tv Your Business MSNBC March 23, 2013 2:30am-3:00am PDT
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small businesses are revitalizing the economy. an american express open here to help. that's why we are proud to present "your business" on msnbc. hi there, everyone. i'm j.j. ramberg and welcome to "your business." the show dedicated to giving you tips and advice to help your small business grow. headache, nausea, fatigue. sound familiar to anyone? probe, 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? we take you to a city of sin, where one doctor made it his business to treat suffers all along the vegas strip. ♪ shots, shots, shots
♪ shots, shots, everybody >> reporter: las vegas, a typical saturday night. >> cheers! >> reporter: a ritual played out across the strip day after day, but partying this hard comes with consequences. >> i've got a, kind of -- a headache. you know. a little queasiness, but nothing -- that's about it. kind of like a -- >> reporter: you're definitely a little hung over. >> reporter: many searched for the miracle hangover cure. a greasy breakfast, a trip back to the bar. but dr. jason burk says he's found one that works. >> i was in a recovery room treating patients for postoperative headache, disorientation and thought the same medications used in the recovery room might work well on a hangover. try it on a few volunteers. worked great. >> reporter: called hangover heaven.
he has a medical degree from the university of north carolina and promises that in about 45 minutes he can treat almost 95% of all hangover symptoms. >> physicians, nurses, paramedic, firefighters, using this hydration for decades to resolve hangovers. what i've done, take to the next level taking in the vitamins, using anti-nausea medicine and antiinflammatories to deal with a las vegas-type hangover. >> reporter: for his business to grow, dr. burke knew that not only did he have to cure a hangover, but he had to make it convenient. so he turned a mobile bus into a medical facility and hit the strips. ♪ roll out >> reporter: making stops to pick up people and treat them right on-site. >> with the bus i could actually treat them on the bus. as soon as they walked on the bus, we get their history, vital
signs and moving through to treatment. >> reporter: the company quickly found the demand was too much for just one bus to handle. so they also opened a clinic nearby and transferred from the bus. clients can also opt for in-room treatments. >> your body starts feeling better. once you get out, it's like -- like, wow. it does. i feel great. >> definitely worth it. >> i feel like i did when i got off the plane to come to vegas. >> reporter: every patient is asked to post their experiences on the internet building up an online reputation for the business. >> take about 5,000 patients to get to the point where people started to accept hangover treatment using an i.v., something as acceptable. >> reporter: dr. burke also created the hangover institute to gather scientific evidence to back his claim. >> when we started collecting hangover scores as part of our quality control. it's to the point where i think it's necessary to public some of that data.
i think that data is useful to put out there so people realize it is safe and effective. >> reporter: and expanded the business to attract the athletes and health conscious through their i.v. mini therapy line. vitaheaven. helping them stay hydrated and in the best condition. >> once hangover heaven was six, seven months old and people realized this actually does work, people started asking what else can we to do? we've had athletes come through. bike marathons. it's hard to hydrate after those. hangover heaven works well in a tourist area but in a more professional place, say new york or boston, vitaheaven might be a better entity. >> reporter: for every one that's had a pounding headache disappear, a lot of others claiming foul. >> does a hangover really need
treated? was it really a medical condition? i beg to differ. these people are pretty miserable and need something to make them feel better. i'm always on the bus, and we also have registered nurses and emts who help out with taking vital sign, getting i.v.s out. >> reporter: there's no shortage of customers and they aren't the only ones interested in what hangover heaven has to offer. the company's received a lot of press attention and offers for business deals all over the world franchise offering from germany, scotland, all over the united states canada. >> reporter: dr. burke is the first to stress 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. you can't get that from somebody intoxicated, be it on alcohol or another drug. i don't want to the do anything to risk the business to treat one or two i think shouldn't be treated. we had plenty of people call up from the bar or whatever and said, i'm drunk. can you come pick me up? you need to go sleep it off. most do sleep it off and call up four, five years later and we take care of them. >> reporter: no doubt, to do it all over again. they're still in vegas, after all. ♪ in the ice like a blizzard ♪ the next time you have a crazy business idea over a beer, think of matt moman who had his uh-huh moment after seeing an unusually life-like artificial lime. his concept, simple, turn the fake lime into a bottle opener and sell it to corona beer. ♪ do the hustle
do the hustle ♪ >> reporter: 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 line, weight of a real line and a built-in bottle opener embedded inside with a magnet. it's that simple. >> reporter: some might call it wacky, but others might label it a novelty item. >> phenomenal. >> reporter: what you may not know is that the limer was exactly the kind of product the maker of corona beer was waiting for. >> we have hundreds of submissions and we just wanted to make sure it's the right product for our brands. >> reporter: to understand the product, you have to understand the man. an artificial flower sales rep from south florida is a dreamer.
