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tv   Your Business  MSNBC  June 9, 2018 4:30am-5:00am PDT

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good morning, everyone. coming up on "your business," how do you expand your business across the country? the owners of a healthy meal vending machine company show us their game plan. >> model and actress brooklyn decker becomes a business star with her digital wardrobe company, finery. and, protect your business from a starbucks situation. what you need to know about implementing anti-bias training in your company. when it comes to making choices for your business, we have your back. so let's grow fast and work smart. that's all coming up next on "your business."
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hi, there, everyone. i'm j.j. ramberg, and welcome to "your business," the show dedicated to helping your growing business. there are all kinds of ways companies can expand fracture their local area to becoming a national brand. and one of those ways is through partnerships. we headed out to chicago to learn how two food related companies had joined together to help them both grow. >> we started in new england. we're here in chicago as well with plans to move down into new york city and d.c./baltimore over the course of this year. >> shea is a man of action.
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he's co-founder of 4-year-old boston based lean box, a new kind of data driven vending machine for fresh food. >> thank you for your purchase. >> and he has big dreams. dreams that extend way beyond his home base in boston. >> our goal as a company is to have lean box in every major city in the entire united states and to change the way the american workforce eats. >> we also have great visions to scale the company way past two cities. >> nancy sharp is the founder and owner of chicago based food for thought, a multimillion dollar midwest catering company. recently, she and shea formed a partnership called lean box great lakes. it's the first step toward making lean box a national brand. >> it's always a little nerve-racking, sort of letting your brand into the hands of somebody else. but i really can't think of anyone i could trust more than the team that we found here in chicago. >> we're going to hit a home run here and then take it to the next market and the next market.
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>> together these two hope to create a template for building similar partnerships across the country, marrying local food preparers to the lean box technology system. >> i think the way we have done this with chicago will have to be replicated in every major city. more of a partnership than a franchise style. >> the goal, they say, is to supply midsized offices, the company's too small for a full fledged cafeteria but big enough to need quality fresh meals delivered to their workplace. >> we wanted the stuff in the fridge that you would eat, stuff you would get at trader joe's or whole foods. >> that's why shea and his team develop their own custom made refrigerators and delivery management software. it's a technology which coordinates inventory through point of sales data, tracks supply and demand at each location, collects payment and controls waste. >> our technology is really a technology ecosystem. what someone sees in their office is our tip of the sphere. >> after several years of development and trial and error,
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they produced a workable system which was ready to go. >> the first plateau for us was 25 machines. 25 was basically one driver, two routes. and then the next plateau was another driver. let's get up to 50 sites. >> today, a year and a half after installing the first 25 machines. shea says they now have nearly 1,000 clients in new england, and they're ready to take on the country. but how? there's no road map, no playbook. >> we really wanted to test out the ability to go into a new market where we basically had no connections and start from the ground up knowing everything we knew from the first two years of our experience. >> then, he got a call from nancy sharp. she was looking to expand her offerings into office food services, and the lean box model had caught her eye. >> she called up and just said, i like what you're doing. we have been following you guys. and as a start-up owner, that always gives me the warm fuzzys. and they said this is a mark we want to get into. >> i knew we were kindred souls right then. i said oh, my god, i wish i was
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40 years younger and i would do it all over again and with them. the energy, the excitement around building something. >> their personal chemistry was key to opening up the dialogue. but establishing an effective partnership requires much more than the warm fuzzys. lean box seemed like just the thing nancy was looking for. >> because of the changes that we're enacting in the work place, we're getting asked over and over again to put fresh food in the workplace, but how do you keep it refrigerated? how do you have unattended pay. all of the details that lean box brought to us. >> it's really taking a strong business model that existed in boston, being able to jump on to a strong foundation that existed in chicago. and that was the perfect match. it's really helped us penetrate the market in a good way. >> masa was working for nancy back then. he says everyone quickly recognized the possibilities for rapid growth. today, he's managing director for the recently formed lean box great lakes partnership. >> i think it would be fair to say if we were starting from
