With China providing 85% of the 3 billion toys sold in the US annually, the toy industry is expected to be hit particularly hard by supply chain issues created, in part, by the COVID-19 pandemic and continuing labor shortages -- a reality Don Kipper and his daughter, Lily, prepared for as owners of business known as Los Angeles' oldest toy store. "You have to do whatever it takes to get the merchandise to stay in business," said Kipper, whose father opened Kip's Toyland in 1945 after being released from a World War II prisoner of war camp.
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Finding money for advertising can be tough for a startup or small business, but thanks to social media it's something every business can do without impacting the bottom line. In addition to creating your own content and promotions, consider making moves such as partnering with a social media micro-influencer and running promotions and contests to increase brand awareness.
Pivoting your business doesn't have to mean making an overhaul of your entire business model. Sometimes, small pivots such as changing your pricing model, adjusting your target audience or streamlining processes can be all it takes to get back on the road to success.
Nine in 10 consumers say they will shop via mobile apps this holiday season with 73% using mobile to buy at least half of their gifts, while 45% will do more web-based shopping, according to Bluedot's 2021 Holiday Habits report conducted by SurveyMonkey. "The fight for share of wallet will not happen at brick-and-mortar, but digitally this year," said Bluedot Chief Marketing Officer Judy Chan.
Corporate culture prizes standout employees, but it is important to recognize that average workers who meet expectations also are critical to team success. This group should be celebrated to boost retention and engagement.
Time audits categorize business activities and attach an hourly value to each task, allowing business owners to determine the best use of their time, business coach Stan Peake writes. Peake explains how to use sticky notes to inject innovation into a time audit and recommends revisiting it about once a year.
Twitter is making a stronger attempt to reach small businesses "by making advertising easier and more competitive as well as doing its best to tone down some of the toxicity," writes Gene Marks. Marks cites a revamped algorithm and the company's attempt to help businesses use ads to locate more customers who are likely to make purchases directly in the app.
If earnings reports from regional banks show an increase in new loans at higher interest rates, that could be a sign that small businesses are expanding and supply chain issues are improving, analysts say.