tv Your Business MSNBC April 19, 2015 4:30am-5:01am PDT
doublingeing as a speak ease night club. and a mobile hang over treatment company. plus how to make effective videos to promote your small business. all that and more coming up next on "your business." ♪ ♪ small businesses are revitalizing the economy and american express open is here to help. we're proud to present "your
business" on msnbc. hi everyone. welcome to "your business." the show dedicated to helping your small business grow. it can be really frustrating for you have a product that you know a lot of people would love if you could just get it in their hands. the owner of an orlando comic bookstore was in that position. he figured out a stealth way to get his comics in front of a new audience. audience. >> it's friday karaoke night. it's a packed house. ♪ ♪
customers are belting out the latest hits grabbing a beer and buying comics. buying comics? yep, buying comics. this is the brain child of aaron howland who opened the company a comic shop in 2006. >> i saw record store going out of business. >> comic shops have long suffered from the stereo types like shows like the "big bang theory" and "simpsons" reinforced. >> it's not a gene are a. it's a medium. to say i don't like comics is like saying i don't like books, i don't music, i don't like movies, i don't like tv. i realize there was a stumbling block where comics were seen as for children or accent trick older people. instead of selling pristine
conditions they stock only new up and coming series with affordable price points. >> i want to do this is new, this is hip. this is modern. these are what comic book artists and writers are working on now. and share it the love as entertainment. >> the goal? to make comic book reading approachable for a whole new set of consumers. at the beginning, it meant talking to anyone who would listen. even offering free comics to first timers. >> we were basically, just nonstop trying to get people in here. >> and that soon evolved into holding regular social events. aaron felt confident if he could get people to come in he could convict them to a series they love and they would become repeat customers. >> the comic book is just you and the page. i want to do things to get people together and enjoy comic books together. we would have a party. a keg of free beer a comic book
artist or writer. something going on. we w that, we decided not have it every week? why not have it every day. have it where we can monotize having people hang out here. >> the idea was planted for a more official hangout spot. >> there was a space available in the strip mall. it was an odd shape. we can make it a speak easy and call it the geek easy. it was off the cuff! we could do that! >> yes we decided we could have a geek-themed bar. >> in 2013 the geekeasy officially opened for business. it soon became headquarters for regular readers looking for a place to enjoy their favorite series, find out about new ones and make friends. >> i have a social atmosphere where i can meet all the folks i didn't even think would talk to me before. woe have the common ground and immediately starts like did you
read the latesting issue of "batman." it's like when is your next drink? let's buy a round. it's amazing. i love it. >> weekly trivia and care owe can nights bring in locals looking for a good time. >> it brings people into the comic shop that maybe would never step foot in a comic shop. they have to literally walk to the shop to get to the geekeasy. it introduced people to comic books in a way that is comfortable and just inviting and just kind of like just chill. i'm coming in for my reasons of hanging out with my friend and having a beer and i see this comic i heard about or the character i heard about from something else whether it's the video game or movie, and i check it out. >> and they keep coming back. often with friends in tow. >> we're not talking about, you know, the geekeasy. i tend to say, it's a great
place to party. you should come with me. a lot of people are like well, you know, i'll give a shot and it's like oh my goodness. this place is awesome! >> the type of events the geekeasy hosts are diverse as the crowds they attract. just about anything with a fan base is welcome. >> we have a stage and whatnot. why not have the local bands play. then it got to open mic and comedy nights. i'm open to basically anything that people want to do in here that has fans and the people are nice and friendly. and are at least interested in comics even in just a passive way. >> as a comic shop and the geekeasy continue to expand and diversify their customer bases, aaron says the potential of where the business and the industry could go is to infinity and beyond! >> i've said there's a comic book for everyone. even the super hero stuff.
marvel is doing more comics for women, more diversity, more voices as creators. and i don't think it's going to stop. i think it's just growing and growing. that's where i want to see growth. not necessarily, like expanding my empire but expanding the people that renner joying come inging -- enjoying comics. some of the speakeasy patrons might end up needing the services of dr. jason burke. he founded a mobile hang over treatment facility that saw a 40% increase in revenue. the company expects to grow more this year with services in hotel rooms. ♪ ♪ las vegas a typical saturday night. >> cheers! >> this is a ritual played out across the city. but partying this hard comes with consequences.
