October 23, 2014

Great Big List of 100 Small Business Podcasts

Podcasts for Small Businesses and EntrepreneursOver at the Small Business Trends Radio show site, we have published a great big list of 100 small business podcasts

The Back-story Behind the List

Staci, the Program Manager for the Small Business Trends Radio show, has been working on the list for a couple of weeks now.  To put together a list of that size is a painstaking and lengthy process.  (If you’ve ever done something similar, you know!)  I estimate conservatively that it took 20 hours of work.

After Staci assembled the links to podcasts,  Steve Rucinski (Executive Producer of the show) and I would review them in the evenings and on weekends if we were not already familiar with the series.   

Observations About the Podcasts

Certain trends and lessons stood out after reviewing so many podcasts back to back:

  • Longevity: Often a podcast series would start out energetically, with a large number of episodes in a short time frame. Then gradually the episodes become farther and farther apart. The lesson: it’s easy to start something, but hard to stick with it. Podcasters probably underestimate the time it takes to regularly produce podcasts, and soon tire of putting in the effort.
  • Differentiation: With 100 small business podcasts, you’d think they would all be the same. If anything we were quite surprised by the differentiation among them. Sometimes the focus is geographic. Other times the focus is on functional topics (such as sales or management or technology). Some focus on businesses of a certain size or characteristic, such as home based businesses, microbusinesses, startups or franchises. Some focus on vertical markets, such as lawn care or the fitness business. Some are humorous.  Some are serious.  Yes, there is duplication. Some podcasters do a better job than others of identifying their precise niche or approach. But overall, we found a range of different approaches that was impressive.
  • Content Topics: We were able to organize them into 10 content categories: leadership and management; marketing and sales; operations; tax and finance; starting a business; home based business; technology; business opportunities and franchises; “all around” small business; business news. However, we noticed a great deal of overlap in topics. Some podcasts could have fit into multiple categories. Some seemed to “drift” over time as the founder moved away from the stated topics. Lesson:  As a podcaster be clear about your topics — it helps listeners.
  • Transcripts: Very few provide written transcripts. When available, they were welcome. A few podcasts had excellent show notes — that helped, too. Lesson: Shows without a good written description make it harder to find the show in the search engines. A lack of descriptions also makes it less likely a visitor will click on the show and listen if they don’t know what to expect.
  • Length: The podcasts cover a wide variety of lengths, ranging from 1-minute to two hours. Many seemed to be 20- to 30-minutes in length.
  • Radio vs. Podcasts: Purists may disagree with including radio programs along with private recordings, as we did. But the distinctions between radio and podcasts are breaking down — fast.  By many measurements, the line between radio and podcasts is the grayest of gray.  For instance, many terrestrial radio programs now stream their shows live over the Internet and make their archives available as downloadable podcasts online. More and more podcasts are delivered live and allow call-in questions, just like radio. Therefore, we included any small-business audio where the archives could be found on the Web in MP3 format — no matter what it was called or how it was produced and distributed.
  • Production Values: Sound quality and production values vary widely. Some podcasts are professionally produced. Others are unapologetically by amateurs. The amateur shows sometimes had the most useful and practical content, and the most creative approaches. Some of the professionally produced shows left you wanting more — more time from the guest; and more usable content. Lesson: you truly cannot judge a book by its cover.
  • Guest interviews vs monologues: The number of podcasts with a format of a host interviewing guests is quite astonishing. Dozens of podcasts feature guest interviews. Knowing how much time it takes to schedule and work with guests, I expected more of the podcasts to be monologues. Lesson: If you have a message for the small business market and are willing to take the time to appear on podcasts with sometimes small-ish audiences, you have considerable choice as a guest.
  • Trend of Audio Turning to Video: Some podcasts have started morphing into video series, as video becomes more popular. This is happening only in a few cases, but it is an interesting trend.

Why We Created The List

We created the list because there was no place we could find with an easy-to-scan list of small-business audio.

While a number of good podcast directories exist, it still takes considerable work to sift through and identify those with a small business focus.  No single directory had a comprehensive list. We had to search through over 10 podcast directories and did our own searches in Google and Technorati and several other sources, in order to assemble the list.

Podcast Reviews

I’d like to take a moment to point out the Podcast Review series that Steve Rucinski hosts over at the Small Business Trends Radio site. Every week he writes a detailed review of a podcast.  The Podcast Reviews are another resource for small business audio.

Add Your Podcast to the List

If you have a podcast series that you feel should have been included, I invite you to leave a link to your podcast, below.  Spread the word. 

Read and discover: the Top 100 Small Business Podcasts list.

13 Comments ▼

Anita Campbell - CEO


Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses, and also serves as CEO of TweakYourBiz.com.

13 Reactions

  1. Yes, Graham, there’s much to drool over. Enjoy!

  2. I say at the end of the podcast “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did but people will never forget how you made them feel” I write that because being included in the list made me feel wonderful, especially from you Anita who brings so much to the small business world. An honour indeed.

    (You may want to check out another podcast that I am involved with, The Podcast Sisters – 3 small business owners that explains the technology in a non geek way and more importantly how we use it to grow our business. http://www.thepodcastsisters.com This is not a business, just our way of giving something back to other non geeks!)

  3. Anna, thanks for noting your other podcast. Keep up the great podcasting!

    Anita

  4. What a great compilation of audio podcasts :-)

  5. This is an excellent wrap-up of your list, Anita. I agree, the longevity of a podcast is a major factor in determining a podcast’s success. I only wish I had more time to publish more podcasts!

    I’d like to offer Small Business on the Web: The Internet Marketing Podcast as another podcast/resource to your readers/subscribers. The podcast includes tutorials and advice on how to establish and maintain an effective web presence for your small business. Thank you!

    Rick Breslin
    Drive Thru Interactive

  6. Kudos on doing this – as it’s a much-needed resource for time poor business owners.

    Now I’m heading on over to start listening to some of the podcasts.

  7. Milton Waters

    http://miltonwaters.com

    Internet Training and Web Presence.

    Would you like to get your business on to the internet? The internet is a constantly changing technology. Every year the internet will be evolving to a new phase. It is like a train that is just pulling away from the station at first it is moving very slowly.
    If you want to get on at first it is quite easy to run and jump on the train. After is has been moving for a while it starts to pick up speed. Then it requires a lot more effort to get on board. If you start the ride now it will become a lot easier and less expensive than later on.
    In a few years everyone will have a fast connection to the internet where they will be entertained and educated. When you log onto a website you will be greeted by a live person (or a computer generated person who will appear to be a real person.). They will then greet you and ask what they can do to help you. This computer generated image will then lead you through the offering of the particular site.
    In a few more years you won’t even have a monitor, only a 3D image that will pop up above your desk. The person talking to you will look at you, talk to you and their eyes will follow you around the room.

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