Own a small business? Here’s a question for you: Have you seen steady, promising growth over the past year? Many like you have, and are looking to expand their staff to better accommodate the swell in clientele and revenue.
The National Federation of Independent Business ran a study this March that predicts 28% of small businesses expect to expand their enterprise as a whole. 20% anticipate higher sales during the fiscal year, and will be looking to hire new employees as a result.
Are you inclined to agree with this optimistic assessment? If so, what are you doing to prepare your business for future growth?
We reached out to the small biz community to get a feel for the current atmosphere, and to get a sense of how businesses are approaching adding new employees to their team. Take a look at what some experts in the field have to say on the subject.
The National Entrepreneur Center (NEC) has observed a strong confidence from our clients this year with an interest in hiring, and investment in their business growth. With the low unemployment rate in Florida, a hot construction market, and the overall acceleration of the economy, (which are all good things!) it is becoming more difficult to locate qualified and available workers, which may become a hindrance to growth in the future. However, the overwhelming trend from the thousands of business people who visited the NEC this year points to strong optimism within the industry.
Here at Creation Utah, we feel very optimistic about the future. Our real estate investment company is growing rapidly in this market. In the last 4 months, company sales have tripled and we have increased our staff from five to nine full and part-time employees. We are anticipating accelerated growth both in sales and hiring over the next year. We are expanding our business by increasing our sales and marketing efforts to reach a larger portion of our home market and adding additional sales staff to the team.
People are not an expense, they are an investment. I never understood why business owners have no problem investing in equipment or retirement plans, but not people. I am always on the lookout for good people for my business. The purpose of a business is to serve a customer and make a profit, so if I find someone who can take one dollar and make two, I want to hire that person, whether it’s a good economy or a bad economy.
I am planning to talk to more people, have more conversations, and ask for more referrals in the coming months. I am basically trying to figure out who will be a good investment on my part. I love to bet on people.
At Home Helpers of Bradenton, we are optimistic about higher sales and are looking to hire despite our “busy season” now coming to a close due to the “snowbirds” returning home. We’ve been fortunate to increase sales each year since the inception of the company in 2015. We feel that our success is primarily based on our commitment to customer service and, as a result, word of mouth. Every client, no matter how small (in terms of revenue), is important to us. If we can exceed their expectations, there is a greater opportunity for continued business in the future. In contrast, if we lose a client due to something that is within our control, we analyze the issues to ensure those issues are avoided in the future. We’ve actually hired a third party company that surveys our clients on a regular basis in efforts to be proactive and resolve any issues before they occur. Within the next quarter, we plan to increase our administrative staff by one to two personnel.
As far as hiring goes, we have experienced a 20% increase in employees at mycorporation.com because we are seeing great growth and success. We are hiring team members who are go-getters, work hard, and are committed to an entrepreneurial, growth-focused mindset. We are committed to finding the right employees and team members and believe that the best thing is to hire people who are fantastic and a great fit for the company. Our growth comes from partnerships and relationships with clients, where we highlight our awesome customer service.
At Velo, we are focused on growing our business strategically. As our company has expanded and increased sales, we have continued to grow our team and invest in our employees. Recruiting quality staff takes time, energy, and continuous effort, but when you find the right fit, you have made a hire that will be with you wherever you lead them. We are intentional about coaching, training, and providing great opportunities for continuing education for each team member, which increases employee engagement and the likelihood that they will develop into long-term, low-churn, high-producing members of our team. We work to illuminate a clear trajectory for prospective employees, emphasizing clear room for growth in our business. Due to a commitment to continual growth and efficiency, our small but elite team enjoy above-market salaries, fast paths to promotion, flexible work hours, competitive benefits, a finely tuned pay-for-performance program, continuing education, and industrious culture where intrapreneurship is encouraged and rewarded. In the past twelve months we have also drastically improved our benefit and perk offerings. The most impressive change has been our implementation of unlimited PTO, which together with flex time, allows our employees more freedom to take care of their families.
Our small local business of about 20 employees has started to notice some sizable gains along the lines of 25 percent growth, and we are consequently looking to hire some part-time as well as full-time employees for these positions during the upcoming months of 2018. One of the ways we are looking to cope with our success throughout 2018 is to try to be ahead of the curve. At RachetStraps, we look for potential people for positions that may not exactly need to be fulfilled immediately, but will need to be filled in the next few months, depending on workloads and trends throughout the year. Another way we are dealing with the new growth within our company is by using some new employee team building events. This encourages employees to work together and function as a team, but also allows them to have a little fun along the way.
What it looks like from the other side.
Not everyone considers hiring a necessity right now. Some of our respondents held a different view about the question we posed—check out why they’re fairly content to keep their businesses scaled back for the time being.
Essentially, I do not have plans to take on many new full-time workers because our employee to workload ratio is fairly balanced. Some people argue that with more workers comes the ability to do more work, but there are times when cases ebb and flow: some months may see a decrease in new cases, while others see a large influx. What I am aiming to do at the Employee Justice Legal Team is utilize independent contractors and temporary hires to help in times of need. We occasionally need specific content drafted and created, and instead of implementing a new department specifically to fill that purpose, I’ll be outsourcing the work to another organization. This allows me to retain my employees and keep them focused on their work without having to introduce another team, which can disrupt the space and put more work on our administrative team and Human Resources department. When our workload shows signs of steady increase as opposed to following a predictable pattern, I will take the necessary steps to bring on more assistants. In two of the past four years, I had to expand our pre-litigation department and bring on additional attorneys, allowing us to have a steady workload for the ensuing year.
The Koble platform polled 500 owners and managers of small-to-medium sized business across the U.S. with fewer than 100 employees over the last several weeks and found the following sentiment from SMBs on growing their business in 2018:
- Despite calls of small business confidence being at all-time highs, Koble found that 58% of SMB operators are less confident in their business’s sales prospects due to the political climate in 2018.
- Those operating retail or food businesses were the least confident and those operating real estate businesses were the most confident in business prospects under the Trump administration in 2018.
- The majority of SMBs (43%) stated tax reform will have no impact on their business. Those operating tech/engineering SMBs were the most likely (51%) industry vertical to say it would have no impact on their business.
Read the full Koble survey results.