Peter and Jonathan discuss how to define your target market, competitive analysis with Eric Siu (The Growth Everywhere podcast), and whether or not the federal minimum wage should be increased.

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Listen to episode 12:

Show notes:

Audio transcript:

Peter: All right. Let’s talk target markets.

Jonathan: All right. We decided to pick an article by Tim Berry again called How to Define Your Target Market.

Peter: It’s a tricky question. For a lot of small businesses, they start to think they’re making some sales, they’ve got a product. Sometimes they do just fine on that sort of premise. Then you start to talk about how many people out there will buy your product? As you continue to grow, what’s the upper limit?

Jonathan: Real quick, why do they need a target market? Can we do a quick overview of the benefits?

Peter: Yeah, and maybe even just define it in total here. The target market are the folks that might be viable to eventually purchase the good or service that you are selling. The target market means it’s more specific.

We’ve used the example before, Nike doesn’t try to sell shoes to everyone with feet. They try to sell to people who are somewhat athletic, who have some disposable income, who have that lifestyle that Nike supports. That’s their target market.

The same is true for spaghetti sauce. I think that is a good natural lead to our sponsor.

Jonathan: Yeah. This episode is brought to you by Ragu, with their classic Alfredo sauce.

Let’s jump right into TAM SAM SOM, because we’ve mentioned this a few different times.

Peter: Absolutely. The T-A-M, S-A-M, S-O-M. If you think of it like a pyramid on its tip, the top is the TAM, the biggest chunk is the TAM, the middle section is the SAM, and all the way down to the point is the S-O-M, the SOM.

The TAM, that biggest group, is the total addressable market. Total addressable market means anyone who might have any relevance to your product on any level.

The reason you segment down to the next step, the segmented addressable market, is because the TAM is always too big, it’s always too irrelevant. You want some more specificity for a number of reasons. The most of which is you need to actually have a practical group that you can actually reach. But you can also start to differentiate yourself from your competition as you work your way down from TAM to SAM.

Jonathan: Then SOM, S-O-M, stands for share of market.

Peter: Right. Quite simply, that’s just the percentage of that segmented market that you actually intend to capture.

Let’s talk a little bit about that TAM and that SAM. How do you even start to define that from your business perspective?

Jonathan: Yeah. I think it’s really a distinction between some primary research that you’re going to have to do, and some secondary research that you’re going to have to do.

Peter: Research really comes when you need to answer the question: how many people are in that TAM or that SAM.

Jonathan: Here’s how you figure that out. It’s called quickfacts.census.gov. This is all the census information that the government collects every few years. You can click your state, you can click the city within your state, and find your city. You’re going to be able to get specific demographic information about them.

Some things that you can gather are age groups, gender groups, ethnic groups. See the breakdown of percentage of the total population and where those groups are. That’s going to give you a really good idea about the total addressable market for your area.

Peter: A lot of times, you might start to exclude certain markets from that ideal SAM, that ideal segmented addressable market, just by the nature of who you think should be your ideal segmented addressable market. If I think that my product is really addressed specifically to young millennial males, then first of all, that’s a very defined market. But it may not also be who eventually buys all of my products. It will actually define the nature of the marketing that I do: where I advertise, how I do outreach, that kind of thing.

Jonathan: Quickfacts.census.gov, that’s a version of secondary research, where you are gathering data that’s already been collected for you. There’s primary research that you can do. We talked about surveys. Picking people out who you think represent your target market.

If you’re a business that’s up and running already, maybe standing out on the corner with a clipboard, you might not have to go that far. You can just do the surveys at the register, and ask people to fill them out for the chance to win something, offer an incentive. There’s definitely plenty of easy low cost ways to ask your customers to get feedback.

Peter: Yeah.

Jonathan: Pasta sauce. This goes back into in Tim’s article, further segmenting your audience. This leads us to Malcolm Gladwell’s TED talk about pasta sauces, referencing Howard Moskowitz, I believe.

