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That's A Wrap 🎬

December 8, 2021


How SMBs are maneuvering past supply chain roadblocks

We know. Another report about the supply chain issues. But small businesses are still concerned about it (and they have the right to be).

A survey by American Express revealed that 78% of small businesses believe their holiday sales will impact whether they can keep their doors open in 2022. But as we all know, supply chain barriers are making this holiday season more challenging than ever.

Per the most recent US Census Bureau data, 53% of American small businesses report having at least some stock delay or difficulty.  

And small businesses don’t have the leverage to get priority in the supply chain competition. Even if a small business purchases products first, their delivery will be shoved aside by a larger corporation’s pricier order.

Larger companies also have more resources to fight back against supply chain issues. They can lease more cargo ships, pay more for shipping via air, and add extra benefits to incentivize workers to help out. Walmart is even using self-driving cars and drones in select areas to deliver products to customers.

To get around the supply chain issues, some SMBs thought (AKA bought) ahead for the end of 2021. One toy store owner reported buying an entire season’s worth of supplies in August.

The risky splurge could leave them with too much inventory and not enough sales to make up the spend. But, the owner thought it would be even more costly to have empty shelves during the holiday season.

And for businesses who couldn’t get extra supplies, owners have had to inflate their prices to make up for lost revenue. So, on top of supply chain problems, consumer prices rose by a whopping 6.2% from this time last year.

Here’s the good news for small business owners: inflationary prices haven’t stopped shoppers from buying. The NRF forecasts a record holiday season with sales rising between 8.5% and 10.5%, for a total of $843-859B of consumer spending.

And according to a November Union Bank survey, about three in four consumers plan to spend up to 50% of their budget with small businesses. And about half are willing to spend up to $10 more on an item to support a small or local business.

So, even though big companies have more resources to problem-solve supply change difficulties, small businesses can still make moves for a profitable Q4. Especially with support from consumers who will be spending more than ever this holiday season.

👉 Learn other SMB stocking strategies.


The Business Playbook (paperback edition) is ON SALE

Looking for that extra little gift for the business leaders and entrepreneurs in your life? Then you’ll be excited to hear that The Business Playbook by Trainual CEO Chris Ronzio is out in paperback — and on sale!

From now until December 12, you can get The Business Playbook on Amazon for $9.99! It’s the perfect holiday gift for any business owner (or even as a present for yourself). 😏

👉 Grab a copy today.


The shockingly big business behind Spotify Wrapped

Years ago, it was embarrassing to share that you streamed that Justin Bieber song 100+ times in a year. But with Spotify Wrapped, those stats are now like a badge of honor.

Released every December since 2016, the Spotify Wrapped recap tells its users what artists, songs, and genres they listened to most over the past year.

And in 2020 alone, 90M Spotify users engaged with Spotify Wrapped. Meaning, there’s a ton of hype around the annual event.

But music listeners aren’t the only ones who are obsessed with it. Spotify loves it too. Because it means better business for them.

Last year, Spotify Wrapped led to a 21% increase in app downloads for the company in the first week of December 2020 alone. And CEO Daniel Ek said that Spotify Wrapped historically leads to their biggest quarter of the year.

But why the heck do its customers love the recap so much? The biggest reason is that it’s so easy to share their results with others. Meaning, users can seamlessly upload their Wrapped results to social media with the click of a button. Making it easy to brag that they’re one of the top Taylor Swift fans.

And when people see their friends’ (and seemingly everybody else's) Wrapped results, they want to get in on the action too. Especially when it's the hottest conversation on social media the day that it’s released.

With Wrapped, Spotify proves that making it easy to share how customers interact with your business is a winning strategy. And other businesses can make this strategy their own.

For example, that could mean creating a visually pleasing order confirmation email that’s easy to share. Or a pre-made social media post that customers get when they start working with you.

And even though you might not be able to find out which of your customers are “Beliebers,” finding a way to make your own “Wrapped” is worth a shot.


How Trainual uses Trainual

One of the top questions we get from the people who try our product is “how does Trainual use Trainual?” And the answer is that we use Trainual the same way our customers do: to help run our business.

We use our product as our own business playbook — and we wanted to share the secrets to our success! So, we rolled back the curtain on our best practices for using Trainual.

That way, our customers can get the most out of our product. And we can answer questions for anyone who’s curious to see what Trainual is all about.

So, here are some tips that guide how we manage our content on Trainual:

  • Make content transparent and well-organized. With our Company, Policy, and Processes pages, we can organize our information conveniently. That way, our employees know where to find anything they need to know. Plus, with our Roles and Responsibilities pages, everyone knows exactly how they’re contributing to our business.
  • Design content intentionally. Let’s face it — employee training covers a lot of material. That’s why we divide our content into bite-sized chunks so our training material is easily digestible. Our employees can retain the information better, and they’ll remember the training when they’re quizzed at the end of each process. (Did we mention Trainual even has quizzes?)
  • Create engaging content. It’s easy for training to get a little boring. So, we make our content fun to review with a lighthearted tone and an easy-to-read text. To break up the content, we also embed YouTube videos, include emojis, and insert images. You know us — we love a good GIF!

👉 Find more helpful tips.


This week's highlight reel

  • No pictures. Twitter’s newest policy prevents its users from posting videos or images of other people without their consent. And while the rule is meant to protect privacy, some critics say it gives Twitter too much power over what can be displayed to the public.
  • Freebies, anyone? Retailers including Amazon and Target are allowing customers to keep refunded merchandise instead of returning it. The companies are hoping to avoid the extra fees that come with processing and shipping back unwanted items.
  • Finally. Capital One is getting rid of its overdraft fees, which bring in $150M per year. Not so coincidentally, the US government recently announced increased oversight on banks that rely on overdraft fees, so Capital One’s move could be the sign of an industry-wide shift.
  • Get your GIFs here! The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has ordered Meta to sell its recent acquisition GIPHY, a website for sharing GIFs. According to the CMA, by buying GIPHY, Meta removed a competitor from the digital advertising market.

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