Today’s featured contribution in our 2015 SBA TOP 10 Needs of Small Business Owners research series is written by Rick Tuckerman, Small Business Owner of SharedOffices.com that helps small business owners in need of office space and companies with excess office space…find each other.
1. Attracting quality talent
The number one challenge I believe most small business owners face is attracting quality talent. Finding “good” people for larger companies can still be challenging, but with their ability to provide higher compensation, benefits, a more enticing work environment and the longer term advantages associated with working at a more prestigious firm (more impressive resume, better training and development) make it the preferred choice of those seeking employment.
2. Cash Flow
In most cases, small business owners are funding their own operation out of their own pocket. With that comes cash flow challenges, particularly in the service business category, where services are provided prior to payment. The bigger entities (clients) know that small companies are at the bottom of the food chain when in comes to leverage, so they often pay slow (90 days is not unusual). Having access to a line of credit is important, but it’s more difficult for small businesses to get.
3. Lack of Time/Resources to Grow the Business
Many small business owners are immersed in whatever their business operation is, rather than strategically trying to grow the business. They don’t have the time or resources to see the forest for the trees.
4. Reducing Administration Tasks
Large companies have departments to deal with various issues from human resources to payroll to governmental reporting. All that non-income producing time spent dealing with paperwork can be stifling.
5. Small Business Owner/Employee Benefits Program
One of the major reasons it’s tough to attract quality people is the inability to offer decent benefits. Large companies qualify for the discounts associated with a group insurance plan, for example. Owners of small companies are forced to buy into the highest priced premiums…or offer no benefits at all to employees.
6. Getting Over the Hump
Referencing a service business model, the bidding process (RFP) puts a huge burden on small companies to participate due to lack of resources and quality staff. Too many times small businesses “take the bait” going after jobs/projects they are unlikely to get (due to their size), but still give it the ol college try in hopes that this “home run” will take them to the next level. If you don’t try you never will get there, but too many times, these requests for proposals are not as they are presented, a wide open competition with no preconceived bias.
7. A Way to Reduce Overhead
Any business can only control one thing – their overhead. As a small business owner, we have a disproportionately high overhead compared to bigger companies who enjoy some economies of scale.
8. Employee Development
Small business owners typically don’t have the time or the resources to develop their people to their potential.
9. Legal Assistance
When there is a legal matter (outstanding payments, etc.), small business owners do not the the financial wherewithal to get proper legal representation.
10. Development of a Business Plan
For both growth and an exit strategy. Too busy with the day-to-day operation to map out a strategy for expanding the business and putting a succession plan in place.
Rick Tuckerman owns a small company (2 employees) named SharedOffices.com that helps small business owners in need of office space and companies with excess office space…find each other. In addition to the standard matching criteria (location, rent, amenities, etc.), Shared Offices factor in industry-compatibility. When two industry-compatible companies share space, business synergy is likely to emerge in the form of referrals, networking and collaboration.
Thank you Rick for your contribution and we wish you all the best in 2015!
To find the updated list of 2015 Top 10 Needs of Small Business Articles: http://sbatop10.wordpress.com