GGOB + 21 Hats-1

 

About Our Podcasts

Podcasts for entrepreneurs, business owners, and leaders. These messages are brought to you directly from CEOs and business thinkers to help build healthier companies, better businesses, and better lives for both you and your employees.
 

When CEOs Behave Badly

Loren Feldman


Introduction:

This week, our conversation starts with Shawn Busse and Jay Goltz trying to understand why CEOs keep going viral for their misguided attempts to rally the troops. Shawn suspects CEO screeds have always existed—they just haven’t been recorded. He also thinks they tend to come more from public company CEOs who are beholden to shareholders. Jay thinks they’re just morons. “I really don’t understand how someone could be smart enough to run a big company like that,” he says, “and be so completely ignorant. It’s shocking to me.” Of course, CEOs of both publicly owned companies and privately owned companies do have to do unpleasant things sometimes, but Shawn and Jay say they’ve learned from their own experiences handling layoffs and recessions. “Do we have to go out of our way to be callous about it?” Jay asks. “I don’t think so.” Plus: the very different ways Shawn and Jay manage their hiring processes. Oh, and, what would happen if Jay applied for a job at Shawn’s business?

‘It’s Going to Take $8 Million in Financing’

Loren Feldman


This week, in episode 150, Stephanie Stuckey tells Paul Downs and Liz Picarazzi how she and her partners have taken their business from $2 million in annual revenue to more than $13 million in three years. What’s frustrating, she says, is that she could be selling a lot more pecan snacks and candies. But with production at capacity, she’s not doing much sales outreach until they can fully revamp their manufacturing operation, which will require a significant investment. “I spend my days doing financial paperwork,” Stephanie says. Plus: Liz explains why her business picks up when the weather warms up, and after a slow start, Paul gets a boost from a big manufacturer.

We're Still Buying Inventory

Loren Feldman


 

Introduction:

This week, Jay Goltz tells William Vanderbloemen that even with an inventory glut, a cash crunch, and a weakening economy, he’s not going to stop buying goods for his home store: “It’s kind of like cutting Samson’s hair,” Jay tells us. “I don’t want to mess with telling the buyer, ‘Stop buying stuff.’ Because that’s the business we’re in.” All of which has Jay feeling some pressure, but he’s very glad he’s been maintaining a credit line equivalent to 10 percent of sales. Plus: William explains how hiring can go wrong even at a staffing company and how he managed to raise his prices without actually raising his prices.

— Loren Feldman

 

Recession? That’s When You Need to Attack

Loren Feldman


 

Introduction:

This week, Paul Downs, Sarah Segal, and Laura Zander discuss how they think about the possibility of recession: Do they proceed with planned hires? Do they continue to spend on marketing? Do they look for unexpected opportunities? In addition, Sarah, having recently taken back ownership of her PR firm, asks Paul and Laura how they pay themselves, how much cash they keep on hand, and whether they think she should expand her offerings to include digital marketing. Plus: Laura, who’s acquired several businesses over the years, explains what she looks for, how she decides how much to pay, and why she’s come to see acquisitions as necessary for the survival of Jimmy Beans Wool. As usual, all three owners are remarkably generous about sharing their thinking and even their numbers.

— Loren Feldman

 

I Just Cut My Pay

Loren Feldman


 

Introduction:

This week, Paul Downs tells Shawn Busse and Jay Goltz that his year has not gotten off to a great start. This was supposed to be the year that Paul unleashed a bold, new marketing campaign that would put his business on an entirely new trajectory—and perhaps it still will be. But for the moment, his revenue has fallen considerably short of his expectations, which has presented him with an unwelcome choice: Should he hold-off on the marketing campaign? Or should he cut his own salary? Along with discussing Paul’s decision, we also talk about the process of rethinking a website, how best to make use of LinkedIn—it’s a gold mine for both business development and recruiting, says Shawn—and why Paul and Shawn continue to perform their own HR chores.

