Five Essential Principles For Growing Your Small Business

When it comes to succeeding in growing a small business, many people view success as luck. Some will succeed and some won’t. And it’s stories like John Mackey’s that inspire us to try. Mackey started a small vegetarian store in Austin, Texas, more than 30 years ago and this year sold his Whole Foods empireto Amazon at a price tag of $13.7 billon.

Business author Faisal Hoque points out in his recent Fast Company article that luck isn’t what it takes. Small business success comes from five essential elements, which we’ll share here.

1. Timing is Everything. The timing of your product or service must be right in the marketplace. There must be a need or a pain point that your product or service solves in order to gain interest and traction. If the market isn’t ready, then your business will fail or you will need to wait to launch your product or adjust your product to the market needs. As Hoque points out, smaller businesses have the advantage of being able to make choices and implement changes without the exhaustive process and conflicting points of view that slow down major corporations.

2. Brand, Brand, Brand. You need to create a positive experience for your customers to stay competitive. And, if you want to create a scalable business, you must understand just how crucial it is to build brand equity. The emotional attachment that links customers to your product, as opposed to any other, translates into sustainable growth. Hoque shares these basic rules for brand-building:

Choose your target audience. The surest road to product failure is to try to be all things to all people.

Connect with the public. Your objective is to make your audience feel an emotional attachment to your brand.

Inspire and influence your audience. An inspirational brand message is far more influential than one that just highlights product feature functions.

Reinforce the brand image within your company. Make sure employees at every level of your organization work and behave in a way that reinforces your brand image.

3. Scale Your Sales. You also need repeatable sales processes to create a business that can easily grow. It is one thing to sign up a few customers; it is another thing entirely to identify, design and implement repeatable sales and customer delivery processes. According to Hoque, you know your business is scalable when:

You can add new hires at the same productivity level as yourself or your sales leader.

You can increase the sources of your customer leads on a consistent basis.

Your sales conversion rate and revenue can be consistently forecasted.

Your cost to acquire a new customer is significantly less than the amount you can earn from that customer over time.

Your customers get the right product in the right place at the right time.

4. Embrace Technology. Bottom line, it pays to embrace technology. If a small business can identify a genuine need, technology likely exists to fulfill that need both locally and globally. There are few barriers to entry in an age where anyone with wireless can cheaply and quickly access the enabling technologies needed to execute their business model. Put effort into mapping out a plan that ties technology into your operational and business needs.

5. De-Stress For Success. As Hoque points out, managing the success of a small business can be twice as stressful as maintaining a healthy relationship with a spouse or partner, nearly three times as stressful as raising children, and more than four times as stressful as managing your own personal finances. In fact, a Bank of America survey pointed out that 38 percent of small business owners maintain full or part-time jobs while running their own business.

If you’re not happy, healthy and motivated, growing your business will be difficult. You also set the tone for everyone who works with you. So, take care of your mental and physical well-being so that you can provide the best of you to the business.

PCT returns tomorrow with more tips for success.

Source: Faisal Hoque is founder of SHADOKA and other companies. His newest book is “Survive to Thrive — 27 Practices of Resilient Entrepreneurs, Innovators, And Leaders” (Motivational Press, 2015). He is formerly of GE, and other global brands, business author and contributor to Fast CompanyBusiness Insider and the Huffington Post.

Five Smarter Ways To Manage Others

Today, many employers say they’re having trouble retaining their younger employees—specifically, Millennials. At 82 million strong, Millennials are the workforce of the future. Studies have shown they want to work where they can make a difference and contribute to something bigger than themselves.

It’s imperative to realize that the people in your organization—especially young people—are the fuel to your long-term success, and the one person who affects that outcome more than any other is the frontline manager.

Today,we’re sharing five defined pillars of success for managers from business coach Jan Makala.

