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Capitalist Sage: Wendy Kinney talking shop on effective networking



Wendy Kinney, Power Generator, giving her sage advice on networking with your hosts Karl Barham and Rico Figliolini. Recorded at Atlanta Tech Park in City of Peachtree Corners, Georgia


In this episode of the Capitalist Sage Podcast, Karl and Rico talk to Wendy Kinney – a referral marketing expert. Wendy shares knowledge and advice about how to find networking associations that are a good fit, common mistakes people often make in a referral market, and the importance of referral marketing in expanding your network.


Power Core:


How to contact Wendy: 404-816-3377

“So, someone once explained to me that the difference between a homeless person and Warren Buffet is timeline. The homeless person wonders what he’s going to eat tonight. Warren Buffet knows what his grandchildren are going to eat. So the homeless person is thinking, “Can I get 20 bucks. Can I go to burger king?” Warren Buffet is thinking, “Where am I gonna take my family on vacation three years from now?” And that timeline is crucial for referrals. Cold calling is – I’m gonna call you, I’m gonna interrupt what you’re doing, you’re either gonna say yes or not to me, and I’m gonna move on. Referrals has a timeline. And that’s the first thing that people miss. They want it to be instant.”

Wendy Kinney

Audiences transform from groups of passive strangers to active, individual participants learning new skills together. People are meeting. New contacts are being made. Sparks fly.

Wendy Kinney created Ready… Set… Go Make Money! networking methodology from her 21 years of researching, experimenting and confirming what works for networking. 

She opened the Atlanta office of PowerCore in 1995; since then PowerCore Teams in the metro Atlanta Area have connected more than 15,898 Members.

Wendy continues to guide Atlanta’s entrepreneurial community into the lucrative and exciting world of network and referral marketing. And she’s gone global, bringing her proven methods and innovative techniques for creating ah-ha’s and shocks of recognition to corporate events around the world.

For more information visit www.WendysDesk.com, or contact Wendy via 404-816-3377 or Wendy@PowerCore.net

Podcast transcript:

Karl [00:01]: Welcome to the Capitalist Sage Podcast. We’re here to bring you advice and tips from seasoned pros and experts to help you improve your business. I’m Carl Barham.

Rico [00:08]: And I’m Rico Figliolini.

Karl [00:09]: I’m with Transworld Business Advisor, and Rico is with Mighty Rocket Digital Marketing and the publisher of the Peachtree Corner Magazine. Rico! How about telling us about our sponsors today?

Rico [00:22]: Sure. First thing is – I just want to let you know, we’re in the podcast studios at Atlanta Tech park in Tech Park Atlanta.

Karl [00:30]: That’s right.

Rico [00:31]: Love the name. It’s in the city of Peachtree Corners. So we’re in the middle of this accelerator here in Peachtree Corners. Now what is that – the incubator that’s at Prototype Prime just down the block. So this is a great hub for technology. So this is where we’re at doing this podcast.

Karl [00:49]: Part of Curiosity Lab of –

Rico [00:52]: Well, Curiosity Lab actually encompasses now Prototype Prime as long as a one and a half mile autonomous vehicle track, and I think it’s the Georgia Tech professional education services that’s being conducted out of there as well.

Karl [01:08]: Absolutely. A live lab in Peachtree Corners. Fabulous.

Rico [01:11]: So one – the only one I should, probably one of several, but the only one that made it in Atlanta. A live lab where people can actually put their autonomous vehicles and stuff into a real track. So that’s where we are here, just to give you an essence. Peachtree Corners magazine and the family of podcasts which includes Capitalist Sage is also a media sponsor for Smart City Expo Atlanta, which is an offshoot of the annual Barcelona event that’s done internationally. So this expo happens in September – it’s the first one in North America. Curiosity Lab in Peachtree Corners will have an offsite demo place in its racing place that the attendees of this expo can come to and check out the track and all the stuff that’s gonna go on there. Because they should hopefully be done in about 48 days – at least the PC portion of that to be able to share. The Smart City Expo is the first one of three years that are going to be here and the World Congress Center, and it’s right at smart cities and bringing it down to the people that would actually be using it on the boardway. So not just businesses. And, also want to welcome, for the first time, Gwinnett Medical Center. They’re a sponsor of our podcast as well. So they’re actually opening up a place – they’re entering Peachtree Corners. It’s called the GMC Primary Care and Specialty Center of Peachtree Corners, and they’re gonna have a lot of premier, first rate primary care services and specialty services. For those people that want to know where it is, if you’re familiar with the old Abuelita’s restaurant, which is the building that’s been completely gutted and renovated, just south of the QT of Peachtree Corners.

Karl [02:57]: That’s right. Right across from the farm. So if you can find the farm, you’ll be able to find this medical center.

Rico [03:01]: And if you find the QT or Climate Smoothie which is in that same place.

Karl [03:05]: That’s it. Good – thank you very much for introducing our sponsors. Today’s guest is Wendy Kinney. An entrepreneur, business owner, network and relationship marketing expert. Wendy opened the Atlanta office of Power Core back in 1995 and has connected over 15,000 members, helping people grow their business through network and referral marketing. Just want to thank you for joining us today, and why don’t you introduce yourself a little bit more to our audience?

Wendy [03:36]: Thank you, Karl, I’m honored, and Rico – I’m honored to be invited and participate in this. I think you’re doing good work, so, that’s good.

Karl [03:44]: Thank you. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about how you got into this space?

Wendy [03:49]: I visited my first Power Core team, and all Power Core meetings are at seven o’clock in the morning, in Melbourne, Florida at the Hyatt across from the airport. And it was two hours from where I lived. And the reason I agreed to go to a 7 AM meeting two hours from home, because you’re already doing the math on what time they had to leave and get up and all that, right? Was because I’m incredibly shy. I had a hard time getting to events that were close to home. I would very often get dressed, get in the car, drive in the event, circle the parking lot and get home. And I figured if it was two hours away, I would actually go in because if I embarrassed myself, I wouldn’t have to kill anyone. So that was my first experience in that situation.

Karl [04:33]: Oh wow, fabulous. So when you found Power Core – why don’t you describe what Power Core is for folks that don’t know?

Wendy [04:40]: So, it’s a business referral network, and there are 21 different types of networking associations. So think of them as languages. Think of them as Greek and French and Spanish and Portuguese. And if I prepared for a trip to Brazil by taking Spanish lessons, when I got there, I would be, best case, ineffective and, worst case, offensive because they speak Portuguese, right? And so, associations are like that too. Each association has its own purpose, has its own language. And Power Core is the type of association that is codified, close contact. And what that means is that there’s a group of people who meet once a week. These people are not in competition with each other. And their purpose is to build the credibility required to recognize and refer their clients to each other. So they know each other closely. And this – the reason that that very first meeting worked for me was because one of the presentations was being done by the CPA. And I sat there during his presentation taking notes and thinking to myself, “How come the guy I’m paying isn’t telling me this? Why isn’t my own CPA telling me this?” And it was so powerful to me to recognize, and I could see right there already, that if I had a question, I could ask the banker. Just right after the meeting, and he would have answered me. If I had a question, I could just ask the attorney, and he would just answer me. And I didn’t have another place in my life where that existed. And that was my motivation. I – I know that most people join because they want the referrals, right? But my motivation was – I need these people in my life. I had just come off a very bad business failure. Do you want to know what it was? I bought a restaurant.

Rico [06:25]: That’ll do it all.

Wendy [06:28]: Big mistake. Big mistake. And what I realized, sitting there, was – if I had had these people in my life, I would have not been a failure as a restauranteur.

Karl [06:40]: That’s fabulous – it’s interesting having advisors and people that you can go to to help you at – grow your business is really key. And having this group that, by structure, you’re getting to know them very well, I could see that building kind of, like, almost a board of directors, a kitchen cabinet, or small council – whatever you want to call them. But they’re these people that you can go to for those questions. And along the way, you happen to be able to help each other do business.

Wendy [07:10]: Yes. Yes. And when I first joined, I didn’t think anyone would have referrals for me. I was wrong, but I was clear. And what I learned and what I tell people now is – these people are cheering for your success more than any other people in your life. More than family, more than anyone. These people want you to be successful. They’re building you up, they’re holding you up, they’re introducing you to prospects. This is your cheerleader, right here.

Karl [07:38]: So what do you think people miss, when you see folks looking to grow? So I talk to business owners all the time. Pretty much most of them have a revenue problem. They don’t grow enough money. You ask them, “What do you spend on marketing, what do you do for marketing?” They say, “Referrals. I built my business on referrals.” What are they missing when they’re looking at their business and how they’re approaching it and how someone that really wants to really drive their business using referrals can do.

Wendy [08:05]: Yeah. Two things. The first thing that they’re missing is timeline. So, someone once explained to me that the difference between a homeless person and Warren Buffet is timeline. The homeless person wonders what he’s going to eat tonight. Warren Buffet knows what his grandchildren are going to eat. So the homeless person is thinking, “Can I get 20 bucks. Can I go to burger king?” Warren Buffet is thinking, “Where am I gonna take my family on vacation three years from now?” And that timeline is crucial for referrals. Cold calling is – I’m gonna call you, I’m gonna interrupt what you’re doing, you’re either gonna say yes or not to me, and I’m gonna move on. Referrals has a timeline. And that’s the first thing that people miss. They want it to be instant. Yeah.

Rico [08:48]: I’ve been – I didn’t do Power Core. I did another – I won’t name it – I did another networking group. And the other networking group was more like – wasn’t like this. I mean they had the –

Wendy [09:03]: I think you should name it. I really do. Just because it will be clearer.

Rico [09:07]: It’s been a long time, it’s BNI.

Wendy [09:10]: But I just think it’ll be clearer.

Rico [09:11]: Okay. So BNI is this Business Network International. It’s been around a long time. Same thing. 7 o’clock in the morning, we all did the one minute, two-minute elevator screens. We all had to share leads. It was almost mandatory – it was almost like you were shamed if you didn’t do it. And it was always typically the same type of business. An accountant, lawyer, it’s always the typical. And I just felt very – I just wasn’t feeling it. And I’m –

Wendy [09:45]: So here’s – here’s my response to that. I believe that associations are like blue jeans. Not every pair of jeans fits every butt. Can I say that? Do I need to rerecord? And as soon as you try it on, you know if it’s a fit for you or not. And if it’s not a fit for you, it’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with you and there’s nothing wrong with the jeans. So I have no illusions that anyone should belong to any one type of association. I think that’s part of the reason why there’s 21 different associations. I think we all need to belong to three different types, but it doesn’t matter which type we belong to. As long as we work each type according to its purpose, right? So. Finding out, and finding out quickly, that it’s not for you – I think that’s a good thing.

