tv Your Business MSNBC March 27, 2016 4:30am-5:01am PDT
record this. voila. remotes you are back. the x1 voice remote is here. x1 customers get your voice remote by visiting xfinty.com/voiceremote. good morning, coming up on nsnbc, what you can learn from these farmers. and melissa joan heart is a small business star. information and inspiration is all coming up next on "your business."
>> hi, everyone. welcome to "your business." the show dedicated to helping your mall business grow. i'm always interested in people who launch a business in a already saturated industry. how do you get people to notice you when there is already more out there. if your product is indeed better or served a particular niche, it can work like it did for a few
entrepreneurs that carved out a spot for themselves in a very crowded retail space. there could be ten or 12 different brands. >> the niche of the brands, each brand may have a medium or large egg. there could be 30 to 40 slots. >> there are probably hundreds of egg brands out there. >> while competition is fierce. >> betsy and brian babcock created a demand for their pasture raised eggs that never existed for retailers before. >> in the fast tour years, fors
like whole foods, kroger, and fresh direct grew on. we're at almost 4,000 stores. >> unlike other chickens, the hens laying eggs are free to roam outside before going inside to roost. >> you go to any grocery store and you would never seen anything called pasture raised. we just kind of made up the term because it made sense and described what we were doing. >> they hatched their business plan after guests at their bed and breakfast raved about the eggs. >> we thought eggs were eggs. >> they started small. they tested sales at a local farmer's market before turning to a nearby store.
>> they sold some of our blueberries and they said we don't know if it will sell, but we will try. >> it was unique. it is a tough market to brake into but they found that niche. >> the success resulted in a sales strategy to introduce the eggs to bigger retailers and penetrate the market. >> normally a large egg company sends a sales rep. we send my wife and i. who else can share the passion than the owners? >> as owners they believe you have to tell your own story. >> before i get into the details about pasture raised eggs and other eggs, i show pictures of our farm and i tell the story and at that opponent their
engaged and interestied. >> we would go in with a pasture raised egg and they would say we have a free range egg, and we would say it's not the same. their knowledge had to extend beyond their own brand. they had to be familiar with the competition. >> the buyer wants to know if you understand what eggs are selling well and what eggs are not. they're wanting to understand who you think you would replace. >> and as the companies grow, they have used a contract farm model to fulfill all orders. >> we have the ability to scale up if the demand is more, we can add more flocks and bring more supply. so that gives the grocery stores some stability. >> it's not the highest priced egg in the city. they want prices to be affordable. >> the staff is lean.
all operations are handled internally. >> we have a full-time veterinarian, a team of people that go out to the farms and come alongside the farmers to give them advice. >> and they have integrated parts of the business. >> about 70% of the cost of the egg is attributed to the cost of the feed that chicken is eating. when we control our feed costs that keeps the price of the egg down. >> once you're on the shelves, you have to get customers to notice kbrou. >> the front edge has to communicate your message. >> she makes sure the labels pop. >> i have all of our competitors cartons tacked up, just so literally i can see how it looks up stacked up against the others.