1. Engage employees with a compelling vision of what is expected, and provide the mission to achieve that vision. People respond when they are doing or contributing to something bigger than themselves. When national crises such as earthquakes or hurricanes occur, people are driven to volunteer not because they have to, but because they want to. As a manager, you need to create and share the vision and the culture that gives employees a reason to care, to show up and to do their jobs with a sense of purpose and excellence. Let them know that without them doing what they do, you wouldn’t achieve the results that you desire.

2. Make decisions based on productivity. By keeping your eye on the goal and having your people similarly focused, everyone will understand why certain decisions are made and can buy in. If disagreements occur, these discussions and opinions are welcomed because they are relevant to achieving a better outcome toward the end objective.

3. Motivate every team member to take action. People are more likely to take action if they know what is expected of them. When expectations are clearly defined, employees are less likely to disappoint their manager or their peers. Employees will work together without your direction or approval when they all know their roles and have bought into achieving the desired results. If your people don’t know what is expected, don’t be surprised by what you get

4. Have the assertiveness to drive outcomes. Are you more concerned with the process or the outcome? Managers are in place to strive for positive results. Employees may find ways to produce an outcome that the manager never thought of. Give employees the freedom to experiment and try new ways of doing things. Keep your team apprised of progress to keep them motivated If you neglect to provide appropriate feedback on your employees’ progress, you’ll immediate notice a decline in the contributions of team members. Remember, feedback is the breakfast of champions—be generous with your thoughts and expectations.

5. Create a culture that you want. Culture impacts every aspect of how you get things done, from hiring and developing the talents of the employees to customer service. Define your desired culture and then take it from words to actions. If you don’t like the culture you currently have or the results that you are currently obtaining, you are the only person who can change it. Your actions have to mirror what you desire. Do you allow negative behavior to go unchallenged? Realize negative behavior brings everyone down. Your employees are watching, and if they see you doing nothing, your lack of action will send a powerful message.

When employees believe that their manager truly cares about them as individuals, they will walk through fire for that manager. This connection gets to the heart of employee engagement.

Create an environment where people want to come to work, and your business will reap the rewards.

Source: Jan Makela is an executive coach, highly-sought after speaker, and best-selling author of Cracking the Code to Success and Be the Manager People Won’t Leave. Makela has a long and successful history of working with companies to ensure quality hiring and training practices. His specialty revolves around strength-based leadership development, with a particular focus on working with senior and mid-level executives, business owners and professionals.

Collaboration Is A Tool, Not An End Goal

How often have you heard a statement in your work environment that sounded like this: “The objective of this program is to foster more effective collaboration.”

As business author and blogger Andrew Pope points out, collaboration is often mistaken for the end goal, rather than the means to get there. And in fact, we see companies putting a lot of time, dollars and resources into collaboration tools like Sharepoint without having real goals for the collaboration.

Here are some of Pope’s recommendations on the role of collaboration and its best use in meeting your organization’s goals.

Collaborate With Purpose. The role of collaboration is anything you want it to be, but you have to take the effort to define the purpose. For example, you don’t go and buy a lawnmower then take it home and figure out what to do with it. Instead, you invest time, money and effort in things that have a clear and distinct purpose.

Pope suggests beginning by looking at your team or organizational goals. What do you do for your customers or your stakeholders? How can you leverage trends to do better?

Next, work back from these goals to your teams. How can you better utilize the knowledge, experience and problem-solving potential that you have to meet these goals? Collaboration will be the force to make it happen.

Give Permission To Collaborate.
Once we have a purpose for our collaboration tool, the other essential need is the missing set of instructions. We spend time providing guidance on how to use the individual tools, yet rarely do we provide guidance on how to collaborate.

Where and how should you initiate and join conversations that drive collaboration? Do we give our teammates permission to collaborate or do we create a culture where employees feel constrained by expectations of management that we shouldn’t be spending time talking among ourselves unless it’s to do with a specific task?

Allow for a collaborative culture by giving people the permission, time and resources to collaborate.

