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.

My Dream is to Move My Manufacturing from China to Brooklyn

I left the factory tour and thought about how convenient it would be to walk or bike to the factory from my house, just a mile away. When I go to the factory in China, it’s a 7,300-mile flight, 15 hours each way.

Private Equity Has Never Been More Alluring

The investors come bearing money and with promises of relevant expertise and a glide path to that elusive next level. Should entrepreneurs believe them?

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Latest PODCAST EPISODE
Episode 92: I Want to Double Sales This Year
I Want to Double Sales This Year

This week, in episode 92, we introduce another new member of the 21 Hats Podcast team, Liz Picarazzi, who talks Shawn Busse and Paul Downs through a series of challenges she’s faced at her business, Citibin. Among those challenges: why she outsourced her manufacturing to China, why she’s trying to bring it back, why she’s struggling to find an American fabricator that wants her business, why she thinks she wasted all of the money she spent last year on digital marketing, how she managed to double sales anyway, and where she found the right person to handle the aspects of running Citibin that she doesn’t think she’s good at.

Top Podcast episodes
This Is What It Takes to Build a Business
TIME TO LISTEN: 1:24:06

This week, in episode 89, our last episode of 2021, we take a look back at the conversations we’ve had this year about the rewards and responsibilities of business ownership, including what it’s like to sell your business, to fire an employee, to risk your own home in order to get financing, to have to make a bet-the-company decision, and to deal with mental health issues, even thoughts of suicide. In this bonus episode, we highlight some of our happiest, smartest, funniest, and most difficult exchanges from the past year.

The Vomit List
TIME TO LISTEN: 40:57

This week, in episode 88, Jay Goltz and William Vanderbloemen talk about what it takes—in the throes of an unprecedented labor shortage—to hold on to your best people, the ones whose departures might send you looking for a trash can. They also discuss whether “hire slow” still works, whether it’s a good idea to rehire a former employee, whether it’s still possible to do a meaningful reference check, how to use 360 reviews and personality tests, and finally, whether Jay and William would be ready to sell their business if someone were to come along and offer them twice what they think it’s worth.

When Fred Warmbier Wanted to Quit, Deming Brought Him Back
TIME TO LISTEN: 54:02

This week, in episode 90, we have a special guest, Fred Warmbier, owner of a metal-finishing business he founded in Cincinnati in 1998. About 10 years ago, Warmbier was ready to walk away from that business. “It just never seemed like I could have the type of business that I wanted,” he says, “where things worked properly and our employees were happy and our customers were happy.”

That changed when he discovered the Deming Management Method through a consultant, Kelly Allan, who helped him tame the chaos. Where does one start with Deming? “You start,” says Allan, who is chairman of the Advisory Council of The W. Edwards Deming Institute, “where the pain is.” As it happens, and as he discusses in this conversation, Fred Warmbier has experienced more than his share of pain.

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Never miss a 21 Hats Podcast episode
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 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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