tv Your Business MSNBC January 7, 2017 2:30am-3:01am PST
hi, there. welcome to your business. the show dedicated to helping your small business grow. move aside, weird al, there is a whole new generation playing the accordion. a lot of that has to do with one small business owner and the videos he puts on youtube. he's doing all he can to make this old school instrument hip again. efforts have people from all over the world flocking to his three story accordion shop in
philadelphia. it's a packed house at an open mic night at philadelphia. instead of tuning a guitar or running through vocal scales, they're making sure their accordions are ready for the moment in the spotlight. the accordion is an old school sound finding a modern audience thanks to michael, founder of liberty bellows. >> i decided i was going to take a 19th century craft and try to bring it to the new plmillenniu >> in high school, he discovered his dad's accordion in the attic. >> nothing interested me until i picked up an accordion. >> as you imagine, finding support for new passion wasn't easy. not many ennewsiests around. >> hard to get information.
i realized early on there's not a lot out there, but there probably would be if they were easy to find and there were more resources out there. >> that thought stuck with him. he launch add small side business from his apartment. i started earning a little money on the side by teaching and just doing very basic repairs then starting a small inventory and next thing you know, i had a business and there was a big demand and if anything, less supply of people doing it and people doing anything about accordion. >> so much demand he was able to open a store in 2009, which he grew out of three years later. today, liberty bellows has three stories of old accordions, new accordions, repair, lessons. basically, if you care about the awo aca accordi accordion, liberty bellows is
the place. >> until you've worked on 100 accordions, you don't have enough basic skills to work a tune-up. over time, we found that as we build up a reputation, we were good at repairing things. >> that word of mouth got celebrities d celebrities coming by. >> bruce springsteen's players. >> not only did he want to create a place for accordion lovers like him, he wanted to show what the instrument was all about. >> wanted people to be able to find us easily. drop in. might never thought of an accordion. >> i used to apply it and always interested in learning to play the accordion and one day i was like walk in and see what it's about. >> michael has his sights set high. >> it's what liberty bellows is doing online that's getting
international attention. post videos of all the instruments on youtube. >> instead of trying to get one big viral video, we said let's have a lot of little videos. since then we've had about 3,000 videos and millions of hits on the website and youtube. that was the hardest thing for people when they buy a used instrument, there's a lot of things that can go wrong. seeing a video and sees exactly what it sounds like was really key in developing a trust with the customer that could be very far away, a different country. >> videos bring piece of mind for purchasers of used instruments, but also give customers access to brand new accordions. ones they would never be able to access otherwise. >> through and germany do a really great job and have great craftsman. it's hard to find information about their models. they might have pictures. very few have videos.
in you search for a certain brand, often their website comes up first and ours is second. >> beyond the commerce, michael knows the core of his business growth comes from nurturing a vibrant community of active players. >> just trying to get people po learn how to play. get to a point they're comfortable and enjoying it. our thought is if they keep making progress, they're going to keep buying accordions and accessories. >> that means providing lessons which he does online and in the store. >> you want to fill in the gap. we have an artist in residence that is available to teach here on skype or face time. >> want to try that. >> and hosting events where students can show off skills. ultimately michael hopes by infusing new energy int ts old instrument, the accordion experiences a renaissance. >> our whole goal of having the
community and having these open micses and artist and residents for less sons all ties into the facts we want people to see that the accordion is still out there. alive and well. people who use it for every kind of genera, every kind of music and i don't think the awoccordi is going anywhere. it's an old craft. it will continue to have a place. we want to continue to make it great. hollywood actress monica's stomping ground: her heart is in ohio. her love for her hometown is so much a part of who she is. she decided to start her own small business that celebrates shopping local and tries to bring jobs back to the community she grew up in. she's acted alongside some of hollywood's biggest names. nicholas cage, morgan freeman
and received widespread love in the tv show parent hood. >> you listen to the music, okay. >> what you probably don't know about her is she's also a successful entrepreneur. >> i always had this business plan i wanted to do something like paul knewman. i love him so much. he's one of my biggest inspirations and he's from ohio too. i met him once when we were downtown a long, long time ago and he said keep up the good work kid and i was like how does he know who i am. she started monica potter home. just like monica herself, growing up in cleveland, i saw how hard people work and however they care about their city and their community. my dad was an inventor.
