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The Up and to the Right | Small Business | Practical, Actionable, Sustainable Improvements

Business & Economics Podcasts

Welcome to Up and to the Right, the no-nonsense podcast where we blend your passion with proven business principles and practical tips, empowering you to create the impact and success you envision. Hosted by Stephen Krausse, the show covers what matters to small business owners, startups, and people interested in becoming entrepreneurs. No buzzwords and no hyped-up trends! A graduate of Colorado State University's College of Business, Stephen has an academic background that compliments over 25 years of business operations and management experience. He started his first business as a freshman in college in 1987, recording and producing demo tapes for local bands. Since that time, he’s been involved with numerous successful small businesses, including the operation and management of a niche high-tech company with customers and suppliers worldwide. As a business professional by education and trade, he works with select business owners to blend their passion with proven principles, giving them the edge they need to achieve their unique impact. Stephen is always researching new products, ideas, and innovations - consuming content through audiobooks, podcasts, and online resources, and connecting with other professionals locally and abroad. Now he’s sharing practical tips and ideas to help you get real work done. This isn’t about fancy solutions requiring a considerable investment or changing how you do your best work. You’ll discover ideas that will allow you to integrate proven principles into the way you already get things done. You’ll get practical ideas to easily replicate, modify, and integrate into what you already do. Up and to the Right covers topics like getting value out of a business model, outsourcing, hiring for small businesses, working across platforms, productivity and efficiency hacks, building revenue streams, communication and planning, and more! Some episodes will have related downloads available from the show notes page below or unique segments with guests who have industry-specific tips that would be helpful. It’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work. Listen to Up and to the Right with Stephen Krausse today.

Location:

Fort Colins, CO

Description:

Welcome to Up and to the Right, the no-nonsense podcast where we blend your passion with proven business principles and practical tips, empowering you to create the impact and success you envision. Hosted by Stephen Krausse, the show covers what matters to small business owners, startups, and people interested in becoming entrepreneurs. No buzzwords and no hyped-up trends! A graduate of Colorado State University's College of Business, Stephen has an academic background that compliments over 25 years of business operations and management experience. He started his first business as a freshman in college in 1987, recording and producing demo tapes for local bands. Since that time, he’s been involved with numerous successful small businesses, including the operation and management of a niche high-tech company with customers and suppliers worldwide. As a business professional by education and trade, he works with select business owners to blend their passion with proven principles, giving them the edge they need to achieve their unique impact. Stephen is always researching new products, ideas, and innovations - consuming content through audiobooks, podcasts, and online resources, and connecting with other professionals locally and abroad. Now he’s sharing practical tips and ideas to help you get real work done. This isn’t about fancy solutions requiring a considerable investment or changing how you do your best work. You’ll discover ideas that will allow you to integrate proven principles into the way you already get things done. You’ll get practical ideas to easily replicate, modify, and integrate into what you already do. Up and to the Right covers topics like getting value out of a business model, outsourcing, hiring for small businesses, working across platforms, productivity and efficiency hacks, building revenue streams, communication and planning, and more! Some episodes will have related downloads available from the show notes page below or unique segments with guests who have industry-specific tips that would be helpful. It’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work. Listen to Up and to the Right with Stephen Krausse today.

Language:

English

Contact:

9702182018


Episodes

Up and into the Future! | Up and to the Right | Episode 62

9/30/2021
Business Pivot Triggers Practical Approaches to Pivots What's Next for Up and to the Right? Contact Beyond 50 Percent https://beyond50percent.com stephen.krausse@b50p.com IG & TW @beyond50percent

Duration:00:51:17

Happy Lucky’s Teahouse Owner Interview | Kari and George Grossman | Up and to the Right | Episode 061

8/17/2021
In this episode of Up and to the Right I'm excited to have Kari & George Grossman owners of Happy Lucky's Teahouse. We'll talk about getting started in 2009 and adapting to a wildly changing business environment in 2020. About Happy Lucky's With a commitment to quality, selection, and community, Happy Lucky’s creates a highly interactive, informative, and immersive tea experience. Whether you are already a tea lover or new to the brew, you’ll find the flavor, aroma, and feeling that speaks to you from over 200 loose-leaf options on our Great Wall of Tea. Find Out More About Happy Lucky's Teahouse https://happyluckys.com/ 970-689-3417

Duration:00:57:23

2021 Small Business Trends | Up and to the Right | Episode 060

8/15/2021
Is it click bait? To be fair, click bait isn't my plan. In fact, I think it's important that we separate the small business trends for 2021 that matter to us as owners from the 'trends' over which we have no agency, no resources to follow or that simply don't apply. Let's figure out which windmill to chase! See the full show notes: https://b50p.info/uattr060

