Small Business Podcast | Up and to the Right

Up and to the Right Podcast

What is our small business podcast all about?

Watch this brief introductory video, listen to an episode, get all the show notes, resource links, and other small business goodness by scrolling through the pictures below or clicking the episode links on the right. Oh... and we're live-streaming the show every Wednesday at 10:00 AM Colorado time (see below)!


Finding the Up and to the Right Small Business Podcast

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Up and to the Right is the no-nonsense small business podcast where we blend your passion with proven business principles and practical tips. We cover things that matter to small business owners, startups, and people interested in becoming entrepreneurs. No buzzwords and no hyped-up trends.

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Up and to the Right Podcast Episodes

Up and to the Right Podcast Episodes

  • When Should I Hire a Consultant? | Up and to the Right | Episode 048
    When Should I Hire a Consultant? Hiring a consultant is bringing an ‘outsider’ into your business and can be an intensely personal experience. What’s in this episode for you?! When should you hire a consultant? We’ll talk about hiring consultants in small businesses and my own 2020 adventure in bringing help into my own business. There are 3 consultants every ...
  • Jeff Allen Owner of Allen Service, Plumbing, Heating, and Air
    Jeff Allen Owner of Allen Service, Plumbing, Heating, and Air Allen Service, Plumbing, Heating & Air has been a part of the Northern Colorado business landscape for 59 years. In my interview with business owner Jeff Allen, of Allen Service, he shares his decades of small business experience on: Operating as an ‘essential business’ Employee safety and COVID-19 Zero contact ...
  • How Small Business Owners Manage Crisis
    Listen & Download Show Notes: How Small Business Owners Manage Crisis Being a small business owner is challenging in the best of times. During periods of economic uncertainty the challenge of how small business owners manage crisis becomes more difficult. In 2020 we’re faced with those economic concerns but they are combined with a serious global pandemic ...
  • Practical Profit in Small Business | Up and to the Right | Episode 047
    Listen & Download Show Notes Profit is often heard as a four letter word. As small business owners that want to offer products and services that create a lasting and positive impact in the lives of our customers as well as our own… we have to get comfortable with profit. Profit is not something you take from your ...
  • Cash Management Principles for Small Business | Up and to the Right | Episode 046
    Listen & Download Show Notes You’ve heard that statistic that 50 percent of companies go out of business within five years… well an article by the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) 82% of those failures can be attributed to cash. The role of cash in business is often underestimated and misunderstood. Let’s get liquid! Reminder: What is a Business ...
  • Adding Value As A Small Business | Up And To The Right | Episode 045
      The competitive landscape is becoming increasingly complicated in our world. Small business owners often find themselves competing with big-box stores and online retailers that can run much more advertising, negotiate lower costs for their goods, and have more stores of cash to weather difficult economic times. It’s more important than ever that we understand not ...
  • Practical Communication For Small Business | Up And To The Right | Episode 044
      Communication is so foundational that it’s almost a bit trite to specifically call it as a business principle. However, we leave a lot of communication unintentional, which is unfortunate because we should be using it to effectively transmit our intended message to our intended recipient and have them understand it the way that we meant. ...
  • Planning For Small Business Success | Up And To The Right | Episode 043
      There are two extremes that small business owners can fall into when it comes to business planning: under-planning and over-planning. The first one leads you astray while the other one slows you down. How do you strike a balance in planning so that it really benefits your business? Stephen Krausse recognizes the critical importance of ...
  • Practical Vision In Small Business | Up And To The Right | Episode 042
      What is your vision statement? Do you even have one? As a small business owner, you may be one of those who think that vision statements are applicable only for big businesses. When we hear the word “vision” what usually comes to mind is a self-aggrandizing statement hung on some corporate office wall. Stephen Krausse ...
  • Principles Of Small Business Success | Up And To The Right | Episode 041
    What are the foundational things that small businesses need to pay attention to in order to succeed? In this episode, Stephen Krausse explains the business principles that are universally applicable to all small businesses. By homing in to the exact definition of the word “principle,” Stephen came up with the six major principles of small ...
  • Plan It Like It’s Software | Up And To The Right | Episode 040
