I know this discussion has changed a little bit from it's original intent, but ultimately, it is about employees - finding them, training them, motivating them, and keeping them. Someone earlier in the thread said something along the lines of "give me an honest hard working employee and I will take care of the rest"...
I have to agree.
Our job as business owners is to have systems in place for our business, regardless of whether or not you have one employee or 50. There should be an exact way of doing things, and as the owner, this starts with you.
It's like sports. You can teach a football player how to catch, throw, run routes, block and tackle. But you can't teach height, speed and strength.
I always prefer to hire someone with minimal (if any) experience in the industry for several reasons. First, he will not be predisposed to other ways of doing things. I want him to do things my way. Second, I will not have to listen to someone telling me that they feel that they deserve or have earned some sort of rights or privileges by working elsewhere.
I know that once someone is hired, they will be trained properly within my organization to do things the right way, the efficient way and the safe way.
On top of that I focus on the "culture" of my company. I do not want people hating me, their supervisor or their job in general. So we have lot so of ways to keep employees around, keep them motivated, keep them excited and get them to care about not only their success, but the success of the company as a whole.
No it's not easy and yes, it is a process. But because we have systems in place, labor is not as big an issue for us.
We know how to place the right kinds of ads for employees we are seeking. We know who to talk to in order to help us find new employees. We know how to interview potential employees to see if they will fit nicely into the "culture" we have created.
If hired, we know how to ease them into the company, train them and keep them involved so they are not constantly looking for a new job.
Does this work with a small company? You bet.
If you are running your company the right way - organized, efficient, focusing on pleasing your clients and making sure you are making a profit, there will always be room for growth and opportunity for your employees.