by Michele Price | Featured Contributor
As a small business owner, you may wonder how the changing workforce will affect you.
You already seeing the change happen. Your customers are younger. And the best of your talent pool is getting younger as well. Millennials are growing up. They want to buy, and for that, they need to earn.
Use automation to stay nimble, flexible and profitable
Every generation is impatient with the one before them and envious of the one coming after. One of the outlets for these emotions is asking for new, different things.
Small business owners are often afraid that they’re faced with two bad decisions. They either give the younger workforce what they want and crumble under the expenses or deny them and fold when their current employees retire.
There’s a third option, though. One that although disrupting your business operations – there’s no way around that – won’t mean the end of it all.
Predicted to be one of the major trends for the next two decades automation will relieve small businesses by making them more efficient without employment overhead.
For example, restaurants can install digital interfaces to take orders – like McDonald’s did in Europe – or handle phone orders.
Automation doesn’t just improve efficiency but presents an audit of employment priorities. Old jobs will be lost, to give way to new, better ones.
Better for the business, and better for the employee.
“Size matters not” – or does it?
It’s a universal truth that the biggest advantage a small business has over a huge corporation is the ability to change quickly. The larger a business gets, the slower it is able to react to change.
As personalization is demanded from customers presents a challenge for businesses, staying nimble and small is a natural fit to stay personal. On the other side of the coin, a small team often feels like a family, a quality more and more young workers prefer over large groups separated into lonely cubicles.
Today’s workforce expects their work environment to maximize professional and personal benefits. “Boomerang employees” may leave, but then return — with gained experience and a wider perspective — because they missed the friends they made.
And so size does matter. But that doesn’t mean small business owners who are working tirelessly to grow their company have to accept boundaries.
Think Ahead To Get Ahead
If personalization is scalable beyond one-to-one conversations thanks to social media, so can the advantages of being a nimble small business be scaled beyond the constraints of being a small business.
Automation can give a large business the flexibility of a tiny one. Modern technology can bring together people across floors or even continents. Small business culture can be spread across a large corporate body.
All it takes is attention and planning.
As Gary Vaynerchuk puts it: “At its core, social media requires that business leaders start thinking like small-town shop owners.”
The success of personalization in marketing and sales means the market is embracing the new way of doing business. How long before this cultural shift finds its way onto the other side of the coin?
It already has.
The same way customers expect a personalized service, employees expect a personalized workplace. But better than that, they are so ingrained with this outlook that they build it themselves.
Let Them Do Their Own Thing
It used to be that getting the best person in your business was a matter of offering the highest salary.
Nowadays people decline high salaries to get the job at the company that caters to their non-monetary needs.
“Job security” is an increasingly outdated concept. Between 2005 and 2015 the US workforce has gone from 30.6% to 40.4% made up of contingent workers.
Alternatives like self-employment or part-time arrangements are becoming the majority. Businesses have to consider changing their operations around the new demands from employees to stay competitive or even alive.
HR, in small businesses especially, needs to prepare and handle these new situations.
Small business owners need to recognize the value of people with side hustles, as they bring not only expertise but a wider perspective that can be used to increase effectiveness and profits. Providing flexibility to employees, whether full-time or not, net loyalty. And loyalty leads to better performance.
The Time Is Now
There never was a better time to be a small business owner. The natural predisposition for agility and flexibility stemming from their size makes these companies a favored target for the new generations of the workforce.
Where static corporations wither, fade, or even disappear small businesses can rise and grow.
And the need and appreciation for change will be in their DNA.
Will it be in yours? If all the change is overwhelming, we can’t blame you. Tune into Breakthrough Radio every week to get current, practical guidance on how to navigate this new landscape of business.
Be asking yourself –
Does the Future of Workforce Affect My Small Business?
If the true success of one is measured through others, then Michele Price is one of the most successful people on the planet.
A fractional CMO taking a growth-focused approach toward solid and innovative results, Michele consistently delivers precise execution and robust results in digital media/marketing.
Some are baffled by her, because she makes them rethink everything they know about marketing. Some are continuously amused by her wild and imaginative questions. And some are simply intimidated once learning how she stopped a herd a buffalo from killing 26 snowmobilers.
A life-long entrepreneur, Michele has been working with brands and businesses from bootstrap to national size, and generated results by putting into action visually delicious presentations, team challenges that propel innovation, and ideas that lead to full-fledged experiences.
Connect with Michele to build business