Rico [10:34]: Yeah, I don’t disagree, and it didn’t take me too long. I think it was about four or five weeks, which I thought was long, I thought I needed to do a little bit more. And I found my network and my referrals confirmed with different –

Wendy [10:46]: So I want to – I want to address how long is long enough. Just in the general referral marketing thing. So I told you that I belonged – I believe that we each need to belong to three different types of associations. I believe very firmly that we need to belong to an association where every member is a prospect. Now that would not be a close contact association. So if someone went to a close contact association, selling to the people at the table and the people at the people then buy with them, they would think they were unsuccessful. However, it would be because they were speaking the wrong language, right? So that’s really important. So there needs to be, in my marketing portfolio, one association where every member of that association is indeed a prospect for me. There needs to be a second association in my portfolio where every member is a gate opener for me. A gate opener is a person who will never do business with me personally, but is in a position to send me one referral a month like clockwork. And I need to belong to a third association with this broader cross-section of people as possible. And for most people, that’s what Power Core is. Where there’s this broader cross-section of people – so watch, I’ve got depth in the first two, I’ve got width in the second one. And that depth and width is what gives a marketing plan stability. And I believe that everyone needs to belong to those three things, and then – and so here we go. Here’s – I know that was a long answer to come back. Once my private clients make those three choices, it’s a three year decision. So now we’re coming back to the difference between the homeless person and Warren Buffett. So the important piece here is, five or six weeks isn’t long enough to know. It’s just not. And it’s long enough to know the jeans don’t fit or you don’t like the jeans, right? But once people make a decision, the difference between success and failure and referral marketing is being a member long enough for these people to know you. So the team I was at today – I was at Cumberland today. And David Arnold turned in a business slip from a guy who was a member of his team fourteen years ago. Fourteen years ago. And now he’s moving to Denver. Now. Fourteen years later! Of all the real estate agents in the greater metro area, this guy knows David the best. And that’s a long – that’s a Warren Buffet time frame, right? So when people use – there’s only three ways to get new clients. Advertising, cold-calling, referrals. When people use an advertising or cold-calling mindset in a referral marketing plan, you’re always gonna be ripping up these plans before the roots have had time to form.

Karl [13:25]: Yeah. It’s a good thing to know as I’ve ventured out and talked to a lot of the folks and participated in some of these different – getting to know people, part of it, if you think about it, it’s hard for me to refer to you, and we’ve known each other for a while now. And we’ve worked together, and I know what you do, little by little, many small conversations. I know details. But I now know how to listen for things. And I’ll say, “Hey Rico, there’s someone here that you need to talk to because of our conversation we had” that if we didn’t stick through this and meet every week and chat all the time, I wouldn’t have known that.

Rico [14:04]: You know what I find out – I find that I don’t know the two organizations you’re talking about – all have to be networking, quote networking? Because what I find is that, when I belong to an association, let’s say the America – the Atlantic Marketing Association, which is going to –

Wendy [14:21]: That’s a really good example of an industry specific association.

Rico [14:25]: Now, there I find that, because maybe because of what I do particularly –

Wendy [14:31]: No, I think these jeans just fit your personality.

Rico [14:35]: Maybe. Because I don’t like being necessarily a member in an organization as opposed to being a board member. I want to be an effective person that could bring value to that organization. And in doing so, expand the value of the organization. And bring – and when you do that, I think, when you get in, then you get it.

Wendy [14:55]: Yeah. So the key in this three-year trajectory is to be a visible, committee member or board member by the end of the first year. So everyone needs to be on a leadership track, a visibility track – just from the very beginning. Go find out where there’s a hole that fits me, right? Because I don’t want to volunteer for a board position that’s onerous for me, right? Find – always work in your area of strength. Always work in your area of strength.

Karl [15:24]: That leads me to one thing that does, when people get that involved, it starts building credibility. I know that’s one of the important elements of getting referrals. Help folks understand why credibility is so important and how people build that and build that.

Wendy [15:39]: Yeah, so I just came from a lunch conversation with someone who was referencing a person who we both know. And he cost himself any referrals from her or from me because he blew his credibility. And he blew his credibility in very specific ways. The easiest way to get credibility is to say, “I’ll call you at 10 o’clock tomorrow,” and then do it! Right? Because if I say I’ll call you at ten o’clock tomorrow, and at ten o’clock tomorrow I get your voicemail and I say, “Hey this is Wendy,” you’re gonna listen to that voicemail and go, “Ooh, she did what she said she was gonna do.” If you answer the phone, you’re gonna be, “Okay, she did what she said she was gonna do.” I can count on her – if I refer to her, my clients are going to experience the same thing. The easiest way to bust credibility is to not do what you said you were going to do. So whether that is not performing well as a leader, or not showing up for a lunch appointment, or not performing in some other way that I said I was going to, that’s referral death.

Karl [16:44]: So I’m wondering. As people start putting together a plan on building credibility, are there tools and strategies that they can use to start to pull some of this together to be more effective in getting referrals?

Wendy [16:59]: Yeah. So, so let’s start with the concept of meeting one-on-one for coffee. So those one-on-one meetings, as you just expressed to Rico – those meeting where people are just talking and beginning a friendship because referrals are always between friends. And beginning that friendship – those are really important. So I can strategically make a plan to have one coffee meeting in between every meeting with the association. So you like AMA meets monthly – in between every month’s meeting, you’re going to have lunch with some person from that association. Now watch what happens. Remember my three-year path. In month number one, you have lunch with Art. And when you go in month number two, Art’s gonna say – “Oh, hey! I want to introduce you to Scott, Tom and Jerry.” And in month number two, you’re going to have lunch with Betty. And when you go onto meeting number 3, Betty’a gonna say, “Oh I want to introduce you to Carla and Deborah and Sally.” And in month number four – are you getting it? And so what happens is – if you have lunch with one person in between every meeting, those people become your advocates and your champions at the next week’s meeting – or the next month’s meeting. And by the end of twelve months – twelve meetings, you’ve got a whole group who knows who you are and knows your name and recognizes you – I don’t know what you do yet. But they know who are, they know what you do, they know your name. And if you saw them Friday night at pizza, they’d come up to your table and say hi! When people don’t have a proactive strategy to do that, networking doesn’t work for them.

Karl [18:43]: That’s super key. I notice that another thing, as you start talking with folks, in the cold networking kind of groups, if you’re trying to sell to people, that’s speaking the wrong line.

Wendy [18:57]: It’s so speaking the wrong line.

Karl [18:59]: So if I’m trained in sales, and I know – I don’t know if you’re familiar with Challenger, Inside Be Sellings – some of those kinds of things. One of those key things is changing the way someone thinks introducing new information.

Wendy [19:12]: Right.

Karl [19:13]: If you’re not supposed to be selling to – to Rico – because he’s not supposed to, he’s not my customer, what should I be spending my time telling Rico?

Wendy [19:22]: Right. So, the book, The Secret Life of Pronouns is fabulous. The author is James Panabaker, he’s a University of Texas at Austin. And one of the things that he describes is how our use of pronouns affects how people react and respond to us. So the pronouns, “we” – this is what we do – and “you” – I can help you – are sales pronouns. And neuro linguistically they call them vertical. So these pronouns make people think – “I need this, I don’t need this. Yes, no, up, down, in, out. This is for me, this is not for me.” These pronouns – what an incredible power – stop referrals. Because when I’m speaking to Rico, and I say, “Well, Rico, what I can do for you is…” – Rico either thinks “Oh, I like that” or “No I don’t.” And then we’re done. He’s not thinking laterally, which is what neurolinguistics call the pronouns “I” and “they”. So when I’m speaking to Rico and I say – “What I did for them was…”, now Rico thinks what is like or what is not like what she’s talking about. So I was just talking with Heather, and she said, “I’m a good referral for your friends who have coffee table books of the places they’ve visited.” Well, immediately, when she said that, I thought – “Ooh, Kevin and Hal. They don’t have coffee table books from the places they’ve visited. They get some piece of art from every place they’ve been on vacation, and that’s their memento from the vacation.” Right? So that lateral thinking – it’s not a coffee table book – it’s a piece of art. That lateral thinking is how referral happen. And they happen with the pronouns, “This is what I did for them” – the person who’s not here. Not “This is what we can do for you,” the person who is here. And that’s key to referrals. Just key.

Rico [21:13]: You know, that’s funny. Because I’ve gotta believe that’s – as you were saying it – it’s almost like the case study.

Wendy [21:19]: Isn’t it?

Rico [21:20]: And everyone talks about – “I want to see the case study. I want to see what you did for someone else. Is that what you’re gonna do for me? Because we – you don’t even know me.”

Wendy [21:28]: Right! Right! And yet you’re pitching me? Yeah.

Rico [21:31]: Right. And I don’t do that. I hate doing that. I hate coming up with, I have a toolbox. I have a hammer and a screwdriver. I know you got nails and screws –

Wendy [21:40]: And now everything’s gonna be hammered.

Karl [21:43]: Even if you don’t need it, I’m gonna hit you.

Wendy [21:44]: Yeah, it’s what I got.

Rico [21:46]: So I need to know who you are first because you don’t even – you know, if at least I give you my case studies like that. What I did for them, then they might be able to step up and say and feel empathy. I understand.

Karl [21:56]: I just had an incident where what you just said happened, and now that I’m sensitized to it, I see it coming right at me. At a just a networking event or meeting some people, and someone selling, I think it was maybe employee benefits. And said – and she didn’t know anything about me. And she started saying, “Well, you know, I sell employee benefits and I can build us up, and if you have three to ninety-nine employees” and so on. And I said, “Wow.” She just went in and went from me to the next person and said the same thing to the next person and next person, next person. And I’m sitting there going, “why, I’d love to pull her aside for a moment and just have a short” –

Wendy [22:39]: Say, “Honey I can help you.”

Karl [22:41]: Which I am scheduling coffee with her, so we’re gonna have a conversation. But you see when folks do that a little bit different. There’s another thing –

Wendy [22:49]: I think that venturing to do that, thought, don’t you think? And they’ve just – what – and I remember the metaphor that I was taught was, you’re just picking up rocks and saying, “Is it you? Is it you? Is it you?” And it’s really uncomfortable to be one of those rocks.

Rico [23:01]: You know, when I was a stockbroker, it was like that. I got a stock, and I don’t care who you are, you’re gonna end up buying this stock from me, right? That’s the mentality of a lot of people have –

Wendy [23:11]: And we’re over it. We’re just over it.

Rico [23:13]: It doesn’t work that way.

Karl [23:15]: There’s this interesting thing that you introduced to me about the file cabinet and how to look at it. And I’ve used the ideas of it over the years – I didn’t realize – I used it in a different way, but it was a great way to organize your approach to it. But basically, offering insights. But when I have conversations with business owners – I’m not selling them a service. There’s information that I might have that could help them with their business. They may want to know evaluation, they may want to know how to increase marketing – whatever it is, I offer them insight to think differently about their business. That’s where I start. And then I can pivot from depending what they need, whether it’s a referral, what I can help them, whether they can help themselves. How do you use this filing cabinet now, do you help people organize that?

