36: How to Support Other Small Businesses

Are you an animal, pet or equine-based business out there supporting other local businesses? Showing support to businesses in your local community is great for so many reasons. For starters, it keeps the local business economy booming which is also really good for YOUR animal business. On this feel good episode, Kim and Cara cover different ways that you can, and should, support other small businesses in your area at little to no cost, but for potentially huge gains to you and your business! Get ready to inspire some good karma, grow your network of support, and open your business to new ideas and opportunities.

Our Big 3 Takeaways

Join in their Digital Marketing

Follow, Like, Tag, Share, and Comment on Social Media, Leave Reviews or write a testimonial, create a video testimonial, Subscribe to emails, provide referrals, Post on Your Own Feed, Use promo products, use their hashtags, checkin, go live and chat from their location, extra: Participate in interviews and surveys and polls

Shop Unique and Local Whenever Possible

Use your dollars with other small businesses, host popup shops with artists, and shop local-owned or small business owned rather than at big box stores. Do not ask for discounted or free items — remember small business often doesn’t have the buying power of bigger stores, so they don’t have enough margin to offer discounts.

Create Resources that Highlight Other Businesses

Highlight other businesses in things like Top 10 or Favorites lists on your blog. Giving links can help that small business not only be seen and found but will boost their SEO through the backlinks.

“I love the Business Animals and have learned so much from their podcast!” <— does this sound like something you might say? YES! Please leave us some stars and a review on your favorite podcast app. Reviews help us to reach more entreprenuers just like you who are seeking support on their business animal journey. You can use the SUBSCRIBE button above to make it easy to access our podcast page on all the apps. Once you “hit the stars,” on most apps, you’ll be able to leave a review. If you see something we can do better — or have an idea for us — please email us at podcast@thebusinessanimal.com rather than leave a review so can respond accordingly. 



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Transcripts are autogenerated and may contain typographical and grammar errors. This transcript is copyright©2021 Kimberly Beer and Cara Taylor Swift. DO NOT COPY in whole or part without written permission.

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Kimberly Beer  0:00  

The Business Animal podcast is proudly sponsored by WP Engine your resource for managed WordPress hosting. And KEAP the premier CRM software for small business, head over to TheBusinessanimal.com for the best deals on these two amazing products.


Jaz  0:19  

Welcome to The Business Animal podcast. settle up for a gallop to the top of the animal industry, where you’ll learn how to tame your wild business beast with tips, techniques, and tools that will take overwhelm to obedience school, and have you wagging your tail with joy. And now your hosts Kim Beer and Cara Taylor Swift


Kimberly Beer  0:41  

Hey there business animals, it’s Kim with Be More Business 


Cara Taylor Swift  0:45  

and Cara


with Fast Horse Photography Kim, what are we talking about? Today,


Kimberly Beer  0:49  

we’re gonna be talking about how to support each other as small businesses. And I know that this sounds like a little bit of a weird subject for our podcast. But well, maybe it doesn’t. Because we like to support small business. So we want everybody to support small business, right?


Cara Taylor Swift  1:06  

I mean, come on, we’re all running our animal equine pet based businesses out here. So when we think about how do we support ourselves all the time? How do we grow ourselves all the time, but honestly, one of the ways to do that is to actually look outside of your own business, see what other types of businesses are around you and think about ways that you can support them. So that’s what we’re going to talk about today. How do you help support your business by supporting other businesses in your community?


Kimberly Beer  1:31  

That’s right, and you know what I know I’m gonna get woowoo. And you’re gonna go, Oh, my gosh, Kim, but it’s good karma. You build good karma by supporting each other. And believe it or not that good karma comes back to you threefold to tenfold. So that’s another big reason to help support other small businesses out there in the world. And it keeps the economy going. It keeps everybody in money. And it makes it so that we as consumers are using other businesses like ours, which will hopefully encourage those business owners to us, our businesses, as well. So it’s just all a Happy party of small businesses.


