- A 2019 study by Intuit QuickBooks revealed that nearly 70% of small business owners struggle with cash-flow challenges.
- Business Insider rounded up 11 company founders and small business owners to recommend their favorite podcasts for learning to manage their company’s finances.
- Their suggestions include “Secrets of Wealthy Women” by The Wall Street Journal, “CFO Thought Leader” by Jack Sweeney, “Inside the Strategy Room” by McKinsey Strategy & Corporate Finance, and “Her CEO Journey: The Business Finance Podcast for Women Entrepreneurs” by Christina Sjahli, among others.
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As a company founder you may be an expert on your product, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a firm grasp on financial matters.
A 2019 study by Intuit QuickBooks revealed that nearly 70% of small business owners struggle with cash-flow challenges. Many other money matters may keep entrepreneurs up at night as well, from securing loans and other financing to organizing financial paperwork to avoid tax-time panic.
To help you get comfortable wearing that CFO hat when your title is CEO of your startup, Business Insider rounded up 11 company founders and small business owners to recommend their favorite podcasts on this topic.
1. “The Entrepreneurship Elevated Podcast” by Michael Michalowicz
“Every entrepreneur who’d like to be their own CFO should be listening to ‘The Entrepreneurship Elevated Podcast,'” said Justin Kerby, the founder of Something Great Marketing, a digital marketing agency in Vancouver and Denver. The podcast “dives deep into the principles that would-be CFOs should know before taking over the finances of their business,” Kerby explained.
He added that the bestselling book “Profit First,” written by the podcast’s host Mike Michalowicz, has “forever changed the way I think about accounting.”
2. “Secrets of Wealthy Women” by The Wall Street Journal
The No. 1 podcast that Joanna Loughran — the director of business development at InteliKINECT, an integrated call center that she founded — religiously listens to is the WSJ’s “Secrets of Wealthy Women.”
“This podcast not only talks about the success of these women, but also the pitfalls and trials they went through that helped get them to where they are today,” said Loughran. “This podcast helps me think about the bigger picture when it comes to my company.”
The business owner and founder added that the podcast helps her consider additional ways she can add value to her clients.
“The women in this podcast hold high positions in big companies like Road Runner and Vogue, and they are not afraid to take big risks and shoot for the stars when it comes to building up their brand,” she said. “In each episode, the introduction says, ‘Help women empower themselves financially,’ and it does just that. It empowers me to make money moves for success.”
3. “The Backbone: a journey inside finance at a startup” by Shubham Datta
“As a self-funded cofounder, I’m guilty of having done our own payroll and bookkeeping,” admitted Tyler Rooney, the chief product officer and cofounder of Format, a portfolio-building website for creative professionals. Rooney noted that while nothing can replace having an experienced financial operator or CFO at the helm, it helps in the founder’s position “to have a scope of what ‘you don’t know.'”
To that end, he recommended “The Backbone” with Shubham Datta as “a great podcast” he has recently come across, which bills itself in its tagline as “a journey inside finance at a startup.”
“[Datta’s] guests include a wide variety of financial operators from both VC and self-funded tech businesses,” said Rooney. “They discuss finance on the high level as well as nitty-gritty details about what can be big wins or a total flop. There’s definitely something for everyone.”
4. “CFO Thought Leader” by Jack Sweeney
As the CEO and director of his own multipractice dental firm, G4 by Golpa, Dr. Mike Golpa often has to wear many hats — CEO, CFO, and dentist. Golpa told Business Insider that podcasts are one thing that helps him manage the administrative side of his business.
Golpa’s favorite is “CFO Thought Leader,” created and hosted by Jack Sweeney, which is billed on the podcast’s website as “all about inspiring finance professionals to take a leadership leap.”
“I like how they interview each guest with pretty much the same format — what do you struggle with? How do you overcome those struggles? What makes you good at your job? The guests come from all sorts of backgrounds and niches, which is also enjoyable,” Golpa said. The CEO emphasized that it’s “refreshing” to hear that others have struggled and overcome many of the same struggles that he has.
5. “Inside the Strategy Room” by McKinsey Strategy & Corporate Finance
McKinsey & Company’s “Inside the Strategy Room” features frank talk with the consulting firm’s partners and executives on “the challenges they face creating lasting strategies in a fast-changing world.”
“‘Inside the Strategy Room’ is one of the few podcasts I’ve found that provides practical financial strategies while also covering a range of interesting topics,” said Jason Field, the founder and CEO of BrainStation, which offers digital skills training and has trained more than 70,000 professionals.