Goals And Guidance Direct The Way.
Finally, what are we collaborating towards? How do we collaborate? How can we encourage people away from the safety of their desks working like robots on individual tasks? We must answer these questions before we can expect the buzz of collaborative teams in an open environment.

Once we are ready to cultivate collaboration and have the goals in place which collaboration supports, then we can create a physical collaborative space. Some companies designate collaboration rooms or brainstorming rooms. Many companies such as Trello, Yammer or Microsoft Office 365, put digital tools in place. No matter the structure you create, be sure you provide both the tools and instruction for collaboration.

Remember, the software won’t give you collaboration. It will only support it. Identify the goals, create some instructions and empower your team to collaborate. It’s a powerful way to solve problems and support your goals.

Source: From environmental science beginnings to project management, knowledge management and innovation management, Andrew Pope always appreciated how mature collaboration is critical to the success of any project. Advising global investment banking and professional services sectors, Pope worked on some wonderful knowledge and collaboration projects. His biggest challenge was being asked to help a global engineering firm be more innovative. The experiences of all of this motivated him to co-establish Innosis, helping organizations focus collaboration towards innovation and continuous reinvention.

A Simple But Powerful Formula For Success

The Master of Business Administration designation—or MBA—was born at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business more than 115 years ago with just four students. Now the MBA is the most popular post graduate degree program in the U.S., with more than one million students currently enrolled and 156,250 graduating each year. What was once a point of distinction in the business world is now a necessity in many fields. In a marketplace crowded with qualified individuals, it’s tougher than ever to stand out.

Today, we reveal the most critical formula you need to know to differentiate you from others on the same career path, according to sales coach Dave Martin.

In summary, he says to stand out, you need “integrity plus hard-working tenacity.” Whether you are an exceptional leader or outstanding employee, these factors will help to distinguish you from thousands of others in your field.

Martin explains that half of this blueprint for success is based on who you are—your integrity. The other half is based on what you do—learning the importance of and mastering the practices of persistence and perseverance.

Persistence means you continue with an opinion or course of action in spite of the difficulty or opposition that you face. In the working world, persistence is the act of making calls over and over. Persistence is directing your team again and again until excellence becomes ingrained. Persistence is working your plan even when you don’t see immediate results. Persistence is consistent effort, maintained daily. Persistence is not giving up, or giving in, or giving way. Although processes and systems should be continually evaluated for improvements and for effectiveness, persistence is not reorganizing your structures every three months when you see someone else’s success and think you should emulate them.

The other key trait—perseverance—is doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. Perseverance is continued persistence. Martin explains persistence and perseverance like this: Persistence is the athlete, working out each morning in the gym. He continues to get up, get to the gym and work his routine, even when he is tired, even when his friends are still sleeping, even when his schedule is interrupted. Perseverance is the lifestyle of working out week after week, month after month, year after year. In short, persistence speaks to continuing in a course of action even against opposition, and perseverance connotes longevity in that persistence.

Do you have these traits of persistence and perseverance in your professional life? In some areas you most likely do. What specific discipline have you consistently performed week after week, month after month, year after year? Perhaps you make a point to turn in your reports a day early. Or, you are mentoring less experienced salespeople. What standards have you set to make you stand out? Are you meeting these standards with both persistence and perseverance?

This formula is applicable not only for those starting out in their careers but for anyone who wants to set himself or herself apart from his competition and peers. Give it a try!

Source: Dave Martin, Your Success Coach, is a world-renowned speaker and the international best-selling author of 12 Traits of the Greats and Another Shot. For over 25 years, Martin has been a mentor, inspirational speaker, coach and business leader sharing timeless truths wrapped in humor and delivered with passion, and teaching people how to pursue and possess a life of success.

How To Give Negative Feedback In A Positive Way

Feedback can be a powerful tool. Of course, positive feedback can make you feel like king of the world. “Your report looks great.” “You are exceeding the expectations of your team.” “You’re an effective leader.”

But negative feedback can set you back, make you depressed and rattle your confidence. “Why can’t your numbers look like Joe’s?” “Why are you always late with your report?” “You really need to manage that customer better.”

