For the past year, Goenner Consulting, LLC has been partnering and meeting with small business owners. We have noticed they all have one thing in common, the stress and time they spend on their back-office functions instead of working on their core business.
When Faith, Owner, Goenner Consulting, LLC opened a retail and service pregnancy shop she experienced all the complexities of the back-office functions and got stuck there because she had a career as a Business Manager. Faith quickly realized that she needed someone to help her. Faith outsourced payroll and hired a great manager who helped with the marketing and operations. Additional lessons learned as a first-time entrepreneur are documented in this blog post from 2018.
What would happen if you could hand over the back-office operations of your business? This is what a local chamber did when they needed help after their executive director resigned. The operations kept going while the Board determined next steps.
With the new world of "fractional", you can now purchase the back-office services you need when you need them. You don't need to wear all the hats of back-office operations and no more waiting for the funds to hire a part-time or full-time business manager employee.
Goenner Consulting, LLC is your Fractional Business Manager offering services of human resources, accounting, marketing and administration with a monthly rate for what services you need and when you need them.
Lets talk about about how you can have no more stress in 2024, schedule a free consulting session.
You made it through another week. What were your celebrations and your struggles related to your workforce? In my role as a business consultant and the interim Executive Director of a local Chamber of Commerce, every day I connect with leaders in the community. They all have very similar experiences related to their workforce and this week I heard a lot of struggles around building the team. When to hire? How to be competitive with benefits? When to let someone go? When will I get back to working on the core activities of my position? Here are a few thoughts from my experience building teams that I hope will give you hope if you also are facing workforce struggles.
EVALUATE THE JOB DESCRIPTIONS
Who do you need to do the work of your business? Start to list all the skills and experience that is needed for the various roles that will make your business operate. How do you package these skills into a job description(s) that you could use to recruit top talent? Don't forget to include a job description for yourself. I work a lot with small business owners and I encourage them to develop FAQs that could be used for a receptionist or even on a website that help customers know what to expect, what information is needed on an order and what products are sold there. I also encourage everyone to use calendar scheduling software (such as Calendly and WeSparkle) to reduce the back and forth of scheduling meetings or appointments. Lastly, voluntary health benefits are a great opportunity to support your hiring top talent with no direct cost to your business.
WHERE ARE THE EMPLOYEES?
Business leaders need to be creative. The traditional job board posting may not be how you fill roles you have. Outsourcing accounting, human resources, marketing and administration is a great opportunity to develop your back-office functions without the overhead of many employees. Part-time can be something people are interested in and could develop into full-time. Don't forget about temp agencies. There was a season where I was trying to hire a research accountant. We were realizing we were going to have hire a successful accountant and train them for a research accountant role because there weren't experienced research accountants in the applicant pools. We made an investment into an accounting recruitment agency and were successful to get four employees who brought great value to our team in a short period of time. Three of them have been promoted from where they started and are still at the institution we hired them into. This was 6 years ago. Recruitment agencies can provide value to your hiring barriers.
LETTING EMPLOYEES GO
Having to let employees go is the top reason that business leaders don't hire. So what do you do? I have experience with this both in my own retail shop and also as a manager of a large higher education department. I'm very passionate that if you have an employee who with coaching continues to bring a negative energy to the team, they must go. Be clear of expectations. Keep facts, not emotions of their behavior and the impact it has on the team. Get human resource guidance to ensure the departure is compliant to employment laws. If you don't have the work to pay for an employee and need to let them go, help your employees find another position with referrals and/or help them get to their next promotion. I do encourage you to know when you need to hire for your own mental health. You will get through whatever happens after the hire.
Thank you for reading. Was this helpful? What ways have developed a workforce? Have a great weekend!
For the past few years we have been active in the community learning about the barriers that small business owners face in running their business.
What we continued to see in all industries is the burden on small business owners to either do all their own back-office tasks and/or navigate multiple outsource entities in order to put together their back-office business solutions.
We are excited to launch My Back-Office Agency campaign providing four back-office functions that Faith, Owner, Goenner Consulting, LLC has over 20+ years of leading both in the public sector and her own entrepreneur journey.
We are now offering back-office business solutions of human resources, accounting, marketing and administration. Outsourcing back-office functions allows business owners to streamline their operations, reduce overhead, and focus on core activities to increase revenue.
With a monthly membership, we will be providing small businesses with business solutions that are developed uniquely for each business' needs.
Gold - Get all four back-office business solutions.
Silver - Get two (2) back-office business solutions.
Bronze - Get one (1) back-office business solution.
I can't believe how much information is thrown at small businesses. All the information is intended to be helpful but it becomes too much and difficult for anyone to make decisions. From social media strategies, financial resources, investor pitch competitions and government programs it all becomes a huge opportunity that requires analysis to determine what is right for your business. In the end, how to do you know what to do?
I am a small business owner and as a small business consultant I have been following relevant entities that support small businesses. My Facebook feed is full of trainings, software and other items that claim to drive customers and crack-the-code of limitations. What good is this if you don't have a solid business launched yet? So how does someone get their a solid business launched? One step-at-a-time.
I recently joined a Facebook group of women small business owners. It was a fantastic group, but a bit too large for my comfort. What I loved about the group is women were showing their websites and/or sharing their business vision and were getting feedback. Not just "looks good" or "needs improvement", but tangible feedback with changes to make it better. I also saw many other small businesses offering to help them. This is the type of small business community that will help entrepreneurs be successful.
This may be a bit off our topic for today's topic, but I have to challenge small businesses to shop at small businesses. I recently heard a small business ordering printing from an online company instead of ordering from their local print shop. Lets shop local even when we see we can save a few bucks online.
Back to the topic, here are the three must-have's every small business owner needs. The rest will organically fall into place as you build your business with your expertise and vision.
You will not operate your business successfully without an accountant, an attorney and insurance companies. The landscape is changing and you must make sure that you have the professional expertise to navigate your finances, legal matters and insurance. The accountant will help you with payroll, taxes, budget, accounts payable, accounts receivable and other financial matters. Your attorney will help you with establishing your business, contracts and/or other legal matters your business encounters. You may need one or more insurance companies that will handle your business liability insurance, cyber insurance, medical insurance and other voluntary benefit insurances. Make sure you shop around and are comfortable with the professionals and/companies you will be working with. When you encounter a situation you will want someone that makes you feel safe, heard and supported.
It is hard for me, even as a small business owner with marketing expertise, to see how much time we spend in marketing when we could be working on our business. I understand starting out the budget is limited but as you obtain traction invest in marketing expertise. Another way to talk about marketing is your brand. Being able to have a cohesive online and print messaging will build loyalty to your products and/or services. What do I do? I am still doing my own online marketing, but I use my locally owned Minuteman Press for all promo and print materials (double-sided business cards, pens, notebooks, clothing and more).
BUSINESS PEER COMMUNITY
In a previous article I talked about the importance of community. This community can be a chamber, a mastermind group, a local entrepreneur group or one that you put together for your own needs. What this community will do is allow you to talk and have others understand what you are saying. Most people who are employees don't ever understand what the decisions and/or challenges their employer faces. You will also bring your expertise to be able to support other small businesses. You are not lonely at the top.
Thanks for reading, I hope you got something out of this and I would love to hear your thoughts. Have a great weekend.
Written by Faith