Competition for skilled workers is at a premium and the individuals with highly-sought talent can often have their pick of employers. When the ‘little guy’, the SMB (small to midsize business), has to compete, the going can get tough. Job descriptions could easily express the need for jack-of-all-trade employees who know how to get things done. SMBs can’t afford slackers or long onboarding time. Hit-the-ground-running is the not so subtle message present when you agree to work at an SMB. A smaller workforce limits hiring needs but also makes each hire that much more critical.
Smallness can have its perks though. A close-knit culture and an ‘I have your back’ feeling can be cultivated and satisfying. Exposure to big deals can come rapidly when there are few layers in the hierarchy. SMB financial leaders need to focus on selling these traits (a.k.a. opportunities) to secure employees who will give it their all.
SMB controllers and CFOs are tasked with educating their peers more so than at larger organizations. There often isn’t time or resources available for formal training courses, so much of the training happens on the fly with real world examples. It’s invigorating. And frustrating. And an exciting place to be when your company is growing and has an abundance of opportunities.
The smallest of businesses might not have regulatory requirements to offer healthcare packages but many feel a moral obligation or a business need to offer them to remain competitive. Pooling your buying power with other SMBs or securing contracts through small business bureaus and associations may be the key to getting premium rates that are workable. SMB management teams have to be creative. Whether it’s dealing with a production line jam or figuring out how to make the most of the company’s healthcare dollars, it’s up to us to make things happen.
Regulatory requirements at every level can turn our operations upside down. The onus put on small businesses to comply with some of them often seems to be ignored by the lawmakers that sign the bills. We each have our own perspectives on equal pay initiatives, immigration regulations, and raising the minimum wage. The Affordable Care Act, overtime pay, and tax rules applied retroactively fall into that group as well. The challenge of compliance with all the authorities we’re subject to can be a bear without a large staff to manage the requests and investigate what’s needed. It falls to us to work things out and understand the impact of proposed regulatory rules and changes.
Close to Home
Be it a cash flow pinch, growing your revenue base, or a new business competitor that pops up, solving SMB challenges run the gamut and there aren’t often enough resources on hand to resolve them the first way that comes to mind. Tenacity and follow up are up to you.
A smaller revenue base means that the impact to a small to mid-size business of any event is more acute. The SMB itself could be at risk much quicker than a larger organization. That’s where the people matter. Managing daily challenges with a level head and an end-game mindset are traits to be prized by today’s financial leaders.
Being at the helm of an SMB can feel isolated at times. Whether your organization is large or small, take some time this week to reach out to an SMB colleague to grow your network and deepen your relationship and understanding of their challenges and successes. You’ll both benefit from it.
Businesses of every description rely on the Budget Maestro™ family of software solutions by Centage Corporation to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their business budgeting and planning, financial forecasting, financial consolidation and reporting processes. For more information, take a tour of Budget Maestro, contact Centage, or call 800-366-5111 now.