able to marry his passions into his career. Waylon doesn’t own a car, rides his bike or walks around Boulder. If he needs to leave the Republic, he grabs a ride from a friend or jumps on the bus. He truly walks the walk of what he believes.
We learned a lot about business from Waylon, some great info for all business owners. We talked about how to name a business, how to monetize an online publication, where to find a mentor, and why relationships are so important to life and to business.
We also had Michael Brandvold join us on the phone to talk about marketing as we introduce our new Small Business Access segments on our podcast. Micheal has worked with Rock superstar Gene Simmons and Kiss to create a huge new VIP access package which was then adopted by other major music stars. Michael works with musicians and other small business owners on their marketing as he has been a veteran in the marketing industry since before internet marketing was even a category. You can get more information about Michael on his website www.michaelbrandvold.com.
February 20th, 2011
We continue our conversation and expand our conversation into politics and being socially responsible. What do these things have to do with running a publishing business. We learn why print publications are so inefficient and why there is so much waste. Having Elephant Journal online only is very green not just in philosophy put in practicality. Waylon comes from an interesting background, loves what he does, and is the real deal.
Here are a few things we talked about:
- Waylon shared with us how he almost lost everything
- How the publication makes money now
- what are the top 6 things we need to do to become green
- Taco Bell’s meat issues
- Plastic islands in the Pacific
- How Waylon almost lost everything moving online
- Buying recycled clothings
- Interviewing Deepak Chopra
So as you can see, our conversation went all over the place. A fun conversation with our friend Waylon from Boulder. Learn more about Waylon on their website www.elephantjournal.com. Thanks Waylon for spending time with us, sharing your business and your life, and being patient with us.
February 18th, 2011
The 5 areas to grow your business today without spending big bucks
Today, we talked with Larry Turner of Roundhouse Advisors about growing the bottom line. It has everything to do with sales. But how do we do that? Larry would say it takes going to see them, focusing on the ones you have, and having good employee communications. Listen to this podcast to find out some great tips on increasing your sales…if that’s important to you. I think it’s crucial.
Larry Turner owns Roundhouse Advisors does a lot of things, but when it comes down to it, they help businesses make more money. Visit them at their website: Roundhouseadvisors.com or call Lary at 719-481-2812.
February 18th, 2011
Today we talked to Meghan Ely from OFD Consulting who helps small business owners that provide wedding products and services grow their business. In a less than perfect economy (we won’t use the “R” word), it is important to continue to market your business. Meghan shares with us some really important tips about the fact that you can even start a business AND THRIVE in a down economy. You always need to differentiate your business and educate your customer so they know WHY you are worth what you charge.
You always need to partner with other industry leaders, and know who can bring you more business. Meghan shared with us how one of her clients went out and built these important relationships to help her launch her new cake business.
February 15th, 2011
Amy Foxwell from Foxwell Associates helps us understand what the importance of knowing your customers can do to add to our bottom line. Everything we do should be purposeful, and Amy will shed some light on why knowledge is king.
For over 15 years Amy has worked throughout the world with both Fortune 500 companies such as Microsoft, Disney, AOL, and a host of other companies. She is author of several marketing guides and industry specific marketing and business systems such as the Win Win Small Business Marketing System and the Win Win Restaurant Marketing System.
Foxwell Associates has offices in both the US and France. Amy Foxwell lives in the south of France with her partner Jean Sébastien, her two children, her two cats and her flat-coated retriever.
February 14th, 2011
Listen to this week’s interview with Jerome who started a very successful retail store. From one store, Jerome built a store that sold worldwide. He was the biggest retailer of snowboards. He also created his own snowboard brand called CSB – Colorado Snowboard.
Jerome was able to create a successful business because he did things a little different. He overbought merchandise at a good price. He paid his vendors first. He created an innovative rental program for families. He competed with Gart Brothers…and won. So much, that Gart Brothers had to come and buy him out. When Jerome sold, he was selling over $12 million in sales.
Jerome is a colorful personality that loved dealing with people, having fun, and making good deals. He hired people based on their walk, and who they were. Jerome is a fabulous person, and one of our newest friends. You will love this interview.
February 14th, 2011
Jerome was the founder of Colorado Ski and Golf, and eventually sold it to the Gart Brothers. Listen to the post show with Jerome as he shares with us a little more about life and what is truly important. He shared with us about creating a culture at a ski retail shop. Sometimes he had to look the other way, but everyone worked their but off.
From giving away ski packages to single moms to selling everything on the sidewalk for $9, Jerome did things a little different. You will love hearing this story.
February 9th, 2011
We talk a lot about having passion in your business, and Lem is no exception. I met Lem this summer at my sister’s wedding in Lakewood, WI, and was immediately drawn to get to know him. He is the first Nijagrapher I’ve ever met! AND the best wedding photographer I’ve ever experienced. Yes he was good behind the camera, yes he was engaging and fun, and yes he wowed not only the bride (the most important person), but the rest of the guests as well.
