tv Your Business MSNBC June 3, 2017 4:30am-5:01am PDT
good morning. these three small business heros turned around a town's economy be bringing back its cheese legacy. why the owner wants the federal government to regulate her industry even more. and wisdom from his lips to your ears. the ceo of carmax on why you need to respect and respond to customers. advice and stories to help you succeed, coming up next on your business.
hi, everyone. i'm j.j. ramburg. this ask a story we are all familiar with. factories are closed, jobs lost. this week, we have three entrepreneurs who have done a remarkable job turning that story around. they are our small business heros. they rebuilt a beloved cheese factory in bandon, oregon, put
the town back to work and they're creating a business which is on track to become a national brand. nearly 15 years ago, as the last cheese factory in bandon, oregon, closed its doors, the town lost a part of its soul. >> i think there's a lot of stories out there for why it exactly happened. but it was basically consolidation, you know, eliminating a competitor. >> for more than a hundred years, the area had been known for its cheddar cheese. >> in the 1800s, there were ten cheese factories in bandon and lots of dairies, cows everyone where. >> by mid century, there was just one factory left, the bandon cheese factory. >> when my dad bought it in i think it was '89, it was still the same building from made in the 1930s. >> brad's dad bought the company in 1989 and later brad joined him after a bit of a love-hate relationship with cheese making,
it turned into pure love. and brad eventually became the head of production. >> well, when we take a piece of cheese out and we cut it and put it in our mouths, and we go oh, my god, that is really good. that makes me proud. >> they all work together to feed the cows. >> that produces some of the best dairy in the entire country. >> it's just the flavor of the area. make the same cheese out of different milk from different areas, and they taste different. >> but even that special combination wasn't the enough to save the last remaining
cheesemaker. they kept the name and moved production out to the midwest. they tore down the building and told brad senco and everyone else working there to go home. >> we no longer need your services and that was it. i walked out the door. >> brad went on to make award winning cheese for one of the premier producers in seattle. most of the other employees moved on, as well. >> people left, you know, there's no jobs, you can't make a living here. >> and it just -- it went down. i mean, the schools shrank, the drug problem grew, it just -- it changed. >> not only were the jobs lost, but the town's identity was stripped away. >> you know, its like taking the auto industry from detroit. not only are so many people employed by it, but they're identified by it. >> this is the story of how three business partners, greg drobot, daniel graham and brad synco rebuilt the factory, brought back lost jobs and returned the industrial spirit
to the 3,000 people of this town. >> the city was really proud of this place. . and when you're proud of something, you're very, very sad when it goes away. >> it all started when daniel called greg with a business proposition. >> i think i hung up. i don't think i was very interested in the project. >> he did, yeah. greg hung up on me the first time. >> i knew nothing about cheese making, manufacturing any kind of food products. there's a lot of things that make it a complicated business. >> i was pretty sure he was going to come around. daniel was confident greg would change his mind when he understood that most of the key elements necessary for cheese production were still in place. >> there was something that had pre-existed. they had a model that was already there. they had a clientele that was there. >> i knew certain parts of the supply chain were still around. we had to put the pieces together. >> there was just one key thing missing, a master cheesemaker. with brad sinko gone, the secret formula for bandon cheddar was gone, too. that's why greg went to seattle
to speak with grad. >> i didn't even ask him if he was interested because i knew the answer would be no. he said, greg, if i wasn't interested in coming to work with you, i wouldn't have had lunch with you. it took my be surprised. >> people were surprised. i was doing pretty well where i was. but why wouldn't i entertain something like this? again, i enjoy doing start ups. they're real fun. >> when we heard that he had accepted greg's offer finally and was coming back, that hit the papers. cheesemaker is coming back, brad is coming back, it was a very big deal. >> the city understood the prompt. at daniel's request, the council came through with tax breaks and expedites tax breaks. but they were not convinced. >> they said no, not this project, not now, we're not interested. >> so greg looked elsewhere. >> i knew there was more than one way to do it, so i found some other creative investors. i cobbled together seven loans to get that $2 million together to start the factory.
