It seems like everyone is starting their own podcast these days. They’ve gone from a niche market to mainstream in only a matter of years – and with good reason. As of January 2023, there are over 5 million podcasts with over 70 million episodes between them. Canadians are giant consumers of podcasts, with more than 10 million adults tuning in for more than 4 hours a week. Based on these reports, is it worth starting your podcast as a small business owner? Should you regularly consume podcast content? This blog explores these questions to see if there’s any value in venturing into the podcast world.

Small Business Owner working on podcasts.

What’s so Special About Podcasting?

Think of it as the Netflix of audio. Topics vary widely and there’s something for everyone from shows about true crime, politics, fantasy, news, etc. Unlike other content mediums, a podcast can be consumed while driving to work, cleaning your apartment, working out, or falling asleep. You can find podcasts on listening apps such as Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Apple Podcasts. They can be consumed on most devices like phones, tablets, and computers, which makes them easily accessible to almost everyone.

Top 5 Canadian Small Business Podcasts

Canada is a hub for podcasting and has a large variety of podcasts that address both local and national markets. Here are some of our favorite Canadian business podcasts worth listening to in 2023 ranked by traffic, social media followers, and relevancy.

1. Canada’s Podcast – Toronto, Ontario (2 episodes/week):

Canada’s no. 1 podcast for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs. It’s an active online community for entrepreneurs where they can stay connected locally and let Canadians know how they’re making things happen in their industries.

2. Financial Planning for Canadian Business Owners – Toronto, Ontario (1 episode/month):

Hosted by Jason Pereira, the financial planning for Canadian business owners podcast is designed to help guide your business through financial uncertainty. Each week, experts from various fields are interviewed to provide you with financially sound advice.

3. Down to Business – Toronto, Ontario (1 episode/week):

Former Financial Post reporter and Down to Business podcast host Emily Jackson tells you everything you need to know about what’s happening in the Canadian business world in under 30 minutes.

4. CanadianSME Small Business Podcast – Mississauga, Ontario (1 episode/day):

A podcast specifically designed to empower Canadian small businesses. Every day, CanadianSME Small Business Podcast interviews Canadian experts and entrepreneurs to provide SMB owners with access to information and knowledge to help them grow their businesses.

5. Startup Women Podcast – Ottawa, Ontario (1 episode/month):

A podcast for women entrepreneurs. Every month, Startup Canada’s CEO, Kayla Isabelle, explores different areas of doing business from sales, marketing, and HR. The Startup Women Podcast discusses entrepreneurial challenges, actionable steps to take, and solutions you can apply to your business today.

Wait, Should I Start my Own Podcast?

There’s no doubt that podcasting has taken over our digital content world by storm. As the fastest-growing form of media, it’s commonplace to see brands incorporate podcasts into their content marketing strategy. Successful entrepreneurs like Gary Vaynerchuk go to lengths to say that starting a podcast is the best and most efficient thing you can do for your social media presence. However, Is the juice worth the squeeze?

Before starting your podcast, here’s a list of pros and cons.

CONS:

Over-Saturation: Starting a podcast does not guarantee listeners. With how saturated the market is, it can be challenging to gain downloads. There are some things you can do to increase your likelihood of getting listeners such as making noise on social media, being a guest on other people’s shows, and staying consistent with new episodes.

Time Commitment: Speaking of being consistent, when you’re in the honeymoon phase of podcasting and you’re willing to put in the time, things can seem easy. But, when your podcast isn’t getting the traction you thought it would or when your personal life gets in the way, you can grow tired of staying consistent with your show. Before jumping in, make sure you’re fully committed to a long-term goal. If that’s doing one episode a month, stick with it.

Creativity: You need to bring something unique to the table. With how competitive the podcasting space is, you can’t risk copying someone’s theme or regurgitating someone else’s idea. This is not to say that you might not have a great show idea or that you don’t have the voice or personality for podcasting. Anyone can do it, but make sure to have a theme that’s relatable, fresh, and exciting for your audience.

