Small Business Trends Radio | Small Business Advice
Summary: Small Business Trends Radio features in depth interviews with small business experts.
The Holiday is fast approaching and gift giving is top of mind for many. When you’re in business, the task of gift giving can be quite daunting regarding client and customer gifts to express your thanks. What is appropriate? How much should you spend? These questions and more are about to be answered for you. Susan Payton of Egg Marketing and Communications and Ivana Taylor of DIYMarketers join Anita Campbell to discuss the art of business gift giving and, particularly, how it can make a difference for your small business. Below are the questions we asked Susan and Ivana: (1:40) Susan, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background? (2:07) Ivana, can you tell us a bit about yourself? (3:41) Giving gift to employees, customers, clients, service providers – why do you do that, Susan? Why is that important? (5:22) How do you decide how much to give? Susan, can you talk a bit about that? (6:31) Some might consider that a bit controversial. Is that a hard rule of thumb or just one way to approach it? (7:46) Some people like to give gifts to say, their postal worker. Are there rules of thumb about what can be given there? Ivana, can you elaborate on that? (9:54) If you’re on a tight budget, but your budget is only $15 per person, what can you get for $15 dollars, Susan? (12:21) How can you make your gift stand out? Susan, if you’ve got dozens of customers and clients that you need to give gifts to, should you personalize them, what should you do? (14:23) Let’s talk about mistakes. What are some things that you should NOT do, Susan? (17:10) Susan, tell us about re-gifting? Is it an absolute no-no? (18:08) How do you prevent overlooking someone? What do you recommend? (19:48) Let’s talk about business books as a gift. Susan, I read that you have never received a book as a gift, is that right? (22:22) What kinds of books would you recommend and how do you recommend people find books? (23:55) Are there any particular business books that come to mind, Ivana? (26:14) Any book come to mind that you would recommend, Susan? (26:45) In terms of ebook readers, Ivana, any quick recommendations there? Which ones are the best? (28:01) Susan, any quick 60 second tip for people? (28:28) Where can people find out more? * * * * * Listen to this interview now by clicking the red and yellow player below
The final days of 2011 are approaching and with the end of the year comes thoughts of holiday gatherings and shopping trips. For a small business owner, however, it also should come with a list of ‘To-Do’s’ before 2012 hits. Nellie Akalp, the CEO of CorpNet an online legal document filing service, shares some top items that should be on that list and steps you can take to cross them off the list and focus on other holiday festivities. Below are the questions we asked Nellie: (2:46) Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background and how you came to be doing what you’re doing today? (6:36) You’ve been in the incorporation business online for over 10 years now, correct? (10:59) What is an annual report and do business owners have to file them? Can you give us a quick run down on that topic? (14:46) So you should check with your state and find out what the requirements are for your particular state? (16:03) What if you have closed a business in 2011? What do you need to know? (19:51) What if you made changes to a business in 2011? What do people need to know from a legal perspective? (24:05) What if you started a business this year? What do you need to know before the end of the year? (29:52) Where can people find out more? * * * * * Listen to Nellie’s interview now by clicking the red and yellow player below
Small Business Trends Radio features interviews and open discussions with todays small business experts on a variety of topics. Guests include a mix of influential individuals who speak on issues of the day important to the small business market; and business owners who speak from a been there, done that point of view, offering insider tips and advice. Small Business Trends Radio is broadcast LIVE every Tuesday on BlogTalkRadio from 1:30 PM until 2PM EST.
Tracking, logging, categorizing, and organizing business expenses throughout the year can be a real hassle. Human nature says, “If its a hassle, put it off.” This leads to forgetfulness, which then leads to a mad scramble at the end of the year to get that disorganized shoe box of receipts to the tax professional who then must do his or her best to help you realize the tax deductions your business provides. In the end, it leads to lost deductions and lost dollars due to over-payment of taxes. William Olsen, Founder of Deductr, CPA and tax professional in this industry for more than 16 years, joins Anita Campbell and Brent Leary for an in-depth discussion about procrastination and disorganization – two mistakes that can cost you big time at tax time. Below are the questions we asked William: (3:42) Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background? (6:30) Can you explain how Deductr works? (9:31) Did you deliberately set out to do that? Or was this created along the way? (10:55) What tips or best practices would you recommend for small businesses regarding procrastination and disorganization? (13:47) When talking about the IRS, what is it that the IRS really wants to see when small businesses take deductions? (17:05) Can you take a minute to explain a bit more about how to use the online app and the mobile app? (18:51) Are there significant deductions that small business owners can take but do not because they are unaware of them? (23:31) Is Deductr only for sole proprietors or can any business use it? (24:38) Can you actually deduct your time from your taxes? (26:47) Was creating a mobile app something that you thought would help accelerate the adoption of the service? (28:08) Where can people find out more? Take advantage of Deductr’s special offer to radio show listeners. Receive a 30 Day Free Trial and lock in your discounted rate now! * * * * * Listen to William’s interview now by clicking the red and yellow player below
