It’s another “best of” list (but this one benefits your bottom line)

December 21, 2022

This edition of The Manual is brought to you by family oversharing during holiday dinner. May the force of Frank Gore Jr. be with you.

Hot off the SMB press this week:

  • Yet another “best of” list. (Your biz will thank you for this one.)
  • Making rest your superpower. 
  • Tips for getting your employees engaged in 2023.

But first, here are some headlines that caught our attention this week.


This week's highlight reel

  • Not a creature was stirring — except the IRS. Before you check out for the holidays, make sure your tax money is ready to roll. Small businesses that took advantage of COVID provisions in 2020 (to defer some of their Social Security taxes) had to repay 50% of what was owed at the beginning of 2022. The other 50% is due on January 3. Happy New Year.   
  • Don’t Messi with Argentina. Soccer legend Lionel Messi finally got his World Cup win as #TeamArgentina triumphed over France this past Sunday. And now, for those of us in the U.S., back to your regular football programming. 
  • Look ma, no hands! Autonomous (re: driverless) vehicles are officially coming to Uber’s network in 2023 as “robotaxis.” The first guinea pig test city will be Vegas, so place your bets on when we’ll see the first robo selfies accordingly. 
  • Lord of the Rings. It’s the holiday gift you never saw coming: a massive half-pound Fruit Loop for $19.99. Or maybe you did, ‘cause, you know, it’s pretty hard to miss.


The Manual Wrapped: Our best articles and podcasts of 2022

Calendar of The Manual 2022.

Who doesn’t love a good end-of-year recap?
Not to toot our own horn, but we’ve put a lot of hard work into The Manual this year. We’ve poured our metaphorical blood, sweat, and tears into articles, the Organize Chaos podcast, and this weekly newsletter (**wink wink**) to produce quality content for entrepreneurs and small business leaders looking for news, inspiration, and advice.

So, we decided to take a look back and compile a list of the very best of what The Manual had to offer in 2022:

The Best of Organize Chaos.
Long-time readers of this newsletter will recognize Organize Chaos, the podcast where Trainual founder and CEO Chris Ronzio covers everything and anything about small business and entrepreneurship.

From interviews to tips and tricks of the trade, we produced a ton of episodes this year, but here’s a couple that stand out amongst the rest:

Organizational Chart: A Guide To Building Your SMB's Org Chart.
Here at The Manual, we’re big advocates for organizational charts (and role charts) and their importance to businesses, no matter their size. But building your first org chart can be a daunting task.

This year, we produced a guide to help you do just that.

SMB Strategies for Dealing with Rising Inflation.
Inflation: one of the biggest news topics of the year and a massive thorn in the side of almost every business, big and small.

We wrote a few different pieces about inflation this past year, but our article on SMB strategies for dealing with this issue still holds up.

👉 See the full list.


How to make rest a priority

A dog resting in a hammock.

Well, this is timely.
It’s a tale as old as time: small business owner gets up in arms running their operation while simultaneously trying to execute a Hallmark movie-level holiday extravaganza for family and friends. Masochist, much? (Us included.)

It’s time to master one endlessly beneficial skill: rest. 

That’s great and all, but I don’t have time to “rest.”
Entrepreneurship makes it tough to actually take a break and decompress. But it’ll ultimately make you more productive when it comes to tackling the tasks at hand (thanks Captain Obvious).

The key to baking in some much needed R&R is to understand what phase of entrepreneurship you’re in. “In the early-stages, the purpose of rest is to refuel, refill your tank and go again,” says Briony McKenzie, a personal development coach. “When you’re a sole operator, you cannot afford to get burned out. There’s no one else to run your business.”

In later phases, when you’re able to delegate and pass on responsibilities to others, it gets easier (and we just happen to know a platform that can help you do that — ahem.).

So, how do I find time to actually rest?
If you’re in the initial stages of entrepreneurship, rest is much more productivity-based. “Schedule rest, and rest before you need it,” says McKenzie. Add rests and breaks as a celebration of milestones — schedule a spa day, a hike, or a treat-yourself lunch at the end of a big project or task.

Also, make your rests consistent. There’s so much sensory overload during those first years, it’s important to break out of your company environment for a few moments to review, reflect, and think. After a big client phone call, go for a walk. If there’s a big launch event in the books, make time before or after to get some space between you and the activity. Essentially, give your brain a very necessary time out.

👉 Discover resting tactics for the second phase of entrepreneurship.


Tips for increasing employee engagement in 2023

The numbers on employee satisfaction are… not good.
Just look at Gallup’s most recent “State of the Workplace” report — employee engagement is sitting at an extremely low 21%.

What’s even worse: 60% of workers reported feeling “emotionally detached.” The final blow? One in every five employees is actually “miserable” in their jobs.

What’s to be done?
Companies have turned to signing bonuses, flexible work arrangements, and mental health benefits to attract new employees and retain their current teams. And while employees deserve these benefits and more, your employee engagement strategy won’t (and shouldn’t) look like everyone else’s.

So, as you look to plan your business strategy for 2023, try incorporating these tips for building employee engagement next year:

1. Practice what you preach culture-wise.
Walk the walk when it comes to your organization’s culture and values. If you promote yourself as an employee-first business, then find personalized ways to meet their needs.

That might look like offering a flexible schedule for employees with kids or giving your team an extra 30 minutes after lunch to meditate or exercise for physical and mental health.

2. Offer growth pathways.
Incorporating growth paths can set the standard for what longevity could look like at your business. Whether it’s through promotion pathways, learning opportunities, or networking, you can encourage employees’ growth — which will increase satisfaction at work.

👉 Check out more tips.


This week on Organize Chaos: Feedback time!

How many episodes of Organize Chaos have you listened to? One? Ten? One hundred? No matter the number, we want to hear your thoughts on the show! Answer a few questions about Organize Chaos, and you could win $100 to the Trainual Swag Shop. (We’ll announce the winner on December 23, 2022.)

Already filled out the survey? Check out our most recent episodes:

The Manual Weekly will be on hiatus next week as we take our own advice and rest up during the holidays. We’ll see you bright and early in 2023!

Organize the chaos
of your small business