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Across the industry during the first week of May, we recognize small businesses during National Small Business Week, and they deserve recognition all year long as they tackle many of the same challenges that larger companies face. Small business owners are focusing on hiring, technology and other key needs all while making sure their businesses run smoothly.
While they may not have the same resources as larger organizations, small businesses often have unique characteristics that can help overcome business challenges. Small businesses are known for their ability to be flexible and quickly adapt to change. Small businesses typically have strong relationships with their local communities as well, which can often provide mutual benefits.
Here are a few ways that small businesses can tackle big business problems this week and beyond:
Challenge: Hiring and retention
In today’s competitive business environment, hiring and retention always remains top of mind for business owners. According to the latest Capital One Small Business Growth Index, 20 percent of small business owners say employee retention is one of the biggest impediments to business growth.
Retention starts with hiring the right people in the first place. It is important for business owners to hire talent who not only fulfill the job requirements, but employees who love what they do and are compatible with their business culture. Recognizing hard work also plays a valuable role in attracting and retaining talent. Rewarding employees with paid vacation time, parental leave, 401k offerings to save for retirement, insurance, sales bonuses or recruitment bonuses, promotes positive morale among the team and helps to create a great place to work.
Challenge: Adopting new tech
Technology adoption is also a major opportunity for small business owners, as the Small Business Growth Index found that 65 percent of small business owners believe technology innovations are making it easier to streamline business operations.
Adapting to evolving technology advancements can be cumbersome and expensive for any size business. However, the ability to adapt more quickly is an advantage smaller companies can have over corporate counterparts. For example, switching from traditional data storage on servers and mainframes to cloud technology may be a much easier process for a small business than a larger one – and it’s an opportunity to save money in the long run. The ability to find and implement creative tech solutions may be a challenge, but it’s also an advantage for small businesses if they are able to move quickly.
Challenge: Time management
Time management may be the most common problem faced by small business owners today. Small business owners typically wear many hats and can struggle to find the time to complete every task. No small business owner starts a company to manage administrative tasks, but many find that they spend countless hours keeping tabs on things vs. doing whatever it is that made them want to start a business in the first place.
My advice? Never underestimate the importance of organizing and prioritizing tasks. Creating goal lists broken down annually, monthly, weekly and daily can help business owners focus and ensure that priorities are getting the attention they deserve. Additionally, if tasks do not align with goals, they should be eliminated and tasks that can be handed off to other team members or streamlined through technology should be delegated to free up time.
Business owners face many challenges with as they manage and grow their business but identifying advantages unique to small businesses can help drive long term success. Organization, perseverance and nimbleness can be their most valuable assets. By seeing every challenge as an opportunity and working successfully in a collaborative environment, entrepreneurs can reap the rewards of building their own business.