Wendy [24:04]: Right. So think of a four-drawer cabinet. You know, it’s about shoulder high, everybody has one, whether it’s in the garage or basement, they’ve got one, right? And the four drawers of the filing cabinet are the four things that people want when they come to us. So nobody wants peace of mind – they want car insurance or they want homeowners insurance, or they want umbrella insurance, or they want insurance on their motorcycle, right? They have something they want and it’s called insurance. Now, the name of the filing cabinet in this example is, “Insurance,” right? So if I’m an insurance agent and I go to a networking event, and I say, “I’m an insurance agent, so if you’ve got a home or a boat or a car I can help you.” People are either going to say, “Oh thanks I love my agent.” They’re not gonna talk to me because they feel pitched, right? Or they’re gonna say, and these are the only two options – or they’re gonna say, “Oh, I know a lot of insurance agents. Do you know Tommy Schlosser? Do you know – ” And they’re gonna start naming my competition. Well there’s no money for me if they’re talking about my competition. And there’s no money for me if they say, “Don’t need you.” And so naming the filing cabinet, starting the conversation by naming my filing cabinet, is automatic. It’s over, there’s no place to go. If instead, I name one of the drawers in my mind. Not out of my mouth, in my mind. So let’s just – in this example, let’s take homeowners. If in my mind, I say – I’m shaking hands with Rico – I say to myself, “I’m gonna play in homeowners.” And when he says, “Wendy, what do you do?” I open that homeowners drawer, and in that drawer, there’s thirty six different Pendaflex folders. There’s thirty-six different topics in that drawer that I can choose to talk about. Let’s say that I’m gonna talk about – let’s say we just had a hail storm. And I’m gonna talk about roof damage. Hail insurance for roof damage on a house. And I pull that topic out, and in that topic, there’s anywhere from six to eleven pieces of information that I could share. Let’s say that I decide to pull out the one file folder that has the information on the conversation to have with an insurance agent when there’s been hail damage, right? And I – Rico says to me, “What do you do?” And I say, “Well, yesterday I had a great conversation with a client who had hail damage to their rah-rah-rah, right?” Rico knows that – what the name of my filing cabinet is. And he knows what drawer we’re in, right? And he responds to me by saying, “Not interested in that, but what I wanted to know about is motorcycle because my 18-year-old just is looking at a motorcycle.” And I slam that homeowner’s drawer shut, I pull open the toys drawer, and now I’m talking to Rico about him in minute number two – I’m talking to Rico about him. He knows exactly what we do, and he thinks to me, “Ooh, that Wendy Kinney, she knows a lot. She knows more than my guys does. She’s telling me more than my guy has told me. I got people to send to her.”

Rico [27:03]: And it feels like that – that’s genuine. Because I think that people want – people are always asking questions about themselves. And if you’re coming in from the place where you’re selling to you, and they’re like, “I can pick a brand and I can share it – “

Wendy [27:18]: Yes – she’ll tell me!

Rico [27:20]: Yes, that’s a better way.

Wendy [27:22]: Now, this is why – you didn’t ask me this question. Ask me if there are words you shouldn’t use. So the word “depends” is an anti-referral word. We could do a whole cast on all the words not to use. The word “busy” is an anti-referral word, ask me about that later. Okay. But the word “depends” – so if someone says, “How much does that cost?” If I say, “Well, it depends…” they think I’m hiding something. And if I’m hiding something, I’m not credible. If I say, “it’s $137 for the customer who just bought it yesterday,” now, they’re like, “Ooh, I need that.” Or, they’re like, “I’m gonna have to save for that.” There’s never a value in me hiding the price. In sale – in referrals. In sales, what everybody who’s taken sales training is taught – first rule is, never address price until you’ve established value, right? Everything about referral marketing is the opposite. So in referral marketing, the first person to talk dollars wins. Every single time. And our fear is that they’ll think it’s too expensive. You know what? Thinking it’s too expensive – they were never gonna buy from us anyway!

Rico [28:27]: You know, you’re right. Because that’s not your client –

Wendy [28:30]: That’s not my client! That’s not my client! That’s not my best client!

Rico [28:34]: And you know, you qualified that too. You said, “Yesterday, for this client it was $137.” So that doesn’t mean it would be the same for me, so qualifying it –

Wendy [28:44]: And there – but you don’t have to qualify. There’s research on this. Let’s say that I say that it’s gonna be two thousand dollars, and you refer me to Carl, and for Carl it’s – and you say to Carl, “Hey, you need to talk to Wendy. It’s gonna be two grand.” And for Carl, it’s twenty-four hundred. Carl will think he’s special. He’ll think – “Oh, I’m better than the average bear.” Now, let’s say that for Carl, it’s 1700. Carl will think he got a deal because of you. Carl will think, “Ooh, that Rico – he did me good.” And he does all that himself. We don’t have to do it. So – there’s no downside to talking dollars if you’re doing referral marketing. No downside.

Karl [29:23]: I love that, and I started to adopt that because now I know attorneys and so on. And I start asking what they do – I wanna know fee. Give me a range.

Wendy [29:33]: Yeah, just tell me something!

Karl [29:34]: Because my conversation with someone – I’m not someone in legal services. They’re always gonna ask you about how much that’s gonna cost.

Wendy [29:43]: Right – what should I budget for that?

Karl [29:44]: And so I can establish the budget between two people, and that’s exactly what happened. I’ve gotta save for that, or now I gotta rethink the investment.  But I can follow that out and say, “Well, let’s think about your situation. If you invest in this solution, three thousand or whatever it is, now, what is it saving you? What are the business benefits? Are you gonna get to take a vacation?” Whatever that benefit is, I’m talking in your language. I’ve almost pre-sold before I refer them to – they’re not – they’re gonna say, “well I know you’re gonna be in this range, and now it makes it easier for the person you’re doing, which accelerates referrals and business.

Wendy [30:22]: Yeah. There was another thing that you were addressing – I had a conversation with a woman who’s a state attorney and her basic – her basic – her bottom line is seven thousand. Now, I know another state attorney, whose average – not her lowest – her average is fifteen hundred, right? So the first woman is saying, “Oh, how am I gonna talk people into seven thousand?” You’re not gonna talk people into anything, right? You don’t gotta talk people into fifteen hundred or seven thousand. What’s gonna happen is, your best clients never think that seven thousand is out of line. Your best clients, and referral marketing is all about best clients – sometimes people say that they’re in a networking group for the low-hanging fruit. That is a mistake and it’s offensive. Your best clients will not be offended by your price. Which is the second reason to be clear with your price so that people can select in. Her best clients don’t want to pay fifteen hundred dollars. They want to buy a seven thousand dollar estate plan.

Rico [31:23]: Yeah the problem of that I think from the business side is, she shouldn’t want less than seven thousand. Because if you help to bring – if you’re pressed out to fifteen hundred, no one wins.

Wendy [31:33]: Nobody wins.

Rico [31:34]: That’s not your price range. It takes you –

Wendy [31:37]: She doesn’t want to take less than fifteen hundred. She wants to find out how to talk people who have fifteen hundred dollars into spending seven thousand. You can’t do it! Instead, go networking for the seven – for the people who want to spend seven thousand.

Karl [31:53]: Yeah. Perfectly, perfectly. Now, I know we could continue talking about it, and I think we’re – we’d love to have you back and just continue this conversation because I think you’ve shared a lot of good stuff. But I’m curious – what do you have going on? Or there’s, you know, how can people learn more about this stuff if they wanted to get in?

Wendy [32:15]: So the Power Core website is PowerCore.net as in networking. And at the top left, there’s a place where you can get the twenty-one types of associations. So if that is the first place that you’re thinking – what are my options? Is American Market Association an option for me? Go get that downloaded – the twenty-one types of associations. There are other places on the website where there is more information. And there’s also a list there for upcoming events. For example, in August, I’m doing a workshop on the filing cabinet. So that’s something that people can look at.

Karl [32:49]: And if somebody wanted to visit and just, you know, take a – take a look at someone, how many groups there are? How do they get connected and to explore the fit – this would be a fit for them?

Wendy [33:00]: Right. So the website is PowerCore.net. On the top left, there’s a little thing that says “New to Power Core” and they can put their information and find a team, and I’ll pick up the phone and call them. Or, my phone number is 404-816-3377. And the processes – everybody gets two visits. And that’s just to try on the jeans and say, do they fit? Are these for me?

Karl [33:21]: Oh, fabulous. I just want to thank you very much for coming out, sharing some of this knowledge. I think anyone that listens today can take something away from it and change their approach, tweak their approach, and see immediate benefit. If they want to learn more, there are a lot of resources out there. There is BNI, there is Power Core. But be intentional about how you use network and relational marketing to grow your business. And there’s just a lot of opportunity. So thank you today for sharing that advice with us today. We’d also like to thank Atlanta Tech Park for hosting the Capitalist Sage Podcast here in Peachtree Corners. Great space for people to come, meet other entrepreneurs, other business owners. It is the hub of business in Peachtree Corners in southwest Guinnett, the Southwest Gwinnett Chamber if Commerce is headquartered here as well. What about other sponsors?

Rico [34:17]: Yeah the sponsors include as we said before, Gwinnett Medical Center, which is entering Peachtree Corners. If you want to find more information, it’s GuinnettMedicalCenter.org/PTC. And they’re gonna provide first-rate primary care, specialty services. So that’s our main sponsor off there. And Smart City Expo Atlanta –

Karl [34:39]: Looking forward to that coming up soon.

Rico [34:41]: September 11th is its first day. It’s gonna be a great event. And if you’re into or want to know more about technology, ILT, Smart City – if you are smart, if you are a company that’s in sustainable or smart areas, technology – that’s the place to be.

Karl [34:57]: Absolutely. All those ILT companies out there. It’s definitely a place to be. I’m Karl Barham with Transworld Business Advisors. We help people find the right buyers for their business. We help them find the right businesses to invest in and just offer them general advice. Think of us as one of your – your board members that just helps advise you on decisions you make to help you with your business. And Rico –

Rico [35:25]: Sure – I do a few things. I wear a lot of different hats. So – I’m publisher of Peachtree Corners Magazine, which is a bi-monthly publication for the city of Peachtree Corners. Our next issue is gonna hit the post-office Friday. Its cover story is about the movie industry in and around Peachtree Corners, along with some other great stories. One is about the boyscouts, another one is about a local – one of the local, five – of five swim teams that just won the Gwinnett Championship. That’s fun. So there’s a bunch of things in there, so visit livinginpeachtreecorners.com or Peachtree Corners Life’s Facebook page and you’ll get more info there. And I have a company called Mighty Rockets. MightyRockets.com – you can find a little bit about what I do. I do a variety of things – product videos, social media, online content, and anything that’s in the creative realm. So –

Karl [36:18]: And you’re fabulous. If you haven’t seen the Peachtree Corner magazine – it’s been well received. It’s a beautiful publication. Keeps you up to date on what’s going on around the city. And just really interesting stories about people. People stop – they go on the internet for everything, and we have something you can pick up and read and talk to your neighbor about. So, thank you for that.

Rico [36:44]: And just one more thing – my daughter’s been behind the camera today. Thank you Kinsey.

Karl [36:50]: Thank you Kinsey for joining us. So that’s it from the Capitalist Sage Podcast. Stay tuned. We’ll have more interesting guests that come in and help you find ways to improve your business. Thank you. Karl Barham, signing off.

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CPA Firm Celebrates Opening of its new Peachtree Corners Office



Hancock Askew

Over 75 well-wishers joined Hancock Askew’s partners, staff and city leaders recently to celebrate the opening of its new Peachtree Corners office with a reception and ribbon-cutting event.

The accounting and CPA firm relocated into a 13,000 square-feet remodeled office on Davinci Court from another Peachtree Corners office when it outgrew that space. The new office accommodates the firm’s 60 employees and has room for 30 additional workers as the company expands, said Hancock Askew partner Russell Reece.

