Brian Tracy famously said that reading for an hour a day will catapult you into the top 1% of experts in your field. Of course, as a business owner, your life is already chock-full of to-do lists for your business and your personal life! Fitting in time to stay on top of industry trends, research new software tools, or learn how to hone your leadership skills can seem impossible.
Thank goodness for podcasts! You can make the most of your time driving to the office or walking the dog, and listen in on advice from industry-leading CEOs and thought leaders. Some podcast aficionados even listen at 1.5x speed to get more knowledge in less time!
Here’s a list of the best business podcasts for small business owners, along with one of our favorite episodes to get you started. You may want a notepad handy for all the inspiration that’s about to come your way!
1. For Building Your Personal Brand: Youpreneur With Chris Ducker
Chris Ducker is possibly the leading figure in personal branding in the digital age – and why it’s essential for growing a business today. His podcast is jampacked with expertise on a wide range of subjects, from outsourcing and finance to digital marketing and sales. Chris brings a brilliant array of guests to speak on his podcast, and they’ll leave you feeling inspired, with actionable steps to implement and a smile on your face.
We recommend: Episode YOU302, Creating a Marketing Funnel that Works with John Lee Dumas
This episode, a recording of John’s speech from the Youpreneur Summit, brilliantly lays out how to design a marketing funnel journey – and all those important little details that make it happen but are often overlooked.
2. For Turbo-Charging Your Marketing: Duct Tape Marketing
In Duct Tape Marketing, John Jantsch, founder of the agency of the same name, interviews industry-leading marketers and entrepreneurs and gets them to spill their secrets. Every episode focuses on a marketing issue that small business owners struggle with, so the podcast is geared toward smaller or home-based entrepreneurs who need to stretch their marketing dollars. With a back catalog of over 10 years, there’s plenty of wisdom in here.
We recommend: Reboot Your Business and Your Life with Mitch Joel
Mitch Joel, CEO of Twist Image, explains that how businesses interact with their customers is about to drastically change – again. In response, marketing and advertising need to step up their game and become genuinely useful.
3. For More Leadership Mojo: Hack to Start
Hack to Start bills itself as “a podcast focused on interesting people and the innovative ways they achieve success.” Co-hosts Franco Varriano and Tyler Copeland believe that the path to success isn’t always linear: instead, many of today’s leaders have followed a Hack – Start – Repeat journey. Get ready to be inspired and energized by the innovative strategies and original ideas you’ll hear about.
We recommend: Episode 173, Jason Stoff, Principal Digital Product Designer, Starbucks
A motivating episode that covers how John wangled his way into a job at Starbucks, and all the details you would want to know about staying ahead in digital design at this coffee house giant.
4. For Building Super-Profitable Websites: Authority Hacker
Gael Breton and Mark Webster have built a profitable portfolio of high-authority websites, and Authority Hacker is where they share everything they’ve learned along the way. Refreshingly direct and with zero sales fluff, these guys share super actionable growth hacking techniques and practical advice from their real-life failures and success – served with a side dish of humor.
We recommend: Episode 122, Creating New Content vs. Optimizing Old Content: Which One Should You Do Right Now?
Did you publish a fabulous blog post with high hopes, but it didn’t perform as well as you expected? Check out this episode for some great tips on when to re-optimize old content, when to create new content, and how to manage it
5. For Crushing Your Competition: Business Wars
Business Wars launched only recently, but it has already become one of the most popular business podcasts on iTunes. Each series of episodes is an in-depth case study exploring a game-changing conflict between two major business rivals: Blockbuster and Netflix, Xbox and PlayStation, Coke and Pepsi. At times Business Wars sounds like a history podcast, at others a true crime drama, occasionally even like a war documentary, and it’s a fascinating insight into the way the business world works.
We recommend: Southwest vs. American – Dogfight over Dallas.
How could we not choose this episode, since it’s based right on our doorstep! Learn what strategic steps these two airlines took to try become the ruler of the Dallas sky.
6. For Focusing Your Entrepreneurial Energy: Entrepreneurs on Fire
High on energy, John Lee Dumas’s Entrepreneur on Fire is a short daily podcast that has become one of the most popular business podcasts in the world. You’ll meet successful small business owners ranging from solopreneurs to start-up founders in a wide range of industries, all sharing their personal stories to help inspire you. Nothing will revitalize your entrepreneurial spirit more.
