tv Your Business MSNBC September 3, 2016 2:30am-3:01am PDT
good morning. coming up on "your business," it takes faith to trust your customers. how do you do that when you're dealing with accused criminals? the tools this successful couple used to rain a bail bonds business. also, why this ceo hires recovering addicts to run his booming computer company. we'll have that and a lot more coming up next on "your business".
hi, everyone. i'm jj ramberg. welcome to "your business," the show dedicated to helping your small business survive and grow. trust is key to any business relationship and deciding whom to trust is never easy. when all of your clients have been arrested before you have even seen them, it makes it harder, as you can imagine. this week, we find out how a mom and pop bail bonds business makes that difficult decision. ♪ >> tell him to take a deep breath, okay?
we'll get him out of jail. >> she brings a gentle manner into an often harsh business, bail bonding. >> a family came into my office. the wife said my husband has been arrested. i said okay. sit down. let me help you. >> gale is the owner of lacy o'malley bail bonds in seattle, washington. she started there over 30 years ago as secretary. and then, 15 years later, when the owners retired, she took over. >> felony harassment. >> danny was a retired u.s. deputy marshal of washington state when gail invited him to join her company. >> when he retired i said what are you going to do all day? he said i don't know. i said, how about coming to work for me? >> a year later they got married. >> i got a great lesson from my wife the first week i was working here. a client called in and i said to gail, i have a crook on the line. she said, they're not crooks.
they're clients. that's the only time that ever happened. >> today gail is president and danny is vice president. today their company bonds their clients out of jail so they can return home while they wait for their court dates. >> even though a person has been accused of a crime they allegedly committed, they still have rights. part of those rights is right to bail, which is what i do. >> we normally will hear from the client calling from jail. we will ask them, who can help you on the outside with collateral. >> we require two things, full premium, 10% of whatever the bail is and collateral for the full amount. >> finance a loan isn't enough to qualify for their services. >> i don't want to get into the ones that will be high-risk. >> one of the biggest is choosing clients who could trusted to return to court and face charges as promised. >> i want to know who i'm bonding out of jail, the
families connected to them. >> with thousands of dollars at stake, a customer who runs away can be aggravating and costly. >> if they don't appear in the courtroom, the next thing we do is locate that person. if we can't do that, we don't find them, then we pay our forfeitture to the court and that's out of our pocket. >> most small businesses don't deal exclusively with criminal suspects as customers. nevertheless, every business owner face the same question. how do i know this client is going to be trustworthy? >> gail is wonderful with this. she'll say have you been in touch with your parents recently? well, no, i -- we're kind of estranged. we don't get along very well. that's a red flag. >> the red flag i listen for, this they're hesitant giving me personal information. if they're uncomfortable with letting us know where they live, where they work, that's a red flag. >> their next question is inevitably, are your
grandparents alive, your grandmother alive? yes, she is. how are you with grandma? >> i haven't seen her much. grandma is the last one to give up on that kid. if grandma is not around, they'll probably be out the door. >> the green flag is connection with family, friends, people who still believe in them. >> they call it the circle of love. it's a simple and powerful formula which they use to screen clients. >> stacey, my name is denny baron. i'm in downtown seattle. i am calling on behalf of your friend. >> i am going to e-mail the documents to you and you'll take them to your grandmother's home for signature? okay. great. >> find the circle of love around a person. what that means is, when that person comes to the door, they make contact with us, who is it that is going to guarantee that they come back to their court appearances? because they love them. >> the flip side of this process is the important scale gail and
denny place on making sure their clients trust them, enough to follow their advice. >> it is critical they trust us. it's from beginning to end. if we give good information, if we seem to care, and we do, that compassion, that builds trust faster than anything. having answers for the family, the family that's never been through this before builds trust. >> good afternoon, your honor. >> how are you doing today? >> good and gail. >> she's doing well. thank you. >> everybody knows them and respects them. i think their word is often taken without any question. >> john henry brown is a seattle based criminal defense lawyer. he says he has seen how the trust they build -- >> i appreciate your help on it. >> -- gives gail and denny leverage throughout the court system. >> they can also get somebody out of jail faster than i can, faster than a judge can. >> given the premium they put on
trust, it's no surprise they turn away many more clients than they accept. >> probably out of every person that would call, eight people that call in, we'll write one bond out of those eight people. >> i need to fill you in after you left the courtroom. >> they say they never even read the police reports about the people they bond. >> of my 15 years in this business i read one police report. i don't need to know the allegations. i know what they are. my wife doesn't read police reports either. >> we don't invite them to our homes. it's a business. as a small business owner you keep it adds a business and it will take care of you. >> trust is a big part of rick russen's business as well. the owner of coast to coast computer problems hires employees who are also recovering from substance abuse.