>> i've got a headache, you know, a little queasiness. that's about it. >> we're a little hung over. >> many have serjtarched for a miracle remedy. dr. jason burke founds one. >> i was treating patients for post operative disorientation and thought the same medications i'm using in the recovery room might work on hang overs. >> he made a business called hang over heaven. the anesthesiologist with a medical degree from the university of north carolina promises that in about 45 minutes, he can treat almost 95% of all hang over symptoms. >> physicians versus paramedics firefighters have been usingive hydration for decades to resolve hang overs. what i've done is take it to the next level by adding in the
vitamins using anti-nausea medicines. >> for his business to grow he knew that not only did he have to cure a hang over but he also had to make it convenient. so he renovated an old gospel tour bus into a mobile treatment facility and hit the strip. the bus will make stops to pick up people and treat them on site. the company quickly found the demand for treatment was too much for just one bus to handle, so they also opened a clinic nearby the strip and transport patients by shuttle bus. they can opt for in-room treatments. >> as you get an iv and it's like wow! >> it was worth it. >> i feel like i did when i got off the plane.
>> every patient is asked to post about their experience on the internet. building up an online reputation for the business. dr. burke created the hang over research institute. >> when we started collecting hang over scores as part of our quality control, and it's to the point where i think it's necessary to publish some of the data. >> they have expanded the business to attract the athletes and health conscious through the iv veterans. they can come before a big race or before going out for the night and get an iv to help them stay hydrated and in the best condition. >> it's part of the expansion plan. it works well in a tourist area but in a more professional place, like, say, new york or boston it may be a better entity. >> but for every evangelist who had a pounding headache disappear, there's been someone on the other side calling foul. >> there's a lot of people questioning the ethics. was it a real medical condition?
i beg to differ. the people are pretty miserable. they need something to get them to feel better. >> even though they stay playful with the marketing, dr. burke is the first to stress at the end of the day, they take people's healthy seriously. that includes not just treating anyone who calls. >> it's a professional medical practice. we take a medical history, vital signs, and informed consent. you can't get it from somebody on alcohol or some other drug. i don't want to do anything to risk the business. we've had plenty of people call up from the bar or whenever, you know, i'm drunk. can you pick me up? you need to sleep it off. most do and we take care of them when they call later. >> they're still in las vegas, after all, no doubt to do it again. when handled correctly
public relations can help your small business capture lots of attention. if you're reckless with the media, you're going to find yourself wishing you had set up a game plan before proceeding. here are five ways you can sharpen. understand reporters' role. journalists value their job as independent observers and resent companies that try to influence them. pitch with their goals in mind. two, don't go to the press too early. have your release reviewed by coworkers to make sure it's both news worthy and that the information will benefit the editor's target audience of readers. three, develop long-term relationships. pr is a process. not an event. you have to be patient and willing to consistently deliver reader valuable messages that make your business an asset to the media. four be honest about bad news. in a negative situation, a company's character and style will greatly influence how the press perceives and writes about
it. and five use your top management. nothing helps gain coverage like making your ceo available for interviews. when you think about creating videos for your business do not get overwhelmed with the idea of creating something perfect and expensive. there are so many things you can do with just your smartphone or tablet. there are a lot of areas on your site or social media or store where you can utilize video. >> hi. you may have heard me of as the effective detective for seeing some of my videos. i help business owners like you. >> so that's the example of one that is kind of like a commercial. here are all things you can do. ruth sherman is is a strategic communications consulting firm that helps entrepreneurs to develop compelling content. it's good to see you! >> great to be with you. >> so i think people need to
understand it doesn't need to be perfect and beautiful but it needs to be compelling. >> you know, we always say that perfection is the enemy of getting it done. >> yes. >> right. so we all have these video paper at our finger tips. we have the smartphones, ipads, tablets, we have computers. >> you have to think i need to want to watch this. i can't take out my phone and sort of start videoing. it has to be something that people want to see. >> it depends. it depends. what we were just watching was who is a coach. helps people find their customers, goes into the data and helps them sell better stuff. >> in his particular case it makes sense to show him. what he's selling is himself. that's right. >> let's look at a video you brought us for someone in a retail store. >> can you imagine that this could become this?
