Continuing education is essential for any entrepreneur looking to grow and improve. But when balancing your business and personal life, you might feel like there’s little time to acquire new skills and keep up with trends in your industry. Enter the podcast, a great tool that can help you with both—even as you multitask.
Podcasts offer a convenient way to access audio programs on-demand, covering various topics, including business-related content. Here are some business podcasts and topics to check out.
What is a podcast?
A podcast is an audio or video program you can stream or download on demand from the internet. A podcast series typically follows a particular topic or theme and contains a collection of individual recordings known as podcast episodes.
Listeners can subscribe to a podcast through a podcast app (like Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify) or a website. Podcasts are often hosted by one or two individuals who lead conversations, interview subjects, share stories, or report the news.
4 podcast topic ideas for entrepreneurs
Looking for inspiration? Consider listening to the following podcast topics to learn how other entrepreneurs get business done:
Taking out business loans, bootstrapping, and crowdfunding are all effective ways to find or raise capital for your online retail business. But you can also learn best practices from other successful entrepreneurs.
On the Shopify Masters podcast, Jing Gao talks about reaching out to hundreds of contacts before launching her Kickstarter campaign. When the campaign went viral, Gao’s Asian food company, Fly By Jing, reached its funding goal within a day.
“You have to really hit [your Kickstarter goal] on the first day or two for there to be enough momentum,” Gao says. “Word of mouth will spread.”
When Ely Khakshouri set up his vintage-inspired bicycle shop, Retrospec, he funded the venture entirely on his own. This allows him total control over the company, but with a small budget, “that meant that I had to wear a lot of different hats,” says Khakshouri. To save money, he handled customer relationships, deliveries, and anything else needed.
2. Marketing strategies
Well-designed marketing strategies can help you reach your target audience and win customers for your product or service. You can start with tried-and-true methods, but there’s room for creativity. Kristen Pumphrey, who opened a candle shop in 2008, talks about her unique approach to marketing on the Shopify Masters podcast.
Her company recreates living room spaces at craft fairs, photographs its products in real people’s houses, and uses customer photos on social media feeds.
“We’re not just taking static product photography. We’re really showing you how it’s gonna live in your space,” Pumphrey says.
3. Developing relationships
Building better customer and client relationships is a crucial part of entrepreneurship, but you’ll need to find ways to establish and manage supplier relationships, too. Khakshouri knows this well.
Suppliers and manufacturers typically aren’t willing to work with unproven entrepreneurs. But because Khakshouri set up his bike shop during the pandemic, he knew companies were looking for ways to make up for lost business.
“That created an environment that was conducive to starting a business and getting the attention of partners when you’re really small,” he says.
Meanwhile, Gao says that relationships with media outlets can also be useful when creating your marketing plan. Before going live with her Kickstarter campaign, she emailed editors who wrote about Asian food.
“Two of them ended up writing pieces about the campaign that went live on New York magazine and Saveur on the day of the campaign launching,” she says, which helped Gao’s campaign go viral.
4. Tools to enhance your online store
Building an online store can be time-consuming and expensive. But you can streamline the process and keep costs down by learning to use ecommerce tools.
For instance, a point-of-sale button—used in a point-of-sale (POS) system to initiate a transaction and input prices, product codes, and other information—helps you manage stock levels and allows customers to check out easily, says Mathew Carver, an entrepreneur who owns The Cheese Bar who has been a guest on the Shopify Masters podcast.
Analytics became another valuable tool for Carver, who used a program to track customer spending patterns and reach out with incentives to buy more.
“It’s interesting to see who buys online and then will come and visit the restaurants, or vice versa,” Carver says. “It’s really interesting to see the customer journeys.”
8 top entrepreneur podcasts to check out
- Shopify Masters
- TED Business
- The Journal by The Wall Street Journal
- HBR IdeaCast
- OmniTalk Retail
- Invest Like the Best
- The Tim Ferriss Show
Here are some popular entrepreneur podcasts to incorporate into your week:
1. Shopify Masters
Each week, Shopify Masters invites a successful entrepreneur or ecommerce expert to sit down and share their experiences running successful online stores. You’ll learn ideas for improving skills in different areas: blogging strategies, social media ads, website optimization, supplier relationships, and more.
2. TED Business
The TED Business podcast takes fascinating topics—Where will people live in the future? How does an athlete get in the zone?—and explains how they relate to challenges in the business world. At the end of each episode, you’ll find out how to apply those ideas to your own life.
Freakonomics started as a book in 2005 and became a major storytelling brand. The premise is simple: Take an everyday situation—from the business world and elsewhere—and apply a rational economic analysis. While the Freakonomics podcast covers dozens of compelling stories across different topics, you’ll also find business advice, such as navigating family business dynamics and collaborating with friends.
4. The Journal by The Wall Street Journal
The Journal is a daily news podcast by The Wall Street Journal that provides updates on relevant topics through a business lens. This podcast is comprehensive enough that entrepreneurs from any industry can glean helpful information.
5. HBR IdeaCast
HBR IdeaCast is a weekly podcast that invites thought leaders to discuss universal situations in business and management. This is the place to get advice, whether you’re disagreeing with your business partners, building skills for success, or developing your role as a leader.
6. OmniTalk Retail
OmniTalk Retail dives into the top retail news headlines of the day with omnichannel retail experts Chris Walton and Anne Mezzenga. In one episode, Shopify’s Kaz Nejatian discusses the company’s latest move in the online payment space.
7. Invest Like the Best
In Invest Like the Best host Patrick O’Shaughnessy discusses ideas, methods, and stories with the world’s best investors and business leaders. For instance, hear Shopify co-founder and CEO Tobi Lütke discuss the sharp shift to ecommerce during the COVID-19 pandemic.
8. The Tim Ferriss Show
Tim Ferriss is the bestselling author of The 4-Hour Workweek and is now on track to reach a billion downloads with his eponymous podcast. Ferriss invites scientists, athletes, actors, and entrepreneurs in each episode to chat, discuss business tips and strategies, and offer general lifestyle hacks. Shopify’s own Harley Finkelstein sat down with Ferriss to discuss the future of retail.
Entrepreneur podcasts FAQ
Who should listen to entrepreneur podcasts?
Entrepreneurs looking to develop a skill, learn from other business leaders, or find inspiration can benefit from listening to entrepreneur podcasts. You can consume episodes on the go, whether cooking, exercising, or commuting to work.
How can I find entrepreneur podcasts that are relevant to my industry?
Your customers, clients, suppliers, and vendors may create their own podcasts or have ones to suggest. You can also head to your preferred podcast platforms—such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or Spotify—and use the search function to find entrepreneur podcasts.
Are there any entrepreneur podcasts that are geared toward beginners?
Aspiring entrepreneurs can learn about business strategies, skills, and tools on the Shopify Masters, HBR IdeaCast, and TED Business podcasts. You can also stay updated on business news through The Wall Street Journal’s The Journal.