Duration:00:40:29

The Best Book for Building Small Business | Up and to the Right | Episode 059

7/27/2021
Best Book for Small Business Show Contents 00:00 Pre Show 00:16 Program Start 01:20 Introduction 01:41 News & Updates 04:40 Let's talk about reading! 16:43 Let's get practical! 17:35 Sidebar on book length... 19:30 Working a Book 24:48 My New Reading Experiment 30:07 Show Close & Contact Info I asked the internet... "What book was the most effective in helping you make REAL CHANGES to your small business?" In this episode I'm going to share how the internet replied! Let's get... well read! Contents: Chapters Added After the Show It's time to roll up our sleeves and get to work! Connect on Social LinkedIn | https://b50p.info/sklinkedin Instagram | https://b50p.info/instagram Facebook | https://b50p.info/facebook Twitter | https://b50p.info/twitter Twitch | https://b50p.info/twitch

Duration:00:31:38

Small Business Priority | 4Get 2020 Time to Move On | Up and to the Right | Episode 058

12/31/2020
Full Show Notes: https://b50p.info/uattr058 Small Business Priority | 4Get 2020 Time to Move On 2020 is finally over. There will be plenty of blogs, podcasts, articles and videos reviewing 2020 and predicting 2021. Not here... not today. As small business owners, we need to focus on what IS... NOW and figure out what needs to be done at this moment in time to move our business forward. Your time is a limited resource. How do you know what to work on? I'm going to throw out a quick way to think about what matters to you now and some tips to keep it at the top of mind. Let’s get… focused!

Duration:00:36:14

Starting Up a Small Business - What is a 'Small Business'? | Up and to the Right | Episode 057

12/17/2020
Show Notes: https://b50p.info/uattr057 What is a Small Business? Over the years I've come across a lot of misinformation about what it means to be a small business. Sometimes people think it's determined by the number of employees, sometimes by revenue, even by the corporate structure. As we'll see below it's actually easy to understand why there is confusion identifying what is a small business. Defining Small Business So, if there's so much confusion around how to define a business as small then how can we go about doing it correctly? The good news here is that while it isn't as easy as a single criterion that we can point to, there is a place we can go to find out exactly how to classify our own business as small or not. There are three pieces of information that you're going to need to put all of this together. Your NAICS Code The Number of Employees Average Annual Revenue (based on three years) Once you have those three pieces of information you'll be able to get the right answer for answering the question... "What is a small business?" at least, for your case!

Duration:00:33:02

Starting Up a Small Business - Small Business Regulations | Up and to the Right | Episode 056

12/10/2020
Full Show Notes: https://b50p.info/uattr056 You've come up with a great business idea. You've started your business and things are going great when out of the blue a great potential customer asks: "What's your export control code?" Don't know? You're not alone and export control is just one of the seemingly endless regulations that may (or may not) apply to your small business. Let’s get… regulated! In short, small businesses are regulated by largely the same laws that regulate larger organizations. The only difference is that there may (or may not) be provisions in those laws that allow small businesses to bear a lighter burden in some ways. While there may be some provision for small business in the regulatory environment, it is equally true that small businesses are still required to adhere to regulations that cross a wide variety of areas which we'll cover. I want to dispel the myth that forgiveness rather than permission is a risk that small business owners should avoid. It is better to ask for implementation than forgiveness... every time.

Duration:00:30:53

Using the Power of Leverage in Business (in a good way) | Up and to the Right | Episode 055

12/3/2020
Show Notes | https://b50p.info/uattr055 It's time to roll up our sleeves and get to work! Physics in Business. At first, it might not seem like the two are closely connected. I've found that the principles we use to describe our physical universe often have parallels in the business world. The power of leverage in business is often thought of as a negative. Something used to push someone else down in a negotiation or to artificially inflate value. These are the uses of leverage that we won't be talking about here. We are going to talk about the necessity of leverage and why understanding it and, in fact, embracing it is elemental to creating, operating, and sustaining a valuable business. Let’s get… leveraged!

Duration:00:30:47

What did Newton Know about Action in Small Business | Up and to the Right | Episode 054

11/19/2020
Get the show notes: https://b50p.info/uattr054 I put a lot of effort into running and growing my business. I'm sure you do too! What do we get for that effort? I'm not talking about. the long-term effects of our actions resulting in new revenue or market growth. What reaction do we expect from this particular action? Let’s get… mechanical!