Lem has built a fantastic small business, travels the world doing what he loves, and living the dream. This all goes to show you that if you do what you love, the money will come, but you need to be passionate, find your niche, and market yourself. Lem know that every wedding is his biggest opportunity to market his business. What’s yours?
February 8th, 2011
A creative and innovative entertainment marketing veteran with extensive experience in online marketing, managing affiliate marketing relationships, e-commerce, customer acquisition and retention efforts. Michael talks to us today about why you should use Facebook to HELP gain traffic to your website. It should not be a replacement for your website, but a tool to help drive traffic to YOUR site. You can learn more about Michael, and how he helped the band KISS create over $150,000 in additional income at his website: www.michaelbrandvold.com
February 7th, 2011 In the early 1990′s Ralph became a father, a little later in life than most, and naturally, he wanted to spend less time at the office and more time at home. At the time, Ralph was a venture capitalist and most of his work fell into the category of communications – talking on the phone, writing letters, sending e-mails and faxes – none of which required beginning an office. As Ralph used his office less and less, he began to formulate this new business concept that would allow him to work from home while still tapping into services – such as receptionists and meeting space – that would present a professional image. The virtual office concept was born.
This week, we get to talk with a veteran entrepreneur that has built several companies, been successful in most, and has a unique perspective, that us young kids (Johnny and I), can learn from. He walked us down the journey from his first failed business attempt, to his current business triumph. If you love business, you will want to hear this story. February 7th, 2011
We are launching a new series of interviews via our podcast stream called Small Business Access. These interviews will be comprised of industry experts on a wide variety of topics from marketing to accounting, and all will be less than 20 minutes in length, but all specifically created for the small business owner.
As business owners, we all wear many hats, but where do you learn how to do all these things? We want to provide you with some resources. As of right now, subscribe to our podcast feed so you don’t miss any of the interviews. Eventually (maybe in about a month) we will launch a page on our site where you will be able to find all the podcasts in an easy to search directory.
February 6th, 2011
Talking with Ralph has not been like talking to our other guests. There is a feeling that nothing will phase him, and I think that it is because he has seen it all. He was very candid about life, starting out early in life in Chicago working his neighborhood to cut grass and do odd jobs…all the way up to sharing his new favorite pastime: driving big boats. Hear the rest of our conversation with Ralf.
January 29th, 2011
TV personality, writer and LA designer, Kara Kurcz joined us from her home in California this week. Kara has had an interesting and exciting life to say the least. Growing up in a Chicago suburb, just like our host, Kara has been able to pursue her two biggest passions: fashion and film.
At the age of twenty, she got a job on the television show America’s Most Wanted in Washington D.C. where she rose through the ranks from Intern to Producer. By age twenty-three, Kara found herself at E! Entertainment. There she received accolades in TV Guide and People Magazine for producing and directing Dirty Dancing – The E! True Hollywood Story. She then went on to produce and direct for a wide range of networks…NBC and ABC to name a few.
In 2004 she launched her handbag company Solas Fashion out of her 2 bedroom apartment with her husband Brian. The idea behind Solas was simple. It was based on a simple necessity every woman needed…a light in her handbag. However, the execution of starting a company, filing a patent, manufacturing a product, and making sure the line was successful was not as simple. With tenacity and hard work, she quickly proved naysayers wrong. By the second year of business, Kara’s lighted handbag line was debuting on the red carpet…over and over again!
Since then her bags have been worn by dozens of celebrities including, Fergie, Chelsea Handler, Jessica Alba, Carrie Underwood and Cameron Diaz, she thought success would then be right around the corner. Well, life happened right around the corner, and our economic meltdown took it’s toll on Solas and on Kara.
Kara has just completed her first documentary feature, big TIME, “There is no such thing as an overnight success.” The film documents Kara and Brian’s journey into the fashion world. This is how we were introduced. One of her interview was with Jonah White, of the Billy-Bob Teeth Co. that we featured on our show a few months ago.
January 28th, 2011
Sorry for the delay today. We had some technical difficulty.
We continue our conversation with TV personality and fashonista, Kara Kurcz. We will get to know how Solas Fashion effected her personal life, and what is coming next. You won’t want to miss the last half hour of this conversation, she’s a live one! Don’t forget to check out Closet Karma, it is a website that teaches women how to feel and look their best everyday no matter what obstacle they come across. Us guys can learn a thing or two as well. Thanks Kara!
January 23rd, 2011
John Dicker from Geeks Who Drink joins us and shares with us his crazy business story. We talked about why he started, why he bought out his partner, and how he makes money!
Look for John’s big event coming up on January 29th at the Filmore called Geek Bowl, the largest live trivia contest in the country. Teams come from all over to compete for a CASH prize.
