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The Secret to Selling to Small Businesses | Precision Payments

Posted by Pablo Fuentes on May 24, 2017

Selling to small businesses is different than selling to large corporations or consumers.

A small business has a unique set of needs.

These businesses do not have purchasing experts on staff or vendor managers whose sole responsibility is to make deals happen. Instead, the decision maker at a small business is typically wearing many hats and hearing your sales pitch might be a stretch for them.

The good news is that with small businesses, a lot of the time the sales cycle will be much shorter. There are fewer people involved with the decision and less red tape to work through. 

However, establishing trust is extremely important. Small business owners can be loyal to a fault. Also, while the majority of businesses in the U.S. are small businesses, sourcing and reaching this long tail of potential customers in a cost-effective way can be very difficult. 

To help us dive into the secrets of marketing and selling to small businesses, we talked with Alison Burns founder of Precision Payments. Her company has been successfully selling their credit card processing and merchant services to small business since 2013.

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Small Business & Community, Rebuilding Detroit | Motor City Java House

Posted by Pablo Fuentes on May 17, 2017

Nearly 100 years ago, Detroit was poised to become a major American industrial city. Cars, new factories and an eager workforce helped put Detroit on the map.

A lot has changed since the early 20th century.

After some very rough years, small businesses are helping to restore economic viability and community in Detroit. The once booming factory scene is being replaced by a booming small business scene.

We are very lucky to have spoken with one such small business owner, Alicia George, owner and operator of Motor City Java House.

She began working with Motor City Blight Busters 17 years ago to help revitalize and develop commercial destinations in her neighborhood in Detroit.

In 2003, inspired by the idea of having a local community coffee shop, she started work on opening Motor City Java House. It took over five years to open, relying on the help of volunteers and the local community to help raise money for renovations.

She would raise money, then do work and then have to stop. But her patience paid off, she's now operating a thriving business with no debt and is an amazing example and a positive influence for her neighborhood. 

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Brand Marketing: Tell Your Story! Or Others Will Do It For You | Flow Nonfiction

Posted by Pablo Fuentes on May 10, 2017

Brand marketing and storytelling are essential components to creating a great company brand that will grab people's attention.

With the growth and adoption of technology, we have more potential mediums than ever to reach people with our brands.

However, the downside is there's a ton of competition and we really only have about 10 seconds to grab someone's attention.

Our stories need to be concise. Effective storytelling is about staying out the way, being authentic, being patient and keeping it simple.

Today, on Small Business War Stories, we talked with David Rice from Flow Nonfiction about how he helps big brands tell stories of their philanthropic work in a way that does not feel contrived.

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Making it in the Classic Car Junkyard Business | CTC Auto Ranch

Posted by Pablo Fuentes on May 3, 2017

In 1985 David Williamson and his brother were struggling to make their used car sales business work.

After failing to sell a 1947 Dodge pickup truck multiple times, even going as far as to offer it for as little as $300, they got the bright idea of trying to sell just parts from the truck.

They listed an ad for truck parts in a motor news magazine, and what had been an impossible vehicle to sell, became a hot commodity. They ended up selling parts from that old truck for $3,000 and realized there was a lot of money in just selling parts.

Those were the modest beginnings of CTC Auto Ranch; now they are one of largest classic car junkyards in the country. Starting with just 80 cars, they now have over 4,000 classic cars and sell parts all over the world.

Today, on Small Business War Stories, we talked with David Williamson from CTC Auto Ranch about his start and success in the classic car junkyard business.

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Transforming Your Passion Into a Thriving Business | Savvyroot

Posted by Pablo Fuentes on April 26, 2017

Lots of people dream of leaving their day job to turn their hobby into a full-time career.

We spend much of our lives at work, so why not do something that we love?

With families, mortgages and other bills and responsibilities to consider, it can be a very tough decision to make and one that perhaps is not realistic for everyone.

Today, on Small Business War Stories, we talk with Celeste Austin of Savvyroot, who left her career in the dental industry after 8 years to start a designer handbag company. 

