What experts have to say about building a winning company culture

November 9, 2022

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Hot off the SMB press this week:

  • Why you should be putting veterans’ resumes at the top of the stack.
  • One reason Black leaders are turning to entrepreneurship.
  • Rules for building a winning company culture.
  • Putting all that branded swag you ordered to good marketing use.

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


This week's highlight reel

  • I want money.” The best things in life are free… except when it comes to running your SMB. So it’s time to apply for the latest grants and programs for women-owned, minority-owned, and other types of businesses. Check out which ones you qualify for before the November deadlines.
  • Roads? We don’t need roads. Especially since TSA dropped PreCheck prices so you can buzz past those holiday crowds during business travels. Word on the street (or… in the air?) is that September pre-checkers spent less than five minutes in line with their elite passes. We’ll have what they’re having.
  • Block-bust. First, Netflix put our favorite video store out of business. Now, they’re just rubbing it in with their new show “Blockbuster.” Awkwardly, the sitcom failed even harder than the actual store — it’s the worst-reviewed show on TV. Oof. The good news: You can drink away any “insufferable” episodes you fell victim to at a Blockbuster-themed speakeasy pop-up in LA.
  • Context is key. The Trainual Chrome extension just got better! (Yes, we have one.) Now, you can use it to add business processes, policies, and knowledge to *any* webpage online, so your team can instantly get the context they need — right where they’re working. Try Trainual for free and check it out today.
Video screenshot of Trainual Chrome extension.


Veterans are the perfect hires for SMBs. Here’s why.

I’d love to hire a veteran. But what if they don’t have the experience we need?
In honor of Veteran’s Day (which, incidentally, is this Friday, Nov. 11), we’re here to set the #bigfacts straight. Your SMB doesn’t need someone with years of experience identical to what you’re hiring for.

Here’s why: You want your next hire to be trustworthy, selfless, hardworking, disciplined. You know, all those non-negotiable traits. Traits that simply can’t be taught. And let’s face it — the next person you hire either has them, or they don’t.

That’s why you need to hire someone who inherently has the standup qualities you seek. And you’re not gonna find someone better than a military veteran — a team player who makes sacrifices, follows protocol, communicates effectively, and so much more.

Great point. But I’d still like them to have the experience. 
All you have to do is find a veteran who has military-based knowledge and skills that can be transferred to a civilian role. With the proper training (like — wink — Trainual) your veteran new hire will become a high-performing, all-star employee in no time.

The best news? Veterans have unmatched qualities and qualifications that make them the perfect hires for SMBs in every industry.

👉 Check out the top seven qualities of veteran hires.


Black women leaders are less supported in the workplace — and it could be pushing them into entrepreneurship

In the Women in the Workplace 2022 report by LeanIn.org and McKinsey & Company, researchers note that women are demanding more and more from their workplaces and will seek better opportunities if necessary, in a movement aptly named the “Great Breakup.”

In a closer look at the data collected, the study also states that Black women are more likely to face barriers to advancement — even though their demographic is more ambitious. “Black women leaders are more ambitious than other women at their level: 59% of Black women leaders want to be top executives, compared to 49% of women leaders overall,” the study asserts. “But they are also more likely than women leaders of other races and ethnicities to receive signals that it will be harder for them to advance.”

The data from this study could explain why Black women are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the U.S. In 2021, 17% of Black women were in the process of starting or running their own businesses (compared to 15% of white men).

According to Wema Hoover, a global DEI thought leader and author, Black women are building their own environments where they can thrive and “deliver the skills that were not harnessed or seen as valuable previously” because of their lack of opportunity in the corporate sector. But to avoid losing such great talent in the first place, organizations need to acknowledge where they can improve their diversity efforts and continuously support their employees.


That branded company swag you have in inventory? Put it to good marketing use.

Two women posing in front of a "Trainual" conference booth.

Do you have company swag?
If not, consider this a sign to start investing in some company-branded products for your employees and customers.

Ever wonder why companies like Nike and Adidas almost always feature their iconic logos on their products? They’re creating brand awareness. By showing off their brands, these companies are increasing visibility and developing their reputation amongst their potential customer base.

Because the more often you see a brand, the more likely you’ll remember them for your future needs. And this is a marketing tactic that you can bring to your own SMB — no matter your industry.

Not entirely convinced?
Check out these other benefits:

  • Get your customers committed to your business with high-quality swag.
  • Don’t just give it away — boost your revenue by selling your branded products.
  • Make your customers walking billboards with these long-lasting advertisements.

Get creative!
Pens, mugs, sweatshirts, and yoga mats, oh my! Develop a wide variety of branded products to sell or give away — anything that will entice your customer base.

🔥 Tip: Need some inspiration? We’ve got options. And if you see something you like, you’re in luck — give us your feedback on The Manual and earn the chance to win $50 at the Trainual shop!


Liquid Death and The Cupcake Collection’s tips for cooking up a winning company culture

One man and two women on a Zoom call.

Company culture is a lot like… ice cream?
Well, in the sense that there are tons of options (flavors?) for building one. But it’s not as easy as simply choosing your favorite pint. There’s a delicate balance between keeping employees happy and ensuring things get done right.

Without sounding like a pharma ad, how do I know which choice is right for me?
For that, we turned to Natalie Dao, director of people at Liquid Death, and Mignon Francois, founder and CEO of The Cupcake Collection during Playbook 2022. Here’s what they shared about hiring a team and building a long-lasting company culture along the way.

1. Delegate hiring to someone who can do it better.
When you’re a business leader, you tend to wear many hats. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re the best candidate to tackle all those responsibilities — and that includes hiring and retention efforts. “I tend to hire people that are just like me,” Mignon told us. But she knew that her hiring tactics weren’t contributing to her team's creativity. So she removed her hiring hat and delegated the task instead.

2. Define the environment you want to give employees.
Since the pandemic, Liquid Death has grown from 12 employees (before 2020) to 150. Sustaining a company culture in rapid growth isn’t easy. But according to Natalie, their focus on hiring rebellious people (who don’t enjoy a corporate setting) has kept their team glued together during fast growth. “We wanted to get rid of the bureaucracy, get rid of the ladder climbing, and make this an open environment that worked best for us,” she explained.

👉 Read on for more tips from Mignon and Natalie.


This week on Organize Chaos: The importance of a purpose-driven business

Did you know that nine out of 10 dentists recommend listening to Organize Chaos for optimal oral health?* Good news for your molars: Chris Ronzio, founder and CEO of Trainual, is coming in hot every weekday with entrepreneurial and small business leadership advice that covers everything from people to processes to productivity — and how to organize your life around it all.

Banner featuring a woman, Diane Primo.

Last week, Chris sat down with Diane Primo, CEO of Purpose Brand Agency, an award-winning Chicago-based public relations, branding, and digital marketing firm. Diane's focus on impact marketing stems from the belief that brands must be relevant, purpose-driven, and committed to consumers if they want to be successful today. If you're thinking about purpose and want to learn how to put it to work in your business, this is the podcast episode for you.

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

*Yeah, we totally made this up.

Organize the chaos
of your small business