my mom is a homemaker. i grew up learning how he thought, how he created. how he wanted to not only make great products, but help people by giving jobs back. >> completely self funded, f monica, this isn't just a se kick. it's a true passion project. >> i'm lucky and grateful because i get to act and then i get to use that cash, saying it bluntly. use the cash to put into this and create a business. i learned everything. i really did. i learned how to do it. no one going to care about your business as much as you do. i eat, breathe, live, sleep sometimes to a fault. >> with her name front and center on all of the labels, monica makes sure each and every item is something she wants to sell to her customers. >> i never wanted to attach a name to something that i didn't put my blood sweat and tears
into along with my team. people work hard for their money. i'm not going to sell them junk. i'm not going to make junk. if there's a bad batch of something, we throw it out. my standard is like would i give this to my mom or my kids? if the answer is no, then it goes out. >> thinking of her fans as family led her to find new ways to interacts with them face to face. >> we were online and people loved the stuff. i love to connect with people so i thought this could be a great opportunity to have a destination location in ohio where we have a storefront, we have our prurks room, we have our shipping, handling, distribution. the store is an extension of my home and my home is an extension of my store. there's no barrier. you know. >> with all the decisions she makes that are rooted in business say havevvy or trial a
error, sometimes it's about listening to her gut. that's what led to her latest adventure. opening up a second location. being an actor has helped me tune into is if i think too much, i make the wrong decisions. so it's a feeling. opening the arcade everyone was sort of like how are we going to do it? no one wants to do it. i went to sleep and i woke up and sat and i just took a deep breath and i said, no, we're going to do it. it's a completely different energy. this is our country store, then we have a city store and online store. so we're able to reach many people. as the brand expands and reaches new measures. she reached success in more than just the bottoms line. it's equally ant sharing her first love. her love for her hometown,
cleveland. >> all of the product wes make, it's all here. it's sourced here. made here. sometimes i have to be careful because you can get so caught up in the business part of it that i've been lately, you know, louising site adds to why we started this begin to with. that was to bring jobs back home and hopefully expand and help other kmubts and cities. there's a real need for it. people want to do this kind of thing and feel gratified and know they're contributing somehow and being proud of what they make. you are probably aware of the stories surrounding sexual harassment cases at major corporations, but a small business can also be brought down by not enforcing a zero stringent policy. david lewis is the founder president and ceo of operation incorporated. a human resources outsourcing
and consulting firm. so good to see you. >> good to see you too. >> you think about big corporations that have very developed hr departments and still things are going wrong. then think about the small businesses where everything is kind of catching up and you're trying to make sales, forgets about worrying about this other stuff. what can you do as a small business person to make sure you don't end up in that situation. >> all starts with awareness and training. need to understand the laws in place cover every business regardless of what size you have. then you have to take a look and the see do i have a policy out there. do i explain to people what exactly harassment is and what is supposed to happen if it occurs in the office. >> in small companies, it's so. how do you reconcile that with
having a zero tolerance policy. >> you can't. you have to go ahead and make sure the moment someone in an environment where you let it go comes forward and says i'm uncomfortable the company immediately takes the opportunity to say the days of being more causal about this are over. now we need to go investigate the issue. come down to conclusions. take action and adjust our culture accordingly because letting something like that go is going to translate into huge issues, both culturally and financially. >> you need to address it before it ever happens. just don't. don't have the kind -- don't allow it. >> zero tolerance policy is helpful. a lot of organizations worry what that's going to do to culture. the company has a certain dna, they don't want to bring big bad hr in being the killjoy for the party. a lot of companies will ease into this and try to find a middle ground. there's no middle ground with the issue. where companies make a change to practices only is when someone
