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Great Responsibility 🕸

December 1, 2021


Shopping holidays are over: now what?

With the labor shortage, supply chain issues, and a continuing COVID pandemic, shopping during this year’s holiday season has certainly been a wild ride.

But that didn’t stop consumers from grabbing post-Thanksgiving deals. This year, Black Friday traffic at retail stores rose 47.5% compared to last year. Around this time last year, many consumers stayed home because of the COVID pandemic, and some businesses were only open with reduced hours. 

Even Small Business Saturday saw an improvement over 2020. According to American Express, consumers spent an estimated $23.3B at independent retailers and restaurants on Saturday (up 18% from last year).

Clueless GIF: walking out with shopping bags

But the biggest shocker? Cyber Monday sales fell for the first time ever. Consumers only spent $10.7B on the biggest online shopping day of the year - a 1.4% decrease from last year. 

According to Adobe Analytics, the decrease is likely due to consumers wanting to spread their shopping across the entire holiday season. Meaning, total spending will still likely increase from last year. The company predicts that the total holiday sales from November 1 to December 31 will hit $207B (a record gain of 10%). 

So, even though these major shopping holidays are over, business leaders can take advantage of this holiday season to increase their revenue and create repeat customers - those who will come even after the holidays are over.

Here are some tips for keeping the momentum going through the holiday season:

  • Partner with nearby businesses. As the saying goes, “we’re all in this together.” Try co-promotional opportunities with your business neighbors to reach out to a wider customer base. For example, you can offer discounts to patrons of your neighborhood coffee shop while the local baristas promote your products or services.
  • Reach for your audience. With the popularity of online shopping, foot traffic in your brick-and-mortar stores can decline. Instead, meet your customers where they’re at and set up an e-commerce platform (Shopify is a great option). If you don’t have the time to set up your own online store, try marketplaces like Goldbelly for food or Etsy for unique products.
  • Take advantage of loans. If your business needs some extra capital, now might be the time to think about loans - approval rates from banks and other lenders have been steadily increasing for the past six months.

👉 Find more holiday tips.


A key to growth: roles and responsibilities

Let’s face it – when you run a small business, you need employees to be flexible and get things done. Regardless of the role or responsibilities they have on paper. 

But the day-to-day functions of your team members need to be clarified before a massive fire needs to be put out. Not as a reactive measure of desperation. That’s where roles and responsibilities come into play.

Spider-Man GIF: With great power comes great responsibility

In short, roles are the positions filled by your team members (think job titles like customer support manager, product consultant, or engineering intern). Responsibilities are the day-to-day tasks and functions of each role in your company.

And if you want to grow your company, defining roles and responsibilities within your teams is a must! That’s because workers with clearly defined roles are 53% more efficient than those left guessing. And employees are 23% more likely to stay at their company with clearly defined roles and responsibilities.

Meaning, your team can get more done with less resources. Plus, you waste less time and money dealing with employee turnover.

So, what’s the best way to define the roles and responsibilities in your company? We got you covered:

  • Get clear on the big picture. Meaning, define the end-goal that your company is trying to achieve. Once you’ve done that, write how each team in your company will contribute to those goals.
  • Define the roles needed to hit the big picture. Using the list you made in the last step, write down the roles needed on each team to reach your company’s goal. For example, if your marketing team needs to build partnerships, you might need a "partner manager" role.
  • Outline each role’s responsibilities. To best do this, our CEO Chris Ronzio suggests having each employee go through their calendars, email inbox, and project management system to see what tasks they do on a routine basis. Have them list those tasks, and build each role’s responsibilities from that list.

👉 Get the full 5-step process.


This week's highlight reel

  • Tick, tick. WatchBox, an online marketplace for luxury watches, boasts some famous investors, including NBA MVPs Michael Jordan and Giannis Antetokounmpo. The startup recently raised $165M in funding, lifting the company valuation to almost $1B.
  • Canadian gold. The latest casualty in supply shortage: maple syrup. Due to a short harvesting season and a 21% increase in worldwide demand, Quebec Maple Syrup Producers announced plans to use 50M pounds of its reserves (AKA half of the stockpile).
  • Private property. Despite reports that the online payment company was in talks to go public, Stripe’s co-founder stated the company was “very happy” to stay private for now. He believes the fintech company, valued at $95B, is still "very early in its journey."
  • Word-for-word. Transcription service Verbit landed $250M in its latest financing round, raising its valuation to $2B. The company will continue to invest in its automated speech recognition technology while expanding its European customer base.

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