79 episodes

The Dirty Secrets of Small Business Podcast is here to give you the tools, knowledge and power to achieve success whether you're starting a new small business or already have one. Each episode we will discuss: Common Myths of Small Business Ownership, Dirty Secret of the Week, How Come? (What's on Jack's Mind), Small Business Success Stories (MVP Clients) - within 7 Keys, Current Events/Regulations Impacting Small Business and Un-politically Correct Thought.

Dirty Secrets of Small Business Adam Sonnhalter

    • Business
    • 4.6 • 13 Ratings

The Dirty Secrets of Small Business Podcast is here to give you the tools, knowledge and power to achieve success whether you're starting a new small business or already have one. Each episode we will discuss: Common Myths of Small Business Ownership, Dirty Secret of the Week, How Come? (What's on Jack's Mind), Small Business Success Stories (MVP Clients) - within 7 Keys, Current Events/Regulations Impacting Small Business and Un-politically Correct Thought.

    How Do I Get Over Trying To Be In Control?

    How Do I Get Over Trying To Be In Control?

    In This Episode

    One of the things that folks in a leadership position wrestle with is the idea of being in control.  We will often hear business owners talk about how they are accused of being micromanagers.  This can result in team members not feeling confident or empowered to make many of the day-to-day decisions in running the business and instead will wait for the owner to step in to decide what to do.  This can be one of the biggest limiting factors for you and your business’s success.



    We focus our clients on the concept of Plan Direct Control.  So control is part of what we are helping our clients achieve but it’s not in the way they are often used to where they feel like they have to make all the decisions or be the one driving things forward all the time.  It all starts with getting your people involved in the Plan.



    As a business owner you should become fond of asking your team the question, “What’s the plan?”  It could be the plan for today or this week or for a particular project.  The key here is you want to get them thinking about what should be done.  Keep in mind that many of your people are closer to the day-to-day details of what’s going on which puts them in a better position to cobble together a plan.  If the team member doesn’t have a plan then part of your role is to help them figure one out.  Start with questions like, “What do you think we should do” vs. providing all the answers yourself.



    The Direction part comes as you help Direct all the activities.  Kind of like the orchestra conductor where you’ll be making sure folks are engaged with helping to execute the Plan.  This is one of the tricks to getting your people to take “ownership” of things because they’ve been involved in helping to create the Plans vs. waiting for you to dictate from on high.



    The Control piece comes in the form of regular meetings and reports.  Your goal with Control is to make sure you are as well informed as possible on the key items in your business.  And the best part is that your team will be more engaged and you won’t have to make all the decisions.  Plus you’ll be able to watch your team grow and succeed right along with your business!

    People, Companies and Resources We Mentioned in the Show



    * DEI (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diversity,_equity,_and_inclusion)

    * KPI (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Performance_indicator)

    • 27 min
    How Do I Figure Out What Business I Want To Buy?

    How Do I Figure Out What Business I Want To Buy?

    In This Episode

    Over the years we have helped several clients buy companies.  Some have been individuals looking to own their own business.  Many more have been clients with an existing business they are looking to grow and decided to pursue acquisitions as an option.  Our discussion during the show today centered more on the folks who are looking to buy their first or next business.



    So one of the first questions we usually hear is, how do I figure out what type of business to buy?  Our simple response to this is that you need to turn over some rocks.  Now don’t go looking in your backyard or surrounding area for some literal rocks to look under, there’s a way to do this when it comes to looking for a business to buy.



    A great starting place is the Internet.  If you put in any search term related to buying or selling a company into your favorite search engine you will likely get thousands of options.  We suggest starting with some of the better known web sites that have businesses listed for sale (e.g. www.BizBuySell.com, www.businessesforsale.com). A similar but often overlooked area to investigate is the “business opportunities” section of your local newspaper or business journals.  It’s kind of like a classifieds section for business.  Also don’t forget about franchises.  There are a lot of franchise brokers out there as well as listings of franchises available for sale or looking to grow their footprint.



    Starting with these avenues will usually present you with different options for companies for sale in your area.  These are the “rocks” you’ll want to be looking under and investigating.  One of your first tests will be getting past the business brokers to get information on the companies listed for sale.  Each broker will have a slightly different form they’ll want you to fill out with some personal financial information.  This “screening” process is designed to scare away the folks who aren’t serious or who don’t have the financial means to purchase a company.  Don’t let this deter you.  There are a couple of ways to get around divulging a lot of personal information which we shared during the show today.



    The best way to figure out what type of business you’d like to own is to see as many different companies as you can and find out which ones get you the most excited.  We shared a story on the show today about a client of ours who wound up buying a dental staffing business even though he had no background in dentistry and didn’t even know this type of business existed until he started turning over rocks.