Get the picture?

Today, instead of talking about negative feedback, we are focusing on “constructive feedback” —identifying and promoting change in behaviors that detract from high performance with these tips from published author and business executive, John Reh.

1. Be calm. When giving constructive feedback to improve an individual’s behavior, you want to be calm in your approach. If it’s an emotional issue, let your emotions subside before addressing the person, even if it means waiting a day before providing the feedback.

2. Never deliver negative feedback in front of team members. Being respectful to the individual is very important if your goal is to improve behavior and build confidence. Find a private place, like your office or a private conference room, to have the discussion and make sure the setting is professional and business focused. For example, a loud public setting like a Starbucks is not the best option. And do not address anything in front of colleagues or discuss it with colleagues. Keep the discussion private.

3. Focus on the observed behavior, not the person. As Reh points out, the purpose of constructive feedback is to eliminate behaviors that detract from high performance. If the individual perceives he or she is being attacked personally, the person will quickly turn defensive and the opportunity for a meaningful discussion will be lost. It’s important to not make it about the person’s character but about the action itself.

4. Be specific. In order for someone to change behavior, you have to be very specific about what change needs to take place and why it needs to change. Explain the impact to the business. Simply stating that “You need to do better” or “You screwed up” is certainly not effective.

5. Be timely. According to Reh, the best time to give constructive feedback is as soon as the action has taken place so that it’s fresh in that person’s mind. Also, you can focus on something tangible that the person can change right away. Feedback of all types should be given as soon as possible after the event.

6. Reaffirm your faith in the person. Most important, remind the person why they are on your team. Reinforce the good qualities that they bring to the table and why you have faith in their abilities. End on a positive know and give them the confidence and energy they need to make a change.

Feedback is a key component to growing as an individual. View constructive feedback as a positive action that can help someone, and be compassionate in your approach.

Source: John Reh is a senior business executive whose broad management experience encompasses managing projects up to $125 million and business units including up to 200-plus people. A published author, most recently as a contributing author to Business: The Ultimate Resource, Reh has set aside time throughout his career to mentor newer managers, often women and minorities, in the art and science of management-a skill that can be taught and learned.

What You Can Learn From The Latest Craze

Pokémon Go is so big, actually, that it’s already catching up with some of the largest social networks out there. There is little doubt by now that Pokémon Go is becoming the most successful mobile app of all time, at least as far as launch-week performance is concerned. It took only 13 hours to hit the top of the U.S. sales charts in its first week. And it hit a 10.81-percent daily user penetration level only four days after its U.S. debut. And did I mention that Nintendo’s valuation increased an estimated $7.5 billion thanks to this game?

It’s a marketer’s dream! In fact, Forbes contributor and blogger Jayson DeMers shares these marketing principles we can take from this global phenomenon.

1. Good branding can sell just about anything. Pokémon Go is actually loosely based on a system that already existed for another location-based mobile game, Ingress. Have you ever heard of Ingress? Possibly, but it didn’t achieve breakout success because its brand never became well-recognized. Pokémon, on the other hand, is a brand that’s been consistently developing itself for more than 20 years. Its character design, game quality and tone as a video game series (and anime) has become so powerful, that its presence alone helped sell the game to multiple generations of Pokémon fans. The game itself is good, but without the branding, it never would have taken off.

2. Timing is really important. Pokémon launched just after the start of summer, when kids are out of school, festivals are kicking up, and people are looking for any excuse to go outside and walk around. Can you imagine what it would be like if the game launched in the dead of winter? During a blizzard? The launch date is no coincidence. It’s also good timing in a broader perspective; Pokémon is 20 years old now, and fans who were children when the series first launched are now 20-something adults with significant buying power.

3. Social proof is everything these days. Thanks to our immediately connected, highly communicative, social media-integrated world, social proof is everything in the modern era. We won’t buy a product unless someone else has reviewed it first. We won’t notice a business unless we hear someone else talking about it. With Pokémon Go, social proof is visible—when you see people having fun with the same mobile game almost everywhere you turn, it’s almost impossible not to want to get involved.