The Holidays are right around the corner and that means that speedy, hassle free shipping will be top of mind for a lot of small businesses. Wouldn’t it be nice to have some Holiday shipping tips to make that a reality? No worries, we’ve got you covered. Learn from the masters of shipping, United Parcel Service (UPS), as Tom Langa, UPS Small Business/Occasional Customer Marketing Manager, joins Anita Campbell to offer shipping tips so your Holiday season will be the most painless and successful yet for your small business. Below are the questions we asked Tom: (1:38) Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background? How did you end up at UPS? (3:03) How can small businesses prepare for the Holiday rush? It starts earlier and earlier each year so what should we be doing, Tom? (4:55) So are UPS drivers up all night? How do they get things delivered so fast? (5:38) What do you recommend that we do when it comes to shipping? How do we get prepared and how do we carry that out? (7:44) Can you explain why NOT to use masking tape and newspaper as packing materials? (9:30) You mentioned an offering UPS has to track shipping. Can you tell us more about that and more about creating an account with UPS? (10:55) What is the advantage of having an account with UPS? Is it that you don’t have to fill out forms each time and input credit card information? Can you describe the benefits of having an account? (12:44) So these are efficiency tools and a benefit of a result of using the site and having an account with UPS? (13:06) How does UPS help you in a situation where you’re standing in line with loads of boxes and holding others behind you up? (14:56) I assume you can arrange for picks ups at your place of business? (16:06) So are you saying that if you use the technology, it will automatically alert the driver to pick up the package? You don’t have to schedule a pick up, is that right? (17:20) Is there anything else we can do to make sure that gifts or packages arrive in time? (20:17) You have told us that UPS has launched a new service, My Choice, just in time for the Holidays. Can you tell us more about that? (23:06) This is something that the recipient in a residential situation would arrange for, correct? (23:44) Are there links that you can put in a website to invite customers to use that? How would you recommend that businesses alert their customers that My Choice is available to them? (25:20) What’s the best way to ship perishable goods? (26:50) Would you explain what UPS stores are and how to use them? (30:50) Where can people find out more? * * * * * Listen to Tom’s interview now by clicking the red and yellow player below
Companies like Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google are doing things that collectively, they could not do individually - they are creating dynamic platforms that are stable - yet in motion. Phil Simon, Author of "The Age of the Platform: How Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google Have Redefined Business,"nbsp;joins Anita Campbell and Brent Leary for an in-depth discussion of how platforms like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google have redefined how we do business. Below are the questions we asked Phil: (2:12) Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background and how you came to write your book? (4:40) What do you call a platform?nbsp; What makes these four companies a platform? (6:18) You mentioned planks.nbsp; What is a plank then, specifically? (7:46) It's like each of these planks make up yournbsp;platform to stand on, correct? (8:51) You were an IT consultant, correct? (9:07) Was that a big switch to make? (10:47) So we have these four companies, are these what you would call the "gang of four" is that right? (11:17) Can you tell us a little bit more about how they've embraced these platform strategies?nbsp; And can you identify why a company like Twitter doesn't fall in with these four? (14:22) You mentioned Amazon, they have been around since the early 90's and are now leading the way.nbsp; Can you tell us what some of the lessons that people can learn from Amazons approach to this area? (17:41) Can you talk a bit about Facebook and Google+?nbsp; Do you think that there's going to be one platform to rule the world, or specific instances where people are going to have to figure out the right mix on using these platforms? (19:55) You mentioned MicroSoft.nbsp; Do they play a role in your definition of platforms? (21:40) Are there other companies that maybe aren't that well known that arenbsp;putting together some impressive platforms out there? (23:31) What are some of the ways that small businesses can leverage these platforms to create their own platforms? (25:26) What do you see a year or two from now in terms of the developments of these platforms?nbsp; What are some things that small businesses need to know to leverage these platforms for their own small businesses? (28:56)nbsp;Where can people find out more about the book? * * * * * Listen to Phil's interview now by clicking the red and yellow player below
Karla Hakansson feels that enough cannot be said about the importance of having an online presence for small businesses.nbsp; And if you think that most small businesses already know the importance of an online presence - think again -nbsp;many do not even have one. Karla Hakansson, Director of Global Channel Marketing at Verisign, joins Anita Campbell for an in-depth discussion on the matter. She will explain the importance of establishing a branded domain and social media profiles for your small business, she will walk you through the steps to establish and register a domain and share interesting stories of different way small businesses are using their web domains to grow their business. Below are the questions we asked Karla: (1:52) You are an employee of Verisign, correct? (2:19) How did you get into this business? (3:33) The web is about 15 years old at this point, correct? (4:09) So here we are, a quarter century later.nbsp; Do you find that there's still a hurdle to convince business owners that they should have an online presence? (6:55) A common thing I hear is that all the good domain names are gone, especially the .com names.nbsp; What does Verisign