April 2016

All posts from April 2016

[INTERVIEW]: Owner of Juice Company Shares His Success

by Stacey Riska on April 28, 2016 No comments

Do you love hearing how other small business owners from brick and mortar locations are getting new customers in the door?

Would you like to learn how one juice bar owner in a brick and mortar location is making big bucks in his juicing business?

Below is the transcript of an interview with Matt Shook, owner of Juice Land.

Speaker 1: Walk me through first what year did you found Juice Land and why did you create it?

Matt: 2011 Juice Land was founded, but I started a juice company in 2003, so I’ve been making juice since 2001, so 15 years in the business, three different names, Juice Land is the latest and last incarnation of my creative ability.

Speaker 1: You’re a bit unique. You’re dealing with real estate, you’re dealing with ingredients, you’re dealing with costs. Break down the economics on that.

Matt: Well the 4th Street location’s been open for about a month and today it’s set a record for company sales, demolished the previous record. We used to do like 520 tickets in a day, that would be super busy at one of our shops and today we did around 800 already.

Speaker 1: Is it ticket to individual drinks?

Matt: Tickets like one person with their friend maybe, so it’s like maybe three drinks or four drinks, but just say like 2,000 drinks served today.

Speaker 1: Wow, just today.

Matt: Just today, just at this point in the day.

Speaker 1: In this one location?

Matt: In this one location, so yeah, it’s kind of a milestone for me. Let’s check my, I don’t have MapMyFitness but I have MapMySales.

Speaker 1: You have the updated sales dashboard right here.

Matt: Yeah.

Speaker 1: Can we read these out loud?

Matt: Yeah, we can, well yeah. So Frost Tower, $7,000 in sales today.

Speaker 1: Okay, so Frost Tower was $7,000.

Matt: Then the next best store is $3,800.

Speaker 1: Help us understand total size. In 2015. How many total employees?

Matt: We had 275 employees, 14 locations in Austin, one in Houston, one in Brooklyn.

Speaker 1: Okay, and total revenue 2015.

Matt: 2015, I think we did something like around, I don’t know, maybe $10 million in sales between all 14 stores, 15 stores.

Speaker 1: Okay, and we start looking at margin and just the hard cost of the actual juice, what was gross margin on that?

Matt: Oh, the gross margin is really, really low, that’s why nobody else is doing what I’m doing, really. I mean, you don’t really see people with organic vegetables, you know what I’m saying?

Speaker 1: The costs are super high.

Matt: Oh, the costs are incredibly high compared to other restaurants. Everybody pays for enchiladas and it’s like flour tortillas, rice, and beans, and it’s $8, right? I’m importing $3 a pound organic cucumbers. There’s a reason that prices are so high for that stuff so yeah, the margins are really low. If you can do 5% for a whole company wide.

Speaker 1: Gross or net?

Matt: Net, yeah. The average drink, actually the average ticket is exactly $10.

Speaker 1: Okay, so on a $10 drink ticket sale, what’s just the total cost to make it?

Matt: The cost of goods is about 40%.

Speaker 1: 40%.

Matt: It’s nuts, it scares a lot of people off of the industry, and I like that, you know what I mean?

Speaker 1: Well that’s good, keeps them away.

Matt: The only way that we can do it is volume. We just have so many people coming by, but we make a small amount.

Speaker 1: 10 bucks, minus the 4 of the cost of goods sold, you got 6 left over. What goes to the bottom line, then, about 40 cents?

Matt: Yeah, I mean, you got your labor and your rent and then you got the consultants and the marketing and the next thing I know, I’m just happy to go on vacation a couple times a year.

Speaker 1: When was the last time you went to vacation?

Matt: The last time I went on vacation, I took my wife to New York last week for our 20th anniversary.

Speaker 1: Congratulations, that’s exciting.

Matt: Yeah, 20 years, we left the kids at home, we went to the Broadway play and a jazz club and that whole thing.

Speaker 1: Very cool, very cool.

Matt: Yeah, but the last real vacation we went on, we took the nonstop flight from Austin to Cabo San Lucas with the kids and it was great. It’s like find me a nonstop with the kids and I’m on it.

Speaker 1: Totally you get your economics. Walk us through that Frost Bank location. To get that location, what is the, I mean, do you have to sign a 10-year rent on that?

