Despite an improving economy, small businesses continue to face challenges every day. Whether its challenges retaining talent, not being sure how tax reform will affect business costs or untrained college graduates trying to enter the workforce, small business owners are running their businesses day to day and trying to figure out what’s the outlook over the next 6 to 12 months.
One of the major issues small business owners face today is the challenge of retaining talent. With the struggle to create more jobs waning on the marketplace, small business owners that find the right people are being challenged to better understand how to create an environment in which their people are growing, delivering and then staying long term.
Small business owners always look at their costs and the bottom line and this is where taxes come to play. With the many unknowns still surrounding existing tax reform, small business owners are challenged to decide how to respond to rising costs: hire and better train more talent to increase sales and off-set the rise in taxes versus reducing staff and becoming more efficient. These are difficult questions to answer with no easy choices and decisions that will affect lives.
One last challenge to address is the issue of untrained talent from recent college graduates. Today over 2/3’s of companies say they are having trouble finding talent, and over 50% say applicants don’t have the necessary skills. With the enormous amount of talent coming into the industry (out of college) and not having the necessary skill sets to succeed in the current marketplace, they are not being able to deliver the functions that small business require of staff which includes: sales, communication, negotiation, etc. Instead of small businesses hiring needed staff, more than half of America’s college graduates are unemployed or underemployed and those lucky enough to find any type of employment often find themselves in positions that require a high school diploma or less.
Bottom line is that until the issues mentioned above get resolved and small businesses owners have a better understanding what the next 6 to 12 months will bring, unfortunately not much will change and small business will have a difficult time having a positive outlook for their businesses over the next year.
Sam Caucci is a principal with Sales Huddle Group, Inc.