      What does it take to run a small business? Don’t let the word “small” fool you – running a business, any business, regardless of product or service, needs a lot of business planning. If you are just starting, you may not be worrying yet about things such as the legal framework, accounting structure, finance, HR, ...
  • Wow… That Was Lucky! | Up And To The Right | Episode 039
      What does luck mean in business? For many business owners, luck is some external, amorphous force that is outside our control. Is luck something that we should take into consideration in our business? Should we even use the word “luck” at all? In this episode, Stephen Krausse demystifies the concept of luck in business and ...
  • Finding Business Wisdom Where the Wise Conflict | Up and to the Right | Episode 038
      If you’re a voracious reader of business books, you might have noticed that much of the business wisdom in those sources (and there’s a lot of it) is in conflict with each other. Oftentimes, it leaves you scratching your head, trying to figure out how to reconcile one piece of business wisdom with another. How ...
  • Getting The Most Out Of The Video Gear You Already Have | Up And To The Right | Episode 037
      In our current situation with the pandemic and social distancing, video is becoming more essential, and video conferencing plays a larger role in how we interact going forward as a business. In the second of a two-part series, Stephen Krausse discusses how we can get the best results from the video gear that we already ...
  • Getting Value Out Of Zoom And Video Conferencing | Up And To The Right | Episode 036
      In our current situation where social distancing is encouraged, we’re always looking for tools that would help us continue to communicate and do business virtually. One tool that has grabbed the market is Zoom, a video conferencing platform. In this first of a two-part series, Stephen Krausse discusses how we can get value out of ...
  • Let’s Build A Revenue Stream | Up And To The Right | Episode 035
      Any disruption in the economy will show weaknesses or vulnerabilities in our business, whether it’s an expense structure that’s unsustainable or too few revenue streams or narrow sales channels. Today, Stephen Krausse talks about how we can take care of ourselves in terms of revenue streams. Whatever crisis or disruption we may currently face, you ...
  • Sometimes… You Just Grind | Up And To The Right | Episode 034
    No matter how much you plan for your days, there are times when you feel like you’re not getting a whole lot done. You know you should be doing something, but you feel unproductive, low vibration, and that you’ve wasted time. When this happens, you just have to do the grind and put energy into ...
  • Bridging Crisis: Getting ‘There’ From ‘Here’ | Up And To The Right | Episode 033
    As small business owners, understanding how to manage crisis and how to deal with that is important. We have to understand what we can do to get our businesses through a particular crisis or disruption, whatever it is. On today’s show, Stephen Krausse takes a look at how we can bridge a crisis as a small ...
  • Does Your Small Business Really Need To Grow? | Up And To The Right | Episode 032
      We like to think about growth as a positive thing. We get this idea in our heads that we have to grow. We set our sights on some arbitrary target and do what we’re supposed to do. However, growth also comes with a certain amount of risk. On today’s podcast, Stephen Krausse talks about what ...
  • Scaling Benefits For Your Small Business | Up And To The Right | Episode 031
      One of the best ways to show your team or coworkers that you’re committed to them are benefit packages. But how can small businesses and startups compete with established companies when it comes to benefit packages? On today’s podcast, Stephen Krausse goes through and talks about benefit packages, sharing some examples of how and why ...
  • Open Book Management | Up and to the Right | Episode 030
    Listen & Download Show Notes Open Book Management shares financial information with employees with the expectation that they use that information to feel confident that the owner trusts them and that they can see where the company is spending money and how they might be able to help. Let’s get open… or maybe not? For more detailed information listen ...
  • What’s in My Business Bag | Up and to the Right | Episode 029
    Listen & Download Show Notes Productive mobility allows us to add value to our businesses when we aren’t in the office. This gives us the freedom to work from a wider variety of locations improving our quality of life. But how do we make the most of this time? I’ve been using this kind of mobility for ...
  • Export Control for Small Business | Up and to the Right | Episode 028
    Listen & Download Show Notes At Beyond 50 Percent we currently do geographically narrow sales and marketing and no export occurs. At my pulsed power company, Directed Energy, it’s a different story. Our products are classified as EAR99 which generally means that no license is required for export. Due to the nature of our products and the ...
  • Good Policy Bad Policy | Up and to the Right | Episode 027
