tv Your Business MSNBC March 19, 2016 2:30am-3:01am PDT
we're in the heat of a presidential election, but are the voices of america's small business owners on main street being heard? we're here in daytona beach, florida to find out what matters most to the small business community in this area. that's coming up next on this special edition of "your business." american express open can help you take on a new job. or fill a big order. or expand your office. for those who constantly find new ways to grow on every step of the journey, american express open proudly presented "your business" on msnbc.
hi, everyone, i'm j.j. ramberg. welcome to "your business." the show dedicated to helping your small business grow. as we head into the florida primary, we decided to spend some time down there for our main street usa series to find out what small business owners really think of the candidates. do they feel that any of the candidates understand the challenges small business owners face? is there anyone out there the owners feel will look out for them? what we found was quite interesting in this visit to daytona beach. i can't tell you whose switch i'm pulling, but i don't believe i would be behind mrs. clinton at this point at all. i only like dennis hastewnly lie
he's aggressive with business. >> i will vote for hillary, if for no other reason, she knows how washington works. >> i'm on the trump stump. i have been since he announced it. i was never a fan of his, i never watched "the apprentice." i never watched any of that. >> i'm not for trump, but i understand the frustration. and why he's getting so much attention. >> these small business owners of daytona beach, florida, are divided like the rest of the country when it comes to who they're going to vote for. when it comes to issues they care about, they have one thing in common. they all want the economy to do well. >> when people are making more money, they're spending more money. >> ken peters has been a barber at this location on main street for more than 22 years. we have guys that only come in every six to eight weeks for a haircut because that's the best they can do. but if they start making more money, they'll come in every two or three weeks like they used
to. guys like to keep trimmed. >> that's going to go right back up. there's the heat, feel the heat. watch out! >> gary allen has been running this magic shop since 1996. >> we sell mostly magic tricks. we do have some novelties. we manufacture over 500 items. we represent probably over 1,000 items. it's a lot. >> his sales are more susceptible to whether or not consumers feel like they have disposable income to spend. >> the economy is an issue. ours is not a necessity. if you don't have to buy magic, you won't buy magic. >> over on the track of the famous daytona 500, greg almick, taking paying customers on runs around the speedway in the richard petty experience feels the same way. >> we're hopefully discretionary dollars spent. folks come out when the economy is firing on all cylinders.
we want people to come out, having fun, driving race cars. >> running these company is a chance for these business owners. helen humphreys and her sons own humphreys and son. >> we're often here to midnight. that's when we can do the estate work, the paperwork, the taxes that are required. we don't start turning a personal profit until sometime in november. that is shocking. you know? >> in case you don't believe what a burden that can be, just ask her son, shawn. >> i'm here many nights until 12, my wife, too. trying to stay caught up. the frustrating thing, no matter how hard you work, it seems like no matter how hard you work, it doesn't seem like there is any money left over. >> omar brown started his kale cafe, just a couple of years ago after losing his job in new york city. he loves his company but wasn't
quite prepared for what it takes to stay in business. >> it's been very difficult as a small business owner. it's a lot more work than i ever anticipated. there's so many moving parts. your work is never done. >> what these business owners want out of washington is knowing that our government cares about the little guys, not just big business. so far, the view is mixed on whether or not any of the candidates really get it. benjamin parra feels like no one was there to help him during the last recession when his plumbing business failed. >> to be able to bail out the little guy instead of bailing out the big guys, i think you would have seen a lot of smaller businesses survive. >> he and his family have moved on and have built this bustling taco shop based on low cost and high volume. >> with people hurting and the economy, we get a lot of people.
we get a lot of retired people that come in, you know, they have a small budget. you know, you can have a nice full belly with 20 bucks, less than $20. >> one of the good things about my line of work is we're kind of recession-proof. if not inverse to the recession. >> aaron delgado is a criminal defense attorney. his his services aren't discretionary, there are plenty of people who need his services. he needs customers who can afford his fees. >> my business needs are thriving middle class, a thriving upper middle class. i can't provide legal services to people who are destitute. >> lisa minnich has owned this store for about 20 years. >> it's such a fun store. >> old florida. >> you walk in and it screams florida. >> lisa still doesn't know who
she's going to vote for. >> when you hear the presidential candidates talk about wanting to help small business and small business is important, do you feel like they're talking to you? >> i don't so much feel that it's getting to us. >> they are not alone in feeling disconnected from the federal government. mario stemburger is the chef and owner of the dancing avocado kitchen. >> i think there's so much taking place nationally and internationally that i think small businesses fall off the radar of the national politics. >> omar brown thinks that the candidates get that small businesses are important to the economy but he's not sure how that translates. >> do you feel like any of the candidates are looking out for you as a small business owner? >> i'm not sure. i'm not sure. i don't know.
