It's okay if you've been so heads-down with your nose-to-the-grind that you've completely missed the boat of podcasts. As a trendy way to boost your creativity, spark your imagination and mold you into a better leader, there are countless entrepreneurial talks available.
While listening to a podcast over music while you're cooking, commuting or working on yet another report is a smarter way to multitask than say, listening to music, it can be overwhelming to get started. Luckily, many female founders and CEOs have navigated the pool for you already, and offer their best recommendations for stimulating hosts, topics and shows. Warm up your headphones, grab your portable charger and tune in:
From: Caroline Danehy, the co-founder of Fair Harbor, a men's sustainable swimwear company.
Why: “All of the different stories from the co-founders each had the same theme: businesses don't become successful overnight. Featuring different entrepreneurs, it was inspiring to hear how they overcame various hurdles and their journeys to where they are today. Two of my favorite podcasts featured Drybar and Honest Tea. Alli Webb, the founder of Drybar, discussed how she started Drybar from a small idea while doing her friends' hair. Specializing in one thing, perfecting hair, and focusing on that, her motto has become 'focus on one thing and be the best at it.'. Throughout the podcast, Alli exemplified characteristics of persistence and determination. It was clear that once she had her mind set on something, she wasn't going to let anything or anyone get in the way of achieving it."
From: Kylie Carlson, the CEO of leading education institution in the wedding industry, The Academy of Wedding and Event Planning, offering an online course for wedding planners, stylists and designers.
Why: “What I love about Amy Porterfield is that most of her podcasts are solid 'How To's' where she shares her own processes with you and you finish off feeling like you've really learned something you can apply to your own business. I love a good takeaway when I'm listening to a podcast, and Amy gives you action plans and easy to digest information that is simple to understand and easy to apply."
From: Meghan Ely, the owner of OFD Consulting, a niche PR firm exclusively serving the wedding industry.
Why: “I love the transparent nature in which they share how to get a small business off of the ground. The founder Alex Blumberg is a celebrated member of the podcast industry, but even he had to face the inevitable lows of being an entrepreneur for the very first time. I've been able to appreciate, and learn from, the challenges they've faced as they've grown rapidly: staffing, work/life balance as a parent and scaling smartly."
From: Vanessa Jeswani, co-founder of Nomad Lane, a brand of travel accessories that are smartly made at an affordable price.
Why: “This podcast is focused on innovation in fashion and retail. The podcast features interviews with founders of brands that are revolutionizing the consumer economy, from direct to consumer business models to manufacturing innovations. It's perfect for anyone who is interested in learning about new retail channels, inventory management, starting a fashion/lifestyle brand and innovative marketing campaigns. Richie, the interviewer, asks detailed and important questions so listeners can understand what really goes on behind the scenes."
From: Kelly Pace Stegman, the founder of Pace & Love Marketing, specializing in food marketing strategy for emerging businesses.
Why: “This is a good podcast for people who may have dipped their toe into zen, horoscopes and self-care to dive head first into the world of wellness. The LA-based podcast discusses everything from yoga, crystals and juice to anti-aging skin treatments, alchemy and intuition. It's light, but goes deep and perfect when I am on a long drive and would rather learn about buzz over business."
From: Anna Osgoodby, co-founder of Bold & Pop, a brand, website design and social media collective that helps small business owners and bloggers reach their goals through brand development and marketing strategies.
Why: “I really love this podcast because it is founded by a business coach, Natalie Eckdahl, and is focused specifically on women entrepreneurs. Natalie interviews entrepreneurs across industries and it is always interesting to hear firsthand of their experiences and what has been most successful for them. She also does live coaching sessions which are very useful to hear how other business owner's challenges are addressed and how they sort out what is next for their journeys."
From: Neely Raffellini, founder of the 9 to 5 Project, which helps women with easy-to-follow job search tools and advice, including career coaching, resume writing, ongoing support and more.
Why: “Most episodes of this podcast are under ten minutes - except for the ones with a guest - so it's a quick way to grab a life and/or business lesson with the all-around awesome Marie Forleo. Recent episodes have focused on everything from gratitude to networking."
From: Misha Gillingham, luxury travel blogger and influencer and founder of Wildluxe. Her Instagram show, Luxury Travel Show, takes viewers on 60 video tours through the more luxurious properties around the globe. Wildluxe also donates 100 percent of profits to charities to help underprivileged children worldwide.
Why: “After battling cancer I learned just how short life can be and I knew I needed to make some changes in order to live the life I had dreamt of. Brooke's podcast teaches listeners how to accomplish goals without being bound by fear. It is highly motivational and helps me in business and almost every other aspect of my life. Brooke's words of wisdom have changed the way I think, and as cliche as this sounds, I am now able to live the life I have always dreamed of. I am traveling the world in total luxury, and getting paid to do it! Additionally, The Life Coach School Podcast has improved the important relationships in my life. The core values of Brooke's podcasts can be applied to anyone in any situation."
From: Suneera Madhani, the CEO and founder of Fattmerchant, a subscription-based payment technology provider offering direct-cost pricing, analytics and omnichannel integrated payments solutions to businesses.
Why: “One of my favorite podcast hosts is Sophia Amoruso, who interviews entrepreneurs from all different industries and has an entrepreneurial journey of her own. She blends learning and fun into one, and it works really well without being forced. This is a much lighter, relatable podcast that focuses solely on girl bosses, something I believe in wholeheartedly."
Business entities can be defined as the corporate, tax and legal structures which an organization chooses to officially follow at the time of its official registration with the state authorities. In total, there are fifteen different types of business entities, which would be the following.