Matt: You sign a five-year lease with a five-year option. Most industry standards is that, five years.

Speaker 1: What does that cost per month?

Matt: It’s almost like $5,000 or $6,000, it’s really expensive for us.

Speaker 1: How many square foot?

Matt: It’s about 1,400 square foot, so that’s like $40 a square foot, whereas a Jamba Juice in Manhattan I looked at was $375 a square foot.

Speaker 1: Jeez.

Matt: $60,000 a month rent in Manhattan.

Speaker 1: You strike me, Matt, as a competitive guy. How are you going to kick the hell out of Jamba Juice?

Matt: Okay, well Jamba Juice is like, it’s like the Taco Bell to the Mexican food, you know what I mean? You got brands that excel and I think we’ve already proven to the industry that we’re that top shelf tier. You got your Shake Shacks and your McDonald’s, you got your Jamba Juices and your Juice Lands, you know what I’m saying?

Speaker 1: Yep.

Matt: Okay.

Speaker 1: Have you raised any capital or is it all bootstrapped?

Matt: I’ve never raised any capital from an outside source, it’s all bootstrapped.

Speaker 1: Did you put a bunch of your own money in?

Matt: I didn’t have a bunch of my own money, no.

Speaker 1: How much did you put in when you first started?

Matt: My first shop I opened for $15,000 with a friend of mine. Our moms gave us money.

Speaker 1: Very cool, so what’s coming up in 2016.

Matt: 2016 we’re going to, let’s see here, we’re going to open a store in North Austin and another store in North Austin, and maybe another store in North Austin, because North Austin is now like Central Austin.

Speaker 1: Are you looking at metrics like density of foot traffic or anything? What is that metric to decide to open a store?

Matt: I’ll be honest with you, every shop I’ve ever opened has been a thumb in the air stand around for 20 minutes and see if there’s anybody around.

Speaker 1: You just watch.

Matt: Yeah, it’s like you just kind of know. I’ve never looked at demographics once.

Speaker 1: Okay, great. You think you’ll be at about maybe 20 stores, 24 stores by the end of the year.

Matt: No, no, no, no, no. I would hope to be at 20 by the end of the year.

Speaker 1: 20.

Matt: Yeah.

Speaker 1: Is there a franchise model in your future?

Matt: There’s no franchise model.


Speaker 1: How do you juice that up?

Matt: How do I juice it up?

Speaker 1: Was that bad?

Matt: No, no, no. The way you do it is you increase your volume through quality. You want more people that come through the door so the better you can serve them and the better the product can be and the consistency of the product, more and more people will find out, and so that’s all we do is we just hope that someone says, “Damn, that was way better than the other place.” Then more people show up.

Speaker 1: I got to tell you, folks. I researched the heck out of folks before they come on the show, I’ve drank the juice, it’s extremely, extremely good. He’s drinking it now, his muscles are getting built as he drinks it. What the hell is in this stuff? It’s so good.

Matt: It’s just called raw nutrients.

Speaker 1: Raw nutrients.

Matt: Raw nutrients.


Speaker 1: It’s time for the Famous Five. Are you ready?

Matt: I’m ready.


Speaker 1: Number one, Matt, what’s your favorite business book?

Matt: My favorite business book? A book about business? Shit.

Speaker 1: Or other books, I don’t know what books you’re reading. What other books?

Matt: Well I’ll tell you my favorite book of all time is Prometheus Rising by Robert Anton Wilson, one of the major currents is that belief is the depth of thought. Having an open mind has always led me to be able to do business more effectively, I think, because I’m always looking for a different angle as opposed to that’s the way it is.

Speaker 1: It has to be that way.

Matt: Yeah, yeah, so I love Prometheus Rising.

Speaker 1: Number two, is there a CEO that you’re following or studying right now?

Matt: Okay, so the CEO that I love and admire the most, oh, it’s a tie between Tim League at the Alamo Drafthouse and Tito Beveridge at Tito’s. Those two guys I admire the most, I think.

Speaker 1: All right, number three, is there a favorite online tool you have like Evernote?

Matt: No. I don’t really have that, nope. I think Gmail is amazing.

Speaker 1: What is it, Juma?

Matt: Gmail.