Cara Taylor Swift  2:13  

It’s true, if you look at around you, and if the business community around you is doing well, then you have the potential to do well as well. So you want to have a booming business economy around you by going out and supporting some of these other businesses. Like Kim said, I hate to talk about things like karma, but what goes around comes around. So definitely, definitely keep that in mind. Also, supporting and networking with those other businesses can really grow your internal personal businesses network, it can open your mind to new ideas. And it sometimes leads back to really helpful opportunities like mentorship opportunities, opportunities to learn from other businesses. And I have found that it’s a really great way to receive some awesome, valuable feedback from other business owners about your business. So think about it all the time, Kim we get feedback from our consumers? We’ve talked a million times on the show about harvesting testimonials and client experience. But you get a whole different perspective, when you are getting feedback from another business owner, they’re coming at it from a whole different way you look like you want to add something to that.


Kimberly Beer  3:16  

Yeah, it’s the principle of having mentors, right? Because mentors are people who have been down a road that you may want to go down. And it doesn’t necessarily always have to be the exact road you’re on entrepreneurship is an experience that we all share as small business owners, and sometimes somebody else might have a really cool answer to a problem that you faced, even if they’re not in your same industry may not even be an animal based business, but they may be able to share something with you that will change the way you do business and change your life.


Cara Taylor Swift  3:47  

That is so true. I am actually meeting with two other photographers next week. And we’re gonna sit down together. And we’re going to go through all of the programs that we’re paying subscriptions into and compare and contrast what we like what we don’t like and the benefits of each one to see where we can kind of slim down. So working with other business owners is also a great way to find out what kind of products and services are out there already that might benefit your business or better your business. But also what kind of tech is out there that you’re not using that they’re using? Maybe you can try it out or get a behind the scenes look at it, what kind of community resources are out there that maybe you don’t know about that they know about? And also are there events coming up that you might be able to attend for your on behalf of your business that they know about? So y’all what we’re trying to say here is there are a million reasons why as a small business owner, you want to look outside of your doors, look off your property, look outside of your business and see what other businesses are near you that you can support. So I think that rolls us into our big three. Do you want to jump into those Kim?


Kimberly Beer  4:44  

I do. I do. Because I do think that’s a great segue into it. So we’re going to give you three ways that you can support other businesses and hopefully they will support you back. So one of those is all of the digital media. that’s out there in the world. So everybody wants more likes more follows that gives you more credit, right? As a small business, whenever you have those, it’s about as easy as it is. Yeah, it’s really rather painless to do. And we’re going to dive into exactly some really tight ways that you can help each other that way as well. Number two is to shop local and shop I like shop unique whenever possible. So that means avoid the big box stores. I know it’s easy to go into a store where you can get everything from lunch to toilet paper to new clothes. But there’s a lot of small businesses out there that you could shop at that would benefit hugely from you shopping unique and shopping local. So we’re going to talk a little bit more about some ways that you can do that, and support each other in that fashion. And then finally, how you can really collaborate with other businesses in your area by creating resources for consumers that will hopefully lead those consumers, not only to those other businesses, but to your own business. So in the end, it really is about building your business, but building up the entire business community in the process of doing that. 


Cara Taylor Swift  6:18  

That’s right, let’s dive in on that first one that I feel like is mostly a social media based or an online or digital based way to support other businesses. This is as easy as it gets guys, we’ve all got our social media accounts, we’re all online. And there’s a whole list of things that you can do that doesn’t cost you a dime, that can also be a little self serving as well, because you’re putting your business out there and you’re putting yourself out there. So as easy as it gets follow, like, tag, share, and comment on all those social media posts of other businesses that are near you think about when you post something, and it’s crickets, and you’re like awe, dang, I really wish someone would post and get the algorithm moving. Like if you guys can get on there and start supporting each other by, you know, at being active on those posts for each other, you can really up your game. Another super easy thing that you can do is if you have used a business, in your community, a local business, leave a review, or a testimonial, we’ve talked about on this show multiple times how important and how meaningful it is to have social proof as a small business owner, and if you leave a review for them, maybe they would leave one for you as well. That’s a great self serving one. if I do say so myself,


Kimberly Beer  7:29  

it is an amazing one. And it is so so important to the consumers out there that are coming up to your business and that other small business to see those reviews. And if you have a complimentary business to that small business, guess what people are going to be reading your review and go oh, okay, I now see another place I might want to go shop. So again, it may be a little self serving. But in the end we all benefit when we leave social proof for our fellow small business owners.