He did confess to us that since he has an 11 month old daughter, he is a drinker, but is not a technical “Geek.” Then he turned the tables on Nick and Johnny to find out how little we know about trivia. We went 0 for 2, and John acused us of living under a rock.
While scoring is rather archaic, it does provide for good social time at Geek Bowl, as well as normal Geeks Who Drink events. While John would not share with us what the entertainment for Geek Bowl will be, he did guarantee us that it will be worth getting to the event on time!
We were shocked that it only comes to about $175 to bring GWD into a bar for a weekly event. John also shared that his model does not alow to only host a bi-weekly or a one off event. You can check out one of their events at over 35 bars around Denver.
January 23rd, 2011
Continuing our conversation with John Dicker from Geeks Who Drink. John shares with us the frustration of trying to get a sales person to help expand his company which leads to why it is hard to expand outside of your original base.
Should you fire some customers? Are there wrong customers? And John drops an F-bomb! Which leads us to the idea of pushing the envelope. Is that good for business or professional?
When John brings up sports questions, he looses Johnny and me, but lets us in on how they pick certain topics. Sometimes it doesn’t work, but he isn’t afraid to try. Don’t ever be afraid to fail.
Interesting advice from John: Don’t send an e-mail when your HOT about something. He tells us why. John also shares with us what he think the top three things you need as an entrepreneur to succeed.
January 17th, 2011
Heidi Ganahl has truly built a business after her passion: Dogs. She has grown her business from one location in Englewood, CO, to a multi-state franchise that hit $50 million in sales for 2010. In our conversation, you’ll hear how she overcame personal tragedy, stuck to her vision for her business, and why she is called “Top Dog”.
Heidi is not only a fabulous business person, but a fun and energetic leader of her team. Heidi speaks to high school and college students across the country sharing her passion for pets and for business, as well as being seen on Joan Rivers’ How’d You Get so Rich, Big Idea with Donny Deutch, The Today Show, and a ton of print publications.
The Camp Bow Wow brand continues to grow at a fast clip with over 150 franchises open, 250 franchises awarded, and a wonderful charity foundation. Our goal is to reach 500 franchises awarded, 250 camps open, 250 Home Buddies operating, and $100 million in system sales by the end of 2012. She still loves waking up every day and taking on the next business challenge, even after ten years of drama, excruciating decisions and crazy long hours. Heidi is a fabulous person, and you will enjoy hearing her story.
January 16th, 2011
Today we spoke with Heidi Ganahl about starting her $50 million dogie day care: Camp Bow Wow. Heidi very candidly shared with all about blowing $1 million dollars, starting smaller companies that were not in her passion, and what it took to franchise her business.
January 9th, 2011
Nick and Johnny talk with Scott and Jessica from The Northern Maine Distilling Companyfrom Houlton, Maine, makers of Twenty 2 Vodka. They distribute in about three states, but are hoping to distribute nationally. They are a husband and wife team that got the original idea from a business class project.
We also talk with Kevin Selvy who started Crazy Mountain Brewery in Vail, CO, who brew about 10 different beers. Kevin started his brewery after working in the financial industry and wanted to brew beer and have fun.
Both companies raised money to start with investors and deal with very different restrictions being in different states and in different types of alcohol.
January 9th, 2011
Nick and Johnny talk with Scott and Jessica from The Northern Maine Distilling Company from Houlton, Maine, makers of Twenty 2 Vodka. We also talk with Kevin Selvy who started Crazy Mountain Brewery in Vail, CO, who brew about 10 different beers.
January 3rd, 2011
Sorry, there is a little delay on the podcast, give it a few seconds. Great show with a couple of small business owners from Denver that are growing their businesses without using debt. Les Cowen of Happy Roots: a lawn care company our of Thornton, CO and Brian Isakson who owns Singletrack Factory: a bike store featuring mountain bikes in Wash Park.
January 2nd, 2011
We continue our conversation with Les and Brian talking about running a small business with peaks and vallys. How do you deal with the busy and slow months?
December 18th, 2010
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We interviewed two of Denver’s TOP Real Estate pros: Aaron Tajchman who owns Real Estate Revolution and Jenelle Bezdek who owns Supreme Realty Group. They brought huge fun and energy to our show. There is no doubt in our minds why these two agents are succeeding when others are struggling. AND – we had a surprise visit by Jimbo Darville who provided some music and fun as well. December 17th, 2010
The conversation with Aaron and Jenelle continued. Good stuff. A little more relaxed, and a lot of good tips and tricks on how to be successful in Real Estate and in small business.
December 11th, 2010
Today we talked with Jonah White who created a company selling fake teeth after spending a year living in a cave. Jonah shared his story of wife shopping in Australia, meeting Joan Rivers, and living life the Billy-Bob way.
December 9th, 2010
For a link back to our older shows when we were still recording under Cultivating Small Business with Nick May, please click here to go to our other site. There is a ton of good content on those older shows…we just wanted to shake things up a bit.