say to that? (8:46) Lets talk a bit about the name of your company, your brand, and how that relates to a domain name.nbsp; Is it better to get a descriptive domain name or a brand domain name? (10:19) You mention social media profiles.nbsp; When choosing a domain name, should you benbsp;checking on the availability of the social media profile name as well? (10:50) What social media sites do you think are important for small businesses?nbsp; We have Facebook and Twitter.nbsp; Are there other sites we should all be thinking about? (12:28) Walk us through what it's like to establish a domain name.nbsp; How should I be searching for that domain name?nbsp; Are there any insider tips to make sure you're as creative as possible and do as good a search as possible when looking for a domain name? (14:35) Why is it important to register the .net name as well?nbsp; Does it give you an advantage or protect you in some way? (15:17) So you're really protecting your brand that you've built, correct? (15:33) Can you tell us some stories about how small businesses are using their web domains to grow their businesses? (19:34) Why does a company like Verisign run a contest like that?nbsp; What are your goals as a company for that? (21:46) Can you tell us about the winner, Vibrant Chocolates out of Seattle, Washington? (22:54) Can you tell us what the new product, Mobile View, is and how it works? (24:38) Do you have to have a website product through Verisign for that?nbsp; (26:20)nbsp;Where can people find out more about Verisign and what Verisign has to offer? * * * * * Listen to Karla's interview now by clicking the red and yellow player below
Ety Rybak feels that nothing beats a memorable experience - from tickets to a Broadway show andnbsp;a backstage meet and greet to 50 yard line seats at the Superbowl. Ety Rybak is the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Inside Sports and Entertainment Group, a provider of once-in-a lifetime event experiences for a cross section of small business, corporate and individual customers. Ety joins Anita Campbell to talk about the consumer spending trend towards experiences versus ldquo;thingsrdquo; or merchandise and how you can motivate clients, employees and prospects with carefully selected exciting experience-based Holiday gifts. Below are the questions we asked Ety: (2:03) Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background and how you came to start this business? (3:04) Why do you think that people are more apt to spend money during a recession on experiences versus things? (4:45) What is the number one most popular event or experience that people want to enjoy? (6:16) Can you give us an idea of what an experience might be like?nbsp; Do you arrange a variety of activities around the event? (7:39) How do you get tickets?nbsp; I'm assuming these are not events open to anyone just walking in off the streets are they? (8:40) So you're acting as a source to get into these hard to get into events? (9:38) Are there some best practices?nbsp; Where does one start to figure out what's a good incentive and a good thank you to an employee or client? (11:44) Would you say that's true even for women? (13:20) What are your thoughts about giving experiences to your employees, clients, etc. at the Holidays? (15:15) What kind of lead time do you need for a Holiday experience-based gift? (15:43) So you accommodate last minute requests? (16:29) Can you give us some ballpark figures? (17:16) Would you say that the best practice for an employee experience-based giftnbsp;would alsonbsp;include a companion of their choice to accompany them as well? (18:30) What's the process to do this?nbsp; How does one go about doing this,nbsp;what would you recommend? (19:54) Do you have any tips for businesses about making the most of an event?nbsp; You want this to be a great, memorable experience so what would you recommend there? (21:51) You've sound as if you've seen just about everything.nbsp; What's the most unusual request you've ever had for one of these experiences? (23:36) Do you see any particular trends with this in the future? (25:07) Any final thoughts or tips that you'd like to cap off with? (25:55)nbsp;Where can people find out more? * * * * * Listen to Ety's interview now by clicking the red and yellow player below
Todayrsquo;s smartphones and tablets have influenced a new generation of mobile workers, new ways of doing business and the emergence of a new type of office ndash; the mobile office. The mobile office is about cutting the ties to physical office space and making all the tools and technologies available to employees wherever they may be. Anita Campbell joins guest, Alan Panezic, VP of Research In Motion (RIM), makers of BlackBerry, to discuss the evolution of the mobile office and how your businessrsquo; bottom line can benefit by becoming more mobile. Below are the questions we asked Alan: (2:55) Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background? (4:57) How would you define the mobile office? (6:36) What are the benefits of equipping your employees to be more mobile and do you think it's a competitive advantage to make your employees more mobile? (8:42) How do smartphones help teams work together?nbsp; What examples can you give? (10:31) How do you see small businesses using tablets and in what way can they help small businesses? (13:22) Can you talk about how mobile and social are driving each other and drivingnbsp;this need to stay in touch with customers? (15:26) They give you the opportunity for a level of engagement with customers, correct? (17:24) What is the growing importance of these other services? (19:15) Can you recommend other business related apps that people should be aware of? (20:41) What are some of the key things that a small business can do to show up better on their customers mobile device? (22:10) What is the difference between your website looking good on mobile versus a mobile app? (24:02) What is your favorite thing about the PlayBook? (27:44) What are some of the top two or three things people should consider as they start to implement that strategy? (30:04) Where can people find out more? * * * * * Listen to Alan's interview NOW by clicking the red and yellow player below