Field reported that this podcast is “useful not only to CFOs, but any entrepreneur looking to think more strategically about money.”
6. “So Money with Farnoosh Torabi” by Farnoosh Torabi
Financial strategist, TV host, and bestselling author Farnoosh Torabi is the host of this popular podcast, which has been recognized as the top female-hosted podcast by Entrepreneur magazine and the top podcast to grow your business by Inc. magazine.
“In ‘So Money,’ Farnoosh Torabi uses a financial angle to talk to some of the greatest minds in entrepreneurship,” said Field. “From investing to personal finance, it’s great to hear her interviews with leaders in business and finance.”
7. “How I Built This with Guy Raz” by NPR
Field put it on his list because he said it “helps entrepreneurs be more wise with early-stage capital, providing tactics to help business owners avoid spending too much money too quickly.”
8. “Financial Fluency: How Women Thrive Outside of the 9 to 5” by Jenn Turell
Stacy Caprio, who is the founder of Accelerated Growth Marketing, which offers full-service Google Adwords account creation and management, recommended “Financial Fluency” as “a great podcast to listen to if you want to start wrapping your mind around what it takes to be your own CFO.” She said that the podcast gives plenty of insight into the different aspects of managing a company financially.
“The Financial Fluency podcast meets you where you’re at as a business owner and doesn’t try to overcomplicate things, making it one of the best in its genre,” said Caprio.
9. “Freakonomics Radio” by Steven J. Dubner and Stephen Levitt
In his role as the owner and founder of a private investigation firm, North American Investigations, Inc., chief investigator Darrin Giglio admitted he is “not the most savvy guy when it comes to the CFO stuff.”
Giglio said that’s why he likes what he hears on “Freakonomics Radio” so much. “Just like the book, the podcast addresses economic topics with easy-to-understand, everyday examples and language,” he pointed out.
“Sometimes, what they discuss may not seem related to finances, the economy, or anything at all remotely CFO-related, and then suddenly, they show you how important and relevant it really is,” Giglio explained.
10. “Planet Money” by NPR
“I found these guys on the radio, and then discovered their podcast,” Giglio said. “Like the ‘Freakonomics’ hosts, they put everything in plain talk.”
Giglio also appreciates that the show has a sense of humor.
“It’s not all financial stuff, all the time,” he said. “While knowing all about the latest tax legislation is nice, knowing how the protests in Hong Kong, or the summer’s floods in the Midwest might affect my small business in the New York/New Jersey area, is more important to me.”
11. “Her CEO Journey: The Business Finance Podcast for Women Entrepreneurs” by Christina Sjahli
Linda M. Lopeke — who is the founder of SMARTSTART Omnimedia, which specializes in strategic business development— said that while she isn’t generally a podcast listener, she became one for “Her CEO Journey.”
“This one is so interesting, I’ve made an exception by taking time to catch new episodes,” said Lopeke. “You won’t find any boring accounting speak here! Women share the truth about their business success stories as told by their numbers. Some lessons are learned the hard way — no shame or judgment here — but regardless of the challenges, financial and otherwise, these women simply don’t give up and go on to live their business dreams!”
She added that she often learns something new and encouraging despite having been a successful business owner herself for over 40 years.
Sandra Shorter, the owner of online scratch bakery The Naked Cupcake in Orlando, Florida, also noted that the host “wants her audience to understand that they can’t ignore the business finance side and [determining] what are the best processes to put in place as they are growing their business.”
And Erin Rollenhagen, a 12-plus-year tech entrepreneur and founder and CEO of Entrepreneurial Technologies Inc., described the podcast as “for women who are navigating the tricky financial waters of entrepreneurship.”
“She shines a light on both successes and failures we can all learn from and really dives deep on the stories of female entrepreneurs in a variety of industries,” Rollenhagen concluded.
12. “DeductRight” by Thomas J. Williams
Thomas J. Williams, a tax accountant, author, and cofounder of Deducting the Right Way, alerted Business Insider to his podcast, “DeductRight,” which he said “empowers small business owners to tackle their business finances.”
“The podcast gives them a deeper understanding of the CFO, CEO, and CTO (tax) role by narrating the articles found on the Deducting the Right Way blog,” Williams explained.
Recent episodes tackle issues that small business owners will appreciate, including a temporary fix when you can’t afford an accountant and how to claim mileage from your home office.