tv Your Business MSNBC August 17, 2013 5:30am-6:00am EDT
. hi there everyone. welcome to "your business," the show dedicated to giving you tips and advice to help your small business grow. headaches, nausea, fatigue, sound familiar to anyone? probably because these are all dreaded morning after symptoms of a night of partying. but, what if there was a cure to all of your hangover blues? well we take you to the city of sin where there's one doctor month w.h.o. made it his business to treat sufferers along the vegas strip. >> shots, shows. >> las vegas, a typical saturday
night. >> cheers! >> this is a ritual played out across the city day after day. but partying this hard comes with consequences. >> i've got a headache, you know, little queasinesqueasines. >> many have searched for the miracle hangover cure, a greasy breakfast, trip to the bar. but this doctor found one that work. >> i was in the recovery room treating patients and thought the same medication i'm using in the recovery room might work well for a hangover. >> he's made a business out of his idea called hangover heaven. the board certified anesthesiologist with a medical degree from the university of north carolina promises in about 45 minutes he can treat almost 95% of all hangover symptoms. >> physician, nurses,
paramedics, firefighters have been used i.v. hydration for decades to resolve hangovers. what i've done is take to it the next level using vitamins and anti-nausea and anti-inflammatories. >> for his business to grow he knew not only did he have to cure a hangover he had to make it convenient. so he renovated an old gospel tour bus into a mobile treatment facility and hit the strip. ♪ roll out ♪ >> the hangover bus will make stops to pick up people and treat them on bus. >> i can treat them on the bus. as soon as they walk on the bus we get their history, vital signs. >> the company quickly found the demand for treatment was too much for just one bus to handle so they also opened a clinic nearby the strip and transport patients by shuttle bus. clients can also opt for in room
treatments. >> as you're getting the i.v., your body starts feeling better. once you get up it's like wow. i feel great. >> definitely worth it. >> feel like i did when i got off the plane. >> every patient is asked to post their experience on the internet. building up an online reputation for the business. >> knew it would take about 5,000 patients to get to a point where people started to accept hangover treatment using an i.v. as something acceptable. >> he also created the hangover research institute to gather scientific evidence to back his claims. >> we started collecting hangover scores as part of our quality control. and it's to the point where i think it's necessary to publish some of that data. i think that data is useful to put out there so that people realize it is safe and effective. >> they expanded the business to attract the athletes and health conscious through their i.v.
vitamin therapy line. patients can come before a big race or going out before the night to stay hydrated. >> it came out of necessity because once hangover heaven was about six, seven months old and people realized this does work they asked what else can we do. we had athletes come through with 100 mile bicycle races and marathons and it's hard to hydrate after those. that's what this is here for. then it's also part of the expansion plan. hangover heaven works well in a tourist area but in a more professional place like say new york or boston hangover heaven may be a better entity. >> but for everyone who has had a pounding headache there's someone on the other side calling foul. >> a lot of people question the ethics of it. it's not a medical condition. these people are miserable. i'm always on the bus and we
also have registered nurses and emts who help out with taking vital signs, giving i.v.s out. >> there's no shortage of people calling to try the effectiveness of the treatment for themselves. and customers aren't the only ones interested in what hangover heaven has to offer. the company has received a lot of press attention and offers for business deals from all over the world. >> we've had franchise offers from australia all the way to new zealand, germany, london, ireland, scotland. all over the united states, canada. >> even though they stay playful with their marketing the doctor is the first to stress that at the end of the day they take people's health seriously. that includes not just treating anyone who calls. >> this is a professional medical practice. we take a medical history, vital signs and informed consent and you can't get informed consent from somebody who is intoxicated
be it alcohol or on some drug. i don't want to risk the business to treat one or two people that shouldn't be treated. we had plenty of people call-up from the bar i'm drunk. we go sleep it off. most do sleep it off and call us four or five hours later. >> to do it all over again they are still in vegas, after all. the next time you have a crazy business idea over a beer, think of matt. he had his ah-ha moment after seeing an unusually life like artificial lime. his concept was a simple one turn the fake lime into a bottle opener and sell it to corona beer. >> that's matt over there. and though it may look like it he's not juggling limes. he's juggling his invention
