Businesses are growing again and the economy is continuing. Sailing forward is so smooth, isn’t it? As you might have guessed, despite all these good things, being a small business owner today brings with it several new challenges.
Hiring, budgeting, and keeping employees safe can potentially address some or all of these common challenges. Think of some of these solutions to help keep you motivated.
Challenge #1: Sourcing and hiring qualified employees
LinkedIn statistics show a hiring boom in May 2021, 158.4% higher than May 2020. This is a good prediction if you’re looking for a job, but as a small business owner, it means finding and hiring talented people is becoming a lot more competitive…
If you have a vacancy on your team, here are some tips for recruiting the next generation.
- The benefits of remote work. The pandemic has taught many companies that remote work is possible. And many employees will be unwilling to return to the office full-time now that they have grown accustomed to blending their home and professional lives. If you can have employees work remotely instead of seeing this dynamic as another small business challenge, consider the benefits. Your hiring pool just went national, and you can probably hire people anywhere in the country – even in places with a lower cost of living and lower salary requirements.
- Perks and paydays. If you are considering a new hire that is currently being employed elsewhere, it may need an additional ID to help them stay away from the safety of their current situation. Consider offering signature bonuses and/or cash incentives that are awarded after a certain period.
- Secure your star employees. Finally, accept that your best employees are at least curious about the job market. Do whatever it takes to keep them safe and happy, whether it’s a place bonus or a well-received promotion. Even a modest wage increase is better than the challenges and high costs of recruiting, hiring, and training new employees.
Challenge #2: Dealing with inflation
67% of small business owners worry that inflation will slow their economic recovery. Rising shipping costs and increasing wage requirements on employees will challenge small business owners shortly, putting pressure on their bottom lines, profitability, and growth potential.
There are several strategies you can explore to mitigate the impact of these inflation-related challenges.
- Buy in bulk. Buy supplies in bulk whenever possible, especially when there are discounts. Making wholesale purchases can protect you from future price increases. Also, consider connecting inventory purchases with other small businesses in your network.
- Research supply costs. Take the time to research your suppliers to ensure you get the most competitive prices. It might be time to make a change if you see savings there. If you work in an industry with seasonal price fluctuations in your supply chain, plan your purchases for the part of the year when you get the best prices.
- Find positive ways to pass along costs. If you need to raise prices, do so in a way that makes the customer feel comfortable when buying. Invest in the quality of your products and services and differentiate yourself well from the competition. Be transparent and compassionate with your customers about why these price increases are happening. They are more likely to accept it if they understand the challenges you are facing.
Challenge #3: Health, wellness, and safety
Other small business challenges pale in comparison to keeping your employees and customers healthy and safe.
As vaccinations go up and COVID-19 statistics go down, you may tend to return to your normal activities. But with the myriad of employee and customer expectations to juggle, as well as a few 2020 aftershocks still to come, advancing the well-being of those who came first can help your small business.
- Get the right guidance. Continue to follow local, state, and federal guidelines for the latest recommendations and best practices for safety.
- Keep messaging on point. Communicate your security protocols at store entrances and throughout the company. If your sign has appeared in the last year, consider updating it to make it more vivid and improve the aesthetics of your small business.
- Manage workplace stress. Have honest, open, and loving conversations with employees about their state of mind. Many people are still facing the lasting effects of the pandemic, social distancing, and life in quarantine. And most workers still feel stressed and overwhelmed. Think about how you can reduce their stress – either with a little extra power or a wellness event organized at your small business.
Especially during tough times, find a local business like UPS Store Center so you have time to focus on maintaining and growing your business.
From shipping and shredding to design and printing, it can also help you find a centralized and affordable way to manage some of your most common daily expenses and challenges so you can focus on what matters most to your small business.