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tv   Your Business  MSNBC  December 4, 2016 4:30am-5:01am PST

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i'm very proud of him. male vo: comcast. good morning. coming up on msnbc's "your business," how will the republican controlled congress and president-elect trump help small businesses in 2017? >> small business star kurt russell on what he learned growing his wine company. >> and would you like to sit down and grab a snack with a dog or cat? two growing businesses cater to pet lovers. all that and a whole lot more coming up next on "your business."
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hi, there. everyone. i'm j.j. ramberg, and welcome to "your business," the show dedicated to helping your small business grow. from tax and immigration reform to health care and trade policy changes, president-elect trump has put a lot on the table that will have an effect on small businesses nationwide. and now that the gop has control of both houses and the presidency, what can small business owners expect in 2017 when it comes to the issues that matter to them most? recently re-elected republican congressman steve chabot of ohio is chairman of the small businesses committee.
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he joins us to shed some light. so good to see you. >> thank you, j.j. great to be with you again. >> we love having you on the show. when you talk to small business owners over the past 11 years, the one thing that they say is the hardest for them almost over anything else is uncertainty. so many small business owners are feeling uncertain right now, and if we just look at the overtime rules, right, they were supposed to go in effect today where the overtime rules change. you would have to pay people overtime if they made more money than they used to. now they're not in effect anymore. lots of small businesses made changes to deal with that. now suddenly it's off the table, at least for now. what do you tell small business owners who don't know what's coming ahead? >> you're right. uncertainty is one of the things small businesses in particular face. and they don't like it. it's hard to plan for it, whether it's regulations or taxation or in this case, as you mentioned, the overtime rule.
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and what happened here, and i have to say, we have been getting complaints, concern from small businesses all across america about this overtime rule. and a federal judge in texas stepped in and granted a temporary injunction. so it stopped. it was supposed to go into effect december 1st and that's now at least temporarily been stayed. you're right, some people did already implement changes in advance, but so many businesses are so opposed to not only the rule itself but how it was implemented by the bureaucrats in this case that they're mostly happy to see it stopped, but you would hope that it could be done in a logical way rather than have to have the courts step in. >> okay, so what do you tell small business owners? i know you talk to so many of them all the time. in your position. what do you tell people who are worried, wait, is the health care law going to change? how is that going to affect my
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business, is immigration going to change? >> we tell them to stay tuned. i think the cavalry is coming in january, where we can actually get some things done. i don't want to get real political here, but i have to say, for the last eight years or so, too often the administration has kind of looked at the business community, including small businesses, as the bad guys. they are the people that we couldn't trust to treat their employees well or not rip off the public. that's wrong, i believe, but that's kind of been the attitude. i hope that the new administration, and i believe this is going to have a very different viewpoint here, and we'll have somebody that we can work with, so we can scale back some of these regulations and red tape that have been coming from left field and right field and how do you put up with all the stuff? well, i think things are going to get better. only time will tell, but we're going to hit the ground running as soon as the new administration is sworn in. we're going to try to reduce some of those regulations.
