In today’s economy, small businesses are struggling to make ends meet. Owners are searching for ways to reduce expenditures and to save money on non-essentials every day. But any successful company will tell you that the key to success is finding value in a replenishing resource, and if possible, increase its value so that it gives more back to your company in the long run. During the summer, small businesses can benefit greatly from a source of labor that is free, surprisingly creative, and eager to please – the summer intern.
Ove the last 20 years many businesses have discovered the honey hole that is the intern, unfortunately some have taken advantage of this resource and have demanded unreasonable requests, hours, and sacrifices of individuals who are generally young and not paid or paid very little. As a result, there are very strict rules for bringing aboard unpaid interns. To find out these rules, visit the Small Business Administration website.
Do your research before hiring just anyone. Although unpaid internships don’t require you to pay a salary, hiring the wrong talent could cost you in the end. There are plenty of websites that showcase the best interns in the country. Look for talent online or scout local schools and colleges. Once you’ve grasped the rules, ensure you have a firm plan of action for your interns and someone to oversee them. Remember this may be their first work experience, and you don’t want to create a culture of complacency or confusion.
In order to keep your interns motivated and feeling productive, give them an orientation, provide them with quality workstations to make them feel like part of the team. The more closely you treat them like your regular employees, the sooner they’ll behave like them. Remind them that even though there is no money involved, they still play a role in your business’ productivity and short term profit potential.
Even if a small business cuts costs and hires interns, that still may not be enough to keep the doors open. First American Merchant provides merchant cash advances to businesses that need a little help starting or staying afloat. We know that times are tough, and even the best ownership could use the assistance of an experienced lender.