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ground zero and didn't have an infrastructure in place, it may have taken much longer. >> after only eight months, thanks to nancy's understanding of the chicago market and her network of vendors and blue ribbon client list, lean box stations are now being introduced across chicago. >> this morning i tried the breakfast burrito, which was excellent. and yesterday afternoon, i had the turkey sandwich. >> dan horton is president of the horton group, a third generation owned chicago insurance brokerage firm. his company recently installed the lean box in their office break room. >> i think as an employer, having something that's right here in our office encourages people to stay here and to congregate. >> for us, it also allowed a lot of employees who used to never leave their desk for lunch to actually come into a common area. >> michelle is like many hr managers in today's shifting work environment. she finds on top of all of her other duties, she's also in charge of creating a welcoming corporate environment. >> it's something we have taken great pride in at the horton
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group. >> lean box has zeroed in on hr managers like michelle as their primary customers. >> we really focus on that office manager, the hr manager that now has been given this pretty broad responsibility of developing a food program. and our product is very focused on how do we make that person's life easier. >> with a well defined customer base and a prototype partnership arrangement with a well established local food service, it now looks like lean box has identified the beginnings of its national playbook. >> you have to crawl before you walk and walk before you run, and light this thing on fire and grow as fast as possible. >> this week, starbucks closed 8,000 stores across the country for a few hours to conduct anti-bias training for their employees. the training comes on the heels of an incident where a starbucks manager called police on tw african-american men waiting for a friend. bias, unconscious or conscious, is indeed an issue in our society. and we should all be taking a hard look at how that may be showing up in our companies.
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gale britain is a former vice president of diversity and inclusion for prudential and is a consultant now on this issue for businesses of all sizes. so good to see you. >> good to be here. >> i'm so happy to talk to you about this because it is a complicated topic. >> absolutely. >> i believe as i have been reading the feedback on starbucks employees and both good and bad about the starbucks training is how do you get the conversation started in your company? i think there is no question that we need to be having these conversations. how do you do it so it doesn't just become another training exercise that goes in one ear and out the other? >> it's going to differ with every firl. you need to understand what the firm is talking about, but it's important to start the conversation with the leadership so that it's a top-down approach. and the leadership can adopt the language of the training you use with the associates. >> actually, let's take this a step back. so in our audience, we have companies that are one person, we have companies that are many
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thousands of people. if you're on the smaller side, you may think, not a problem in my company. why do i even have to worry about this? do you? >> you absolutely do. especially if you're consumer facing. starbucks's issue is they had somebody who represented them to the world or all of their employees represent them to the world. so you absolutely have to make sure they're on the same page with how you're thinking about culture, with how you're thinking about race, with how you're thinking about women. pick an ism. you want to make sure people are clear about what your values are and they express those values to your customer. whether you have one person employed by you or 1,000, you need to be in sync with that person, and it's important to, before you hire somebody, have a conversation about how you want your customers treated, and don't assume. because i dare say that woman has probably exercised something similar before she put out those two men. >> so i'm the leader of a
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company, right? let's say i have 50 people working for me. do i need to go get a formal training program, or is this something i can do a little more informally in my company? if it's the latter, you risk doing something wrong that is offensive when you're trying to be inclusive. >> that's why i would suggest, it's a little self-serving, but i would suggest you get someone to help you, and you make certain that you are delivering the message all the time, consistently. so it's like feedback. no one ever wants to give feedback, but it's so critical. if you hear someone say something, you need to tap them and pull them aside and speak to them about what they said that you don't appreciate. i remember many years ago there was a training that went on and there were guys in the back kind of heckling. what the manager did at the close of training was, he said to them, can i speak to you guys after this is over? while he didn't embarrass them, everyone knew who he spoke to
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them, it was going to be about the heckling they did during the diversity training. there are ways you can do subtle things, ways you can do more implicit things but it has to happen, and the tone comes from the person that's the leader. >> what happens during diversity training? what happens that truly does change behavior or change awareness? >> i think one of the most important things that happens is you start to show people the history of racism. you start to show people how privilege sets in and how everybody has some level of privilege. and you get them to stop and think about what they're doing. and if you can get people to hit the pause button in their daily life and examine the decisions they're making and the things they say, you can make progress. so it really is creating this awareness about what happened to people, what happened to african-americans from the moment they got here and how they have experienced racism and continue to experience racism on the daily.