Mayor Mike Mason, Councilmembers Phil Sadd, Eric Christ, Lorri Christopher and Weare Gratwick were on hand for the celebration along with members of the Peachtree Corners Business Association and Hancock Askew partners and business supporters.

Just before the ribbon was cut, Mayor Mike Mason addressed the Hancock Askew team saying: “Your decision to remain in Peachtree Corners when there are plenty of other locations from which to choose is not lost on us,” he said. “The city council and I are delighted that you have again chosen Peachtree Corners for your business location. It speaks volumes to our efforts as a business-friendly city.”

Founded in 1910, Hancock Askew & Co. LLP has six locations:  Peachtree Corners, Atlanta, Augusta, Savannah and two in Florida, in the cities of Miami and Tampa. The company’s first office was established in Savannah. Through a series of mergers and expansions, its most recent, Miami, 2016 and Tampa, 2018, the century-old business has 14 partners and 140+ highly skilled professionals. Its expansion into Florida allows the business to expand into international markets.

The company provides audit, tax, accounting, internal audit and other services to individuals, small businesses, mid-size and public companies. The Peachtree Corners office is located at 3740 Davinci Court, Suite 400; telephone: 770-246-0793, website: www.hancock.askew.com

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Capitalist Sage: Building a Brick n Mortar Retail Business Based on Healthy Living [Podcast]



Press Blend Squeeze

You may not think much of eating your fruits and vegetables, but Matt Scott, CEO of Press, Blend, Squeeze and our guest on this episode of the Capitalist Sage has something to say about eating healthy. After prolonging his father’s life through diet and nutrition, he went on to open up his health food business to keep his community healthy too. Join Karl, Rico, and Matt
as they discuss just exactly how he has worked his way into the health food business.

Social Media:
Website: https://www.pressblendsqueeze.com/
Email: Info@PressBlendSqueeze.com

“As much as people know or don’t know you could really change the way that you feel, not only physically, emotionally. And so we changed his diet and instead of the five month diagnosis we had him for over five years through food. So literally from that, I felt a calling to put together a strategic business plan on how can we change and save lives through food. So that’s literally our mission at Press, Blend, Squeeze, that’s to save lives through food.”

Matthew Scott

Podcast Transcript:

Karl: [00:00:30] Welcome to the Capitalist Sage Podcast. We’re here to bring you advice and tips from seasoned pros and experts to help you improve your business. I’m Karl Barham with Transworld Business Advisors, and my cohost is Rico Figliolini with Mighty Rockets Digital Marketing, and the publisher of the Peachtree Corners Magazine. Hey Rico, how’re you doing today?

Rico: [00:00:48] Good. Good.

Karl: [00:00:49] Any sponsors today for the podcast?

Rico: [00:00:53] Well, Atlanta Tech Park is a major sponsor. We’re in their podcast studio, so Atlanta Tech Park here in the city of Peachtree Corners in Tech Park. It’s an accelerator just down the block from and right on the road of Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners. So this is one and a half mile autonomous vehicle track. For those that don’t know, it’s the only one of its kind in the Southeast and to some degree, the only open live living at lab, if you will, in North America or other States in the United States. So lots of things going on, and I’m looking forward to doing this episode.

Karl: [00:01:30] Absolutely. One of the other nice things is it is powered by 5g, Sprint’s 5g system here, so that if you have a company that wants to be on that higher speed internet mobility, internet system, you can work out of Atlanta at their park or others. Do test here. Run that. So just a great hub of technology right here in Peachtree Corners. Today we’d like to introduce our guest Matthew Scott, founder and CEO of Press, Blend, Squeeze Cafe and Juice Bar. I guess it’s a, it’s a local juice cafe, juice bar that opened up in the forum. There’s a couple of them here in the Metro Atlanta area, and we’re going to talk about starting and building a retail business focused on the healthy food movement. We know that everyone has been trying to get healthy and we see folks trying different types of diets, trying different types of alternative to the traditional fast food. And we found really interesting your approach and taking a look at this market and being an entrepreneur and trying to build one. So we want to talk a little bit about your journey in doing that. Matt, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Matt: [00:02:50] No, absolutely. And guys, thanks very much for having me. I really appreciate it. You know, before two years ago, I was not in this business. So I was in corporate America for about 15 years, both from significant leadership roles in fortune 500 companies down to startup companies and taking them public all in high growth areas. And I saw an opportunity here and you know, it’s kinda like how most people get brought to changing their diets. It’s when you get punched in the face. And so myself, my dad looked at me and he was given five months to live. From the doctor told me that he had stage four esophageal cancer. And he was my best friend. And I’m sure like I did, like the rest of us would do and say, well, what can we do about that? What, what, you know what, what options do we have? And, you know, so diet is an extremely. Strong portion of influence into everyone’s life. As much as people know or don’t know you could really change the way that you feel, not only physically, emotionally and so we changed his diet and instead of the five month diagnosis we had him for over five years through food. So

literally from that, I felt a calling to put together a strategic business plan on how can we change and save lives through food. So that’s literally our mission at Press, Blend, Squeeze, that’s to save lives through food. And we do that multiple ways and we could get into that a little bit on, on, on that as we go forward. But that’s what we’re trying to do. We had the opportunity, I’m glad that you noted that, It’s just starting out here, down here in Atlanta. We had the opportunity, we were living in Chicago when we started this business, and we could have put this anywhere in the United States that we wanted to put it. Because we moved back to Atlanta to put it here. We saw a significant void in the Atlanta market in comparison to other areas of the country from a quick service, healthy restaurant and juice bar. If you’re driving around Peachtree Corners, there’s not that many options that you’re going to be able to get to. And people thank me each day for opening up and we’re truly seeing the snowball going downhill right now. From people, you know, grabbing on, we actually took over an old juice bar there, but people, it was out and closed for I think almost a year. And so we took it over. And so people are just beginning to realize that we’re back in there and, and they’re very thankful for it.

Karl: [00:05:52] So I can ask the question around you know, your background. Did you have a food background when you started thinking about nutrition background? Tell me a little bit about your background and, and how it helped you, you know, come up with the concept.

Matt: [00:06:07] Yeah, sure. So food background and if you call it this when I was putting myself in high school through college, I had the privilege of going to work for a quick service restaurant. That was the first location of then soon to be broadly franchised restaurant. So I was a hard worker. They brought me in and they allowed me to be one of their lead trainers and opener of new locations. So I got some good experience on how to take a model and replicate it and open it you know in, in a new location and to train the staff. In addition from a food customer service aspect, I worked in restaurants going through college to make Money. So I, I dealt with customers, delivered customer service, was able to take orders attentively and, and give that customer level of customer service in the food industry. But as far as you know being knowledgeable in the space, I was I consider myself a relatively healthy eater. I was always an active in sports physical working out and exercise. And, and so I would eat healthy, but my knowledge increased via doing my due diligence over the web and talking to industry professionals, doctors, nutritionists, et cetera. Once I started looking into it for my dad.

Karl: [00:07:46] So what, what, what most people don’t really understand about the food choices they make and how are you able to, to help modify your dad’s diet. What were some of the changes that you saw really have an impact?

Matt: [00:08:00] Sure. So after my father passed the, I, I was a little bit anxious. I said, doc, you know, my dad was 67. I got two young kids like this, you know, help me out here. And he said, you know, your father’s cancer was not genetic. It was not hereditary. Because there’s three things proven to fight cancer, and that’s eating clean, eating green, and exercise. So, you know, reality is, is that a majority of Americans, I would voucher to say that the majority of people in the world don’t eat enough green vegetables. Green vegetables that basic biology, it has

chlorophyll and photosynthesis, and that’s what gives your cells energy. It also allows your cells to reproduce, gives them the strength to reproduce at a high level. And so cancer feeds on deficient cells. So if you’re in, and this is, this is part of what extent am I, my dad’s life is by having cells that are strong and can defend themselves. Cancer got nowhere to live. I’m sure we’ve all heard stories of people being able to overcome cancer and become cancer free. And some of that’s through killing, you know, radiation and killing all those cancer cells. But that kills all the good with the bad. So if you do some research people have become cancer free through diets. And so greens are that prominent thing.

Karl: [00:09:42] And you know one question along that. Why don’t people eat more green? It’s here, here in the U.S., here in Georgia. What’s, what’s holding us back?

Matt: [00:09:49] Okay. So let’s be real. It is accessibility. It is convenience. Our lives are not going to get any slower. Our lives are not gonna get any less busy. and the food that we have at our disposal. Is a convenience factor. And it’s gotten to the place where the food industry is a business rather than a need. So you know, when we were all, go back 200 years in the United States and we’re farmers and gatherers and everything we ate to survive. Now, people, the food is a business. They’re trying to make it. What do you do in a business? If you’re not going to grow from a volume standpoint, you’re going to try to make it less expensive. And so the majority of food choices at our disposal are from large businesses that are trying to make food cost-effectively.

Karl: [00:10:56] So is this part of the movement that makes like Whole Foods, Sprouts, these types of places? Cause you know, on one hand you see these, these places that are popping up everywhere. So the, there is, for those that they can access it. They’re still not making the choice whether the, you are, you’re in a supermarket, they’re not building diets around fruits and vegetables and increasing the amount of greens in there.

Matt: [00:11:23] Well I would, I would be careful because the fastest growing segment of the supermarket is organic vegetables. If you’re looking at all the areas.

Rico: [00:11:33] I mean, I can see when I go to H Mark, for example, and you go to an Asian supermarket, you will see a big area of vegetables. When you go to a Walmart, only recently have they increased it a little bit and only in those areas where they’re competing with an H Mart or something along those lines. So Americans still are not consuming. You’ll find South Americans use farm communities that are first generation, maybe American. They’re still consuming that. But as they get further away from that generation they’re going back to the processed stuff, they’re going back to the easy stuff.

Karl: [00:12:09] I mean, when you think about it and growing up in New York, how many fruit stands you would go to fresh if you’re in Brooklyn picking avenues. And the city…

Rico: [00:12:23] Tomato, tomato is the big one over there.

Karl: [00:12:23] All of these places that, that had that. And so yeah, accessibility made it easier for people to get fresh, good quality, healthy, healthy food choices. And, and so as part of that, the shifted in parts of the country where, where that tradition wasn’t there and it was more based on supermarkets, they were, where they can control. What people are selecting is, is impacting that.

Matt: [00:12:51] Yeah, I agree. It’s so, it’s accessibility. It’s knowledge. So you know, people say, Oh yeah, I like to eat healthy, but they don’t necessarily know what that means. So like it’s, it’s being able to, to truly understand, you know, even my father, you know, he would even joke to me and be like, Oh, I’m eating an organic banana. And I’m like, well, you don’t have to eat an organic banana. The skin on the banana protects the banana, like so, so like it’s the knowledge of you know how to do it. But it’s also, there is so much of an emotional, psychological, it’s almost reactive because we’re so busy. So all of a sudden instead of it, you know, you being conscious about what you’re eating, your brain goes, Oh, I’m hungry. And. The reality is, is studies show that sugar is eight times more addictive than cocaine. And what you can find is in majority of that quick service food that you have an emotional reaction that says, I’ve waited so long, I’m starving. Now I need to go get something to eat. Let me pull over into this drive through. I’m almost certain than almost any option that you choose there has sugar in it, high fructose corn syrup in it. And, and, and so your body reacts. And there’s, there’s a, an emotional receptiveness that goes off in your brain, that says that.

