The Small Business Advantage in Marketing, Hiring and Production

Small businesses are the backbone of the economy. They not only account for a large proportion of our country’s production and service sector, but they also are a major part of job growth. Across the US, small companies in a variety of niche sectors are hiring talented employees so that they can compete in competitive markets.

Even though small company owners make a big difference, they also have a very difficult time getting a ‘piece of the pie.’ Whereas large companies already have their foot in the door in many cases, the smaller guys need to make a name for themselves in order to start selling. Here are some tips and tricks in different departments for small businesses to gain an edge against bigger corporations:

1. Marketing – Being a small business in the marketing world is like being the person in the room with softest voice. All of the big companies are screaming about products and services by spending tons of marketing dollars across a variety of mediums. So how does a small company, who doesn’t necessarily have a huge marketing budget, get their name out there? One great way is through social networks and services like Twitter and Facebook. Using these free technologies, a small business can build a grassroots fan base that is local, relevant, and scalable.

2. Products & Services – How can a smaller company possibly outperform a big company when it comes to sheer production or service volume? Obviously quantity should be thrown out the door in favor of quality and niche market adaptation. Whereas big corporations move extremely slow in regards to fluctuations in market demand due to their organization hierarchy, small companies can easily adapt to the smallest changes. Using this advantage in speed and adaptability, a small business can outperform a big biz and gain traction in viable niche sectors.

3. Hiring – Big companies have a huge advantage in the hiring game by offering more competitive salaries and perks. Using these benefits they can often attract the best job applicants available, while leaving nothing for the smaller competitors. Luckily, technology once again can even the playing field for smaller companies. Cutting edge applicant tracking software allows any company (small or large) to find and attract top-level talent by utilizing the internet. Using these hiring tools, a small biz can land the quality hires that have the potential to lead a company into the big leagues.

Growing Your Small Business – Doing Business With the Department of Health and Human Services

In 1953 the Department of Health, Education and Welfare became a cabinet level department in the United States. In 1979 the Department of Education Organization Act split HEW into the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services. HHS is responsible for the health, safety and well-being of residents of the United States. This mandate also extends internationally for cross-border health and safety issues.

HHS administers over 300 programs with a budget of over $737 billion. HHS mission includes a wide range of human issues, including substance abuse, Medicare and Medicaid, childrens health, health disparities, disease prevention and health promotion. It is the largest grant-making department within the Federal Government.

In 1979 the Department of Health and Human Services established the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization to develop and implement outreach to the small business community. The Office performs its mission through small business fairs, procurement conferences, trade group seminars, conventions and forums.

The Office of Small Business Development, also called OSDBU, is host to Vendor Outreach Sessions that happen twice monthly. The purpose of these sessions is to introduce and educate vendors on the small business program and to provide them information so that they can effectively market their products and services to HHS.

The Department of Health and Human Services is the only executive agency where Small Business Specialists report to the OSDBU Director. These Small Business Specialists are located within the eleven agencies of HHS.

Every day, these Specialists work with Contracting and Program Office staff, so as to determine the best acquisition strategy; they also work to make their approach unified so that when vendors deal with Health And Human Services, this unity will benefit them.

Currently, HHS does not provide grants or loans to help small businesses get going, but it is in fact the largest organization to make grants within the federal government. It has over 300 grant programs today, and it handles mission-specific topics, which are in turn delegated among the various HHS operating agencies. The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance profiles all Federal grant programs; these provide financial assistance and include HHS programs. In addition, specific points of contact for obtaining applications or additional information are also provided.

Vendors who are interested in doing business with Health And Human Services do not have to have any special certification, but instead, the Small Business Administration provides certification to firms under the Business Development Program, the Historically Underutilized Business Zone Program, and the Small Disadvantaged Business Program. Businesses that are Women-Owned, Veteran Owned, Service Disabled Veteran Owned, or Small Businesses are generally managed with self-certification. Self-certification is not challenged unless or until an interested party or competitor provides protest to it. In addition, an HHS Contracting Officer may request that the SBA provide a size determination.

Understanding IT Department Outsourcing for Small Businesses

For large companies business strategies such as outsourcing are a good way to cut down costs. This strategy not only works for large companies, but it is also beneficial and important for small and medium-sized businesses. What are the benefits of outsourcing the IT department of a small business?

Running a small business is quite a challenging task for many business owners. From providing the right products and services to the customers, to hiring responsible people who are right for the job, there are a lot of tasks that need to be done. Small business owners often handle all the necessary business operations including bookkeeping services, payroll making, accounting, and technology management. The more tasks that small business owners handle the less efficient they become and they decrease their chances of increasing productivity in the business. Most of these small business owners are seeking to hand off some of their tasks to those companies specialize in said tasks. Outsourcing is more efficient and produces higher quality services than trying to do everything by yourself.

Outsourcing as a business strategy usually reduces the costs that the company may incur. This is seen in the outsourcing scenario where companies are not responsible for providing medical and vacation benefits to their employees because this is the sole responsibility of the third-party companies. This allows the business owners to focus their financial assets on their marketing strategy as well as expanding their business operations. It also reduces expenses in training and hiring people. Training and hiring are time consuming and expensive tasks for any company. Again avoiding these costs will eventually allow the company to spend more of their time and income on other income generating activities for the business.

Additional benefits IT department outsourcing include increasing the efficiency of the business in running and operating the whole organization. This offers a room for the management team to exert their efforts in providing quality services to their customers rather than handling it all on their own. IT outsourcing also allows small companies to compete with large companies because it makes them more efficient and expert in the field of IT operations and services.

Even though small businesses are limited with financial capabilities and resources, outsourcing may still be a good solution for their technology problems. This allows them to be competitive with larger companies. IT department outsourcing also improves the efficiency of the small business operations and increases the chances of growth and expansion later on.