If you follow conventional wisdom, you probably believe that when the economy turns sour, it’s time to establish a hiring freeze, especially for small businesses who must pinch pennies to survive the months, even years, of reduced revenue. However, while most small businesses try a “stick it out” approach to the economy, some others thrive. Why? With such a high rate of unemployment, there are literally millions of very qualified workers at your disposal.
In a Forbes Small Business Outlook study mentioned in a previous article, 45 percent of small business owners practiced staff reduction as a way to get through the economic downturn. However, in looking ahead, about 50% of small business owners say they will invest in growth and expansion for their businesses. with growth comes additional workers.
in what areas could you hire more staff? While you are working overtime to keep your small business solvent, you need to consider hiring staff who will be income producers. This means hiring sales staff and marketing staff. Other staff positions like administrative staff are not income-producers. When you are trying to expand during a recession, you do want to consider the bottom line.
There are many qualified sales people who have been laid off from their jobs. These people just want to get to work, and with such a large amount of workforce ready for hire, you as the employer have the advantage. Consider hiring on a commission basis. For instance, where once a top-producing salesman earned a salary plus commission in a corporate job, you could offer commission only, but make it a higher commission. You save money by not paying a regular salary and benefits, but you also can earn more revenue as a result of his sales efforts, and your new salesman earns a decent living (which is better than unemployment benefits). It is a win-win situation for both parties.
Consider your business expansion into additional sales. You could try hiring virtual staff who works from home. Try hiring marketers to help promote your business and products. Have one new marketing staff member work solely on social media and web SEO efforts.
Getting your business more sales is the key to expansion and hiring during a recession. Look for the qualified workers who are willing to lend their expertise to you and get back on the job.