4. A sense of identity leads to loyalty. There are a handful of identity factors that make Pokémon Go such an addictive hit, all of which give users a sense of belonging and loyalty. Thefirst is a layer of nostalgia; 20-somethings all over the country grew up with Pokémon, and this is a way for them to hearken back to the original feelings they had playing the game in the late 1990s. The second is a division of loyalty; in the game, you must choose between three rival teams, and being able to identify with one gets people more invested, similar to the way sports fans become so invested in their teams.

Whether you are looking to launch a new product or rebrand an existing one, take these lessons to heart.

Source: Jayson DeMers is an author who founded AudienceBloom in April 2010. He is also a columnist for Search Engine Journal, Search Engine Watch and Huffington Post. His personal blog is located at AudienceBloom.com/blog.

Milestones Matter. Celebrate Them.

Gone are the days when people worked for the same company their entire careers. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American worker stays in his or her job for 4.4 years. So when you encounter an employee who has worked for the same company for 20 years, as I recently did, you realize this is a dedicated and engaged employee—one who deserves to be celebrated.

The fact of the matter is, employees remember their hire date. It’s the career equivalent of a birthday (and who doesn’t love birthdays?) You know who else remembers employees’ hire dates? Great managers, that’s who. By treating each employee’s anniversary as an achievement and a special occasion, you create a positive work environment and encourage employee commitment (and thus increase your employee retention rate).

Make sure your company is following these four steps for celebrating employee anniversaries:

Step 1: Create a system for remembering anniversaries. First, you need to create a system for remembering anniversaries. Prepare a list or a spreadsheet of employees and keep track of their hire dates. Make sure to mark these dates to your calendar and create reminders long before the date so you have time to plan a celebration.

Step 2: Decide how and when you will celebrate. Establish a policy to designate when you will celebrate anniversaries, whether annually or on more momentous anniversaries such as five or 10 years. Take into consideration the size of your company and your budget when deciding how you will celebrate.

It is important to maintain consistency so you do not hurt anyone’s feelings by celebrating someone earlier or more frequently than another.

Step 3: Be sincere and make it personal. Acknowledge each employee’s anniversary every year, even if it is just with a small gesture (save the big celebrations for special anniversaries). Make it personal with a card, letter, phone call, personal visit or some other gesture. Don’t worry about making it formal. It just needs to be a genuine expression of appreciation.

A few sincere words from management will be noticed and appreciated by an employee and greatly improve their morale. Feeling appreciated is very important to job commitment and success.

Step 4: Think twice about giving monetary gifts. In employer-employee relationships, money is associated with compensation. The last thing you want to do is confuse employee recognition with compensation. When you are celebrating an anniversary, you are expressing appreciation for the employee’s service. Compensation is something that is earned.

You also don’t want it to seem like you are obligated to celebrate an employee’s anniversary. While easy to provide, gift cards that include a specific amount of money can be perceived as just another form of giving money. A classic choice is to select a relevant and personal gift that includes the corporate logo.

In the end, it’s important to make it part of your company’s culture to notice and recognize employees. It’s a great gesture to celebrate employee anniversaries, but it’s even better to also frequently celebrate employee successes, accomplishments and contributions as a part of your company culture.

Source: Integrity HR, an Inc. 5000 company and certified Female Business Enterprise, has been operating in Kentucky since 2007. The company provides results-focused human resources outsourcing services, executive and professional search services, behavioral and talent assessment tools, as well as additional HR solutions to reduce HR costs and create more successful, productive and high performance organizations.
Compiled by Cassandra Johnson

Make Good Presentations Spectacular

It seems we live in a deck-filled business world. Yesterday’s business cards are today’s PowerPoint presentations. Every meeting, internal or external, appears exposed without a “deck” to provide guardrails for the conversation.

