Instead trying to find more money that just isn't there to offer raises to star employees, small businesses with tight budgets should consider having honest conversations with their employees about how the company's money is being spent and the skills employees are developing that will pay off in the long run, say experts and owners. "As a small company, we can have true transparency. Everyone knows what is being made and what is being spent. No one is going to come up and say, 'I want more.'" said Scott Belsky, CEO of Behance.