Cara Taylor Swift  8:03  

That’s right. You can also subscribe to their email list to receive more information about their business. You can provide referrals if you’ve got somebody that maybe you can’t serve, but there’s another better option in the community. Go ahead and make that referral I do that all the time here locally. If I can’t provide photography services for a client or they’re just outside of what I do, I make a referral to another photographer in my community. And my hope is that they’ll pay that back at some time to you know when when time comes around, but provide those referrals send your friends to their business and your family to their business send your clients to their business. I know here I have beautiful restaurants right down the street from my studio. And a lot of times folks will come in in the morning will do their viewing an ordering appointment and then I have a list of lunch recommendations that are local, not chain restaurant but local beachy restaurants not be like go have lunch at this great restaurant. Yeah, that’s that’s a great place to start right there.


Kimberly Beer  8:58  

Yeah, that’s an excellent idea. And you know what, I bet you that those restaurants not only appreciate it, but eventually might get to know who you are. And when other people are having conversations about horses they might be able to say hey, we know a really cool photographer who is down the street from us, you know some mascara using each other’s promo products. So this last week, I was at a big event out in Colorado and I got the cutest little buttons that say I am The Business Animal and I handed them out to lots of people but that’s a way that other people were supporting us as a small business. They were wearing our little button that says I am The Business Animal and listened to The Business Animal podcast, pins, t shirts, logo merchandise, you know, use those kinds of things and give them away if you have an extra one. So sometimes you can, you can get away with two and hand one to somebody else. That’s a big way to help people spread the word about their small business and it’s a feel good situation all around, right? You have something, you give away something and the business gets something too. So everybody is happy. 


Cara Taylor Swift  10:09  

And you can even video yourself using those promo products go online, check in at their location, use their hashtags, tag them in it. And guess what usually that’s reciprocated by sharing your information as well. So there’s so many, especially when you pull the social media side of it back in like just thinking about all the ways you can use someone else’s promo materials can be a lot of fun.


Kimberly Beer  10:31  

Yeah, and checking in, I can’t say enough about the check. In part, we have a local smoothie shop in the town nearest me, mind you, I live in the middle of nowhere, but the little towns that’s just south of us, they have a smoothie shop, which is like a huge deal, because it’s really a very small town, at the smoothie shop is amazing. It’s called the nutrition studio. And when you walk in, if you check in, they give you $1 off. But what is so awesome about that is because it’s such a small community that it’s your friends that are checking in. So when you walk in and check in, like it shows up on my newsfeed. A lot of times when one of my buddies goes and has a smoothie, it shows up on my newsfeed. And then I’m like, my taste buds are like, ooh, I want a smoothie. Oh, I want to click on a chair, go ahead and get murdered. Yeah, or go to that. They do like things beyond that teas. They have really good teas that have really cool names. But that’s how that works, right? So if you have a location, or if you go to another business owner that has a location, do have a solid and and just pop over to Facebook real quick on your phone and check in so that their followers get to see that there’s people checking in and that that provides huge social proof for that business. And it really helps give them a boost. And it takes you all of 10 seconds.


Cara Taylor Swift  11:56  

That is such a fun idea. Kim, have you ever on Instagram gone live with another business owner or a nonprofit?


Kimberly Beer  12:02  

No, but I think you have. I seem to remember you doing this at an event.


Cara Taylor Swift  12:10  

Yeah, so this is actually a lot of fun. There’s a nonprofit in my community that I support called Horseplay Therapy. And one of the fun things that I like to do with either nonprofits or with other business owners is I like to go on Instagram and go live together and we chat. So I might ask them questions or give them an opportunity to share about their business. And what that does is it opens up their Instagram account, their business, their nonprofit, to my entire audience that’s watching at that time. So it’s such a fun way. And it’s an awesome way like Kim said to do a solid for another business. And it’s a great way to share your audiences. And honestly, it’s a lot of fun, another animal based business owner and I did a we were going to the same event and they sent us these swag boxes. And we actually went on an Instagram live together and did the box opening together and had so much fun taking turns pulling stuff out of the box and laughing and trying to figure out what these things were that were coming out of the box so you can have fun with it. And it’s more about just getting on together and sharing your audience and having a good time and supporting one another. So if you haven’t done this already, go find a buddy someone that you’re comfortable with. That’s another business owner or a nonprofit that you support and just go live together and have some fun and see how it jumps your followers how it jumps your interaction up. your equine based business has unique needs. 


