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Small Business Hiring: How Do You Find the Right Candidate on a Budget?

Small Business Hiring: How Do You Find the Right Candidate on a Budget?

Just a few minutes ago, an Indeed commercial appeared on TV showing job searchers how easy it was to find the right job on the online job site.

Big businesses with large recruiting budgets are finding success locating top talent on these job listing websites. They’ve done so primarily by sponsoring their job listings. Basically, they’ve bought ads on these sites. A luxury many small businesses with limited budgets are challenged to do.

Those paid ads get noticed. Sponsored job listings outperform free job listings by 3 to 5 times. While many of these job listing sites do provide free listings, a look at a job search result will show a multitude of sponsored ads before showing the free ones.

If your right candidate is looking for the type of job you’re offering, how do you get their attention when you’re on a budget?

Let’s brainstorm some recruiting methods small businesses with limited budgets can use.

Let’s Step Back in Time First. Are the Days of running an Ad in the Paper Over?

Many middle-aged and older folks probably recall combing through the printed help wanted listings and circling with a red or blue pen potential jobs.

However, times have changed. Many newspapers have migrated their help wanted listings online with many papers using online job site companies (Indeed, Monster, etc.) to power their listings.

So, if you have a job listing with an online job listing site, chances are it will appear on your local newspaper’s online job board.

For newspapers that still publish help wanted ads in print, they might or might not be worth your efforts. Consider the type of candidate who uses a newspaper and not online venues to look for a job. If your job requires a candidate with computer and technical skills, your potential employee will probably be searching online for their job.

Online Job Search Postings – Is this The Way To Go? Which Ones are Best for Small Business to Use?

Most of your potential employees will probably be using an online job search site to find a job.

If you’re a small business on a limited budget, job posting sites like Indeed and Ladders could be ideal for you because they offer free listings along with sponsored. Job listing sites like Monster and CareerBuilder start at $119 and $219 for a single job post.

If you’re offering a job under $40k per year, then Ladders would not be right for your listing. Jobs on Ladders start at $40k per year.

If you plan on sponsoring a job posting ad, Indeed costs 0.25 to $1.50 per click on a job ad. Ladders costs $6.25 per day.

If you proceed with the free job posting option, be sure to use keywords and search terms your job seekers would be using. This will give your job post more of a chance to appear in front of the right candidate.

Facebook Now has a Job Posting Option

In 2017, Facebook began offering job seekers the ability to search and apply for jobs at local businesses. That means the more than 70 million businesses with a Facebook page can post job openings—all for free.

Creating a job post on Facebook is easy. Click on the “Write Something…” field, select a drop-down option selecting the type of post you want to create (Publish a job post). Follow the prompts.

Your job post will appear in News Feeds of your followers as well as the Marketplace and jobs dashboard. You can also pay to boost the job post to a broader or selective target audience.

Facebook users can apply directly through Facebook allowing you to respond directly and schedule interviews.

As a Facebook post, your friends, family and employees can share the job posting with their network.

Is LinkedIn a Good Source for Positions Other than Professional Services?

LinkedIn is a great source to generate professional referrals for your job opening. Through their paid service, businesses can target job offer queries to qualified LinkedIn members—even those not looking for a job.

However, LinkedIn’s recruiting price can be very expensive. Small businesses might consider reserving LinkedIn for higher-end professional positions and not for administrative or clerical jobs.

Other Budget Recruitment Ideas

Consider approaching your local colleges, vocational and trade schools and ask professors and teachers if they have students qualified for the position you want to fill.

Also, add a Hiring or Careers page to your website. Many job seekers often will search job postings directly in Google and your webpage could show up—for free—in front of the right candidate.

Incentivize your employees to network your job posting in their circle. This could be a hiring bonus, night out with the spouse gift card or any other incentive you can think of.

If you’re interested in developing and implementing a candidate search strategy, consider using the services of a Virtual Assistant. We’d be happy to help you get your job posting(s) out among the best options where they would be found while freeing you up to do other things. Feel free to give us a call at (904) 429-4588 to discuss how we can help you grow your business.

Promote Your Small Business Expertise with Video Q&As

Promote Your Small Business Expertise with Video Q&As

Have you incorporated videos into your online presence yet?