Howard Moskowitz did some research for a company, specifically for a pasta sauce company. What he discovered through his research is that there are actually a myriad of preferences for pasta sauces. That opened up the concept of really diving deep into niche marketing, and creating those different sauces for all those different people.

Peter: We mentioned before, this kind of thinking can really lead you to better marketing, more effective marketing. Then, of course, more effective sales down that sales funnel. But what you’re talking about is by defining and thinking about your TAM SAM SOM process, you can also start to refine your actual product line. With Ragu, our sponsor Ragu Robusto, with Ragu’s wonderful choice to diversify their product line, they in fact discovered a way to diversify and improve of the sale-ability of their product line to a larger demographic, and to more sales net over time by simply understanding more deeply their own audience.

Jonathan: I’ve got a story about how to infuse your personality into the business. There’s a Thai place, I don’t know whether you’ve had it here in Eugene, called Ubon Thai. I think, especially small business owners who are trying to start up, think that they have to be uber professional, very clean, have a specific look in order to succeed. Really, don’t be afraid to let your personality to seep into how you do your business.

Ubon Thai, they’re open three days a week. They’re closed most of the time.

Peter: It’s a sort of cart feel.

Jonathan: It looks like a cart.

Peter: It’s like pulled up to somebody’s house or something.

Jonathan: It’s attached to their patio.

Peter: It’s confusing.

Jonathan: When you go there…

Peter: No offense.

Jonathan: Right. I moved here a couple of years ago, and I wanted Thai food, so I looked on Yelp, what’s the highest rated Thai food? Ubon Thai.

Peter: That’s true.

Jonathan: I think a part of the personality seeping into their business is what has helped them be so successful. They had to have great food to back it up. But when you go to eat there, you’re actually going and sitting in their house, and you’re seeing a slideshow of their travels in Thailand on the wall. It’s just like every part of who they are is mixed in with the business. I think it contributes a lot to their success.

Peter: Yeah. I would counter that with my previous point. Your personality can be a lack of personality, or a research oriented personality as well. Don’t feel like, when we say personality, it has to be the Ubon Thai example. You could manufacturer stainless steel screws in the most efficient way possible. That can be a personality. I just want to emphasis that, really, your business personality is what we’re talking about here, but that is a good example.

Jonathan: Yeah. There’s some caveats to that, of course.

Peter: The further down the funnel process here, we’ve got into TAM, I think we’ve talked a great deal about that. The SAM is really how you segment that addressable market. As you get further into that segmentation, there’s another way to think about those segments as you develop them.

This is what we do here at Palo Alto Software as we develop a persona, which I think we’ve talked about a little bit in the past. You really start to define an idyllic version of the customer.

If I’m at a coffee shop, who is that I envision walking in the door. The reason you do this is defined by this idea of strategic segment interaction. By doing that, you’re also defining the kinds of things that that customer is looking for.

As you start to develop these different personality types and overlap them, you’ll start to find that there is a centralized set of customer traits that are most important to you.

Nike might market with people with two feet that have disposable income, people with two feet that are athletic. But really, at the end of the day, their marketing addresses a conglomeration of these traits.

Jonathan: Yeah. You might end up having multiple target markets. The way that you differentiate them is by calling one your primary target market, you might have a secondary target market, and sometimes a tertiary. Really focus your attention on your primary target market.

This all comes down to the basics of marketing. This target market decision making is going to help you in what we call the four P’s. This is marketing 101.

Peter: The three P’s.

Jonathan: Price, promotion, placement, and product.

Peter: And Prego.

Jonathan: The decisions that you’ve made with defining your target market are going to help you as you decide what to do in those four P categories.

Peter: The reason you do this exercise is to save money. To hold the expenses down from those marketing efforts. To make sure you’re not wasting tons of dollars going out the door, trying to reach people who have no interest in your product in the first place.

Jonathan: How do you decide what the share of market is that you’re going to get?

