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Today’s small business owner is busier than ever. With crazy work schedules, spending time with family and friends, cooking dinner, and maybe even working out every once and a while, when are you supposed to enjoy a quiet afternoon of reading?
If you’re too busy to read a book, you might want to check out a podcast. Listening to a small business podcast during your commute or even at lunch is a fantastic way to learn something new while you’re on the go. If you’re looking for a way to get business know-how, inspiration, and ideas—but find you don’t have time to read business books, startup and small business podcasts may be the perfect solution.
If you own or want to start a software business, check out “Startups for the Rest of Us.” Between them, the two hosts have more than 20 years of experience as software entrepreneurs. They share their wisdom with the goal of helping “developers, designers, and entrepreneurs be awesome at launching software products.” Weekly podcasts cover everything from lean startups to hiring and managing remote developers and how to use virtual assistants to be more productive.
Mixergy is a website where ambitious people can learn from mentors and online courses. With interviews of more than 1,000 entrepreneurs, its podcasts cover a wide variety of topics ranging from case studies of entrepreneurial startups, to interviews with business owners who sold their companies or how-tos drawn from personal experience, such as “How to recover from a cash flow crisis without mortgaging your home.”
Creating an online business that brings in consistent passive income sounds like a dream come true. Pat Flynn made it a reality, and each week on his “Smart Passive Income” podcast, he shares tips and advice to help you do the same. Featured interviews include industry experts and other successful entrepreneurs, all armed with practical tips on topics such as getting started in video advertising, selling on Amazon, and building relationships with influencers.
If it seems like every business podcast you listen to features a white guy interviewing a bunch of other white guys about software, give “Being Boss“ a listen. Hosts Emily Thompson and Kathleen Shannon have created a small business podcast for creative entrepreneurs, including writers, artists, and graphic designers that acknowledges the “rebel” nature of this tribe. The two hosts specialize in business coaching and business branding, and their podcasts cover everything from “being real” on social media to when you need a lawyer and why it’s important to be humble.
If women are underrepresented in small business podcasts, women of color are even more so. Enter “Brown Ambition,” a podcast about “career, business, building wealth, and living in this brown skin” hosted by a journalist and an entrepreneur. Both women of color, the hosts post discussions with each other and a range of guests on career advancement, entrepreneurship, and how personal life intersects with both. Topics range from why you need a prenuptial agreement to financial management advice and business startup stories.
Podcast host Chris Ducker experienced an epiphany when he burned out on his business in 2009. He set a new goal to become a “virtual CEO”—and succeeded. Today, he only works six hours a day, four days a week. “Youpreneur“ shares inspiration and ideas on topics such as personal branding, delegating, marketing, outsourcing, and being more productive, all with the goal of helping you do more in less time so you can enjoy life. Solopreneurs will find this small business podcast especially valuable.
Bloomberg Opinion columnist Barry Ritholtz discusses financial markets, investing, and business with influential newsmakers from each of these industries. Discussions with guests are often wide-ranging, covering the guests’s careers, thoughts on the future of their space, and insights into what they have accomplished. Listeners of “Masters in Business” will learn a lot whether they’re financial pros or newcomers to this space. Many of the episodes are applicable whether you’re interested in growing your business, investing in new asset classes, or would just like to learn more about a particular industry.
Scaling your small business to a New York Stock Exchange-listed corporation is a feat many entrepreneurs dream of without an idea of how to make it a reality. On “How I Built This,” Guy Raz explores the incredible stories of entrepreneurs who have accomplished the seemingly impossible from established figures like Patagonia’s Yvon Chouinard to new successes like Betterment’s Jon Stein. Whether you’re interested in expanding your brick-and-mortar business or scaling a new tech startup, you’ll benefit from this impressive library of interviews.
If you had to associate one place with business creation, you’d probably choose Silicon Valley—the epicenter of American business innovation. Despite this fact, plenty of cities are housing incredible small businesses worthy of coverage. Reddit co-founder and investor, Alexis Ohanian, has made it his mission to cover these businesses with “Business Schooled,” focusing on unique businesses, non-Silicon Valley locations, and non-millennial entrepreneurs. If you’d like to learn more about businesses outside of the Silicon Valley-bubble or entrepreneurs that don’t fit the dorm-room/college student mold, then check out this small business podcast.
With the near-constant change occurring in the startup and tech space, it can be tough to keep up. “Product Hunt Radio,” hosted by Ryan Hoover, is your answer to staying up-to-date with all things tech through interviews with world-famous investors and entrepreneurs to the reporters covering them. Whether you want to learn about tech that could affect your business, keep up with trends, or apply lessons to your enterprise, this small business podcast will be useful.
Who better to host a podcast about startups than a former NPR employee who started his own business? Alex Blumberg’s podcast has a different format than most on this list. The first season followed him through the launch of his startup, Gimlet Media. The second season’s half-hour episodes followed the launch of Dating Ring, a dating company that combines technology with old-fashioned matchmaking and is run by two women in their 20s. We love the focus on the startup world from a woman entrepreneur’s point of view—something you don’t often get in most podcasts—and Blumberg’s willingness to share his own mistakes along the way helps make this one of the best business podcasts.
This high-energy podcast runs a few times a week. Host John Lee Dumas aims to inspire by featuring the success stories of entrepreneurs, including Seth Godin, Barbara Corcoran and Tim Ferriss, in an entertaining format: First, he starts by asking each guest about his or her biggest failure; then guests discuss their Aha! moments; finally, the episode ends with a Lightning Round of five rapid-fire questions. If you need something to revitalize your sagging entrepreneurial spirit, this is one of the best business podcasts to get you charged up again (the mere fact Dumas has interviewed over 700 entrepreneurs is inspiring in itself!).
Speaking of Tim Ferriss, his irreverent podcast isn’t for everyone, but since it’s number one on iTunes’ business podcast charts most weeks, we’d say that qualifies as one of the best business podcasts out there. Ferriss gained fame as the author of bestseller “The 4-Hour Workweek.” (Ironically, listening to one of podcasts would take up half of that workweek, since most clock in at 2 hours in length.) However, if you’ve got the time, you’ll be rewarded with fascinating interviews. Ferriss buttonholes high achievers in not just business, but investing, music, science, sports and more, to learn their secrets for doing things better. Whether it’s CrossFit or marketing automation, he’s genuinely curious about anything that can improve performance in business or in life.
Social Media Examiner is one of the most useful, straightforward sites on social media for small business, and their podcast is just as helpful. Designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works in social media marketing, the podcasts run about an hour as Michael Stelzner interviews social media experts and explores various social media tools. Some of his best business podcasts are those featuring real small business owners sharing how they found success via social media.
On “Breaking Down Your Business,” hosts Brad Farris and Jill Salzman take a chatty, friendly approach to business that acknowledges the problems on small business owners’ minds, such as “How do I make more money without driving myself nuts?” Farris and Salzman know you’re busy, so each episode is short (about 20 minutes) and easy to digest, focusing on a list of “5 Things” (like “5 Things to Look for in a Networking Group”). Most podcasts also feature useful tools for small business owners.