09/08/12 www.barbadostoday.bb Page 35 Managing small business But please remember not to overlook or bypass referrals Will a talent and references, especially when seeking out talent over the Internet. Nonetheless, you are no longer bound to a limited geographic space. There are many online services, management system by Global Expert Systems for graphics and marketing, social media development, IT, e-commerce, accounting and the list goes on. cost me a lot of The importance of small businesses in money? modern economies According the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of GES always recommends the “systems- Industry & Commerce, in the twin-island republic, “small to-scale” approach. In other words, SMEs FOCUS and medium sized enterprises have mushroomed over the should implement systems that match their last decade numbering some 18,000 by the end of 2010, current business needs, medium-term employing 200,000 persons and contributing nearly 28% to goals and ultimately their pockets. It’s no GDP”. sense buying a state-of-the-art TV with all In Barbados, ºsuccessive governments have put a the bells and whistles, if you are just going number of incentives in place to stimulate the SME sector. to watch the news. The same logic applies The statistics for advanced economies like the US and to a talent management system. Do not Japan are even more impressive where SMEs account for over invest! approximately 50 per cent of the workforce. 1. Ascertain your needs. Therefore, the question on whether or not we should 2. Map your needs to your current consider talent management in SMEs becomes unarguable state of affairs and your business objectives since SMEs play such a pivotal role in today’s economies, for the next 24 months. both developed and emerging. But here are some of the 3. Research systems that suit your budget. Please challenges many SMEs face when considering a talent note that expensive does not necessarily mean good. management system. 4. Do not “over-process” your small business. • Many small businesses are run by a single person; Do not burden your small business down with • SMEs are normally started within families or by a unnecessary bureaucratic processes for this will group of friends; affect your agility and ability to make snap decisions. • SMEs tend to avoid sophisticated management systems Remember again and again that smallness has its because of the financial investment that is required. advantages. Our business is 5. Finally, when you reach that threshold where you have made up of family to decide on expansion or maintaining your “smallness”, members and close please do not ignore the critical role of talent management. friends, how do The decision to expand and grow your business hinges upon we practise talent hiring and recruiting the right talent. management? If you are going to invest in expansion, then it’d make We come across this perfect sense to get the right team on board from the get- scenario every day in the go. This is where talent management will help you most — world of small business. hiring the right talent at the point of expansion can save you Here’s GES’ advice: thousands of dollars. • Match your family In essence, GES recommends using your smallness to members or business your advantage! associates where they Next week we will look at the polemic topic are best suited, i.e. match “Meritocracy and Talent Management: Is the them according to their Caribbean Ready?” true and tested talents. • Don’t be afraid to • Feel free to visit Global Expert Systems hire talent if it doesn’t online at http://www.globalexpertsystems.org/ reside within your circle index.php/event/first-caribbean-latin-american- of family members or associates. conference-on-talent-management/ or email us Overcoming the challenges: • You can be the owner without being the boss! • However, if you feel obligated to hire friends and at firstname.lastname@example.org My business is a one-(wo) family, then you will definitely need to invest in training and developing them to the task. man show! The one-(wo)man small business is not uncommon. In fact, there are thousands of professionals who run what we call the one-(wo)man-show. The irony is that this is perhaps the best case study for practising talent management. Smallness is an advantage. Here’s how! As a single person operation, you have the opportunity to do the following: • To outsource for all your needs: marketing and PR, accounting, IT and other business functions. However, when considering outsourcing, it is important to find the best in the market that suits your pockets. GES recommends always seeking referrals and references as a means to finding suitable talent. • To align with other SMEs whenever possible. GES recommends joining associations of like-minded professionals as well as a small business associations and/or clusters. These groupings or gatherings will assist in creating economies of scale to help to mitigate against the high costs sometimes associated with more sophisticated management systems. These associations can also be virtual communities. • To procure the best talent from a global talent pool via the Internet. Once more, smallness is an advantage. Unlike larger operations, the SMEs are not yet tied to bureaucratic procedures and this gives them much agility in their decision-making process. As such, seeking out the best talent via the Internet is a recommended option.