07/10/2022

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Growing Your Income

How small businesses ‘found a way to differentiate’ amid the pandemic [Video]

How small businesses ‘found a way to differentiate’ amid the pandemic [Video]

As small business owners recover and rebuild in the wake of the pandemic, they face the hurdle of attracting qualified workers — yet some have found ways around it.

“Small businesses have found a way to differentiate with flexibility and benefits, and they made a ton of investment in technology during the pandemic that’s paying off and allowing them to offer remote work options, to gain attract talent,” Capital One Head of Small Business Bank Jenn Flynn told Yahoo Finance (video above).

According to a Capital One survey, 76% of small business owners are confident they will be able to fill open positions in the next six months. Although most operators didn’t alter hiring practices in the last year, those who commonly began offering competitive wages. 47% of millennial small business owners said they increased their employees’ wages, more than any other group.

“We’re seeing a heightened emphasis on really focusing on the company mission, engaging associates in the planning stage, the strategy sessions, creating space for associates to have time for themselves, emphasizing self-care and well-being, not only for their employees but also for themselves,” Flynn said.

Barista Trinity Rucker, of Providence, R.I., makes a coffee drink at Blue State Coffee, in Providence, Thursday, June 2, 2022. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Still, the May jobs report from the National Federation of Independent Business shows labor shortages continue to be a challenge for many small businesses. Seasonally adjusted, more than half of business owners reported they had job openings they could not fill.

According to Flynn, technology has played a pivotal role for small business owners in helping them create efficiencies and opportunities to expand their business, especially amid disruptions from the pandemic.

“Tech transformation accelerated by seven years during the pandemic and small business was on the forefront of that,” Flynn said. “Consumers were expecting businesses to meet them where they were.”

Despite the challenging two years, “an overwhelming majority of business owners” say “Our research shows that small business owners are optimistic, despite the fact that inflation, supply chain issues, and burnout continue to be worrisome points,” Flynn said.

In fact, she added, “an overwhelming majority of business owners tell us that they are just as, if not more, motivated to grow their business now than they were before the pandemic, which is really encouraging.”

Dani Romero is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @daniromerotv

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