- Sole Proprietorship
- General Partnership
- Limited Partnership or LP
- Limited Liability Partnership or LLP
- Limited Liability Limited Partnership or LLLP
- Limited Liability Company or LLC
- Professional LLC
- Professional Corporation
- Nonprofit Organization
- Cooperative Organization
As estates, municipalities and nonprofits do not concern the main topic here, the following discussions will exclude the three.
Importance of the State: The Same Corporate Structure Will Vary from State to State
All organizations must register themselves as entities at the state level in United States, so the rules and regulations governing them differ quite a bit, based on the state in question.
What this means is that a Texas LLC for example will not operate under the same rules and regulations as an LLC registered in New York. Also, an LLC in Texas can have the same name as another company that is registered in a different state, but it's not advisable given how difficult it could become in the future while filing for patents.
To know more about such quirks and step-by-step instructions on how to start an LLC in Texas, visit howtostartanllc.com, and you could get started with the online process immediately. The information and services on the website are not just limited to Texas LLC organizations either, but they have a dedicated page for guiding fresh entrepreneurs through the corporate tax structures in every state.
Sole Proprietorship: Default for Freelancers and Consultants
There is only one owner or head in a sole proprietorship, and that's what makes it ideal for one-man businesses that deal with freelance work and consulting services. Single man sole proprietorships are automatic in nature, therefore, registration with the state is unnecessary.
Sole proprietorships are also suited to a degree for singular teams such as a small construction crew, a group of handymen, or even miniature establishments in retail. Also, this puts the owner's personal financial status at jeopardy.
Due to the fact that a sole proprietorship entity puts all responsibilities for paying taxes and returning loans, it directly jeopardizes the sole proprietor's personal belongings in case of a lawsuit, or even after a failed loan repayment.
This is the main reason why even the most miniature establishments find LLCs to be a better option, but this is not the only reason either. Sole proprietors also find it hard to start their business credit or even get significant business loans.
General Partnership: Equal Responsibilities
The only significant difference between a General Partnership and a Sole Proprietorship is the fact that two or more owners share responsibilities and liabilities equally in a General Partnership, as opposed to there being only one responsible and liable party in the latter. Other than that, they more or less share the same pros and cons.
Registration with the state is not necessary in most cases, and although it still puts the finances of the business owners at risk here, the partnership divides the liability, making it a slightly better option than sole proprietorship for small teams of skilled workers or even small restaurants and such.
Limited Partnership: Active and Investing Partners
A Limited Partnership (LP) has to be registered with a state and whether it has just two or more partners, there are two different types of partners in all LP establishments.
The active partner or the general partner is the one who is responsible and liable for operating the business in its entirety. The silent or investing partner, on the other hand, is the one who invests funds or other resources into the organization. The latter has very limited liability or control over the company's operations.
It's a perfect way for investors to put their money into a sector that they are personally not experienced with, but have access to people who do. From the perspective of the general partners, they have similar responsibilities and liabilities to those in a general partnership.
It's the default strategy for startups to find funding and as long as the idea is sound, it has made way for multiple successful entrepreneurial ventures in the recent past. However, personal liability still looms as a dangerous prospect for the active partners to consider.
Limited Liability Company and Professional LLC
Small businesses have no better entity structure to follow than the LLC, given that it takes multiple good ideas from various corporate structures, virtually eliminating most cons that are inherent to them. Any and all small businesses that are in a position to or are in requirement of signing up with their respective state, usually choose an LLC entity because of the following reasons:
- It removes the dangerous aspect of personal liability if the business falls in debt or is sued for reparations
- The state offers the choice of choosing between corporation and partnership tax slabs
- The limited legalities and paperwork make it suited for small businesses
While more expensive than a general partnership or a sole proprietorship, a professional LLC is going to be a much safer choice for freelancers and consultants, especially if it involves risk of any kind. This makes it ideal for even single man businesses such a physician's practice or the consultancy services of an accountant.
B, C and S-Corporation
By definition, all corporation entities share most of the same attributes and as the term suggests, they're more suited for larger or at least medium sized businesses in any sector. The differences between the three are vast once you delve into the tax structures which govern each entity.
However, the basic differences can be observed by simply taking a look at each of their definitive descriptions, as stated below.
C-Corporation – This is the default corporate entity for large or medium-large businesses, complete with a board of directors, a CEO/CEOs, other executive officers and shareholders.
The shareholders or owners are not liable for debts or legal dispute settlements in a C-Corporation, and they may qualify for lower tax slabs than is possible in any other corporate structure. On becoming big enough, they also have the option to become a publicly traded company, which is ideal for generating growth investments.
B- Corporation – the same rules apply as a C-Corporation, but due to their registered and certified commitment to social and environmental standards maintenance, B-Corporations will have a more lenient tax structure to deal with.
S-Corporation – Almost identical to a C-Corporation, the difference is in scale, as S-Corporations are only meant for small businesses, general partnerships and even sole proprietors. The main difference here is that due to the creation of a pass-through entity, aka a S-Corporation, the owner/owners do not have liability for business debt and legal disputes. They also are not taxed on the corporate slab.
Cooperative: Limited Application
A cooperation structure in most cases is a voluntary partnership of limited responsibilities that binds people in mutual interest - it is an inefficient structure due to the voluntary nature of its legal bindings, which often makes it unsuitable for traditional business operations. Nevertheless, the limited liability clause exempts all members of a cooperative from having personal liability for paying debts and settling claims.
This should clear up most of the confusion surrounding the core concepts and their suitability. In case you are wondering why the Professional Corporation structure wasn't mentioned, then that's because it has very limited applications. Meant for self-employed, skilled professionals or small organizations founded by them, they have less appeal now in comparison to an LLC or an S-Corporation.