Bigger is not always better, especially when it comes to staff.
- The growth of the gig economy makes it easier for small businesses to hire freelancers to fill gaps in knowledge or capacity.
- Not only can automation save time, it can improve the quality of your offers.
- Small teams are often more agile and better at solving problems than large ones.
Small businesses have been feeling the pinch for the past few years, rocked by the double whammy of inflation and economic uncertainty. As a result, some companies have already started freezing new hires, while others have had to lay off staff. With labor making up a large part of the cost of doing business, it’s no surprise that some owners are looking for ways to reduce their workforce.
good news? You don’t need a big team to get things done. Here are three reasons why.
1. Contractors are a powerful force
There are pros and cons to using contractors instead of full-time employees. But there are many circumstances where gig workers can help you get the job done without the commitment and HR costs of salaried workers. Sure, you can pay more per hour, but you won’t have to pay for benefits like health insurance or paid time off.
Another benefit is that you can reduce your fixed costs, making it easier to quickly reduce your cash flow if the economy takes a downturn. This can be a double-edged sword because it means you’re not building a loyal team that knows your business inside out and might be willing to do whatever it takes in a crisis.
Concert workers will not be the answer to everything. The trick is to think about what tasks a freelancer could do better. For example, you might want to outsource a specific task that needs to be completed by a certain date. That said, keep in mind that a freelancer will work on their own schedule to meet your deadline, so you can’t expect them to be available whenever you need them.
2. You can automate many tasks
At the risk of sounding like an old woman, it’s amazing how far business automation has come. When I started my first small business over 20 years ago, the few tools that existed were clunky and difficult to use. The challenge now is to decide which parts of your operations to automate and which software package to use.
Here are some areas where technology can streamline your operations:
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM): CRM software can help you generate and manage leads as well as maintain existing customer relationships. It will also help you identify trends and focus on specific clients who may represent a larger segment of your revenue.
- Website and content management: You don’t need to know anything about websites to build and maintain a professional website. The right system depends on how much content you produce, how complicated your site is, and how much you need to integrate it with other tools.
- Accounting: Good accounting software can help you with invoicing and tracking payments, as well as managing your books.
- E-commerce: If your business does a lot of online business, chances are you already use some form of software to keep processes running smoothly, especially payments.
Check out our small business page for more ideas on how automation can save you time and money.
3. Small teams can be more agile
One of the advantages of small businesses over corporate giants is their agility. Fewer people often means better communication, less bureaucracy and less time spent managing them. In addition, when there are only a limited number of employees, everyone knows that their work is important. It can encourage creative solutions and improve collaboration.
As a small business owner, we often feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day. It’s easy to think that hiring more people will take the pressure off and mean you can achieve more. The problem is that hiring can be expensive and training and managing staff can be time-consuming.
There are many situations where hiring people can help, but it’s not always feasible – whether it’s because of money or because you can’t find the right candidates. If this is your situation, look for ways to turn it to your advantage.
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