As an entrepreneur or small business owner, you’re accustomed to wearing many hats – from visionary leader to sales guru and financial wizard. One crucial aspect that can’t be overlooked is effective human resources (HR) management.

Neglecting HR can lead to costly legal issues, high turnover, and other disruptive challenges for a small business. That’s why partnering with a Small Business Development Center (SBDC) consultant can be key for long-term small business longevity and growth. Here are some reasons small business owners can benefit from working with an HR expert at the SBDC:

Stay Compliant with Employment and Labor Laws

The complex web of local, state and federal labor laws is difficult for any business owner to fully grasp. Without proper knowledge, inadvertently violating labor laws can lead to hefty fines and even legal battles. HR guidance provides you with a compass to navigate through these complex regulations, ensuring your business stays compliant.

Unfortunately, employee performance problems and terminations sometimes occur. HR experts know how to handle disciplinary processes while remaining compliant with changing state and federal requirements. They know how to navigate a situation where, if a separation is necessary, there are no wrongful termination or discrimination claims. Their ability to mitigate legal risks is invaluable. HR consultants at the SBDC specialize in compliance and help you stay up-to-date on the latest regulations from OSHA safety rules to FMLA leave policies. Having expertise ensures you avoid missteps.

Ensuring a safe work environment is also a requirement for any small business that employs workers. Reducing the risk of injuries and potential legal liabilities can help small businesses stay afloat even when accidents occur.

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Attract and Retain Top Talent

With unemployment low, competition for talent is fierce. SBDC consultants understand how to craft enticing job descriptions, implement effective recruitment strategies, and conduct interviews that identify the best fit for your business.

Attracting the right talent and keeping them engaged is essential for growth.

Good employee well-being is also essential to retaining talent. Caring for employee well-being goes beyond financial compensation. You may need to implement wellness programs, mental health initiatives, and work-life balance strategies that contribute to employee satisfaction and productivity. Successful small business owners design benefits packages that cater to their employees’ needs, promoting a positive workplace culture, and enhancing their business’s reputation. Receiving guidance from an SBDC HR consultant helps you correctly create compensation structures, select appropriate benefits to ensure that the offerings are aligned with industry standards and employee expectations.

Creating an Inclusive Environment

Diversity and inclusion are not just buzzwords; they are essential components of a successful workplace. Human resources consultants assist small business owners in implementing inclusive policies and practices that celebrate diversity, prevent discrimination, and create an environment where all employees can thrive.

Effective Onboarding and Training

Onboarding and retention are also crucial to small business success. A smooth onboarding process sets the tone for a new employee’s experience. With help, you can create onboarding and training programs that acclimate employees to their roles and the company culture.

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Employee Performance Management

Managing performance, providing feedback, and determining compensation and promotions are hard for first-time entrepreneurs. Skilled SBDC HR consultants can provide guidance on establishing processes for goal-setting, reviews, and clear policies that help you reward star players and address under-performers. This consistency and transparency is key to engaging and encouraging positive employee performance.

Employee Conflicts and Mediation

Workplace conflicts are inevitable, and how they’re managed can positively or negatively impact your business. HR consultants often have training in conflict resolution, relationship management, and communication. They understand how to negotiate employee disputes or complaints skillfully to maintain morale. For small companies, losing just one key employee due to internal issues can be a major setback. With HR help, you can be proactive about addressing problems early and create a positive company culture.

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Hannah Bretz is a consultant with the South Central Minnesota Small Business Development Center. Her expertise is in digital marketing strategy, website development, SEO, copywriting, and AI.

Strategic Business Growth

Perhaps the most significant benefit of having human resources guidance is that it allows small business owners to focus on their core business functions. With HR matters strategically addressed, owners can allocate more time and energy to driving innovation, expanding their customer base, and achieving their business goals.


While handling HR may not be the most glamorous part of being a small business owner, it’s critical for avoiding pitfalls as your team grows. Applying to work with an SBDC HR consultant provides the expertise needed to build a stellar, loyal team and protect your company as issues arise. The expertise provided by an experienced consultant empowers owners to navigate HR challenges with confidence, resulting in a more efficient, productive, and harmonious business environment.

Learn more from one of our HR expert consultants on the My Minnesota Business Podcast

Hannah Bretz is a consultant with the South Central Minnesota Small Business Development Center. Her expertise is in digital marketing strategy, website development, SEO, copywriting, and AI.