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the president-elect has said, for example, for every regulation that comes, every new regulation, he would like to see two regulations repealed. i like that attitude. >> it is an attitude. there's no specifics on that. it would be hard to have specifics at this point, perhaps. but as the chair of the small business committee, what does your committee hope to see, at least within the next year? what would your stream be? >> we have a lot on our plate, and i already mentioned let's get rid of a lot of these regulations that we really don't need. let's simplify the tax code. we're working on that right now. we're working closely with chairman kevin brady, who is from texas, and he's the chairman of the ways and means committee. we need to simplify this tax code, make it simpler, fairer to everybody. especially small businesses. we need to get rid of some of the more burdensome things that small businesses are dealing with right now, like the affordable care act or
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unaffordable care act or obamacare, whatever terminology you prefer, but almost every businessperson i talked to talked about their premiums going up, skyrocketing we have seen the deductions going up. >> do you believe, since the gop controls the presidency and congress, do you think you will actually get to change some things that at least in your opinion will help small business? will things happen? >> i really think they will. we're dedicated to doing that in the small business committee. fortunately on that committee, we have a pretty good working relationship with the democrats on the committee, especially the chair -- the ranking member from new york, and we're going to work on that committee to make am changes, get those to the floor the house and hopefully get the senate to pass these and get them on the president's desk. reducing regulations, simplifying the tax code, repealing and replacing obamacare. those have to be the top things. but also, dodd/frank, access to
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capital. if you're a businessperson and want to expand a business or start a business to begin with, you need money. dodd/frank, that was legislation that was passed that was supposed to affect the too big to fail banks, a reaction to the economic meltdown some years ago, has affected community banks and credit unions. it's harder to get money so it's harder to grow your business. that's something else that we need to devote a lot of attention to. >> and thank you so much for spending so much tyke talking to business owners because what i hope, and again, whether you're a small business person who agrees with these changes or not, the time it's going to take to see what happens makes it very hard for many people to run their business. so i know you're doing a lot to let people in washington know that, but i hope people really understand that uncertainty sometimes is almost worse than dealing with something that you don't want to have happen. thank you so much for coming. taking the time to come on and talk with us. i hope to speak with you many
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times over the next year. >> thanks, j.j. we need to have you come and testify before congress again. >> thank you so much. >> since his first onscreen appearance in the movie "it happened at the world's fair" with elvis presley, kurt russell has steadily added to his long list of credits, and he shows no sign of stopping, starring in two of next summer's franchises. as comfortable as he is in front of the camera, he's equally as comfortable working in the fields for his wine label. we sat down with him in california to talk about his get in the trenches mentality and the thumbs up from wolfgang puck helped him grow his love for wine from a hobby to a business. >> 30 years ago, i guess, goldie and i started going on wine trips. sometimes we would go with the kids, sometimes by ourselves. in 2006, i was working right down here on this corner for
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quentin tarantino in a movie called "death proof" and i was looking at this vineyard and dreaming and saying that was the kind of place i would love to have some day. i would love to make my own wine. about six months later, a friend introduced me to the people who own this vineyard. what was great about meeting peter and rebecca is they were willing to give me the opportunity to make the wine i wanted to make, and peter was going to help me, especially, learn how to make wine. when i first started, i was kind of in a position where i wasn't really reading many things i wanted to do as an actor. i didn't really feel like acting much, to be honest with you. i felt like doing something else, and that was the perfect time to sort of go about this. in the last three years, i started working again a lot, and there are things i do want to do and things that i'm really feeling fortunate to have the opportunity to do. i was not interested in slapping my name on a label. in fact, my name is not on the label. gogi is an old nickname of mine
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and there's no connection other than the back of the label, which it says enjoy, says that i am what i am, an apprentice wine maker and probably will be all my life. to me, that would be an embarrassment. gogi, i want to be thought of 100 years from now, 200 years from now as a great wine. i'm in that bottle. and i'm going to share that moment with whoever's drinking it. that to me is very special. and it makes it more than just trying to come up with, you know, a product that i feel is a good product. and i concern myself with putting myself in the trenches. that's the way i am as an actor. i'm a trench worker. i get in and work as an actor. i get in there and work as a wine builder. the more i learn about it, the more i get to do what i want to do, the more i have the opportunity of having the opportunity to succeed what i want to do. it was taking the first bottle of wine that i just bottled a couple days ago, and i wanted to