Duration:00:35:10

Working ON Your Business With FLOW and Megan Denae Anderson | Up and to the Right | Episode 053

11/12/2020
Get the Show Notes: https://b50p.info/uattr053 If you picked two words to describe entrepreneurship they would very likely be longly and busy. Really... REALLY busy! I can speak from personal experience that being a small business owner can leave you feeling alone as well as fill your time with a stream of seemingly critical tasks. How can entrepreneurs like you find kindred spirits that share common experience AND get the opportunity to work ON your business by accomplishing focused work? Let’s get… into the FLOW! Accelerated Business Consulting: https://www.beexcellent.biz/

Duration:00:44:26

What did Newton Know about Making an Impact as a Small Business | Up and to the Right | Episode 052

11/5/2020
See the full Show Notes: https://b50p.info/uattr052 What did Newton Know about Creating Impact as a Small Business? Everything we need to know about making an impact as a small business... Newton knew in 1686!? Really? Newton’s 2nd Law states that Force = Mass * Acceleration. How can understanding one of the fundamental laws of physics help us make an impact as a small business? Is changing the world as easy as Force = Mass * Acceleration? Well yes... and no. Let's rewrite that a bit. Mass = Resources Acceleration = Momentum Force = Impact How about Impact = Resources * Momentum? You get the idea. There are advantages to thinking about business from the perspective of physics. Let’s get… mechanical!

Duration:00:29:19

What did Newton Know about Small Business Communication? Objects Rest and Motion | Up and to the Right | Episode 051

10/29/2020
Everything we need to know about small business communication... Newton knew in 1686!? Really? An object at rest tends to stay at rest unless acted upon by an outside force. An object in motion tends to stay in motion in the same direction unless acted on by an outside force. If these trends sound familiar ... A customer who is happy tends to stay a customer unless there's a sale at a competitor. A rock star employee tends to stay a rock star unless we eliminate performance bonuses. You get the idea. There are advantages to thinking about business from the perspective of physics. Let's get... mechanical!

Duration:00:25:29

Draining Content Creators Dry | Up and to the Right | Episode 050

10/22/2020
Show Notes: https://b50p.info/uattr050 Consuming content has become a byword. We all want to learn and grow personally and professionally. To that end, we read or listen to books, watch videos, take online courses, and consume any number of other types of content. Have you ever stopped to consider whether or not the content you’ve consumed has actually generated a beneficial transformation in your business? How do we get the most benefit from the information we read, watch, or listen to? How do we drain these content creators dry? Let’s get… draining!

Duration:00:27:33

Small Business Startup Tips... You May Have Missed | Up and to the Right | Episode 049

10/15/2020
Show Notes: https://b50p.info/uattr049 A small business startup can be overwhelming. So much so that many people choose not to and many of us who do start small businesses often miss a piece of the small business puzzle. In this episode, I’m going to share three things you need to do when you’re starting your business that might not be on your list… yet! Let’s get… started!

Duration:00:31:06

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

10/8/2020
Full Show Notes: https://b50p.info/uattr048 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! When Should I Hire a Consultant? What is a Consultant? In order to understand when it’s time to bring in a consultant let’s talk, first about what a consultant is. This may seem basic but it’s important to be clear about it. A consultant is someone from outside your company that brings needed expertise or resources that will benefit your business. Most often we think of engineering services, marketing or business management ‘consultants’ with varying degrees of trepidation or even loathing. The trepidation and loathing is a product of consultants who don’t take their craft and customers seriously. I’m sorry if you had that experience. For what it’s worth… to me small business is as serious as the 50% of the economy that it represents (which means I take it seriously). When Should I Hire a Consultant? I have found two criteria that make this very simple. When you find yourself needing to accomplish something that you’re not objectively qualified for. If you don’t like doing it but it still needs to get done. How Do I Know What to Hire a Consultant for? Break down what needs to be done, what skills are needed to achieve those goals, and then match those to your own skillset. Get referrals from colleagues who have experience with a consultant in an area you need who got results similar to what you’re looking for. Get to know the experts you're considering. You’ll get a lot more benefit from someone you enjoy working with. Let's roll up our sleeves and get to work!

Duration:00:41:23

Jeff Allen with Allen Service | Pivot to Profit - 002 | Up and to the Right

8/12/2020
Jeff Allen, 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 only 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 consistently grow their business 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 home environment. Zero Contact When the pandemic began to impact business operations in the US significantly, Jeff and his brother Mike made adjustments to their work processes to create a ‘zero contact’ service. They achieved this by adding additional personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks to their existing practices. Customer Safety & COVID-19 Allen technicians have a defined procedure that Jeff details during our conversation that allows them to contact the customer and perform the service in a way the eliminates contact between the technician and the customer and minimizes the technician’s impact on the home. Employee Safety & COVID-19 While keeping zero contact between the customer and service technician is an excellent step to keeping employees safe, the management team at Allen Service has also taken steps in their offices to reduce employee interaction and possible contamination. Jeff and Mike’s extra precautions have reduced the risk of transmitting the virus among their team with excellent results. Indoor Air Quality I’ve known Jeff for a while, and I knew he would have a lot of great experience and expertise to share. I didn’t realize that there is technology available to us through our HVAC systems that will help remove the allergens, contaminants, and contagions from our indoor air. Jeff shared that by...