— Loren Feldman

 

I Can't Have A Handle on Everything

Loren Feldman


 

Introduction:

This week, Jay Goltz and Laura Zander talk about the limits of their own management. Once a business gets past a certain size, no owner can do everything or even be aware of everything. But where do you draw the line? Does the owner need to be conversant with most aspects of management, marketing, and finance to oversee the business? This came up, in part, because Jay told us recently that his framing shops routinely ask customers how they learned of the business and that a recent review indicated that his social media efforts were not having an impact. But when asked about those efforts, Jay wasn’t entirely sure what they consisted of or if they even existed. Perhaps surprisingly, it also became clear that Jay wasn’t all that interested in learning more. It was working well enough, he’d concluded, and that was all he needed to know. And that’s the starting point for today’s main conversation. Along the way, we also address such questions as: Where’s the line between being a manager and being a therapist? Do owners need to be passionate about their businesses? What does the phrase “people over profits” really mean? And while “the customer is always right” has become a cliche, is it really a good policy?

— Loren Feldman

 

For Wunderkeks, It Really Is Go Big or Go Home

Loren Feldman


 

Introduction:

This week, Hans Schrei explains why he’s pursuing a deal with Costco and why his vision is to get Wunderkeks cookies into every supermarket in the country. When Jay Goltz counters that instead of thinking big, or thinking small, maybe Hans should think medium, Hans says that may no longer be possible with consumer packaged goods: “The little brand that grows and thrives by growing little by little doesn’t really exist any more in this space,” he says. Underlying the discussion of how fast Hans wants Wunderkeks to grow and how quickly he wants to exit are the stress-related mental health issues that he’s discussed previously on the podcast and the fact that his partner, Luis, is in the U.S. on an entrepreneurial visa, which means that if the business were to fail, they might have to leave the country.

— Loren Feldman

 

Marketing Workshop - March 9, 2023

Turning a Failing Nut Shop into Nuts.com

Loren Feldman


 

Introduction:

This week, Shawn Busse and Loren Feldman talk to Jeff Braverman about how he walked away from a career as an investment banker and went to work in the family’s nut store, the Newark Nut Co. “My dad and my uncle told me I was nuts,” says Jeff. But with an instinct for taking risks—like acquiring the URL Nuts.com—Braverman has turned the family business into an internet juggernaut, unleashing years of explosive growth. And despite being a former investment banker, he’s managed to do that without taking any outside capital. And he’s far from finished. “To this day,” he says, “we’re doing deep brand research: What is Nuts.com? What can it be? Can it scale? Can it transcend just the word nuts?”

— Loren Feldman

 

What It Means to Break $1 Million in Revenue

Loren Feldman


 

Introduction:

This week, Liz Picarazzi and Sarah Segal talk about their attitudes toward growth, including how they set goals, the tension between revenue and profit, deciding when growth requires additional bodies, choosing between contractors and employees, and how they would use the money if someone were to give them a million dollars to invest in their business. Plus: What will it take for them to consider themselves successful?

— Loren Feldman

 

Marketing Workshop - February 23, 2023

Selling Cookies on LinkedIn

Loren Feldman


 

Introduction:

This week, Shawn Busse and Loren Feldman are doing something a little different. This is the first in a series of episodes we’re calling Marketing Workshops. In an attempt to confront one of the biggest pain points business owners face, we’re offering a series of conversations with owner-operators about their marketing experiences: what’s worked and what hasn’t. We’re starting with Grayson Hogard, co-founder of Grove Cookie Company. For Grayson and his wife, Marie, the company is a bootstrapped side hustle, but in a very short time they’ve come to some very smart conclusions about their marketing that might seem counterintuitive at first. Most importantly, they’ve figured out that the most effective sales channel for their cookies is, of all places, LinkedIn.

— Loren Feldman

 

About The Podcast

GGOB + 21 Hats-1

The Great Game of Business has partnered with 21 Hats to bring the 21 Hats Podcast to all entrepreneurs in The Great Game of Business community! Hosted by Loren Feldman, this podcast offers real-world business insight. Tune in to stay up to date on today's business issues, hear real stories about organizational challenges leaders are facing, and take away strategies CEOs are using in the business world today. When you subscribe, you'll receive a weekly email notification of this podcast. Plus, receive a message any time a new podcast episode is published on The Great Game of Business "Change the Game Podcast."

 

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