that i can't say. >> what message do you want to hear from the candidates as a small business person? >> pretty simple. i want to help the small businessman succeed. >> at the end of the day, no matter which candidate comes into office, ben parra sums up what many like him are thinking. >> i just hope whoever becomes the next president, they just look around and care. as we just saw in that piece, owners in daytona beach, like the rest of the country, are divided on which candidate would be best for small business. john swansinger is the ceo of online business service director. their recent survey of over 1,200 small business owners showed donald trump as the leading favorite. our next guest wrote an article if "forbes" entitled why donald trump would be the worst president for small business.
so good to see both of you. >> good to see you. >> thank you. >> was it a random sample? it was a sample of your members. >> thousands of manta members. >> can you dig into the data? why did they think donald trump would be best or 34% thought he would be best? >> they had several reasons. the main one really is he's viewed as a washington outsider overwhelmingly. that combined with the fact that he's articulated himself as a businessman and not a politician has really resonated with the group. those were the two big reasons. >> roji, you are arguing the exact opposite, he would be the worst. >> what we've seen over the last three or four years, there's a growth in businesses owned by women and immigrants, basically. the message he's giving around minorities, women, also against the immigrants, even the legal
immigrants, that's not good. that's creating uncertainty in small business owners and what he stands for. there was a lot of hope, like bloomberg here in new york city, did so much work because he's a businessman. he's pro business. trump hasn't really talked anything really about small businesses. i think most of the time he has been talking about the great wall of mexico, built with money and mexican workers. >> we just talked about this in the piece we just aired. we went down to daytona beach and interviewed small business owners. i'm wondering if you find this when you talk to your members. we went out and said, do you feel like any of the candidates under the challenges you face? right? people can talk a good game of i want to support small business but we ask people do you really fell like someone out there understands what you go throe
day to day? overwhelmingly, people we talked to said no. >> so what we really are finding is it's more aligning to, do you know how to start a business? have you hired people? have you fired people? overwhelmingly, our community really feels like trump has done that. he's the only one that's done that. he's not a career politician by any means. and he's really kind of stuck to that message the entire time. so when we talk to people or the thousands of people we polled throughout the primary process, we're finding that overwhelmingly, donald trump comes out ahead of all the candidates. >> 35%. it's not -- it is certainly ahead but is that overwhelmingly ahead? >> it's more than double hillary clinton at 17%. >> got it. got it. >> if you look at the republican primaries, he's 69% and ted cruz is 16%. he is really standing out as someone who has taken a stan for
developing a business. i agree with you. i mean, it doesn't seem to reflect at all that he is a billionaire and arguably the wealthiest candidate running. it's more that he has been in the trenches. that's what we're hearing from the small business owner. >> do you, when you talk to the people that you work with, do you feel like they're voting or will vote with their small business hat on or are they voting based on something else? >> i think part of it is going to be what they face on a day-to-day basis. one big challenge nobody has talked about is the health care costs for small business owners have gone up tremendously the last five years because of obamacare. there's too much regulation in this country right now. people don't talk about the fact any of the candidates, how basically technology is changing every small business. we need more people who have stem degrees, more workers, even
small businesses that can help them bridge this gap. >> there's a lot of talk about health care and immigration reform. >> yes. >> which deals with what you were just talking about. >> absolutely. there has been no moment on the immigration reform for the last five years. >> who do you think would be best for small business? >> i would say right now, i think the best candidate would have been mayor bloomberg. if he had run for president of the u.s., would have been best for small business. >> not an option. of the people that are there, is there anyone who you think would be best for small business? >> i would still feel that senator clinton, you know, is still talking some sense. obviously she's not talking about pro-small business but at least she's not talking about things are not to do. trump is just trying to talk about i want to disrupt everything out there on the political side. that's going to damage the country. that's going to damage the business sentiment more.
