Optimism is rising among small business owners, but, according to a recent Citibank survey, the rosier outlook may not lead to more hiring, Dow Jones Newswire reports today.
While more than 80% of small company CEOs think that 2011 will be better than 2010, only 14% say they will hire additional employees. Unfortunately, this is a refrain we continue to hear and feel. Though the economic climate may be moderately more robust, many businesses must recoup losses of previous years. They also face higher borrowing rates and rising health care costs.
What do we do? I think caution is a good attitude in this uncertain climate—especially in Washington, where talks of extreme budget cuts for the city, slashes in Federal spending, and a reduced government workforce instill anxiety. Many of us have a wait-and-see attitude about hiring and investing.
The good news is that, like our parents and grandparents’ generations, we’ve learned how to live better and smarter with less. Small businesses are using this time to train their employees and expand their expertise. Freelancers and temporary staff are coming in to fill spikes in our workloads. New lines of services and products are being developed. And entrepreneurs are diving into social media—putting time into marketing their businesses online and in person to incur fewer dollars and bring a higher rate of return.
Raj Seshadri, the head of small-business banking at Citibank, the retail banking arm of Citigroup Inc, says, “owners will work longer hours, increase marketing to drive sales growth and improve employee productivity–making the costs they already have work for them.”
The future is bright because we’re channeling our “start-up” selves, tapping those creative juices, remembering our ingenuity. I’d love to hear what you are doing.
Before the advent of the personal computer, the graphics industry depended on a well-oiled system of craftspeople. Typographers, color separators, printers, photographers, writers, editors, designers, production artists…and there were probably a few more I can’t remember. Many small business formed alliances with complementary companies, ones they trusted to do their jobs well.
Individual businesses were created around each craft. In 1977, for example there were more than 20 typography shops in Washington.
Phil’s Photo was one of them. Run by gregarious Phil Baldus, his shop in upper Georgetown specialized in setting display type only. (Yes, that means headlines, exclusively.) Order a 72pt Bodoni Bold (kerning #5) one liner by 5pm on Monday and it was delivered to your doorstep by 9 am Tuesday morning. Art directors could count on Phil’s to be there for them—99.9% of the time, perfect, no mistakes.
We were one of the shops that relied on Phil’s. Just as we did the shop that separated our color and printed the publications we designed. Part of the art of directing projects back then was the coordination of many hats in different locations.
Apple’s software and computers brought many graphic skills under one roof. When the switch happened en masse, around 1990, typographers scrambled to learn the art of electronic “paste up,” designers were challenged with doing it all…typography, color, and producing finished pages.
Every day we see work in print or on our computer screens that seems unpolished, even crudely thrown together. Have our eyes adjusted to a lower standard of quality?
I hope we continue to recognize those artisans who care about their craft, whether it be writing, designing, printing, or now the new disciplines such as social media marketing, seo, and information architecture.
No one person or shop can do it all really well by themselves. Partnerships are beginning to flourish again. Yes, it seems like people are realizing the power of specializing and joining forces again. I’m excited about the possibilities and would love to hear your ideas.
Say hello to an agency that’s your kind of people. We’re a boutique HR services firm here in DC, specializing in matching creatives to non-profits and government agencies. Let us bang the drum for ourselves for a moment.
Job boards are rocking nowadays. But a posting on CareerBuilder or Monster is overwhelming. A client recently received over 400 resumes for a writer position, for instance. Do you want to go through all those? Many candidates will try for anything, while others will take the job, then leave a week later when something else comes through that they really wanted. Plus, you can spend $1500 to $5000 a month for posting one job on job boards.
That’s not how we roll. OmniCreative Staffing is specific to the creative and communications needs of non-profits and government agencies. We’re not people-pushers. We scrupulously vet creatives, spending lots of time on each (so you don’t have to) to give both employee and employers a good fit. It’s what we do best. For contract work, project placement, or full-time employment.
We’re kind of the new kids now, but if you think you’re a good match, or you’re looking for our kind of people, here we are. Check out our current Job Postings.
My #1 New Year’s resolution is coming true as we launch OmniStudio’s redesigned and revitalized website this week.
With the new omnistudio.com we aim to present a clearer picture of who we are, what we do and how we work. And, most importantly, through this site, we want to celebrate the spirit and commitment of the wonderful organizations we serve.
Since the beginning of my business career, which now trails back 30+ years, I’ve been drawn to people whose organizations make a difference in our community, our country, and throughout the world. A child of the 60s, I’ve always enjoyed being part of the “we can change the world” enthusiasm that fueled so many advancements over the last three decades.
I don’t feel I’m exaggerating when I say that the work our clients have accomplished over this short period in history has been instrumental in moving our society in a more positive direction for future generations. Human rights, protecting the environment, education, health care information, international relations, (to name a few)…have come a long way, thanks to the determination and hard work of people who we have been fortunate to call our customers.
Thanks to everyone who was instrumental in creating the work we present on these pages.
And, my heartfelt appreciation to colleagues, friends and clients who contribute to Omni’s mission: to design and produce communication tools that inform, educate and inspire people to create a better world. Your support will allow us to provide more of the same for years to come.
Most nonprofits have blogs, which can be great channels for generating buzz about your organization and its initiatives, but are you making the most of what you post?
There are many tools out there to help you leverage the power of your blog content—to share ideas and generate discussions. A great blog post shared in the right ways can generate widespread interest in your organization and your mission.
Using your fans, followers and some simple tips, you can take your blog post from informative to influential.
• Share the link to your latest blog post on Facebook. People in your network can comment on and/or “Like” the post, broadening the visibility of your post and organization.
• Tweet the link to your Twitter followers. Use a URL-shortening tool such as TinyURL or bit.ly, and post the link with a message promoting your new blog post. Use hashtags (e.g., #globalwarming) for people to use when they retweet the link to generate and track the buzz around the subject of your blog post.
• By adding “Like” and “Tweet this” buttons to your individual blog posts you can increase blog views. When someone “Likes” a blog post, it shows up in their Facebook news feed, broadcasting it to his or her friends. When someone can tweet the link to your blog directly from your blog, it makes it that much easier for people to share it with their followers.
• Writing about other great blog posts or organizations relevant to your cause can also be beneficial. If you reference an organization in your blog, you can mention them when promoting your post, which will put you on their radar, increasing the likelihood that they will read your blog and maybe even reference your organization in their blog in the future.
Blogs are a good starting point for your social media efforts. Writing about important topics relevant to your constituents will keep them engaged and wanting to share your content—and your organization’s mission—with their friends and followers. Be sure to update your blog several times a week to keep the conversation going.