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Kimberly Beer  14:17  

Yeah, absolutely. Because lives are preferred sometimes on various social networks they like boost to the live to more people than are on either businesses following so that’s a great way for you to do that. And I do remember you going around at art of the cowgirl and talking to other businesses on Instagram so that they got some exposure and well and exposed our audience to different businesses as well which is all our thing, right? That’s what we’re here for is to talk about animal based businesses. So anytime you can do any of these things. It’s really a fun and very low cost event. energetically way for you to be able to support each other. Cara, you also came up with something else when we were talking about this episode that I thought was really cool. And that is to support other businesses by participating in their interviews, their polls, their surveys, where they’re looking at a consumer base. So just remember, from a business owners perspective, that data is truly important to making good business and marketing decisions. So remember that as a business owner, and when you’re in somebody else’s business, and they ask you to participate in those things, build up that good karma by participating. And trust me, it’ll come back around when you need that from your consumer base. So it’s a big giant circle of appreciation, and gratitude, and just really support for each other. And it’ll come back around to you the time that you spend here doing these little small things that, that really just don’t take you very far out of your way in a day, but can mean something huge to that small business owner, especially if it’s a small business owner who maybe has struggled maybe that comment or the like, or the use of their hashtag, or you showing up for that survey or poll or checking in, you know, that can make the difference in somebody’s day to so it’s more than just building their business, that small business owner may look at that post and go, Oh, gosh, I was thinking about quitting. Or I was thinking about how hard this is, or how I you know, what a struggle it is. And now they see what you said, or that you checked in or that you responded and now they’re like, okay, one person, I got one person, I got one person and then that leads to two, three, 10, 100. And that is the juice that they need to keep on going.


Cara Taylor Swift  16:52  

That’s awesome Kim. So I think that rolls us into number our big three number two, which can put as shop unique and local whenever possible, y’all This means don’t ask for free or discounted stuff, okay? It’s just rude. Like, you don’t want people to do that in your business, right? It’s just rude. You don’t want people to do that to you. So don’t do it to other small business owners out there. Okay, you know, I mean, they’re just trying to make a buck like you are, they’re just trying to grow their business like you are just because you both are business owners pay the full price pay what they’re asking there. Of course, there are always opportunities when you can collaborate on product or on projects, when you can do you know, trade of product or services, of course, those opportunities exist as well. But I think the big thing is don’t don’t ask for free stuff, okay, it’s just not nice to do 


Kimberly Beer  17:38  

Well and, also remember that those small businesses, they don’t have the same buying power as the big box stores do. So here’s something that’s really real in my life, right now, I spent all this time I drew a tarot deck that features horses, I’m very proud of it, I’ve gotten great feedback on it, but I’m not gonna be able to spend the money to get 10,000 of these decks printed to be able to get the price down to the point that I could compete with a lot of other more mainstream Tarot decks that are going to be available to people for 30 bucks, my deck is twice that mount because it costs me probably three to four times more to get it printed than those other decks. So in order to even be able to get paid for my artwork, and the time that I’ve spent on it, or even for that matter, the card printing itself to be as good as I want it to be, it’s not going to be cheap. And I realized that that I’m not the only one in that position. There’s a lot of artists, there’s a lot of other people that self published books, and they do a really outstanding job at what they create. But the end product is more expensive than you can buy a competitive product for in a big box store. And it’s not because that person is price gouging is just simply they don’t have the same buying power as a bigger store would have. So when you ask for those items, when they’re discounted, just remember that person’s margin may not be big enough to offer you a discount. So and you’re you’re basically taking, I don’t know asking for food off their table. So do you remember that remember that when you shop with those local artists, particularly or people who are doing self publishing or stuff like that, that they do have a lot of expenses that go into that a lot more so than the bigger box stores do?