>> john, are there one or two things you feel people want to hear as small business owners? if i heard this, it would sway me. >> yes. i agree, i think the big two we're seeing, two or three are, taxes, health care specifically, the aca or obamacare and the minimum wage, which i do think the republican side in particular has a focus on repealing and pulling back obamacare or the aca. as was just mentioned, if you're a business of 51 people, you have to now pay for that. it's a large cost on you. those are the big ones jumping out in our polls. >> john and rohit, good to talk to you. i'm sure we'll have much more to say about this as the election plows forward. great to see you both. if you do any international business, being able to see even a few words of the local language can make the process smoother. check out these five resources courtesy of ink.com that will
help you quickly learn different languages for free. >> memrise uses what you know already to help you learn. you can adjust it along the way. >> two, livemocha uses tutorial videos and online classes to improve your skills. the site functions lech a social network where you can interact by and be graded by native speakers. three, busuu utilizes writing exercises and audio recordings. four, lingualia connects you with people from all over the world and gives you customized lessons with flash cards, audio files and exercises. and five, byki relies on cards that help you remember important words and phrases. the software allows you to slow down the speed of the speaker, track your progress and offers courses in more than 70 different languages.
from the usb holding all your documents to your cell phone's memory chip, chances are high you've used a product made by sandisk. sanjay is one of its three co-founders and current president and ceo. under his leadership, the company has thrived to the point they've attracted the attention of western digital which rece recently announces its plans to require sandisk. we sat down with the pros, for tips to success. like knowing when to say no and why you shouldn't fear change. >> in the early days of sandisk when we were working on creating the digital film, kodak came to sandisk and wanted actually for us to make our film exclusive
for kodak at the time. and we decided that we actually do not want to make it exclusive. in a startup mode, it was really very appealing, tempting to work with kodak and say, yes, we will become exclusive to you. and get the benefit of a few millions of dollars. i really give credit to our lead founder at the time, for turning down kodak's proposition and absolutely making the inknow vagus that sandisk pioneered, like the secure digital cards, the film for cameras or the microsd card that you use in the phone to take pictures. this would not have happened at such a pace if he had not decided to make it an open standard. the camera improving the quality of the images, the additional film became a big market of opportunity.
the endorsement of that was coming for us from the additional camera companies as well. it's important to continue to work closely with the customers to understand where they're going, where their needs are, how your technology or capabilities fit into their road map. if you're able to deliver that successfully, then you will have a successful business. in 2008 sandisk at that time was mostly about removable products, about flash cards and usb drives. we decided we needed to diversify our product offerings. today our business is not only a global leader in removable product but also sandisk really has a position in terms of drives that go into your notebooks and computers. this is what i would always advise entrepreneurs, that use
the opportunity to diversify your business, to pivot your business, focus on the market needs. be adaptable. it's very, very important to be able to take calculated risks as you are trying to do that. do it in a calculated fashion, take the risk. make sure you do some calculation of where you could be and that is also a very important part. then you try to diversify your business. do not be afraid of those. when we come back, how to compete against big brands when it comes to advertising, plus, why it's important to say thank you to your customers. our cosmetics line was a hit. the orders were rushing in. i could feel our deadlines racing towards us. we didn't need a loan. we needed short-term funding fast.
building 18 homes in 4 ½ months? that was a leap. but i knew i could rely on american express to help me buy those building materials. amex helped me buy the inventory i needed. our amex helped us fill the orders. just like that. another step on the journey. will you be ready when growth presents itself? realize your buying power at open.com with a very small marketing budget, how can we compete with consumer attention with those luxury brands that spend a lot more money on ads. >> i think in general when you're trying to compete with other companies with bigger marketing budgets, you have to ask yourself, what can i do differently than they're doing? in a lot of cases with small businesses it's providing personal service, trying to
create a relationship with your customer. if you're retail maybe it's offering access to sales. with this particular case, this particular entrepreneur, their products are beautiful. they're handmade candles, they're gorgeous. more important than that, there's a social message behind it. this is a socially conscious company which is very important to millennials today. you want to emphasize the fact that you are socially conscious and socially responsible. i think that is going to take you a long way. then emphasize the story. in a lot of cases entrepreneurs are missing the boat. they're trying to market the product rather than tell the story. in here, every candle that's bought, some money goes to help another woman start a business or change their life. i think we need to emphasize that. show people the difference they're making and when a customer feels like their money is not just buying them a product but is also making a huge difference in someone's life, they are more apt to do business with you.