    Listen & Download Show Notes I’m on a mission to stop structured ineptitude this week and I have my sights on policies! It makes me crazy when I get on the phone, chat, personal conversation or email exchange that results in the customer support person on the other end is basically hogtied so they can’t actually assist ...
  • Moving Your Business | Up and to the Right | Episode 026
    Listen & Download Show Notes Well the 2nd Livestream went great… except that I streamed it on the wrong Youtube channel! Noob mistake #1. I also forgot to record the audio separately so I had to rip it from the stream. It worked but not quite the quality I shoot for. In this livestream/episode I wanted to talk ...
  • Getting Value Out of a Business Model | Up and to the Right | Episode 025
    Listen & Download Show Notes Welcome to the recording of my first livestream! There were a few hiccups in the beginning but we got through it! In this livestream/episode I continue the discussion from the last episode (audio only sorry) of Up and to the Right when we talked about the definition of a business model. This time ...
  • What is a Business Model? | Up and to the Right | Episode 024
    Listen & Download Show Notes It’s time to roll up our sleeves and get to work with another episode of the Up and to the Right Podcast. Have you ever tried to explain how your business makes money? At first it might seem like a silly question.  But let’s take a closer look and see if we can ...
  • Money Doesn’t Mix | Up and to the Right | Episode 023
    Listen & Download Show Notes Let’s see… A little something from our personal account… A little from our business account… Let’s just give it a little mix here… What could possibly go wrong right? Hi, I’m Stephen Krausse with Beyond 50 Percent and it’s time to roll up our sleeves and get to work with another episode of the Up and to ...
  • 4 Acquisitions 4 Lessons | Up and to the Right | Episode 022
    Listen & Download Show Notes M&A or mergers & acquisitions might not be on the tip of your tongue as a small business owner but as we plan for retirement or other transitions, acquisition begins to find its way into our world. Hi, I’m Stephen Krausse with Beyond 50 Percent and it’s time to roll up our sleeves ...
  • Plancrastination… 1st Cousin of Analysis Paralysis | Up and to the Right | Episode 021
    Video Intro Listen & Download Show Notes On February 13, 2017 I published Episode 13 of Up and to the Right… I should have known that the 13th episode published on the 13th day of the month was a bad omen. Anyway, after Episode 13 I started planning… and stopped producing… …and it took over a year for me to get ...
  • Organizing for Practical Humans | Up and to the Right | Episode 020
    Video Intro Listen & Download Show Notes I have three places I really push organization my electronic files my backpack my office/podcast production desk I could do better but these are my major work areas so while I have piles of office supplies or old records that could definitely use a good purge… they don’t effect my day to day work. In episode ...
  • See the Problem, Hear the Customer, Speak Only Thoughtfulness | Up and to the Right | Episode 019
    Video Intro Listen & Download Show Notes Do you have customer service skeletons in your closet? Does the skeleton of your patronage linger in the closet of a business that just plain blew it? For me, sadly… both are true. Episode 019 of Up and to the Right we’ll take a look at some moldering bones in my own ...
  • Windows 10 is Great – Still Using a Mac | Up and to the Right | Episode 018
    Video Intro Listen & Download Show Notes If you put all the clever marketing campaigns aside does it really matter if you’re Mac or Windows? Episode 018 of Up and to the Right is about my journey from Windows to Mac; how and why it matters to business owners and what you need to think about when it comes ...
  • Social Media Channel Surfing | Up and to the Right | Episode 017
    Video Intro Listen & Download Show Notes Do you use social media to promote your product, service or business? Did you know that there or over 300 social media websites and that number is growing?! Whether your a social media luddite like yours truly… or a social media maven there’s simply no ignoring the power and impact of social ...
  • Should My Pricing be on My Website? | Up and to the Right | Episode 016
    Video Intro Listen & Download Show Notes It’s unanimous… according to article after article service providers should have pricing listed on their websites. Funny thing though… if you start looking at many professional service provider’s websites there is a distinct lack of transparent public pricing. In episode 16 of Up and to the Right we’ll explore this apparent conflict ...
  • Recycling the 4 P’s for the New Small Business Economy | Up and to the Right | Episode 015
    Video Intro Listen & Download Show Notes About 58 years ago Edmund Jerome McCarthy introduced us to the ‘four P’s of marketing’. It could be argued that a lot has changed since then. In this episode of Up and to the Right we’ll adapt this easy to remember marketing tool to our modern market. It’s within your reach achieve your ...
  • 5 Moleskine Management Hack | Up and to the Right | Episode 014
    Video Intro Listen & Download Show Notes Have you ever heard someone talk about running their business by ‘keeping all the balls in the air’? Now I can’t juggle… but I can certainly relate to the feeling that running a business can seem like a circus! So, how can one person keep “all the balls in the air”? ...