>> they named the company face rock creamery after a local landmark and their efforts to build their own company started to build the town up again, as well. >> i would probably say 20 to 30 different businesses that maybe don't rely on us 100% for their income, but do business with us. >> you know, it's been some hard times in the dairy business. >> one of those businesses, milkyway feed tack and trucking is owned by david scalari. he delivered the milk each day from his father's farm 15 miles up the road. he says most of the dairy owners in this valley quit long ago. he might have had to do the same until he got the face rock creamery contract. it saved his father's farm. >> this chance came along and it's -- i think it's going to be a win-win for everybody. >> let's put it this way. if we weren't here, the farm at we are taking milk from probably wouldn't have kept farming. the very least, we saved one. you can see a new skip in people's step around here.
it was kind of cool to see. i guess goose bumps thinking about it right now. so it was good to see that. >> these three, however, are business men. if they've made the town proud, it makes them glad. but they aren't working this hard just to become other people's heros. >> well, i think that would be small if that's the only thing we thought about. because, you know, let's be truthful here, you're in business to make money. that's what our aim is. i mean, is it -- it's not our only aim. >> sometimes you don't want to talk about profits necessarily when you're talking about nostalgia and why you're here. but i think we're all aware that without making money, the nostalgia is going to disappear. the business has to make money. >> i want to see a good return on my investment. >> happily for bandon, good business has brought back local pride. >> cheese making has been here since the 1900s. we want it to be here until 2100 and longer. >> over the years, we've heard our fair share of business owners complain about too much government regulation.
but one entrepreneur has done the exact opposite. greg renfru, founder of beauty counter, has spent time in washington lobbying for more rules around her industry. her company is growing rapidly. rock star bono and his wife, alley houston, recently invested in beauty counter after the company acquired houston's line nude skin care. the three are deeply concerned about the toxins they say are used in our everyday products, whh is why runfu twants to see more regulation. >> as women, when we lock arms or we decide to do something, we move mountains. >> and that is exactly what greg renfu is doing with her cosmetics line, beauty counter. >> i started beauty counter because i had become em passioned with the environmental health movement. >> after watching the documentary, "an inconvenient truth," she became concerned about everyday dangers in our environment. >> i had learned that we were
being exposed to toxic chemicals through our personal care and cosmetic products and i was trying to find safer solutions for my family. >> while hoping to elevate the safety standard in her home, the mother of three discovered some startling facts about her industry. >> we have not passed a federal law regulating this industry since 1938. we have introduced over 85,000 chemicals into commerce since world war ii, of which almost 80%, or some will say between 80% and 90% have never been tested for safety in human health. >> these realities soon evolved into the inspiration for beautycounter. gray thought her vision was simple, create a line that was 100% safe with high performing results. >> the first phone call i made was to christy coleman who is a celebrity and fashion makeup artist who was the first leading makeup artist to clean clean up her kit and to try to use safer products on her clients.
>> i absolutely wanted to prove as an industry expert they can be done the spp. >> she brought on mia davis, the former operating director of the campaign for safe cosmetics. >> the idea was really to have those two pillars equally represented on our platform. we took a list of almost 1500 ingredients and said we can't use those ingredients, but the products have to prmp. and people thought we were crazy. they said we couldn't do it. >> beautycounter launched in 2013 with the highest level of transparency, an unmreld standards in safety. >> we created incredibly strict ingredients screening process, one of the most health protective processes in the country if not in the world. >> greg's customers became believers, so much so that she's recruited nearly 8,000 of them to make up a robust network of passionate consultants. >> they're sharing the story of beautycounter, sharing the story of safer greernts and helping communities and families make better choices. i'm really proud of where we are today. we grew over 500% last year. we've groan over 350% this year.
>> be greg's mission goes beyond just growing her company. with the company's success under her belt, she set her sights higher on capitol hill. determined to be a voice for change. >> we have taken action in washington. meeting with everyone in washington, introducing them to beauty counter, to a company that is both pro commerce and pro regulation. >> she wants to empower politicians with knowledge and awareness in hopes of inspiring some sficant lislati reform. >> we want the fda be able to take action, to be able to screen for harmful ingredients, and to protect american citizens. and we hosted beautycounter socials across this country. we had well more than a thousand. during those associations, we encouraged our consultants and their guests to call their senators and to tell them that they want more health protective laws. we placed thousands of phone calls and they called us back. they were saying they heard us loud and clear. >> i think it's safe to say we're not even creating movement, we are a movement. >> beauty counter is a perfect example of how one idea,
passion, and a real commitment to yourself and to a world that you believe in is -- it's absolutely possible to make anything happen. >> we always say at beauty counterwe have a once in a lifetime opportunity right now to build a really great company that's financially rewarding, solid and sound, while simultaneously having significant impact. it's the greatest job in the world. >> you may not recognize the name alfred welbing, but your chapped lips may know his product.. he started carmex in 1937. little did he expect the worldwide distribution his invention has today. 80 years later, carmex is still owned by alfred's family with his grandson paul running the show. we speak with paul about reaching out for sdperts for help and why you shouldn't rely on voice mail in this learning from the pros.
