Air Date

October 20, 2021


Lyndsay Polloway
Vice President, Events, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


Although small business owners already have a full plate, there is one effective resource that could be worth the extra time and energy: creating a YouTube channel.

At the CO—’s 2021 Big Week for Small Business, Lyndsay Polloway, vice president of events for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, talked with four successful YouTube content creators to learn how they grew their channels and how entrepreneurs can do the same.

How to Prepare Your New Channel

When creating a new YouTube channel for a small business, Randy Lau of YouTube cooking channel Made with Lau believes planning ahead of your launch, by doing things like setting deadlines for yourself and creating a backlog of videos, will help you grow a successful channel.

“There really is no perfection, you just only keep improving,” said Lau.

He recommends paring down your content in order to only show your best work.

“We actually shot eight full recipe videos before we launched, just to have a backlog, and I ended up scrapping three of them,” Lau said. “They were fully edited, but I just scrapped them because I just didn't like them.”

Starting a YouTube Channel on a Small Budget Is Possible

Creating a YouTube channel doesn’t require a large budget. In fact, some of YouTube’s more successful channels create their videos using cell phones.

When starting a channel, Talaat and Tai McNeely of financial tips YouTube channel His and Her Money, recommend setting a budget, and initially working with equipment you already have.

“When we started His And Her Money, we started with only $500,” said Tai McNeely. “We made that commitment that we were going to grow our brand and whatever money the company made, we put it right back into the company.”

While it’s helpful to have filming and editing experience, it’s easily manageable to learn on your own.

“I learned how to edit from YouTube and I started out with iMovie... It would take me like four or five hours to edit one video, and I would stay up late nights doing it… It gets easier, and those four or five-hour long editing nights turned into one hour,” said Chris Bossio, who documents his professional journey as a barber on YouTube.

Overcoming Hurdles to Build Your Business’s YouTube Presence

Although not everybody is a natural in front of the camera, practice can help you improve.

“The more times we did it, the more comfortable I became," Talaat McNeely said. "I think you have to get through that first. You can't get to video one-hundred without doing video number one. It's just imperative to have a reason that's bigger than yourself to turn on this YouTube channel."

Chris Bossio added that people often connect with authenticity and rawness. In discussing his biggest challenges, he said, “I think it was definitely the fear. I'm naturally an introvert… but I told myself this is a topic you're passionate about, just act like you're having a conversation with another barber.”

Growing Your YouTube Channel and Seeing Your ROI

Small business owners can create successful channels by adding value to the YouTube community with the right content.

“When we first started our channel, I actually wasn't sure how people would respond to our videos, but when making videos that you're authentically passionate about, you'll be surprised just how much people will respond,” said Randy Lau.

While it’ll take a lot of work, Chris Bossio saw the ROI of creating a YouTube channel right away.

“As a business owner, I saw ROI right away... because we were getting some traction and recruiting some talent,” Bossio said. “Then there was the ROI of opening opportunities for different revenue streams.”

YouTube Can Provide Various Income Sources in Addition to Video Revenue

On top of the revenue generated directly from ads in front of and during videos, YouTube can help small businesses generate income from avenues such as membership platforms, merchandise, affiliates, websites, and more.

“YouTube has allowed us to be able to literally get feedback from our subscribers,” said Tai McNeely. “We take a lot of our comments that we receive and we go back to the drawing board and we figure out ways that we can make extra revenue with our company.”

“As with any business, you want to make sure that it's just not one revenue source … [and] that you've got a lot of different areas that you're looking for,” Randy Lau added.