hi, i'm ann green berg founder of the underground sheathe. a collection of echo friendly handbags. yes, they are made from recycled plastic bottles. >> what ann uses that for she's a manufacturer and designer of those echo-friendly handbags. vegan leather. she takes them to boutique and shows. >> where does she use the video. >> when she is at these shows, she has it playing. and she has it on her website. so it's super important if you're an entrepreneur to be able to shoot a video that shows your stuff. think about handbags. it's hard to get the feel of them just from photographs. they're two i diddimensional. a video enables her to show what they're made of and talk about how valuable they are. >> i look at something like that, it's interesting. it tells her story. but didn't grab me in the way it
would make me keep watching it. if i'm doing a deal for her or waiting for her at her booth i would probably watch that and it's compelling, right? >> absolutely. the thing you need to remember is that she is not out there speaking, for example, this is a way for people to get a feel for who she is and what she does and her personality. it's about how do i relate to my customers. >> let's look at one video you brought. someone from professional services services. >> welcome. today i'm going to address a question so many ceos have asked me recently. what should a ceo be doing on the financial side of business? this is a very good question because there are numerous functions and duties on the financial side. >> what is the purpose of this? >> what barbara is doing she's doing a training video. she's giving information. it's an interesting thing. training videos don't have to be long. they can be five minutes each.
she did this that. this is one of three that barbara shot because her job -- she's a former partner at a big new york city law firm and finance partner. she helps businesses get funded. whether that's in an bank or an investors, which she is or vc. >> she's giving them a tease. here is content. i'm giving this for free now come in and hire me. >> correct. >> ruth, thank you so much for coming in and bringing the examples. we appreciate it. >> my pleasure. thank you. online video is just one digital tool entrepreneurs can use to boost their businesses. let's get some more suggestions from our viewers on what online tools and apps they use to help run their small companies. we use snapseed. it's a digital editing app. we use it to edit our photographs before we post them to any digital platform.
>> one website we use is shippingeasy.com. we're an e commerce business that ships using the united states postal and ups and fedex. we find that it's one click. we can print a shipping label, it talks to the back end of our store, and it saved us so much time. >> we use tax jar to track and manage our online sales tax responsibilities. as online sellers, we collect sales tax for many jurisdictions, it's difficult keep track. so tax jar to the rescue. they will track all or sales tax collected, provide us with reports for it and they will even file the sales tax reports for all the states that required. >> i use the app zite. it's an aggravate app where it takes the blog articles and puts them in place based on the interest you plug into it. it's a great place to find content outside of my area. so i'm in craft and diy.
i can look at craft and diy and other interests. it will give me unique content that everybody that is in my sphere isn't already sharing. i can share it on social media, i can get inspired and keep up to date with news. >> one wonderful app that i rely on i use it on my tablet is hours tracker. it a lois me to categorize my different jobs i do for my different customers. keep track of the time i spend on each different job they give me. i can add details to what i did which projects, and customize it so i can tell my customers exactly what i did, when i did it, and how long it took. >> there's still more advice ahead to help your small business. we'll talk about the most important traits for new hires and how to determine if a customer just isn't a right fit for your business.
american express for travel and entertainment worldwide. just show them this - the american express card. don't leave home without it! and someday, i may even use it on the moon. it's a marvelous thing! oh! haha! so you can replace plane tickets, traveler's cheques, a lost card. really? that worked? american express' timeless safety and security are now available on apple pay. the next evolution of membership is here. >> today's your biz selfie. we love getting these pictures so please send a is elfie of you
and your business. don't forget to use the hash tag #yourbizselfie. let's get your board of directors in here to help us out. and he is also the author of the new book exceptionalize it. and ka sancassandra. i love how your pooks say excite yourself. i think that's so important. a bumpbl of years in and i start to roll back. let's get to the first question. it is about hiring. >> i have a question about staffing. does one focus on skills or customer service?
