What Challenges Are Facing SMEs Today?

The Fast Moving Pace of Technology
Integrating technology into the day to day running of your small business can have a big impact on productivity. The efficiencies that come with integrating technology can help create a more profitable business, and ensure that you are able to keep up with the changing expectations of your customer base. In a recent survey of SMEs, 46% said they are eager to embrace new technology in the next 12 months. Whilst it can be a big expense, finding solutions that work seamlessly with your existing processes will only enhance your business!

Having Sufficient Funding
Getting your small business up and running can be an expensive undertaking, and sourcing enough capital to make it happen can be challenging. For small business owners overcoming this hurdle is a big achievement, however the investment does not stop here. To support your small business during periods of growth or through tough times, it is important to find a healthy balance of internal and external funding to ensure you can take advantage of opportunities, whilst still retaining a ‘rainy day’ fund.

Finding & Retaining The Right Staff
Recruiting can be difficult for small business owners, as they want to ensure that their business is in the best hands. In addition to this, what the young workforce value in their employer is changing, so it is vital that SMEs look at what potential employees are seeking and adapt. More now than ever, company culture and the workplace environment are make or break factors in the recruitment process, with statistics showing young workers would rather take a lower paying job at a company they felt aligned with their values. In order to build your business with the best staff and keep them, you should focus on providing a flexible workplace that recognises employees accomplishments.

The Need For Change
We can’t deny that Australia’s small business landscape is changing. With consumers ever-evolving needs shaping the market, we have seen a big shift towards consumer convenience being central to business operations. For many SMEs this has meant making a big change, whether it be expanding their offering, working with third party providers or making fundamental changes to their processes. Implementing change can be a tough job, however having a positive attitude towards change is vital for long-term success and sustainability.

How To Build Your Business With The Best Staff

Finding the right staff when hiring can be tricky, so it’s important to showcase everything your company has to offer in order to attract the best people. In competitive markets it is the little things that matter to your potential employees, so take a look at these ideas below to make your company stand out from the crowd.

Find Out What The Going Rate Is And Match It

Whilst it is important to acknowledge that money isn’t everything, the salary you pay your employees is an important factor in attracting high quality staff to your business and keeping them there. It is not always common practice to display the salary offered, especially for any high-level executive roles. However, it is important to find out what your applicants expectations are and if they are in line with what you are offering.

Make Your Online Presence Known

Ensuring that your business can be found online is a key component of the recruitment drive. This doesn’t just mean that your job listing is visible across various online platforms, but that a prospect who is researching your company can find it online and has access to information about your brand, what you do, your company culture and anything else you may want to advertise to potential employees.

Lifestyle Is Key

The concept of work-life balance is one that is appealing to many full-time workers. Incorporating lifestyle as part of your recruitment offer will have broad appeal and give your company bonus points when hiring. Wellness programs are rising in popularity as employers strive to create a healthier workplace and encourage good habits among their staff. Such initiatives are also shown to reduce absenteeism and healthcare costs among staff. Another popular option is being open to flexible work arrangements. Employees who can find a balance between their personal life and work commitments tend to be more satisfied in the role, and this is reflected through higher productivity rates.

Foster A Positive Company Culture

Company culture has become somewhat of a buzz-word in the recruiting game over the past few years. The emergence of company culture and finding ‘a good cultural fit’ as a key part of the hiring process reflects our society’s desire to identify with the company they work for. This often means having shared values and direction. Young job-seekers especially place a high level of importance on corporate culture, seeking a workplace they are happy to spend 40+ hours of their week within.

Growth Growth Growth

Offering your employees opportunities for growth is key in both attracting and maintaining high quality team members. This can come in two forms, either through personal development and upskilling, or the opportunity for career advancement, raises and promotions. The former option is often at a low cost to the company but is valued by employees as it keeps their qualifications and knowledge relevant and up to date. The latter, is especially important to those coming in at an entry level position, or to those looking to propel their career forward. Many employees report becoming frustrated when there is little opportunity for an upward move within their company.

Recognise Your Employees Accomplishments

Recognising your employees achievements translates directly to increased morale in the workplace. Any initiatives which show employees that their contribution to the company is valued are important. This recognition does not have to be monetary, simply an acknowledgement of work well done is enough to show you care. On the recruitment front, WOM or public recognition of accomplishments can attract other high performing prospects to the company.

Embrace The Power Of The Team

Looking at your employees as a collective team is important in running a productive business with happy and high-performing members. Hiring people that are team players is important in maintaining workplace harmony. Utilising a hiring opportunity to fill gaps within your team is important, and pulling together too many team members with the same skills can cause tension due to overlapping responsibilities and competition for opportunities.

Encourage Employee Referrals

Data shows that people discover new employment opportunities through referral more than any other channel. Implementing a formalised employee referral program can encourage your team to bring in more like minded people into the company. Whilst paying recruitment bonuses can cost a little more than a job listing, ultimately the outcome is higher quality applicants.