comes back and says the line has been crossed. maybe for that person. maybe collectively and then you move to the roll where you increase training, increase awareness and follow the steps. that's one of the big issues as well. >> right. you could have a policy. it's easy to go grab a policy online and not follow meaningle >> that is the killer. that's the one you don't do as you say in terms of what the policies are. so when you put something out there that says this is what's going to happen, this is how we're going to hand it. and you don't. that's for the lawyer or employee that suing. >> you need to take it seriously. the minute someone brings it up you deal with it. >> no middle ground. no don't take it seriously. statements like that are where you end up in a newspaper. >> really need to have a culture of openness. let your employees know if something makes you feel
uncomfortable. come say something. you're not going to be punished. no one is going to look down upon you. you have to come say something. especially if you're in a small environment. >> put your money where you mouth is. make sure your employees actually see when you're describing as open culture is an open culture. >> thank you so much. >> my pleasure. strong visuals are important for your small businesses branding and marketing needs, but what if you don't have the design skills or the budget to hire someone full time to create what you need? >> one, drag and drop graphic creator. choose from a range of templates or start from scratch. two, times you need great photos to make your presentation pop, head to pexels. free and no atricks required.
three flaticons. offers acons to jazz up reports. if you can't find what your looking for, make your own. four, create an entire range of visuals using canva. dpz the artist gets your prize money and you get full ownership of the winning design. today's elevator pitcher understands that we don't all have the time we need to get to the gym. sometimes we need to fit in the exercise whenever we can. so she create add piece of equipment to help all of us. let's see the if the panel of investors give her any resistance. monica is the managing principle
of seventh capital. hi, my name is michelle. this is xe. high quality portable and very durable cross trainer. weighs ten pounds, but packs a mighty punch. 30 pounds of by directional resistance. allows you to do serious cardio and strength training anywhere you want. allows you to do over 100 different workouts wherever and whenever you want. we are having some great success with people who refuse to let a shoulder or near injury or pain set back the health. we are seeking our very first round of financing of $500,000. that is to extend opportunities with physical therapies and personal trainers. right now we believe exercise is medicine and connecting them all integrates with mobile coaching
application, we believe we can help more people connect quality exercise to home le or work on the go. for more information visit xe.com. >> thank you very much. >> here you go. two numbers the first is what do you think of the product. second, what do you think of the pitch. i actually have a piece of advice for you. you and i were talking ahead of time. you had a kick starter campaign that was incredibly successful. investors always want to know what success you've seen before. i think you wrote your numbers down ahead of time. okay. so i gave you a five on the product. you gave a lot of information, but i don't know who you're targeting. i don't know where to buy it. kbron how much it cost. these are really critical details. on the pitch, i loved your delivery. i loved hearing it was patten pending. i didn't get a sense for milestones of the business of the whole. i like hearing about the ask,
but it was a bit lacking. overall really good delivery. i needed a bit more information. >> right. you have that information. i know from previous conversation. >> i gave you a nine and a nine. i see this and this fits into my life. i can't make to it the gym. have i a child, husband, very demanding business. see opportunity for something like this. i also think there are a lot of people who could understand how this would function into a very busy life. i agree that it would be helpful to know the price point because that would help us understand how accessible this product would be and also what would you use the money for. is it inventory, are you do you have specific targeted marketing in mind. that would help with it. >> ting price point is interesting. it's relatively high. >> starts at $557. >> that separates you from some of these as seen on tv cheap things. this is very high quality. >> good luck with everything. >> thanks for having me.