>> you can't train a potato to become a carrot. there's a story about an online bank that focuses on hire inging social workers. loving people caring for people wanting to help people? you can't teach that. >> i think it's so important to realize that both are very important. so both are equally important. >> when we hire we hire for cultural fit. you have to have a base of skills but a good cultural fit
and be curious the job you have today may not be the job you have three months from now. >> i don't care if they're mopping the floor. the store could be closed. they need to have the same attitude and values. >> okay. let's move on to the next question about your ideal client. >> how do i pick the right customer for my business? >> interesting. we have someone who comes on the show who gave us a tip about this which is at the end of every year, rate your customers a, b, and c and get rid of the c customers. >> i think it's so important to stay keenly focused on what are
the long term goals of your business. maybe review your plan and make sure you're always aware of where you want to be. be very focused on who your customers are. rate them survey them. maybe it's getting on the phone. figure out which customers are best serving the long term goals of your business and do more of the messaging and marketing and attracted the customers for you. >> it's hard to fire a customer. >> you need to come with the mentality that you understand that not every customer is a good customer. some customers are wrong. the question is what are the definitions. some of them are coming for the discount. they don't really appreciate your value proposition at full
price. some will ask you to do things that are not within your core competence and growth. you might as well send them to the competition. another area is what we call unforgiving customers. customers may never be happy. you know what? if they can't really find a win win environment they belong somewhere else. you have to be contained about what is the criteria. what will make them a good customer for you. it's not about market share, it's about bottom line. as much as it's money in our pocket we cannot afford to lose money because somebody is dragging resources in the wrong direction. >> we need to be more sophisticated about what is the
right customer. >> right. right. here is the long term value from that customer. let's move on to a question abyour social strategy. >> dor you have a solution for the core issue of social media management. you don't necessarily have time to manage it yourself and you need to automate it but the foundation is really about relationship-building. >> let's start with you. you do social media. >> i'm actually a little scared of the word automy. but i would be wary of automating it. i think social media is the voice of your brand. >> i think he may mean similarly scheduling things. >> and that you can do as long as it's authentic and it conveys the voice of your brand.
consider less platforms. sometimes i wonder if we should have started with only facebook and stayed with only facebook. >> i actually dedicate a time in the month when i'm thinking what do i want to tell to my add yechblts i'm trying to speak for myself. i will dedicate two hours a month. my team can put it out there when ever it's out there. don't outsource your authentic voice. >> what tools do you guys use? >> i don't --
>> i should be calling someone on your team because you write it down. i -- i as a business owner make sure that i focus on what is my message and humanize it. don't make it sound commercial. >> a lot of people want to hire outside companies which is zk but it has to be your voice. >> don't automate the content. make sure you're behind that content creation and making sure the outside entity knows your business. >> thanks you guys. thank you for coming on and giving your advice. thanks everyone for joining us today. if you want to see any of this show again we put it on the website. we have added additional segments with more great tips on how to grow your business. and we are on facebook and
instagram as well. next week what's your relationship like with your would be competition. we introduce you to one ent pe near who believes that collaborating is better than competing chl. >> we'll tell you why you might want to give your competition a second look. remember we make your business our business. american express for travel and entertainment worldwide. just show them this - the american express card. don't leave home without it! and someday, i may even use it on the moon. it's a marvelous thing! oh! haha! so you can replace plane tickets, traveler's cheques, a lost card. really? that worked?