  • Up and to the Right | 2017 Episode 04 | Three Kinds of Work
      How do you measure the importance of the work that you do in your small business? Sometimes I value the work I do by its impact on revenue; sometimes I value it based on how much I am interested in that particular activity and sometimes I value an activity by how long it can occupy ...
  • Up and to the Right | 2017 Episode 03 | Operating Profit Drives Expense
    One of the most common reasons for small business failure is problems with cash flow (not having the cash you need to operate your business when you need it). Looking at this another way… by learning when to incur expenses you can turn this risk for other small businesses into an asset for your own. The ...
  • Up and to the Right | 2017 Episode 02 | Hiring for Small Business
    Hiring can be rewarding when you’ve found just the right person with the right skills and experience that will fit perfectly into the culture of your business. It’s a big commitment though… for both of you. As a business owner, there are a few strategies you can use that will increase the chances that your ...
  • Up and to the Right | 2017 Episode 01 | Outsourcing for Small Business
    It’s true. We all need help. Whether it’s seasonal sales cycles, end of year accounting or a full time staff position… there’s always more to do that hours in the day. How do you decide what help you need, how to prioritize getting it and finally who you gonna call? In this episode our focus ...
  • Up and to the Right | 2016 Week 51 | What’s in an Email Domain?
    Still using @gmail, @aol, @yahoo or another generic email for your small business? Does it matter? In the 2016 Week 51 episode of Up and to the Right we’re going to go over why using this seemingly economic choice for small business owners may actually be costing you more than you think. We’ll also talk about how easy ...
  • Up and to the Right | 2016 Week 50 | The Secret Life of Ratios
      What are Financial Ratios? Can they be used to run a small business or are they only for big companies and stock traders? In the 2016 Week 50 episode of Up and to the Right we’ll learn the Secret Life of Ratios and how they can be used to operate and improve your small business. The tool ...
  • Up and to the Right | 2016 Week 49 | Statement of Cash Flows
    Cash is king as they say and the Statement of Cash Flows is a key report that bridges the gap between the Balance Sheet and the Income statement. In this episode of Up and to the Right I’ll discuss how to get the most out of the Statement of Cash Flows without investing hours of time or ...
  • Up and to the Right | 2016 Week 48 | Effortless Income Statements
    The Income Statement (or Profit & Loss Statement as it is also known) is probably the most widely used and reviewed financial report. There are good reasons for this and, while the Income Statement can’t entirely describe the health of your small business, it can provide valuable insight into critical areas that can make a ...
  • Up and to the Right | 2016 Week 47 | Balance Sheet Basics
    Balance Sheet Basics How often do you review the three standard accounting reports for your business. Accounting gets a bad rap but the reports that they generate are the first place to go to find measured results that you can use to improve your business. The Balance Sheet, Income Statement and Statement of Cash Flows can ...
  • Up and to the Right | 2016 Week 46 | Working Across Platforms
    Working Across Platforms Listen & Download Resources Worksheet Tool of the Trade Example Cross Platform App: Evernote Evernote is available for MacOS, iOS, Android and Windows Get it for MacOS Evernote ToDoIst Get it for iOS Evernote ToDoIst Reading Room Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill (Audible Version) and the dead tree version here. Get it on iBooks Show Notes Are you a Windows or Mac? ...
  • Up and to the Right | 2016 Week 45 | Backups on a Budget
    Backups on a Budget Listen & Download Resources Worksheet Tool of the Trade Online Backup Solution: Crashplan Crashplan is available for MacOS, iOS, Android, Windows and Linux Get it for MacOS Genius Scan + Reading Room The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business – Charles Duhigg (Audible Version) and the dead tree version here. Get it on iBooks Show Notes Have you ...
  • Up and to the Right | 2016 Week 44 | Being a Choosey Tool User
    Being a Choosey Tool User Listen & Download Resources Worksheet Tool of the Trade Low Tech: Dash Plus – Patrick Honer High Tech: Nozbe Get it on iTunes Reading Room Eat That Frog – Brian Tracy (Audible Version) and the dead tree version here. Get it on iBooks Just Because Swingline Series 747 Stapler – Why? For my money – the best staplers ever plus #officespacemovie. Show ...
  • Up and to the Right | 2016 Week 43 | Re-introducing Up and to the Right
    Re-Introducing Up and to the Right Listen & Download Resources Tool of the Trade Moleskine Reading Room The Art of the Start 2.0 by Guy Kawasaki (Audible) Or get it on iBooks Show Notes Well, I tried something out that didn’t work very well. I originally thought it would be helpful for Up and to the Right to support a month long ‘mini course’ for ...
When Should I Hire a Consultant

