Takeaways: What Small Business Owners Need to Know to Survive

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Megan Black

SurePayroll’s General Manager, John Cumbee, talks with Gary Vaynerchuk for USA Today. Here are the highlights from their conversation. 

It might not feel like it, but 2022 is here. Looking ahead into the next year, small businesses are poised for growth. However, this doesn’t mean 2022 will pass without challenges.  

Recently, John Cumbee, CEO of SurePayroll, spoke with Gary Vaynerchuk for a USA Today interview as a part of their campaign on America’s small businesses. While you can read the full interview here, we wanted to take a minute and highlight some of the takeaways.  


The Top Challenges Facing Small Businesses in 2022 

Year after year, small business owners are tasked with trying to manage a mountain of tasks with only a small amount of time. 2022 is no different.  

Here are a few of John Cumbee’s suggestions to lighten the task load: 

  • Retain your best employees. While many people lost their jobs in 2020, this past year has seen a big increase in people willingly leaving their jobs in what’s being called The Great Resignation. Here are three ways to keep your employees engaged 
  • Hire the right employees. With many people looking to find a new job, now’s the perfect time for your company to land some high-quality applicants. But today’s job market is competitive for employers. Make sure you are prepared to offer the type of benefits employees are want 
  • Manage back-office tasks – There are a lot of incredibly critical – and incredibly time-consuming – tasks business owners are responsible for managing like payroll, tax compliance, and benefits management. Seek out an online payroll provider to help free up your time, and help ease the stress of navigating changing regulations and rules all on your own.  


How to Prepare Your Small Businesses for 2022 

When it comes to the systems and processes your company relies on, a lot has changed in the last 10 – 20 years. Cumbee says he’d go so far as to say the processes you relied on just two years ago – at the beginning of 2020 – may already not be the most optimized for your small business. 

Today’s customers are much more apt to turn to a company with a virtual marketplace and an up-to-date website than companies without these modern adaptations. Additionally, social media continues to thrive. Businesses that embrace social media as a robust extension of their brand – like offering exclusive specials and showcasing new products – will continue to strengthen existing customer relationships and create connections with new customers.  

Consumers have more options than ever to research a purchase decision with many of these decisions made before even entering a store. To stay competitive in this business, it’s imperative to create a grow your digital footprint.  

John Cumbee offered a variety of ideas for creating an effective digital experience for your customers: 

  • Nurture online reviews. Regularly send current customers a link to review sites and ask for their favorable reviews.  
  • Leverage data. Track website visits, views, interactions, engagement, and conversions with digital channels for valuable insight into how your brand resonates with the marketplace. 
  • Eliminate geographic barriers. An effective digital footprint means everyone is a potential customer. A strong online presence can help attract both new and existing customers wherever they may be.  
  • Rise above the competition. A strong digital presence depicted through pictures, videos, favorable online reviews, engaging social media posts, and interesting content help define and differentiate your brand. 

But new technology isn’t just for improving your customer experience. Converting to an online payroll or inventory management system will contribute to the long-term savings and growth opportunities for your small business. Software like this will decrease the time and energy you’re investing in these back-end tasks. That means more time for you to focus on running your business.  


Adapting to the 2022 Small Business Workforce 

No matter your industry, workers are experiencing burnout due to demanding hours, staffing shortages, low wages, and being in the unenviable position of enforcing pandemic guidelines and ordinances. Many workers are simply unwilling to give up the benefits of working from home.  

When asked about the likelihood of staying with their current employer, 52% of survey respondents indicated they plan to look for a new job in 2021. That’s up from 35% the year before! 

After COVID-19, small business owners across the country looked for new ways to attract and retain employees. While aspects like competitive pay and medical insurance are important, today’s workforce is also looking for additional benefits when choosing an employer. From 401(k) and tuition reimbursement to flexible schedules and paid time-off for volunteering, business owners need to take a hard look at what benefits their company offers if they want to attract and keep high-quality employees.  

According to a November 2021 survey commissioned by SurePayroll, 84% of Americans agree that small businesses are vital to their community. Heading into 2022, it’s more important than ever for small business owners to enlist software to ease their workload, to grow their business’ digital footprint, and retain and hire high-quality employees.   

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