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tv   Your Business  MSNBC  April 17, 2016 4:30am-5:01am PDT

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what's recommended for me. x1 makes it easy to find what you love. call or go online and switch to x1. only with xfinity. good morning, coming up, we're talking trash. and new york's legendary plump rock clothing store makes a dramatic location change, but survives thanks to near customer buyer. when the customer is right and wrong. that is all coming up on your business.
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hi, everyone, welcome to "your business" the show dedicated to helping your small business grow. when a commercial e-mails with a complaint, do you ask questions, or do you just assume the customer is always right? the owner of one company says if there is a actual problem, it
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should be corrected, but he doesn't always assume there is an issue. he is a firm believer that the customer is not always right. >> it's nasty, smelly, dirty. if people cannot think about what i do, i'm doing a good job. >> people hate their garbage, and kevin atkinson snows it. >> i knew all along that owning my own garbage collection company is something i always wanted to do. >> as part of texas pride disposal, he says his brand like so many others have an imak problem. >> it is tough to garner respect for what we do. as long as it goes away, people don't think about it. >> he needed a strategy to fight this perception, so he and his staff focus on their can
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clients. >> without a happy customer, i have nothing. >> it is all about the customer. if they're not happy, we're not happy. >> but there is one part of the texas pride service philosophy that may leave some small business owners scratching their heads. >> they're not always right. they are most of the time, but certain instances they approach the boundaries. >> they're not always 100% honest with us. they're just really trying to take advantage of the system. and if it's garbage, people just want it to go away. >> we'll get someone out there, just leave it out there. >> so every time a call or e-mail comes in, kevin is curious about the nature of the complaint and who is making it. here is one example. >> when you get a customer that calls and says your guys didn't
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pick up my garbage, all right, well that's what we do, day in and day out, i can't see why they would have just missed yours. are you sure it was out on time, something that we're supposed to pick up or something that is not hazardous. >> most calls are not bad ones. >> yes, ma'am, how can i help you today. >> nine times out of ten it is a misunderstanding about what they can and can't put out for the trash. >> kevin won't assume the customer is right and that is for the sake of his team. >> they're a million miles and hour as it is. he says i don't care what you do, just fix it. it would just be exhausting. >> kevin has a you peek perspective.
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he knows them and he trusts them. >> i have done it before, it was the hardest job i have ever had in my live. >> they set a high bar. kevin doesn't want his clients to have a single reason to complain. >> i hold my guys to a higher standard. we do our fwoes be as customer oriented as possible. >> everyone is series about these guidelines. >> if there is loose trash that blew out before we got there, you fik up, you leave containers back where they belong, not halfway in the yard. >> if there is a problem with the trash being picked up, customers are notified. >> we have a yellow tag with ten reasons why we didn't pick up your drash from we didn't pay your bill, to the container is
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overweight. the yellow tags are a big defle deflector. >> random quality checks are a reminder. >> we do route observations on the crew. making sure the drivers and the workers do what's important. >> pictures are a key component to the service model. >> a pick schur worth 1,000 words. i have a picture, i'm looking at it, it is proof of what is really there. >> employees submit pictures to the office if they see a potential problem. clients are encouraged to send in pictures, too. >> if you feel justified in your complaint, and you send a picture, i'm less skeptical. >> the team tries to resolve problems quickly. >> i can text a super visor right away, and they will turn around and go back.
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we correct our mistakes in less than a day. >> and there are plenty of variables that can affect the route. >> it can be different crews, weekend, weekday, sunny, rainy. >> the procedures in place are working, the regional provider has 32,000 customers and that number continues to climb. >> we know where we stand, we know what our policies are. the customer may not always agree with it, but we can come to a happy medium. >> complaints are at a minimum and the staff is happy, too. >> kevin says his service plan will remain the same. he is proud of the business and he is confidence that it is well situationed for perfect roads. >> a great service, a great product. be responsive, be attentive, make the customer your priority.
