As the back-to-school season looms mere weeks away, small business owners should consider the role education plays in their companies. For entrepreneurs leading an enterprise and crafting their own passion out of thin air, it can be easy to overlook their employees' take on their roles, where they fit into the big picture and how they feel about it. What can professional development and on-site training do to empower small business owners and their employees?

"Seven out of every 10 employees show up to work distracted, disinterested and dissatisfied."

Training retains the best employees
Every year, businesses across the U.S. lose employees, costing a collective $11 billion in turnover-related expenditures, according to a study by Dale Carnegie Training. Employers shouldn't have to waste time spent hiring replacements and money spent retraining new workers from scratch unless they truly need the extra workforce. Instead, employers should devote efforts to engaging their current staff member more often through education.

Another study conducted by Gallup between 2010 and 2012 found 70 percent of workers do not feel engaged at work. That means 7 out of every 10 employees show up to work Monday morning distracted, disinterested and dissatisfied with upper management, which translates to lost productivity throughout the week. When one considers this, then resources lost to replacing staff is actually quite incalculable. Who knows how much potential an unhappy employee costs a business incrementally over time? For a small business owner with only a handful of employees, this could have far greater repercussions.

But by confronting this issue headlong with new training and educative opportunities, small business owners can not only keep staff motivated, but prove how important employees are to the business in palpable ways. When leaders take a noticeable interest in their workers and advocate for their personal investment in the company, the return is more than just financial – it's psychological. Purpose-driven employees work harder and have a greater sense of fulfillment in the process.

Hit the books with your employees now to build a better small business from the inside out.Hit the books with your employees now to build a better small business from the inside out.

Training doesn't have to be expensive
While small business owners should always keep certain certifications on the radar, most training consists of simply taking the time to demonstrate consummate workmanship to employees. Take a lesson from business consultant and Forbes contributor Lisa Quast, who wrote 70 percent of all on-site training is done informally.

What does that mean? Real workplace education doesn't necessarily come from textbooks and expensive classes. Instead, employees can receive truly advantageous training opportunities from simply taking an afternoon and watching business leaders flex their abilities. Small business apprentices can learn a lot more about the intricacies of their places of employment from managers than independently run training seminars offering general industry information. Business owners who can spare the time will see a return on their investment in more ways than one.

Equipment and business industry piece brought to you by Marlin Equipment Finance, a nationwide provider of commercial lending solutions for small and mid-size businesses. Marlin's equipment financing and loan products are offered directly to businesses, and through third party vendor programs, which include manufacturers, distributors, independent dealers and brokers in the security, food services, healthcare, information technology, office technology and telecommunications sectors.