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microaggressions, macroaggressions. certainly, what happened to donte robinson and rashon nelson, that was macro. but little things happen to people where they're not waited on in stores. where people look around them and say who's next. those kinds of things. that's what you want to disrupt with your employees so your brand is protected. >> so it is the first step to understand that there are two kinds. there is conscious bias and unconscious bias, we need to attack both of these. >> exactly. >> and if we want our companies to succeed as well as our huh manatee to succeed, we need to think about both of those. >> i know this is a show about business, but i think i would reverse that and say the humanity because then the business follows. >> right. well, thank you for all the work you do. it's so important that there are people out there like you who are thinking about this and talking to people and getting it out there. ium so happy you stopped by to talk to us. >> i'm happy to be here. thanks so much.
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>> both on and off the runway, model turned actress brooklyn decker does not shy away from leading with her business sense. now she's sawing technology to help other women be efficient and sustainable when putting together their outfit of the day. she's a model, an actress, wife to tennis player andy roddick, and the mother of two. for brooklyn decker, there are not enough hours in the day. >> i'm all about productivity, especially as a new mom. and anything that gives me time to do the things i want to do, i'm a fan of. >> which means when it comes to shopping, her priority is efficiency. >> i shop 99% online. i'm a big online shopper. i don't have time to do it in person. i hate trying things on. i just want it in my house. >> when her friend whitney casey told her about an idea which uses your online receipts to create a digital inventory of urcloset, brooklyn instantly got it. >> it's completely categorized. when you think about all the
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processes you go through during the day, your wardrobe is is the one thing that's still antiquated. >> the concept seemed like a winner to the duo. >> it was a product that i really wanted and felt was really missing from the space. >> this tech has been applied to other fields, just never to the wardrobe. i think it took females to create it. >> when it came to the name, whitdny looked back to her former career. >> whitney was working with dan rather, and he has a formality about him that's very old school, and he would say to people, oh, aren't you dressed in your finery today. and she's like, dan always talks about people's finery. i feel like that's perfect. like wearing your best, your sunday's best. and it just stuck. >> finery was born. but like with so many companies, the product they launched with turned out to not exactly be the thing users wanted. >> for us, we thought the big aha moment would come when you saw your wardrobe. oh, my goodness, i purchased this ten years ago. once we had it, users said
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great, now what? we want you to style us, tell us what to buy, what to get rid of. we had to find ways to do that. we're using a lot of machine learning, new technology, image recognition, for example, to basically give women ideas on how to wear their stuff. >> this quick loop of feedback and development is something brooklyn says she was used to from acting. >> i think when you are acting, you have to deal with rejection really well and you have to be able to pivot quickly. your users will give you feedback right away. our users are incredibly vocal. they're sending us instagram messages, e-mails. we have a chat finish. they're chatting with us. >> for the two founders nothing is precious other than what the users think and how finery is making their lives easier. >> for us, it's all about user trust. there's very little technology that is applied to the pain points of women. very little technology out there. to be able to make a lot of headway in that space and say we're building something that's going to give you your time
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back, that to me was huge. to be able to really invest in something and build something that could change the way that women are interacting with their stuff, it was exciting to me. >> right now, finery is free, as they try to build up their users. but their goal is to have the company become every woman's perfect fashion accessory. >> i think if you look at the entire business model, we really want to own all of the space. so really closing the retail loop. if you start, you want to see what you have. then you want to really get smart recommendations and fill your wardrobe gaps. >> i hope that when women are thinking about getting dressed, which we do every single day, or thinking about getting ready for that date night or their friend's wedding, finery is the first place they go. >> we are in the middle of our second season of our podcast, been there, built that. and this week, i'm talking to jessica heron, the founder and ceo of the stella and dot family of brands and he's incredibly
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interesting to listen to. she talks to me why she's running her second business very differently than her first and she tells me what a taxi driver told her when she was in her early 20s which changed the way she views risk. i hope you all get a chance to listen to it. if you do, please do me a favor and give us some feedback. we love hearing from you. so go listen to it now for free. again, called been there built that. you can find it on apple podcast or wherever you get your podcasts. >> i'm here with this week's elevator pitch designer paris gordon. so good to see you. you broad your model, kelly powers. you both look beautiful. these are your designs. >> yes. >> tell me the name of your company. >> style and grace. the label is pg by paris gordon. >> is this self-funded or have you looked for funding before? >> self-funded. >> is this first time you pitch to potential investors? >> this will be the first time. >> all right r how do you feel?