>> thank you both if you are your feedback. >> if any of you out there have a product or service and you want feedback just like you just saw on your chances of getting interested investors, send us an e-mail. the address is your business at msnbc.com. please include a short summary of what your company does, how much you're trying to do and what you're going to do with the money. we look forward to reading your pi pitches and seeing you here on the show. when we come back. why you should always be monitoring and up jdating your online profile. will your business be ready when growth presents itself? american express open cards can help you take on a new job,
or fill a big order or expand your office and take on whatever comes next. find out how american express cards and services can help prepare you for growth at open.com. when i'm pitching a large customer, how do i show my business is additive instead of competitive. >> that's such an excellent question. especially as a new business, you often find overlap between your business and a larger business that you're pitching to. the best way is to identify those differences between your business and the business that you're pitching to and exsent wait those areas that are not overlap that add value to the
larger business. we now have the top two tips to see your business grow. so good to see you again. >> my top tip is mind your online profile. all too often when i'm considering investing in an entrepreneur, i'm going online, trying to get a better sense of them. you wouldn't believe how many times i find people writing really negative things. maybe something bad about an exor political commentary. whatever the case may be, that become as huge red flag. the thing is as an investor or promotional customer, you have tons of options out there. you're free to post whatever you want, that may be turning people off and you may be losing
business without even knowing it. >> the same way we think about our kids and how they might be interviewing for job or getting into college, think about it the same way. >> everything is out there once you put it into public. >> my top tip is to listen to music all the time to boost productivity. there is something visceral about music. there's a response within the brain that goes back to caveman days and different types of music can help you be more productive in different types of tasks. when i need to focus, when i'm working on spreadsheets, i listen to classical music. when i'm not feeling motivated, when i need to get a boost, it's something with a faster tempo. something with more than 120 beats per minute sets the mood and gets you moving. put a sound track to your life. it will make it more productive. >> what song do you listen to when you have to go present something. bombs over baghdad.
outcast. that's my get in the zone music. >> that sounds good. >> do you have one. >> i listen to classical music, all the time. >> if you're going to have to go and present something. >> it's i just don't even hear it. it keeps me going. i feel productive. the time passes and all of a sudden i'm done with the project. >> got it. this was so many years ago, but i was applying for some job. it was something that i was very nervous about and the song i kept listening to on the way, you know the song from working girl when she's going past the statue of liberty, yes, so that was my song when i needed it. >> thank you both. thanks so much. >> juggling a small business, your personal life and everything else that life throws at you can be exhausting, but you just may be able the get some help thanks to these small business tool suggestions from our viewers.
one app that we use here is sugarsynk. a traveling file system that allows you to siyncsync. the tool i use on a daily basis many times a day is called smartnews. it's basically a news aggregation site. i'm able to read about breaking news, and just get the highlighted stories. >> one website i frequently resource is daily worth. has great tools for financial
resources to better organizational tips when you're thinking about being a better professional. i love it. >> one website i use is called codables. you can hire developers to do small projects for you. developing apps. making updates to website or any type of technical platform you're looking to do. >> she is a major supporters of locally made product and her store dears accessories, jewelry, art from local artis artisans. why don't you take a cell phone and take a selfie of you and your business. tweet it to at msnbc your business. no professional photos. we would like a selfie. please include the name of your business. thank you so much for joining us toot. he's one thing i want to highlight from today's show.
saw it in the elevator pitch. when you were pitching to people, make sure you put yourself in their shoes and think about what their want to hear and hielghlight those thin in the elevator pitch. show your traction. she had this amazing kick starter campaign and forgot to mention it. these are investors who want to know there are people out there who are already interested in her product. so again, put yourself in their shoes and just think, if i were them, what would i like to know. we would love to hear from you. any questions or comments about today's show, send us an e-mail. also please visit or website. we posted all the segment from today's show. a whole lot more. don't forget to connect with us on all of our digital and social media platforms as well. you can see them on the screen. we look forward to seeing you next time.
or expand your office and take on whatever comes next. find out how american express cards and services can help prepare you for growth at open.com. tonight on all in -- >> ordered by putin. america's intelligence puts me face-to-face with donald trump and tell him that vladimir putin ordered the influence campaign and had a quote clear preference for president-elect trump. >> i love wikileaks. >> tonight the jaw dropping and now public intelligence report detailing russia's efforts to elect donald trump and why trump still refuses to single out russia for blame. plus the harrowing scene