Five Small Business Pitfalls to Avoid

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Businesses of any size are all born from one thing: The desire and drive to solve a problem. The entrepreneurs that started the business were full of fire, optimism, and had amazing momentum for achieving their goals at a rapid pace. At this speed, sometimes there are issues that pop-up unexpectedly, or potential disasters along the way that are easily side-stepped.

 

42% of small businesses fail because there was no real market need, while another 29% simply ran out of cash. Regardless of “why” and “how”, there is no shortage of data on how difficult it is to keep a small business running. And while everyone knows that facing challenges and speed bumps along the way is part of the process, it doesn’t make the learning or recovery process any simpler.

 

Here is our list of five business pitfalls to avoid in order to help your company grow stronger:

 

  1. Tax Blunders

For any business, tax season is all year long. Taxes, and avoiding tax blunders, should always be at the forefront of the employers’ mind. For example, always make sure to separate personal from business expenses accurately and properly. Filing taxes late could mean penalties or fees, which don’t come cheap. Most importantly, however, is making sure you are calculating employee payroll properly. Clearly understanding employee and payroll taxes is important. Not taking the time to do so could a series of consequences in motion.

 

  1. An Incomplete or Poorly Written Employee Handbook

A thoughtful and complete employee handbook should cover everything from paid time off and unexpected absences, to workplace conduct, social media, and sexual harassment. Pay special attention to state and local changing regulations to ensure the organization remains in compliance throughout the year when it comes to drug-related laws, background checks, and leave entitlement.

 

  1. Understanding Overtime
    There are a number of questions around overtime laws, including who is exempt, who is entitled, and if there are any penalties for small businesses. Covered, non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime pay. Exempt employees or those who are not required to be paid overtime include movie theater employees, salary employees, and farm workers, among others. Non-compliance means employers could be subject to penalties including back pay to impacted employees.

 

  1. Missing Documentation and Paperwork

As a new business gains momentum in the industry, it can be difficult to keep track of all the incoming documents and necessary records for future reference. The most important items to keep include receipts, bank statements, invoices, payroll records, or employment tax records. Some small businesses have reported losing their employer identification number (EIN) issued by the IRS. Try locating the EIN on the original application documents, the paperwork used to open a business bank account, or the forms used to file for any necessary state or local licenses.

 

  1. Getting Distracted

Building a business, client base, and brand takes lots of work and focus—it’s hard! But business owners can easily become distracted and taken away from the main focus of their mission and vision. Some of the main distractions to avoid are success envy and lack of organization, and social chatter. Entrepreneurs naturally will be aware of the success of others who have also just recently launched their business. Financial or business milestones can be inspiring…and create jealousy. A disorganized business owner is obvious from the client’s first interaction with them, in most cases. Customers need to know that the business can handle their needs without confusion or distraction.

 

As easy as it is to feel like things are running smoothly, it is important to keep a close eye on financial records and company data. Things can go quickly from feeling like they are perfect in considering what assets to offload in order to avoid closing the doors. Contact Vensure to get assistance in staying organized, focused, and ensure the bulk of the administrative work is not on the shoulders of the business owner.

 

 

 

Small Business Trends: Startup Statistics – The Numbers You Need to Know

Technology Trends and the Future of HR

Man Wearing VR Headset

Technology is improving at a rapid pace, even for businesses. In 2018, HR saw the rise of wellness-focused applications, an increase in platforms migrating to the cloud, and data leaning more toward helping business owners understand how dollars have a direct impact to business goals through people analytics. Businesses started to experience even smarter and more integrated applications that aimed to help users make even better decisions.

 

More technology is being developed to further assist employers in better managing their employees by improving retention rates and integrating unique solutions that support employee wellness, growth, and optimal work environment.

 

Early 2019 introduced a business savvy virtual reality experience that allowed employers to introduce employees to real-world scenarios through simulations, without any real-world risk. Consider your risk management and workers’ compensation training where employees are able to assess a real-life scenario in a simulated setting. The basis of this type of learning or training is that these real-world tasks can be combined with a virtual demonstration. Employees gain hands-on experience, which can directly translate into their day-to-day life.

 

More businesses were integrating programs to aid in continuous learning and development through on-the-job programs. These educational opportunities, however, may be more centered on soft skills, including good communication, sales negotiation, and time management. Primarily focused on employees on-the-job skills, organizations have adopted more interactive learning and development programs to help management understand which employees are committed to growing their career with their current company, where other employees can improve, and which employees need more than a helping hand in their role.

 

Recruiting has also seen its fair share of technology advancements. Talent acquisition, for example, is now focused on wowing the applicants through a totally immersive recruiting experience. This means asking your HR team to blend traditional onboarding practices with virtual aspects. From video sharing interviews to recorded answers to interview questions, the entire recruiting process is being transformed to one that is digital.

 

There is more to technology than a mediocre app or single-use platform. Today, employers are looking for increased efficiency, user-friendly applications, and software or tools that can grow at the same rate as the business. For many businesses, their focus is on upgrading their existing human capital management or human resources system.

 

Vensure’s Vfficient cloud-based, client-centered solution is designed to manage payroll, human resources, and benefits administration from a single, intuitive platform. Contact Vensure to learn how you can eliminate more than one of your existing systems while allowing users to manage business-critical tasks quickly and easily through our streamlined anytime, anywhere portal access.

