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Expert Advice for High-Growth Businesses

The State of the SMB Market

At this year’s Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco, I had the honor of moderating a panel discussion, The State of SMB: Biggest Influencers and Opportunities. Our panel of experts included Karen Kerrigan, President and CEO of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council; Justin Shriber, Vice President of Marketing for LinkedIn Sales & Marketing Solutions; and Chris Germann, Vice President of Cloud Applications Strategy at Oracle.

The panel addressed the key business concerns for small-to-medium businesses (SMBs), including digital transformation, finding and retaining talent, and what’s happening in Washington, DC regarding SMB policies and regulations.

Digital Transformation

According to Chris Germann, an increasing number of SMBs are exploring the use of digital technologies to grow their business, extend their reach into new market segments, and effectively compete with larger enterprises. They are also investing in small innovation projects to improve productivity. Many Oracle SMB customers are picking one digital technology to acquire competency, then expand from there. For more information on how digital transformation is impacting SMB growth, check out this short clip of Chris from a video interview Oracle OpenWorld.

Today’s Talent Landscape

When it comes to talent in the workforce, Justin Shriber believes the gaps and surpluses for employees in specific industries all depend on where you do business. Within the healthcare, education, retail, and technology industries, there are considerable gaps in many major U.S. cities. If you’re looking to expand your business beyond your current physical borders, it’s imperative to assess potential new locations and the current levels of available talent in that area. For help on how to recruit the best people for your company, check out LinkedIn’s report on 2016 Talent Trends for Small to Mid-Sized Businesses.

SMB News from Capitol Hill

Karen Kerrigan briefed the audience on what’s happening in Washington, DC regarding specific policies and regulatory issues that could benefit businesses in 2018 and beyond. Karen specifically mentioned:

  • The SEC is making regulatory improvements (crowdfunding and capital markets) and fostering lending for small and midsize banks.
  • All federal agencies are reviewing rules on their books for outdated, duplicative regulations.
  • A small business regulatory reform bill is in review that will give SMBs a bigger voice for more equitable and smarter regulations.

For more perspective on what’s happening for SMBs inside the Beltway, view our interview with Karen from Oracle OpenWorld.

If you would like to continue the discussion with us on what’s happening in the SMB space and how it may affect your company, our next event is a webinar, Overcoming the Disengagement Dilemma, on Thursday, November 2 at 1 p.m. ET. This webinar will feature Andrew Sherman, strategic business advisor and author of The Crisis of Disengagement, and Cara Capretta, Vice President of Human Capital Transformation Practice at Oracle.

Join us to learn about the state of America’s workforce and what SMBs can do to keep their employees engaged and motivated. Register today!

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