Latest POST
Steven Wilkinson on advisory boards
The Case for Small Business Advisory Boards

It is absolutely crucial that the list be kept free of people who are considered simply because they might be hurt or insulted if they were not included. These folks somehow always manage to end up on the board, and they are mostly disastrous.

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What Is 21 Hats?

At 21 Hats, we’re not going to tell you how to run your business. But we are going to publish news articles, Q&As, webinars, and podcasts that feature business owners speaking frankly about what it takes to build a business.

When Covid Leaves, Our Startup Problem Will Remain
TIME TO READ: 7 MINS

The structural issues that discourage entrepreneurship have yet to be addressed.

How to Choose and Manage the Right CRM for Your Business
TIME TO READ: 10 MINS

Picking the right system can seem daunting, but the real challenge is implementing it.

Latest PODCAST EPISODE
Episode 58: How the Sausage Is Made
Episode 58: How the Sausage Is Made

In this week’s conversation with Karen Clark Cole, Jay Goltz, and Stephanie Stuckey, we once again unearth more questions than answers—mostly because there are rarely one-size-fits-all answers to the questions we discuss. This week, those questions include: Can you be friends with your employees? Can you work with your family? How are you coping with price increases in your supply chain? How do you handle shipping—especially given the example set by Amazon? Are refrigerated trucks really called “reefer” trucks? And what happens when employees question whether you should be doing business with a particular person or company? Plus: Jay turns 65 without a succession plan.

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Episode 55: My Name Is Jay Goltz, and I’m an Entrepreneuraholic
TIME TO LISTEN: 43:37

This week, Jay Goltz tells Dana White and Laura Zander why he can’t stop starting businesses. In recent years, for example, he’s considered buying other picture -frame shops, he’s bought a firehouse that he thought he might turn into an event space (or a dog kennel), and he’s fantasized about opening an ice cream shop. “I have a whole list of businesses I'm not starting,” says Jay, who has been down this road so many times he’s developed a five-point test for whether he should proceed. And now he’s got a new idea—an online art gallery—that he believes passes the test. “I think I’m going to do it,” he says. Plus: Dana has a new business, too. And Laura assesses the damage done to the yarn industry by two venture-backed rivals.

Episode 53: I Hope You’re Not Torturing Yourself
TIME TO LISTEN: 49:54

Should Stephanie Stuckey sell pecans on Amazon? Should Laura Zander wholesale yarn to discounters? Should Jay Goltz’s businesses be active on Pinterest? (Assuming Jay knows what Pinterest is.) This week we cover those issues, plus whether the owners are ready for an economic boom and how Laura made the painful decision to fire several employees she inherited when she bought her wholesale yarn business in Texas. “You have to do it,” says Jay. “And it doesn't make you a bad person. It makes you a bad boss if you don't do it.”

Episode 50: So You Bet the House?
TIME TO LISTEN: 43:09

This week, Stephanie Stuckey tells Paul Downs and Jay Goltz, both of whom have manufacturing operations, about her decision to buy a manufacturing plant and bring production of Stuckey’s snacks in-house. We talk about her conflicted concerns about a minimum wage hike, what it takes to build a strong culture in a repetitive-task environment, why she paid above book value for the company she bought, and how she managed to finance the purchase of a business that is four times the size of Stuckey’s. She’s very happy with the SBA loan she got, but it was not an easy process: “I had to take out an additional life insurance policy and list the bank. I was just waiting for them to call me and tell me my firstborn son has to be collateral as well.”

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Latest CONVERSATION
Can Stephanie Stuckey Revive Stuckey’s

When Stephanie Stuckey first thought about buying back the pecan and roadstop business her grandfather founded, she consulted three investment advisors. Two told her not to do it.

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The Making of the Legendary Squatty Potty Facebook Campaign

It started with a sophisticated—if shoestring—marketing strategy that culminated in late 2015 with a video that broke the internet. What will they do for an encore?

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.

Why Charlie Gaudet Loves a Bad Economy
TIME TO WATCH: 50:00 TIME TO READ: 10 MINS

The founder of business-coaching firm Predictable Profits, Gaudet talks about how his clients and his own business have fared during the crisis.

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