If not, you’re missing out on one of the largest marketing and promotion strategies available to get the word out about your business.

According to frequently quoted stats from Hubspot, 72% of consumers prefer to use videos to learn about products and services.

Here are some additionally compelling stats about the effectiveness of videos:

  • 76% of marketers say videos help them increase sales
  • 47% say it helps reduce support questions
  • 81% were convinced to purchase after watching a company’s video
  • 85% of people surveyed say they want to see more videos from businesses
  • 83% of consumers would consider sharing videos with friends

Ok, now that you’re sold on making videos for your business, where do you start?

Can’t Think of Content for Your Videos? Start with Your FAQs!

If you’ve got a list of questions and answers from customers, you’re set up with some great content to put online.

Recently, we shared how you can share your questions and answers with your Google presence.

Take that same content and create a series of brief videos—one question and answer per video. These videos don’t have to be long or elaborate. Keep them to about a minute.

Use your cell phone to video your Qs&As from your office, your store floor, maybe on a service call.

Schedule creating and posting at least one or two videos per week so as not to overwhelm your time.

Before you know it, you’ll have a wealth of valuable video content that people genuinely are interested in viewing.

Where to Put Your Videos

Of course, Youtube.

That video platform is the most powerful place to post your videos. It’s the second largest search engine in the world and should be the hub of your online video presence.

Additionally, the video network offers you a number of useful tools to analyze visitors to your content. Plus Youtube provides easy to use sharing tools that you can use to distribute your videos on different platforms.

How to Promote Your Videos

Once you’ve posted your videos on Youtube, how do you let people know about them?

Share on Social Media

Post on your social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, etc. Ask your friends, relatives, customers and clients to watch your videos and share with their online friends.

Post Links in Your Company Email

If you’re emailing your customers and lamenting about your open rates the following quote should grab your attention.

“Using the word ‘video’ in email subject lines boosts open rates 19%, click through rates by 65% and reduces unsubscribes by 25%,” according to research conducted by Brainshark, a software company.

Once a month, send out an email with links to your latest videos.

Also, invite your email audience to submit questions they might have about your products and services. That’s a great way to come up with more—and relevant—content.

Embed on Your Business Website or Blog

This is wonderful and applicable content for you to post on your website. As an added bonus, videos have been shown to help reduce the bounce rate of websites—a plus for your SEO efforts.

Don’t have time to set up a Youtube channel, upload videos or promote them? Consider using a Virtual Assistant. Business Solutions Unlimited will be happy to help you take advantage of the benefits of videos marketing.

Give us a call at (904) 429-4588 to see how we can help you.

 

QuickBooks Online Updates & Tips

QuickBooks Online Updates & Tips

As Bookkeeping Virtual Assistants, we’re continually honing our QuickBooks skills to support our business clients.

Recently, we completed our recertification as QuickBooks Pro Advisors and became more familiar with some of the major updates to the accounting software.

Additionally, the QuickBooks course provided some helpful tips we’d like to pass on to our readers.

What’s QuickBooks Updating?

We get pretty excited when QuickBooks updates its features (consider it an accounting obsession). These four caught our attention:

  1. New Sales Tax Center

For businesses that collect Sales Tax, it can be a pain to keep up and update data as tax rates change. QuickBooks can now manage your Sales Tax calculations with updated information from across the nation.

Sales Tax information will be automatically updated on all new QuickBooks Online accounts & we are hoping this will be rolled out to existing accounts soon as well. All you need to do is list the state and tax agencies you need to work with.

The information QuickBooks accesses is impressive. Proper tax rates are applied to your invoices based on:

  • Your address
  • Your customer’s address
  • Type of item sold
  • Date item was sold

Additionally, QuickBooks will provide reminders to you to pay your accrued Sales Tax to the appropriate state tax agencies.

  1. New Projects Tab

This handy feature provides a central location to view all of your jobs along with associated transactions, notes and reports. You can view the status of your projects:

  • In Progress
  • Completed
  • Canceled

Not only can you view, but you can add transactions directly to your project from this location.

  1. 24-Hour Direct Deposit for Payroll

For busy employers, this feature could be a life-saver. Previously, employers need to approve direct deposits 2-business days prior to payday.