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>> great. >> you're going to do great. they're going to give you great advice. you're talking to two people, the cofounder and ceo of zola, the fastest growing wedding planning company in that industry, and matt is the founder and president of commercial fleet financing, which is based in dallas. let's see what they think. >> hi. i'm paris gordon. and i'm introducing to every girl's best friend. the pg by paris gordon. i'll hand you this so i don't strip. i want to show you the inside, which is our patented apparel line which has shapewear built inside. we smooth, lift, contour, and support you with a bra, and it all stays in place with this silicone lace hem. these are all made with rayon on the outside and the spandex on the inside to comfortably support you. we dress 18 to 80-year-olds and it's a $21 billion market. so i think that we're really onto something right now, and we're looking for $300,000 in
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funding. >> i'm going to trade with you here, matt. so i need two numbers from you guys. from 1 to 10, the first is what do you think of the product. and the second is what do you think of the pitch. i'm going to start with shan because this feels like something that your audience is looking for, right? you talk to brides all day long. so let's see what you think. product and then pitch. >> for the product, i scored it with an 8. i think shapewear is the secret weapon for every woman the world over. i think the product that you just showed is one that feels very high quality. and so i think as a potential business and the potential to be a huge business, it's got a lot of potential there. the one question i would want answered is more details around the traction in the business so far as well as how is this defensible beyond the pattern. >> and the pitch quickly went
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where were the three points missing? what could she have done better? >> the pitch, i would have loved to hear what is the global market opportunity as well as hear a bit more about how you think you're going to grow the market and the market and grow your business over the coming year. overall, i loved it. >> fantastic. matt, what did you think? >> for someone who never wore spanx, this is interesting for me. >> turn it around. what have you got? >> i gave it an 8. my wife loves this type of product line. kelly looks fantastic in it. i think the product is a winner. >> what could she have done better on the pitch? >> i want to hear the problem that your product addresses. i missed that. it was three-quarters in that i began to hear that. and i didn't hear the price point. are you high end, low end, or middle? i would challenge you to do both of those. tell me the problem being solved
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and the price point. >> you two hit upon the things that everyone says you need to hit in an elevator pitch. you did a great job. fantastic product. thank you so much for sharing it with us. good luck with everything going forward. to all of you female entrepreneurs out there, listen up. we have a great opportunity. if you have an amazing business you you need help getting the word out, here's what we have got for you. the leading women's lifestyle digital media company has more than 350 million social media fans and followers. we have teamed up with sheknows to give you a chance to share your product or service in front of 2,000 influencers and bloggers at their annual summit this august in new york city. you get to be in front of all of these people who could write about you. send us your pitch to your pwpbs
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busines when we come back, what you should be looking for when you're checking on a business you may want to buy. and the most dangerous mind-set any business owner could have. the line between work and life hasn't just blurred. it's gone. that's why you need someone behind you. not just a card. an entire support system. whether visiting the airport lounge to catch up on what's really important. or even using those hard-earned points to squeeze in a little family time. no one has your back like american express. so no matter where you're going... we're right there with you. the powerful backing of american express. don't do business without it. don't live life without it.
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we have this e-mail from lindsey. she writes where can i find a company to buy and how do i evaluate if it's a good company? >> i think the key to finding a great company to buy is understand how the customers view it. if it's a consumer-facing company or other business partners, you want to understand their passion for this company because passionate customers or partners is a huge driving factor in success. in addition to that, you really want to understand the total addressable market and opportunities for this business. is it global? is it local? and can i serve many different areas as opposed to just one narrow area because that will determine how much you're willing to pay or how much you would want to invest in the company. so those are two crucial points.