How can you make a good presentation even more effective? Today we pass along these top tips for success when you are behind the lectern.

1. Show your passion and connect with your audience. It’s hard to be relaxed and be yourself when you’re nervous. But time and again, the great presenters say that the most important thing is to connect with your audience. The best way to do that is to let your passion for the subject shine through. Be honest with the audience about what is important to you and why it matters, and the audience will respond.

2. Focus on your audience’s needs. Your presentation needs to be built around what your audience is going to get out of the presentation. As you prepare to speak, you always need to bear in mind what the audience needs and wants to know, not what you can tell them. While you’re giving the presentation, you also need to remain focused on your audience’s response, and react to that. Make it easy for your audience to understand and respond.

3. Keep it Simple: concentrate on your core message. When planning your presentation, you should always keep in mind the question: What is the key message (or three key points) for my audience to take away? You should be able to communicate that key message very briefly. And if what you are planning to say doesn’t contribute to that core message, don’t say it.

4. Smile and make eye contact with your audience. This sounds very easy, but a surprisingly large number of presenters fail to do it. If you smile and make eye contact, you arebuilding rapport, which helps the audience to connect with you and your subject. It also helps you to feel less nervous, because you are talking to individuals, not to a great mass of unknown people. To help you with this, make sure that you don’t turn down all the lights so that only the slide screen is visible. Your audience needs to see you as well as your slides.

5. Start strong. The beginning of your presentation is crucial. You need to grab your audience’s attention and hold it. They will give you a few minutes’ grace in which to entertain them, before they start to switch off if you’re dull. So don’t waste that time by explaining who you are. Start by entertaining them. Try a story or an attention-grabbing (but useful) image on a slide.

6. Remember the 10-20-30 rule for slideshows. This is a tip from Guy Kawasaki of Apple. He suggests that slideshows should contain no more than 10 slides, last no more than 20 minutes and use a font size no smaller than 30 point.

This last tip is particularly important as it stops you from trying to put too much information on any one slide. This whole approach avoids the dreaded “death by PowerPoint.”

As a general rule, slides should be the sideshow to you, the presenter. A good set of slides should be of no use without the presenter, and they should definitely contain less, rather than more, information, expressed simply.

If you need to provide more information, create a handout and give it out after your presentation.

7. Tell stories. Human beings are programmed to respond to stories. Stories help us to pay attention, and also to remember things. If you can use stories in your presentation, your audience is more likely to engage and to remember your points afterwards. It is a good idea to start with a story, but there is a wider point too: you need your presentation to act like a story.

Think about what story you are trying to tell your audience, and create your presentation to tell it.

8. Use your body, too. It has been estimated that more than three quarters of communication is non-verbal. That means that your body language, as well as your tone of voice, is crucial to getting your message across. Make sure you are giving the right messages: body language to avoid includes crossed arms, hands held behind your back or in your pockets, and pacing the stage. Make your gestures open and confident, and move naturally around the stage, and among the audience too, if possible.

Source: Founded in July 2011, SkillsYouNeed is an expanding web service that produces and publishes high-quality, well-researched and easy-to-read information about essential life skills. With years of experience in education, both face-to-face and through distance learning, the team provides skills needed to help improve people’s lives, both professionally and personally. The content is not only used by individuals but also by schools, colleges, universities and commercial organizations around the world.

More Advice For Small-Business Owners

Today we offer up with this bit of advice inspired by Young Presidents Organization member and founder of Zenises, Harjeev Kandhari.

1. Go to the gym. Think of the industry you have chosen as the “gym” and the companies as the equipment you use. To get fit, you can change the equipment you use but you still need the gym—and you always want to be in the gym with the latest and best equipment.

A lot of industries are great places to ‘get fit’—technology, health care, manufacturing and, yes, promotional products. The most interesting industries are those where product cycle times are fast because this creates more chances for disruption and more opportunities for fresh talent to engage.

