Want to boost your bottom line? Look out for business waste.

November 30, 2022

🎶 “All I want for Christmas… is a winning trademark bid.” 🎶 – Mariah Carey, AKA not-the-Queen-of-Christmas (not an exact quote, but… it should be).

Hot off the SMB press this week:

  • See how your business stacks up in our first annual State of Small Business Knowledge & Training report.
  • A how-to guide on eliminating costly business waste.
  • Organize Chaos podcast — in a nutshell.

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


This week's highlight reel

  • ::Dr. Evil pinky maneuver:: 9 BILLION dollars. That’s how much consumers spent this Black Friday in online sales (actually, it was $9.12B). It’s a record-breaking figure, up 2.3% year-over-year. Looks like the economy’s not stopping this runaway holiday train.
  • Who’s getting the boot? Small business owners. Meta (i.e. Facebook and Instagram) has been disabling the pages of small businesses on all their platforms after they’ve been unknowingly hacked. Which, great timing (cough... holiday shopping… cough). Someone’s getting coal in their stocking this year. 
  • Guess who’s back? Back again. It’s corn (kid)! He’s back, and using his TikTok fame for good. Tariq (Corn Kid’s actual name) teamed up with Green Giant to donate canned vegetables — including, yes, corn — to City Harvest food rescue. We can’t imagine a more beautiful thing
  • There’s a Trainual for that, right? An Aurora man was severely shocked while hanging up holiday lights for Denver Christmas Light Installers. He received $2M in damages from the company and used his settlement to open his own small business: Forrest Cleaning.


Our first annual State of Small Business Knowledge & Training report is here

Trainual State of Small Business Knowledge & Training 2023 report.

Numbers don’t lie.
What do companies with the highest revenue, performance, and retention all have in common? For the sake of small business science, we were determined to find out. So we surveyed nearly 600 SMB leaders in over 20 different industries to produce our first annual State of Small Business Knowledge & Training report.

We collected data on small businesses’ approach to their training and knowledge initiatives over the past few years and where they landed in 2022. The results: some logical, others surprising, but overall, crystal clear — prioritizing documentation of key company information (like policies and processes) is essential to not just your growth but your bottom line.

Alright, what else did you find?
Glad you asked! Here are five key findings that you can use to guide your business as you grow and scale in 2023.

  1. Businesses that documented processes, policies, and operational knowledge protected revenue and improved performance throughout the pandemic. Here’s a stat for you: 92% of businesses with high growth during the pandemic rated process documentation as important. In fact, documenting only half (or less) of processes meant less growth — only 22% of those who reported they had less than half of their processes documented said their revenue increased during the pandemic.

    Bottom line: Businesses that prioritized documentation saw a significant, positive change in revenue when times were indescribably hard.
  2. Training, transparency, and knowledge sharing helped to increase retention. Turnover is inevitable. But generally speaking, you want people to stick around. And the numbers bear that out: 47% of businesses that focused more on onboarding and training during the pandemic experienced high growth. Employees stay longer when you give ‘em good training — 35% of businesses that reported a 3+ year average employee tenure said their team spent at least three to four hours per week on training and development in 2022.

    Bottom line: Companies that held frequent and continual training sessions and devoted resources to employee development experienced significantly longer employee tenure.

👉 Check out the next three insights.


3 steps to eliminating costly business waste in your SMB

A man explaining something to another man and a woman.

It’s time to take out the trash.
We’re not talking about the takeout containers, crumpled Post-Its, and La Croix cans pilling up in your office garbage cans.

We’re talking about the waste you can’t see: business waste. The inefficiencies littered throughout your business that tend to stay hidden but can make a large impact over time. Business waste may seem innocuous, but it’s costing you both time and money.

Where do I find business waste?
We asked ourselves that same question — so we got in contact with Trainual certified consultant Greg Gunther of Your Business Momentum, who has a three-step guide to help business leaders identify and get rid of the waste weighing down their businesses:

1. Identify the business waste holding your company back.
The first step to eliminating business waste is actually pointing out where it exists in your business. But if this is your first time ever hearing about business waste, how do you know where to start?

Look no further than Greg’s Business Waste Checklist. Based on the guiding principles that define Toyota’s organizational culture, the list focuses on the seven wastes common in most businesses — things like overproduction, inappropriate processing, and waiting.

2. Calculate how much business waste is costing you.
So, you have a list of business waste that’s affecting your bottom line. But not all business waste is created equal — determining how much your waste is actually costing you can help you figure out the best way to start tackling it.

With the Waste Audit, you can cross-reference the ease of removing the waste with the impact it will have on your business’ bottom line. That way, you’re eliminating the waste that is both easy to remove and saves you the most time and money.

👉 What’s step 3?


This week on Organize Chaos: How finance follows strategy

Banner featuring Drew Romney.

Mariah Carey is blasting at your local Macy’s, and you know what that means: Time for annual strategic planning and forecasting. And to show you how we tackle this at Trainual, Chris sat down with our director of finance and king of the spreadsheet, Drew Romney, on Organize Chaos to talk about how businesses should think about forecasting (they even have a fun little exercise with waterfall charts!).

Only have 10 minutes to spare? Check out these mini pods:

Organize the chaos
of your small business