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5 podcasts small business owners are loving right now

Want to jump into the New Year full of inspiration and ideas to make 2021 yours for the taking? Then check out these podcasts, recommended by fellow small business owners.

Business-related podcasts are a great way to pick up fresh ideas, smart advice and practical lessons – while on the go. We asked five small business owners to share their favourite podcasts and how it’s helped them to improve their business. Here’s what they had to say.

1. The Gold Digger Podcast with Jenna Kutcher

Jacinta Taylor runs the Laminated Cotton Shop, a Melbourne-based studio that produces shower caps and waterproof eco-friendly homewares from laminated cotton.

“At the start of the year I was selling at markets and events, and by July I had become an online-only business,” Taylor says. She found podcasts like Jenna Kutcher’s Gold Digger helpful in making this transition.

Best episode to start with: “If you have an ecommerce business, there’s a great episode about optimising your website for search functionality.”

Best piece of advice: “The latest helpful advice I’ve taken is to look at your online offering through the lens of your customers – get off your computer and go through your website on your phone and try to see how customers would shop your site. That’s when you get real insight into what works and what doesn’t.”

How I put the lessons into action: “It helped me to realise that just because something looks good on a website it doesn’t mean you should do it. One example is video – I thought videos were awesome on the home page until I tried to load my site on a slow connection.”

2. What the Flux

Rick Hill is managing director of The Cart Co, a Melbourne-based catering company that delivers food and beverage carts to functions.

The company had to pause operations during the COVID-19 lockdown, but Hill worked with his clients to stay busy and used the opportunity to build his growth strategy.

He also spent time learning by listening to business and leadership podcasts, including daily business news podcast What the Flux.

Best episode to start with: “Each weekday, What the Flux covers three business news stories in under five minutes. If I had to choose one, it would be one of the recent episodes where they spoke about Foster’s beer and Topshop.”

Best piece of advice: “My favourite part of the podcast is the ‘key learning’ in each story. The co-hosts break down a financial concept or trend/insight and apply it to three business stories of the day.”

How I put the lessons into action: “In recent What the Flux episodes, the co-hosts spoke about the discount war between ride-sharing services like Ola, Uber and Didi. This has been helpful for me in light of my business as I work towards optimising pricing and understanding all the levers that can be pulled to manage costs.”

3. Welcome to Day One

Oliver Gaywood’s business, Civic Web Media, is a content marketing agency based in Newcastle that helps its clients improve their online presence.

“I’ve subscribed (and unsubscribed) to a few business podcasts, but the one I’ve stuck with is Welcome to Day One,” says Gaywood. “It interviews regional Australian [businesses] about their journeys and how they went from an idea to where they are now.”

Best episode to start with: “A great episode I listened to recently was the one with Becky Kiil from Newcastle Afoot. Becky runs a walking tour business and also organised a huge street art festival in Newcastle recently – it was great to hear about how that project came to life.”

I’m reminded that grit, resilience and persistence really are the most important traits for any successful business owner.” – Candice Best, owner Modstitch

Best piece of advice: “The episode with Daniel Borg is a great one for businesses struggling right now. It’s full of advice about growing a business in tough times (specifically about the 2008 global financial crisis, but easily transferable to today’s world). Daniel operates from a position of positivity and always looks for opportunities.”

How I put the lessons into action: “Positivity is key in difficult times. In March, we lost a few clients and it would’ve been easy to lose hope. Instead, we focused on what we could do to help other businesses and worked more closely with those still operating. Together, we created solutions that streamlined their production and helped them pivot to something that helped their customers.”

4. Lady Startup Stories by Mamamia

“Cross-stitch designs with zero twee,” is how Candice Best pitches her business Modstitch, which launched this year.

“Listening to the Lady Startup Stories podcast gave me the push and the confidence that I needed to get going,” she says.

Throughout the year, Best says, the Mia Freedman-founded podcast that features stories of entrepreneurial success and failure has helped her remain strong.

Best episode to start with: “The episode with baking entrepreneur Katherine Sabbath was a real, non-sugar-coated look at the ups and downs of starting a business and following your passion.”

Best piece of advice: “An interview with Peta Shulman, founder of GoodnessMe Box, [taught me about something all] small business owners will experience – ‘the trough of sorrow’ – the part where you have launched and everything feels like it’s really slow-going. The key here is to keep going, don’t get discouraged and believe in your product and business.”

How I put the lessons into action: “I have experienced the ‘trough of sorrow’. Sometimes it feels like a grind and like I might have wasted all of this money starting a business, but then a sale comes in and I’m reminded that grit, resilience and persistence really are the most important traits for any successful business owner.

5. Problem Solvers

Sam Hassan’s business Link4 is a South Australian-based e-invoicing company.

He recommends Problem Solvers, a podcast that looks at owners and CEOs who have encountered major issues in their business and emerged stronger for the experience.

Best episode to start with: Cutting back helped me grow was a good reminder that during COVID-19, we need to cut costs, but that doesn’t usually mean we lay off staff. There are other ways to cut costs and grow your business.”

Best piece of advice: “[The episode] When a big competitor suddenly appears looks at competition, which is one of the challenges small businesses have to deal with. It was good to hear some strategies and how to add more to your product to face competition.”

How I put the lessons into action: “We reviewed all our spending and the tools or software we use to identify savings. We also saved money by cancelling some of those software subscriptions.”

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