ET8- Starting an HR Service Business from Scratch

How Great Service and Niche Focus Can Makes For Fast Growth

matt vaadiMatt Vaadi and I had a great discussion about building a services company the way it should be done. That is, you look at all the weak points in the way the existing businesses do it and then you design a company from the ground up that overcomes those problems.

What you get is a killer solution that beats the competition just by the nature of the way it was built- before you even get into marketing and branding and all the rest.

This is how he built his company ERG HR and how I built CapForge Bookkeeping. He ran through the startup story and he and I also agreed on another important concept- it is far easier to start a business in an industry in which you are already intimately familiar than it is to start off in something brand new.

Continue reading

ET7- Online Magazine Business w/Henry Reith

Making Money Online With A Magazine App

issue7-hdHenry Reith is the founder of an online magazine and content app but the interesting part is it came out of an original desire to network in person with locals in his demographic.

Once the networking got going though the group needed a way to stay in touch and there was a demand for content and education that exceeded what they could get through in the in person events.

Henry saw an opportunity to expand beyond the face to face and built up the online presence. Now they offer regular webinars and tons of great content on the website and through an app.

It’s a classic example of a kind of accidental business opportunity that turned out to be something really cool and much bigger than was originally anticipated.

Continue reading

ET6- Blind Blogger Max Ivey- No Excuses!

If A Blind Guy Can Make Money Online, Why Can’t You?

ScreenShot003Max Ivey is just a regular guy who was in the carnival and midway business for years before he decided to start an online ecommerce business selling used carnival gear and trailers and brokering sales between private parties. The only catch is he is now blind, and was when he started his online business.

I talked to Max for awhile about the carnival business because to me that is an interesting business and one I knew nothing about. He filled me in on the details and contrary to my perception that it was fading out he says it is still going strong just changing format.

I then chatted with him about his online business and the challenges that holds for him. Turns out they are the same as for any other online entrepreneur- getting traffic, worrying about conversions, collecting emails, etc.

But Max has the additional challenge of not being able to see what is on the screen!

Continue reading

ET-5 What It Takes to Be an Entrepreneur

Do You Have It In You to Be Your Own Boss?

3ingredientsOn the premier edition of Questions and Rants on the podcast, I address the question I get all the time from would be entrepreneurs- “Do I have what it takes to make it in my own business?”

On these special editions of the podcast I tackle a common topic in the startup and entrepreneurship world and share my own experience as well as what I’ve learned from interacting with hundreds of other business owners over the years.

In this edition I share some of the story on how I got started in moving away from being an employee and onto the path of becoming a business owner. I also break down what I think are the three main things any entrepreneur needs in order to maximize their chances of small business success. Luckily, these are things that are not a secret and things anyway can get or develop within themselves.

Continue reading

ET-4 Turning Music Passion Into 6 Figure Sales

acousticspotHow Josh Turned His Love Of Music Into A Thriving Business

Josh is a very successful and yet humble guy. Like me, he is kind of laid back and mellow when you meet him and he likes to enjoy the San Diego lifestyle: surfing, catching a sunset, enjoying a craft beer and listening to great live music.

The similarities end when it comes to music, however. I like to listen but Josh used to play- a lot. He has a true passion for music and would have loved to have been a rock star. OK, I would have liked to have been a rock star, too. But unlike me, Josh can play. Really well. But still, he came to realize his professional life was probably not going to be as a musician. So he went into other things.

Soon enough though, he realized he could remain close to music and make a living working with musicians even if he wasn’t performing. He found a sizable gap in the market for connecting musicians with venues looking for regular live performances. As a result of that, he launched The Acoustic Spot.

Continue reading

ET-3 Most Common Startup Questions w/Jeff Stoller

You Need More Than Just A Great Idea!

jeffstollerToday’s episode is with a very accomplished gentleman named Jeff Stoller. Jeff has quite the entrepreneurial resume.

He was the President of Stoller & Associates, a firm that consulted and created business plans for a wide array of companies from start-ups to major corporations. He also ran Stoller Publications during which time he developed products for The Rolling Stones, Playboy and Warner Brothers. He is currently working on releasing an app, called “IntiMates”, to help families and couples strengthen their relationships.

Aside from all that, he wrote a book, which you can find on Amazon in English and Spanish, for people thinking about starting a business. The main idea behind the book is that a good idea for a business is a nice start, but there is a whole lot more you need.

I definitely agree! While just getting started and making some initial sales is very important, there are lots of other considerations for becoming a business owner that you have to deal with. None of them, on there own, are too onerous, but left undone they can cumulatively become kind of overwhelming and in some cases can end costing you a lot of time and money that you could have avoided if you’d handled them sooner.

Continue reading

ET-2 Winning Through Amazing Customer Service w/Adam Toporek

adamService Can Be Your Differentiator No Matter What Size Your Business

Adam and I have one key thing in common- we both think that amazing customer service is one of the key ingredients to having a very successful small business.

He believes it so much he wrote a book and has a business centered around showing business owners how to do amazing customer service right. His website and business name kind of says it all: Customers That Stick.

On top of that, he is the co-host of the Crack the Customer Code podcast. Let’s just say the man believes in winning through service.

And he’s right. Most businesses aren’t that different from each other in what they do – at least as far the customer can see. One landscaping business looks pretty much like another from the outside. So how can one keep growing and adding customers and getting referrals while another seemingly similar business languish without growth and barely keeping the customers it has? Great service.

That’s the way to set yourself apart.

Continue reading

ET-1 Making Money Online w/ Zac Johnson

ScreenShot003Blogging, Affiliate Marketing & More

In the premier episode of Entrepreneur Talk I chatted with Zac Johnson of and

Zac is someone who I’ve seen over the years of being an online entrepreneur every time I wandered down the road of thinking about affiliate marketing. He’s be doing it since he was in high school and the early days of the Amazon affiliate program, which was basically the dawn of making money online.

I never actually got into doing affiliate marketing but I know lots and lots of people do really well with it. You have to treat it like a business, like anything else you want to be successful at, but I can say for sure I have two clients who work in that realm, one who is doing six figures and one who is doing eight figures (!!) in sales.

So yeah, it can be big. And according to Zac, you can get started just fine with $500-$1000- which is a very doable amount for just about anyone to work with. And if even if that sounds like too much, you can start with less.

Continue reading