What a lot of business owners don’t realise is that there are myriad government initiatives out there to benefit small business – they just need to know how to find them! From small business advice, through to recruitment resources and grants, we look at some of the government initiatives that support small business owners.
For most SMEs, employing a recruitment firm to find quality staff can be too costly.
Tony Wu, Head of Growth at on-demand temporary recruitment platform Weploy says high fees, slow turnaround times and poor employee fit may mean recruitment firms aren’t a viable option.
“Competing for top talent when you’re an SMB is incredibly tough unless you have a very specific drawcard,” he says.
“Finding people who align with your company’s goals and possess the right skill-set can be difficult, especially when your business grows.”
“A lot of the time this is not because the business isn’t inspiring or attractive to candidates, but due to lack of resources and funding to engage in a full scale recruitment campaign.”
Recruitment services – such as government initiative jobactive that connects job seekers with employers online and in more than 1700 locations across Australia – can offer small business a lifeline when looking to recruit quality staff.
There are also some great incentives for hiring staff aged 50 and over too, thanks to the government’s Restart wage subsidy.
Wu said there are obvious advantages for employing older workers.
“(They) possess knowledge and experience that money simply cannot buy,” he says.
“We find that for many of our roles, mature-aged workers are not necessarily motivated by money. Rather, we commonly see people over 50 working to keep active and continue to contribute to society, amongst many other non-monetary reasons.
“The loyalty, care and detail of work employers experience from mature workers has been very high quality.”
The jobactive solution can also recommend a shortlist of job-ready mature candidates, at no cost to you.
One of the main reasons SME owners don’t apply for government grants to help launch or scale their business is simply because they don’t realise it’s an option.
The Australian Government’s business.gov.au has a lot of information for small businesses, including a range of grants that are designed to help businesses who are just starting up, looking for tax offsets or venturing offshore – just to name a few. You can read about some of the grant available to SMEs here and search for those that may apply to you here.
Rise 365 founder, change strategist and small business adviser Belle Lockerby says a little research goes a long way to discovering what government grants may assist your business.
“While some grants can be competitive, gaining the support can mean fast-tracking the ability to tap into new opportunities you have identified,’ she says.
“Some state and local governments will also offer support in the form of low cost or free seminars, business consults, entrepreneurial programs, so a quick Google search or phone call might just unveil an opportunity to go after or a risk to manage.”
She said some business owners feel unnecessarily daunted by the application process.
“A few phone calls though and you will find that the funding bodies generally want to help,” she says.
“I had a friend who works in the coaching space who wanted to participate in a program that provided specialist skills. It was a big stretch financially ($25K). She was successful with her grant and had 75 per cent of the program funded, linking her with global talent.”
Advice and support
Not knowing where to go for information, advice and support is a pain point for a lot of small businesses.
The government offers a range of free online learning, templates and information programs to help small business, from how to set up and write a business plan to advice on taxation, legal and advertising issues.
There are also invaluable networking, advisory and mentoring services offered in many states and territories. Just search on business.gov.au.
jobactive is a recruitment service that finds the right candidates for your business needs. Your local jobactive provider will do the hard work for you and recommend a shortlist of screened and job-ready candidates at no cost to you. It’s the Australian Government’s way of helping employers recruit active job seekers. Go to jobactive.gov.au and connect with a jobactive provider today.