Cara Taylor Swift  19:27  

Absolutely. And when you’re out there, you know, the holiday seasons are coming up guys, you guys are probably aware of that already. And you know, I’ve been thinking a lot about they’ve been talking about shipping issues and just getting product and stuff to us. And I’m thinking I’m gonna have to start looking at holiday shopping a little earlier this year, a little more thoughtful about getting it done early than I typically am this year. But one of the things that I was thinking about is what are the opportunities where I can buy and support local small businesses instead of buying on Amazon or going to Walmart or something like that. So think about that in terms of If you’re a holiday card person you like to send out holiday cards or birthday cards or greeting cards. You know, there are probably a bunch of local artists in town that offer cards that sell cards that are totally unique and almost a gift in themselves because they’re so beautifully and thoughtfully made. So definitely think about that when you’re doing your holiday shopping. Also, if you’re a small business, or you’re planning an event, what are the ways that you could invite other small businesses into that event? Could you let them host a pop up shop at your event or let them table at your event, just think about things like that, that you can pull in.


Kimberly Beer  20:36  

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Yes, those pop up shops. Those are so cool. Kansas City has an art fair that they do called First Fridays, it’s every first Friday of the month. And the downtown businesses a lot of times which are very artsy. I mean, they’ve got like more, I don’t know business II kind of businesses down there. But there’s being more artsy ones moving into the area just because of this event. But those businesses will like open up their lobby, and they’ll let artists set up in their lobby. And it’s it’s so beneficial to the artist because the artist is able to sell it’s a big social event. It’s got a lot of food and a lot of fun and activity with it as well. But the business the hosting business gets a boost because people are tagging them and talking about them, even though they may have nothing to do with the art event itself. And then the artist gets a place where they can set up and they can show what it is that they have available for sale. And it makes a huge difference in that artists career. And I know that there’s other places that you could do that. Like if you have a product shop, let’s say you have a tack shop or you’re a dog groomer. Even if you have a tack shop, maybe you could invite the local equine photographer to come set up that photographer has a list of people that they’re going to invite and say, Hey, I’m at Joe’s tack shop this weekend. So it’s gonna benefit you if you’re a dog groomer, maybe you have somebody who makes collars and leashes come to your open house and set up a table and people are gonna want their dog groomed so they look good in the new collar. So it is a huge benefit to everybody. When you do this.


Cara Taylor Swift  23:20  

Those are such great ideas. I’m sitting here racking my brain right now like thinking of events that are coming up, like how do I get into them. But a thing that I have seen recently too, which I think is such a fun and different idea is we’re moving into the season where we’re going to start doing more dinner parties, right, we’ve got holidays coming up, we’ve got just wanting to be with family and friends and that sort of thing. It’s football season, whatever. But one of the things that I think is really neat and I went to one of these recently was it was a dinner party with friends. But at the dinner party, they invited a local artists to bring several of their pieces to display in one part of the house. And it was just a cool way to support their business owner friend. So everybody’s coming. They’re here, they’re enjoying dinner, they’re meeting and greeting. But there was this cool side event happening where you could walk and look at the art and people were able to buy things if they wanted to, or not at all. But I just thought this was so fun. So those of you that are out there, and maybe you like to have the fancy dinner parties and you’ve got big events coming up. This is a cool way to add a little spice to the event


Kimberly Beer  24:20  

it is and it’s a great way for artists, this is another reason why so if you’re out there and you’re an animal based artist, listen up. This is why you get sponsors. This is why you go out and talk to people about your artwork. Because there are angels out there that will do things like this for you and get you so much exposure with those friends that can afford your artwork and don’t even sometimes look at the price tag. It is a big deal when somebody invites you into a situation like this, but you have to go out and talk to people and network with them to get those opportunities. 


Cara Taylor Swift  24:57  

And then I think the last thing we have on our big Three number two is go to the events that other businesses are hosting. Go to support them go to be another person to walk through the door and give them your support stop and say hello, let them know that you’re there. And you know it’s also a great way for you to get out network Kim is always say network network network. You know, that’s the one of the best things you can do for your business. This is an easy one, look and see what events are happening in your community that are being hosted by other small businesses and get yourself out there and get some boots on the ground 


Kimberly Beer  25:27  

and do that business a favor and up the game a little bit and invite a friend to come with you. So if we all invite a friend that doubles the fun and it doubles the exposure and heck, if you’re a go getter, go invite three friends, if you’re


Cara Taylor Swift  25:41  

someone like me, and you’re kind of like a, you know, I’m a I’m one of those extrovert introvert people. So it’s like I can be on for a little while, but I don’t like to go to events by myself. So bringing a friend takes away some of the awkwardness of not knowing anyone or trying to get to know people you know, you’ve got like your wingman with you. So


Kimberly Beer  25:58  

get your designated extrovert.