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take it to greg gourmand, and i ran into wolfgang puck. greg had a big show going, and i know wolfgang, not real well, but well enough to say hi. he said, hey, how are you doing? i said good. he said what do you have? i said my first bottle of wine. i started talking to greg. here's my first bottle of wine, i want you to have it. wolfgang says, wait, you made this? i said, yeah, that's my bottle of wine. and he says, oh, let's open it. i couldn't believe it. the people started coming around. i said, oh, this is terrible. then i thought to myself, how do i get out of this? and more and more people were coming around, and glasses started showing up. next thing i know, wolfgang is opening it up and pouring the wine. he goes -- and drinks it. he said, this is really, really good. he said, you're serious about this. i said, yeah. he said, stay with it because you're good at it. i always took that as -- i said,
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well, that's a good sign. and then i started saying, well, you know what. i'll make a little more. i'll make a little more and sell it. and people were responding to it. the pinot, each vintage i name after a different family member with their nickname. the chardonnay is always goldie. i was excited about it, showing it to goldie, and i showed her the bottle and it had her name on it, and she said i better taste it and see if i like it before you put my name on it. i didn't even think about it. i thought, this would be great, and she loved it. so i was really happy. it's not just a fly by night, hey, this is a fun hobby. you know, it's more than that. the wine is better than that. it deserves better than that. you have to keep your hands on it. you have to be involved. and if wine becomes my driving force, then so be it. that's where i'm going to go. i'm not going to shy away from
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that. but i'm going to do it slowly and at my pace because the main thing is, it has to be good. what you put in that bottle, you have to know it's good. if it's not, i don't want to do it. so i think that as things get better, it's hard to keep control of that, but you also have to know how to learn how to dispense some of that control to the right people so that more can enjoy it, so that more can experience it. >> in asia, pet cafes have been all the rage for decades, but here in the u.s., strict health regulations and zoning laws made this off limits, but two driven entrepreneurs who believe anything is possible, braved the red tape and used a common social mission as leverage, by building their passion for rescuing animals into the foundation of this foreign concept, they were able to open minds and successfully grow their companies. >> first, a hit in the nation's
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capital, and now in the city of angels. crumbs and whiskers offers sips and nibbles surrounded by meow misfits and masters at the art of sleeping. but two years ago, 26-year-old founder conscious was met with plenty of crazy cat lady stares when she shared her small business dreams. >> even my most supportive friends, they would be like, uh-huh, that sounds really cool. nobody got it. we need a place for creamers and milk to go, which i was thinking should be up there. >> undeterred, she knew that having a traditional business that could also offer rescued cats a cage-free and happy life was definitely her calling. along with the help of her brother, the pair forged ahead with the novel concept, but soon stumbled upon some major roadblocks. >> it was a lot of figuring out health codes, zoning codes,
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regulations. that was brutal. >> this door is the no-cat zone. >> because of strict u.s. zones, mixing animals into the cafe fold was virtually a nonstarter for regulatoregulators. >> my first meeting with them sucked. the second meeting sucked. nobody was taking me seriously, laughing at the concept. >> knowing she was desperate for credibility, she circled back to the local humane society. they agreed to provide her rescued cats for adoption. >> we need to do a presentation, and i need a credible source backing me. so for that third meeting, we went in with the vp of operations. people knew who he was and respected him. >> that move was what they needed to open regulators' minds and agreeing to outsource the food and drink prep gave them the green light. >> i think our social mission, the fact we have an impact, that it's not just a business, there's a huge giving component,
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has always worked in our favor. >> but without many examples of cat cafes to follow in the u.s., the pair's first business plan flopped in some areas. >> when we first opened, we got slaughtered. i remember crying over the reviews. every yelp review said too many people, it's too crowded. the cats are stressed out. >> we didn't really think through every single aspect of the customer experience. so from the moment they check in to the moment they leave. >> too many customers and not enough cats caused quite a few cat fights of the human kind. >> people get quite competitive about the cats' attention. >> imagine black friday at walmart. it became very much like that. >> she realized part of the mistake had been too much focus on marketing and virtually no attention paid to operations. >> we killed it on the press, on like the marketing. it just was absurd because now we built up all this buzz and hype that people want to come check us out, and we completely lost it on the operations. >> the only way to deliver
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perfect experience was to cut down on customer capacity and raise prizes. >> was really scared because that was not in our business plan. we're taking a hit, and that's not something we planned for. that was the only way to make it sustainable. >> to date, crumbs and whiskers has had thousands of visitors, fosters hundreds of cats, and found loving homes for many. on the other side of town, sarah wolfgang, owner of the dog cafe, was also trying to revolutionize the world of animal adoption. >> why are you causing so much trouble? >> she had seen cat cafes sprouting up across the country and wanted nothing more than her dreams of licks, loves, and lattes to come true tew. >> we had kind of wanted to form or establish the dog cafe on the backs of these types of cafes because they had already been through the health department
