A recent study focused on identifying the current issues and trends facing Australian SMEs has found that 38% of small businesses pick Marketing & Advertising as the primary strategy for growth.
With more than a third of small business competing in the open market it will mean that it’s going to be harder and harder for your prospective customers to differentiate your business to your competitors. This often means that with a limited budget, as an owner of a business you would rather hire new sales or marketing personnel than HR. Or invest time in prospecting new business rather than increasing employee engagement and other people management strategies.
But why is this study important to HR? Well, when you look at holistically, often the reason small businesses don’t have an HR department or resource is because the focus is on growing their business through marketing or sales. This often leads to more resources being put here, both financial and non-financial. However, I’d argue that a key strategy to grow your business is actually through your people, culture and HR processes.
And this is not to say that as a business you don’t see the value or important in having an engaged workforce, it’s just hard to prioritise that with your limited time. You probably get home late, have to balance your accounting ledgers, run invoices and now having to do HR admin tasks is just another thing that you would rather not do.
No business owner wants to deal with all the messy HR stuff; that aggrieved worker, the one with bad body odour, puts in the minimum they can to get away with it and so on.. All of this would be resolved by having an HR resource.
In recent years you have probably noticed, in particular in the technology sector, companies are turning their culture into their greatest asset and differentiator. Turning the notion of culture inside out and screaming it to the world. This not only helps you attract the best talent, but it also helps you attract new business.
People want to do business with people, not cold corporate websites. When you humanise your corporate brand, it shows the external market why they should be working with your business. Bryan Kramer, a bestselling author and world reknowned expert in Marketing and Advertising, coined the term ‘Human 2 Human’ selling. He argues that we do not sell to business nor consumers but indeed humans and need to appeal to them on a personal level as opposed to being cold and simply talking about numbers.
HR for small business has never been so important as a key differientiator in the market.
An HR resource in your business would ensure you have the best possible outcome in interactions with staff and they can use that expertise to keep your team engaged, working actively on improving the work environment and team spirit while you get on with growing the business. Let’s face it, recruiting and training is costly and the impact on efficiency and profit by high staff turnover is well documented.