we now have the top two tips you need to know to help your small business grow. let's introduce our board of directors and get their advice. this is the founder and president of stractivity group. he is also the ceo of touchpoint dashboard. and alexandra wilson is the founder and ceo of glam squad. so good to see you both. >> thank you for having us. >> congratulations. you've acquired companies since i last saw you. i'm a customer of yours. >> thank you. >> you started your first company 14 years ago? >> 14 years ago. >> what's one piece of business. >> in business, two things you can't have enough, revenue is one of them and gratitude. gratitude for existing customer as part of a retention program as well as gratitude for
employees. my advice, start your day with gratitude. don't start your day with e-mails. pick up the phone, call an existing customer and say thank you for your business. same thing with employees. it builds retention and humanity. we need to start thinking about the existing employees and customers. >> i think one thing to be careful is make sure that it's authentic, right? you're not saying thanks. if people get too many thank yous, suddenly it means nothing. >> try to find a piece of information that can be useful, their birthday, the anniversary of their relationship with you. we miss those opportunities all the time. we have customers that have been with us two or three years. a simple call during your anniversary makes it personal. >> i get a personalized note from the shop and it means nothing. i feel like, okay, i know they send this to everyone because
it's something they should do. >> those retention opportunities are missing the human element. what i'm trying to bring here is the human element that is so missing in today's business where everything is online, everything is kind of informal and faceless. we're trying to create a competitive differentiation through that human element. >> all right. alexandra, this is round two for you. you were one of the founders of gilt, now you hare one of the founders of glam squad. what have you learned along the way. >> you can't underestimate the importance of maintaining relationships. the more you can connect with people and do acts of kindness for others, authentically, genuinely. it's so easy to help other people out. i do believe what goes around, comes around. i believe in karma. there will be moments in your life professionally and even personally where you might need
to ask others for help. it might be strategic advice, it could be pursuing investors for your startup if you're a entrepreneur like i am. it could be having clients in new cities. our business glam squad is local. we're constantly launching in new markets. be kind to people, because the power of relationships and your network is only going to benefit you. >> by the way, there's research about how being kind benefits you, right? and it's fun. it's nice. it makes you feel better to actually help someone else. >> i agree with you. honestly, this is something i learned from my parents when i was a little girl. i think it's important to be kind and nice and have integrity. >> i think it's also important to not feel like it's a quid pro quo, not make someone feel like i'm being kind to you because i'm putting you in my debt. i'm helping you because i'm helping you. if it comes back to me, great,
if not, no problem. we are often scrambling to find those extra few moments in our day to get everything done. that's why we asked our viewers to share the online and mobile tools that help them get through their to do list more efficiently. >> i use genius scan a lot on my phone because i don't have a portable scanner. what it allows you to do is scan documents maybe that you've got signed by people and instead of having to photocopy them, you can scan them there and e-mail them straight from the app to third parties. >> we love website called mercury-commerce. what it allows us to do is receive orders from sam's club, hsn an a variety of other sources, integrate them, print orders and ship directly. >> insightly integrates with google apps for business.
when my clients send an e-mail i can sync their information and e-mail to my insightly account. >> i use pdf signer. i need to sign agreements and documents, fill out paperwork. it's easy to pull up on my mac. it's very helpful. >> i have an app called colornote on my phone. it's an organizer, very, very simple. and it's basically replaced all the wadded up pieces of yellow lined paper that were in the bottom of my pocketbook and car floor, et cetera. so it's just a notes app. it has reminders and it's been really, really helpful. this week your business selfie comes from the bombshell
beauty in wilmington, delaware. we want to see your business, too. send us a selfie at msnbc.com or tweet it to @msnbc/your biz and please use the hash tag your biz selfie. here's what i learned today. it's not enough for the candidates to go out there and say we want to help small business owners. that's not enough. they have to really make people understand that they understand the challenges that small business owners are facing. the issues that are unique to small business owners, because what i heard, for most of the people out there, they don't think that anyone really, when you get to the bottom of it, really understands what they're doing through. we'd love to hear from you. if you have any questions or comments about today's show, e-mail us at email@example.com. click on openforum.com/your
business. we posted segments and a lot more on that. connect with us on our digital and social media platforms as well. next week, we look into why so many entrepreneurs, like myself, have started meditating and how it's helping our business. >> my husband always said thank god you have a meditation studio. >> the owner of a meditation studio tells us how she couldn't have launched her company without practicing what she preaches. until then, i'm jj ramberg. 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. in 4 ½ months? that was a leap. but i knew i could rely on american express to help me buy those building materials. amex helped me buy the inventory i needed.
our amex helped us fill the orders. just like that. another step on the journey. will you be ready when growth presents itself? realize your buying power at open.com . >> happy friday. lots going on. a very busy night tonight in presidential politics. still at this hour, senator ted cruz is in arizona, he's getting ready to hold what his campaign is calling an american rally, in phoenix, arizona, this hour. what makes tonight's ted cruz rally more american than his other rallies is unclear him but he will be joined on stage tonight by other people, including talk show host glen beck and former presidential candidate carley fiorina. earlier today in arizona, senator cruz toured the arizona-mexican border. you see him there wearing sunglass, showing off that side of his ted cruz