This week, in episode 84, Dana White takes us along for the ride, sharing the remarkable opportunities and the daunting challenges she’s confronting simultaneously. In a one-on-one conversation, we catch Dana at an emotional moment. After a triumphant trip to Germany, where she expects to open salons on multiple military bases, she’s just returned to Detroit—only to learn that the team she’s counting on is showing serious cracks. Even as she’s signing contracts with the military, getting ready to roll out her franchising plan, and courting newfound investor interest in funding the development of her salon management software, those cracks have shaken Dana and left her questioning her approach as a CEO. Ultimately, she talks about those moments many entrepreneurs experience in the cold of night, when things aren’t going well, and they realize this is all on them. In those moments, Dana confesses, “I’m scared. And I feel alone.”
This week, in episode 83, Paul Downs tells Jay Goltz and Laura Zander why he’s come to view Google as the Volcano God. He’s not sure what it will take to keep the Volcano God happy, but he’s obsessed with doing everything he can, because the consequences of failing would be so great. We also talk about Paul’s content marketing strategy, the pricing lessons that emerged from our recent attempt to monetize 21 Hats, and why Laura—even in the midst of the labor shortage—now has a waiting list of people hoping to work at her yarn manufacturer in Texas.
Several weeks ago, we had a great conversation about how Jay Goltz, Diana Lee, and Dana White track their financials. It was so good that, this week, in episode 82, we decided to put similar questions to Paul Downs and Laura Zander. “It's funny, I was listening to that episode,” Laura says, “and Diana said she's a freak about the numbers. I'm like, ‘God, does that make me a superfreak?’” Laura walks us through how her labor costs can affect what types of yarn she carries, Paul suggests a quick-and-easy ratio that can signal when a business is in trouble, and Jay explains how an hourly performance indicator that he began tracking 30 years ago transformed his business. Plus: Laura tells us how she got a bank loan that’s almost three times the size of the one she couldn’t get last year.
This week, in episode 81, we have a celebration. As many of you will recall, when we started this podcast, Karen Clark Cole was coming off months of failed negotiations with a potential investor in Blink, the business she co-founded. Those months she spent focused on the investor took a toll on both Blink and on Karen, who subsequently took a mental health sabbatical. But, as Karen tells Jay Goltz and William Vanderbloemen, she came back, refocused, and has just sold Blink for $94 million in cash. As you might imagine, we had some questions for Karen, including: Will she stay? How many employees knew what was going on? Was there a bidding war? Is there an earnout? What was it like to wake up one morning knowing that she had taken all of her financial risk off the table? And is she ready to report to a boss?
This week, on episode 78, Jay Goltz, Diana Lee, and Dana White talk about how they manage their financials—what reports they get, what KPIs they track, and how they make sure the sales team isn’t going rogue. We also learn of a new wrinkle in Dana’s growth plan. She’s concluded that—along with rolling out franchises and installing hair salons on military bases from Texas to Germany to Okinawa—she also needs to create her own software platform to manage her salons. “Cha-ching,” responds Jay. Plus: Diana explains how the new digital marketing privacy rules hamstring small businesses—and what they can do about it.
This week, in episode 79, we go one-on-one with William Vanderbloemen. We start off talking about how he saw The Great Resignation coming and what he thinks are the keys to coping with it. Then we step back, and—with the help of many questions suggested by listeners—we discuss his conversion from pastor to CEO, what happened to his company culture when everyone went remote, and why he still reads every single email he gets—even when he’s off on a seven-week sabbatical. Plus: how he hit upon his unconventional social media strategy and his suggestions if you’re looking for a VP of marketing. (Suggestion No. 1: Try not to lose the one you have.)
This week, in episode 80, we talk about open-book management, which its proponents call the only sensible way to run a company. To test that theory, we bring together three skeptics and three believers to discuss what it really means for owners to open their books: Do employees know what the boss makes? Do they flee when the numbers turn red? Do they expect to have a say in big decisions? What emerges is an intimate look at how six smart business owners run their businesses.
This week, in episode 77, Jay Goltz and Diana Lee discuss the dangers of mixing entrepreneurship and parenting. Years ago, when Chris Rock was asked in an interview about his relationship with his children, he responded, “My kids are rich. I have nothing in common with them.” Obviously, that’s an extreme example, played for laughs by a comedian, but you don’t have to be a celebrity to wonder about the differences between your upbringing and your kids’ upbringing. As it happens, Jay and Diana were both raised in family businesses, but they offer contrasting approaches to the challenges of raising a family and building a business at the same time. Plus: we also talk about what the upheaval in the auto industry means for Diana, how to think about the president’s vaccine mandate, and whether Jay has resolved his crazy double-billing problem with AT&T.
This week, in episode 76, Stephanie Stuckey talks about how she’s been winning her biggest retail accounts for Stuckey’s candies without a sales pitch. She also explains her latest manufacturing snafu, which she calls, “the case of the squishy pecan log rolls.” Laura Zander, meanwhile, tells us about the supply chain challenges she’s faced getting products from China, Vietnam, and South Africa. Plus, she talks us through how her latest price increases have resulted in a doubling of orders.
Every Monday, Loren Feldman and Gene Marks discuss the issues business owners should be monitoring. This week: the president’s vaccine mandate, the expanded EIDL, mitigating inflation, preventing ransomware attacks, and getting creativity from a remote workforce.