Duration:01:05:38

P2P - How the Pandemic Affected My Businesses | Pivot to Profit - 001 | Up and to the Right

8/5/2020
Full Show Notes & Resources: https://b50p.info/p2p001 Being a small business owner is challenging in the best of times. During periods of economic uncertainty that challenge 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 difficult but necessary 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. 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 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 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: 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 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 a service based consulting practice I started to help entrepreneurs and small business owners. Directed Energy The impact of the pandemic on Directed Energy has been very serious. Our sales dropped substantially and after a few months of reduced income I had to make the decision that business owners never want to make. I had to let team members go. These were people I’ve worked with for over 10 years so they are friends as much as coworkers. One thing that made the situation better was that I have always been very up front about the financial position of the company and going into 2020 that made it clear that employment positions would have to be eliminated. I’ve reduced expenses and worked with vendors to put Directed Energy in a cash neutral position. The good news is that we are able to continue operating, serving customers and shipping product. The takeaway is being able to recognize the action required and taking it even when you really… really… don’t want to. Beyond 50 Percent The business for Beyond 50 Percent is significantly different than that of Directed Energy. As a professional consulting services company there is no inventory to hold and no direct employees aside from myself. I use carefully selected independent contractors for...

Duration:00:42:29

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

7/9/2020
Introduction 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. […]

Duration:00:39:12

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

7/9/2020
Reminder: What is a Business Principle? When I talked about what made a business principle I ended up here: A business principle is a concept that is both foundational and relevant to all businesses. This set a pretty high bar when it came to identifying what were business principles and what were strategies, missions and tactics. Profit made the cut and that’s what I want to cover today. Why Profit? Profit is the standard measure by which companies large and small are evaluated. While profit alone doesn’t create a full picture of a business, it is used frequently as a shortcut or first order tool to determine how a business is doing. More importantly, profit is a good indicator of the direction of future cash flow. As a rule, if net revenue is positive and our business is profitable then it is generally true that cash flow is also positive. Of course, there are a lot of factors that impact this but it’s a good start. A Note about Non-Profits Are non-profit organizations (NPO) exempt from profit concerns? Yes… and no. While it’s true that non-profits don’t have to worry about making a reportable profit, they do have to worry about the direction of their cash flow. When it comes to NPOs the ‘profit’ they need to be concerned about is how well they are able to magnify the effect on a cause of a donor’s contribution over the ability of the individual donor to make an effect themselves. Get OK With Profit Before we go any further we need to get okay with profit. There’s a lot of misunderstanding and misinformation about business and profit in general. The term ‘profit’ itself seems to have gathered a negative connotation in today’s popular culture. If a news story comes out about a large company doing something that appears to put profit before people then it reinforces this negative stereotype. Well, I’m here to tell you that businesses need to focus on, be comfortable with and even seek (yes… SEEK) profit. We use the cash generated by our well run business to: These and all the ones you can think of that I didn’t list are reasons that we need to be comfortable with and plan our businesses around profit. Factors That Put Pressure on Profit As you can imagine there are a number of factors that put pressure on profit. Some put pressure to reduce profit and others add pressure to increase it. Downward Pressures Upward Pressures Ethical Considerations - How Much is Enough? So… the inevitable Question… “How much is enough?” Honestly, this is a question only your conscience and your customer base can answer. My input on this is pretty simple. If you offer a product or service that is either unnecessary or easily replaceable with an economic alternative then you are free to profit to whatever extent the market will bear. If you sell wakeboards for boating or jewelry you can let the market forces guide your profit. This is because neither of these are necessities. I like the example of a Rolex vs. a Timex. Rolex is free to profit as much as their customers will allow because Timex and other watchmakers offer economical alternatives so customers are now bound to the Rolex product. When you offer necessities like food or medical products/services there is, in my opinion, a moral duty to develop a business model around ‘reasonable’ profit. I realize that ‘reasonable’ is ambiguous and represents a moving target. I think of this as a thought experiment and guideline to consider depending on your business. Basically… something to think about. Service Based Businesses & Profit Is it possible for service based businesses to achieve 100% profit? You know… Revenue - Expense = Profit with “0” Expense? Well… no. Your service based business will always have one expense and that’s you. If you think you’re achieving 100% profit you are not paying yourself. To better understand the operations of your business pay yourself a competitive salary and evaluate your business with its true costs in mind. Practical...

Duration:00:39:12

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

7/2/2020
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 […]

Duration:00:45:31