Latest POST
Marketing Minute: Are You Targeting the Actual Decision Maker?

From Our Sponsor: Account-based marketing is about getting the attention of a specific person. Think about it as moving from a fishing net, where you catch whatever comes in, to a fishing pole with very specific bait, targeting only certain fish.

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About 21 Hats: What We Do. What People Say. How We Got Here

Have you read our testimonials? At 21 Hats, don't tell you how to run your business. But we do publish news articles, Q&As, webinars, podcasts about what it takes to build a business.

The Real Cost of a DIY Rebrand

Naturally we’re a bit curious when a business owner says he’s managed to save tens of thousands of dollars with a “simple technique”—and in this case, one involving just four steps. Given our experience in brand consulting, we decided to explore Michael Girdley’s claim.

The Spotlight: Chillibreeze

We recently asked Morning Report subscribers to introduce themselves by sending in a photo and answering a few questions.

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Latest PODCAST EPISODE
Episode 87: Are You Playing Offense or Defense?
Are You Playing Offense or Defense?

This week, in episode 87, Paul Downs, Dana White, and Laura Zander talk about the lessons they’ll take from 2021 and what they’re hoping to accomplish in 2022. Paul thinks he’s found an alternative sales channel that will lessen his dependency on Google. Laura, who built Jimmy Beans Wool on ecommerce, is planning a renewed emphasis on brick-and-mortar retail. And Dana White is working on building the team that will help her pursue her remarkable opportunities with franchising and the military. Plus, we talk about how comfortable the owners feel showing up at work in a brand new car.

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Holy Crap! This Is All My Dreams Come True
TIME TO LISTEN: 47:46

This week, in episode 81, we have a celebration. As many of you will recall, when we started this podcast, Karen Clark Cole was coming off months of failed negotiations with a potential investor in Blink, the business she co-founded. Those months she spent focused on the investor took a toll on both Blink and on Karen, who subsequently took a mental health sabbatical. But, as Karen tells Jay Goltz and William Vanderbloemen, she came back, refocused, and has just sold Blink for $94 million in cash. As you might imagine, we had some questions for Karen, including: Will she stay? How many employees knew what was going on? Was there a bidding war? Is there an earnout? What was it like to wake up one morning knowing that she had taken all of her financial risk off the table? And is she ready to report to a boss?

I Track Everything You Could Possibly Measure
TIME TO LISTEN: 45:20

Several weeks ago, we had a great conversation about how Jay Goltz, Diana Lee, and Dana White track their financials. It was so good that, this week, in episode 82, we decided to put similar questions to Paul Downs and Laura Zander. “It's funny, I was listening to that episode,” Laura says, “and Diana said she's a freak about the numbers. I'm like, ‘God, does that make me a superfreak?’” Laura walks us through how her labor costs can affect what types of yarn she carries, Paul suggests a quick-and-easy ratio that can signal when a business is in trouble, and Jay explains how an hourly performance indicator that he began tracking 30 years ago transformed his business. Plus: Laura tells us how she got a bank loan that’s almost three times the size of the one she couldn’t get last year.

Paying the Volcano God
TIME TO LISTEN: 44:26

This week, in episode 83, Paul Downs tells Jay Goltz and Laura Zander why he’s come to view Google as the Volcano God. He’s not sure what it will take to keep the Volcano God happy, but he’s obsessed with doing everything he can, because the consequences of failing would be so great. We also talk about Paul’s content marketing strategy, the pricing lessons that emerged from our recent attempt to monetize 21 Hats, and why Laura—even in the midst of the labor shortage—now has a waiting list of people hoping to work at her yarn manufacturer in Texas.

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Latest CONVERSATION
When Buying an Unsexy Business Becomes Sexy

This week, we talk to two people who walked away from promising careers to buy blue collar businesses. Long before search funds and sweaty startups became all the rage, Bob Schwartz left a Wall Street investment banking career to buy a chain of laundromats, SuperSuds, which operates in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. More recently, Mills Snell left a prominent private equity firm to buy a roofing contractor, Aqua Seal Manufacturing and Roofing, which is based in Columbia, South Carolina. In this conversation, Schwartz and Snell talk about what they were thinking, what they learned about buying a business, what they’ve learned about operating a business, and whether they’re looking for an exit.

Top CONVERSATIONs
What’s in It for the Owner? A Skeptical Conversation about ESOPs

Both Jeff Taylor and Jim Kalb run companies with employee stock ownership plans. Jay Goltz is thinking about implementing one — but he’s got questions, such as: Where does the money to buy the company come from?

What’s Wrong With Small Business Marketing?

It’s not always about marketing. Sometimes, the real issues go deeper. Sometimes, before you can figure out how to sell, you have to figure out who you are.

Brent Beshore Takes a Radical Approach to Private Equity
TIME TO LISTEN: 48:00 TIME TO WATCH: 48:00 TIME TO READ: 17:00 MINS

Brent Beshore likes to say of the businesses he invests in, “Boring is beautiful.” It’s one of the things that sets him and his firm, Permanent Equity, apart. He runs a private equity fund with more than $300 million in capital, but he’s not really a private equity guy.

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