    If talking with a bunch of business brokers isn’t your idea of the best way to start, maybe you’d be more inclined to investigate things like the Inc. 500/5000 list.  This is an annual list published by Inc. Magazine with the fastest growing privately owned companies in the U.S.  These companies are typically grouped into a couple dozen categories and we contend that if you can’t find any businesses in that list that get you excited then chances are business ownership might not be for you.



    If you have some luck finding different types of companies that interest you, then you can cobble together a list of those companies in your area and start reaching out to connect with them.  We suggest starting with a simple letter writing campaign to introduce yourself to the company and let the owner know you will be reaching out to touch base.  Even though most of these companies aren’t officially “for sale” you might be surprised how many of the owners will take your call and even meet with you.



    If you’re feeling frisky, you may want to even reach out to your local IRS agent to see what they might have available.  Sound too good to be true?  Jack shared the experience he had when buying his first company which he did through the IRS....

    • 32 min
    How Do I Know It’s Time To Hire A Coach or Consultant

    How Do I Know It’s Time To Hire A Coach or Consultant

    In This Episode

    Many business owners are looking for help.  Oftentimes they are looking in all the wrong places.  It usually starts with friends and family.  Most of these friends and family are well intentioned, but many can’t relate to the challenges of owning and running a small business as they’ve never done it successfully themselves.  Or perhaps they have had some success in running a small business, but that doesn’t mean they can help or teach you.



    Owners will also often devour the latest books, podcasts, webinars, or workshops in search for ways to help them take that next step.  But this often becomes like a crap shoot where you are hoping you’ll be reading the right book at the right time to address your current biggest challenge or opportunity.  Sometimes it’s best to just have someone to talk with on a regular basis who not only understands small business, but can also tailor the solution to fit your particular circumstances.  That’s where a coach or consultant usually comes in.



    So if this sounds like you, now might be the time to explore hiring a coach or consultant.  This is a big decision for you and your business so it’s something you should take your time with.  Interview several people to make sure there is a good fit, not just from a skills and background standpoint, but also from a comfort standpoint.  Keep in mind that this coach or consultant is someone you will be sharing a lot of private information with.  Perhaps things you’ve never shared with anyone else.  So you want to be comfortable with them to the point you will share with them all the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Kind of like choosing a doctor!

    People, Companies and Resources We Mentioned in the Show



    * Looking for Love in All The Wrong Places (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lookin%27_for_Love)

    * MVP’s 3 Circles (https://maximumvp.com/the-3-circles/)

    * MVP’s 7 Keys to Success (https://maximumvp.com/7-keys-to-success/)

    • 29 min
    How Do I Know If I’m Leading Meetings Effectively?

    How Do I Know If I’m Leading Meetings Effectively?

    In This Episode

    Meetings often get a bad rap…and for good reason.  Some of the most common problems we find are:



    * There is no agenda (or the agenda isn’t followed)

    * 1 or 2 people dominate

    * Meeting doesn’t stay on time

    * No one is in charge



    We contend that you can and MUST do better as the leader and owner of your business.  Scheduling regular meetings for the year gives everything in your business a place to be discussed on a regular basis depending on its priority.  Some things should be covered daily, while others make more sense weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually.



    Getting those meetings set up is the first step.  The next step is to make sure that you (or someone else on your team) is leading those meetings effectively.  One of the biggest things we focus on with our coaching clients is to make sure they are clear what the purpose of the meeting is.  This should fall into one of two buckets:



    * Update: as the name suggests, these meetings are geared to update your team about different topics (e.g. daily production schedules, weekly sales, etc.)

    * Working: these are the meetings where everyone can roll up their sleeves and get to work solving problems, brainstorming ideas, planning for the next quarter/year, etc.



    Many of the frustrations from meetings result from a lack of clarity on the type of meeting it is or jumping back and forth between Updates and Working meetings.



    During the show today we shared several examples of how to effectively structure and run meetings for your business.  At the end of the day it boils down to coming prepared, not winging it, and being purposeful and respectful of your people and time.

    People, Companies and Resources We Mentioned in the Show



    * Ten Commandments (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ten_Commandments)

    * The Office (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0386676/)

    * Extended DISC (https://www.extendeddisc.org)



    Join Us Next Time

    Join us next time when we will talk about how you know it’s time to hire a coach or consultant.  If this is something that’s been swimming around in your mind for a bit, you’ll want to tune in next week!

    • 40 min
    The Camp Fire Test, Scott Freerksen & Chris Mosier of Lakefront Living International, LLC

    The Camp Fire Test, Scott Freerksen & Chris Mosier of Lakefront Living International, LLC

    In This Episode

    Today we were joined on the show by business partners Scott Freerksen and Chris Mosier.  Scott and Chris are the owners of Lakefront Living International, a national real estate franchise focused only on lakefront properties.  During the show Scott and Chris share the very different paths they took that eventually lead them each to a focus on lakefront properties.



