The Dow Jones Average passed over $25,000 for the first time in history yesterday.  Among the key drivers of the continuing growth in the market is the blistering pace of the US economy.  Over 250,000 new jobs were created in December and the pace seems to be continuing if not accelerating. Unemployment is at nearly historic lows across the US.  All of this is good news, right?  Well . . .

If you are an investor or an executive in a large business this is all great news.  The economy is growing at a strong pace and all the indicators available in the moment are positive for continued growth this year.  The Tax Reduction and Jobs bill seems to have had the desired short term effect of spurring new investment by big business in the US.  Jobs are being created at every level and opportunity is strong.  So what’s the bad news?

Talk to small business owners and you may discover that there is a growing problem finding, attracting, and keeping top employees.  Here’s the issue: when unemployment numbers approach “full employment” finding and keeping top talent becomes increasingly difficult.  Just like a hot real estate market creates demand and allows sellers to demand higher prices, so a hot employment market creates intense competition among employers for the best talent.  Big business attacks this challenge by increasing total compensation, offering improved working conditions, providing perks, and expanding benefits offerings.  How do small and medium sized businesses compete in this environment?

For many (most?) small businesses its a huge dilemma.  They want and need to have top people to grow and thrive, but they don’t believe they can afford to offer the higher compensation, perks, and benefits packages the big companies can.  But are they correct?  Are the benefits packages really beyond their reach?  Did you know that in most cases even the smallest of employers can actually offer a solid benefits program, often at no cost to the employer?

There are many different kind of benefits programs and insurance offerings.  Small employers have often not had the information they need to know how make a benefits/insurance package available that doesn’t break the budget.  In just the past three years we have worked with nearly 100 small firms to help them create a great benefits program that their employees love and their budget appreciates.  The key is understanding what is available and how to make it work for you.

Here’s the challenge: take 30 minutes in the next 30 days to learn what is possible and develop a plan to make it happen for your business.  Give us a call and we will be happy to talk with you about the possible.