Welcome to the Small Business Rundown. Each day, we bring you stories that impact small business owners and their workforce.
Ever heard of the term “mancession”? We hadn’t either, but apparently it’s an important economic term that you should totally use during your next cocktail party. You probably shouldn’t use the phrase “Backcountry” in your company name or logo, however, unless you’re looking for trouble. Finally, small businesses seem to be giving fewer “likes” when it comes to advertising on Facebook.
Women outnumber men on U.S. payroll for second time in history
The U.S. Department of Labor announced on Friday that women hold just over 50% of all payroll jobs in the country for only the second time in the country’s history. The first time was during the Great Recession, when men were initially laid off at higher rates than women, giving rise to the term “Mancession.” Today, the increase in the percentage of women on the books represents the economy’s turn away from typically male-dominated industries, like manufacturing, to the service industry.
The Number: 95%. On Friday, the U.S. Department of Labor announced that 145,000 jobs were added to the economy last month — and that 95% of them went to women.
The Quote: “It reminds us to take a moment and think about the kind of strides women have made in the labor market. But also, the future of the labor force is going to involve greater women’s equality.”
Backcountry.com legal battle highlights important lessons for SBOs
Outdoor leisure goods and gear purveyor Backcountry.com recently did an about-face on their aggressive trademark war against small businesses. In the fall of 2019, the brand took action against smaller companies with the phrase “backcountry” in their name, attempting to cancel trademarks and filing lawsuits for IP infringement. Without resources and in-house legal teams, many SBOs were forced to change their name and rebrand — demonstrating how even the threat of an IP suit can cause serious problems for small businesses.
The Number: 11,000. Public backlash was swift as 11,000 people joined a Facebook group calling for a boycott of Backcountry.com and eventually forcing the company to change their tactics.
The Quote: “The effect of this was devastating for many small businesses. Several affected businesses reported feeling ‘threatened, bullied, and forced into certain results by Backcountry and its legal counsel.”
Small biz owners turning away from marketing on Facebook
Social media is an important piece of the marketing strategy of many small businesses. A recent survey, however, indicates that more and more company execs are choosing to spend their advertising budget elsewhere. In particular, small businesses note diminishing returns on the money they’ve spent, as well as concerns about Facebook’s privacy and data usage.
The Number: 32%. According to a recent survey by INC.com, 32% of business execs believe that they are getting less value for marketing dollars spent on Facebook than they used to. The Quote: “I feel that Facebook has run its course. It’s not somewhere people in our industry are spending time. In fact, it’s become less and less of something I even think or talk about.”