Small business owners face a myriad of challenges every day, not least of which is competing for customers with big businesses that have much more money and manpower. For many small business owners, just staying afloat can seem like a herculean task, as can hiring and retaining the right employees. In fact, one of the top challenges facing small businesses in the U.S. in 2016 is the hiring of new employees, with increasing profit not far behind. However, meeting the following three challenges head-on is possible.
No. 1: Hiring new and qualified employees. Competing with big businesses for qualified talent seems like a never-ending challenge for small business owners, mostly because a bigger business can usually pay its employees more and offer a more generous benefits package. However, to attract new and qualified talent, small businesses can give prospective employees a feeling of wanting to build and grow with the business. Furthermore, small businesses can tap into the ever-growing Millennial job pool, who comprise approximately 25% of the American workforce and are small business-oriented and prefer to work for businesses with fewer than 100 employees. Millennials are known to be tech-savvy and flexible, and will comprise approximately 50% of the global workforce by 2020 and 75% by 2025.
No. 2: Increasing profit. Staying one step ahead of competitors and increasing profit are challenges most businesses face, whether they be big or small. For small businesses, however, the challenge lies in being a low-cost leader, as competition is plenty and fierce. The solution: innovation. The best way to innovate is to research your existing customers, identify their buying patterns and target your most profitable ones in order to maximize returns. Ask yourself which customers are making you the most money and have the most growth potential. Introduce new products that complement your existing products and further stimulate your existing customers’ demands, which can also attract new clients.
No. 3: Staying motivated. Many small business owners, whether out of necessity or not, attempt to do everything themselves and work extra-long hours, thus leaving them constantly fatigued and burnt out. This, in fact, is a big problem in the small business world. In order to stay motivated and on top of the game, it is imperative that small business owners strategically delegate responsibilities to employees. A good place to start is with smaller day-to-day tasks, such as the mail. Furthermore, if you aren’t good with accounting and numbers look like hieroglyphics to you, consider hiring a professional accountant so as to not only avoid costly bookkeeping errors, but to maintain your sanity. In all areas of your business, it is essential to find a reasonable pace that keeps you and the business going.