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Whether you’re looking for business growth inspiration, community perspectives or practical advice, here are the best podcasts for small business owners.
According to research by Bredin Inc., around 2 out of 5 small to midsize business owners listen to podcasts, with listenership increasing alongside business size.
For many entrepreneurs, podcasts are not just a convenient way to consume information. They are also valuable sources of inspiration and learning when it comes to running a business. If you’re looking for thought leadership, financial advice or best practices for business owners and suppliers — but struggle to make time to investigate these topics — podcasts are a no-brainer. They might even influence how you approach your business and inform what strategies you use to reach your goals.
The growth of podcasting means that you can often find expert guidance and support for highly specific topics or from underrepresented communities such as women- and minority-owned businesses. With the variety of entrepreneurial podcasts now available, the hard part is deciding which ones to listen to. Here are some of the best podcasts for small business owners if you’re in the market for new insights, encouragement or tips.
Since 2016, “How I Built This” has been interviewing the entrepreneurs behind some of the world’s most recognizable brands, from Airbnb to Spanx. Hosted by the award-winning podcaster Guy Raz, the show explores key moments along each entrepreneur’s journey to success, usually highlighting some of their darkest moments. You’ll probably enjoy “How I Built This” if you have big growth goals of your own. It may be particularly appealing if you’re seeking motivation to overcome the challenges of starting and scaling your business.
Described as a docuseries about entrepreneurial life, Gimlet Media’s “StartUp” is a popular podcast that aired between 2014 and 2019. Hosted by Alex Blumberg and Lisa Chow, “StartUp” chronicles real-life stories behind starting a business. The show may be inspiring if you’re in the process of starting a business yourself. It’s also ideal if you’re looking for deep dives on an entrepreneur’s early-stage venture because some of the seasons focus entirely on one business. “StartUp” won the Gerald Loeb Award as well as a Gracie Award and was adapted into “Alex, Inc.,” an ABC sitcom starring Zach Braff.
If you’re a business owner and like TED Talks, the “TED Business” podcast is for you. “TED Business” is hosted by Modupe Akinola, an award-winning researcher and professor at Columbia Business School and an expert on workforce diversity. Each week, Akinola introduces a TED Talk and then discusses the presenter’s ideas. You’ll most likely enjoy “TED Business” if you’re interested in social issues and personal growth in the context of entrepreneurship — especially if you want to find actionable ways to apply big ideas to your everyday life.
Kai Ryssdal breaks down emerging financial issues on the daily “Marketplace” podcast. “Marketplace” makes economic news digestible for those without a finance background, focusing on context more than hard numbers. While this podcast isn’t geared toward business owners and entrepreneurs per se, it’s an easy, accessible way to stay on top of key financial and economic trends that may impact your business finances.
“Planet Money” is another economic news podcast but with a different spin than “Marketplace.” Rather than focusing on daily financial news, “Planet Money” explores the global economy through special interest topics that aren’t directly related to anything financial — such as natural disasters or artificial intelligence. While “Planet Money” is a useful source for current economic insights, it offers a more lighthearted approach than your typical news podcast.
“The CEO School Podcast” was created by Suneera Madhani, a female minority entrepreneur who built a billion-dollar business. The podcast lives alongside the CEO School accelerator program, networking resources and education, all with the core goal of changing income disparities for female entrepreneurs. “The CEO School Podcast” covers Madhani’s story and shares perspectives from other female entrepreneurs. This podcast provides valuable advice and inspiration if you’re a female business owner trying to grow your business and navigate gender inequality.
The Women in Retail organization supports women entrepreneurs in retail by hosting in-person events, peer advisory groups and career development initiatives. The organization offers an extension of these supports through the “Women in Retail Talks” podcast, which interviews successful entrepreneurs in the retail industry. The show has been running since 2015 with a focus on leadership, executive professional development and business strategy. If you’re a woman running a retail business, “Women in Retail Talks” is a convenient way to access the counsel and camaraderie that you might find at a retail summit or conference.
“Black Tech Green Money” features stories from successful Black entrepreneurs and offers financial advice from a Black perspective. The podcast is hosted by Will Lucas, a serial entrepreneur and brand manager for AfroTech, the largest digital tech platform and global conference for Black people. “Black Tech Green Money” is for you if you’re a Black entrepreneur looking for guidance on building wealth, and it may be particularly helpful if you operate in a tech, media, investment, or marketing and sales space.
“iDigress,” which launched in mid-2020, is a crash course in scaling a business sustainably. The episodes cover a variety of topics relevant to small to midsize businesses, from sales enablement to marketing and content strategies. The podcast’s under-30-minute episode format makes it ideal for busy entrepreneurs who want quick, digestible and actionable advice on business strategy and growth.
“The How of Business” podcast offers straightforward, practical advice on starting, operating and growing a business. The weekly show features interviews with entrepreneurs and business professionals. The show’s host, Henry Lopez, started the podcast in 2016, so there’s an extensive catalog of episodes that are likely to cover key topics and challenges that are relevant to your business. It’s a helpful resource if you’re looking for information on specialized topics — for example, how to use YouTube ads for business growth, how to use AI in small business or how to start a business in a particular industry.
Since its launch in 2005, “Duct Tape Marketing” has produced over 950 episodes of this small business podcast with seemingly endless inspiration and knowledge when it comes to marketing. The podcast’s host, John Jantsch, is an author and marketing consultant. The podcast takes the same approach as his books, using practical, actionable tips covering everything you need to know to successfully market a small business. Consider listening to “Duct Tape Marketing” if you’re looking specifically for guidance on your business’s marketing strategy.
“Supply Chain Now” is an award-winning podcast that covers all things supply chain — from best practices to emerging issues and technologies. The podcast started in 2021 and invites supply chain experts and thought leaders to share industry insights and help businesses address their supply chain challenges. This show may be of interest if you want to rethink your supply chain strategy, understand how your business fits into the supply chain ecosystem or get a perspective on supply chain issues that your buyers and suppliers may be facing.
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