Peter: A lot of times, that’s really much more of a business goal. This is really where this whole exercise boils down to more of a business plan component, rather than a fun thought exercise. This has been fun, right?

Jonathan: Yeah. I’ve had a ton of fun.

Peter: How do you guess how many people might buy your product if you are only doing this exercise for the first time?

Jonathan: Well, I think it’s going to have to take some competitive analysis to figure out if there are already competitors on the market. You have to assume that they have a share of market. What is it? If there’s a big player, you can assume that they have a large share of the market. Start out with small percentages and test against it. See if you’re getting that number.

If your SAM is 100,000 people, take 5%. See if you can reach 5,000 of those people. Try it out in your first year.

Peter: Yeah, I agree. You can learn a lot from your competitors. Another research tool that we could recommend is sizeup.com. Sizeup.com give you good research on competition, where they serve, what their locale is, what their customer service base is, that kind of thing. To Tim Berry’s point, who was on this podcast a little while ago in a lean planning episode, a lot of this stuff comes from iterative thinking. Yeah, you set forth a guess, and frankly, it’s a guess, it’s your best guess.

Jonathan: That’s okay.

Peter: Test it for a month. Test it for two weeks. See how close you were. Iterate. Measure, rinse, repeat. Come back to that measurement over and over again. Make sure that it’s as accurate as it can possibly be, and then refine it from there. That’s really the best way to get your share of market estimate. Then, from then on, you can set it as a business goal. If you want to increase your share of market by 1%, that is a marketing goal and a sales goal that you can set forth as a business owner.

Jonathan: I have a goal for our listeners, or a challenge, as it were. Reach out to us. Email us, bcast@bplans.com, or shout out on Twitter @bplans, and tell us who your target market is. Maybe you’ve gone through the exercise in this episode. Tell us who your target market is, and give us some biographical information about them.

Peter: That’s fun. I would even love to hear if people have personas. Especially if they’ve developed them after listening to us. If you’ve developed a persona for your business, meaning that perfect customer, have you given them a name? What does he do?

I tell you, ours is Garrett, and he owns a bike shop. We can tell you all about him. We’d love to hear it. Maybe that would be a fun article to post on B-plans.

Jonathan: Sure, absolutely.

Peter: All right, we’d love to hear about it.

Jonathan: Okay.

Peter: Jonathan, that was a lot to think about when it comes to target markets and target market analysis. One cool way to really think about those target customers, the target market, is to think about what your competitors are thinking about. How do you even know who your competitors are, what they’re doing, what they’re up to out in the world?

Jonathan: Yeah. You could look at it as another form of secondary research. Find out what your competitors are doing. That might help you figure out a lot of what you should be doing.

Peter: Some people think it’s like doing all the spy work or espionage when you start thinking about your competitors, but really it’s an important way to define how you fit into your market. I’d love to introduce an expert an expert here.

Jonathan: Yeah, that sounds great. We have Eric Siu with us here, who runs the enterprise digital marketing agency SingleGrain, and he’s also the host of Growth Everywhere. It’s a podcast in which he interviews entrepreneurs and gives growth tips.

Peter: Interesting.

Eric, what’s SingleGrain all about?

Eric Siu: SingleGrain is all about people growing their revenues, or helping businesses grow their revenues online using online marketing services. That’s been our bread and butter since we started.

Peter: When you think about competitive analysis, competitive business thinking, you’re thinking in the online area. You’re really thinking about websites, mobile, online. What can these small businesses, anyone, anyone who’s running a main street small business, all the way up to the more high tech businesses, how can they use the internet? How can they use your information and your thinking to get some of that competitive analysis underway?

Eric Siu: If you want to look at what your competitors are doing in terms of content, everyone talks about content marketing, creating a blog, and building the organic traffic that way.