When Should I Hire a Consultant? | Up and to the Right | Episode 048

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When Should I Hire a Consultant? Hiring a consultant is bringing an ‘outsider’ into your business and can be an intensely personal experience. What’s in this episode for you?! When should you hire a consultant? We’ll talk about hiring consultants in small businesses and my own 2020 adventure in bringing help into my own business. There are 3 consultants every business owner should have… what are they? You’ll find highlights below. Watch the livestream recording or listen to the podcast version on your favorite podcatcher for all the details!

Jeff Allen of Allen Service Plumbing Heating and Air is interviewed for Pivot to Profit.

Jeff Allen Owner of Allen Service, Plumbing, Heating, and Air

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Jeff Allen Owner of Allen Service, Plumbing, Heating, and Air Allen Service, Plumbing, Heating & Air has been a part of the Northern Colorado business landscape for 59 years. In my interview with business owner Jeff Allen, of Allen Service, he shares his decades of small business experience on: Operating as an ‘essential business’ Employee safety and COVID-19 Zero contact in-home services Indoor air quality Remote working for employees Yep… Jeff and I covered a lot of ground… Let’s pivot to profit! Interview | Jeff Allen, Owner of Allen Service, Plumbing, Heating, and Air Jeff, his brother Mike, and the team at Allen Service, Plumbing, Heating, and Air, have been operating as an ‘essential business’ through the current crisis. A small business succeeding during the COVID-19 pandemic, Jeff and his team prioritize employee and customer safety while still providing quality services.  I’ve always thought that heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in our homes were for comfort and convenience. I learned from Jeff that our indoor air often has more contaminants than the outside air and that modern HVAC systems can clean the indoor air we breathe, making it safer. They have been able to not only operate during the current crisis but offer products that can reduce the contaminants and contagions in our homes. As you can imagine, after nearly 60 years in business Allen Service has been through a lot, and Jeff shared his experience and practical action you can adapt to your business situation. Contact Jeff & Allen Service Allen Service, Plumbing, Heating, and Air “The name you know and trust.” 970-286-0359 https://www.allenservice.com/ A Brief History of Allen Service in Northern Colorado Jeff introduced us to Allen Service as the name you know and trust in plumbing, heating, and air in Northern Colorado, serving residential (non-commercial) customers. After nearly 60 years as a local small business, it was interesting to hear how and why they chose to move away from commercial customers. One of the key takeaways was they have optimized their business, processes, and training to focus on and deliver the best possible service for a specific customer segment. By concentrating their efforts, they have been able to grow their business consistently while maintaining high-quality service. Allen Service as an Essential Business Colorado classified the plumbing, heating, and air conditioning industry as ‘essential’ during the economic shutdown. This designation allowed Jeff and his team to hone their business processes to deliver critical services during this challenging time in a way that has minimized the risk to Allen’s customers as well as their team members. As we all spend more time in our homes to reduce our exposure to the pandemic, we become more aware of issues related to our HVAC or plumbing systems, which Jeff and his team can address safely. Additionally, as I mentioned earlier, I learned that our indoor air quality is often lower than the air quality outside. There are modern solutions that can reduce allergens, contaminants, and even contagions from our […]