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at the end of the day, know that the customer is not always right. as much as we may try, as small business owners we cannot always please everyone. so how do you handle customer relations when the customer is wrong or unreasonable. we have the founder of a beyond community and author of "zombie loyalist." and karen roth is a recovering investment banker. i love this piece. my favorite part is the pictures because you cannot argue with the picture. >> there's no reason to not document everything. we carry so many devices on us that can do that and it solved problems before they become
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bigger problems. >> i'm looking at a business like this, and i'm not sure how much choils you have -- choice in choosing your service provider. i think if you have different type of business you can have the picture but you can still anger the customer. so you need to be very, very careful. if important to you, it doesn't matter if they're wrong if there is more competition in your market. i think for other businesses you need to be very careful about that. >> that is a good point. saying we'll take care of it this time for you, but try not
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to do it again. if you just say we'll take care of it this time, they will think the world of you. and it takes the sting out of it. you screwed up, but we're going to handle it any way. >> one of the things very powerful for a small business is to break up with customers who are not worth it. they take up so many time and resources they don't have that influence. it is okay if you have the one or two customer that's is draining your staff time, bringing down moral. just cut them loose, say it's not us, it's you. you need to go away now. >> and you don't have your customers only, you have your
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employees, right? >> yes, if you have employees that don't care, that are not m impassioned about what they do, you have to treat them well. they're your first line of defense, caring, and empathy. it is not going to triple down to the employees. >> it is about that culture, and they are the bam bass doors. so if they're creating a great experience, if they just smile with you and say hey, how is your day going, something like that can make all of the difference. it is empowering the employees. they're touching the customers and it makes a huge difference as well. >> and we trust you. we trust you. >> i every several blow i have that you will never be fired for trying to fix a problem. >> i don't care what their mess
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may says, everyone's job is to make the customer happy. >> it's garbage collection. if the garbage is gone, you're happy. >> and your garbage can't smell great -- >> yeah, exactly. thank you, guys. in new york city, loyal customers were jolted when they discovered their favorite shore was moving. it was a fixture for 41 years. like many small businesses facing rising rents around the nation, the store was forced to relocate. like the store itself, it's manager and head buy sere a survivor. he is one of the chief reasons they fans flock there. after spending time with him, we
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understand why. >> the biggest selling jackets right now are the plaid. >> amazing. really amazing. but this jacket, killing it. current but gothic and rock and roll. >> meet ray goodman and jimmy web. >> this is nonstop, nonstop, boys and girls version. nonstop, best fabric ever. >> ray is the owner, he bought it in 1975, renamed it, and have cull tra vated it's ultra hip rock star loving identity. >> i has always been into clothing, fashion, and rock and roll, and it was a way to put the two together. >> jimmy is the key buyer, primary sales man, and number
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one spokesman that makes everything -- >> it's leopard with a white motorcycle jacket, it's red plaid, silver star, something watched dirty, a stud, pink and green, and a leather jacket, and you put it on and unzip it and it's how you feel. >> when it comes to picking merchandise like this, he is a punk fashion genius. >> i need more understanding, jewelry, leather pants -- >> he knows his customers, the stars, the fans, and more important than that, you might say he is his own best customer and that gives him a huge edge as a buyer. >> can you tell me what the top five things are, i will probably not buy it. i want to stay ahead, i want to add to the future, not be stuck.
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>> we are unique in our merchandise mix and what we sell here. what works for a lot of people doesn't work for us, and what works for us doesn't work for a lot of other people. >> recently they took off to attend to week long fashion bender showcase called magic. in las vegas. they hit the convention floor in new merchandise. >> no, we have so many shops, we don't need that. not for men. >> so rock and roll, so styley, so urban, so girl, so buy, it's beautiful. >> this is beautiful. how much is it. this is really good. very jimmy. you know what i mean? it's beautiful but it is not just us. >> jimmy is a lifestyle.
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and he can relate to a 17-year-old kit or a 60-year-old guy. >> don king says jimmy's relationship with his customers is not typical of most buyers and that's what makes him so good at his job. >> he is the guy on the floor, the front line. a lot of buyers are behind a desk working based on numbers. so they're not so intimate about what their customers are looking for. >> jimmy has been successful because of his style, abilities, combination, personality, his street smarts, and it was a match made in heaven really. >> you're going to make me cry happy thankful tears. i just want to make people happy and make dreams come true and this is what i'm known for. that's what i do every day.
