Biz Chat Ohio | The inspiration and knowledge hub for Ohio's small businesses and entrepreneurs

Biz Chat

Welcome to Biz Chat Ohio, the podcast bringing you big ideas for small businesses and entrepreneurs. The best of small business news and industry trends from Ohio’s thought leaders.

Mission Statement: To serve small businesses and start ups in the state of Ohio with resources and education that help companies evolve.

All Episodes

Special guest, Tom Lix is the quintessential serial entrepreneur and Cleveland Whiskey’s founder and CEO. Cleveland Whiskey is a profitable and growing whiskey start-up with distribution in 16 States and well over 100 medals and awards from spirits competitions around the world. Tom will discuss: Common marketing mistakes made early on, and how he adjusted course. Recommendations for business owners to determine their marketing budget and where should those dollars should be allocated. Is “watching what your competition is doing” helpful or hurtful as a business owner? Metrics. How much should a business owner get hung up on the campaign data and what is a good starting point? How has COVID affected Cleveland Whiskey> Did you have to pivot your business as many others have? Tom has worked in on-line media (sold one company to National Public Radio), software technology and applications and consulted for leading food, beverage, hospitality, and entertainment companies including Guinness PLC, Proctor & Gamble, H. J. Heinz Company, PepsiCo, The Clorox Company, Burger King and Harrah's Entertainment. In addition, Lix has consulted to leading media companies and brands such as HBO®, Time magazine, and MTV Networks; travel and transportation companies including American Airlines, Amtrak, and Northwest Airlines (now Delta); as well as service delivery and technology innovators that included American Express, FedEx® and Visa.

Sep 20

26 min 38 sec

Our guest, Anna Tyrrell of Anna Tyrrell & Associates, ltd., and Common Ground: Conflict Resolution Services, ltd., is here to talk to answer these questions and help us rekindle our passion for our businesses: Is there a "honeymoon phase" for a business owner? Some areas of business ownership become dreadful at times, causing the owner to question their decision. What's a SB owner to do? Should a small business owner hire someone to do or manage the tasks that cause them angst, or will adding wage expense give them even more anxiety? How can one determine if they're truly burned out, and what can they do about it? How do you handle a partnership that's developed friction from disagreements?

Sep 6

31 min 26 sec

Our guest, Justin Kalvitz, President of Spatula Consulting LLC. Justin has 30 years of experience guiding clients to achieve their goals. He finds opportunities to improve and align these companies around an impactful vision and then works with them to create a plan for growth. He focuses on 4 main areas: * Growth Planning * Product Development * Strategy/Vision/Business Planning * Amazon, Digital, Retail strategies. In this 30 minute discussion Justin shares: Why is the owner not always the best one to lead growth and marketing strategies, ie. grow the team? How does looking at the goals from competitors or prospective buyers' perspectives helps advance a small business? If a business has a sales/marketing person on board, how can a consultant or advisor fill in the gaps? How does a company stall their own growth by doing too much at the same time and how do you find clarity? Justin discusses "The Plan” – "must-haves" that really make a difference Justin gained his experience at a variety of different brands and business including Sherwin Williams, Krylon, Newell Rubbermaid, Zenith Products, Bemis Corporation, Mactac, and Boogie Board. He's worked in historic brands managing hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue and built businesses and divisions from the ground up. As a general manager leading businesses, he focuses on sales and marketing but most importantly the P&L. Justin has worked in CPG, Retail and Commercial Manufacturing and B2B businesses and has done business in over 50 countries.

Aug 23

28 min 18 sec

Today many small businesses can't find employees. In fact, some have to turn down work reduce hours because they simply don't have that human capital. Small businesses are trying to come back from COVID. They're trying to build back capacity, and they're not able to do it. Another challenge is that small businesses are often competing with larger businesses that often provide more benefits. Planning is more important than ever when it comes to managing the human resources in your business. Biz Chat Ohio is joined by Crista Bartolomucci, manager, talent acquisition and development for iDesign. Crista discusses the importance of being proactive versus reactive in your business, and also using creative solutions to attract and retain talent post-COVID. Crista spent 10 years in the hospitality industry before transitioning to HR with Apple Growth Partners, a regional CPA firm. At Apple Growth Crista concentrated on building an entry-level talent pipeline, campus recruitment strategies, and career pathing. In 2017, Crista received the Greater Akron Chamber 30 for the Future Award and graduated the Leadership Akron Women's Network Community Leadership Institute. Additionally, she served on the University of Akron Institute for Leadership Advancement advisory board and was a member of the Torchbearers board of directors.