Rico: [00:14:18] You brought something up that really, and I haven’t seen this, and then it doesn’t make sense to me now that you’re talking about this, is that you have Starbucks, you have Dunkin donuts. The majority of what they sell is true through that drive through. You’ll never see a Starbucks without, without a drive through. But there was one that I remember, there was located somewhere and they asked and they got a rezoning, so then they were able to have a drive through through that one because that was the only way to save that store. And I have yet to see it think a drive through juicing bar. And it doesn’t take long to, to create it. It’s just as long to critical lotta. I think in a, in a Dunkin, not sure. So I haven’t seen that and that we talk about how easy, if that was easy, if I could drive through that, I probably would get that over something else.

Matt: [00:15:06] I’m sure. People ask for it all the time. It’s, it’s absolutely on the radar as far as like convenience. Now what I would say is that it because a lot of times you’re making it to order. It’s not going to be necessarily the speed of others. But you know.

Rico: [00:15:28] I’d wait there for a minute. I mean, it doesn’t take long for, depends on the process.

Matt: [00:15:33] Yeah, no, it’s, it’s absolutely on the radar. We’ve, we’ve discussed it. We’ve looked at locations. We’re not there yet as far as, you know, but it is on the radar. And I’ve had a lot of people bring up the convenience factor. So it goes back to three things. It goes back to

convenience. It goes back to knowledge, and it goes back to emotional, kind of reactions and, and, and addictions to sugar. And, and I even go to people, the, the, the misunderstanding that healthy can’t taste good. So a lot of people kind of coined. I used to have people come into our Dunwoody location and the, the wife and the kids would order something and the husband was there and I said, Hey, you know, can I get you something? He goes, I don’t eat healthy. And I said, well, hold on. Like, what? What, what does that mean? I was like I was like, you don’t like guacamole? No, no. I like guacamole. And I go, well, hold on. Can we get you some, a Turkey wrap with some, some hummus and some roasted peppers and some, you know balsamic glaze on it, man, it sounds really good. And then, you know, I’d say, well how about PB and J smoothie tastes like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich but doesn’t have any sugar in it, but it’s really good. Oh, I like PB and Js. Avocado toast, soup. Like they’re like, Oh man. And then they eat it and then they go, man, this is really good. I go, I guess you eat healthy. Like, so it’s that coined a misconception of it’s true, healthy can taste good.

Rico: [00:17:14] And you also have food though, right?

Matt: [00:17:15] Oh, we do. Yeah.

Rico: [00:17:16] See now that didn’t, and I know that vaguely you have food there, I haven’t been into the store yet. But I would not realize that. I think if I was passing by would think juice point. I wouldn’t think food just that. But you do have a menu though?

Matt: [00:17:30] Absolutely. We do about 50% of our business in food, we do a ton of catering. One of our biggest growth pillars is in corporate catering. You know, when I was in corporate America eating the same, we would cater probably three to four times a week for lunch. And it was kind of from a rotation. And, you know, I’d get a pizza. I could tell you I’m probably going to get pizza. I can tell you, I might get a fried chicken sandwich for breakfast. And you know, I might get Mexican or some type of Southwestern and majority of those after I ate them I was ready for my couch. And corporations are realizing this and, and they’re actually like. You know, some of the large corporations and the reasons why we chose these locations are strategically positioned to align with those corporations. So like Newell Rubbermaid further snack attack on a quarterly basis caters 600 as eyeballs from us IHG regularly for their executives. I’m actually in February, I’m going down and meeting with the CEO’s executive assistant, and she has 14 people that report up to her, that schedule for hundreds of people, but we’re giving them a tasting of our lunch. I mean, so we have these large corporations that are not only providing lunch for their employees, but they’re being more conscious of what they’re providing because it’s actually leading to productivity. Like they, they, you know, they’re, they’re going back and not trying to, you know, relax at their desk.

Karl: [00:19:19] No, I was going to say, I remember doing meetings and corporate training around the world for, for years, and we’d have four or five days of, you know, catered and meals and so on. And we would always, I would actually ask for certain menus on certain days because what happens right after lunch and they come back in and that energy drop.

So we would actually specifically pick activities and exercise right after lunch, which had movement. Kind of wake people up because those heavy lunches, they’d come in with pasta and folks would be ready to go to snooze town and, but, but even having options that gave energy boost you. The afternoon snack break would have muffins and donuts and cakes and cookies. And we started shifting to nuts and try and start a team that shift. But that was my two choices there. There wasn’t a menu of stuff that people could do on that break time. that helps boost that productivity that, that you were mentioning. So, so, so I think that’s, that’s, that’s something that’s seeing, that’s happening in the market.

Rico: [00:20:27] Also, we were talking a little bit before the show before you showed up, and we were talking about how it’s Amazon proof almost. You can’t ship, you can’t ship certain things. You still gotta eat, you still can’t go out that way. But how, how do you find the challenge of doing, you opened a brick and mortar store? You didn’t have to build it, obviously it was built out and you’re there.

Matt: [00:20:49] We build out our last one, our first one. Yeah.

Rico: [00:20:51] So how do you find that? How do you in a world where people are shifting away to Amazon ordering, like I said, over Amazon proof. Or Uber, Ubereats, Dash, Door Dash and stuff like that. How do you find that? How did you find it opening up a place like that? That’s not a franchise essentially.

Karl: [00:21:12] You chose brick and mortar and retail location to deliver this concept. What were you thinking? How do you, how do you, how do you make that decision?

Matt: [00:21:22] So when I experienced the benefits of what we provided, like, and I would encourage anybody that listens to this podcast, I’d encourage you guys go in and grab a juice, go grab a roots and fruits, which is a juice that has some beets in it and has a little bit of orange and ginger. Tell me how you feel in 30 minutes. Dynamically different than anything that you’ve ever eaten or drinking or drank from any other place. So, you know, the reason or how I did that is said, man, this is amazing, you know?

Rico: [00:22:07] But, but how did you find, how did you develop the idea into a business? I mean, how you, you had to open a brick and mortar. What did you fit. You know, buying equipment, the ingredients. How, what’s the actionable side of that?

Karl: [00:22:22] The rest of their business. Often the products, the product and the need is clear and you’re matching those two up, but you’re running a business, right. And it takes, it takes a bunch of things coming together.

Rico: [00:22:33] And this is the second location, right? That you have. So you’re working towards either a chain of them or franchising at some point? How is that working? Doing that?

Matt: [00:22:41] So, so again, I go back to my experience. I was part of a startup. When, when, when we’re, when I was at a startup, we wear many hats. I got recruited actually I should say when I was part of Rubbermaid and my initial job was for a division that started around 30 million. And I got put into at a young age, I’m blessed. And, and believed in by a president and a mentor that gave me significant responsibility to take that 30 million of vision, gave me a significant amount of budget. The ability to strategically put the Strat plan together and grow that business within four years to 150 million globally. I got tapped out of Rubbermaid and recruited out of Rubbermaid to go be part of the largest office products company in the world. And then they brought me in with a pipeline funnel of zero, and they said, we brought you in here because your skillset is different and in the need of nothing that we have internally. And they tap me. And within two years we had a sales funnel of over 150 million in the pipeline. And I had a team of eight, you know, rolling up to me. And so I wrote those trap plans. I built those trap lines. So the way that I did this was I treated this, I said, Hey, there’s an opportunity. Let me, let me develop this business as I would develop any other business. So I went and sourced out partners. I went and did my research on how other competitors were running. I identified machinery that we needed. I put together the menu. I oversaw all the marketing. And I mean, like we, we’ve had wildly success in two years. That, that I like feel so good about, I mean, and blessed honestly, we get like almost 9,000 unique people that have come into our store and given us their telephone number and said, Hey, we are okay with you contacting us, here’s our telephone number. We want to be part of your membership program. Like, I don’t see businesses that are like national brands even, you know, doing that in, in single locations and stuff. So, so we’ve been putting the right strategy around the business to, to have a performance or whether I have experience or not, I treated it like any other business or any other product line and I was about to grow and, and put the…

Rico: [00:25:26] Any challenges that you’d like to share that you’ve overcome?

Matt: [00:25:28] Yeah, I mean, we all got challenges. But I would say, you folks that are entrepreneurs is, be careful of your blind spots. We all have, we all, we all have things that we overlook. You know, one of the biggest hurdles is going from one to two. So as an entrepreneur, you’re at that location. You’re there, you’re, you’re, you’re a part of that location. Yeah, you can’t cut yourself in half. So you know, I would say you know, put the process in place, you know, and just because, you know, the process, operational efficiency and, and that’s something that we had to build out. And, and it’s, you know, a continuous work in progress.

Karl: [00:26:29] So I, I would, I think, I think what you’re describing though is. You know, a theme across big corporations or small business, and it’s the question of scaling. I’m doing it once. It could have been lucky. Right time, right place. Stars align. A thousand reasons why you’re able to achieve success. And sometimes it’s brilliance and hard work. But to replicate it in another location. What are some of the things that would, you know, knowing what you know now, you would, you would advise someone going, thinking of doing, you know, multiple, like what would be things they can put in place that would ease that transition, right? To grow?

Matt: [00:27:13] I probably, we say to people to create a network, right? Because we’re all good at something and we’re all not good at everything. So by having a network of, a sounding board or afforded a trusted board of advisors, it allows you to be stronger in areas that you’re weak. So it allows individuals that might be able to be stronger in certain areas to help you strengthen, sharpen, or have a visible blind spot.

Karl: [00:27:54] I think, I think you’re hitting on something. If you’ve seen many successful people and they talk about this success, there’s usually a network of advisors they have. Even if you look at a large corporation, they’ve got a board of directors, nonprofit governing boards. There are these folks that serve multiple functions. One is to hold a mirror up to you and say, Hey, you know, I know what you’re saying and seeing, but here’s what I’m seeing and here’s things you may not notice. May, may help with the blind spot. They have wisdom and advice to give in the area that you may have the expertise to be able to do that. Third, they can help hold you accountable if you said you were going to do something, if you’re the boss who’s gonna, who’s gonna challenge you, if you decide, ah, we’ll do that next month. But, but, but if you have that advisory group, they, they can be in a position to hold, hold you accountable for them. And the last one is some of the networks that that affords you. they know people that might help you be more successful. And it’s one of the things we often see entrepreneurs struggling with. They eventually build it. We were talking earlier about these groups that do that. But they may have got 15 years of pain in before they realize, man, if I only knew someone that knew about payroll and what can happen if I mess that up.

Rico: [00:29:15] It’s like anything else in life. If you’re a writer or you’re a sports person. Everyone thinks you’re an overnight success, but it took you those years of pain to be able to get there. And most people don’t want that. They want to be able to see success. And maybe you get that advice from that successful person or that team of people to help you get there.

Karl: [00:29:35] Absolutely.

Matt: [00:29:35] Yeah. I’ve been, I’ve been really fortunate and blessed for the people in that have come into my life and, and you know what? A lot of times people have the desire to help people, you know? Sometimes you just have to ask for it. Other times you just, you have to go look for it. But, but people want to help people. And, and so you know, entrepreneurs often like to think they have to do everything themselves. And, and that’s something that an additional piece of advice I would give to entrepreneurs is, you’re no good to anyone if you’re burnt out. So give yourself some space and give your team some trust.