always on the lookout for the next big thing. when he noticed some remarkably life-like fruit as 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. hit me like a ton of bricks. a bottle opener in the size of a lime. they think of corona. with that, an ultimate association to one brand. >> reporter: he went full-speed ahead on developing the business plan and researching the bottle opener market. >> within a week's time i basically had a really rough, rough, rough prototype and then at least from the there it kind of gave me a grasp what i was visualizing. >> reporter: once he had a workable prototype he filed for a patent, something that can be expensive and take years to get. for him 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, really, we license so many products that do not have potency. it's an added benefit.
we deal wit a lot of privacy out there. >> reporter: willing to approach corona with this idea. putting all his limes in one basket, he called endless tolls, they weren't interested, but he couldn't be deterred. >> came in as a long time. weren't looking. really downsizing. really, matt being matt, his perseverance, took a second look at it. he had this thing in his hand, we knew it was good to go. >> reporter: how did he successful pitch a new product to a big company like corona? >> the simplicity of the product. it really doesn't have to be this grand idea. it can be something 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. >> so i'm not going to sit here and say, yeah, i'm going to make tens of millions and whatnot. all i can say is i'm on the right course. and then the best part -- the relaxed state of mind. in 1989, the patron spirits company started with one goal. make the best tequila in the world. >> now it's everywhere. hottest club, featured in rap songs with a large following. we sat down with the co-founder of patron and ceo of a successful hair product line, john paul mitchell in this week's "learning from the pros." ♪ ♪ tequila you can start a business with very little, if you think about it. if you don't have money for receptionists get an answering machine. don't put your voice on it. put somebody else's voice on it. it makes you look just a little
business bitter. bigger. get a p.o. box at post office. we did that when we started paul mitchell. p.o. box, beverly hills universal city. wow? these guy, in business, it looked like. ♪ >> you could knock on 100 door, say no, slam them in your face, but you continue on, eventually you know we're not going to be in the ordering business, in the reorder business. what we have is so good, let me just let you try it, no matter what. ♪ in business you don't know when
you're going to grow. always order 10% more than you think you're going to need, if you can afford it. you're eventually going to sell it anyways, and when the orders come in, you're more that in a, you don't get surprised and have a cushion when reordering. we were so fortunate, patron have really good people. the story i tell, clint eastwood. what a guy. in business a few years with patron, calls one day and says, j.p., go down with your wife to this new movie i'm coming out with called "in the line of fire." wept down there and what do you know but what he drank and what he carried in the whole movie was patron tequila. find someone to localize it and say, i want you to have this. i really like your celebrity, just tell me what you think about it. okay? that's one way to start. ♪ i get down but i get up again ♪ >> be prepared for a lot of rejection if starting a business. a lot of rejection. the golden words are, successful people do all the things unsuccessful people don't want to do. every time you're rejected, realize how you can do it bet
are and maybe not get rejected the next time. ♪ >> the quality of patron is so good that when people drink it, they don't switch around. if they do, they come back to patron. all of a sudden hip-hop song, rap songs, started singing about patron. ♪ patron's on the rocks and i'm ready for some shots ♪ >> and country western. singing about patron, having patron in there. we keep our quantity there. making it the way it should be made. don't look the other way to make extra dollars. keep making it the right way to keep the quality up. when we come back when to listen to advice about your brand and when to ignore it. and, our boozie st. patrick day's seem continue and these elevator pictures serve up their bar-tending tool. we've all had those moments.
