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.

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
Wunderkeks Has Two Daddies
Wunderkeks Has Two Daddies

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.

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The Early Warning Signs
TIME TO LISTEN: 49:14

“I see it, and I feel it,” Liz Picarazzi tells Shawn Busse and Jay Goltz this week in a conversation about the looming recession many are predicting. But Liz is not hunkering down. In fact, she has launched an ambitious marketing campaign that relies not on Google AdWords but on Google Alerts. She’s also taking some advice from Carey Smith, the founder of Big Ass Fans, that she didn’t want to hear when it was first proffered. Plus: How some owners trap themselves in miserable businesses. And Shawn, Jay, and Liz suggest regulations that need to die—with Jay going off on the way businesses are compelled to pay for unemployment insurance.

Does Firing People Ever Get Easier?
TIME TO LISTEN: 44:32

This week, Shawn Busse, Jay Goltz, and William Vanderbloemen discuss whether the old line about hiring slow and firing fast makes sense during a labor shortage. As William puts it, “What if you do have to hire fast? How do you do that? What if you do want to keep people even if you might have wanted to get rid of them before? How do you do that without ruining your culture?” Plus: How do you know it’s really time for someone to go? And what happens when employees share their salaries with each other? Anything good? And as we all binge watch the real life dramas about WeWork and Theranos, the question inevitably arises: Is it still okay to fake it until you make it? And if so, where do you draw the line?

Do You Take Money off the Table?
TIME TO LISTEN: 48:11

This week, Shawn Busse, Paul Downs, and Jay Goltz discuss their philosophies about taking money off the table vs. reinvesting it in the business. Of course, you can’t take money off the table unless there’s money on the table. Paul tells us that he once calculated his average earnings for his first 22 years in business and they came to about $11 an hour. But he now expects to make more money in the next five years than he did in the previous 35. We also talk about content marketing, direct mail, and trade shows. Plus: Was the Paycheck Protection Program, despite the billions of dollars in fraud, a success?

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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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