he says facing adversity can pave the way to being successful. >> well, you know, i kind of came up in a very dysfunctional family, a lot of alcohol abuse, violence. annual sales are right around 60 million right now. we currently employee 240 people. not only was i struggling with drugs and alcohol, i was suicidal as well. in september of 1985, at halloween party, i was defending a keg of beer, because that's worth defending your life over. i was actually stabbed during that party and ended up at the ucla trauma center with emergency surgery. lacerated liver.
should have died. the rest is history. i've been sober for over 30 years now. i think probably one of the reasons i was willing to gamble is because people were willing to gamble is because people took gambles on me. there is well over 400 years of sobriety in the organization. >> when i came over here, he was not sober. i was going through a divorce at the time. what i found is from working here and being around other people that were sober, and seeing the destruction that alcohol is causing my life, you know, i started to look more into it and have been sober for about nine years now. >> october 1986. i was 23 years old. i'm going to be 30 years sober this year. rick allows me to bring in the people who need a second chance. we hired a lot of felons. even five duis would be considered felonies. they may not get a job anywhere
else. if you give people chance they will clean up real fast for a job like this. we had a few people that didn't make it but as a whole my percentage is pretty good. >> it doesn't get any worse than me. i wasn't in a position to judge where people are coming from or what their pasts were lining. what i learned somebody who has those kind of challenges in life generally they're intelligent people. if you can channel that energy out of negative, into positive, what you end up with is a very loyal, very dedicated, hard-working person with a lot of drive who wants to succeed. >> the federal government has $2.5 billion it is dying to give to small businesses. every year. that's right. that is just money waiting to get in the hands of small business owners. now, here to tell us about how to access that funding is mark walsh, the head of investment and innovation at the small business administration where he oversees all sbic, sbir, accelerator and other growth activities. with him is the head of a
company that received early stage funding, nina tanden is the co-founder of epibone, a company that is growing bone. what an interesting company. we'll focus on the funding. let's parse out sbic, sbir. >> sbic is a fund of funds. we have 4 billion a year that we invest in venture and private equity funds. those dollars are managed by those folks by small businesses around america. sbir is cash grants for companies that solve a problem. we find companies like our star here, nina, that solve a government problem or have fresh technology or new platform that the government is interested in. it's nimble, rapid procurement with your tax dollars making sense. >> those are grants. >> nondilutive, nonequity, cash
grants. we give cash prizes, 50,000 bucks a year to accelerators around the u.s. doing great j s jobs. our last contest ended about a week ago. we're excited about the demographic distribution of our sk sell raters. it's startup capital, growth capital. >> how big are the grants. >> for a star like nina, a couple hundred thousand dollars in phase one which she received and then phase two, 1 million to $2 million which epibone got as well. >> tell us about this, how you found it. how did you get the money? >> the program is phenomenal when you look globally at what governments could do to support small business innovation. it is a stellar program. in our case, we even won a grant from nyced. new york city economic development. it's a grant essentially.
you propose milestones, things you plan to do with the funds. if the milestones make sense and the preliminary data you show line up, you have a good chance of scoring a small grant. that's the first phase one grants are to help decide whether or not -- help you make a stage gate decision, do i want to go forward with something, yes, no, then from there you can take the business further. it's a great way to derisk a technology. >> are there rsps out there, request for proposals? how do i know if my company is the kind of company that would qualify? >> bingo. we have a site, sbir.gov which i challenge all of your watchers to go to. you can do a search there. the science foundation, national institutes of health, department of defense, there will be an rfp, a description of what they need. if you match it, hit the bid, we map it, check it out, give some
dough to make sure you can validate and prove it and then introduce you to your first customer, department of defense, department of agriculture. it's a holistic way to get you started. >> you're not working with the government in your early stages. you're focusing your technology, developing a market like you normally would. later on down the road, if it works, you'll be introduced? >> in our case our first and second sbir grants were from the national institutes of health. that was very much lined up with what we were planning to do with the company anyway. it was great. we got a chance to stretch our investor dollars because we were using nondiluted funding toward those milestones. the third grant is with the department defense. that leads to other potential opportunities for us because we can collaborate with hospitals that are associated, for example, for clinical trials down the line. there's a whole host of opportunities that open up once you're kind of in the system. >> yours is very specific
technology, right? >> yes. >> scientific and is it all about technology? >> no. far from it. as a matter of fact, the department of education has given through us, grants for games that help kids learn new languages. the department of agriculture funded a game online like sim city for farmers. for startup farmers, this game from the department of education and agriculture through the sbr program is showing first nine farmers how to succeed. it ranges far and wide. i would argue, i'm biased. it's one of the best uses of tax dollars around. it shows innovation can work. >> it absolutely makes sense, no matter what kind of company you are, you may as well go on there, type in a few key words and see if there's funds waiting for you. thank you both so much for talking about the program and sharing your story. really appreciate it. >> thank you. >> thanks for having us. there's no point in having a company blog if the content you put out is boring and doesn't help your readers.