when you lost the thing you can't believe you lost. when what you just bought, just broke. or when you have a little trouble a long way from home... as an american express cardmember you can expect some help. but what you might not expect, is you can get all this with a prepaid card. spends like cash. feels like membership. at times it may feel like all of your competitors are offering a discount of some kind, but does that mean that you should be cutting your prices, too? here now, five keys to
successful discounting courtesy of biz best dotcom. >> make the discount relevant. your offer should be appealing and useful. for example a buy one get one free only works if you have something that people buy multiples of at the same time. two, factor in your bottom line. get people in the door but you should still make money. evaluate it carefully what you offer. three, don't forget to prepare. if you attract people but are 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 handle the additional sales. four, don't target only new business. offer extra discounts for repeat purchasers.
loyalty cards, birthday discounts and referral rewards 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 items. clearly label what's on sale and what isn't. it's time now to answer some of your business questions. marketing guru michael port is the creator of book yourself solid as well as a best-selling author. and jennifer is an attorney at gunderson detmer representing emerging growth companies. first an e-mail about questions. teri asks, the irs can challenge something of your tax returns at any time. if you don't have your receipts to fight back you're liable. is this true? this person said you should keep records at least ten years. >> the sad fact, the irs can really 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 absolutely should have a copy of your taxes on hand and in print. you never know when a computer file can get corrupted? >> your receipts, ten years? >> you should. a good practice. lots of different accounting software. fresh books, intuit, microsoft has one. tons of way to make it easier, time efficient to keep all that information. it really is a good idea to keep it. >> what do you think, michael? you're shaking your head. >> no, no. keep all the information as long as you possibly can. i'm not an accountant but am playing one on tv. but statute of limitations on basically receipt-keeping and how long the irs can go back and do an audit. important for the business owner to know, they need to keep all pay roll and pension-related information for at least ten years. >> uh-huh. >> but really keep it indefinitely, because the irs may be auditing somebody that
worked for you, and they're going to want to look at your books and also somebody might sue you who worked for you, and you're going to need all of those records to deal with those situations. so from the business owner's perspective, scene that information. >> got it. okay. let's move on to the next question. this is about hiring someone else to run your company. >> how do i find my replacement to be more focused on building the vision of the company? >> good for him for recognizing that he has a strength maybe in founding the company, but somebody else has a strength in taking it where it needs to go. how do you be sure they share your vision? >> the easiest way, make sure people want to do the same thing. not a job posting. going through your network, finding somebody with different skill sets. you need a visionary. you need the operator. you need the synergist. >> what do you think? >> you can't be so hands off you don't actually know what's going
on? no boots on the ground. the best founders and ceos are the ones with the ability to connect with customers. you got into this in the first place because you have a passion for the service or product you're offering, i caution the entrepreneur if you're hiring someone to take over every piece including the ceo piece and stepping back for the big picture, don't lose that connection with your customers and product or you might be too far in the sky and you're not relating to the customer base. >> an interesting story about a year ago. this woman, julie, founded her company, run it forever, passionate about it, wanted to step back, found a great ceo but it took a lot of time and conversations not only about the business but about themselves. we're getting married and i want to work together. a long process and one you have to go with your gut as much as the numbers and everything else.