pivot to profit, how small business owners manage crisis

How Small Business Owners Manage Crisis

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Being a small business owner is challenging in the best of times. During periods of economic uncertainty the challenge of how small business owners manage crisis becomes more difficult. In 2020 we’re faced with those economic concerns but they are combined with a serious global pandemic and the groundswell of  social and cultural shifts. Any one of these would be stressful enough on its own but combined it is understandable that many of us are under a great deal of stress. Where do we go for ideas on small business crisis management? Each other of course! Social distancing has, in large measure, removed some of our traditional coping tools, many recreations and social support. I hesitate to use the term ‘unprecedented’ which seems to be getting thrown about; however, it’s clear that we are living in a difficult time.  As I thought about all of this I wanted to find a way to pull back the curtain on our isolation. Rather than just finding solace in shared difficulty I wanted to produce a show that allowed business owners to share their own experiences dealing with crisis and thoughts with other owners as well as share with the customers the best way to safely support local businesses. Let’s pivot to profit! Introduction to the Pivot to Profit Segment – How Small Business Owners Manage Crisis In this first episode of my new segment I just want to let listeners know what to expect and share a bit of my own experience on the two businesses I own and operate. My Three Goals: You are NOT Alone! Share Experience & Successful Actions Share Safe Ways to Conduct Business First of all the regular episodes of Up and to the Right will continue. Pivot to Profit is a supplementary audio only production designed to complement the regular show. The focus of Pivot to Profit is to have real, on the ground, discussions with business owners just like you. I want to make sure that business owners know that they are not alone during this difficult time. There are a lot of us out there coping with similar problems. We can learn from each other and that’s a huge part of the value of this segment. The second piece is the opportunity to share actions both successful and less so in order to help each other learn and grow and continue to operate during this crisis. Finally, I want to provide business owners the chance to share safe ways for their customers to purchase products & services. This may provide listeners with ideas for their own business as well! My COVID19 Experience (so far) As you probably already know I own and operate two distinctly different companies; Directed Energy & Beyond 50 Percent. Directed Energy provides high voltage & high current pulsed power equipment for a variety of international markets. It’s a niche business but relies on the international economy and the needs of a relatively narrow list of customers. Beyond 50 Percent is […]

Stephen Krausse toasting your small business profit (with coffee) for Up and to the Right Episode 047

Practical Profit in Small Business | Up and to the Right | Episode 047

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Livestream RecordingListen & Download Show Notes Profit is often heard as a four letter word. As small business owners that want to offer products and services that create a lasting and positive impact in the lives of our customers as well as our own… we have to get comfortable with profit. Profit is not something you take from your customers. Profit is the consideration you are given for the improvement of your customer’s lives over the cost of having done so. That value can come from the creation of a product from raw materials, the delivery of a service or maybe even in offering a product in a location. In this episode we’re going to talk about establishing an appropriate profit margin for your business that you will be comfortable with as an owner, which fits into the goals you have for your business and is going to meet the expectations of your most ideal customers. You might want to refill your coffee now! Let’s get comfortable with profit! Read More

Stephen Krausse host of Up and to the Right discusses cash management for small business in episode 046.

Cash Management Principles for Small Business | Up and to the Right | Episode 046

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Livestream RecordingListen & Download Show Notes You’ve heard that statistic that 50 percent of companies go out of business within five years… well an article by the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) 82% of those failures can be attributed to cash. The role of cash in business is often underestimated and misunderstood. Let’s get liquid! Read More

Adding Value As A Small Business | Up And To The Right | Episode 045

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  The competitive landscape is becoming increasingly complicated in our world. Small business owners often find themselves competing with big-box stores and online retailers that can run much more advertising, negotiate lower costs for their goods, and have more stores of cash to weather difficult economic times. It’s more important than ever that we understand not only what value we currently add for our customers, but look for and integrate new ways to add value to stay competitive. In today’s podcast, join Stephen Krausse to learn how you can add value as a small business owner to help you make your business better in actionable, practical ways. — Listen to the podcast here: Adding Value As A Small Business | Up And To The Right | Episode 045 We’ve done a couple of talks about principles of business. I want to talk about adding value. The competitive landscape is becoming increasingly complicated in our world. Small business owners often find themselves competing with the Big-box stores and online retailers that can run much more advertising and can negotiate lower costs for their goods. They have more stores of cash weather in difficult economic times. It’s more important than ever that we understand not only what value we currently add for our customers, but look for an integrate new ways to add value, to stay competitive. It’s time to roll up our sleeves and get to work. — We try to avoid buzzwords, key phrases and the short-term trends that may be chic, but not having stood the test of time. We take these business principles and practical solutions, and we integrate them in ways that help you make your business better in an actionable practical way that helps you stay authentic to who you are but also helps improve your entrepreneurial journey. When I went back a few episodes ago, I defined a principle of business as something that is foundational, fundamental. It’s something that you have to have and build on in order to have a successful business. What Is Value-Added? Also, it has to apply to every business model that I could think of at the time. That set a pretty high bar for a concept to be a principle of business versus simply being a good tactic or a business strategy. Those two core components are important. It has to be fundamental and universal. What is value-added? According to Merriam-Webster, it’s a product whose value has been increased, especially by special manufacturing, marketing, or processing. Before we go any further, I want to talk a little bit about the use of the word marketing here. I take exception to it, not because marketing doesn’t add value, but because I don’t think it’s the core thing. Marketing is a tool to share information about a product or service. It’s not an end unto itself and it isn’t what I would consider a value-add in that sense. What I think more appropriate is experience. Marketing is very much used […]