Speaker 1: Oh, G. What’s Gmail.

Matt: Gmail, you can search for something that you said to someone five years ago and it pops up.

Speaker 1: Sorry, folks. Google paid a lot of money for that placement, let me tell you, so we had to sneak it in.

Matt: I’m just saying, I’m not a tech person but that shit is really amazing, yeah, I love Gmail.

Speaker 1: Number four. Yes or no, you have two kids, you said?

Matt: I have three kids.

Speaker 1: Three kids, you’re married, yes or no, do you get eight hours of sleep every night?

Matt: I go to bed about 9:30 and get up about 6:00, so yeah, eight and a half.

Speaker 1: Close, all right. Fair enough.

Matt: Yeah.

Speaker 1: Last, question, how old are you now?

Matt: I’m 38.

Speaker 1: Take us back 28 years, sorry. Hold on. 18 years.

Matt: 18 years.

Speaker 1: What do you wish your 20-year-old self knew?

Matt: I think what I wish my 20-year-old self knew. Don’t be so afraid of other people and what they think ever. Really just don’t, just don’t get too caught up in caring too much about what other people think.


Stacey Riska[INTERVIEW]: Owner of Juice Company Shares His Success

[FACEBOOK GROUP DISCUSSION]: Looking for feedback on Groupon

by Stacey Riska on April 19, 2016 No comments

I’m part of many different Facebook groups. Just the other day, someone posted a question about Groupon.

Below is the thread so you can see the original question and the comments people posted. (note: names are removed to protect privacy – only initials are provided)



That was the title of an email I got the other day. My first knee jerk reaction was “Not really”, then “Yeah, just the cheapskates”.

I’ve taken advantage of a few Groupon deals. When I asked the merchants how Groupon was for them they all said something like ” It gets a lot of people coming in the door, I don’t make any money from it, it actually costs me money, but I hope they will become regular customers”.

One guy even said he was not doing it again because everyone that came was so cheap and just wanted a deal. ( I wonder why )

Perhaps Groupon and the many services like it do get customers in the door for some, but I am not a big fan of the idea. I would much rather employ Dan Kennedy type marketing and weed out those that shop on price only.



(N.H.) I used Groupon a couple of years ago with a cosmetic surgeon client. We did a Botox special. You MUST have your staff scripted for the upsell. It actually worked ok. Did not do it long term.

(T.S.) My wife does it and it works, guess it depends on what you’re selling and if you have a back end

(G.B.) N.H. hit the nail on the head. You can use Groupon to crush it, but the conversation goes from being “the cheapest or best deal” to the “best service/experience”

Heck even your Groupon ad could (dare I say “should”) be about that.

That’s what Dan’s marketing is really about:

“Give them another reason besides PRICE to buy from you.”

I use Groupon and I only price shop when there’s no other info to buy on. And I buy a lot of high-end goods.

So… Groupon can be an amazing tool if you use it right. It’s not an “either/or” situation.

If your groupon ad is all about price and saving money, then you’re going to get price shoppers.

If your groupon ad is about experience, being the best, giving the best, etc. You’ll get people who want to try out the luxury for a discount and you can show them why they should invest in luxury all the time AND pay full price.

(T.S.) If you use groupon as a top of the funnel lead generator, it’s no different than a free plus shipping offer. Your goal should be to generate leads from it, not convince them to buy something full price from a single ad. At least that’s our experience

(“Small Business Stacey”) I’m uber-passionate about using daily deal sites like Groupon. It was the key strategy that took my struggling coffee & smoothie business from $500K in debt to a 7-figure profitable business. I too had those same initial concerns because there was so much negativity about it, but I figured out how to do it RIGHT (unfortunately most small businesses do it WRONG – like the typical “Buy $20 for $10 deal”). I now teach others how they can use daily deal marketing to skyrocket their business growth and get massive profits. (self plug coming…..) You can take a free quiz which will tell you if it will work or not in your business http://bit.ly/1oFShqS or you can learn more about the program here http://bit.ly/1Wfmrz2

(S.A.) Never say never. My opinon of Groupon and others was not good, but I can learn.

(S.S.) Never blame any medium or WAY of marketing – they all can be made to work. In the case of Groupon, those who don’t have a system for upsells/cross-sells/repeat sales/etc. will often claim, “Groupon doesn’t work.” (*Those people will claim that a lot of advertising and marketing WAYS don’t work, of course.)

