employer branding

Employer branding can help promote how your small business offers unique opportunities for employees

If you run a small business, you’ve got enough to worry about, haven’t you? You have to keep on top of sales, ensure you’ve got the best people in your team and look after your customers.

Employer branding may not be high on your to-do list, or even be on your list at all. Isn’t employer branding for big businesses? Well, if you thought so, it’s time for a rethink. It’s time to go about employer branding for the small business.



The Business Experience

As a small business, you would do well to emphasise your uniqueness. Consider what you, as a small business, can offer your employees: something they wouldn’t find in larger corporations.

One aspect is the business experience that your employees can expect. In a small company, there’s a real sense of the immediacy of business. Things are more exposed because they are smaller. You probably don’t have large departments separated into offices, or even different buildings.

In a small company, your people can more easily witness the inner workings of daily business life. Large businesses struggle to do this, so it’s a real strength of the small business, and one you need to promote.

Career Opportunities

Small businesses can offer career opportunities in a way that large businesses struggle to. As a small business owner, you can offer potential employees the chance to work across departments or areas of business. One month they may find themselves working in a marketing role, whilst the next they may be asked to lend a hand with sales, or pitch in late one night to resolve a customer issue. This is excellent all-round business experience, and one that employees may not find elsewhere.

If your potential employees want be exposed to a variety of business areas, then a small company is the perfect place, and it’s an aspect you can promote to improve your employer brand.

Teamwork

Large businesses can be rather lonely places. There’s a danger that people feel like a cog in a wheel. At times, their efforts may not be noticed and getting lost in the crowd is a real danger. However, small businesses can offer a sense of teamwork that large businesses could struggle to engender.

When you work with a small group of people, it’s easy to see yourself as a key player, as a necessary and valued member of the group.

What’s more, it’s easy to get to know your colleagues, and feel that you’re all pulling together. There’s no anonymity, so strengths and skills can be spotted quickly and, potentially, rewarded.

Flexibility

As the owner of a small business, improve your employer brand by showing how flexible you can be. It may be possible to offer home-working, job-sharing or even shift work. This is something that can take a great deal more organising in a larger corporation. In today’s market, potential employees are often seeking flexibility at work, so make this a real strength of your small business.

Don’t shy away from the concept of employer branding, if you’re a small firm. It’s not just for the big boys; small companies have a great deal to offer. Emphasise your uniqueness. Treat your employees well, no matter how many (or few) of them there are, and let them become your advocates.

And don’t be afraid to advertise the basics of your small business, too. After all, in the words of politician Michele Bachmann, “small business is the backbone of our economy. I’m for big business, too. But small business is where the jobs are generated”.



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Heather Foley

Marketing Consultant at ETS
Heather Foley is a consultant at etsplc.com, an HR technology and consultancy company, specialising in employee surveys. ETS has been a partner to some of the world’s most respected companies since 1989, delivering specialist consultancy and leading edge technology in the following areas: employee research and engagement, leadership development, 360° feedback, performance management, and talent and succession planning. ETS takes a bespoke approach to every project to ensure that all clients get their ideal survey solution. ETS doesn’t have templates and nothing is off-the-shelf. Every programme created is specific to the client, ensuring real value is delivered.

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