that's why this week we give you some useful ways you can produce compelling material that will help expand your brand's reach, courtesy of yff magazine. one, understand your audience. keep away from lingo and stick with language they use. also, write in a tone your readers connect with. two, offer helpful tips your viewers will want to share. give them tools to easily row post to social media. in addition, identify influencers in your industry who can further expand the reach of your con ten. three, don't forget about pictures and videos. graphics are also a great way to make boring statistics interesting. four, add a personalized touch to your blog. talk about your own experiences. and use creative tools leak story bird and close cover to spice up your posts. five, end with a clear call to action. your content should conclude with what you want your readers to do, whether that's subscribe
to your company's newsletter or connect on a specific social media account. we all remember kathy ireland has an icon from the '80s. the supermodel turn mogul is now one of the biggest names in business. she's the ceo of kathy ireland worldwide, a global empire worth more than $8 billion. she sat down with nbc's jenna bush hager to share lessons she learned along the way that can help small business owners. >> i'm kathy ireland, ceo of kathy ireland worldwide. nothing is impossible. if you can dream it, you can do it. her big dreams helped launch a global empire worth over $2 billion. >> kathy ireland for window world. >> kathy ireland weddings. >> kathy ireland home collection. >> her "sports illustrated" cover in 1989 is still the best selling issue of all time. but she was a business woman long before she was ceo of her own company. at 8, she became the first paper
girl in santa barbara, california. >> my first day on the job i had a gentleman who was standing at the end of his driveway. he began yelling at me, what are you doing here? this is a boy's job. we have breaking news at the hour. we'll talk to president obama making comments in china about climate change. >> central to that effort. over the past few years, our joint leadership on climate has been one of the most significant drivers of global action. in 2014, president shi and i-- president xi and i stood together. we started an intense diplomatic effort to put other countries on the same course. in 2015 we stood together in washington to lay out additional actions our two countries would take along with a road map for
ultimately reaching a strong agreement in paris. this year, in 2016, we meet again. to commit formally to joining the agreement ahead of schedule, creating the prospect of the agreement might enter into force ahead of schedule as well. the united states and china are taking that step today, as our two nations formally join the paris agreement. of course we could not have done this extraordinary work without the strong support of the secretary general of the united nations, mr. ban ki-moon who has been an outstanding leader on this issue as well. now, just as i believe the paris agreement will ultimately prove to be a turning point for our planet, i believe that history will judge today's efforts as pivotal. for the agreement to enter into force, this has already been stated, 55 countries
representing 55% of global emissions must formally join. together, the u.s. and china represent about 40% of global emissions. so today we are moving the world significantly closer to the goal that we have set. we have a saying in america that you need to put your money where your mouth is. and when it comes to combatting climate change, that's what we're doing, both the united states and china. we're leading by example. as the world's two largest economies and two largest submitters, our entrance into this agreement continues the momentum of paris and to give the rest of the world confidence, whether developed or developing countries, that a low carbon future is where the world is heading. of course, the paris agreement alone won't solve the climate crisis. but it does establish an enduring framework that enables companies to ratchet down their
carbon emissions over time and set more ambitious target as technology advances. that means full implementation of this agreement will help delay or avoid some of the worst consequences of climate change and pave the way for more progress in the coming years. this is the single best chance that we have to deal with a problem that could end up transforming this planet in a way that makes it very difficult for us to deal with all the other challenges that we may face. president xi and i intend working together in the months ahead to make sure our countries lead on climate. three months ago in california we resolved to work together to come up with a global agreement on hfcs. we're weeks away from final negotiations. we have a chance to reach a global agreement to curb emissions from the global airline industry, one that actually has the support of
industry. today we're putting forward road maps to get both negotiations done this year. on each of these issues, the united states and china have now developed a significant record of leadership on one of the most important issues of our time. our teams have worked together and developed a strong relationship that should serve us very well and despite our differences on other issues, we hope that our willingness to work together on this issue will inspire greater ambition and greater action around the world. yes, diplomacy can be difficult and progress on the world stage can be slow, but together, we're proving that it is possible. as reflecting before we came in here with secretary general ban ki-moon about the meeting that we had in copenhagen, in my first year of my presidency. which was quite chaotic.
