On February 7, This is Small Business, a podcast that spotlights small business owners and the unique challenges they’ve overcome on their journeys to success, is back for its second season. Timed to the “Big Game,” the first episode features former NFL player and CEO of Hustle Clean, Justin Forsett, who discusses three ways to set up your small business.
Season Two is bringing more episodes and new listening options, including shorter 10-to-15-minute episodes (or “minisodes”) for listeners who have limited time to listen to podcasts. We’re also now giving listeners an opportunity to participate by leaving the This is Small Business team a voicemail to share their questions or feedback, with a chance to be featured on an episode.
“We were blown away by listeners’ response to Season One of This is Small Business, and we’re excited to continue producing valuable content that helps current and future entrepreneurs take their business ideas to the next level,” said Andrea Marquez, host and producer of This is Small Business. “In addition to the amazing Amazon seller stories and industry experts who share their advice, one of my favorite things from Season One was receiving listener comments and emails with topic suggestions, or telling us how much they loved the show and how valuable it was for them, since they were starting their own small business.”
This season, This is Small Business has responded to those listeners’ requests by covering more topics that help entrepreneurs start, build, and grow their small businesses, with tips and insights from small business owners like Detara Williams from Darlyng & Co., who, along with the former CEO of Wattpad, Allen Lau, covers different ways to fund your small business; and Renee Manzari from Livity Yoga, who talks about setting and achieving goals with Christina Wallace from the Harvard Business School.
Here's a sneak peek at some of the most powerful tips small business owners share with us on This is Small Business this season:
1.Know your “why” to tell a better story
People remember stories that resonate. In order to have a story that is powerful and helps customers connect with your brand, you need to know why you are doing this in the first place, like Toyin Kolawole from Iya Foods (Season Two, Episode Eleven), who is on a mission to help end childhood hunger through her business. Without having a clear “why” that you can communicate to your team and customers, it’s like navigating a ship in the dark without a north star.
2.Protect yourself and your ideas
Everything must be in writing. If you’re going into business with a partner, it’s important to consult with a lawyer and financial team, to draft up a solid contract that will take you through the inevitable ups and downs of business partnerships, like when the co-founders of SwiftPaws (Season Two, Episode Nine) decided to part ways.
3.You can’t be everything to everyone
If your product is for everyone, then it is for no one. At the beginning of their journey, Hustle Clean (Season Two, Episode One) wanted to be a brand used by everyone, which resulted in a diluted story that weakened their brand ethos. Go back to your “why;” drill into who your core customers are, make them happy, understand them first, and then consider what expanding your customer base could look like.
4.Avoid scaling before you’re ready
Have the right resources in place before you push for growth. You can’t aim for the moon without a rocket ship, so before you start growing and pushing your business, think about what you need to make everything happen. And sometimes, growth isn’t the objective—and that’s OK. Christina Wallace from the Harvard Business School shares this, and other mistakes entrepreneurs make (Season Two, Episode Two).
5.The best way to fund your business first is by bootstrapping
Money can be an overwhelming topic, and often, one of the hardest obstacles entrepreneurs face in getting their business ideas off the ground. So it helps to ease into the journey by bootstrapping, or funding it yourself through personal, family, or friend investments. Detara Williams from Darlyng & Co. (Season Two, Episode Three) started by bootstrapping her businesses, but then quickly learned about pitching for grants and other ways she could fund her business.
6.Know your supply chain
If you don’t know the ins and outs of your product supply chain, then you don’t know where the gaps are, how to forecast challenges, or make it more efficient. Whether you are manufacturing your own product, like Oliver Crane and Ash Heather from Epic Water Filters (Season Two, Episode Eight), or working with a supplier, like Chevalo and Monique Wilsondebriano from Charleston Gourmet Burger Co. (Season Two, Episode Seven), it helps to understand how each piece of the supply chain affects your business strategy and goals.
Tune in to the 'This is Small Business' Podcast
Dive deep into these tips and get more insights from small business owners and industry experts every Tuesday, starting February 7 on the This is Small Business podcast on Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. For questions or comments email the This is Small Business team at firstname.lastname@example.org.