UAR 44 | Communication For Small Business

Practical Communication For Small Business | Up And To The Right | Episode 044

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  Communication is so foundational that it’s almost a bit trite to specifically call it as a business principle. However, we leave a lot of communication unintentional, which is unfortunate because we should be using it to effectively transmit our intended message to our intended recipient and have them understand it the way that we meant. On today’s podcast, Stephen Krausse takes a deep dive into communication and how small business owners can integrate it into their day to day operation plan so that they can make the most out of the communication tools that they’re using. Remember, communication is a key principle in business, and all of the communications channels that we use in business should be labeled and handled with care. — Listen to the podcast here: Practical Communication For Small Business | Up And To The Right | Episode 044 I wanted to talk a little bit about communication. It’s so foundational that it almost might seem a little bit trite to specifically call out communication as a business principle. I think it’s worth doing, because we intentionally use a narrow group of communication channels. A lot of times, what I’ve seen is that we leave a lot of communication unintentional. I wanted to talk a little bit about communication in general and hopefully get your mind on the idea that it’s a pretty complicated topic. It’s something worth spending time on as a small business owner and get communication to the top of your mind a little bit. I’ll help you find ways to integrate it into your day-to-day operation plan so that you can make the most out of the communication tools that you’re using. The communication philosophies or ideas that we know about that can help you communicate more effectively and make sure that what you’re communicating is what you intend. That’s what we’re going to talk about. It’s time to roll up our sleeves and get to work. — I think you’re going to find this time well-spent. This is episode 44, Practical Communication for Small Business, and let’s get right to it. I want to go back to episode 41, where I talked about what the six fundamental business principles were or the ones that I identified. I want to throw a reminder out, what I defined a business principle as? There are a lot of good things you can do for a business that are not necessarily principles. A business principle is a concept that is both fundamental and universal, which means it’s relevant to all businesses and it’s basic. You have to have it to build a business upon. What Is Communication? That sets a pretty high bar for what a principal can be because it has to be something you have to have to build a business and it has to be something that’s universal to all businesses. Probably, of all six of these principles, communication is the one that has the least argument against it being a business […]

UAR 43 | Business Planning

Planning For Small Business Success | Up And To The Right | Episode 043

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  There are two extremes that small business owners can fall into when it comes to business planning: under-planning and over-planning. The first one leads you astray while the other one slows you down. How do you strike a balance in planning so that it really benefits your business? Stephen Krausse recognizes the critical importance of planning as a key business principle that small business owners should consider. In this episode, he introduces a four-step planning process that works efficiently for small businesses when done right. He also tackles the concept of the planning horizon, an important consideration when building the habit of planning. Stick up to the end to get some recommendations on what planning tools may work best for your business. — Listen to the podcast here: Planning For Small Business Success | Up And To The Right | Episode 043 We’re going to talk a little bit about planning, the second principle in my series on business principles. Planning is one of the key principles in successful small business operations, but it can also be a trap that I call plancrastination. We’re going to talk a little bit about what a plan is, how much planning is needed, some tools regarding planning or some tools we can use to plan. Is there a planning process that you can standardize that works and practical for small businesses? — This is episode 43, Planning for Small Business Success. The principle at play that we’ve talked about already a little bit is planning itself. That’s one of the key principles that we talked about in episode 41. The first thing I want to talk about is, does planning matter to small business? If you lack planning, you take action without intent and that wastes time and money. If you over-plan, you waste time and you push improvements down the road. The benefits of those improvements or the things you might be gaining by having implemented something new, you don’t get as quickly because you keep planning. You’re over-planning and you’re pushing the results down the road as well. Those are the things we want to avoid. We need to create a balance around those two items: over-planning and under-planning. By nature, I’m a planner sometimes and I’ll get into this mode of planning where I start digging into something beyond the scope of helpful. I’ve recognized that I do that. As small business owners in general, we don’t necessarily like to plan. We like to fly by the seat of our pants and I’ll do that too in some cases. It depends. If I’m thinking about it, when it’s a technology issue or something that might involve something nerdy and cool, I will tend to dig into that more deeply than is appropriate for the project or for that business. I have to reign myself in when I’m looking at technology solutions. Where I might under-plan is in accounting structure or something like that, where it isn’t my forte and […]