called the limer. >> it's an artificial lime that looks real, feels real, size of a real lime, and has a built in magnet. >> some might call it whacky. others might label it a novelty item. but what you may not know is that the limer was exactly the kind of product the maker of corona beer was waiting for. >> we had hundreds of submissions. we want to make sure it's the right product. >> to understand the product you have to understand the man. an artificial flower sales rep is a dreamer. always on the look out for the next big thing when he noticed some remarkably life like fruit at a trade show he had an idea. that's when inspiration struck. >> on the trip back i was about 35,000 feet up in an airplane drinking a beer looking out the window. it hit me how about a bottle
opener inside a lime because when people think of limes they think of corona and with that you have an association to one brand. designee went full speed ahead on developing his business plan' researching the bottle opener market. >> within a week's time i had a rough, rough prototype and from there it gave me a grasp of what i was visualizing. >> once he had a workable prototype he filed for a design patent. it cost about $4,000 and only took seven months. it's a step he probably wouldn't have bothered with if his target customer hadn't been corona. >> it's a plus. for us we license so many products that don't have patents. >> with the patent pending and a working prototype, he was ready to approach corona with his
idea. putting all his limes in one basket he called and was told they weren't interested. but he couldn't be deterred. >> he came in at a weird time when we were down sizing. but, again, matt being matt, his perseverance, we took a second look at it. we knew it was a good go. >> how does an entrepreneur successfully pach new product to a big company like corona. >> the simplicity of the product, it doesn't have to be this grand idea. it can be something as simple as an opener. the quality of the product. and also for us if the ability to be able to distribute it in different distribution channels. >> won't sit here and say yeah i'll make tens and millions but i'm on the right course. the best part, the relaxed state
of mind. >> in 1989 the patron company started out with make the best tequila in the world. we sat down the co-founder of patron and he's also co-founder and ceo of john paul mitchell systems in this week's learning from the pros. >> you can start a business with very little if you think about it. if you don't have money for receptionist get an answering machine. it makes you look bigger. if you don't have an office, get a p.o. box at a post office.
we did that when we started paul mitchell. p.o. box 10597. beverly hills. these guys are in business. you can knock on 100 doors. they can say no. but you continue on because we won't be in the ordering business we'll be in the re-order business. what we have is so good let me have you try it no matter what. in business you don't know when you're is going to grow. order 10% more than you think you will need. you'll sell it anyways. when the orders come in you're not surprised. we were so fortunate patron tapped some good people. the story i tell the most clint
eastwood. i'm in business for a few years with patron. he calls and says j.p. i want you to go down with your wife to this new movie i'm coming out with called "in the line of fire." went down there and what do you know he drank and carried in the whole movie of the patron tequila. if your product is that good go to someone locally and say i want you to have this. tell me what you think about it. ♪ >> be prepared for a lot of rejection if you're starting a business. a lot of rejection. if you know that in advance it will be easier for you. successful people do what unsuccessful the people don't want to do. realize how you request do it better not to be rejected the next time. the quality of patron is so good
when people drink it, people come back. rap songs started singing about patron. then country and western songs. there were a few of those singing about patron. we keep our quality there. make being it in small batches and making it the way it should be made. don't look the other way to make a few extra dollars. we make at any time right way to keep the quote up. >> with we come back when to listen to advice about your brand and when to ignore it. and our saint patrick's theme continues and these pitchers serve up a presentation for their bar the ending tool. -- bartending tool. ♪ i'm a hard, hard worker every day. ♪ ♪ i'm a hard, hard worker and i'm working every day. ♪
♪ i'm a hard, hard worker and i'm saving all my pay. ♪ small businesses get up earlier and stay later. and to help all that hard work pay off, membership brings out millions of us on small business saturday and every day to make shopping small huge. this is what membership is. this is what membership does. at times it may feel like all of your competitors are off earring discount of some kind but does that mean you should be cutting your prices too? here now are five keys to successful discounting. one, make the discount relevant. your offer should be appealing and useful. for example, a buy one get one free offer only works if you
