Inflation continues to hit small businesses hard. Some 85% of small business owners surveyed expressed concern about inflation, while 67% have raised prices in response to inflation, according to data from MetLife and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
While fears of a recession have been lingering for some time, Forbes contributor Rohit Arora writes that inflation is always happening and so small business owners must be prepared. Here’s how Main Street can survive rising costs and a looming recession.
Many businesses are cutting back on unnecessary expenses and brainstorming new ways to generate sales. Sometimes, however, the best time to sell things is when the world is falling apart. That’s held true for Simplify Asset Management, which sells insurance against bear markets. Paul Kim and David Berns cofounded Simplify Asset Management, which markets exchange-traded funds that protect portfolios from disasters like stock market crashes and interest rate spikes.
While the 23-employee firm is not yet in the black, Kim expects that it soon will be. “ETFs are like a movie studio,” Kim told Forbes. “You’re looking for a blockbuster to fund the business.” He won’t admit to praying for a catastrophic bear market in stocks or bonds, one much worse than what we’ve had, but such an event would probably deliver that blockbuster, writes Forbes senior contributor William Baldwin. Read more about the company here.
Garbage was the ultimate commodity business until a young McKinsey consultant saw how Republic Services could transform itself into a profit machine by pricing all sorts of trash at a premium. Now he’s CEO of the outperforming junk giant, which did $11.3 billion in sales in 2021 thanks to its 198 landfills and 71 recycling centers and collection routes across 41 states.
Key quote: “Trash is worth so much more than we ever thought.”—Jon Vander Ark, CEO of Republic Services
Must-Reads Across Forbes
The signs are mounting that an economic downturn is on the horizon: The Fed once again raised interest rates last week, the economy contracted in the second quarter, and in the face of it all, startup funding has waned considerably. This makes it all the more impressive for the companies that keep on rolling. Take business-to-business payments software Balance, for example, which elevated its valuation to $356 million after a recent equity funding round that brought in $56 million.
A little-known CEO from the Goldman Sachs-backed logistics software company Slync.io was living large just a few weeks ago, flying around in his private jet to exclusive golf tournaments and purchasing luxury cars. But now, the 34-year-old executive, Chris Kirchner, has been suspended from his role following a Forbes investigation that found some employees went unpaid for almost two months and were fired after asking questions about the company’s funds.
A majority of the most valuable startups in the U.S. were founded by immigrants, according to a report released last month by the National Foundation for American Policy, which was authored by Forbes contributor Stuart Anderson. In fact, 64% of U.S. unicorns—privately held companies valued at $1 billion or more—were started by immigrants or the children of immigrants.
If you’re looking to grow the customer base of your small business, one thing you should be sure to do is to build out a strong profile on Google—more than 60% of customers check out Google reviews online before they hit up a business. Here’s what you can do to keep your reviews plentiful and strong.
Some 100 Black-owned business vendors set up shop on a Sunday afternoon in the nation’s capital last month for the city’s first-ever “Black on the Block” celebration. In keeping with a tradition that began in Los Angeles last year, the movement’s takeover of Franklin Park, held in partnership with Buffalo Bills wide receiver and D.C. native Stefon Diggs, attracted about 5,000 people. Read more here.