(T.S.) Agreed S.S. It’s amazing how many “business owners” don’t understand customer acquisition. Groupon is short for group coupons. Coupons are loss leaders that bring in customers. Dan Kennedy preaches that he who can pay the most for a customer wins

(S.SE) as was mentioned above, Groupon can work if done correctly. I managed to use it and still average full price. The other key is to have an exit strategy to get off the cocaine and stay sober. If you become addicted to it without an exit strategy, you’ll be shoving that needle into your veins until your business self implodes. Get in, get the customers, make them yours not Groupons, and then get out.


Anything else you’d add on the topic? Share your comments below.



About Stacey Riska

Stacey Riska, aka "Small Business Stacey" is a serial entrepreneur who is passionate about helping small and local business owners get MORE: MORE leads, MORE customers/clients, MORE sales, and MORE money. She transformed her coffee and smoothie business from being $500K in debt to a 7-figure profitable business by using daily deal marketing. Now she teaches others how to skyrocket their business growth and get massive profits. When not saving the small business world, she enjoys sipping red wine, eating chocolate (who doesn't!) and spending time with her amazing husband.



Stacey Riska[FACEBOOK GROUP DISCUSSION]: Looking for feedback on Groupon

May Marketing Ideas To Blossom Your Business Growth (and make Mom happy)

by Stacey Riska on April 19, 2016 No comments

Do you know what the most popular day of the year to dine out is?

You better – or your mother will not be happy! That’s because Mother’s Day is the most popular day of the year to dine out.

You’re not a restaurant? It doesn’t matter! Your small business should be tapping into the power of holidays. Mother’s Day is just one. Savvy business owners and operators know that there are many special days in May that can be used with promotional activities.

There are a lot of holidays in May you can use to honor special people and get them to come into your store and/or do business with you. It doesn’t matter whether you run a daily deal on a site like Groupon or not. You can take advantage of these holidays in your marketing to either bring new customers in or to get them to return.

Marketing Done Ad

There’s the International Day of Families, Brothers and Sisters Day, Visit Your Relatives Day, International Firefighters Day, International Nurses Day, School Principal’s Day, National School Nurse Day, National Receptionists Day, and National Waiters and Waitresses Day.  And don’t forget Military Spouse Appreciation Day and Memorial Day.  May is also Military Appreciation Month.

Everyone loves food, right? Well you don’t have to be a restaurant to tie into a food theme. But you could use one of these May food holidays to your marketing advantage. Did you know May is National Asparagus Month, National Barbecue Month, National Chocolate Custard Month, National Egg Month, National Hamburger Month, National Salad Month, National Salsa Month and National Strawberry Month. There’s also special food days devoted to Apple Pie, Blueberry Cheesecake, Brisket, Buttermilk Biscuits, Cheese Souffle, Cherry Cobbler, Chocolate Chips, Chocolate Custard, Chocolate Parfait, Coconut Cream Pie, Devil’s Food Cake, Escargot, Hamburgers, Nutty Fudge, Orange Juice, Pizza, Quiche Lorraine, Roast Leg of Lamb, Salad, Shrimp, Truffles, Vanilla Pudding and Walnuts.  There are also days set aside for Mint Juleps, Moscato and beverages in general. How could you use these holidays to tie into a marketing promotion either to get new customers to visit and/or get customers to return again?

Need help generating your marketing campaigns? Get a FREE ready-to-implement marketing campaign emailed directly to you. Take it, implement, marketing done! It’s like getting marketing handed to you on a silver platter!


About Stacey Riska

Stacey Riska, aka "Small Business Stacey" is a serial entrepreneur who is passionate about helping small and local business owners get MORE: MORE leads, MORE customers/clients, MORE sales, and MORE money. She transformed her coffee and smoothie business from being $500K in debt to a 7-figure profitable business by using daily deal marketing. Now she teaches others how to skyrocket their business growth and get massive profits. When not saving the small business world, she enjoys sipping red wine, eating chocolate (who doesn't!) and spending time with her amazing husband.



Stacey RiskaMay Marketing Ideas To Blossom Your Business Growth (and make Mom happy)