Now, you can approve your direct deposits by 5 pm PT and still make payday the next business day.

This feature gives you:

  • Greater flexibility to run payroll
  • Faster time to pay employees
  • Ability to hold on to your cash an extra day
  1. QuickBooks Capital

Small business lending moves forward with this new service from Intuit—QuickBooks Capital.

Now, small businesses can use the data compiled in their QuickBooks account to get full credit for their business performance.

The application process is embedded within QuickBooks and can be part of your daily workflow. This gives you the ability to request a loan when you need it.

Here Are Some Useful QuickBooks Tips

The following tips would be helpful for many of our business clients.

Merchant Service – ACH Bank Transfer is Free

Have you used QuickBooks to process ACH transfers? As a QuickBooks user, you can get paid quickly through ACH transfers without a fee from QuickBooks.

If you’re finding your merchant service fees adding up or taking a toll on your bottom line, this could be a valuable feature to explore.

We’d be happy to help you set up this feature.

Change Order of Your Bank Account

If you have a long list of bank accounts, it can be frustrating scrolling to find the one you want to view.

Many small businesses have accounts they need to keep an eye on more frequently than others. If that’s your case, consider reordering the list to place those important accounts at the top.

Reordering is as simple as clicking the pencil icon next to the account you want to move and dragging it where you want it. Then, click save.

Close Your Books After Each Year

It’s customary for businesses to “close the book” at the end of the year. QuickBooks automatically closes out your Income and Expense accounts and rolls up your net profit or loss into your Retained Earnings account.

However, to protect your business from changing transactions from previous accounting periods, you should consider “closing the books” with a closing date and password. This ability to set closing dates and passwords is available to both the Master and Company Administrators.

How to Get QuickBooks Assistance

It’s challenging for many small businesses to keep up with the changes and best practices of QuickBooks. That’s why our Virtual Assistants continually stay on top of the skills needed to assist our clients.

Feel free to give us a call at (904) 429-4588 to discuss how we can help you with your books.

How Business Leaders Can Build Leaders in Their Business

How Business Leaders Can Build Leaders in Their Business

As a leader in your business:

  • Would an average increase in profits by 20% be of interest to you?
  • How about boosting productivity levels of your employees by 17%?
  • Would you be impressed If sales increased by 20%?
  • Would a 40% decrease in absenteeism transform your business?

If those results—published in a 2016 meta-analytic study by Gallup—got your attention, then you might consider joining the employee coaching movement that’s transforming businesses around the world.

Business leaders who focus on coaching employees (also referred to as Employee Performance Development) instead of managing them gain a workforce highly committed to success—theirs and yours–vs. simple compliance.

“Make sure that team members know they are working with you, not for you.”
– John Wooden, Basketball Coach

The Difference Between Coaching and Performance Management

Performance management traditionally refers to overseeing the work of others through a one-sided, boss-administered task approach. Performance is typically measured through annual performance reviews where employees receive feedback from their boss.

Human resource experts question the effectiveness of this approach. Annual performance reviews are typically viewed as an anxious disruption by both managers and employees. Instead of inspiring action, the process can demotivate both managers and employees.

Coaching aims at influencing and developing employee’s skills, motivation, achievement and performance ability. The process provides on-going coaching and feedback to employees.

Sports coaching is a great example of the benefits of this approach. If football players received just a once a year evaluation of their performance, they and the team would fail—spectacularly. Instead, players receive continuous coaching on their performance at practice and even during the game. Basically, the players receive immediate feedback they can use to overcome barriers, challenges and figure ways to do better toward a shared goal—to win.

Some companies have dropped performance management and reviews entirely—in favor of the coaching approach. A Coaching Manager approach delivers:

  • Enhanced performance and improved productivity
  • Highly engaged employees
  • Increased trust among employees and managers

Others use both methods. While coaching is a process separate from performance management the approaches can be mutually beneficial.

Because of the continued, throughout-the-year coaching interactions, annual performance reviews become more of a discussion and collaborative planning session than a one-sided feedback meeting. Both the manager and employee can look ahead instead of looking back (after all, you both had plenty of discussion throughout the year) to see what’s possible to achieve during the next year, then figure out together how to accomplish it.