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>> we now have the top two tips to help your business grow. matt, before we start, i just want to mention you have a new book out. >> i do. >> the name of it is -- >> "you need more money". >> you need nothing more to market that. >> i do love the title. but it is an important story of my brother-in-law who passed at an early age and was unfinancially prepared. >> and you give really personal advice and good tips on how there are things we are simply not thinking about. >> yeah. wakeup call and the road map. >> everyone should go out and get it. now to grow your business, let's start with you. you started your company from nothing. silt now the fastest growing company in your space, which is a crowded space. congratulations. >> thank you. >> what's a tip for the audience? >> my tip is to take no for an
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answer. i think everyone starting a new business always wants to hear positive feedback. and your family and friends really want to give you positive feedback and support for your idea. but in fact, what i found most valuable is to seek out people who are unrelated to you who are your end customers and ask them why they may not use your product or service. listen to why they are telling you no. and then go out and solve those problems. >> i think it's such a smart thing to think about. friends and family who even say they are being honest -- by the way, even strangers who you are talking to, it's hard for people to say it's about idea. it feels uncomfortable to say it. it is always great to stick them in front of whatever you can as a customer and make them put down money if you can and see what they really think, not what they are just telling you. >> absolutely. and over time i've learned that if you can do this, and we have done this every month for four years, this has been the biggest
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reason why we have had people telling all their friends to use zola and why we have grown so quickly. >> you have gotten rid of the bad stuff. matt, you are up. >> so mine is to stay out of what i call false positive. it's when you think you're doing better in your business than you really are. it's absolutely the most dangerous place for an entrepreneur to live. so my tip is have a very specific clear litmus test. how do you know whether you're on track or off track. most will get caught into the cocktail party conversation saying we are doing better. oh, we're killing it. it's unbelievable. we're growing like wildfire, right? what does that mean? and so many of us really don't know what it means. >> so you need to have benchmarks? >> you need to have benchmarks. a litmus test for someone is what i call the 1-3-5-10.
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in your 20s, this is more the personal financial side. but in your 20s, you should have 1 times your annual income your network. in your 30s, three times. in your 40s, five times. and in your 50s, you should have 10 times. >> success masks failure also. so you may be doing very well because of the economy is doing well. you just hit it on one particular thing. and as a result, you do not see all of the problems bubbling up in your business. and so i think it's important to strip away the success and say, okay, if everything fell apart, are we strong enough to survive this. >> beta test it, keep it real, keep it honest. stay out of what i call a false positive. >> well, great. thank you both. congratulations on your book, on your company, on your company. it's great to be able to have your advice. thanks, guys. >> thank you. >> this week's your biz selfie
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was from noel and natasha benitez. they offer custom interior design for businesses and homeowners. we see a sample of their work right there. pick up your smartphones right now and take a selfie of you and your business and send it to us at or tweet it to@msnbc your biz with the hashtag your biz selfie. include your name, the name of your company and tell us the location. also if there's anything about your business you want us to share, let us know that too. thank you so much for joining us. we love, love hearing from you. so if you have any questions, you have comments, you want to just say hi, send an e-mail to i promise you we read all those e-mails. also, if you missed anything on the show or want to see it
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again, head over to our website, we put up all of today's segments, plus a whole lot more for you. of course don't forget to connect on all of our digital and social media platforms as well. one last reminder, check out the podcast been there, built that on tune in or wherever you get your podcasts. we look forward to seeing you next time. until then, i'm jj ramberg. and remember we make your business our business. it's pretty amazing out there. the world is full of more possibilities than ever before. and american express has your back every step of the way- whether it's the comfort of knowing help is just a call away with global assist. or getting financing to fund your business.
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no one has your back like american express. so where ever you go. we're right there with you. the powerful backing of american express. don't do business without it. don't live life without it. morning glory, america. i'm hugh hewitt. the president and senior officials are leaving from quebec soon en route to singapore. before we talk about what happened at the g-7 or the g-6 or the g-8, i thought i would start with our panel talking about china. courtney kube, josh of the national journal and ashley parker of the "washington post". courtney, we're lucky to have you. you broke a story about what the chinese are doing in preparation for the summit. cue us up there.


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