sell something that customers buy multiples of at the same time. two, factor in your bottom line. discounts should get buyers in the door but you should still make money. so evaluate carefully what you can reasonably offer. three, don't forget to prepare. if you attract people but you're not able to serve them well you're shooting yourself in the foot. make sure to inform your staff about your discount strategy and make sure the website is ready to hand tell additional sales. four, don't target only new business. offer extra discounts for repeat purchasers. loyalty cards, birthday discounts and referral awards are great ways to turn new customers into repeat customers. and number five, avoid hot water. be careful with the wording of your discount and on sale offers. clearly label what's on sale and
what isn't. it's i'm now to answer some of your business questions. marketing guru michael port is the creator of "book yourself solid." and jennifer shill is a venture attorney. the first question is i heard a tax expert say that the irs can challenge something on any of your past returns at any time. you don't have your returns or receipts that far back you're liable. >> the irs can come back to you at any time depending whether this is a personal return, business return, so the best bet really is to keep records of everything. you should have a coppive your taxes on hand in print because you never know when a computer file can be corrupted. >> your receipt? >> lost of different accounting software you can use. your accountant can recommend
some. there's fresh books. microsoft has one. there's tons of ways to make it easier. it is a good idea. >> what do you think? >> it's great advice to keep all this information for as long as you possibly can. i'm not an accountant. but there's statute of limitations on basically receipt keeping how long the irs can go back and do an audit. but the thing that's very important for the business own dmoer they need to keep all payroll and pension related information for at least ten years but really keep it indefinitely because the irs may be auditing somebody that worked for you and want to look at your books and also somebody might sue you who worked for you and you'll need all of those records to deal with those situations. so from the business owner's perspective keep that information. >> let's move on to the next question. this is about hiring someone
else to run your company. >> how do i go from being a founder to someone who can sort of find my replacement essentially as a ceo so i can be more focused on building the vision of the company. >> good for him for recognizing he has a strength in founding the company but somebody else has a strength to take it where it needs to go. how do you find the person to replace you and make sure they share your vision. >> well, the easiest way to get people to do what you want is to make sure they want to do the same thing. go through your network. it's not a job posting. go through your network and find somebody with different still sets. you need a visionary, operate jobs synergyist. >> what do you think? >> as a founder. if you're still involved in the company you can't be so hand off and visionary you don't cho
what's going on, no boots on the ground. the best founders and ceo still connect with their customers. you got into this in the first place because you have a passion. so i would caution the entrepreneur fur if you are hiring someone to take over every piece including the ceo piece and you're stepping back make sure you don't lose that kbhex your customers or product or you'll find you're too far in the sky and those ideas aren't relating to the customer base. >> we did an interesting story about a year ago, this woman found her company, ran it forever and wanted to step back. she found a great ceo but it took a lot of time and conversations not only about the business but about themselves because she said we're in essence getting married and this is for keeps and i want to make sure we can work together. it's a long process and one where you have to go with your gut. >> you're absolutely right.
there's a big difference between delegation and abdication. >> next up a question about what to do with customer feedback. >> as a consumer's good product everyone has an opinion especially buyers at retail. so when you go to market and get feedback from them about your packaging, design, brand or even about your product when do you know when to flow through or stick to your guns. >> i love this question. you can drive your staff crazy. do you have a rule of thumb if three people say it then pay attention. how do you decide? >> i look at the person who is saying to it me. if this is a big customer their feedback is valuable. the things they are mentioning nice to have or must haves. are these ideas making the product better, faster and stronger. you have to look at the person
giving the feedback. is it feedback you can implement. if these are changes that's expensive you keep them for the place where you can do it in the future. at the end of the day trust your gut but listen to your customers and internalize where that feedback is coming from. >> i love that idea of distinguishing between must haves and nice to have. let's move on to the last question. from an entrepreneur who wants to know about plans for growth. >> how do you manage growth scenario where demand is out stripping your ability to supply all the while your competition is on your heels? >> at least he has demand. we have that going for him. >> maybe all of the above, i know this may sounds contrarian, he may want to slow down.