Karl: [00:30:24] No, I agree. I said, the one thing you can’t manufacture and create more is time. And so there’s only so much time that an individual has, and as you grow a business, it actually requires more time very often. And if you don’t build a team to support, it supports you to be able to do that. It makes that a, a challenge. So tell me a little bit about what you got going on next. What’s next for the company and for you?

Matt: [00:30:50] So for a, happy new year to you guys, 2020, it’s going to be a great year. We are gangbusters into new year’s cleanse programs. So it is the best way to reset your palate, control your addiction to sugar, get you jump started into your nutritional needs. It’s amazing the results that we see. We’ve been doing this for over two years. People come back re-energized, they sleep better, their skin’s better. And this is in three days. They, last time I did a cleanse, I lost eight pounds. I hear that over and over again. But you’re refreshed, you’re rejuvenated, and then crazy enough you might think, Oh yeah, I’m you know, after three days I’ll be ready to eat a cheeseburger. You know what? You’re not like, you’re ready to go down the road of, you know having that healthy palate, that healthy diet, and it’s, it’s crazy what it does for you. So that’s, that’s number one. Number two, I would ask any business within this kind of Metro Atlanta area to give us a chance at catering. Everybody has a need one time or another, probably in the next couple of weeks. I’m sure every single business has one lunch that they’re going to be looking to serve to multiple people. Give us a chance, put us in there. And, and, and I think you’re going to love it. I think you’re gonna enjoy it. And I want to be talking to you about your second order. So give us a catering opportunity because it’s a, it’s, it’s totally an awesome experience. And we got resoundingly reviews and feedback from it. So we’d love to work with people.

Karl: [00:32:34] Awesome. I’m glad. Well, located in the Forum your first location is where…

Matt: [00:32:41] It’s in Dunwoody Village. So where the Fresh Market is, or if you know where Village Burger is, or if you know where the post office is down there, so it’s in Dunwoody village, which is getting rejuvenated as well. So that’s kind of exciting.

Karl: [00:32:55] How can folks reach, you learn more online. social media.

Matt: [00:32:59] So we got thousands of followers on Instagram and which is @PressBlendSqueeze. The location here has Press, Blend, Squeeze at Peachtree Corners. Facebook Press, Blend Squeeze. If anybody wants to shoot me an email, if they have questions about a cleanse Info@PressBlendSqueeze.com comes directly to me. I see them all. I’d love to do a group cleanse. We’re doing it with a lot of gyms. So we had, last week, we had like 70 days of cleanses go out. And, and so this next week we’re partnering with another gym here in this area. And, and we have a couple more on the radars. So it’s, it’s time. Do it for yourself. Do it for your family. Do it for your energy, but do it to feel better. So it’s, it’s pretty cool.

Karl: [00:33:56] Well, I want to thank you very much for being our guest today. Our guest, Matt Scott, CEO of Press, Blend, Squeeze, for your time today and sharing part of your journey and, and inspiring others that may be thinking about making a change in their career and their life. And finding ways to do it in a way that’s aligned to something that you’re passionate about. Being healthy and how to, how to solve this problem where folks can’t find it as convenient to get nutritional greens into their, into their bodies that they can. So we really appreciate your joining us for that. We also wanna thank Atlanta Tech Park for hosting us every time we have one of our episodes here to Capitalist Sage Podcast. If you’re starting a business and looking

for a great environment to come and work and be around people that are going on this entrepreneurial journey along the way with you, it’s a great way to build network. Entrepreneurs sometimes can be a very lonely endeavor. So having other founders and makers and, and business leaders to collaborate with is, is really, is really powerful. I’m Karl Barham with Transworld Business Advisors of Atlanta Peachtree. Our business advisors are available to consult on your business, whether you’re looking to improve or grow the business, or you’re looking to exit or start a business. You can contact any one of our agents to be able to help you with that are available at ​www.TransworldBusinessAdvisors.com/AtlantaPeachtree​. And Rico, why don’t you tell us a little bit about what you’ve got going on and going to the next couple of weeks.

Rico: [00:35:32] Sure, so I run Mighty Rockets. We’re a social media online company. We provide content branding and whether it’s on LinkedIn or Instagram and soon to be Tick-Tock, cause there is a market out there and believe it or not, in the United States, it’s like 24 million users and tick tock and 40% of them are between 18 and 24. So that age. Voter age, if they felt maybe so, I do that. That’s MightyRockets.com. But I also published Peachtree Corners Magazine and you could find, you could go to LivingInPeachtreeCorners.com and find our website. We talked about what’s going on in the city. We’re doing several podcasts upcoming in with Peter Coin, his life with some interesting guests. Also Prime Lunchtime with the City Manager is coming up Thursday. After the fourth Tuesday, we’ll be discussing what’s going on in the city of this month and let’s what the city is planning over the next few months. A lot of new stuff happening out there and we’re working on the next issue of Peachtree Corners Magazine and the cover story, I believe that comes the story we’re working on right now, and it should be, the cover is innovative and innovative companies and organizations in Peachtree Corners. I will be doing some podcasts as well for that to complement that. So this is just a lot of stuff going on. So if you’re looking for any either trends to reach the audience here on Peachtree Corners through the family podcast, or you need someone to work with you online or branding, that’s what I do.

Karl: [00:37:03] Oh, fabulous. Well, you know, I really look forward to the next edition of the magazine and folks, if you go around and take a look and read through it, just knowing what’s going on here in the local community, whether it’s business, whether it’s what’s happening in the political team, what’s happening with, with, with various organizations. It’s just a good way to keep up with events and activities and in the area. So one of the thank you for that. That’s all we have for today. Look forward to talking to you some more and having some more great guests like Matt Scott that came to visit us today. Thank you everyone.

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Best Business Tools and Tips Gathered from 12 Capitalist Sage Episodes [Podcast]



Capitalist Sage

2019 is over and 2020 is coming fast! Join Rico Figliolini and Karl Barham as they sum up all of the greatest hits from this last year of the Capitalist Sage Podcast. Gather all of the tools you need to make 2020 the best year in business.

“If there’s one thing that we tried to do in 2019 with the Capitalist Sage was bringing you people that are in the trenches doing this every day. We learned from people’s failures. We’ve learned from people’s success. But our goal is to share this information with as many people as we can and just get you thinking there’s plenty of people out there that can help you with your business.”

Karl Barham

Time Stamp:

Lines are linked to the individual episodes

[00:00:30] Intro
[00:04:21] Social Media Branding for Lead Generation with Bonnie Mauldin
[00:07:29] Wendy Kinney talking shop on effective networking
[00:10:53] What Comes After Becoming a Franchise Owner, with guest Gary Birnberg
[00:14:20] How Business Mentorship Empowers Entrepreneurs, with Erin Igleheart
[00:17:49] Cliff Bramble on How to Thrive in the Restaurant Business
[00:20:38] Top Three Mistakes People Make When Starting Their Business
[00:24:13] Going into 2020
[00:26:38] The Legal Pitfalls of Buying and Selling a Business
[00:27:28] Preparing Your Business for Exit
[00:29:26] Entrepreneurs Creating Mobile Food Events
[00:29:53] The Business Of Organic Farming
[00:30:40] Laron Walker Scaling iOT Technology from Education to Commercial
[00:31:22] Beth B Moore discussing entertainment law, emerging trends, the film and music industry

Podcast Transcript

Karl [00:00:30]: Welcome to the Capitalist Sage Podcast. We’re here to bring you advice and tips from seasoned pros and experts to help you improve your business. I’m Karl Barham with Transworld Business Advisors. My co-host is Rico Figliolini with Mighty Rockets Digital Marketing and the publisher of the Peachtree Corners Magazine. Hey Rico, how’re you doing today?

Rico [00:00:47]: Good Karl.

Karl [00:00:49]: Well today, we’re having a bonus episode where we’re getting to talk about some of the sage advice we learned over the 20, 26 plus episodes in 2019. All the guests that came by and shared some of their knowledge that’s helping business owners. So we just wanted to give, just discuss some of those that we thought were particularly impactful and talk a little bit about how they impacted our businesses and how they can impact your business in 2020. Before we get started, why don’t we talk about our sponsors for today.

Rico [00:01:29]: Right. We are here at Atlanta Tech Park in the City of Peachtree Corners. It’s an accelerator. It’s a huge place. It’s where you, because where you start off at after you’re at an incubator. Small businesses, think we-work-share hits Silicon Valley. It’s that type of atmosphere where you can meet Venture capitalists, learn from others, network, the variety of things going on here. And we’re on this road in Technology Park that’s called Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners, which is the autonomous vehicle track, the only one of its kind really in the United States. That I can say to us about where you can come as a company. That’s either an IOT or the does anything with autonomous vehicles that need to 5G with Sprint 5G is in this whole area of technology park, right? So anything that you want to test out on the mobile track or within the environment of Curiosity Lab so it doesn’t have to be necessary in a vehicle to be on a light post to be on someone walking to be a bicycle riding can do anything where technology needs to talk to each other to everything. It’s an atmosphere where the city of History Corners is providing it essentially free to companies that meet certain requirements to be able to come here and do business and check out there to work their real projects.

Karl [00:02:55]: It’s one of the great things about the Investments that are being made in Gwinnett County. In Peachtree Corners in particular and the whole general Southwest Gwinnett that’s bringing companies, technologies, to make this vibrant environment where businesses can thrive. And that’s a little bit why we thought it’d be great to talk about some of the guests at help shared some of their expertise and insight and experiences on how they created small businesses and how they help support small businesses being successful. So Rico and l will talk about a couple of episodes and what we learned about them and share that with you and you can of course go and check out any of these episodes on any one of our streaming platforms.

Rico [00:03:43]: Whether it’s iTunes or iHeart Radio, just look up Capitalist Sage on any of those and you should be able to find us.

Karl [00:3:49]: And if you want to keep up with some of the great episodes we’re going to do in 2020, definitely follow them, subscribe to them and please leave a comment and then we’d love to hear back from what people are thinking and give us an idea of the future guests.

Rico [00:04:03]: And if you want to watch the Facebook live stream or tell your friends, you could just like our Peachtree Corners Life page and it will be notified when we go live. In this year, one of the goals is to be able to put us on to do some limited LinkedIn live feeds and also to be on YouTube live as well.

Karl [00:04:21]: Fabulous. So we’re going to start off, when we started one of our first guests we had was Bonnie Mauldin from The Mauldin Group who talked to us about how small business owners can use social media marketing as part of their overall marketing and sales strategy in their in their business. And she shared a lot of great tips. One in particular that I know that I found interesting was the different platforms whether you’re on LinkedIn or Facebook or YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest and others all serve different functions. They target a different audience and they have different features about them and knowing and understanding the right platform for your business is one of the key things.

Rico [00:05:10]: If you’re doing business to business, obviously at that one of her things were was LinkedIn with was the place to be. And if you doing consumer, Facebook, Instagram. I think we talked a little bit even about, maybe not Tick Tock, but some of the other software online social platforms out there. But every business has a demographic and market.