>> reach out to experts for help. i'm an art major finding himself run ago business.. i had to learn everything. literally everything. i absolutely couldn't be doing my job without the advice i get from people. so when i started working here, i would call up -- i started i think first for the bankers and say, so, tell me how you do business. what's it about? and then insurance people. so tell me about insurance. and, well, here is how it works. here is what you do. if suppliers came in, i'd take them out for lunch and they would at the me about their products. that was a huge help. should a ceo be okay with asking for help? and i would say, absolutely. hire smart and talented people. i am probably the least adept at any job around here of anybody. and my philosophy is to hire
people that -- i call it hiring aspirationally. so if you hire smart people, trust them opinion the analogy i use is if i'm at home and the water heater breaks, and then i hire a plumber, he comes in, sits down, gets his tools out and he and i suddenly reach around, grab his tools and trying to fix stuff, though, i hired you because you know what you're doing. once you've hired somebody .trust them, then you let them go. don't try to behe smartest person in the room aays. allow the other person to flourish them. don't overrely on voice mail. i like having contact with people. i like having conversations. and that is a scene that comes.up over and over in my life. there's nothing that frustrates people more than when you call somebody else up and you get an automated service and you wait and there's a problem with some product we were getting, some component. i call the company up and i kept getting voice mail. and i finally yelled on the
phone, i said, if you can't even afford to hire a person to answer a phone, you're probably going out of business. we should be looking for another supplier. so i got called back very fast. so if you call carmex labs now, during business hours, you'll actually get a person first. respect and respond to your customers. comes from my grandfather. one of the very first things he expressed to me when i started working here in 1991 was at the end of every sale, there's a person. that's important. he said anybody who writes us a letter, they've sat down, they've thought about it, they put pen to paper, put an envelope. they care. and so if they're happy, if they're unhappy, they deserve a response. so if somebody wrote me an e-mail, rild write them a customized response. a mom mow blogger responded away
came the in to 6,000 e-mails. we answered everybody, we sent everybody a sample. people are heard. everything is read. an upcoming case scheduled to be decided by the supreme court can change a patent law that would affect thousands of small businesses. the case resolved around a company called impression products which was refilling and reselling desktop laser toner cartridges made by lexmark international. lexmark sued which an appeals court upheld. advocacy groups saying this is trying to put some resell companies out of business. eric smith is the owner of impression products. so good to see both of you. >> hi, j.j. >> good to see you, j.j. thank you. >> thank you for taking the time to come and talk to us. i want to unpack what this case is. so why don't we just start with you, paul. if you can explain to us what's at stake here. >> sure, j.j.
this case addresses two really important issues about ownership rights. when a patentee manufacturers are about and they sell it, typically the purchaser of that good acquires the rights to that item. it can do what they want with it. there are two really important issues here. the first is whether or not a patentee, after selling the good, can restrict the way in which the purchaser either resells or prepares those goods. lexm ark's decision is a pant patentee can prevent a purchaser from reselling a good they purchased or repairing it. the second position is when a patentee sells a good outside the united states, whether u.s. business and consumer may purchase that good outside the united states and brick it into the united states for use without violating the patent law. both of these questions are fundamental about the ownership of patented goods and whether or
not there are robust resale and repair markets for those goods. >> so let's now bring it downo what you have been doing, eric. can you explain exactly what your business does and what they are now lling yoyou can't do. or lexmark is telling you you can't do. we'll see what the supreme court says. >> thank you, j.j. impression products is headquartered out of west virginia. we specialize in desktop laser printers, making the supplies, the toner cartridges that go in these printers. for anyone who buys these, we also give away a free on-site printer support warranty basically letting the customer know that these cartridges are fully guaranteed and will work just as good as the oem product. >> and you've been doing this for 40 years.