he may want to say no. if he makes these kind of mistakes at the beginning it could be problematic. even if he slows down a little bit but what he's providing is so good and level of service is so high he'll be able to continue to grow at the appropriate pace. >> which is hard to do. competition nipping at the heels. he feels if i say no to you -- >> might put myself out of business. >> how do you make that decision of slowing down, bringing on investors? >> a lot is with the money. if he's not in a position to take on new capital. can this demand pre-pay? can you use the money upfront to keep up with the supply? there's lot of creative ways in which you can bring on new customers. there's all sorts of things you can do. he should look at is my challenge a financial one?
is it a people problem. if that's the case figure out where you can get that capital. >> great. thank you. i feel like we have a lot of good meaty questions. if any of you out there have another meaty question go to our website. the address is openforum.com/yourbusiness. submit a question for our panel. if you would rather e-mail us your questions and comments to the address is email@example.com. trying to make the perfect martini or cosmo. you need the right tool for the right job. today's elevator pitchers come up with the ultimate bar tool for making a pitcher of margaritas. >> i'm josh, this is my business partner. we're makers of the bartender. the first-ever ten to one
bartending tool. it's 49.99. with our sleek design easy to use everything you need. taking the intimidation factor out of cock tailing not looking for loose tools. >> this product is patent pending. we started shipping in mid-october. in the past five months we sold over 30,000 of these in the likes of bloomingdale, nordstrom and hundreds of independents. we're here to ask for a million dollars going towards increasing our advertising marketing efforts, increasing our production and inventory, fast tracking some new products and building on our international expansion. for the million dollars we're willing to give up 5% of the company. we're both seasoned marketers in the spirits industry. we know that at home cocktail consumption is on a huge rise
there no, sir other tools out there. >> you guys have some impressive stats to give out. congratulations on your success so far. let's talk about your success going forward. jenn, you look like a kid. >> i'm fascinated. i love that it comes in different colors. for folks that are into cock tailing this is perfect. what i liked about the pitch you told me about your numbers right away. how many units you sold and the impressive distribution channels. one thing i caution you about is while explaining what you're using the million dollars for is great you're telling me how much of your company you're willing to sell. might get the million dollars but not the deal you want. >> my zmael >> i agree. i think it's very clever. i want to see more data on the price point because it seems a little bit high for that quick, you know, impulse gift type
purchase and this is a great gift type purchase. absolutely would take another meeting but i want to look at that and most importantly i want to see who is running the operations of this because you're marketers which is great, i'm a marketer, we need marketers. to go to that next level if you ramp up production who will make that happen. >> we know the answer. great. they hooked you in. now you want to know who they are and can they handle it. >> absolutely. >> you're still holding on to that thing. thanks again you guys. thanks for sharing this with us. thank you for your advice. if any of you have a product or serves and you want feed fwrak our elevator pitch panel, send us an e-mail. the address is your firstname.lastname@example.org. include a short summary what your company does, how much money you're trying to raise and what's you intend to do with your money. you never know.
somebody watching the show may be interested in helping you. are you interested in to know what people think about your business. you should be and check out our website of the week. socialmention.com is a free reputation management service that source more than 100 social media sites for mention of your personal or business brand. after typing in the name of your company a page is generate wad list of mentions. each one has a red, green or gray dot next to it that tells you if the comments are negative, positive or neutral. to learn more about today's show click on our website. it's openforum.com/yourbusiness. you'll find all of today's segments and information to help your business grow. follow us on twitter @msnbcyourbis. next week with 20,000 text savvy early adopters attending this
year's south by southwest, entrepreneurs, the founder of apply flock to texas. >> you don't need 20 investors, you just need a few. our job is to find that guy and to make that connection. >> follow us as we learn how to break through the noise at the festival. until then, remember we make your business our business. is like hammering. riding against the wind. uphill. every day. we make money on saddles and tubes. but not on bikes. my margins are thinner than these tires. anything that gives me some breathing room makes a difference.