Three of the most important ingredients that bring growth are getting more customers, finance and getting the right people. Over the last 8 hard years most small businesses have been focussed on the first two of these. But I think the cycle is changing, quite quickly.
The employment rate in the UK is 73%, the highest since 1971, (claimant count) unemployment is likely to be lower than at any time since the 1970s before the end of the year. This means that recruiting and retaining a great team is going to get harder, much harder, over the coming years. This may well come as a shock to many business owners; after all ever since 2007 staff have felt lucky to have a job, and if they didn’t like it, well there weren’t many other jobs on offer. I think there is a quiet revolution going on in the jobs market whereby we move from staff thinking, they are lucky to have a job, to, their employer is lucky to have them!
So what can be done? I’m sure you do this but it costs nothing and is in any case good practice to treat people properly and decently. Keep an eye on market rates of pay, your team will know the market rates, if the gap becomes too great they’ll disappear and with them their knowhow. Work hard to recruit the best people, if they are good they will have more than one job offer, why will they want to work for you rather than the competition? Recognise in your pricing that you might have to pay people a bit more.
A growing economy makes it easier to make sales, finance and profits are easier to come by, it’s always hard building a business, but I think the nature of challenges are changing.