Karl [00:05:34]: Absolutely. And the other thing we took away from it where in the past you might have think it was an option for your small business. It’s no longer an option. If you know of anyone that has a mobile device, they’re probably communicating and getting information from their social media platform. And so it becomes really important to have really compelling stories being told through those platforms. So instead of advertising and promoting a product, we talked a lot about storytelling on information you’re sharing about problems or things that your customers want to know that would lead them to your site. They’re going to know it’s you when they come and visit it but really telling them about the problems and the choices they’re making and being more educational and teaching them is a key attribute of really good successful social media strategies.

Rico [00:06:30]: Right. Whether you’re using it as a behind-the-scenes tool where you showing what’s going on in your office or something. Or whether you’re giving tips on how to use a certain product, those were the things.

Karl [00:06:43]: Absolutely. And the last thing to note on that is definitely include a call to action. Once you get those people looking at your site and following you and you’re sharing information. They want to know what to do next. How to get more information. How to reach you, even how to make a purchase. So including a call to action on all your social media. Now some of you may be able to do this yourselves if you have the time, but if you don’t its really important that
you have a discussion with someone and seek out professionals that can help you with your social media strategy in your business and it’s really imperative for people that are looking to grow their business in 2020 to develop some strategy and invested social media,

Rico [00:07:23]: And be consistent in it and make sure you’re there. because if you’re not there your competition will be there.

Karl: [00:07:28] Absolutely.

Rico: [00:07:29] The next one in line was Wendy Kinney she talked about how referrals are different from sales.

Karl [00:07:36]: Absolutely. Effective networking, many people probably have the experience, I know I have, of going to networking meeting. It could be a local chamber. It could be a non-profit group, an industry group and passing out a lot of business cards in wondering why you’re not getting more business and referrals from them. And what was really great that Wendy was able to share, she’s a relationship marketing expert, she told us about the differences between a sales approach and how referrals are generated. And one of those differences is started with the timelines between the two being different. A sale is typically between someone selling and someone buying and it’s a direct line of communication and pretty often the impact of that is immediate either; Yes, they’re going to buy what you’re selling or no, they’re not. Referrals have a different timeline. They happen through a third person. So the sale that typically happen doesn’t happen until first a connection is made between the person that’s selling and the person that’s referring and you do that’s built around credibility that’s established getting to know the person and trusting with the person and really understanding what they’re doing. But that second person, the person that’s making referral, then is approaching their contact base. And when they give a referral to how you can help them by you educating that individual on what you do and how you do it and how you’re doing it differently. They have the ability to identify that need in other people and therefore pass on a referral that’s extremely credible because they know you and therefore would lead back to business for the originator.

Rico [00:09:21]: You know know what I liked out of that conversation was really clear to me that you don’t have to be going to BNI necessarily or any of the other networking groups, but you should be going to somewhere. To some organization whether it’s a Business Association, a chamber, a professional association. The whole idea is we go back to consistency like social media you have to be consistent same thing with that right, you have to be at those meetings on a regular basis.

Karl [00:09:48]: We recommend three types of associations. There’s over 21 different from anywhere from alumni groups from your colleges. It could be team sport. But in any one of the things that’s being consistent and establishing and getting to learn about the people that you’re referring so that you can refer them with confidence and understand what it is that they do that can help your clients. And the last thing that she mentioned that I thought was extremely
insightful that changes the way you think about it, is the first one that speaks about price wins. In most traditional sales approaches, you’re taught to talk about value first and price later. But in referral It’s important that the person the intermediary the person that’s, that you’re talking to that’s generating referral. We call them gate openers that they have to understand what your cost structure is. They have to understand the price so they could set the expectation with the client. So lots of great, great insights from Wendy and talking about effective relationship marketing through networking.

Rico [00:10:52]: Excellent Episode.

Karl [00:10:53]: The third one was Gary Birnberg and Gary had an interesting journey in this career from working in Corporate America to franchise ownership, so he told us a little bit about how he got into franchising and was able to develop that.

Rico [00:11:10]: He went to, he originally thought well while he was in college, he thought he could do this right. He thought he went to Subway has he thought that was great. It was great franchise. He needed an investment. He and everyone told him you were going to college. What are you going to do? And he thought no, no I can handle it. Don’t worry about it, but Subways was what he thought he wanted to do essentially a franchise of that nature systematic the process was what he was interested in. So then he ended up as he got older and did some other things he ended up going back to that idea.

Karl [00:11:44]: Absolutely. And later on he invested in another sandwich franchise Which Wich and what was interesting in his story is how he started with just one and he was able to build and acquire up to seven of them at a time. And most of that time he was actually working.

Rico [00:12:01] Actually eight stores.

Karl [00:12:02] Eight stores. He was actually working for the first four before he left Corporate America and went full time into that.

Rico [00:12:11]: Right so working, he was actually working in Corporate America for, till they got the fourth store because that was the agreement he made with his wife who was his partner also I understand. Because they want to make sure that health insurance and what they’re also be risk averse. Yeah, so imagine working for corporate America and owning four of these stores now by the time we got to that fourth one, he was like I think we’re ready.

Karl [00:12:37]: Yep and be able to jump off and he followed the full journey till it’s, till its end where he successfully was able to exit all eight of the stores.

Rico [00:12:48]: Yeah, and he ended up actually when he when they got to the end of the fourth store, they opened the other four stores within seven to nine months after.

Karl [00:13:00]: And we learned when you’re looking into any business especially ones that are franchise, driving processes was really the key of the way he was able to scale so quickly so quickly. Learning how to acquire stores, learning how to run stores, learning how to manage personnel, staff, budgets, payroll. He learned all of that, that help them be very successful.

Rico [00:13:21]: Yeah, and the process allowed him a cash flow and he expanded those extra four stores at the Talon out of the eight through cash flow.

Karl [00:13:28]: Yeah he did not have to take additional loans to do that.

Rico [00:13:31]: Now and he paid off his loans also as he went because the other ones were spare loans for those stores and it was a process.

Karl [00:13:37]: Absolutely. So it shows that it can be done with a really good plan and being able to drive and follow a process. If you’re going down that path of Entrepreneurship, you don’t have to start from scratch. There’s franchises out there that can help people be their own boss, but have a support of a network. Of the business model that it’s already been proven to work.

Rico [00:14:02]: The fun part for me was when I first met him was with his first store at The Forum here in Peachtree Corners. It was the only store he had and his plan was to open one a year until he had like 10 almost and he worked his plan. I mean that was he was systematic and he worked it.

Karl [00:14:20]: Absolutely. We also had the pleasure to talk to some folks that work in the nonprofit sector over the past year. And one of our guests that we’re so thankful for was Erin Igleheart who is a program manager with the Start Me Program Atlanta associated with Emory University and several other partners whose goal and focus was bringing entrepreneurship to underserved areas of Metro Atlanta. And the being associated with the university, they had some very smart people investigating what are some of the challenges a small micro business has faced to start and be successful. And they summed it into three main components of their finding which they’ve addressed through a startup bootcamp that the program does. The first one is access to Capital. That may seem obvious, getting Capital to start a business is really important but being prepared to get that Capital whether it’s through developing a sound business plan, which they also address through delivering knowledge to these entrepreneurs. Helping them with the business plan, who to talk to, how to understand the financials of their business, is a key knowledge area that they found was a challenge. But the thing that I thought that might have been under appreciated for a lot of small business owners was the aspect of networking. The mentors that they bring to bear with the entrepreneurs creates this powerful networks. It’s not only each cohort that comes through the program. They’ve had over 200 entrepreneurs launch through the program. They’ve established a huge network between them and the mentors that continually help them grow and improve their business over time. They can boast over 75% success rate with businesses that have gone through the program, which is much higher than the average for most small businesses.

Rico [00:16:27 ]: Oh my god yeah, most small businesses failed during the first three, four years and then the majority of them do that.

Karl [00:16:34]: And when you look back as to why they probably didn’t get the right mentorship. They didn’t have people that have gone down the path and made the mistakes that they’re making to help advise them. But also those mentors help hold them accountable if they say they’re going to do something, having a sit-down with somebody who has your best interest at heart and check in on you is a powerful tool that they use as part of this Start Me Program.

Rico [00:16:58]: And you know what I like, before we got on we were reviewing what we were going to be discussing and I remembered you saying it was a bit like Shark Tank. Right because you have networking available as well. You know, and in Shark Tank, you know, all of them had money it wasn’t the money. It was really the network, the people they had, the contacts.

Karl [00:17:19]: The knowledge and the connections that they could make to the community. So a really good reminder of finding mentors that you can work with that help guide you when you’re starting up and growing your business.

Rico [00:17:34]: I say shark tank, but it really is a much more friendlier route.

Karl [00:17:40]: Yeah, absolutely and we were blessed to have some of those entrepreneurs on other episodes as well. So that was great.

Rico [00:17:49]: So the next one that we had, a guest from the restaurant industry, food industry Cliff Bramble owner of Noble Fin and Hungry Hospitality. Which is a consulting company for restaurants. And I don’t know, to me you know, there were several things. I learned quite a few things actually. Cliff is very much into the food industry, but he always he through the conversations we had over that hour we discussed how it is a business regardless. Forget about the food part of it, business is a business is a business. And what drives business what’s the biggest thing in business is labor. Is those surprises that you get so labor was a big part that he discussed on how we handle the front and the back of the house.

Karl [00:18:37]: Understanding the numbers in the business, understanding sales and marketing and how that integrates to build your Revenue stream for the business is extremely important. But a lot of people want to go into the restaurant business it’s probably the number one request that we see from buyers. They want to do restaurant. But really it’s a tough business tough industry. You can be wildly successful, but you have to be able to run it like a business know your numbers know your input costs and really know how to Market, figure out who your customer is and how to how to do a good job satisfying them.

Rico [00:19:16]: Right and he even talked about like down to the nitty-gritty, the weeds of if you’re going to buy a restaurant. You know, what’s the important part? Well to him the important
part was the amount of covers how many people actually come in. Not necessarily the sales but how much turnover of those tables. That and also discussed a little bit about retention. How do you retain employees in that environment?

Karl [00:19:39]: Absolutely. High turnover industry, but driving a culture and training and having really good systems in place to train and develop people is one of the success factors that he identify for anybody out there that’s in the restaurant or thinking of being in the restaurant industry.

Rico [00:19:55]: And even more than when it comes to you know, if you’re a manufacturer of product if the products bad you can return it right? Food, if food is bad, you can’t quite return it the same way. You either get sick maybe. And so, you know, we discussed a little bit about the romaine lettuce callbacks ever happened through all of last year.

Karl [00:20:14]: And how do you react and how do you adapt to that to the menu items and really understand your supply base to support your business?

Rico [00:20:22]: And then the last thing I think also was for competition. Different from other places because restaurants, you would think it would be other restaurants competing into somebody. But he was also saying No, no, no, I compete against also Netflix, people want to stay home.

