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Advice for Making a Small Business More Diverse and Inclusive

Being an entrepreneur can come with many brainstorming ideas that are made into a reality with your drive and go-getter personality. An essential part of owning a small business is surrounding yourself with people from all backgrounds and demographics who can help you learn about all perspectives. If you were only surrounded by people who think as you do, you would never be able to reach a broad audience.

What Does Diversity in Small Business Look Like?

Diversity in business can involve many aspects, including:

  • Age: Having a wide array of generations on your executive team is an asset to a company. Yes, hiring a 21-year-old fresh out of college can feel like a risk. It can also have a big payoff by gaining a new and innovative perspective from someone in a different stage of life than you. On the flip side, someone with a lifetime of experience will know shortcuts and life lessons that you may not have experienced yet.
  • Gender: Many successful businesses have spoken out about hiring more women on their teams, and their companies are thriving. Getting input from both men and women can widen perspectives and bring in better ideas.
  • Socio-economic Status: Surround yourself with people from all walks of life in your small business. It is essential to have people from different socio-economic backgrounds so you can discuss price points with real input from your team. Choosing a diverse accounting team is crucial as well, in age and experience, and background.
  • Race: Diversity can look like a wide array of racial backgrounds. You can provide the representation of success and power in hiring people who aren’t exactly like you.
  • Place They Were Raised: An employee raised in the Northeast could have different ideas from a person from California. When you have many regions represented on your team, you will reach audiences all over the country and world with your online business.
  • All Abilities: Open your mind to hiring someone who is deaf or has any disability. Small changes in the workplace to make it more accessible can take care of any initial differences. And you can enjoy the skills presented by a valued employee.
  • Sexual Orientation: Great perspectives and a more extensive reach will result from people who have a variety of life experiences. Celebrate the differences in your work community.

Diversity comes in many forms, and all ways are beneficial to your business. Making small efforts to invest in your business’s diversity will be steps toward making your small business the best that it can be.

Where to Start?

You don’t have to clean up shop and overhaul your team all at once. Company culture doesn’t change overnight. There is power in awareness and then taking the steps toward diversifying your team, little by little. When you all are on the same page and moving in the right direction, real strides can be made toward executing change. Here are some ideas on where to start:

  1. Educate Your Small Business on Diversity and Why It’s Important

The first step is educating your current employees and executive team. You can talk about the benefits of surrounding the business with contrasting ideas and opinions. A company culture of diversity and inclusion isn’t only the right thing to do – it will give your company a competitive edge and help your business grow into financial success.

When the whole team is educated on how important it is to invite differing opinions and views to the table, they will all be on board to move forward with the initiative. Unity in this intent is essential in a business so that everyone is genuinely working together to make a change in company culture.

  1. Start with One or Two Goals

Of course, you can’t fire everyone on the team and start fresh. And you also can’t hire a bunch of new employees without work for them to do. Implement initiatives to drive your current employees into the state of mind surrounding inclusion and diversity.

When the company changes its culture and way of thinking, a new team member will feel more welcomed when starting work at your small business. Employees in a small business can be tight-knit, and your team can work on inclusion strategies before the need to hire a new employee comes up.

  1. Celebrate the Differences Among Your Employees Regularly

You can implement programs in your company to promote the employees to show who they really are and what they love. This can look like a simple basketball or book club that meets after work hours together. Or you can also start service initiatives where the company comes together to serve in the community, and employees take turns choosing charities they are passionate about.

The worst culture you can have is a standard where everyone is expected to conform and hide who they really are. Encourage sharing and learning from one another. Maybe you can spotlight an employee in each staff meeting, highlighting personal achievements and passions. Let people know that opening up and sharing are welcome in your business.

  1. Make a Plan for Recruiting

In order to open your mind to finding diverse talent for your small business, you can create a navigation plan. This can include a diversity component to your interview scorecard. If you are evaluating a potential employee, how would they contribute to your company in a way that would stand out?

Another strategy for hiring a new employee is to try a blind resume assessment. Have the names, schools, and the city they live removed from the resumes and look through them with fresh eyes. This way, you can be freed from quick judgments. When you don’t know their gender or University, you can decide based on qualifications alone. This will set the tone for the interview process and keep yourself aware not to make snap judgments based on appearance as well.

When hiring new employees with diversity in mind, be sure to highlight the steps your company has taken toward educating and making goals around diversity and inclusion. You never want a potential employee to feel like a token hire to check a box. Be genuine about your end goal and the small steps you are taking to achieve it.

  1. Represent Your Company in Advertising Honestly

A lot of times, a company uses models of different ages and races to advertise their business. While this is a great way to show that your company has representation, be sure that your employees also reflect a picture of diversity. Customers want to know that the people involved in making the decisions with the company also look like them.

It can be overwhelming to know where to start when implementing diversity in your small business. When you make your intentions known and implement small initiatives to revamp your company’s culture, you will make the transition more natural. Surrounding yourself with a variety of voices and celebrating those differing opinions will create ideas that are on the next level, ready to propel your small business into a success.

What Are the Benefits of Diversity in the Workplace?

There can be so many benefits to having varied voices and opinions in your small business. One person in charge of making decisions without consulting with others will always lead to a dead-end in innovation. When you brainstorm with a small group of people, especially people with diverse backgrounds and beliefs, you will find success with fresh and new ideas.

Here are some benefits to having a diverse team for your small business:

  • Multiple perspectives
  • Fresh ideas
  • More creativity
  • Increased collaboration
  • Faster problem-solving
  • Higher profits
  • Respected company reputation

When you take the small steps toward building up your small business’s diversity, you will see great results. It takes more than just big talk. You have to act on your ideas and set measurable goals. When you hold yourself accountable for making change, your business will gain a reputation of inclusion and being a safe place for people of all backgrounds to work.

Now Is the Time for Diversity and Inclusion

If it has been heavy on your mind to make changes in your small business surrounding diversity and inclusion, put your money where your mouth is. Taking the necessary steps toward altering your company culture and hiring people with fresh and exciting ideas will help your small business thrive.

When you have a team that is filled with broadened horizons and problem-solving skills, it may genuinely be the revamp that your business needs. Make a plan and invest in the diversity of your small business today.

Contact an Expert Accounting Team

Our team at Easier Accounting can help you with your small business accounting needs. If you are looking to diversify your team, let us take the stress of day-to-day bookkeeping and accounting off your hands. You will be left to focus on the growth of your company with increasing big and diverse ideas. Contact Easier Accounting to learn more about delegating out your small business accounting so that you can focus on what really matters. Please call us at (888) 620-0770.