“I’d say handling people is the most important thing you can do as a coach. I’ve found every time I’ve gotten into trouble with a player, it’s because I wasn’t talking to him enough.”
– Lou Holtz, Football Coach

How to Implement Coaching in Your Business

The coaching process is relatively simple to set up.

First, identify the key traits of your best-performing employee(s). You can conduct this analysis on your own, or collaboratively with your staff. This would help create ownership to the concepts uncovered during the session.

  • Ask which traits or skills the employee(s) want to work on
  • Mutually agree on skills necessary to accomplish the goals both of you establish

Next, document the tasks and activities that would help develop the skill sets necessary to accomplish the goals you and your employees establish. Determine if additional training, education or other items will help develop the employee’s skills.

Finally, establish target dates for the activity or plan along with a schedule for follow-up discussions.

Follow-up discussions should include a review of the accomplishments (or lack) of the activity or plan. Engage in a conversation that includes feedback. Then discuss next steps.

“Good coaching may be defined as the development of character, personality and habits of players, plus the teaching of fundamentals and team play.”
– Clair Bee, Basketball Coach

If you’re interested in developing a coaching culture in your workplace, we’d be happy to help you develop a plan. Feel free to give us a call at (904) 429-4588.

Enhance Your Online Presence with Q&As

Enhance Your Online Presence with Q&As

If a consumer Googled your business name, what would they find?

In the recent past, most searchers would find a link to your website where they could learn more about your business, find a phone number or address then decide to call or visit based on the information they read.

That activity is…well…the past.

Today, your customers find most of the information they need to make a decision about engaging your business on the Google search page itself.

Go ahead, Google your business name.

What you probably found was the Knowledge Panel with important information on your business:

  • Starred Reviews
  • Map and directions to your location if you do business from a physical location
  • Address and phone number
  • Hours of operation
  • Questions and Answers

All that information is important to your online presence. Let’s focus on the newest addition to the panel—Questions and Answers

What is Google Question and Answers?

Google Q&A launched late last year. It’s another Google feature where content can be added that helps to create a story online about your business.

It’s also a feature that could influence consumers to do business with you—or not.

Consumers can ask questions about your business here. Anyone can provide an answer, including you. Monitoring and responding to questions is an important activity to enhance your online reputation.

Businesses can also post questions—and answer them. That’s a great opportunity to provide meaningful details about your business. Details that could help influence decisions to buy from your business.

What’s Allowed and Not Allowed?

Blatant advertising, links to websites and email address plus phone numbers are not allowed. Primarily, Google wants this feature to provide details that people would want to know, like “Does this Mexican Restaurant have Margaritas?”

While this is not a place to post reviews, there have been reports of consumers adding them in this space. Also, some customers have posted “bad experience” type questions “why wasn’t my car ready in time?”

Google does allow users to report questionable Q&As by selecting from a choice of 6 reasons:

  • Off-Topic
  • No Longer Applies
  • Advertising or Spam
  • Hate, Violent or Inappropriate
  • Incorrect Information
  • Something Else

Violations reported have been taken down within 12-36 hours.

Businesses will have to decide on a case-by-case basis on whether to report Q&As. Like reviews, a helpful response by the business can go far in creating a positive online reputation.

So, How Do You Use this Feature to Your Advantage?

If users post questions, answer them in a timely manner. Get in the habit of checking out your Knowledge Panel daily. It only takes a moment to do so.

Also, be proactive by posting questions yourself and answering them. Figure out three or four common questions and answers about your business.

  • what services or products do you provide

Keep what you write short and brief. Questions with 110 characters and answers with 75 characters will appear in their entirety.

What if You Don’t Have Time to Do This?

If you’re like most business owners or managers, scheduling another online activity you have to monitor and maintain will be challenging. After all, you have social media, reviews, citations, blogging, videos and more to pay attention to….plus you have to run your business.

Unfortunately, it’s important not to avoid Google’s influence on local online searches for businesses. It’s where buying decisions are made.

That’s where enlisting the services of a Marketing Virtual Assistant comes in. Business Solutions Unlimited will be happy to help you tackle this new Google feature to help build your business. Give us a call at (904) 429-4588 and let us help you.