UAR 42 | Business Principles

Practical Vision In Small Business | Up And To The Right | Episode 042

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  What is your vision statement? Do you even have one? As a small business owner, you may be one of those who think that vision statements are applicable only for big businesses. When we hear the word “vision” what usually comes to mind is a self-aggrandizing statement hung on some corporate office wall. Stephen Krausse believes that should not be the case; in fact, small businesses need to have a practical vision in order to succeed. In this episode, he explains the true definition of vision, what a vision statement should look like, why small businesses should have it, and when and how they can use it. — Listen to the podcast here: Practical Vision In Small Business | Up And To The Right | Episode 042 Let’s talk about vision. In the last episode, I set out the principles that I think guide businesses in the concepts that I think we can call principles. The first of those was vision. Give me a few minutes to explain why I think vision is not only applicable for big businesses, but it’s also something that we can use in a practical and easy way to guide the decisions that we make every day. — We’re talking about vision. For small business owners, it’s very easy for us to look at vision statements in a different perspective of mission statements in these things we put on a placard in the lobby that apply more to big businesses who are trying to have a self-aggrandizing statement, rather than something that helps manage and operate a business successfully. That’s what I want to talk about because I think there is an opportunity to use vision to operate and run our businesses better with more structure and more integrity than if we don’t have a clarity around our vision. Is vision just for big business? I don’t think so. Being clear about our vision is more than a wall hanging, more than a Twitter post, more than an infographic and even more about more than customer relationships and product development. If you do a search on vision, you’re going to get a lot of stuff. You’re going to get a mountain of books, articles. While I’ve read my share, honestly, they don’t do a lot for me when it comes to how you use vision in a small business setting, in a small business environment in a way that isn’t something you put in the office behind your head or in the lobby when customers come in to see it. It becomes a decoration more than a guiding principle or a guiding piece of structure for your business.   I want to talk about how we can get that value out of it. What we want to do is have a short, practical, actionable concept of vision. I want to talk a little bit about the definition of vision because I think that’s the first thing that we come up with that we stumble […]

UAR 41 | Business Principles

Principles Of Small Business Success | Up And To The Right | Episode 041

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What are the foundational things that small businesses need to pay attention to in order to succeed? In this episode, Stephen Krausse explains the business principles that are universally applicable to all small businesses. By homing in to the exact definition of the word “principle,” Stephen came up with the six major principles of small business success: vision, planning, communication, value, cash, and profit. Each of these principles is fundamental to the creation of a viable business and needs to be given due attention by every entrepreneur. Learn how these principles create the foundation for business success and what you can do to optimize each for your small business. — Listen to the podcast here:  Principles Of Small Business Success | Up And To The Right | Episode 041 In the production of every issue of the show, I talk about proven business principles and something feels right about that for me when I say it. I was asked lately by a colleague what a proven business principle was. I’m embarrassed to say I was uncomfortably tongue-tied by the question. — This whole idea came to me when I was talking to someone and they asked me what is an example of a business principle, and I didn’t have a good answer for them. As I said in the beginning, it makes sense to me. The question was perfectly reasonable but the whole idea of not being able to answer it was uncomfortable for me. I looked at that scenario. What does that mean in terms of business for a small business owner? Part of this was a self-exploration, how do I articulate the value that Beyond 50 Percent brings to customers in a way that’s meaningful? I felt like that was something that I needed to be able to say. What is a business principle? How do we figure out what those are and how they apply to our business? What did I do? The first thing I did was I started searching what is a business principle? If you type in business principle in a search engine, I got 368 million hits. Even the top page of results from that search were enlightening in a lot of ways. Most of them didn’t strike me as what a principle was. I felt like it was something I know it if I see it, but I don’t know how to define it. I went to the definition of a principle. A principle, according to Merriam Webster, is a comprehensive and fundamental law doctrine or assumption. That helped me. I said, “This thing, whatever it is, it has to be fundamental and universal.” It has to be something that creates a foundation, but it also has to be something that applies across a spectrum. It needed to be something that was applying to all business and fundamental to those businesses. You need to be able to do these things in order to move on. This is why you might be […]