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Fit Small Business

About Fit Small Business

Marc Prosser and David Waring launched Fit Small Business in 2013 to help small business owners navigate the questions and difficulties that arise when running a business. Fit Small Business covers topics ranging from small business financing to managing employees to finding customers and building relationships. At our site’s core are our product and service reviews, which help small business owners make the best and most cost effective buying decisions possible.

How Job Titles Can Help You Hire Great Talent

So it’s a new year, and you’re looking to hire new talent. You start off by posting a job online, but you’re not finding many candidates, at least not the great ones your company needs. How come? You may not realize this, but the job titles on your postings might be the reason.

Professionals care about the job title a company will provide them with (as well as one they’ll be proud to boast on their resumes in the new year). If you spend enough time looking at other job descriptions and titles, you’ll begin to notice a trend. There’s an increase in outside of the norm job titles. Riding this trend could help you recruit better candidates.

So what should you do heading into the new year? Spend more time crafting your job titles.

Here’s why job titles are so important in the hiring process.

They Help You Target the Type of Person You’re Looking to Recruit

Millennials are looking for different types of job titles than seasoned professionals, so depending on who you want to attract, you may need to tweak your titles accordingly. Those who have been around the block in their careers may be searching for more traditional job titles, while the fresh-out-of-college set may like funkier titles like “Brand Evangelist.”

Your Job Title is Your Welcome Mat

The first thing a potential candidate sees on a job board is your job title. Consider it your click-bait: if the title is boring or uninspiring, some job seekers won’t click to see what qualities you’re looking for. On the other hand, if you spend time coming up with a concise job title, you’ll attract more candidates to choose from.

Being Specific Narrows Your Applicant Pool

On the other hand, you may not want tons of applicants but prefer to have only highly-qualified folks with a very specific skillset submit their resumes to you. Be sure to use precise terms like “Senior” or industry knowledge keywords you want in the job title to winnow down those that will apply.

But Being Overly Zany Might Put You in the Corner

Yes, companies like Google are replacing older keywords like “Human Resources” with “People Specialists,” but that might not be the best strategy for your company. The problem with getting too off-the-wall is that people won’t be searching for your one-of-a-kind job title. Even if internally, you call your programmers “Awesomeness Creators,” you can still use more traditional job titles in your search to ensure that people find your posting.

Your Job Titles Speak Volumes About Your Company Culture

Just like you will be assessing job candidates, those same professionals will be assessing your company. If your job titles are more creative, you might give off a startup culture vibe, which is appealing to many. Or, your more traditional titles might lure experienced professionals looking for stability and familiarity. Consider the ethos you want to portray with your company as you craft your titles.

Creating Better Job Titles

Just because you’ve had a Marketing Manager for years doesn’t mean the next person that fills that role needs to have the same title. Before you post your next open position on job boards, review what that role currently consists of. It likely has evolved over the past several years, and the job title should reflect that. Maybe now that role looks more like a Content Marketing Guru or a Social Media Manager. The more specific you get with the title, the more appealing it will be to the right candidates.

See what your competitors are calling similar roles and determine if you want to mimic those titles or branch off from them. You want candidates to be able to find your job listing, so you might not want to get too creative.

And skip the acronyms or abbreviated words, as well as internal reference IDs (Marketing Mgr Ex75-4). These only make it harder for job seekers to search for your position.

Above all, keep your job titles short and searchable. Leave the details for the job description itself. Consider what a candidate might search for to find your position on a job board. Search there yourself to see how good a fit your role is in search results. And if over time, you don’t get the caliber of candidates you’re seeking, you can always update that job title; it’s not set in stone.

When you post an open position, you are, in a sense, marketing it to potential buyers — or applicants. If you want qualified leads — applications — you’ve got to put the effort into developing the most relevant and appealing job title possible.

5 Tech Trends Shaking Up Small Business in 2016

In this digital era, small businesses now have access to a wealth of tools they’ve never had access to before.  Even small startups are now able to compete in local and global markets at levels previously limited to enterprise companies. New marketing techniques, payment methods, inventory management tools, and development tools – all of these are being made possible by rapid changes in technology. And small businesses are the ones who are winning. Below are the top five trends you should keep an eye out for during the rest of the year.

EMV Chip Technology

Now that security is at the top of the minds of most consumers, EMV chip technology is gaining popularity as these chips make it difficult for malicious individuals to create fake payment cards. Traditional credit cards use magnetic strips which contain unchanging information. When an attacker gains access to the information, they’re easily able to clone the cards and use it for malicious purposes. EMV chips on the other hand generate codes for each transaction. If an attacker were to gain access to these databases, they wouldn’t be able to use the codes for future purchases.

Since EMV technology is fairly new, most small businesses need to overhaul their credit card processing software and terminals with modern versions which support reading the chips.  

Ecommerce Business

Now that many point of sale (POS) systems have ecommerce support built-in, small businesses are able to leverage the best of both digital and in-store customers, leading to greater sales.  Popup shops for example, enable small businesses to test new revenue streams, engage with customers offline, improve brand awareness, and also educate new customers on product offerings. At the end of the season sales don’t have to stop because your online properties can stay open throughout the year.