>> they may be in thousands of storms but they still want to connect with customers. >> our home farm phone number is right on the inside lid. >> that was very important to us. we wanted to make sure the questions didn't come to a corporate office, it came to our house. >> and they're not done grow books, either. >> i think what we have behind us right now is sales experience. i can tell them how the eggs are doing in other chains. >> any reservations they once had about expanding are a thing of the past. >> we found that the customers have been receptive. the gross cery buyer have been resr rereceptive. >> at first, the biggest brands thought we were just a fad that
would go away. now they're taking us more seriously and that we're here to stay. >> business owners across the country are sending a simple message that everyone at their place is welcome for business. by simply hanging a sign that says all are welcome here, more than 10,000 small businesses are sending a larger message that serch a valued part of the community. amanda valen tine is from the national network of small business coalitions that is spearheading the campaign. also the bid owners that started it all that put their own sign thaup spa up that sparked the idea. >> great to see you, thank you for having us. >> what made you do this? >> well, you know, we were
seeing in the news a lot of rhetoric and targeting of communities that we feel are part and parcel of the common roots community. specifically muslims and immigrants. target of a lot of hateful rhetoric in the presidential campaigns and in the news, and we felt like we had to make a statement and not be silent, and make a simple gesture so everyone knew they were welcome in our place of business. >> and companies that were not serving gay, people, you probably had a little bit of the same reaction? >> sure, we feel strongly that everyone should be welcome in our business. it's good for our business and our community. as a business since opening in 2007, you want to be a friendly community meeting place regardless of what people look like, what people look like, and we really want people to actively feel welcome and we
have been hearing that in more and more communities over time. and mto voice a -- everyone is welcome here message that says no to hate. >> what was the reaction of people in your town and your customers. >> we have been pleased at how positive the reaction has been. many people have come up and thanked us when we're serving them at the counter, online, and social media. with all of the negative feedback we have been seeing in the news, it's a positive message and it helps for our muslim community members to feel like they can come and not feel threatened, but also everyone feeling welcome and glad that a business is living it's values and making it clear. >> at what point did you see the sign and hear what was happening
and say wait, there is a campaign, let's make this more than just minnesota. >> yes, the main street alicense works on many issues, and they said we're putting up a poster, do you want to help us spread it around. it has been very successful. people are very dpratful for the tool to express their leadership in their communities and they're getting positive feed back. and they're employees and kmeers. talk about how to love your business. this isn't really a customer acquisition. they are already leaders in the communities to stand up and say no matter what is happening.
>> and you say it is pretty amazing. we lawned the campaign, also working with businesses and it spread, it went viral, it picked up and we have seen it popping up in places where we don't have members. >> are there clusters? more people in city putting them up? >> a heavy density on the east coast and the west coast and midwest. we have light coverage in rural western states and that is because it is smaller towns out
there. people are writing us to tell us they're so happy to see it in their communities. >> do you feel it is really making a difference? >> it is a really new fresh gesture in our minds. we were thinking about making people in our neighborhood feel more welcome and not be silent in the face of what is happening nationally. so we're certainly very happy to see it grow. >> and thank you, congratulations to both of you for taking a stand on something you care so deeply about. >> thank you for having us. >> thank you. she is best known as the lovable star of the tv show
"sabrina the teenager witch." she is also an entrepreneur. he launched king of hearts, a clothing line for boys. how she is navigating the challenges of the fashion community and how her acting career helped her along the way. >> i was being asked once i had children to come out and represent other brands and my husband and i both love dressing our kids, but we found there was a lack of option for boys. so we thought why not start a clothing line. we found other businesses we wanted to model ourselves after. so there was different little pe pieces of the puzzle coming together. i think my career thus far has fed into the community in so many ways. we knew we were going to get good press. put it on my celebrity friend's
kids. i was so overjoyed when i looked at the red car pet. i was like tori spellings kids in my clothes, it was so exciting. i made sure if i didn't understand i asked questions. we had a jacket, and i didn't get why it was expensive and i saw all of the pieces that were made and sitting on each different sewing machine table, and i thought that makes sense now. i have a hard time being confrontational, but i have gotten better about shutting down the personal side of things, you can be nice and
tough. you have to know what you want and know what you're saying. sometimes we have 5,000 people coming to the website but not many sales. why do people love the site but not following through. we found out our shipping fee was too high. our warehouse never weighed in the clothing to the prices were off. we had a great e-mail list. and we said what is the reason you're not buying. i welcomed people to e-mail me and give me suggestions. my sister-in-law said i'm so sick and tired of jeans that tear at the knee. and not have to run off and do something, but be home with my
kids. i want to bring the garment industry back to the u.s. and i want to be at the forefront of all of that stuff going on. zlsmts many sbr many entrepreneurs think of the silicon valley as a great place for a small start up. here are places you should consider. one, austin, texas. it is quickly becoming a hub for innovation. two, new york city. there is a strong talent pipeline and diverse micro economy. the city that never sleeps is booms with entrepreneurial activity. three, nashville, tennessee. four, boulder, colorado has the highest start up density at six
times the national average. five, seattle, washington. it is developing into a great place to start a new business. >> when we come back, you'll get great advice from experts on leadership skills, cash flow, and starting goals. >> are you nervous about giving a toast at a upcoming wedding? there is a small business for that. our cosmetics line was a hit. the orders were rushing in. i could feel our deadlines racing towards us. we didn't need a loan. we needed short-term funding fast. building 18 homes in 4 ½ months? that was a leap. but i knew i could rely on american express to help me buy those building materials. amex helped me buy the inventory i needed. our amex helped us fill the orders. just like that. another step on the journey.
