Breaking Down Your Business | Small Business | Business Owners | Entrepreneurship | Leadership

What’s In This Episode:

Jill and Brad are doing things a bit differently in this episode and talking about networking vs. building business relationships. A lot of people feel like networking is an ugly word, but only feel that way in a business context.

 "But isn't that what relationships are - just mutually benefitting?" - Brad

Jill doesn't believe that you can succeed without relationships, and Brad thinks that the reason people disdain networking is that it's viewed as a competition. It took Jill a long time to change her mind about working by herself. She didn't realize how beneficial it was to have face-to-face interactions with people until she went out for coffee meetings and was able to see how energized she was about her own business.

Brad intentionally scheduled meetings - lunches, breakfasts - so that he could see other people. When Jill began The Founding MomsMeetups, she got feedback almost immediately about the positive impact it was having on the other business women in the room.

"Relationships are the reason the world goes round." - Jill

There's a lot that people miss from nonverbal communications and there's so much to be gained from face-to-face interactions. Granted, there are those out there who meet face-to-face only to swap and collect business cards. But Brad remembers how he ended up doing business with those whom he was truly vulnerable with and invested in. It's important to remember that at the end of the day, people connect with human aspects - not how much you earn or what you do, but that you've shared similar experiences.

It's also worth noting that networking takes time. You need to build up trust and do it regularly. You won't walk out of an event with a ton of new business.

What are your thoughts on networking vs. building business relationships? Do you value it or do you believe it's a waste of time?

Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_267.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Are you fun? Jill recently ran a webinar and heard from someone afterward who said, "I love this, but I'm not very fun." Jill realized that people feel like they're boring or not enough in some way and that it prevents them from joining a group they really feel connected to. Don't do that thing! If you want to try out The Founding Moms Community for free, go to The Founding Momsand use code awesome1moto get a free 30-day trial. If you're a mom entrepreneur, become a part of the FMC and get advice from other mom entrepreneurs, video courses, an accountability program, and so much more.

 "People are weird." - Brad

Saul, producer of BDYB, has a listener question for Jill and Brad. Bruno writes, "Hey guys. I love the wacky, crazy vibe of the show. I was wondering if you could share some of your craziest customer stories."

Jill thought about her favorite podcast guest: Erika Kerekes of Not Ketchup, who took Jill's interesting marketing advice and it worked out for her! She also has a story about a guy who had a very creative way to get someone to sign up for life insurance.

Brad had a customer who got ghosted by an employee. They passed each other as they were going in and out of an elevator, but the customer didn't realize that the employee had quit until she got to her floor. He also knew a guy who would send phones out to people via FedEx, then call those people once the package had been received.

Saul's takeaway? "Weird works."

"They need instruction. They need guidance. Is there something you need that can make your job easier?" - Jill

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 ways managing employees needs to change:

  • Everyone needs to use Slack.
  • Ask them what they need more often.
  • Listen when employees tell you something is not working.
  • Be a proponent of having your employees work together more often.
  • And the number one thing is something you really should be doing...
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_266.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Jill and Brad love reviews - and they got one! One listener says, "Love the energy on the show and the fun hosts like to have with guests!" (Want to leave your own review? Go here.)

Brad thinks the whole hiring process is a bit broken. He describes a client who has had negative reviews on Glassdoor (think of it like Yelp for employers), and how people are Googling the company - which is how they find the Glassdoor reviews. Brad doesn't understand why companies aren't Googling candidates in turn, as a way to use all the information available.

 "You know what this is? This is taking your shoes off at the airport." - Jill

Iain MacLeod, author of Fatherhood, has a peculiar problem: Iain MacLeod isn't his real name. He wrote the book under a pseudonym at the request of his wife, but he also has a separate marketing company under his real name. And now, he's trying to promote both. What does he do?

Jill's take is that people don't really care, and suggests that it's worth having a conversation with his wife again. It would probably be a bit freeing. If he has to keep the two names separate, then maybe he just accepts his other name as his stage name.

"Resumes are dead." - Brad

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 ways recruiting needs to change:

  • Never ask for a resume ever again. Look at LinkedIn.
  • Do a phone screen or video chat and save yourself a lot of trouble.
  • Put the salary in the job posting.
  • Interviews should not be adversarial hazing rituals. Be likable.
  • And you need to put effort into this one..
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_265.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Want to try out The Founding Moms Community for free? Go to The Founding Momsand use code awesome1moto get a free 30-day trial. If you're a mom entrepreneur, become a part of the FMC and get advice from other mom entrepreneurs, video courses, an accountability program, and so much more.