Aug 9

27 min

Summary: Biz Chat is joined by Miguel Gomez, senior managing director for the Americas at Transom Group. Miguel holds an MBA, and is a bilingual executive with 20 plus years of international experience with Fortune 500 companies in manufacturing, consumer goods and consulting industries. Miguel provides vision, leadership and management to these teams to drive profitability, growth, visibility and process effectiveness through the architecture design and implementation of technology-based solutions and best practices. Miguel is a visionary entrepreneur and change agent with a successful track record of building high-performance organizations in multinational environments, creating cultures of continuous improvement, partnership and customer focus, bringing value and positively impacting enterprise performance and customer satisfaction.

Jul 26

23 min 19 sec

Stress, and more so, stress at the workplace, has certainly been compounded over the past 15 months with Covid – a lot of people were and many still are feeling foggy. There have been a variety of workplace adjustments and while it may seem like we’ve “adjusted,” the reality is, it brought on another layer of stress. Our guest today, Anna Tyrrell of Anna Tyrrell & Associates, ltd., and Common Ground: Conflict Resolution Services, ltd., is here to talk to us about workplace stress. She'll provide self-help tips and simple strategies that you can do today to recognize stress and reduce its negative effect on your health, your family, and your work.

Jul 12

28 min 39 sec

Summary: Small business legal advice with Ric Selby of Dworken & Bernstein. Ric heads up the commercial litigation department and has extensive trial experience in state and federal court. In addition to his litigation experience, Ric regularly consults with clients on employment related issues and is called in to assist at trial with the class action department when those matters go to trial. He has been recognized as a Super Lawyer Rising Star, and was selected to be included in the 2019 edition of Best Lawyers in America. He is also a contributing editor to Attorney at Law magazine, featuring articles on employment law. Rick joined Dworken & Bernstein in 2000. Became a partner in 2011, and this year became managing partner.

Jun 28

34 min 52 sec

Guest, Allen Weaver, advisor to the Small Business Development Center, specializes in access to capital and loan packaging. Allen has helped countless businesses in northeast Ohio obtain financing both with his work for the SBDC, and as a commercial lender. Allen provides insight into how the loan process works and how your business can tap into those resources more easily. Important Links: Allen Weaver: Small Business Association: Registration for counseling: Register ( Small Business Development Center at Lakeland Community College: America's SBDC: Cathy Walsh:

Jun 14

20 min 57 sec

Frank Suponcic of Markum's valuation, forensic and litigation services group, concentrates on fraud and embezzlement. Frank has investigated and managed multi-million dollar forensic engagements. He helps businesses investigate payroll, cash receipts, billing, cash disbursements and expense reimbursement schemes. He regularly assist clients in evaluating their internal controls to help minimize their likelihood of becoming a victim of a financial crime. And Mr Suponcic  has written several articles on fraud, forensic accounting and identity theft, and is a frequent speaker throughout Ohio on these subjects.

May 31

40 min 9 sec

Guest, Amanda Todorovich, Senior Director of Content at the Cleveland Clinic, has grown the Cleveland Clinic’s digital marketing team from three people and soon to be 80 people. She’s an award winning marketing expert passionate about building audiences by creating amazing content that is useful, helpful, and relevant to customers. Full transcript:

May 17

28 min 33 sec

Listen, as Neil Singh, Director of business development and technology at TeamNeo. Neil talks to us about how TeamNEO helps small and mid-sized businesses in NE Ohio grow and what it takes to qualify for their assistance. Neil shares several business owners/managers can qualify for TeamNEO assistance. Discover the innovations, business tools, and business resource that are available as your business or organization continues to evolve.

Apr 26

34 min 30 sec