We recommend:How to Take Control of your Business Finances with Sterling Snow
Do you know how much money you made last quarter? Or who your most profitable customer is? Small business owners are so busy growing that they often don’t stay on top of their finances. This episode explores ways to take control and how software can help.
7. For Getting Problems Solved: Mixergy
Entrepreneur and salesman Andrew Warner made it big in his 20s in the early days of internet sales, and then shifted his career to help other young entrepreneurs. He has conducted over 1,000 interviews on the Mixergy podcast, and he’s great at coaxing detailed answers from his guests. Mixergy brings in experienced business leaders sharing their startup stories and their solutions to the common problems that plague business founders.
We recommend: Episode #1666, The Founder Who is Solving the Problem Other Founders are Embarrassed About
An intriguing title that has you wondering what this problem could possibly be. The answer – Bookkeeping! Listen to find out how to solve this common pain point among business owners.
8. For Driving Customer Satisfaction: Outside In with Charles Trevail
Outside In focuses on uncovering the secrets of prolific customer-centered brands and how they view and interact with consumers. Hosted by Charles Trevail, Global CEO of Interbrand, this podcast analyses different strategies for fostering customer-first cultures in the workplace through fascinating case studies and interviews with business leaders, media figures and academics. Learn how the leading brands stay focused on their customers and, why it’s so important to truly understand your customer and how they use your product or service in their daily life.
We recommend: Episode Jaguar Land Rover: Understanding Every Customer’s Perspective (Even the Dog’s)
One of the world’s most elite car companies is fanatically devoted to studying their consumers’ behavior. See how they do a deep dive into buyers’ lives to keep innovating on their product.
9. For a Female Perspective: She Did it Her Way
Amanda Boleyn, the founder and voice behind She Did It Her Way, turned her original podcast into an empowering framework for women looking to start their own business. The engaging podcast that breaks down business issues into digestible problems and actionable steps, and Amanda has done a great job of bringing on female entrepreneurs that specialize in a wide range of industries and industry specific topics.
We recommend: Episode 292, 3 Easy Steps to Help You Outsource Your First Task
We love this episode, which takes you through the process of outsourcing for the first time and how valuable it can be to you and your business.
10. For Some Nitty-Gritty Reality: StartUp
This podcast really does what it says on the box! StartUp‘s description is short but accurate: “a series about what it’s really like to start a business.” We would agree. Every season, Alex Blumberg documents the experience of creating a new business in real-time, in some surprising and intriguing industries.
Follow a whole series to experience all the highs and lows and learning points along the business building journey.
11. For Software Gurus: Startups for the Rest of Us
If you own or want to start a software business, Startups for the Rest of Us is the podcast for you. This podcast serves as a masterclass for how to critically analyze all aspects of your business to manage it more efficiently. Between them, the two hosts have more than 20 years of experience as software entrepreneurs and happily share all the tips and tricks they’ve learnt over the years.
We recommend: Episode 264, How to Identify New Product Ideas
Some invaluable tips on idea generation and how to nurture multiple ideas and identify which ones to develop further.
12. For Productivity Nerds: The Tim Ferriss Show
Tim Ferriss is one of the world’s leading business authors and a top advocate for working smarter. The Tim Ferriss Show podcast interviewees have found success in their varied prospective fields, from chess players to investors to professional athletes. Tim has a talent for extracting useful tips from his interviewees’ stories and experiences – even if you think you have nothing in common with them, you’ll be surprised!
We recommend: Episode 319, How to Succeed in High-Stress Situations
Featuring Ryan Holiday, author of The Obstacle is the Way, you’ll learn about ancient Stoic principles and how they can help you deal with stress in your life.
13. For Some Real Education: The $100 MBA
Tired of interviews? This podcast and online community is the brainchild of two university educators who wanted to find a way to put their students front and center. If, like many entrepreneurs, you never went to business school, The $100 MBA will help get you up to speed with 10-minute business lessons built on real-world applications. This podcast gets straight to the point and hits the nail on the head – and it was awarded Best of iTunes in 2014!
We recommend: Episode MBA1110, Q & A Wednesday: How Do I Write Employee Contracts?
A great how-to that will make sure your employee contracts cover everything they need to.
We hope you get some fun and some learning from our list of best business podcasts for small business owners. If we missed your favorite, let us know in the comments – and happy listening!