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aspect of things. that just did not work. every time we would call them, they were like, you must be out of your mind. this is the health department's worst nightmare. we're not here to make people sick. we're not purposely trying to get dog fur in everybody's drinks. >> sarah spent months after month negotiating. >> when you're dealing with such a new idea and trying to navigate the government to say yes to an idea, it's important to be on their side first. so tell them what they want to hear. >> staying determined while getting creative with possible solutions is what gave sarah the go-ahead. >> finally, i was like, what if we just happened to have two stores that happened to be next door to each other that one store happened to sell coffee, one happened to have dogs. people happened to take their drinks into a dog location. they said if customers do that on their own free will, let them. that's okay with us. >> she had an approved plan and lacked the funds needed to get
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going. like contion, she soon realized by tapping ininto a community that was like minded, she found many with the desire to give back. >> we had a pro bono lawyer who wanted to help us with the fo formation of the company. a real estate broker with the location, a design team to help us design stuff. that was super exciting. >> and sarah has built a loyal customer base who shares her passion for helping overlooked pups, let their true severals shine through. >> hey, buddy. >> they genuiny appreciate dogs, they genuinely appreciate the fact that we're able to rehabilitate rescue dogs and find them their forever homes. >> now, if you do adopt a pet from one of those cafes or your local shelter, you're going to waubd to keep them safe. today's elevator pitcher wants to shed light on the problem of
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walking your dog in the dark. let's see if our judges fall in puppy love with it. richard kerby is a venture capitalist, and barry moltz is a small business consultant. hell. hi. my name is ellie kay, ceo and designer of lavish pets. today i'd like to talk to you about my invention, the glow coat. the world's first glow in the dark dog coat. the glow in the fabric allows both the pet and the owner to be safe on nighttime walks. it is also reversible, machine washable, reflective, and proudly made here in the usa. glow coat features several brands including bella poochy, glow tour, glow in the dark couture, and bark. my company has received rave reviews from both celebrities and major reiler naming the glow coat one of the top ten best products of the year. >> i'm going to take -- you can
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focus on the pitch here. how much money are you look for? >> i'm looking for $150,000 from an investor in exchange for marketing, product inventory and, of course, machinery. in exchange for 20% of the company. >> okay. i'm going to give you guys these while i -- this dog is so cute. i'm going to play with piper. you guys give two numbers. come here, piper. 1, 1 to 10, what did you think of the product, second, 1 to 10, what do you think of the pitch. >> thank you, j.j. congratulations on your invention. first of all, i gave you a 7 for the pitch because i really liked the way you presented it. i think i gave you a 4 really for as far as asking for money because i think you're in a difficult stage. consumer products are all about distribution. and distribution to pet supply stores is difficult because you know it is a very, very diverse and eclectic group and you need to go to the various pet supply expos like super zoo.
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i would like to see a lot more traction and if you're going get into petco or pet smart, they'll want to see you sell a bunch directly or through pet stores. >> so 7 was for the -- >> 7 for the product and 4 for the pitch. >> got it. richard. >> i went with 7 on the product. i think it has great val you. i can see a lot of consumers enjoying the product. i worry about defensibility, but it could be a good investment product. i gave 9 for the pitch, you had a tough time with piper and did a great job giving despite piper giving you a hard time. >> thank you. >> think she covered everything you needed to know to pique your interest. >> there is more i want to understand. i think it doesn't seem two tao defensible around making the actual jacket for the dog. i would like to hear more about the future product growth as well. great job given piper's difficulty. >> fantastic. good luck with everything. thank you for coming on the show. congratulations on what you've accomplished so far. >> thank you. >> we appreciate it.
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small businesses depend on social media to get the word out about their companies. so it is extremely important that you keep your accounts safe from hackers. gives us five simple ways you can avoid putting your brands social media accounts at risk. one, be selective with third party applications. give only legitimate programs authorization to access your account. two, use strong passwords. stick with one that is difficult to crash. tools like how secure is my password will help you rate the strength of the ones you're using. three, back up your files. try vivvy, a program that lets you download all of your instagram images and videos, that way your phone isn't the only place your content is stored. four, enable two factor authentication. this means you'll need to submit two confirmations of your identity when logging in. the extra hassle is worth ensuring your accounts stay
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safe. and, five, move passwords to a management program. it is often laziness that leaves us to use weak, easy to remember passwords. so consider using a tool like laugh pass so you'll only need to remember one master password. when we come back, an important topic for this time of year. are you better selling your product through amazon or your own website? and how not filtering your communication could hurt your business. will your business be ready when growth presents itself? american express open cards can help you take on a new job, or fill a big order or expand your office and take on whatever comes next.
