Trainual Logo Purple

R-rated 🙈

August 25, 2021


This conference was made for you!

Introducing Playbook 2021!

We've invited the best in small business to share their proven playbooks with you at Playbook 2021!

Join us for live Q&A's with NBA All-Star Shaquille O'Neal and VaynerMedia founder Gary Vee. Plus, hear from the people behind today's fastest-growing companies, like Cocokind, Health-Ade Kombucha, Loom, Zenefits, Bombas, and more.

This event is always free, totally digital, and completely candid. And it's all happening on September 30. 

👉 Register now. 


Stitch Fix lost 1.5k workers by sunsetting flexible hours

One way to increase retention? Offer flexible working hours! AKA let your team choose their schedule. Because roughly 80% of workers said they'd be more loyal to their employers if they had flexible work options.

When workers really want to work during their days

And Stitch Fix just learned this lesson the hard way. The online styling service just announced that they're sunsetting flexible work schedules. And in less than a month, 1.5K unhappy stylists quit the company as a result.

Most of these stylists were part-time workers who originally took the job for the flexible hours. Some of them were working moms, juggling their schedules to make work fit in between family obligations. Others were side-hustlers working for Stitch Fix on top of their full-time job.

Out of these employees, some were feeling especially mistreated. One said: "This is disrespectful and incredibly frustrating," noting that they were worried about "how [Stitch Fix] will continue to mistreat their employees in the name of 'change.'"

As that last comment suggests, this wasn't the only time Stitch Fix made stylists feel disrespected. In June 2020, they laid off 1.4k employees to find "cheaper labor." And they've been rolling out AI to do stylists' jobs since March of 2019 - making their stylists feel disposable in the process. And the flexible work hours ban was only the tipping point.

Aside from being inconsiderate, making your employees unhappy is bad business. Because happier employees earn 1.5 times more for your company. Meaning, people do better work when they feel their needs are being met.

And in Stitch Fix's case, the mistreatment is starting to show. Their customer satisfaction is currently ranked as "poor" on Trustpilot. And a ton of recent reviews have been bashing the quality of their clothing selections and services. 

So, while Stitch Fix takes the hit, we can all watch from the sidelines to take notes on how to not treat employees. It could be as simple as offering flexible work hours to those who need it. Or even providing a small stipend to help employees get the tech they need to WFH. (Both of which Stitch Fix also fell short on.) 

Either way, it literally pays to support your employees. And if that means working around their schedule, it's probably worth it!


Your business has 99 problems...

… But a playbook ain't one! At least not once you've heard Trainual CEO Chris Ronzio's episode of Entrepreneurs On Fire. Award-winning host John Lee Dumas picks Chris' brain on what is a business playbook, when you need one, why you need one, and how to build one

Catch the latest episode of EOF with Chris Ronzio!

👉 Catch it wherever you listen to podcasts.

Don't have 19 minutes? Here's the highlight reel: 

  1. When your mentality is that you have to take on everything yourself, you are the ceiling for your business. But if you learn the skill of documenting, delegating, and empowering other people, then the sky's the limit.
  2. Don't delegate tasks. Delegate responsibilities. 
  3. You've got to work on the business, not just in the business. By working in the business, you learn how to make the business better. Working on the business fine-tunes it so other people can work for you.


What happens when you throw out your playbook?

We know it's not good. But OnlyFans is going to demonstrate just how bad this business decision really is for all of us. 

Last Thursday, OnlyFans shocked the internet when it banned certain sexually explicit content starting this October. It has yet to release clear guidelines on what this means. All we know is that this is kind of like if In-N-Out stopped selling burgers.

How everyone feels about OnlyFans move

In 2020, OnlyFans raked in $1.2B in net revenue - most of which was from sex-related content. And it was a top-performing app during the pandemic. This year, the company was projected to make $2.5B in net revenue… That is, before their latest announcement, anyway. 

This decision has a lot of folks trying to figure out what the end goal is. And the answer seems to be investments. Any other company with this kind of growth would secure funding in seconds.

But while sex sells (OnlyFans has 130M active users to prove it), its R-rated reputation scares off venture capitalists. As a result, most firms passed on the company without even conducting due diligence. 

That's because some VC funds are prohibited from investing in adult content, per limited partnership agreements. Others are concerned about minors creating and consuming content without strict controls in place. And according to a recent BBC investigation, rightfully so. 

OnlyFans moderation system often misses illegal content. Or, if the account is super successful, the company sometimes "tolerates" illegal activity. Luckily, the site made sure this shouldn't be a problem moving forward. 

Many are comparing this policy change to Tumblr's move to ban adult content in 2018 (which took them completely out of the conversation). Meanwhile, MindGeek (Pornhub's parent company) deleted 80% of its content and implemented a new verification system when facing similar challenges. The only difference is this company (and their product) still thrives. 

So, here's the question: Now that OnlyFans has completely thrown out their playbook, will the company attract investors? Maybe - but they'll probably spend most of it finding a new business strategy.


This week's highlight reel

  • This is how you do it! No, we didn't get the lyrics wrong. Multi-platinum artist Montell Jordan (and us) just dropped an anthem for entrepreneurs and small business leaders like you. Watch the music video!
  • Is Gen Z cheugy? Baby brands have historically targeted their products towards, well, babies. But to win over Generation Alpha, they’re targeting Millennial parents instead. And they're using Instagrammable products as bait.
  • Not this again. The Chinese Government now has a 1% stake in TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance. Meaning, the US could once again look into banning the app due to security concerns.
  • Old Taco Road. Taco Bell named Grammy-winning rapper Lil Nas X as their Chief Impact Officer. They hope the edgy pop-star can help revamp their brand and convince Gen Z to order more breakfast burritos.
  • Now, that they’ve killed them, Amazon reportedly plans to open their own department stores. They’ll mainly sell apparel, electronics, and household items. But their real play is to collect more data. (Classic.)

Organize the chaos
of your small business