    Scott had a 20-year corporate career where he never really felt like he belonged.  He points to September 11, 2001 as a triggering event that caused him to leave the corporate world behind and he began flipping houses.  In order to save on realtors fees for buying and selling houses, Scott decided to obtain his real estate license.  Scott always had a fondness for living on a lake and quickly discovered an underserved niche with lakefront property.



    Chris graduated with a degree in civil engineering and she liked the field so much that immediately after graduating she went to work in the travel field with American Express Travel, starting out as a “volunteer” so she could learn the business and the technology.  This experience exposed Chris to working with an affluent clientele of corporate executives and how to work with them. After taking some time off to be a stay-at-home mom and finding the Lord, Chris re-entered the workforce by getting into real estate.  Within the first year Chris became the highest producing agent.  Somehow she found time to get involved with a Dream Dinners franchise, get remarried, and purchased a lake house.  It was while at that lake house that Chris discovered that she could show houses in shorts and flip flops on a boat and she was hooked!



    Scott and Chris found each other in 2014 while Scott was trying to “build his business like he was going to build 10,000 more of them” so he could franchise it which is something he discovered in the book the E-Myth Revisited.  In the meantime Chris and her REMAX partner had very different visions for where they wanted to take their business with Chris wanting to create a national franchise built around lakefront houses while her partner wanted to stay local.



    Chris and Scott quickly discovered that they not only shared a similar vision for what this business could be but they also shared similar values and approaches to business. They take a unique approach to the franchiser/franchisee relationship and view their franchisees as partners.  In fact the look at them as family and as such it’s key that any potential franchisee can pass the camp fire test.



    Scott and Chris shared some of their keys to success for a strong partnership including:



    * Good hearted people (everything can be worked out);

    * Embrace people fro their different gifts vs. getting frustrated;

    * Mutual respect;

    * Aligned Vision; and

    * Getting a contract in place ahead of time to handle things if things go south.



    Chris and Scott have a very relatable and inspiring story and we think you’ll really enjoy hearing them share their journey with us.

    People, Companies and Resources We Mentioned in the Show



    * Lakefront Living Franchise Site (https://www.lakefrontfranchise.com/)

    * Lakefront Living International (https://www.lakefrontliving.com)

    * September 11, 2001 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/September_11_attacks)

    * REMAX (https://www.remax.com)

    * American Express Travel (https://www.amextravel.com/featured-hotel-searches)

    * E-Myth Revisited (https://www.goodreads.

    • 50 min
    How Do I Know It’s Time To Get Rid of Someone?

    How Do I Know It’s Time To Get Rid of Someone?

    In This Episode

    One of the toughest decisions for many business owners is deciding when it’s time to get rid of someone.  That “someone” could be an employee, contractor, customer, or even a vendor.  One of the things we love most about small business is that it allows for a heart whereas big business usually comes down to a number.



    As a small business owner, chances are you know all the names of your employees.  And that’s just the starts.  It’s likely you also know their spouse and kids and much of their history.  Perhaps even their favorite sports team.  A lot of this is true for your customers and vendors as well.  All of this makes it more difficult to pull the trigger when it’s time to get rid of someone.



    So what’s a small business owner to do?  Unfortunately too many small business owners hold on to people way too long and it ultimately either hurts or severely limits their business prospects.  We propose pausing to ask yourself one simple question, “what’s best for the organization?”



    This one simple question helps you as the owner take some of the emotion out of these tough decisions because ultimately you care about the health and long-term well being of your business.  Too often we hear owners asking what’s best for the employee/customer/vendor in question or what’s best for a particular team member who might be negatively impacted in the short term.  Once in a while we’ll hear an owner lament about what’s best for them.



    During the show today we shared several stories and situations with employees, customers, and vendors where some tough decisions needed to be made.  It comes down to what things are non-negotiable in your business when it comes to things like people’s behaviors and values.  These are the things that ultimately either build or break down trust in your organization.

    People, Companies and Resources We Mentioned in the Show



    * Star Trek (https://www.startrek.com)

    * How the Grinch Who Stole Christmas (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_the_Grinch_Stole_Christmas!)



    Join Us Next Time

    Join us next time as we will be joined on the show by business partners Scott Freerksen and Chris Mosier.  Scott and Chris are the owners of Lakefront Living International (https://www.lakefrontliving.com), a national real estate franchise focused only on lakefront properties.  During the show Scott and Chris share the very different paths they took that eventually lead them each to a focus on lakefront properties.

    • 32 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
13 Ratings

13 Ratings

Dougiesjr ,

Now I’m hooked!

So far today I’ve heard a podcast and one interview - I love it! They’re extremely informative but not at all dry, these two are excellent together.

beyondcommon ,

Adam and Jack are Great!

Such true professionals and so knowledgeable about business.

Top Podcasts In Business

Ramsey Network
NPR
iHeartPodcasts
Pushkin Industries
Jocko DEFCOR Network
Andy Frisella #100to0