Come the holiday rush, the usual staff of a small business may no longer be enough hands on deck to support the surge of demand created by increased consumer spending. In order to make the most of the season (and the most profit possible) small business owners may have to take on some temporary staff members in order to keep their operations running smoothly. The biggest challenge small business owners will face hiring temporary workers is competition and a smaller pool of candidates. With major retailers also in the game looking to hire temporary workers for the holidays, small business owners are going to have to think beyond traditional hiring channels in order to come up with the volume of workers they need in time to service the holiday rush. In an article that appeared in the Long Beach Post, it was suggested that business owners should branch out their hiring ads into their more immediate networks in order to get a more direct message out

Millennials are the newest generation entering the workforce, and thanks to their unique perspectives on everything from social issues to technology, they represent a potentially powerful force for managers to harness towards greater business productivity. While some ideas that millennials have, such as what is more important, business or the time they spend on themselves, have managers wary, by re-framing the relationship between millennial employees and their work, business owners can ensure that they get the most out of their employees in terms of productivity and the high energy that young staff members bring to a team. Ask them what more they could be doing. Millennials are just beginning their careers, and are generally eager to please as well as learn new skills and take on challenges. Leaving a millennial employee in the corner with a stack of papers is a surefire way to have them become disengaged, but by contrast, giving them a clear directive with instructions then making space for them to execute their

The internet is a tool that has limitless possibilities, which in turn makes it especially easy to abuse in an office setting without a well understood internet policy. That said, when a business owner is overly restrictive with their internet policies, it can hurt morale which in turn has the ability to hurt productivity. Often, the reason that employees use the internet in a non-work context is not because they wish to shirk their responsibilities, but because they might be unclear on the priorities that they should be working on. Establishing clear goals and protocols for clarifying tasks during the workday can help to keep employees moving consistently in the right direction. What does your team need to do their jobs, and what represents a distraction that has the potential to impede their productivity? Generally, listening to music and sending a couple of persona emails in the course of a day falls within the realm of appropriate internet usage. It’s only when distractions such as watching

Intern programs allow small businesses unique opportunities to gain insight, scout for potential hires and provide a positive experience for those seeking new skills and experience in a real business setting. Finding quality interns should be taken seriously, since having an intern who is a poor fit either for the duties entailed in their position or for your company culture will not only create issues for you, but also waste time that they could be using in a program that would be more to their benefit. Don’t simply take on interns just for the purpose of having them, or to make them perform mechanical tasks they get nothing out of. While interns will often be asked to perform data entry and other tasks that more senior staff members no longer have the time to manage, they should also be invited to contribute in meaningful ways to your small business. The fact that they are able to do so is one of the things that will attract

Preparing for holiday sales is just one part of getting ready for the busy times that come with the end of the year. It’s also a great time to court new, talented employees. Along with the end of the year, many potential hires are in the process of looking for new jobs. This could be because of layoffs during the last quarter of the year, dissatisfaction with a corporate environment, or simply the knowledge that many businesses choose to hire in the first part of the new year, having renewed budgets for the first quarter. Make your hiring ad as appealing as possible by highlighting the unique elements of your business. It is often the case that high level talent leaves the corporate world in search of a more flexible environment, or one where they feel that their contributions will have a larger proportional impact on the growth of the business. Being explicit about the benefits that come with your position, including the company culture and

  When a business must grow through bad credit, it is important to allocate all financing in as directed and strategic a manner possible. Putting financing towards projects that don’t have potential to recoup value over time can put a business in a sticky situation in the event that a variable in their strategy was miscalculated or anticipated demand for a product or service is below what was predicted. Added value to a business can take different forms, from more loyal. and highly trained employees, to more owned equipment or an owned commercial location. When allocating cash flows or planning on putting alternative capital to work, small business owners should think about the potential value their business will gain. Long term value versus short term growth. Long term value for small businesses comes in the form of assets that retain their value while in turn contributing to a small business’s ability to generate revenues.  In contrast, some investments, such as increased marketing through banner ads, can create

Managing employees is not an easy feat, especially within the often hectic environment of a growing small business. However, it is precisely in this type of environment that the engagement levels of employees have the biggest overall impact on productivity, since with fewer staff and many different things that still need to be done, whether or not an employee can be counted on to get things done and stay accountable will have a disproportionate impact on the productivity of their peers and ultimately the entire organization. For this reason, cultivating employee engagement should be a high priority for business owners, with attention paid to the positive and negative effects of encouragement on each member of staff. Give feedback. This is an often stated staple of management technique, however in a small business context where communications are generally quite fluid and occur regularly regardless, business owners may not feel that there is a need to give feedback within the thick of business operations. However, this discounts the

The wide potential reach of content that is put up on social media can be something of a double edged sword for small business owners. On the one hand, it can trumpet their success far beyond what was possible before the advent of the internet age, but on the other it creates many more opportunities for negative attention in the form of bad reviews, posts that have unintended consequences and also employees misrepresenting their brand. It is the latter issue that has many business owners worried enough to check on their employees social media accounts, or even screen using social media before making a hiring decision. Depending on the type of position that the employee would be occupying, there are different levels of what constitutes appropriate behavior, but in general business owners should take steps to prevent inappropriate social media activity provided that it reflects poorly on their brand. Having a social media policy in place that is clearly understood and fairly defined can help

Smaller businesses often don’t have wellness programs in place, citing costs or the time it takes to put them together as their main issues. However, the benefits of wellness programs are manifold, from improving the health of employees, reducing the number of sick days that they take and even contributing in higher morale and reduced turnover within your organization. What is wellness, exactly? Wellness programs take many forms, but most commonly they refer to programs that are put in place in order to improve the health and quality of life of workers in a business. They can be perks, like healthy snacks in the break room, or they can be active programs such as communal yoga classes or a post work day stretch. In some companies, there are educational resources available to employees, such as classes on healthy eating or how to improve posture after sitting for days in an office chair. If you have an idea of how to make a positive impact in the

As businesses grow, in order to keep up their efficiency they will often integrate new technologies into their operations.  This isn’t exactly a surprise, since the benefits of technology are manifold and can quickly make an appreciable difference in a business’s ability to get things done. However, what is surprising is when small business owners are slow to adopt something that has been proven to be helpful. A lot of the time, it’s because either the owner of the business, the employees, or both are used to doing something their own way and don’t want to expend the energy it takes to update. It’s also possible that some of the staff is techno-phobic, or mistrustful of technology that they do not fully understand. This can be particularly true in business environments where employee ages span multiple generations. At a certain point, business owners should be honest with themselves and weigh the pros and cons of investing in employee training. You may be able to avoid

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