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 108: Have You Looked at Your Employee Handbook Lately?
Have You Looked at Your Employee Handbook Lately?

This week, Jay Goltz and Dana White talk about their employee handbooks. Do they take them seriously? Or is it just boilerplate? Has anything changed since the pandemic? Is the handbook the place to remind employees that they are hired at will and can be fired at any time with or without a reason? Are there issues that should not be addressed in the handbook? When was the last time they updated it? When was the last time they read it? “Me, personally?” responded Jay. “Actually picked it up and read it?” Yes, Jay, that’s the question. “Years.”

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.

Maybe It’s Not the Marketing
TIME TO LISTEN: 43:56

This week, in episode 91, we introduce a new member of the 21 Hats Podcast team, Shawn Busse, who tells Jay Goltz and Laura Zander about an intriguing challenge he faces. Twenty-two years ago, Shawn co-founded a marketing firm called Kinesis, but now he’s trying to convince clients that it takes more than just marketing. Sometimes, it’s not enough just to drive more leads. Sometimes, you have to step back and take a deeper look at your business, which not every client is ready to do. In fact, it took Shawn 10 years (and the Great Recession) to do it with his own business.

Bonus Episode: Who’s Running the Business?
TIME TO LISTEN: 47:33

This week, in a special bonus episode, we talk to Steve Krull and Dan Golden, co-founders of Be Found Online, a digital marketing agency based in Chicago. In the second quarter of 2020, as COVID hit and their clients stopped advertising, Krull and Golden watched helplessly as their agency lost 40 percent of its revenue. And then things got much worse: By the end of the year, both of their wives would be diagnosed with cancer. This is a conversation about how Krull and Golden have coped with matters big and small, personal and professional, throughout an experience they compare to being in a knife fight in the middle of a forest fire.

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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 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.

When Buying an Unsexy Business Becomes Sexy
TIME TO WATCH: 51:59

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.

‘I Was Raised By Entrepreneur Wolves’

Rob Dyrdek—high school dropout, professional skateboarder, reality TV star, founder of the Dyrdek Machine—has learned a lot of entrepreneurial lessons since getting scammed the first time he started a business. For example, he never starts a business unless he sees a clear path to the precise outcome he has in mind.

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