Analytics Tools

Business analytics tools are becoming increasingly popular. While they were mostly considered useful for large corporations, small businesses are beginning to realize the value of real-time data and use analytics tools. Why? Because analytics tools help small businesses see what they’re doing wrong, what’s working for them, and how to improve. There are many tools for different aspects of your business such as social media, email, and marketing campaigns. Most popular of these tools is Google Analytics. By allowing all your data to converge on one platform, small businesses can now leverage their new found information to make informed decisions.

Inventory Management Software

Inventory management is one of the biggest challenges small businesses face because they often don’t have the ability to dedicate individuals to handle the tasks. This often results in wasted stock and lost goods. Fortunately, modern inventory management software makes it easier than ever for small business to keep track of inventory simply by scanning barcodes and then having the data digitally logged into their systems.

Mobile Applications

Although they used to be limited to larger companies, many small businesses are beginning to launch their own mobile apps. Tools such as the Microsoft PowerApps tool are making it easy for virtually anyone to create their own apps regardless of technical expertise. In many cases the advanced technologies behind applications are enabling businesses to embed click-to-call voice and video communications capabilities within their code. This means you can seamlessly integrate video chat into your apps as a new way to communicate with your customers and enhance the overall experience.

Looking Ahead

Although all these trends are fairly notable, this list is far from comprehensive. Technology is always evolving and there’s so much innovation going on that it’s impossible to list everything here. The best way to keep pace with these shifts and changes is to ensure you’re always open to learning new things. By reading up on industry trends and having the flexibility to try new things within your business, you’ll be able to make the most of the modern systems out there.

With the latest technology tools in place, it’s a good time to revisit your business structure. Call CorpNet.com today for a free business consultation to incorporate a business, form an LLC, file a DBA and more! 888.449.2638

Charles Costa is a writer and marketing analyst for Fit Small Business and other publications. He focuses on helping companies grow, one word at a time. His areas of expertise include software, hardware, biotech, finance and general technology. You can learn more about him at CharlesCosta.net.

Image: Adobe Stock

                               

5 Ways to Simplify the Payroll Process

Man writing a payment cheque at the table with calculator and glasses

Paying your employees on time can be a headache for small business owners looking to do the task themselves. It sounds simple, but when you factor in taxes, fees, and other regulations, it quickly becomes one of the biggest minefields associated with running a business. Fortunately, by following the tips below, you should be able to streamline your payroll processes with minimal effort on your end.

Direct Deposit

As the name implies, direct deposit is a system which enables you to send employee payments directly to their bank accounts without having to worry about costly paper checks or errors in your books. Most banks and online accounting programs support direct deposit out of the box. In many cases it’s included as part of the service packages or it’s offered for a nominal fee.

Easy to Use Payroll Software

Many business owners make the mistake of assuming payroll software is costly and difficult to use. While many tools have a subscription fee, many payroll software options pay for themselves by enabling professionals like yourself to focus on running your company. Additionally, when you have hourly workers or need to track paid-time off, payroll software enables you to automate scheduling, accurately check employee time, and have all essential information viewable within a central dashboard.

Outsource Your Payroll

Payroll is a fairly complex topic which is constantly evolving and difficult for many to understand.  Some of the reasons employers choose to process payroll themselves is because they feel it’s more cost effective, a way to protect against wage theft, or they want to maintain complete control to handle last minute changes. Although these are all valid concerns, when you consider the lost time and potential penalties for errors, outsourcing payroll becomes a much more attractive option.

When you’re looking for payroll processing companies, remember that you’ll routinely be communicating with their representatives. When you’re looking for a payroll service provider you’ll want to choose a company which is known for providing exceptional customer service. You should request references from current clients and also ensure the customer service teams can answer questions to your satisfaction.

File Taxes Electronically

With payroll and other taxes, you’re obligated to meet deadlines and ensure you’re in compliance with laws on the books. By filing your taxes online, you won’t have to worry about postage costs, lost mail, or long lines at the post office. Most online filing services provide users with near-instant confirmation of your information being received. Some states even require businesses to file their taxes online, another reason your business should switch to paperless payroll workflows.

Consolidate Pay Schedules

When companies have hourly and salaried employees, they often maintain different pay schedules. For example, salaried employees might be paid monthly while hourly employees are paid weekly or bi-weekly. While it sounds fine in practice, juggling different schedules leaves plenty of room for error. If you’re not using a software, you can at least use an employee schedule template to help maintain your employees schedule as efficiently as possible. By paying all your employees on a set schedule, you’ll cut payroll costs, improve employee satisfaction, and have the peace of mind that you’re compliant with all relevant regulations.

Conclusion: A Dynamic Process

As a small business owner, you need to ensure you’re always able to keep pace with change. Even if you have a bookkeeper, payroll company, or accountant, it’s essential to at least have a basic handle on what’s going on. The best way to stay on top of these trends is to develop a trusted team of advisors and perform routine checks to ensure you have the right systems in place. While it might seem daunting at first, it gets easier once you’ve streamlined your payroll workflow.

Charles Costa is a writer and marketing analyst for Fit Small Business and other publications. He focuses on helping companies grow, one word at a time. His areas of expertise include software, hardware, biotech, finance and general technology. You can learn more about him at CharlesCosta.net.

Image: Adobe Stock