How to Overcome the Biggest Challenge Faced by Small Businesses in 2016

Author: Caron Beesley | December 9, 2015

2016 looks to be a promising year for small businesses. A recent survey by online lender, Dealstruck, found that 97% of small businesses anticipate that they will either grow or remain stable next year.

Bringing on new talent is a key foundation of growth, and 56% of small businesses surveyed say they plan to hire in 2016. But hiring great talent is a perpetual challenge, 70% say that they are unable to find qualified talent – a very real threat to growing their businesses.

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One of the problems is that these businesses (46%) rely heavily on word of mouth, only 10% advertise and only 10% use online career websites like Monster. Another problem is that almost a quarter of those surveyed can’t afford to hire, or lack the finance needed.

Here are two ways you can address those challenges head on:

1. Identify the Right Hiring Methods for Your Business

As you can see from the data above, small businesses tend not to place too many employment ads on sites like Monster. It’s easy to see why. These sites attract huge numbers of applications that can be overwhelming. They are also not very targeted. Instead, consider working with a staffing agency (who does a lot of the screening work for you) or posting very precise and targeted ads on LinkedIn.

There’s nothing wrong with word of mouth, and it can work well if your position is clearly defined. Help those who are spreading the word for you by sharing a job description. Here are some tips to write the perfect job description in four steps.

2. Find New Ways to Finance your Hiring Plans

There are some options for growing your business with new hires or even funding payroll. The SBA operates a number of small business loan programs based on your financing needs. The SBA doesn’t provide the funding, instead it works with a number of lending partners to eliminate the risk of working with small businesses by guaranteeing that these loans will be repaid.

Another small business friendly option is your local credit union. They often provide lower rates and fees. Read more here.

Another popular option for small business comes in the form of alternative finance. Firms like Fundera and Lendio have one mission, to make it easier and more affordable for small business owners to find and secure the right kind of capital. With an emphasis on convenience, options, transparency and speed, loans include everything from short-term loans, to lines of credit and even cash-flow freeing invoice financing (via Fundbox).

Of course, there are other factors that go into making your small business appealing to job seekers and ensuring you secure great talent before it’s snapped up by someone else, and so on. Read about these in 5 Ways to Hire Better Employees.

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