The first thing you can do is you can use Google Alerts, which is free. All you really need to do is…Let’s say, for example, I’m optimizing for the keyword red shoes. If I’m selling the best red shoes in the world, I want to see what everybody else is writing about red shoes. I want an email digest every day from Google Alerts. I will literally will go to Google Alerts, set up my key word, and I get a digest every single day.

If you’re looking to get a little more granular, and get a little more detailed, you can use a tool called BuzzSumo. What BuzzSomo does is it allows you to search for articles that are performing the best in a specific space. If I type in the keyword red shoes, I’m able to go into BuzzSomo and I’m able to see in the last year, the last six months, the last week or so, which article has done the best, how many social shares it’s gotten, who has shared it specifically, what types of links it’s gotten. I can go all in and see exactly what’s going on.

That’s just the first thing.

Do you guys have any questions on that before I move onto the next one?

Peter: No. If you’ve listened to previous podcasts, you’ve talked a lot about content marketing, and how people who really spend a lot of their time doing something are in fact experts in certain niche areas. That’s also a great way to get started in this content marketing area.

Eric Siu: Yeah, absolutely. Just to build off of that, if you’re doing content marketing, you having to naturally be thinking about, “Okay, what type of key words should I be optimizing for?” That’s not to say you should be a robot and write specifically for search engines, but you have to figure out what key words drive volume, and what type of themes you can create around that.

The next tool I really like is called SimilarWeb. What SimilarWeb does is it allows you to see how you’re doing in general. If I go to SimilarWeb, I plug in one of my competitors, I’m able now to see what does the breakdown of traffic look like for them? Is 20% of their traffic organic? Is the rest of it social media and referral traffic? I’m able to see that.

Jonathan: Let’s keep rolling, because I’m going to ask you ask you a question probably after you’ve finished wrapping them all up, just to give me case example, a use case.

Eric Siu: Yeah, absolutely.

I’m going to go through one of my new favorite tools now called Datanyze. Those of you that run any type of sales organization, or do any type of prospecting at all, Datanyze is fantastic. It basically is Google for sales team. It scrapes the entire web.

Let’s say, for example, I’m looking at Amazon, and I use Datanyze. I’m able to see how much this company is generating, how many employees they have, and news around that specific company. You can use this from a competitive standpoint, or you can use this from a sales point, or an outreach standpoint. Datanyze is fanaticism for that.

Another free tool, and that’s Facebook Audience Insights. This allows you to see what type of audiences that you should be bidding on if you’re running any types of Facebook ads at all. Let’s say I type in a competitor, I’m able to see people that like this competitor also like these pages on Facebook as well. I get some insight, it tells me demographic information, age, it tells me what other specific interest that they have. It’s just a lot of loaded information that you typically can’t really get anywhere else, because Facebook has the social graph.

This actually segue ways, I’m trying to focus on free here, because it’s a smaller business. Google Keyword Planner, it’s a great free tool, done in the AdWords interface. Basically, what it will do is it will tell you what types of keywords are relevant to the keyword that you’ve just entered. Or, not only that, you can put in a specific website, and it will tell what Google thinks are the relevant keywords for that specific landing page. There’s a lot of different ways you can play around with it.

They also have something called the Audience Planner, which allows you to see, you can type in nike.com, and you can see, “Okay, based on this, these are the websites that are relevant to advertise on.” It will tell you which sites you can use on their display network, which is for advertising.

I’m not going to bore you with too many details around advertising, but just understand that this is a free tool from Google that gives you a lot of valuable insights as to how you should be planning your advertising, or even your content campaign.

Jonathan: Eric, for those who maybe don’t have technology as their top skill, which of these tools would you recommend to get started with, dip a a toe in the water here of some of this research that you’re talking about? Or, are there any reading materials that we could get started with before jumping all the way in?

Eric Siu: Google Alerts, that’s probably the easiest one you can get started with. You want to be looking at what’s going on in your industry. For myself, every day, if I want to be seeing what’s going on in the digital marketing world without having to dig around on my own, I just type in in quotes, I go to Google Alerts, and then I’ll type in the key words that I’m interested in.