anything change about your business that this has come up now? >> no, not at all.lexmark found loophole in the system and gave them the idea to come after me and a lot of my contemporaries in our industry. fortunately i was the one that said i don't think this is right. we're not doing anything wrong here. you know, j.j., when you make a product and you believe in the product and you have employees that you wento kindergarten with or high school with that are working paycheck to paycheck and have been with you for 20 or 30 years and you want to see them retire with your company, it is just not something when a competitor comes in and tells you cease and desist because we don't want to compete with you because you are kicking our butt
in the marketplace. if you are a competitor and believe in what you are doing, you will stand up and fight. >> paul, you are obviously broadening this from the particular company and what is happening with impression products. from your perspective, what is the implications? >> the implications are enormous. the question is whether or not resale markets for patented goods. that includes anything. that includes cars, cell phones or any equipment thatproduction. if lexmark is correct, once you purchase it, you don't have the right to resell on the market or repair it. they say you can only sell to licensed dealers to buy at fixed prices. that is not how competition works. our economy has had robust secondary use markets. that's fundamental. >> thank you both for stopping
by. we will watch closely to see what happens. >> thank you. nk you for your interest, j.j. it was nice being here. it's great to use freelancers for company projects, but knowing how to use them properly is essential. the people at focus to community shares ways to do that. set clear expectations. all contractors should know the deadlines and targets you want them to hit. two, calendars are the best way to manage team time. make sure everyone can see all of the target dates specific to the projects. three, reduce e-mails. limit digital to necessary messages only. otherwise, time contractors could use on projects could be wasted. four, have status updates with the entire team, including freelancers. this keeps everyone on the same
page no matter where they are working. and five, use collaboration tools. replace the reply all e-mails with one platform where your team can ask questions and share notes and documents and communica communicate. when we come back, the one thing you absolutely have to do if you are planning on selling your business. and one of our panelists tell us why you should follow the money and work the clock. 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. i'm looking at some point in time down the road to sell the company. i'm 47 currently. we started to get financials in place. what are some of the other components we should look into? >> you need to make sure your legal books are in order. you need to make sure your financials are in order. a formal audit if you are big or making sure your books are clean. you need to have your three-year projections and five-year projection. you need to understand the market comps. what is happening around you? what price do you get sold? you have to think about the story that is happening. are you staying in to help with the transition? do you need more talent? i think it is a ton of work to
go through an acquisition. the best happen because your books are the tightest and cleanest they can be. it really comes down to how do we think about how the business is going and thinking about the synergy. it is a marriage. not a business deal. it is a marriage. it is really important. you have to be ready. we now have the top tips that you need to know to help growing business. let's introduce our panel. grant cardone is a sales expert and consultant and author of "be obsessed or be average." we have the co- founder of kingdom equity venture. good to see you. >> good to be here. >> grant, you are about to have a big conference teaching business owners how to grow business. so tell us a tip for how all of
us out there can do that. >> keep it simple. follow the money and work the clock. >> that means? >> go to the people every day. who has the money and reduce the time it takes to get that money. everybody says this is simple. time and money. time equals money. most people do not prioritize time or money. business should focus on the money and where they are running out of clock like you are playing a game. i want to take time out of the deals. i'll end up with more margin and happier customers and more money. >> here is how we get to them more fix efficiently. >> people are talking and talking. where is the money? take out the time. that's the two mos valuable resources in individual company or family has. they don't prioritize it. the most important thing we have is time and money. time is important than money. time is the new currency. >> all right. you are up. >> it's about creating an ecosystem that invites and
equips an innovative spirit. you hire well and cultivate that talent internally. >> give me more. i get hiring well. how do you create the culture that allows people to innovate and allows them to fail? not fail too much. >> you know, i think failure is something that is really important to just experience and know. regardless of how good you are. you will fail. you have to create that culture you will not have the answer. i don't want you to have the answer. i want you to ask the questions and go through the hard steps and fall and get back up. that is the person that will be with you for the long run. >> i think speed has to do with this. if you are going to create a culture of failing, you want to fail fast. >> you want to fail fast as
possible as can. you miss quick. you don't fail unless you quit. if you look at tom brady. they did not quit. i know you hate this. down 25. everybody is counting him out. he says we know our game well. we can take the last 30 minutes and squeeze time. we will win. we're working the clock and following money. >> back to that. >> that's good. >> thanks both of you. this week is perfect for valentine's day. it comes from northside photograph as i y in douglasvil georgia. this is one of his favorites. mr. and mrs. bill willis. nicholas said they found each other in their golden years. happy valentine's day to them. pick up your cell phone and send us a picture at msnbc.com.
including the name and name of the business and location and use the #yourbizselfie. thank you for joining us today. we would love to hear from you. if you have questions or comments about the show, e-mail us @firstname.lastname@example.org. we posted all of the segments from the show on the forum. we look forward to seeing you next time. until then, i'm j.j. ramberg. we make your business our business. 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. now on msnbc live. day 135 of the trump administration and fallout from pulling out of the paris climate deal. one big question that remains. the president's position on the climate and no one in the white house will answer it. surprisingly. anticipation building for the week. former fbi director james comey set to testify. new details on the megyn kelly one-on-one interview with vladimir putin. what he is saying about allegations russia hacked the u.s. election. good morning. i'm yasmin vossoughian. here in new york. joinin m