PROS:

Networking & Engagement: Inviting guests to your podcast is a great way to make waves within your industry. It provides you with opportunities to network with people you otherwise wouldn’t converse with, such as competitors, influencers, or industry leaders. It can also be a great way to engage with customers, allowing you to showcase your brand personality and values in a raw and unfiltered manner.

Content Creation: Today, being a content creator is as important as paying your taxes or knowing how to manage your cash flow. Podcasts can be a convenient option to introduce in your content production pipeline. They can be easily repackaged or repurposed for use on social media or your website. For example, you can chop up a 30-minute conversation into small 15-second clips that can be completed in an hour or two, leaving you with content for months to share across your channels.

Traffic & Sales: A podcast is a great medium for convincing consumers of your content to become consumers of your product or services. They allow you to generate moments to promote your product or services that can be shared across your social media channels or website, generating leads and traffic in the process.

How do I get Into Podcasting?

Getting into podcasting isn’t as expensive or complicated as you may think it is. Sure, you need to set aside some time to learn the basics and develop a game plan. But, once you’ve built a solid foundation, all you need is a basic podcasting setup to get started. Most business owners jump into podcasting thinking it needs to be about what they offer as a business. That couldn’t be further from the truth. You can take yourself out of the equation and build a podcast around your passions as an individual.

Here are 4 steps to get you started on your podcasting journey:

STEP 1 – Choosing a Microphone

When it comes to podcast equipment, a quality microphone will provide you with that rich-sounding podcast audio. USB-compatible dynamic microphones are the ideal option for DIY podcasters as they work well outside a soundproof studio environment and are budget-friendly. They only pick up what’s closest to the microphone and reject everything that’s happening around them, making them versatile and reliable. With an adapter, dynamic microphones can be plugged into any device such as your phone, tablet, or computer to capture audio.

STEP 2 – Choosing a Recorder

With a recorder, you can either go hardware or software. Hardware involves plugging a mic into an external device and then transferring your file to the software. However, you can skip that step altogether by simply capturing your audio directly from the software. For example, Descript allows you to record with platforms like Zoom or Google Hangouts, clean up audio, remove unwanted background noise, transcribe files, etc.

STEP 3 – Recording Your Podcast

Unlike videos, podcasts don’t need to be perfect. That’s one of the reasons why so many people resonate with them. It’s an intimate conversation between two or several people that are typically natural, honest, and easy to digest. That said, you should still have an outline of your episodes, allowing you to steer any conversation in the right direction if needed.

Step 4 – Editing Your Podcast

As a business owner, the last thing you want is for you to be editing your podcast for hours on end. Although editing software will do most of the cleaning work for you, there are some things you need to do manually. Firstly, episodes should have intro and outro music to them more memorable to new listeners. Second, volume levels should be adjusted so that all guests have similar volume. Once again, a program like Descript is ideal for small business owners on a budget.

Being a Podcast Guest

If you’ve concluded that starting your own podcast isn’t worth your time, then there might be some value in being a guest on one. Appearing on a podcast can help set you apart from competitors and provide you with the same benefits you would find from having your own podcast. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and share thought leadership. Podcast interviews are a winning formula for both the host and the guest.

Bottomline

Being a small business owner in 2023 is different from being one 15 years ago. We live in an era of constant information. Podcasts make it easier than ever to seek out strategic advice from other business leaders and industry experts. If being recorded simply isn’t your thing, you can always throw on a podcast from our top 5 list to make your commute a little more productive. It’s not too late to jump on the bandwagon.

*From 2016 to 2018, Evolocity Financial Group, now OnDeck Canada, partnered up with Startup Canada to help reduce the barriers that women entrepreneurs face to obtain funding. Most recently, Startup Canada and OnDeck Canada announced the recipients of the 2019 Startup Canada Women Founders fund. This fund provided micro-grants to women-led companies in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) industries.