Good People, Cool Things
Good People, Cool Things

Episode 90 · 6 months ago

90: Small Business Growth and Building Community with Amanda Brinkman and Baron Davis

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Small businesses face their own unique challenges and opportunities, and sometimes a little push in the right direction can help re-energize both the business and all the people involved. That’s the goal of Small Business Revolution, an Emmy-nominated show that has traveled all across the United States to work with small business owners. 

The show features business, marketing, operational, technical, and sometimes financial guidance to take companies to new heights. In Season 6 (available on Hulu and smallbusinessrevolution.org), the show is headed to si x Black-owned small businesses in neighborhoods around Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN. 

As always, Amanda Brinkman serves as the show creator and host, and she’s welcoming former NBA All-Star and entrepreneur Baron Davis as her season six cohost. Baron has been involved with all kinds of successful businesses, including Vitamin Water and Thrive Global, so he fits perfectly into the spirit of the show. 

The duo shares a sneak peek of the upcoming season, why the show is so good at building community, and they’re dropping all kinds of advice. I hope you’ve got your notepad ready. 

Also, I wrote a book! Grab your copy from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Bookshop.

Good people cool things. As a podcast feature in conversations with entrepreneurs, writers, musicians and other creatives. Get inspired by their stories to do your own cool thing, and here's your host, Joey held. Welcome the good people cool things. Today's guests are Amanda Brinkman and Baron Davis. They are the cohost of this season of small business revolution, a reality show that's turned into a guide book for entrepreneurs looking for ideas to improve their businesses, and the emmy nominated shows back for season six. Like we always say, a community six seasons in a movie. We're going to make it happen. After five seasons of helping revital as small businesses across the country, at the show is taking the lessons they've learned from all of those seasons to help six black owned small businesses and communities around Minneapolis and St Paul, Minnesota, and we're chatting all about that today. Amanda Brinkman is the Chief Brandon Communications Officer of Deluxe Corps. She created, executive produces and stars in small business revolution. She's...

...been on all those seasons and joining her for season six is Baron Davis, former NBA All Star turned entrepreneur acting as an early investor in companies like Vitamin Water and thrive market, the latter of which he helped launch, and Baron's very into the business world as well. So we're chatting all about advice for small business owners, what they've learned producing the show along the way, some of Baron's favorite moments. A man is dropping advice left and right. So I hope you've got your note pad ready because there's lots of good stuff in this episode. If you like to get in touch with good people cool things, you can reach out on facebook, twitter or Instagram at GPCT podcast. You can also always shoot me an email. Joey at good people, cool thingscom and in other exciting news, I wrote a book. Let's cell bright. Let's get that Airhorn noise there. It is kind but kind of weird. Short stories on Nice relationships. Is available really anywhere you get books, Amazon, Barnes and Noble Book Shop. Support some local businesses through bookshop to...

...but for now sit back, relax and enjoy the conversation with Amanda and Baron. I'd love to hear the elevator pitch for both you and small business revolution, as well as the type of elevator that we're riding on. Oh, I've never, I've never really like like. I like this. Okay, so back to the elevator part. But so the smallest revolution is an original series by delux where each season we work to revitalize a different community through its small businesses. So it's essentially a small business makeover show where we share the story of the small business. We hope to inspire people to recognize the importance of supporting small bassis through these stories and then we walk alongside the entrepreneurse featured in the show to help them with things like marketing and finances, some operational pieces, physical renovations to their space, things that, you know, entrepreneurs could use as resources. And People Can Watch it on Hulu or it's on Small Business Revolution Dot Org. And then, I would say for the second...

...part. You know what type of elevator we right now we going up where whatever I was at and we all on all the way up because, you know, I where Minneapolis, St Paul Rights Black Businesses is black entrepreneurship. You know, it's the hardened epicenter and the focus of, you know, the attention of American the world from what people have had like, you know, this perspective of a city and and now it's like you get to know the history, the people you know, and we get to ride, you know, shotgun or next to, you know, all these people in the elevator that is just full of inspiration, you know, full of motivation, full of care, full of community, and this season this elevator is going to really just create so much magic as far as people like myself understanding the...

...importance of going back and really investing and meeting these entrepreneurs halfway that are in these local communities. And that's that's kind of a a segue to four, season six. Baron, why is why is now the right time to sign on with the show and what have you learned along the way? You know, for me, now now was always the right time. It was really once I got once I met Amanda, I was going to I was going to try and sell myself on the show, you know, because I wanted to be a part of of of hurting her vision. Deluxe is vision what they put together, but it was, you know, just to see, just to see someone care for people and actually help people care for the people that they care for. And you know what better active service is to be...

...of service of the people, and so for me it was. It was really just learning and understanding, you know, one the history of the twin cities, not just going there and talking about, you know, basketball or sports. But you know, now that I go, I I know people, I have family right I family, I have community and to be a positive beacon to the other athletes. So we're all motivated to go back and support these black entrepreneurs in our local seat and love it. Amanda, bearing said he had to sell you on joining the show. Where you sold immediately or did it take it books? I was so immediately. So I mean there are so many things to love about barn but what has really stood out is that he is not just there to film a television show. He truly cares about these entrepreneurs. He is friends with them in real life. He genuinely cares about their success and their families in the community. He was so active in learning about the twin cities and each of these different neighborhoods. You...