Cara Taylor Swift  26:00  

That’s right. Bring your designated extrovert. I wish you and I lived together because I would be like can you come with me to this to this event, please and be my extrovert and walk me around and make me talk to everyone.


Kimberly Beer  26:11  

Oh, I would love that. Because that’s one of my favorite things to do is to be the designated extrovert. I’m also the designated driver, which makes it even more fun because I don’t drink. I say get a twofer.


Cara Taylor Swift  26:25  

Perfect. Alright, let’s move on to number 3.


Kimberly Beer  26:27  

So the third one is to create resources that highlight other businesses, either on your social media or on your website or in your business somehow. So I think it’s our friend Betsy, who does this, who does a unique blog. So why don’t you talk about that?


Cara Taylor Swift  26:45  

Yes, so you can create resources for your website about other businesses. So one of my pals, photography pals, our photography pal, Betsy of ride the sky photography, one of the things that she does for her website is she’ll actually just two things. First of all, she’ll write blogs, about other businesses. And she’ll also go into interviews with other local businesses, that then gets posted to her website. So this is a win win. It’s great for the business being interviewed for the business being written about, but it’s also really great for her business and her SEO for her website. So I thought this was such a beautiful, unique way to help another business that once again, it just takes some time, it doesn’t require a lot from you. But it’s such a solid to do for another business. And it’s a great way to help your own business. Another thing that I found recently that I fell in love with was the idea of creating wish lists. So maybe wish list of some of your favorite products from other local businesses, you know what the holidays are coming up, it’s a perfect time to create your wish list or your favorite list. You could also highlight some of your favorite local businesses that you recommend your friends and colleagues to support. So think about this as a great content creation piece for your business, you could put something together that you could probably get a lot of legs out of in different places for your own business, but at the same time, you’re helping other businesses by bringing light to their business.


Kimberly Beer  28:05  

Absolutely. And you know, who else does this really, really well is another guest we’ve had on the podcast, Lindsey Ardmore. So Lindsey interviews other business owners that would be complementary to what she serves. So the people that she serves, she will interview them. And if you belong to her list, you get the interviews, they’re sent to your email box, it’ll say I’m going to be on live interviewing this particular business owner, so you get notified of that. But it’s a big win win for both her and for the other business that she is highlighting. So it doesn’t just even have to be written, it could be interview on YouTube, or it could be live on Facebook or Instagram is just a way that you can highlight other businesses as just a really nice way to help them out. And guess what it comes back to you because you’re going to get exposure from that as well. So even though it’s a little bit on the self serving side, it is a really nice thing to do for other business owners. Which brings me to what I would like to make as the final comment for this show in this section is the gratitude. So you have to remember that being thankful for other small businesses that gratitude grows so hugely so when you are thankful for those businesses that support you and you are willing to go out and help them and they help you that whole network of support, both morally and emotionally, it just grows. And I know it sounds a little hippie dippie kind of you know, free love kind of thing, but maybe not free love, but but if we love each other and we support each other, the gratitude just really grows and when we come at it from a place of giving and thankfulness it makes this process one easy and two really positive. And that gets passed on to the consumers who work with our businesses.


Cara Taylor Swift  30:08  

Absolutely. Thank you, Kim. I think this has been a great episode. It’s it’s a kind of a quick one. But I wanted to get people thinking about ways that they can support other businesses. We’ve got the holidays coming up. There’s so many opportunities out there right now. And I think both Kim and I would love to hear from you guys now. So please hop on our social media tell us, you know, how are you supporting other small businesses, we want to be able to add to this list of ideas. And when we do a part two of this someday we’ll make sure to mention you, your business and your idea when that time comes. 


Kimberly Beer  30:40  

So that’s the way we can support you. 


Cara Taylor Swift  30:42  

That’s right. So definitely let us know how you’re supporting other small businesses in your community. And thank you guys so much for hanging out with us today.


Jaz  30:52  

Thanks for listening to this episode of The Business Animal. Be sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode. And if you learned something today, leave us a review. To learn more, find us at The Business animal.com we’d love to hear from you. Until next time, keep your business well trained with The Business Animal.


Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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