One might be digital marketing. Another one might be enterprise marketing. That way I don’t have to go through all the pain of looking for things. I can just see what trends are popping up. That’s the easiest way to see what’s going on in your world.

The second part of your question, I almost forgot, is what resources you could start with if you’re just starting out as a business owner.

The first blog that I recommend reading is Quicksprout. That’s Q-U-I-C-K-sprout.com. It’s from one of my friends called Neil Patel, who’s a great online marketer, very well known in the space, and makes things very easy to understand and read. He gives away all these free guides on his site. He actually pays about $30,000 per guide. He just gives it away. He’s crazy like that.

I’d also recommend reading inbound.org. It’s a forum where people can up vote and down vote the latest articles around marketing. I’m also going to give myself a shameless plug. You can listen to interviews I do with entrepreneurs on growtheverywhere.com. The fourth one, growthhackers.com. It’s similar to inbound, but it’s a little more geared to technology startup.

I recommend those because you can start on those websites. But you can go way down into the rabbit hole. If people want more, they can go down, but if they want to start with something, there’s always something there to look at.

Jonathan: Eric, that’s great. Thank you so much. Where can we find more of your work if we want to follow up with you?

Eric Siu: It’s www.growtheverywhere.com. You’re going to find all the interviews. There’s long form written posts as well. Everything’s completely free. My agency is www.singlegrain.com, and there’s free resources there as well.

Jonathan: Fantastic. We’ll definitely include links to those in the show notes. Thank you so much for being here with us today.

Peter, for our chat today, I thought maybe we could talk about the national conversation around the minimum wage. Some states have already raised it to a certain level, others are thinking that the country should raise it to a certain level. Let’s chat about it.

Peter: Yeah, sure. It’s a complicated topic, but I’m willing to give it a try.

Jonathan: All right. I think at the basic level, the conversation around the minimum wage has to do with the livable wage and the cost of living as it is in 2015. At the federal level, the minimum wage is 7.25 an hour.

Peter: But is that a living wage, as they say? Is that what people need to live off? As a business owner, does that feel expensive, does that feel cheap?

Jonathan: If I do my math correctly, I think it’s around $15,000. If you’re being paid 7.25 an hour, that’s definitely under the poverty level. Not really a livable wage.

Peter: Right. Those values are calculated using empirical data, and are modified quite frequently over time. This is not an arbitrary assessment.
As an employer, there might be the obvious benefit. This is the kind of point I want to get to. As an employer, whether you have one employee or 4,000 employees, if you’re paying the absolute minimum, there’s obviously the issue of the quality of the work you’re going to get. There’s obviously the issue of their potential happiness, which also relates to their longevity as an employee. Frankly, if you have a slot that can be filled by any human, with minimal training, you might say, “Okay, great. I can pay the absolute minimum.” But are there other repercussions that occur because of that philosophy, because of that mentality?

Jonathan: Yeah, I think so. Something also to take note of, is while there is a federal minimum wage, there is also state minimum wages.

Peter: Well not some, but more than half of all states in the United States, including the district of Columbia, are above the federal minimum wage. There’s some trends towards this. It seems like over the past five years there’s been a lot more ground swell towards this movement of raising the minimum wage. Not just raising it, raising it significantly. Is that right?

Jonathan: Yeah. From the 7.25 to the 15, or like you mentioned 10.10. What do you think about that?

Peter: I’m a small business owner, and I have a work force of let’s say 40 or 100 people, all of whom are making minimum wage. It could be certainly devastating to think that I need to nearly double, if it goes up to 15, nearly double my expenditure to staff. I think that that kind of fear is what’s driving any sort of negative argument. It’s really hard, without that in place, to argue that you want somebody in the United States to make less than it costs to stay alive.

Jonathan: I think that is the emotional heart of the argument. Are we okay with paying somebody less than it costs to live?

