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Small Business War Stories

Small businesses are the soul of America. This is where they tell their stories. Small Business War Stories is a weekly show recorded in person with small business owners. We discuss different topics and get the triumphs, struggles, and funny stories from our guests' everyday lives. Hosted by Pablo Fuentes, an entrepreneur and musician based in Austin, Texas.
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Now displaying: March, 2017
Mar 29, 2017

The fitness industry is exploding.

One in five Americans are heading to the gym or at least have a gym membership. Fitness trends like Crossfit, Soul Cycle, pilates and yoga are now mainstream and available in most cities.

More and more folks are quitting their 9 to 5 and chasing their passions by jumping full steam into the fitness industry.

However, starting a gym is not just about passion. The bottom line is, it's still a business and most small businesses fail within the first 18 months.

How do you insure that your gym succeeds and does not become a statistic?

Can you turn your passion into a financial success?

To help us answer these questions (and more), we talked to Brian Hassan of Flagship Athletic Performance, a successful gym enterprise in San Francisco. Brian has succeeded by combining his business background with his passion for fitness and he has tons of awesome advice for anyone flirting with the idea of opening a gym.

Mar 22, 2017

Let's face it:

There are a ton of challenges with starting a business, especially if you have never done it before.

That's why having a business parnter with complimentary skills can be so helpful. Someone to help you stay focused, bounce ideas off of and ultimately shoulder the load.

However, what happens when that business parntership fails? Can you stay friends? How do you dissolve a business partnership peacefully?

To explore these questions, we talked with Joe Mellin, who use to actually be my original business partner.

We met each other when we were both grad students and then started a company together. That company would eventually become Proven.

We broke up as co-founders a couple years after that. We are still friends to this day.

On today's episode of Small Business War Stories, find out first hand how and why our business partnership came to an end and how we remained friends.

 

Mar 15, 2017

For those of us that grew up in the 90s, it's hard to talk about making soap and not think about Brad Pitt's role as Tyler Durden in the movie Fight Club.

However, that's the perfect setup for today's episode of Small Business War Stories.

We talked with Chris Cabiya, of Zen Soap, who is also a practitioner of Jiu-Jitsu. Chris is now in his second year of operation as a small business owner. 

Chris combines his passion for Jiu-Jitsu, a vegetarian diet, and his concern for the environment to create a high quality sustainable soap products.

We talked to Chris about how he got into the soap making business, why sustainability is important to him, and what advice he has for anyone starting a new venture.

Mar 8, 2017

There's a growing demand for massage therapy as more and more of the general public have accepted that massages help improve overall health.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics the growth rate of massage therapist will be 19% through 2018.

Although a tremendous amount of both classroom and real world training goes into become a licensed massage therapist, there is not a lot of training about how to start your own massage busines and how to make it a success. 

Being a great therapist does not necessarily translate directly to being a great business owner.

To help us dissect the ins and outs of starting a massage business, on today's episode of Small Business War Stories we talk with Kyra Gerhard of Mantis Massage.

Mar 1, 2017

Since the 1990s the music industry has changed dramatically. Free downloading services in the late 90s, like Napster, were considered a dangerous threat to the music business.

In many ways, to survive, the music industry has had to reinvent itself. Services like Spotify and SoundCloud help people discover new music and helps unknown artists get their music heard.

The Internet has also had a dramatic effect on the retail side of the business. Budding musicians can now turn to online sites to purchase musical instruments.

With these rapid changes in the music business, how can a musical instrument store prosper? How can you make money as a performer in this new digital age? Ultimately, how you can make a living in the modern music business?

In today’s episode of Small Business War Stories we tackle these challenging questions and more with Nick Boettcher from Austin Vintage Guitars and performer in band The Reverent Few.

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