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>> customers may be downloading your app, but are they using it? how to get people hooked and engaged. >> keep your customer from deleting your app by keeping to a a sleek and simple design. two, create a loyalty program. three, provide mobile app discounts, and take advantage of cliff notifications to let people know about the app exclusive incentives. four, hack into user psychology. people like to achieve things and share moments of success with their friends. incorporate features that keep this in mind. five, add gamification efforts. let users set goals and track progress through your app. this will increase engagement and get them to come back for
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more. the major league baseball season is under way much to the delight of not only the fans, but small businesses that make a living with products and services related to our national past times. at one time, they only had one choice when it came to their bats. that was the famous louisville slugger. let's see if peter and carroll want to play ball with him. >> hello, i'm david chandler and i make the world's gratest baseball bat. don't take my word alone for it. look to bryce harper, or rookie of the year chris bryant, they will tell you these are the greatest bats ever made. one of the beautiful points is not only do we make the for major league players and all-star players, but also
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little legal, high school, and college players as well. the same quality. the chandler bat looked different, feels different, and performs different. i'm looking for someone to make a investment for a 25% stake. >> good job with that pitch and congratulations on everything so far. we are ready to get out there. okay, i have -- i have to give this back to you? because i like this bat. >> you're not seeing this one again. two numbers. first, one to ten how did he do on the product, second how did he have to do on the pitch. >> i love how you came right out
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and said this is the world's greatest bat. that got my attention. but i don't count. these guys do. let's start with you. >> working nine to five here. this is an amazing product here. you proved that you really big names using it. people in major league baseball are not using your bat because it's not the best bat ever. it has to be or they're not going to use it. the challenge with the pitch is you didn't give me enough scope about the business. just saying -- if you're asking for $1 million and you're working with mlb, how big is it? how much have you sold? this is big with louisville slugger, what about the supply of the wood. what are the issues around the business. i don't any you got into enough details on the pitch. i think your pitch could be improved even though i loved the
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product. >> can i having played, makes you want to go out and play again. knowing a little bit about baseball and behind the scenes in baseball, everything is licensing. and you didn't talk about sort of your connection to mlb, the connection to licensing. you know, mlb is one of those massive entities that could say eh, and you're out. i need to know the strength of that. i also need a little more in the way of numbers. i want to know numbers. where is the market? talk to me about numbers of kids every year entering baseball, little league, things like that. where are the deals you've already done for supplying and things like that? >> quick question for both of you. would you be interested to talk to him some more? >> 100%. but when you have a sizzling product like this, something that is so beautiful that actually feels so great in your hands, a lot of times you can skate by on not having such a great pitch.
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but at the same time you do have that one opportunity, so if you're going to sell, whether it's to me, to peter, to mlb, you've got to bring it and you've got to have all the ducks in a row. but i definitely -- >> peter, would you? >> i gave you 30 seconds. that is what you gave back to me qualifies for at least another minute. yeah. >> the reason i ask, though, is because this brings up an interesting point which both of these people are interested in baseball. >> right. >> and so, you automatically start here instead of here with them. and so, as you're going to pitch people, if you can find someone who is interested in your world. >> right. >> everyone's interested in finance. so if they're not interested in baseball, hit them with numbers. >> all right. >> hit them in pitching. i feel like there are so many -- >> i felt so much more powerful. yeah, what else you got? >> how does this do with taking out people? >> have an extra -- whole extra layer of -- >> off the show. >> all right. well thanks so much. this was great advice. thank you. good luck with everything. >> i appreciate that. >> thanks for stopping by and
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pitching. now if any of you have a product or a service and you want feedback from our elevator pitch panel just like you saw on your chances of getting interested investors, please send us an e-mail. send it to, and in that e-mail make sure to tell us what your company does, how much money you're trying to raise, and then what you intend to do with that money. we look forward to reading all of those pitches and seeing some of you here on the show. when we come back, what do you do when the market you're targeting isn't responding? and carol tells us why you should be practicing what she calls cash flow yoga. our cosmetics line was a hit. the orders were rushing in. i could feel our deadlines raci towards us. we didn't need a loan. we needed short-term funding fast.