>> you're right. a big difference between delegation and abdication. if abdicate this, when your bookkeeper runs off with all your money to tahiti. >> buyers at retail, when you go to market and get feedback by packages, design, your brand, even about your product, when do you know flow through with the changes or stick to your brand because you no your brand the best? >> i love this question. you can drive your staff crazy, this person said this. make a change. a rule of thumb? if three people say it, pay attention. in one does, don't. or how do you look at it? >> a big customer responsible for a big portion of my business. their feedback is important.
these ideas, actually making the product bigger, faster, stronger, better, or are they unique to them? look at the person giving the feedback and is it feedback to implement. if these are changes that are super expensive you'll never be able to afford, you keep them for the place you might actually be able to do it in the future. at the end of the day, determine where the feedback is coming from. >> i love that idea. someone might mention someone off hand you think is a must-have, but they're saying, it's a night to have. last question, an entrepreneur who wants to know about plans for growth. >> how do you manage when stripping all the while your competition is on your heels? >> at least he's got demand. we've got that going for him. does he need to take in money, take in a partner? what? >> maybe all of the above.
might sound contrarian but he may want to slow down. or say no to some orders coming in. because if he makes these kind of mistakes at the beginning, it could be, you know, really problematic. even if he slows down a little bit, what he's providing is so good, and at a level of service so high, he'll be able to continue to grow at the appropriate pace. >> right. which is hard to do, though, right. as he said, competition, nipping at the heels. >> right. >> feels, if i say no to you -- >> rather put them out of business than put myself out of business. operations couldn't hand what you're doing. >> how do you make that decision? slowing down, bringing on investors? >> dealing with the money. not in a position to a take on new capital, how can you get
organically. demand, able to prepay? get the money up front so you can actually use that to get nor resources to keep up with the actual supply? there's lots of creative ways to bring on new customer, perhaps discounts for providing services later. all sorts of things you could do. look at, is my challenge a financial one? >> great. michael and jen, thank you. a lot of good, meaty questions today. if any of you out there have another meaty question for our experts, all you have to do, go to our website. once you get there, hit the show link to submit a question for our panel. the website, openforum.com/yourbusiness, or if you'd rather, e-mail your questions and comments to the address is firstname.lastname@example.org. trying to make the perfect martini or cosmo? you know what they say? you need the right tool for the right job. today's elevator pitcher, came up with the ultimate bar tool for making a pitcher of margaritas that is. >> i'm josh.
this is my business partner in jeff. we're with quench products makers of the bartender. first ever tenderloin bar tending tool to make great cocktails at home. all tools could cost upwards of $100. so at $44.99 we're at a great price point. a sleek design. easy to use. have everything you need in the grasp of your hands and taking the intimidation out of cocktail making. >> so this product is patent pending. we launched august of 2012. we started shipping in mid-october. so in the past five short months we've sold over 30,000 of these in the likes of bloomingdale's, neiman marcus, dillard's, hundreds of independents. here today to ask for $1 million that will go towards increasing our advertising marketing efforts, increasing our production and inventory. willing to give up 5% of the company. both josh and i are seasoned marketers in the spirits
industry and know at-home cocktail consumption is on a huge rise knop other tools like this out will and think it's a home run. >> you have impressive stats to give out. congratulations op your success so far. talk about your success going forward. you look like you're a kid playing with -- >> fascinated. love that it comes in different colors. you showed it to me right away. reminds me of the swiss army knife of cocktails. this is a perfect tool if you're into that. what i liked about the pitch, told me about your product. how many units you sold. one thing i caution you about in terms of ask, explaining what you're using the million dollars is great. should do. told me about the company, what you're only willing to sell. as an investor, what you're worth. that may or may not jive with me. you may not get the deal you want. >> i think it's clever.
i want to see more data on the price mark. seems a little high for that quick, you know, impulse gift-type purchase. this is a great gift-type purchase. absolutely take another meeting for sure, but i'd want to look at that and most importantly, i want to see who's running the operations of this. bauer you're marketers, which is great. i'm a marketer. we need marketers. to go to the next level, if you really are going to ramp up production, who's going to make that happen? >> we know the answer. you would take another. hooked you in. you want to know more about who they. can they handful? >> absolutely. >> looks like -- you're still holding op to that. thanks, you guys, for coming on the program and sharing this with us and thank you, guys, for your advice. if any of you throughout have a product or service and want feedback from our elevator pitch panel on your chances of guesting interested investors, sandy e-mail. please include a short summary what your company does, how much money you're trying to raise and