will you be ready when growth presents itself? realize your buying power at open.com developing the right leadership traits. >> leadership is a very personal thing, i don't think there is a one size fits all leadership style. you need confidence and to inspire action, but how that plays out, whether you're a leader that is like a dictator versus someone that fosters a democracy depends on your environment. are you dealing with chaos? are you dealing with a more stable environment where you're trying to plow the field and make the most of what you have. in order to foster leadership skills, i think the best thing
you can do is learn about yourself flp is a great personality test you can take online for free. what psychologists have found is that your personality does not change over time. once you know who you are, i think the way we lead in an environment. if it is a more stable environment and you can foster people. it seems simple to some people, but for other it's can cause nbc's chanel jones discovered a couple companies that do it all for you. >> i never thought that my sister would find someone who
cared about what other people m sister would find someone that cared as much about what she thought than she didding in she met craig. >> help could be a phone call away. a growing number of businesses that promise not to leave you speechless. they have a specialty. >> half of all of our clients have been wedding vows. >> their company in california is called vow wedding or of an event is like planned out. why not plan this out, too? >> they will also make sure your wedding party isn't at a loss for words for a fee. prices start at $300 for vows, $350 for best man and the father of the bride pays $450 for his speech. >> we're trying to steer people towards the really good if at all possible. >> in new york victoria wellman
of the oratory laboratory does the same. wedding toasts start at $500. >> all i want to do is challenge people's perceptions of what a great speech is. >> her client, kevin harrington hit it big as of founder of as seen on tv. kevin says even entrepreneurs can use a little help choosing their words. he recently hired victoria to put the finishing touches on speeches he and his son would deliver at his older son's wedding. >> as a professional and as the father of my son i want to look good in front of the other side of the family, many of who i have not met yet. first impressions kind of thing are very important. >> the critics who would say, do you know what, come on, this is your son for goodness sake, this is not a business deal, this is not strategy, this is just dad to his son -- >> and ultimately they are helping me craft my talk and my speech, but it's going to end up in my words, in my delivery and my pacing. >> were you surprised because,
wow, you know, like we are ten years apart and -- >> sessions begin with an initial interview followed by a detailed questionnaire, then victoria goes over each draft, fine-tuning delivery. >> do they have to trust you? >> yes, absolutely. that is really at the core of this whole process. kind of like a marriage. you have to -- you have to trust that i know what i'm doing. >> the key to winning over any audience, she says a little bit of heart and a whole lot of humor. >> your job is also to entertain and make people laugh and merry. >> but what if i'm not funny. >> so you call us and you tell me all the amazing stories that you have about your friend and all the things that you want to say and i will make them funny. >> that's how these ghost writers take your stories from chatter to tears. >> i love you both. and let's give them both a toast. god bless you. >> we now have the top two tips
that you need to know who help your small business grow. let's introduce our panel and get their advice. gene marks is the president and founder of the marks group, also a columnist with "the washington post." and serial entrepreneur jen gruber is the founder of the lifestyle brand empowered by jen gruber. let's start with you. >> i'm going to put on my accounting hat, i'm a cpa, just to make sure i'm clear, we talk about improving our cash flow. as we head into the new year and throughout the entire year there are things that business owners should be doing to improve their cash flow. i have the most boring advice in the world for you but something that i see many of my successful clients to and it's to read and read something really boring. what you want to read is your general ledger. who reads their general ledger every day? the guys that i know that are following their cash. your general ledger is the diary of what is going on in your business, every single transaction that's in it. cash coming in. cash going out. every single month at the end of
the month you print out your general ledger. you are not ibm or ge, trust me, it is not that large a printout, you sit there with a pen, take an hour out and go through it and every single month when you read your general ledger you will find something new that will raise your antenna. you will be like why are we paying this guy twice, i don't recognize this person. you will have questions. hopefully they will get answered satisfactorily, sometimes they may not be answered satisfactorily. if you want to keep track of your cash you have to keep track of all the transactions going through your business. the devil is in the details. >> it is amazing how few people or how many people do not look to see what's going on with their financials. >> correct. >> and we had someone on the other day who said -- and i thought this was important -- look, if this is you, don't hide from it. you are not alone. a lot of people don't want to admit it because they feel stupid that they don't really understand their financials, they don't understand where their cash is going in and out. so if you know that you're not -- there are other people in the boat with you, then at least you can get over the shame of it.