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building 18 homes in 4 ½onths? 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 if the market that you plan on targeting in your business plan is not responding to your product and services, do you re-evaluate the plan or do you target a new market? >> well that's always a great question. and it may not be an either/or sort of scenario. i certainly wouldn't want to guess and just try one thing after something already didn't work. to me the answer is always find out, know what you don't know. so i would invest in some research, talk to the people that we've been targeting, see why it hasn't been working, do a little product testing, see if
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there's any possibility to align those together a little stronger. it might just take a little tweak before you throw the baby out with the bath water having spent money going ahead and targeting someone already. but you might find out that the product is completely wrong for any market. maybe it's already saturated. so you want to invest in a kiv way. or the target might be oversaturated. so maybe there is a way to keep the product and move it somewhere else. either way, again, i wouldn't want to guess. i'd want to know. >> we now have the top two tips you need to know to help your small business grow. peter and carol are back with us one last time. all right peter. let a's start with you. >> number one is we need to listen more to our customers. if we listen to what they're saying and listen to what's out there and what's being said about us when there's not a problem and fix things and make things better and just reach out, when there is a problem it will be a lot easier to deal with. >> this comes up probably every single show, every conference that i go to, every discussion, why aren't people doing it? we know we're supposed to?
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>> because we don't -- businesses still have a hard time seeing it from the profit center. so my favorite story, i love telling, barry diller when he started paramount pictures reached out to ten people in his rolodex every single day. just random people. he took paramount from close to bankruptcy to the first billion dollar studio in holly bad because when you had a problem, when you had a new movie or actor you wanted to sign to a deal you thought of barry, he was top of mind. there's a lot of money to be made in just reaching out when you have nothing to sell. >> i think it's so important because people think that loyalty is transactional. if i give you a point for dollar and it's not, it's all about the relationship. so i could not agree more with that. >> all right, carol. >> so i think one of the biggest challenges that small businesses have is managing the cash flow in their business. they look at their income statement, they say, i don't understand. i just sold 10,000 dollars why do i not have any money in my bank account? so i advocate practicing something that i like to call cash flow yoga. so if you like to do this with me.
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it's cash in quickly, and out very slowly. let's all do this together. cash in quickly, and out slowly. so how do you get the cash in more quickly? you can do things like preselling your product, even if you just get a deposit or if you can get all of it up front, that's a fantastic way to get the cash in quickly. you can sell gift certificates. you can offer your clients a discount if they pay early or maybe an extra service if they pay early. that's getting the cash in quickly. then on putting it out slowly you want to do the exact opposite with your vendors. you want to take every last moment you can without making them angry to pay them. you want to use your credit cards wisely. pay them with your credit card, get an extra 30 days to have to pay it. so if you get that cas in quickly and put it out slowly, you're going to be in a much better position to run your business >> simple yet incredibly smart advice. we remember in 2008, 2009 how many companies, good companies, that still had good business
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models and customers closed down simply because they didn't have cash. >> yep. >> all right. thank you great advice from both of you. this week's your biz selfie comes from maryland, the company redefine your mind. they make what they describe as vegan active wear with positive messaging for the cruelty free lifestyle community. that's a mouthful. but we love these selfies. so, pick of you your cell phone and take a developee of you and your business, and e-mail it to us at or tweet it to @msnbcyourbiz. and please do not forget to use the #yourbizselfie. thank you so much for joining us today. if you'd like to connect with us, please send us an e-mail to yourbusiness kth or you can go to our website, it's when you get there you'll see we've posted all of the segments from today plus a whole lot more. and of course you can reach us on any of our digital and social
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media platforms as well. next week a company that struggled for years before getting traction built an online marketplace that offers a solution for overworked and underpaid teachers. >> they make some money. they get some recognition for the work they've done. and they also get to know that they're having real impact in the classrooms. because it's important to remember that if you're a teacher you're a teacher first and an entrepreneur second. >> how teachers pay teachers or tpt helps educators become entrepreneurs. and sometimes millionaires. till then i'm j.j. ramberg and remember, we make 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.
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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 donald trump's war with his own party. >> it's a rigged system, folks. the republican system is a rigged system. >> it gets distracting and really isn't something that most people give a darn about. >> will the bad blood cost him at the convention? also aftershooks from the brooklyn brawl. >> i do question her judgment. >> senator sanders did call me unqualified. i've been called a lot of things in my life. that was a first. >> could it change the outcome of the new york primary? and is there any hope for unity in the fall? also, why bill clinton's legacy is a mixed bag for his wife. and our gotcha on


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