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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.

Jack Stack Explains What He Loves About Recessions

Early on, Stack learned to see recessions as opportunities, using each one since 1983 to buy assets, shift strategies, and transform the business. And now he's doing it again.

It’s Been 10 Years Since I Was Laid Off

My last corporate job was at American Express, where I worked almost exclusively on products and services for small businesses. It was there that I developed a serious case of entrepreneur envy.

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Latest PODCAST EPISODE
Episode 119: Trash, Rats, and Garbage Juice: A Case Study in PR
Trash, Rats, and Garbage Juice: A Case Study in PR

This week, Liz Picarazzi tells Jay Goltz and Sarah Segal about her first brush with bad publicity. Liz’s debacle started with a negative post that appeared in a prominent local blog. It was about a Times Square pilot program for which her business, Citibin, is supplying trash bins. The problem? The bins were not being maintained properly, and there were photos to prove it. At the time we recorded this conversation, Liz was bracing for additional stories in both the New York Post and The New York Times. Both of those stories have since been published—we’ll talk about them in a coming episode—and you can find links to all of the coverage in the show notes. For Liz, perhaps the biggest challenge was defending her company without trashing her client.

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How Would You Spend $10,000 a Month on Marketing?
TIME TO LISTEN: 43:00

This week, Shawn Busse, Hans Schrei, and Sarah Segal explain what they would do if I gave them $10,000 a month to spend on marketing. As we all know, there’s a lot going on right now. No one’s entirely certain where the economy is headed, and no one’s entirely certain where digital marketing is headed. So it seemed like a good time to ask our regulars where they would place their bets if we offered them each an imaginary pot of money to promote their brands. Spoiler alert: Their responses gave us a good sense of what these business owners think is working right now—and it’s definitely not billboards.

Wunderkeks Has Two Daddies
TIME TO LISTEN: 46:03

This week, we welcome another new panelist to the podcast, Hans Schrei, who is co-founder of Wunderkeks, an e-commerce bakery in Austin, Texas. Hans tells Jay Goltz and Liz Picarazzi why he and Luis Gramajo, his husband and co-founder, sold a business in Guatemala, immigrated here in 2019, and started a cookie business from scratch, going from selling at farmers’ markets their first year to doing more than $5 million in e-commerce last year. Hans also explains why he doesn’t think it’s enough just to make a delicious cookie, why he’s trying to raise seed capital, and what would happen to his visa if Wunderkeks were to fail.

Do Core Values Matter?
TIME TO LISTEN: 50:10

This week, Sarah Segal tells Shawn Busse and Paul Downs why she’s never articulated a set of core values for her business and why she’s thinking about doing it now. But she’s wondering whether establishing her values will really make a difference. Do employees care? Do clients care? Both Shawn and Paul say they do. In fact, Paul says his core values have been extremely helpful when it comes to recruiting. And Shawn says he thinks sharing values can be the best competitive advantage smaller businesses have. Plus: We get an update on how Paul’s big marketing initiative is going, and we follow up on why Sarah feels compelled to participate in almost all of her firm’s client calls.

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Latest CONVERSATION
The Changing Face of the Yarn Industry

For many, knitting may still conjure an image of a grandmother in a rocking chair, her cats sleeping and her doilies taking shape. In recent years, however, the quiet industry of tiny neighborhood yarn shops scattered across the U.S. has become an unlikely cultural battleground. It’s been divided by charges of racism and cultural appropriation that have erupted in a series of social media firestorms, prompting some owners to close, sell, or rebrand their businesses. It may seem surprising that such a quiet pursuit could produce so much conflict, but it’s really not all that different from the fissures afflicting the country as a whole. In this conversation, we meet three women who were not content to stick to their knitting: Adella Colvin, whose business, LolaBean Yarn Co., is a prominent independent dyer based in Grovetown, Ga.; Gaye “GG” Glasspie, a leading yarn industry influencer whose signature color is orange and who is based in Clifton, N.J.; and Felicia Eve, who owns String Thing Studio in Brooklyn, N.Y., one of the few Black-owned yarn shops in the country. The video offers our entire conversation. You can also listen to a slightly edited 21 Hats Podcast version of the conversation wherever you get podcasts.

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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.

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?

A Business Owner Dares to Start a Real Conversation About Race

White owners often ask Mel Gravely, CEO of TriVersity Construction, what they can do to help. He’s got an answer for them, which he offers in this interview and in his challenging new book, ‘Dear White Friend.’

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