Jill got yelled at this week - once in response to an email that someone misunderstood, and then again in response to her advice from Episode 260: Top 5 Etiquette Rules that No Longer Apply. A longtime listener reached out to say that she didn't agree with any of what Jill had to say in that episode. Jill was trying to say that she didn't agree with (most) of the etiquette that had changed (spelling? Important. PR releases? Still on the fence), but she understands that listeners might not have taken it that way.

 "Even when you think you're doing a fine job, you can get yelled at a lot in one week." - Jill

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 ways marketing needs to change:

  • Social media is NOT the only way to market.
  • Leaning on data - you don't need to JUST look at the analytics.
  • Stop selling so much. You don't need to be sales-y up front. People need to be genuine.
  • Marketing doesn't happen in two days. Things take time.
  • And the number one thing is Jill's sincere wish...
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_264.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

The times are changing... but are they really? Brad's annoyed because he had to renew his passport, which involved printing out photos to mail them in, the photos had to be specific dimensions, and he just wants it to be done in a modern way. Is that too much to ask?

 "We're doing things differently than we were five years ago. If your business hasn't changed, it's broken." - Brad

Tracey Suppo, CEO and co-founder of Book+Main, is a lifelong lover of romance novels. She began a blog a few years ago, which turned into a Facebook group, which turned into her current company, which pairs authors and readers (want to find a romance novel that revolves around an angsty fireman? Tracey can help you).

Her platform launched in November and has about 30,000 members and 2,800 authors but she wants to be able to reach every romance reader on the planet. She's got a good relationship with authors from her blogging days, so that's working for her. She really would love to figure out how to get into local romance book clubs. Brad suggests Tracey use Reddit as a way to promote - find an author to do an AMA and Book+Main to sponsor. Jill thinks that Book+Main could be using their readers to evangelize the service that Book+Main offers. There also might be an opportunity to create more viral content (use author lunches and post them on YouTube, organize Meetups, etc) so that readers can share in the experience.

"It's so insulting to get a link." - Jill

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 things you need to do differently NOW:

  • Send a link to your invoices or use apps - no more printing and mailing or PDF attachments.
  • Jill and Brad disagree on this, but stop sending emails back and forth to schedule and use an app.
  • Hiring: Resumes lie. Use a Google Form and get the answers you want to know.
  • Your website. Revamp it! Make it work for you.
  • Think about this last one consciously...
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_263.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Want more Jill and Brad in your life? Brad's repeating his Clients Without Proposals webinaron Spin Sucks. On this episode, Jill and Brad are talking about their origin stories, and the risks they've taken along the way.

 "I was a sales genius because I closed two in a row." - Brad

 Jill had a law degree and started a recording industry business right out of school. It was a big worry. She made a lot of terribly laughable mistakes but she overcame those challenges. She got her first client via Google.

In 2001, Brad decided to work with business owners after the dot com bust. He reached out to a guy he knew and started helping him, but he had no plan - so it didn't go anywhere. Eventually, he found a training program that helped him learn how to sell. He made mistakes and some business friends, but it took a while before he closed deals.

"It's all you now." - Jill

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 risks you have to take:

  • No regular income.
  • There's no manual to do the job a specific way.
  • Admitting that you don't know what you're doing and that you might be overwhelmed.
  • Losing friends and family who don't support you.
  • And the number one thing is something you might not like to hear...
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_262.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Want more Jill and Brad in your life? Brad's repeating his Clients Without Proposals webinaron Spin Sucks. If you missed it the first time, you can sign up there! Jill also does monthly webinars - you can go to the Founding Momsand see webinars she's done in the past and RSVP to her latest.

 "My favorite is word of mouth. Some articulate it better than I do." - Jill

BDYB's producer Saul turns the tables on Jill and Brad again. He's got a question from listener Milton: As your business grows, do you find yourself doing more or less? As Jill's business grows, she's doing less of what she used to do, but she's doing more fun stuff. Brad's also doing more of the things he enjoys.

Next, Saul asks them to describe the qualities of hypothetical best and worst clients. Brad's best clients have problems that they don't know how to solve but they're committed to fixing it. Jill's best members, relatedly, are the ones who really want to build a better business and so they soak up all the resources she has to offer in her organization. In any case, you get out of it what you put into it.

How do they target those clients? Word of mouth is a good tactic. Case studies work well too.