>> so many people are saying that's an accounting thing, i don't understand that, it's all about numbers. that's such baloney. it's "your business," man. right? it's your transactions going through there and it's really not that hard. you print out your general ledger and read the transactions going through it. really it's not very difficult to do. i promise you it will have an impact on your cash flow. >> jen. >> well, as everyone is setting new year's goals i think it's important to remember to hit your goals that your network is your net worth. so as you're setting those goals pay attention to the amount of networking you're doing to grow your business. so setting goals like two new high quality networking events a week, making sure when you attend them that you're going with a mindset of making friends and making relationships, not thinking what can i get out of this person, but what can i give this person, what can i offer? also set a goal of how many high quality conversations you're going to have. really forces you out of your comfort zone so that you make
that in the relationship so you can leave feeling like you've really expanded your network and as you're growing your business, and they're growing their businesses, you can communicate and help each other along with the journey into i think business owners go through ups and downs where i'm going out and meeting a lot of people and suddenly you think that is a waste of time, i need to be working on my business so suddenly you hole up and don't meet anyone new. then you go out and meet a lot more people. to your point it's much easier to talk to someone or pitch them when you're not pitching them, when you are friends with them already. >> correct. it makes the relationship so much more valuable and it makes the other person feel so much more comfortable. i'm sure we've all been at events where we feel like people are coming at us. we're like, whoa. this allows more of a natural, hey, what do you do? this is what i do. and you just file it away for later. how you could help that person or how that person might be able to help you. >> do you go to events frequently? >> i go to a lot of events. like four events a week at miami.
>> clearly you do not. >> no. not anywhere near that, but that's good. i admire that. >> this counts as your high value network. >> we're networking here. >> thanks both of you for your advice. it's really helpful. >> thank you. >> this week's your biz selfie comes from demetri thompson the owner of the sweet pea pet spa in engelwood, colorado. you can never go wrong with a picture with cute dogs and a baby in it. now why don't you pick up your cellphone and send it to us at email@example.com or tweet it to us at @msnbcyourbiz. use the #yourbizselfie. thank you for joining us today. we would love to hear from you. if you have any questions or comments about today's show send us an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. you can also go to our website open forum.com/yourbusiness. we've posted all of the segments from today, plus a lot more. don't forget to connect with us on all of our digital and social
media platforms as well. next week the story of a survivor who has beaten the odds and kept his family business going in an industry that's been ravaged by the internet. >> if i can get every customer within -- within ten miles to buy their camera here and have their pictures printed here to take a photo class with us, that's enough for me. i'm not greedy. >> his secret is simple and it works. until then, i'm j.j. ramberg and remember, we make your business, our business. our cosmetics line was a hit. the orders were rushing in. i could feel our deadlines racing towards us. we didn't need a loan. we needed short-term funding fast. building 18 homes in 4 ½ months? that was a leap. but i knew i could rely on american express to help me buy those building materials.
amex helped me buy the inventory i needed. our amex helped us fill the orders. just like that. another step on the journey. will you be ready when growth presents itself? realize your buying power at open.com i'm dara brown with the hour's top stories. a big night for bernie sanders in three states holding democratic caucuses saturday. nbc news projects the vermont senator will claim victory over hillary clinton in alaska by a large margin. and the same in washington state, which has 118 delegates up for grabs. an nbc news now projects bernie sanders the winner of hawaii's caucus with 71% of the vote. a quick look now where both candidates stand with delegates. hillary clinton still holding a sizable lead over sanders. sanders is calling his wins the western comeback. he says he expects to close the delegate gap with clinton as the campaign moves to the more liberal northeastern states including her home state of new york.