Peter: I think there’s a little bit more complexity than that. I think, as a business owner, you maybe want to think of yourself first, which is awesome. I think that’s actually the right thing to do. At a larger level, if you have a set of employees, again, let’s say 100 employees, all of whom are at the minimum wage currently, there are other results that might occur.

Certainly, the health of those employees might suffer. But at a larger level, these employees will be incurring possibly federal aid benefits. In general, they prove to be more expensive, just as people who live in the community. Then those folks also have more exposure to health risks, more exposure to unhappiness and the results of that, difficulty raising the family, all this kind of thing, lower education.

Jonathan: Aside from just talking about it in an objective level and stating facts, let’s land on different sides. 6I think I’m willing to argue, for the sake of devil’s advocate here, of not raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Peter: Okay. What are you going to raise it to then?

Jonathan: I think that it should be a state by state decision.

Peter: Even if it’s not economically feasible or appealing to me, I might want someone to force my hand, even if it’s at a federal or state level, so that I am not the Ebenezer Scrooge of my industry.

Jonathan: Okay. There already is a federal minimum wage. It naturally raises. -I think if you’re going to raise it, at least raise it to the living wage of the state that has the lowest cost of living. Rather than just picking this arbitrary number of $15 an hour, which might be the cost of living in California, which is one of the higher states, pick it for the lower state, and make that your base minimum wage. State by state, they’re already making these decisions. I think it’s perfectly fine for the state to decide, “This is what the cost of living is in our state. This is what our minimum wage is.”

Peter: Okay. But don’t you still run into the issue where something above the current minimum wage is still under the poverty level, still under a living wage? You haven’t solved the problem at all, you’ve just moved the minimum to a point that is still unsustainable.

Jonathan: It’s possible, but I don’t think the federal government should be deciding what it should be across the board, because the cost of living is different state by state.

Peter: Okay. If the federal government came in and said, “Each state can have a moving target within your state, and then you can decide.”

Jonathan: Yeah. I think it’s totally fine for the federal government to say, mandating, “You have to, as a state, make sure that it’s the living wage for your state.” Not everybody is Silicon Valley in California making millions of dollars.

Peter: You don’t think there’s a risk associated with the Democrat/Republican nature of each of those states?

Jonathan: Wouldn’t there be the ability to have some level of oversight and say, “Our federal government has already assessed the cost of living in your state. It’s at this level, so you at least need to be at this level?”

Peter: Then it feels like you’re back to the idea of the fed setting the minimum wage. If we were to set it at a reasonable place, there is no valid research that shows that that would actually harm the profitability of businesses across the United States.

Jonathan: Small businesses are not going to go out of business. It’s not going to be this massive doom and gloom. But there are going to be impacts.
Small businesses who are selling products that are non commodities, and if the price goes up because the labor cost went up, you might find that those things are bought less.

Peter: I think there’s a larger net effect though, that’s a larger suffering of America potential here, if we try to drive people to the bottom of the range. If people cannot afford basic necessities on a grand scale, we end up having to subsidize them at a larger level. We end up having to subsidize, potentially, their education, or transport to education. What we develop is an unskilled labor force into our own future. It’s basically a debt that we’re incurring as a nation.

Jonathan: There’s other issues affecting this. I think by just deciding to raise the minimum wage, I think it actually ends up being a band aid solution. You’re covering over in the short term what looks to be the problem.

Peter: Since we’re taking opposite stances here, we are talking about a band aid solution. We are talking about a band aid that needs to be stretched across a wound that has been growing for the last 30, potentially 40, years.

What that means at a rational level, and again at the small business owner level, is that your employees are giving you more value, and you are technically making more money per employee, and paying less for it in cash.

We know that the expense of these employees is incurred elsewhere. If that isn’t incurred elsewhere, whether it’s at a federal level, supporting with food stamps, supporting with other sorts of aid, it is certainly at a national level with our nation’s future. The lack of skill that these workers have, or the lack of motivation that they have.