"Automate it if you can." - Brad

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 ways to get things done in your business:

  • Automate it. Brad loves Zapier, You Can Book Me, Text Expanderand more.
  • Hire someone to do it. Use a VA!
  • Delegate.
  • Block time on your calendar.
  • And the number one way might not make sense, but you can always come back...
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_261.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Want more Jill and Brad in your life? Go to Founding Momsand subscribe to Jill's daily newsletter for biz wisdom (and awesome pictures of Jill in sunglasses). Are times a'changin' in business? Jill and Brad both seem to think so. To suit or not to suit? What about technology?

 "The world has changed." - Brad

Steve Shirk is the owner of Shirk Studios but his claim to fame is that he's a great dad and an ok guitar player. He struggles with time management though. Between home life and the studio, there are a lot of demands on his time. If it's 5 pm and the phone is ringing but he knows he's supposed to be at home, it can be hard when he's also trying to meet deadlines for work.

The way Brad sees it, Steve has two options: Charge more, or get an assistant or part-time employee to help. He has raised his rates, but musicians typically aren't rolling in money. He's also rented out his studio space. Jill suggests he actually look into tiered pricing: that way the people who can pay more will and he'll keep the clients he likes. And also get interns to help out.

"Take time off for yourself." - Jill

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 etiquette rules that no longer apply:

  • Responding to emails and phone calls in a timely manner.
  • Keeping your personal life private (thanks, social media).
  • Never taking any time off.
  • Writing full sentences or spelling correctly.
  • Burn this last one into your brain...
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_260.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

Want more Jill and Brad in your life? Go to Anchor Advisors and sign up for Brad's newsletter for once-a-month advice from Brad as well as 4-5 of the best small biz articles.

What do Jill and Brad worry about in their businesses? For Jill, it's money. For Brad, it's what if he gets sick and can't work?

 "I want them to be innovative in their role." - Jill

BDYB's producer Saul turns the tables on Jill and Brad again, this time to ask about employees. What are the things they look for? Conversely, what makes them say absolutely not? Then, once they've hired, what do they worry about?

For Brad, if people come in talking about flexibility, that's a major no for him. He can offer flexibility once the employee has put in the time and proven they're willing to work (that's one of the major benefits of working for a small business). If someone comes on and wants to take initiative, he's all about it. But his first worry is if someone can really do the job they're hired for.

Jill's pretty speedy. So if someone comes on her team and likes to take their time... or too much time, she knows it probably won't work out. If someone is able to also take the initiative and challenge her, however, she views it as a positive. She worries that the contractors she works with might not want to stick it out and see things through.

"It's hard to get good employees." - Brad

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 business owner worries (and what to do about them):

  • The top of the lead generation funnel. Is there enough going on to generate sales?
  • If there is, is there a potential employee pipeline?
  • If there is, can we still get paid? And even if you get paid in advance, what if the check doesn't come on time? When do you cut it off? SO MANY QUESTIONS.
  • Staying healthy! Mentally, physically, and emotionally.
  • And the number one worry is more of a big-picture concept...
Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_259.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

What’s In This Episode:

What tools can't you live without? Brad's still holding on to the Trapper Keeper, and he has a pen he really likes. (What can we say; he's old school.) Then Jill waxes nostalgic about pencil sharpeners. What is happening?

 "Don't do that in an email." - Brad

Phil Singleton almost failed Computer Science but now he works with computers pretty exclusively in SEO and web development. He's got an emotionally draining problem. With a company of seven people, every new hire he makes has the potential to be a big risk. Earlier this year he found out one of his prior employees wasn't so well-loved by his clients, which wasn't such great news for him. In order to avoid that punch in the gut in the future, what should he do?

Brad suggests doing a client review to see how business is going - make two phone calls every day over the course of six weeks. Jill thinks you could serve the same purpose over email. Whichever way you decide to do it, be proactive and don't wait. Ask clients to submit feedback about improvement. And from now on, have a check-in process in place. And if you ask for feedback at the end of a project, it's a great chance to ask for a referral.

"I heart" - Jill

Jill and Brad then discuss the top 5 tools/apps making your life better in 2018:

  • Zoom conferencing. It's amazing.
  • Mad Mimifor email software. And their customer support is incredible.
  • Drift. It's a chat box that has the potential to bring you sales.
  • Wunderground. It's the weather app to end all weather apps.
  • Slack.It's the easiest way to communicate with your team.


Direct download: Breaking_Down_Your_Business_EP_258.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 3:00am EDT