and i think it is fair to say that, if you had looked at the outcome of that meeting, the prospects of us being here today, the prospects of a paris agreement, seemed very far away. and yet here we are. which indicates that where there's a will and there's a vision and where countries, like china and the united states, are prepared to show leadership, and to lead by example, it is possible for us to create a world that is more secure, more prosperous and more free than the one that was left for us. so to all of you that have participated in this extraordinary effort, thank you very much. thank you to president xi. thank you mr. secretary general. >> that is the president. he's addressing climate change. he's in china. the u.s. formally announced it
will join the emissions cutting agreement reached in paris last year joining china in that agreement. right now we'll return to our programming. it's like 160 million people watch that chewbacca mom video. >> i watched it. >> the company is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars. should puts on a chewbacca mask and gets attention. every company, big and small tea sheets the example. you go to twitter, periscope, have your own tv show, once a month provide some advice. interview a customer. show something off. do a demonstration, good out on site. you can come up with content to do. you can stream it live, save it and put it on youtube or vimio. >> how do you get people to watch it? >> the reality is true. there will be three people that will watch your show.
you, your mom. your mom watches everything you do and some guy that will stumble on to it. it's not just a live broadcast. it's something to talk about before and after and then again, you'll save it and you'll put it on youtube and given time you'll start building up a library of these videos and it will attract more people to your company. so you've got to embrace video in 2016. it's a big thing. you and i should have our own show on dating and relationship advice. two hours once a month. invite all questions. >> it is going to be huge. >> fantastic. >> you're up. >> i would watch that show for sure. >> of course. we have lots to share. >> my tip for small business owners is don't trust your gut. it might be different than what you hear most the time, trust your intuition, which you have to do sometimes. i have four colossal, miserable go to market failures that could have been avoided had i used data to make decisions versus just what i thought would work. my tip for a small business owner, we've done it with many
and it works, go to a white board, draw a line down the middle. on one side put what's working and on the other side, put what's not working. make your list. here's the kicker. at the end of it, you have to prove it. what data do you have to actually support your hypothesis that it's working or not working? if you don't have data, you've got to get it in offered to make sure it's working or not. it's this simpleple. if it's not working, it's okay. stop, iterate and try something else. if it is working, continue to invest in it until you have the point of diminishing returns. >> i think it's good to think about that in your staff meetings as well. not only not trusting your gut but don't trust what somebody says without them having data to prove it. because you hear all the time, we got a lot of e-mails on that or we got a lot of something. what does a lot of mean. a lot of may not actually be a lot of. >> you have to get the data in order to know whether or not it worked. if you don't have the ability to capture the data, put some level of infrastructure in to know. ask difficult questions.
trust but verify. >> thanks to both of you. sifting through all the apps and websites can be around arduous task. we asked our viewers which they find most useful. >> one tool i use is agile crm. it's an app and website. it allows you to coordinate customer service, projects, calendar, everything you're offering business wise. and it's been great for me. i don't know all the ins and outs of it yet but i look forward to learning more. >> we just started a new pos system. it integrates our whole point of sale system with customer management and the whole team is able to use it from the beginning of the process all the way until we install the customer's project. >> one of the technologies we use at especially here is
furkot. a free technology that allows you to map out the best route between any destination, any city nationwide. we use it and especially here, we're doing a road trip in the fall where we want to reach out to the curly haired community and we want to have suggestions where to go. it allows you to send out your route via e-mail or publish it online through social media. it's good for any business that wants to have face-to-face communication. this week's your business selfie comes from leia love. with a ba in business administration and a docktorate in professional cosmetology, she provides a wide view of beauty service and knows the importance of maintaining a great blog. pick up your cell phone and send us a selfie at msnbc.com. tweet it to @msnbcyourbiz, use
the #yourbizselfie. thank you so much for joining us today. we would love to hear from you. if you have any questions or comments about today's show, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. please lass head on over to our website, openforum.com/yourbusiness. we've posted all the segments from today's show plus a whole lot more. connect with us on digital and social media platforms as well. we look forward to seeing you next time. until then, i'm jj ramberg and remember, we make your business our business. brought to you by american express open. visit openforum.com for ideas to help you grow your business. all i could think about was our deadlines racing towards us. a loan would take too long. we needed money, now. my amex card helped me buy the ingredients to fill the orders. opportunities don't wait around,
so you have to be ready for them. find out how american express cards and serves can help prepare you for growth at open.com. the 1992 democratic convention was held in madison square garden in new york city. 1992 had been a tough democratic primary that year. there were a lot of contesteds, for lack of a better word, a lot of competition in the democratic party. because the democratic party really felt like there was a vulnerable incumbent to run against. they decided who they wanted to run at the democratic convention in new york city in 1992, they made it official, their candidate to run against george h.w. bush would be bill clinton. and conventions of course are largely scripted affairs, but you can't control everything,