Nov 22, 2020
In this episode, I
interview Carissa Reiniger, the Founder, and CEO of Small Business Silver
Lining, a company that
helps more small business owners make money doing what they love by
building more profitable and sustainable businesses. They believe
strongly in the power of small business to generate sustainable
economic development and to create economic justice. Their work has
been featured in many publications and media outlets including the
New York Times, Forbes, TechCrunch, National Post, Globe and Mail,
Inc, Entrepreneur, CNN, and more. Carissa is also the Creator of
the Thank You Small Business movement
and regularly writes, speaks, and
advises on small business.
She started out in 2005, aged
22, and after accidentally firing herself from corporate. She
initially did consulting in anything with the simple drive to help
small businesses and soon after, she pivoted to an online training
offering called Silver Lining Action Plan (SLAP). SLAP has now
helped over 10,000 small businesses around the world. They later
reduced their fees from $2,000 a month to $300, and their success
rate has been 70 to 80%, which is measured on the goals the
business owners set for themselves before starting their 13-Month
program. From one full-time employee to now forty, her team is in
14 countries and went remote eight years ago before it was cool for
Their next move is to offer
small business lending lines based on SLAP behavior. For culture,
they focus on team wellness, extra holidays, and an unlimited time
away policy. When it comes to success, Carissa feels she has had
moments of success but hasn’t gotten there yet. She says that the
hardest thing about growing a small business is juggling the
complexity or volume of things to do. The one she says she would
tell herself on day one of starting out in business is, “It’s going
to be okay. Pace yourself and don’t do it alone” It’s going to be a
super resourceful episode if you’re looking to grow your small
business, so don’t forget to tune in.
This Cast Covers:
- Working with small businesses to help them grow
by helping individual small business owners become more profitable
- Facilitating the creation of opportunities for
families, jobs, communities, and the economy.
- Moving from a subscription model charging $300
a month to a pay-what-you-can model during the
their current business model is helping them grow their customer
base and help more businesses.
advantage of having a scalable software-as-a-service
- Saving the business by cutting some of their
costs and from SLAP experts donating their time.
backstory of how she came up with the SLAP methodology.
- Working with 10,000 small businesses in over 20
countries and the metrics they track to keep growing the business
and its impact.
- Starting out as the only full-time employee to
the current eighteen full-time staff and some freelancers and
tracking against top-level revenue and team count may not be the
best way to measure business growth.
value of decreasing their overheads to get their price point
their profit margin grows with the growth in customer base while
their overheads don’t grow that much.
- Enjoying moments of reminders that her hard
work has been paying off.
marketing that is helpful, valuable, authentic, and not
- Making a decision not to take VC money to
maintain their focus on making an impact.
- Encouraging small business owners to raise
funding from selling products and services and taking equity
financing as an option of last resort.
- Giving unsecured loans at fair interest rates
based purely on business owners’ SLAP behavioral data.
- Learning to be vulnerable and asking for help
in difficult times.
- Working hard rounding herself and learning to
be a better manager.
- Seeing that something she created out of
nothing is now a huge machine that employs people and helps lots of
remote years before Covid hit and how that has helped her find
great team members.
- Building a culture that focuses more on team
- Spending tens of thousands of dollars on
personal development and continuous learning.
she has benefitted from being intentional about building a network
of incredible mentors and coaches.
- Juggling the complexities of the many hats a
small business owner has to wear.
- Learning from other people who have valuable
expertise to share.
Music from https://filmmusic.io
"Cold Funk" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com). License: CC