Bar Napkin Business shares fun, actionable advice, and insights from business owners who've faced every challenge in the book. Join small business owners Matt Taylor and Ali Schwanke as they dive into the quick and dirty tips you need to know in order to increase profits and grow your small business. Through interviews and hot topic discussions, the show digs into growth, scaling a business, hiring and firing employees, taking risks, funding and finances, marketing, and failures - including the hard knocks of entrepreneurship. Grab a craft beer and join us for the conversation!
047: Mike Smith Live - Stop pursuing "likes" and start building a legacy
Mike Smith is anything but the traditional startup entrepreneur. He's the founder of The Bay, an indoor skate park and creative haven for teenagers in Lincoln, Nebraska. He's also a must-see speaker, consultant, ambassador, author, and founder of Leadership Live, Find Your Grind, and Rabble Mill.
In this interview, we talk about the risks he took to start his first business, the reason why most people don't focus on their strengths, and how to balance the demands on your time as a leader.
046: How a construction entrepreneur took his family business from local success to regional powerhouse
The construction business is the 3rd most stressful business industry, behind mining and air traffic control. But that didn't stop Chris Brester, owner of Brester Construction.
A second generation, family-owned company, Brester Construction is a general contracting and construction management firm. In this interview, Chris talks about the challenges of a family business, managing a reputation based on quality, and how they're building this company for the next generation.
045: What it's like to run a music festival business
Spencer Munson's short stint working in a record store ignited his love of music that led to his full-time career as a music festival organizer and promoter of the arts. He's responsible for bringing 100 bands to Lincoln each year through Lincoln Calling, as well as filling the downtown with the sounds of Jazz each summer at the Sheldon Art Gallery.
Learn about the challenges of building a non-profit organization, costly mistakes every festival organizer must learn, why music festivals are essential to attracting young talent, and how he makes money and manages artists inside his operation.
Lincoln Calling is a week filled with amazing music and local artisans surrounded by community and professional development. Over the course of one week in the fall Lincoln Calling draws thousands of concertgoers from around the country to catch over 100 bands in Downtown Lincoln.
About Lincoln Calling:
Lincoln Calling is the city’s premier, non-sports cultural event that specifically targets millennials and young professionals. In 2018 and beyond, this music festival that highlights some of the country’s and state’s most exciting emerging artists, is only growing bigger and better. With YP Week, Startup Week and more non-musical programming joining the fold, and killer headliners already confirmed, Lincoln Calling is on the cusp of securing a spot in the national music festival conversation.
By supporting artists, venues and local promoters, it makes Lincoln’s music and arts scene even
stronger. By drawing regional crowds to businesses in the heart of Lincoln, it helps stimulate our economy. And by injecting an influx of undeniably cool people and youth culture into the city, it makes Lincoln a more appealing place to live, work and play — valuable evidence for businesses aiming to attract and retain top talent. It is our vision is to make the state a globally recognized cultural destination.
About Jazz in June:
Jazz in June invigorates Lincoln’s cultural landscape and provides distinctive character as the community’s “signature free event.” It sparks community engagement among all demographics in the city and supports positive urban culture in downtown Lincoln. This community-centric program traditionally serves 25,000 people over the course of four Tuesdays in June.
In 2017, Jazz in June enjoyed success not only with well-attended performances, but also within the community and classroom. Artists spent hours leading youth workshops in cultural and education centers. The musicians also discussed career paths and theory while engaging students in the University’s music department. With the overwhelming success of 2017’s performance by 5-time GRAMMY Award-winner Terence Blanchard, Jazz in June is striving to book more world renown artists and educators in the future.
The majority of Jazz in June planning is undertaken by a part-time dedicated staff member and a board of volunteers. These individuals plan and execute fundraising, research, community partner development, educational programs, and new marketing strategies. It is the organization’s objective to create a diverse volunteer staff and stable funding base for the community series. The comprehensive funding plan includes support from local foundations, corporations, and individuals. With ample and diverse sources of funding the organization can stay financially viable through any economic climate.
The audience of Jazz in June is a reflection of the Lincoln community. People of all ages, economic backgrounds, and diverse heritage regularly attend the program, achieving several key missions of the program. Jazz in June will strive to benefit the community through strong partnerships with other local organizations, el
044: FanWord - Connecting college sports fans and brands through stories
Christopher Aumueller first came up with the idea for FanWord while playing tennis in college. Using his design skills, he mocked up an early prototype. With a small loan from his family, he paid a developer to bring that prototype to life. He's quick to acknowledge that the early "product" is not even close to what the platform is today! In this interview, we dig into his business, the mistakes he’s made along the way, and how he keeps an open mind to pivot toward what the customer wants in the end.
043: Making Influencer Marketing Work for Your Business
In this episode, we interview the co-founder of Fourstarzz Media, Dennis Doerfl to learn why influencer marketing works, the hottest platforms to get results, the role of micro-influencers, how to measure it, and how to compensate influencers.
Fourstarzz helps marketers find influencers faster by leveraging extensive data analysis to not only find advertising campaign-relevant influencers but also provide the necessary information to connect marketers with the appropriate influencer agents or networks.
042: A Lesson in Improv and Selling People What They Want
As the owner of the Carolina Improv Company, Gina Trimarco believes improv training can be beneficial for executives, sales professionals, and anyone who has to communicate to do their job!
In this episode we talk about:
-How to build a product that people want vs what they need
-Running tests to identify how to position your product
-How Gina leveraged free tools like TripAdvisor
-Why you have to use the customer’s words in your marketing
-The hidden benefits of hosting a weekly podcast
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Loaded with Authentic value
Love it...local podcast so fun to listen to and was blown away by the valuable content. You are doing a great job of portraying great stories packed of content. I keep my mojo up by listening to podcast and yours is up there with some of the big names. Keep up the quick moving content and saying it like it is. I listened to Tyler’s ...not sure what it was but he made me laugh. He was super transparent and u are right. The right hire is critical :-) says the recruiter!
I love listening to business podcasts so was really excited when I discovered this one that focuses on local (Nebraska girl here #GBR) businesses and entrepreneurs!
More depth than width.
I love that this show has embraced local stories and taken the deep dive into what it takes to start and run a business in many different types of business from tech start-up to hospitality.