...know. So historically the show is what I've taken place in different small towns and essentially featured one main street that all the moth is are on. This season were in six different neighborhoods. So we took these great tours of each of the neighborhoods and learned about the history and learned about the truth in many of these neighborhoods and very much just so invested in really understanding and digging and learning the history of these neighborhoods in Mineapolis and St Paul and so I couldn't have asked for a better cohost. He's just full hard and for the for the upcoming season. Can you give us a little scoop? Do you have a neighborhood that stood out among the six, or are they all? I mean, I'm sure they're all fantastic, but is the one favorite? We just can't say. They're all like children, right, I know, but it's really it's a range of businesses to so every year we aim to, you know, featured different kinds of businesses because we want people to be able to learn from this show. On other smalls is to watch and you take...

...away from the advice and there are operational idios, increases and marketing, you know, specifics based on the kind of business that you're in. So we feature a couple of restaurants, a barber, shop newspaper, one of the longest standing family run black newspapers in the country is in Minneapolis and so future a newspaper for the first time. You know, furniture store, family and furniture store. So you know, I think we will really walk away learning about lots of different kinds of businesses and then also the impact that each of them have within their neighborhoods, which I think is so important. Specifically, since these are black owned businesses, they face their own unique struggle. So can you talk a little bit about some of those struggles that they face? I think people are very aware of kind of the systematic, you know, barriers historically around kind of access to capital, but I think the one and we have a lot of work to do around that we need to start just proportionately investing in black entrepres if we're ever going to kind of close that gap...

...when it comes to funding. I think the one that we don't talk about as often is is lack of access to business training and education, and that's why this show is so important to us, is because we're able to not just help the businesses that we feature with in the program but all of the small business that watch the show can learn those same tips about how to run their website or their digital footprint or what they should be looking at when they're analyze seen their numbers and their finances. And so I think that, as much as we need to make sure that we are closing the gap around access to capital for black entrepreneurs, I think we really need to be closing the gap around your can of business training and education and, you know, and just building up that confidence that entrepreneurship is a very viable path forward and if they have the right tools to build their business. So if the smallest revolution can be a part of that positive momentum around business training, then then we're proud to do love it, love it and you're almost off the hook. Care but we always like to wrap up with the top three, and I've got a top three for each of you. Amanda, we can start with...

...you, because I think the segues nicely about the education. I'd love to hear your top three pieces of advice for any small business owner. Number One, making sure that you're minding your digital footprint. You have to be findable online and the things that you do to your website, the listings that you claim, the directories that you list Your Business on. How you manage your social media directly contribute to how findable you are online and your ranking within, you know search. So number one is making sure that you're minding your digital footprint. The second is really knowing your numbers and with the numbers are telling you. So the pandemic really forced small businesses to focus their business. It can be very tempting to have lots of different ideas, but it forced small businesses to really understand their profitability and where they were making money in order to keep that business a float during the pandemic, and so I think that force focus is really healthy into the future. The third thing is to leverage the fact that you are a small business. People want to support small businesses.

They understand how just proportionately the pandemic has affected small businesses. So really talking about the fact that you're a local entrepreneur, leveraging what you do within the community. That can be really important things, you know, to making sure that people understand the difference between supporting a small business and a big business. So those are my three pieces of advice. Love it. And to your number one. The deluxe website is so, so like a great example of that. So if people are like how should I how share my site, let's just pop on over there. It's a very clean it's very easy to find stuff. I love it. And, Baron, I am a huge basketball fan. So I have to ask and you can. You can choose either your top three MBA moments or your top three trash talkers from when you were playing. So I would give you a Chass Talker, obviously Gary Peyton. He was a chast talker. He was a great chass soccer NBA moment. I was say getting drafted. That was probably like the biggest moment for...

...me, and then I was saying another great moment in the NBA could be a like I made the Allstar Gang. I don't know, I don't know. Every moment was big. Every moment was big, but nothing, nothing was bigger than getting drafted. Gary Patton for sure biggest chash Talker, and nobody would ever guess this, but elden Campbell. He was the guy on my team. He was my sinner starting center. He's a funniest dude I've ever met in my life. And we were running and practicing, had to run suicides and the coach was no. Big Guys Run for two minutes and guards run, and so when the big man go off, they like, you know, wait for the guards until the big man had ran and I have the guards are coming up and I look over, you know, and...

Elden Campbell was hiding because give us hiding. He didn't run, he was startling, run bass like run behind the curtain and it was it was training cap. So nobody was man intention. It was is hilarious as one of my funniest moments the welcome to the ill and well small business revolution. CONGRATS ON SEASON Six. That's I think that's the community definition for success, right, six seasons in a movie. So we'll have we'll have the movie coming out in point and I know you've said it, but if people want to learn more about you in the show, where can I find you? Yes, you can watch season six, as well as the past seasons, on who or they stream online and small business revolution dot Org. Love all,...

Amanda and Baron. Thank you so much for taking the time to chat. Thank you. Yeah, absolutely, and we always end with a Corny joke here, and maybe it's just because it's I haven't had breakfast yet, but it's food related. What did the cake say to the fork? You want a piece of me, get after it today, people. Thank you for that. You please do it. Yes, please, please spread it across the world. Good people cool things is produced in Austin, Texas. If you're a fan of this episode, go ahead and hit that follow button. That helps more people here the show. You can send me a message Joey, at good people cool thingscom. Thank you to all of the guests who have been on good people cool things and check out all the old episodes via good people cool thingscom. As always, thank you for listening and have a wonderful day.

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