Karl [00:20:38]: You know gaming anything that draws entertainment time away and disposable income is a competitor to you know, a restaurant especially in the fine dining space. Our next guest or episode we wanted to talk about was the Small Business Development Center SBDC associated with University of Georgia and Glenn Kruse who came by and was sharing a valuable resource to the business community that exists here. The Small Business Development Center has offices all over Georgia. They’re affiliated with the university. So Georgia State University of Georgia, Kennesaw University and many others and they provide guidance and coaching to people looking to start business inclusive of developing a plan it. So really quickly some of the lessons that we shared, the first one being around having a plan. And the number one thing that he found that people that struggled with being successful in business was a failure to plan. They did not take the time to develop one a business plan that’s inclusive of a financial plan, a sales plan. And you would think why do I need this piece of paper what I’m going out there to run a business, but it’s really the process of planning that helps you identify some of the gaps. When are you going to need cash? How much cash are you going to need to be able to run the business successfully. Also there’s a lot that goes into understanding your competitors and the SBDC has tools available to them to help you understand your demographics of an area, the market, the competition so you can build a robust plan for not only the lenders that you might need to start your business, but also potential investors.

Rico [00:22:30]: Or even involving the idea that you had because now with those armed with that information I realized wow, maybe this isn’t quite where I need to be you may be able to adjust.

Karl [00:22:40]: Absolutely. Pivoting and knowing when to pivot in your business is another critical factor of success. But if you’re not constantly scanning the environment and understanding the threats, you may miss the opportunity to make a change before it’s too late for your business. But the last point that he mentioned was all about people. Hiring the right people onboarding them and developing them. Many businesses struggle and fail when they’re not able to find and keep and retain really good, especially if you’re in a service business, if you don’t understand if you’re in a service business, it’s about the people that you probably can’t be successful in it. And really exploring in your plans how are you going to attract and retain people from a compensation standpoint, from recruiting the right people, how do you identify what those people are? But all of those things are things that anybody in business start thinking about starting a business can get help with with the SBDC that’s located. You can go online and look up the Small Business Development Center in your area and schedule a time with any one of the Consultants. The number one thing you should know about them free service for people here. It’s paid by your tax dollars and the SBA grants from the SBA the Small Business Association for a part of the US government to help provide this to drive economic developments in communities. So free service to reach out to them and get that Consulting help if you need it.

Rico [00:24:13]: So where we’re at, close to the end of our time together, but I think we wanted to hit on certainly going into 2020 what we’ve learned.

Karl [00:24:23]: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Rico [00:24:25]: So I know what I’ve learned, but do you want to start?

Karl [00:24:28]: Sure thing. One of the things that I know that I took from last year was this emergence of social media and social media marketing and incorporating into your business. And I work in a traditional industry that helps business owners exit their business and a lot of the traditional marketing methods were, you know, meeting people face-to-face and people marketing and so on. But integrating Social media into that, posting on the right platform, forming relationships with your clients and prospects. I found to be really really effective way and I can say that throughout the year seen really great success and return on that investment in time and money into building out a social media strategy. For anyone that’s thinking about dabbling in it. You can absolutely do it yourself. You could get courses on it and learn and educate yourself, but if you don’t feel you have time to do that reach out to some of the many experts in that, that’s out there including Rico who can help many people with that and just have a conversation about how they could be more effective in bringing social media into their marketing mix.

Rico [00:25:44]: So even I’ve learned a bit from our guests because you always pick up these tidbits about social media, but because I’m in that business, I’d rather skew to something else I learned that I really, you know, I sort of knew but, you know getting to know Karl better, through the show, through this past year and doing these shows and offline. I learned a little bit more about what you want to do with your business? And that everyone, you know, you start a business is you’re passionate about you want to do it. Where are you going to go with it? How you going to expand it? Those are all good things to think about but then no one really thinks about the end result. Let’s not call it the end. But where do you want to take it at some point? What’s your exit plan? Do you want to retire? Do you want to get out of it do you want to downsize a little bit from what you’re doing? And I learned from Karl quite a bit about what I should be thinking about ahead of time and also from a recent guest that we had on as well. We had Corrie Thrasher that taught us a bit about the pitfalls of selling and buying a business. So what I learned from that was pretty much, you know positioning your company because different companies that do handle differently, right? And if you’re a small business like own a family restaurant or you have a small business of consulting and you’re the person that’s running it. It’s a different value and that value extend further when you sell it if you have a magazine like I do that magazine has it that with this an asset that but if you’re doing freelance work, which is also what I do. How’s that freelance work, that gig economy if you will, how is that value as a business? If I’m gone does that mean that business goes? So I Learned a lot between you and Corrie and a few other guests.

Karl [00:27:28]: Absolutely. David Wood came in and talked about financing and how to get your financial statements in there. And if there’s one thing going into 2020 that everyone should treat themselves to is to just think about their, take a step back, get an advisor or coach or someone that’s not working for you ideally, because you want someone that can give you honest feedback. And take a critical look at your business. Look at the financials see what other people would think about. Get evaluation done for your business and find out those gaps and weaknesses sooner than later when you are planning to exit the business or when you have time to do something and make those corrections and fixes sooner on.

Rico [00:28:14]: Like anything else in life, if you don’t plan ahead you’re going to get hurt later. So selling a business does not come, oh I want to sell it in a month. It doesn’t work that way. You need to plan this out a year or two years ahead to make sure that what your business is showing. And the way it’s budgeted and all that increases the value of your business. And that’s the value I find in when I speak to Karl about things like this. He points things out that I haven’t thought about now because my mind’s not there and certainly I may not have thought about even if my mind ended up there. But you do need to clean these things out and it’s more than a month or two. We really need to look at it forever.

Karl [00:28:52]: If there’s one thing that we tried to do in 2019 with the Capitalist Sage was bringing you people that are in the trenches doing this every day. We learned from people’s failures. We’ve learned from people’s success. But our goal is to share this information with as many people as we can and just get you thinking there’s plenty of people out there that can help
you with your business. But we want to make sure you at least get some information to help you think differently about your business so you can drive those improvements in 2020.

Rico [00:29:26]: You know, and you should also look at go back to our episodes and look forward to 2020 because we have really interesting guests that we didn’t cover here necessarily. Like Lentz Pean of Food Trucks Unlimited, just talking to him and just knowing about how other businesses operate to me is exciting because you sort of pick up little things that might help you in your business. And Micole and Musa, organic farming.

Karl [00:29:53]: The organic farming, zero chemical organic farming right here in the Metro, Atlanta. How scientists, two science educated individuals built the business using proven techniques to produce higher yields of organic vegetables using non, without using chemicals or any additives to their foods and they’re building a business for the family from that.

Rico [00:30:23]: So you think of organic farming but we were able to get into the weeds, so to speak, and to the Entomology and bug aspect of it and learned quite a bit about it. Which you know, I think went beyond just knowing about organic farming also understanding people’s passions in business.

Karl [00:30:40]: And how they were able to merge that. We’ve seen that in quite a few people, Laron Walker and technology and stem education, merging that with building IOT Technologies and teaching the high schooler’s how to code and program this stuff to fill the pipeline of technical talent we’re going to need over the next 20-30 years to do this. And so many great talented people here in the community that we were able to talk to. But in 2020 we’re going to continue our journey and we’re going to continue to find and bring you more great guests that come in and talk. One of the areas that I know I’m excited to get more into is the entertainment business. We had Beth Moore an entertainment attorney attorney that came and talked to us about protecting your creative content that you create. Whether it’s music, it could be stuff that you do on YouTube, even those crazy cat videos is content that you can have copyrighted and you can get paid if you join the right association with that. And as Georgia continues to explode with film, music, even advertising industry is becoming really large here. Lots of opportunity for business people, creative people to become smarter business people and build a business around it.

Rico [00:32:02]: All the peripheral businesses that come I mean, that’s why Walking Dead that’s when we became the Hollywood East of the industry. Because you have electricians, woodworkers, prop makers.

Karl [00:32:15]: Costume designers, artists that are there. But it’s really important to figure out how to protect your content so that you can you can monetize it. So 2020 one of the things that I want to explore more and going to find more business owners that are in this entertainment. I hear I know gaming is on my list of finding some folks that are in Esport businesses that are
growing in popularity. Everything from artistic, music, creative producers. All of these businesses are just absolutely fascinating to understand the business side of that industry.

Rico [00:32:54]: So that’s one and that’s a big part of a thing I’m interested totally in that and learning a bit more about the entertainment industry. But also I think we’re going to be looking at makers as well. That’s a word phrase that’s being used for people that create, Artisans that create product within their own backyard if you will or garage or basement as it might be. And they’re creating products that are being sold on places like Etsy, online e-commerce sites, Amazon, a variety of places. It’s taking the gig economy on Acceleration because you could be making quite a bit of money and being a neighborhood that no one’s even aware that you’re there.

Karl [00:33:36]: Absolutely. I love how things come full circle from mass production assembly line and things are now becoming popular where people are building and using their talents to build things as home based businesses, but with the immersion of e-commerce and shipping and logistics, someone could make a business from their home and be quite profitable and successful. It’s one of the most popular businesses we get requests for people looking to buy business are home base e-commerce businesses. And if your maker and you’re able to make things, find creative ways to make things extremely great industry to be in and in the future. So we’re going to look to talk to some more people that are doing that as well.

Rico [00:34:21]: And if you have any suggestions, you know, feel free to first off if you’re listening to this on iTunes or any of the podcast sites, leave a review give us whatever that review might be two stars, five stars any review is a good review because this way people will be more easily find out. But feel free to suggest topics or companies or individuals that might be interesting that we could get good sage advice and be able to share that with our listeners and viewers.

Karl [00:34:53]: So as 2020 is starting off this year. We just want to thank all of our guests that have joined us on this journey and shared their wisdom. There’s more to come in 2020. We’re really excited to be able to host a podcast here at Atlanta Tech Park, a great location for not only just podcasting but just interacting with the economic engine for this part of the county Peachtree Corners from technology, to Beauty, to food all of these different types of businesses is what form this community. And so we’re just blessed to have the support of the local business Community here. All the Chamber of the Southwest Chamber of Commerce the Peachtree Corners Business Association and many others have been great partners and guests on our podcast. And we want to make sure that we are responsive to the business Community that’s here and that they have information that’s targeted for them and that can help them improve their business. So with that I’m Karl Barham with TransWorld Business Advisors of Atlanta Peachtree. Our business advisors are available to consult with you on your business, help you figure out strategies to grow, increase the value of the business. And at this time of year when you start making goals and so on, it’s a great time to chat with someone about what your plan is for your business, your exit plan, how you want to increase the value. We consult with our
business owners in the community and help them with that and if they’re ready to sell the business or ready to buy we can help them with that as well. So I can be reached at www.TWorld.com/AtlantaPeachtree or you can email me at KBarham@T world.com if we could ever help.

Rico [00:36:49]: And my name is Rico Figliolini, I do several things. I’m the publisher of Peachtree Corners magazine. Feel free to find that publication in print anywhere in the City and if you live in the city you should be getting it in your mailbox. We hit every household. Otherwise, feel free to go online at LivingInPeachtreeCorners.com and you can find our digital Edition there along with weekly postings, daily postings of things going on in this city. You’ll also find our podcast listings there, both for Capitalist Sage, Peachtree Corners Life and Prime Lunchtime with the City Manager, along with the Ed Hour which is an educational podcast that we do. And you can go MightyRockets.com, I do video projects, social media content work, anything along the digital and online area that needs to be done in a consistent fashion. I can help you there.

Karl [00:37:43]: Okay, well, I just want to thank everybody again and have a Happy New Year for everybody and thank you for joining us on this bonus episode. Thank you, of the Capitalist Sage.

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