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find out how american express cards and services can help prepare you for growth at aaron writes to us with this question. is it better to sell your product on a big site like amazon or create our own e-commerce website using snapchat and instagram to supplement it? >> so, the quick answer is really both. some of the platforms or marketplaces like amazon offer you incredible distribution and people can search there and people go there by the millions. but i believe today you also want to have your own site because you own that. that's an asset of yours. you can start building traffic, you can start building links, you can start capturing e-mail addresses of people that are interested in your products and services and maybe as you start to expand those it gives you the opportunity to take advantage of
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what you've built. so great to get distribution on the big places, but you always want to build your own asset. >> we now have the top two tips you need to know to help your small business grow. barry and richard are back with us once again. hello again. all right. barry, let's start with you. >> sure, well, my top tip really is about communication. we all know you got to be a good communicator in order to be successful as a small business owner. the key these days is being able to filter that communication. and you have to filter two different kinds of communication. first off the electronic communication, you got to put your phone on do not disturb, got to turn off all the notifications, buzzes and dings from social media. you check the tools when you're ready. the second thing is, you vu to filter personal communication as far as in person, especially if you work inside an office. put aside some time, you can focus with no interruptions, it is showing that 80% of interruptions don't need to happen right now.
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and that will ensure that you can be productive and not just busy. >> exactly. all right. your turn. >> for me, it is target your investors. too many entrepreneurs try and boil the ocean and basically seek out every investor there is in the world. instead, it is better to target investors who have demonstrated -- about your cat goir egory. secondly if they write about it, via blog or twitter, you can see they're excited about your category and want to dive deeper. >> why do you think people -- why do you think people think that it is better to just kind of throw spaghetti at the wall? where is the fallacy there? >> what it is is raising money is hard. so you try and hit as many levers as possible, but the truth is, if folks haven't invested in your category, they don't know enough about it to get excited about it. they won't be excited about what you're doing to try to pitch them. you want to cater yourself to folks who already have an excitement for the product
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category. >> is there any truth to the idea that investors are friends with investors and so maybe you go to someone, i'm not pitching you, i want to tell you what i'm doing in case you know somebody else. >> i think so. i think warm introductions are what get us most excited about companies. we hear about a pitch, we say, not sure i'm excited about this, but a good reference, i trust barry. i'm more likely to be excited about what you're trying to pitch me and we'll take the meeting. >> okay, great. thanks, both of you. this week's your biz selfie comes from randy rodriguez, who owns a restaurant right here in new york. his signature dish is the papusa, a corn tortilla stuffed with meat, cheese or vegetables and it is delicious. now, why don't you follow randy's lead by picking up your cell phone and taking a selfie of you and your business and sending it to us right here at yourbusine
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yourbusines thank you for joining us today. we would love to hear from you. so if you have any comments or questions about the show, just e-mail us at also, please head over to our website, it is we posted all of the segments from today's show and a whole lot more. and you can connect with us on all of our digital and social media platforms as well. we look forward to seeing you next time. until next time, i'm j.j. ramberg. remember, we make your business our business. will your business be ready when growth presents itself? american express open cards can help you take on a new job, or fill a big order or expand your office and take on whatever comes next.
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find out how american express cards and services can help prepare you for growth at billionaire boys club. donald trump stacking his cabinet with the ultra rich. how will democrats respond? we'll talk to congressman elijah cummings. also, standing up to the trump agenda. how sanctuary cities won't be able to stop the deportations. plus, dylann roof, acting as his own lawyer, potentially grilling survivors and victims' relatives. and the jury in the walter scott case, weighing the fate of his killer. the politics nation legal panel weighs in. from rockefeller center in new york, this is "politicsnation" with al sharpton.


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