She started the company as a side business after she taught herself to sew. She would work from 7 AM to 3 PM at her regular job and then work until 5am on her side business in order to fill orders.

It's an incredible and inspiring story that takes a ton of guts to pull off, but in Celeste's own words, her original career "didn't give her life."

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Oh No! You Just Got a Cease and Desist Letter, Now What? | Henge Docks

Posted by Pablo Fuentes on April 19, 2017

Imagine this.

You’re super excited. You’re following your dream, starting a company and launching a product that you are thrilled about. You’ve raised money, have customers lined up, a website built, and everything is lined up to build a great company.

Then, 18 hours after you launch, you get hit with a cease and desist letter.

What do you do?

This is exactly what happened to Henge Docks, a company that designs and manufactures high-end Apple accessories. To find out how they managed to survive this ordeal, we spoke with Matt Vroom, founder of Henge Docks, about how he coped with receiving a patent lawsuit within the first 24 hours of operating as a business.

It's an amazing story and one we are excited to share.

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No Frills, Effective Small Business Hiring | Workology

Posted by Pablo Fuentes on April 12, 2017

Let's face it.

Small business hiring can be a real pain.

As business owners, we have 500 things to do each day with only 24 hours available to get them done. Dealing with finding new employees can be a real drag on top of your regular work load.

Small businesses often lack the bells and whistles available to larger entities. We can sometimes get ourselves into trouble with not having a standardized hiring process or not being well versed in HR law.

To help sort out some of these issues, today on Small Business War Stories, we talk with HR extraordinaire Jessica Miller-Merrell of Workology. We discuss the bare minimum you should be doing to hire effectively as a small business owner, what pitfalls you should be aware of, hiring contractors versus full time and much much more.

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The Dying Art of Typewriter Repair | Duncan Munoz Business Machines

Posted by Pablo Fuentes on April 5, 2017

Recently, there's also been a renewed interest and fascination with analog media. Young people are rediscovering vinyl records, cassette tapes, and even typewriters.

But even outside of those interested in antiques and nostalgia of a past era, typewriters are still more widely used than you might think. 

The New York Police Department still relies heavily on typewriters. There's also those of us that prefer the limits imposed by a typerwriter. You're not going to accidentally press a button and send a document to your entire company on a typewriter. No one can hack into your typewriter and steal your private information. 

But typewriters are complex works of art and as such, they need maintenance and repair. Yet the number of people with the knowledge, skills and desire to fix these machines is rapidly dwindling.

To dive deeper into the dying art of typerwriter repair, today, on Small Business War Stories, we talk with Steve Munoz from Duncan Munoz Business Machines, the last surviving typewriter repair person in Central Texas.

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Opening a Gym (and How to Succeed) | Featuring Flagship

Posted by Pablo Fuentes on March 29, 2017

The fitness industry is exploding.

One in five Americans are heading to the gym or at least have a gym membership. Fitness trends like Crossfit, Soul Cycle, pilates and yoga are now mainstream and available in most cities.

More and more folks are quitting their 9 to 5 and chasing their passions by jumping full steam into the fitness industry.

However, starting a gym is not just about passion. The bottom line is, it's still a business and most small businesses fail within the first 18 months.

How do you insure that your gym succeeds and does not become a statistic?

Can you turn your passion into a financial success?

To help us answer these questions (and more), we talked to Brian Hassan of Flagship Athletic Performance, a successful gym enterprise in San Francisco. Brian has succeeded by combining his business background with his passion for fitness and he has tons of awesome advice for anyone flirting with the idea of opening a gym.

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How to Dissolve a Business Partnership Peacefully | Featuring Joe Mellin

Posted by Pablo Fuentes on March 22, 2017

Let's face it:

There are a ton of challenges with starting a business, especially if you have never done it before.

That's why having a business partner with complimentary skills can be so helpful. Someone to help you stay focused, bounce ideas off of and ultimately shoulder the load.

However, what happens when that business partnership fails? Can you stay friends? How do you dissolve a business partnership peacefully?

To explore these questions, we talked with Joe Mellin, who use to actually be my original business partner.

Read the full article >>
 

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