Tips for Starting A Profitable Business With Melinda Emerson

Show Summary

Melinda Emerson, America’s #1 Small Business Expert  joins Episode 16 of the Profit First Podcast. Melinda talks about what it takes to start a business, and how to successfully keep it going.


Our Guest

Emerson headshot_picmonkeyed

Melinda F. Emerson, known as SmallBizLady, is America’s #1 Small Business Expert. Forbes magazine named her the #1 woman for entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter. She has been a thriving entrepreneur for nearly 15 years and is an internationally known keynote speaker. Melinda’s online small business advice is widely read, reaching more than 3 million entrepreneurs each week. A pioneer in social media marketing, she is the creator and host of #Smallbizchat, the longest running live chat on Twitter for small business owners. In addition to being a regular columnist for the New York Times, she is frequently quoted by other media organizations, including The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, MSNBC and Fox News. She is the publisher of her resource blog,, which is syndicated by the Huffington Post. She is also a regular contributor to Essence magazine and the lead instructor for the Black Enterprise Small Business University.


Show Quotes

First thing you want to think about when starting a business is what you want, and why you want it. It’s really about your life plan first, and then building a business that aligns with it. You DON’T want to trade a soul sapping job for a business that becomes a noose around your neck.

Go work for a business similar to one you want to start so you can gain a sense of understanding for how the business works.

The average business takes about $25,000.00 to start. To start a new business you have to have a life plan, financial plan, honest skills assessment, marketing plan (know who your paying customer is), and you should launch while working. 

It takes 12-18 months for a small business to break even, let alone replace your corporate salary, so it helps to keep those paychecks rolling as long as you can.

People let their fear of math be the reason why they don’t know what’s going on financially in their business – there is no excuse for that. By the 15th of the month you better know how well your business did last month so that you can make adjustments; successful businesses are run based on up-to-date financial information.

30% of your first investors are going to be people you know. If people that know you are not going to invest in you, chances are strangers will not invest in you either.

The more of a specialist you become the more money you can charge. What is it you can do to become the “Cardiologist” of your industry, as opposed to the general physician?

The riches are in the niches (bitches)

Tip of the day: Get into a rhythm with paying your bills. Let your money accumulate for a period of time, and then pay your bills; then let it accumulate again (every two weeks is recommended).


Show Links

Twitter @SmallBizLady

Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months: A Month-by-Month Guide to a Business That Works can be purchased from and on


Show Sponsors

Nextiva – VOIP phone providers for small businesses.

Fundera – Single source online funding for entrepreneurs. Also offers an adviser program for CPAs, bookkeepers and business coaches.

TSheets – The #1 customer rated time tracking solution!


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