2. Pick the company that gets tech. After you pick the industry, then it’s time to pick the company. In the future, all companies will have to be technology-driven at most levels. So you need to look at companies where the people really have an understanding of how technology will drive their company and their industry. These people will ensure that when their companies are disrupted by technology, they will be ahead of the curve.

3. Plan to develop. Career development takes effort and forethought. You need to plan it. This is such an obvious point, yet it’s astonishing how many people fail to do this. Think about your ideal job, not today but five years from now. It may not be a job but your own business. Now fast forward four or five years, and assume you are in that job or business. What is the path you took from now to then to get to your position?

4. Hire right. As you get along the organizational path you will need to start hiring and managing teams. Most people hire those who let them stay in their comfort zone or don’t challenge their authority. But the only way to move up the career ladder is to ensure that you hire people who are smarter and more knowledgeable than you are. They will challenge you to be a better you. Hire people who will get things done. Finally, and most important, hire only when you’ve found a great candidate. Don’t settle for anything less.

5. Find your passion. Finding your passion is a luxury. It’s something that many people struggle with, especially at the outset of their careers. Perhaps when you were starting out you were just happy to find a job, regardless of your passion. Then, as your career progresses you find that it’s not what you expected it to be. Take the time to discover what you care about, what motivates you. Take the steps towards discovering what you’re passionate about and build your career around your passion.

Source: Harjeev Kandhari is an entrepreneur, businessman, tire expert and luxury travel enthusiast. An ardent believer in giving back to disadvantaged communities, Kandhari combines years of business experience and a deep commitment to philanthropy to fuel charitable initiatives both in India, Africa and Europe.

Three Ways To Attract Top Talent

Employing top talent can be a big challenge for small businesses. At a certain point in the lifecycle of your business, you simply need to invest in employees so you can take your business to the next phase of growth. But how do you compete for top talent when large corporations are offering perks you can’t, such as flex time, stock options and more? And how do you find the time to source top talent when you wear multiple hats as owner, operations and human resources?

Today we share these tips from executive search firm, Naviga, for sourcing talent for your small business.

Form relationships with candidates. Small businesses need to be more hands-on than the big guys. They have to be proactive on LinkedIn and create connections for future potential hires. Form relationships with candidates during the recruiting process by giving them updates about what is going on throughout the process and checking in with them even if you don’t have any new information. Also, be sure they interview with all executive-level employees at the company. In a small business, they will most likely be working very closely with the executives anyway, but it also shows the candidates they’re valued enough for the CEO or VP to take the time to speak with them. Also, use creative approaches to reach out to top talent through networking events, referral programs, social media, job boards, postings, direct solicitation, etc.

Promote company culture and perks. Even though you won’t likely be able to offer a fully stocked employee cafeteria or rooms for napping, you can still talk about your own perks. For example, maybe your company actively promotes work-life balance and lets employees work from home twice a week. Or, maybe you have monthly team events where you go to happy hour or volunteer together. Company perks don’t have to be big and flashy as long as they are attractive to the type of employees you’re trying to recruit.

Offer the opportunity to make a direct impact. A major selling point for joining a small company over a big corporation is that top talent will have a huge impact on a company’s bottom line. Top talent is drawn to companies that are innovative and where they can make a real difference. Make sure to use this selling point to your advantage. Talk to candidates about how they will have the opportunity to grow and learn more skills with your company as opposed to working for a large company and being boxed in. The nimble nature of a small business is very attractive for a certain group of top talent. And don’t forget that while small businesses can get away with not having the highest salaries, your offer still needs to be competitive if you want the candidate to accept.

In a small business, every single hire is so critical that each new employee added has the potential to affect the bottom line. Make sure you hire the most talented person for your company by promoting the unique benefits of working at a small business.

Source: Naviga Recruiting & Executive Search is a professional and service-oriented provider of executive, sales, and marketing recruiting services to businesses across North America. It provides clients with the highest-quality and most-qualified candidates to fill their available executive, sales and marketing positions.
Compiled by Cassandra Johnson