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How Small Businesses Can Overcome Challenges to Find Success

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William J. Pellicano

CEO, PrimePay

“All businesses start small. Every great business started from a dream with an idea.”

In your experience, what makes a successful entrepreneur and/or small business?

Awareness. As a business owner, it’s hard to become successful if you are working hard without looking up to see what’s going on around you. For example, as an entrepreneur, you must understand your people, what they’re doing, and how they’re managing. Always be in tune with your business as it relates to the segmentor industry you’re in, and where your competitors are. Ensure you’re aware of what’s changing around you, like technology or your employees, and you’ll be able to adapt quickly and efficiently.

What is the top challenge facing small business owners today?

Finding and retaining top talent is a tough challenge for small businesses.Larger companies and firm shave the resources to attract, onboard, train and retain employees easier than a smaller company would. But that doesn’t mean small businesses can’t compete. Consider your culture, perks and benefits you may offer employees to overcome this challenge.

What is one technology trend that every small business owner should be embracing in the coming year?

Hands down, the one trend every small business owner should focus on is cybersecurity. USA Today reported that 760 million attacks happened in a three-month span in 2018. At PrimePay, we see this happen far too often to our small business clients. Smaller companies are naturally more vulnerable to cyberattacks. Protect your business and avoid being hacked by staying informed and educating your staff.

What is one service that every scaling small business should consider outsourcing?

I have to say payroll and payroll taxes. Year after year, the National Small Business Association ranks payroll taxes as a top burden for small business owners.As a business grows ,it becomes increasingly important to maintain compliance with payroll tax regulations and human resources.

Why is it important for readers to support small businesses in their community?

When you support a small business, you support your local community as well as entrepreneurs just like yourself. All businesses start small. Every great business started from a dream with an idea. Entrepreneurship and these small businesses are the backbone of our country–let’s keep supporting all of them.

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Christopher Johnson

President, Pitney Bowes Financial Services

In your experience, what makes a successful entrepreneur and/or small business?

Among the many thousands of small businesses I’ve spoken to, those which are most successful have three factors in common. First, they know their markets and understand their customers. Second, they have a firm commitment to delivering a truly differentiated experience, for customers and employees. They know what their customers will buy because they listen to them, and they know what motivates their employees because they understand and value them.  Third, they continuously evolve their business to deliver against the customer and competitive environment needs. That means they have access to capital, to invest and grow their business to win.

What is the top challenge facing small business owners today?

The challenges for small business are numerous. Navigating a changing business environment and having access to capital to continue to fuel their business growth remain paramount. With respect to financing, SMBs are finding it increasingly hard to secure funding  to take their next steps towards progressing sustainable growth.  This isn’t necessarily for big ticket items, but for critical assets to expand their businesses. They need capital for equipment, software and inventory. They need access to funds to win jobs, offer a better customer experience, digitalize their operations and gain a competitive edge. Without financing, they risk being left behind.

What is one technology trend that every small business owner should be embracing in the coming year?

Innovation has opened up SMBs’ accessibility to technologies that were previously only available to large businesses, with features and capabilities right-sized to suit their unique requirements. SaaS is a key enabler behind this.  The scalability SaaS brings is perfect for small businesses generating growth, while its subscription-based models help SMBs manage budgets. The benefits of Internet of Things (IoT) on small businesses are also becoming more widely understood: digitally-connected devices generate vast amounts of data and provide visibility into business operations. For example, small businesses can use this data to generate insight on productivity, to improve their time management and to highlight overspend.

What is one service that every scaling small business should consider outsourcing?

Research shows that 40% of business leaders outsource or plan to outsource business processes. Organizations can’t do everything themselves and accept that, to grow their businesses, it makes sense to outsource – effectively, to hire specific skills that fill gaps within a business.

For a small business, outsourcing can be a great way to access expertise they might only need at certain times of the year. Tax and accounting  are the main processes companies currently outsource, due to their complexity and the need to stay on top of changing regulations. For SMBs, outsourcing these functions is a pragmatic business decision.

Why is it important for readers to support small businesses in their community?

Between them, the 30 million small businesses in the US employee population of 58.9 million people, accounting for over 47% of our workforce. They play an important part in our communities, yet every day they face challenges which inhibit their growth potential, from rising real estate rates to staying relevant in our digital economy, and it’s harder than ever for them to secure funding to grow.

As a nation, we must celebrate our small businesses and help them to generate growth. The innovation, positivity and great potential they bring to our economy is only limited by the support we give them.

Staff, [email protected]

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