The other dubious argument we always here is, “Well, why don’t you move somewhere else if things aren’t good enough for there? Why don’t you learn a new skill?” The fact is, in the current American workforce, there isn’t the ability. Mobility is now hindered because of the lack of unskilled jobs that we have available in different regions.

It’s interesting to think of these revitalization programs. A lot of times you’ll see these artisanal ice cream shops open up, where once a 1,600 workforce ice cream shop once existed. But the fact is, these new places tend to cater to more of a boutique crowd.

The net here is you’ve got people who are living under their living wage. You’ve got companies who are either not willing to change, or who feel hamstrung in their ability to change. Then this persistent decline in the capabilities of our American workforce.

Jonathan: I’ve got to ask though. If you are suggesting that raising the minimum wage is going to solve this, how is raising the minimum wage going to solve the problem of education level and skill level for employees?

Peter: That actually has been researched quite well. Families that have better access to food, and aren’t struggling to keep the lights on, will generally have more ability to succeed in education, and feel like there are options. The net result there are people who have an incoming workforce that has the attitude that there are more options for them. That they should pursue higher education, not necessarily because it’s a vehicle for job placement, but because it accelerates their ability to learn more in a certain field, which then might help them innovate in that field. That is what has driven the country at large, and certainly, the greatest research that we’ve ever done. Hamstringing our future is necessarily a type of debt.

Jonathan: I think raising the minimum raise is going to effectively…especially if we’re talking about effectively doubling the minimum wage…That’s going to force people to hire fewer people than they would originally be able to hire.

Peter: At the smaller business level, there’s a lot that says, yes, if you have exactly such tight margins, that a $7 or $8 difference actually makes the difference between one and two employees, yes absolutely. But again, that’s just the cost of doing business. You could say the same for any level of pay and still make the same argument.

We need to keep up with our own progress. All we’re doing right now is making up for the lost ground that we have because of the fact that we’ve grown as a nation, we’ve grown as a population, and we haven’t kept up this minimum wage concept throughout that time.

Since the mid-’70s is where I feel there’s a slowing down of the increase in minimum wage, relative to our overall economy, and our overall productivity as a nation.

Jonathan: What I will say is, regardless of what the federal minimum wage is now, or next year, or in five years, there’s something for small businesses to consider, and that is this. The wages that you are paying your employees currently is an opportunity for you to have a competitive advantage over other businesses in the area. By choosing to pay more than the minimum wage, you’re effectively giving yourself the opportunity to get a higher skilled worker, or more productive worker. Somebody that’s going to be happy that you’re paying them that amount.

Peter: Go ahead and think about the people who you’re employing as part of the community, part of the community that you live in. Think about what you would want to have as your neighbor, as your down the street neighbor, or whatever that is. The point being that these people are either going to have the living wage provided by you, or they’re going to stay alive on some sort of other subsidy. You are still paying that by your taxes, or by costs that could be going elsewhere. We’re all paying for it at some level anyway. Really, why don’t we just pay for it in the way that is most direct?

Jonathan: Are you treating your employees with the level of respect that allows them to have a livable wage?

What about you, listener. If you have an opinion on the minimum wage hike, we’d like you to tell us about it. You can email us at bcast@bplans.com, or if you’d like, you can give us a shout out on Twitter, we are @bplans, and you can use the hashtag #Bcast.

Peter: Yeah, if you’re a small business owner yourself, or have an opinion on how these changes might affect small businesses out there across America, let us know. We’d love to hear your opinion. We’d love to include it maybe in the discussion. If we missed anything today, drop us a line, we’d love to hear from you.

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AvatarJonathan Michael

Jonathan is the Engagement Marketing Manager for Palo Alto Software, and has spent the last 9 years developing and implementing digital marketing strategies. During that time, he has learned that empathy and authenticity are strengths by which companies can effectively engage with individuals at every point throughout the customer journey.