Tips to Managing Regulatory Compliance Changes

Proper Filing Is Part of Regulatory Compliance

Businesses across all industries have a variety of compliance regulations to which they must adhere. These complex regulations can influence business areas of employee benefits, including the Department of Labor (DOL), Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), among others. For example, over the past few years, the DOL has increased enforcement of federal laws, while COBRA is considered one of the most vital HR responsibilities.

 

To stay abreast of seemingly constant updates here are three tips to proactively and effectively manage regulatory compliance changes:

 

  1. Establish a compliance framework from which company operations stem. This framework, once implemented, will stabilize the compliance change and update process. Memorialize the process by documenting critical compliance needs from each of the affected departments. Each department may have different needs. Keeping these all in one public location will help to ensure requirements are minimalized or eliminated. After each of the compliance areas has been identified, create a map of how the changes are implemented, who is responsible for what, and if a rollout or communication is needed, that process would also be outlined here.

 

  1. Identify the primary products, services, or areas of operation where compliance changes will occur the most frequently. These are the practical business areas where departments will be focused on updating technology, manuals, training, policies, procedures, documents, etc. A strategic plan should be put in place for getting these updates or changes incorporated into the established business practices as quickly as possible to ensure compliance across all departments.

 

  1. Regular audits will identify any gaps. Gaps are inevitable, unfortunately, even with the best planning—sometimes things just get overlooked. While an infrequent occurrence, the best way to prevent multiple issues is to not only regularly monitor the regulations and stay tuned-in to any changes or updates being released, but to perform an organizational audit. The audit should focus on training manuals, policies, procedures, documentation, or anywhere reporting issues may be a concern.

 

Regulatory updates are passed down through a PEO or HR services provider, like Vensure. Every industry has unique risks that need to be taken into account when creating and maintaining a safe workplace.  This includes OSHA safety standards and training, commercial transportation and driver/carrier forms, and workplace poster requirements.

 

Consider aligning updates or changes to regulatory requirements with organizational and operational activities. Designing foundational elements to establish standard compliance policies and business processes for all departments. Contact Vensure to learn more about offloading complicated regulatory paperwork and compliance issues.

How a PEO Makes for a Better Business

PEO business management

Outsourcing. A word formerly taboo in the business world for thriving enterprises has gained a refreshed outlook through organizations of various sizes looking to supplement some of their day-to-day practices. Ranging from small business entrepreneurs to large multi-state providers have found solace in the benefits and administrative management of outsourced both human resource providers and professional employer organizations (PEO).

 

In the United States, more than 175,000 businesses rely on outsourced human resources and PEOs for their day-to-day business needs. For these organizations, the ability to streamline their business operations, take advantage of the ability to access industry-leading technology, and improve daily process makes the idea of outsourcing worthwhile.

 

Adding a PEO or HR provider to manage regular business operations and administration could lead to:

  • Improved customer service and product reliability.
  • Lessening the employee skill gap.
  • Solving business challenges before they happen.
  • Top-tier technology and qualified industry professionals.

 

Outsourcing elements of existing business administration responsibilities means business owners and employers are able to better manage stress and regain focus on the core areas of the business that generate the most revenue: customer service, project management, product development, etc. Instead of dedicating a team to focus on researching better benefits, reworking the organization’s risk management plan, or reviewing the employee handbook, outsourced PEO professionals and HR experts will take the lead.

 

The right HR or PEO partner will allow the business to choose the services that best meet their needs. In turn, the business receives unmatched assistance from outside professionals who have years of experience in their role. Essential business areas like risk management, workers’ compensation, and payroll administration, among others, make sense to outsource rather than the business taking on those responsibilities in-house.

 

Businesses of all sizes, both small locally owned to large multi-state operations, are proud to have the option of working with a best-in-class third-party provider of HR and PEO services. Contact Vensure to starting putting your focus back on your employees and client relationships, while reducing the hit to your bottom line and saving time across multiple departments.

 

 

NAPEO: Industry Statistics

A Realistic Approach to Employee Retention

Two Professionals Meeting At The Table

A staggering “83% of employers believe attracting and retaining talent” is one of the primary challenges for their recruiting and hiring teams.

 

For this reason, a realistic lens must be used when viewing or creating an employee retention strategy. As the lifespan of employees shortens, HR teams are faced with the challenge of turning employee retention from a dusty section in a procedures guide on the shelf to a real-world, best practice plan.

 

To take a realistic approach to employee retention, focus your energy and effort on the hiring process, conducting a regular pay analysis, and enabling growth and development within your organization.

 

Starting at the very beginning with the application, hiring process, and talent management, organizations who have been able to create and uphold realistic employee retention strategies are those where the leaders are creative and inspired, and the employees are motivated and feel valued. Ensure your hiring process includes the vetting of candidates in terms of whether they are a good fit culturally. Workplace culture, or the lack thereof, could be one of the primary factors behind higher attrition at your company.

 

Regular review of employee salaries and pay analysis is necessary to ensure you are paying employees within the industry standard, in addition to what is appropriate based on their skillset and responsibilities. Every organization differs in terms of amount, how positions are paid, and the responsibilities that make up each position. These are necessary elements when reviewing pay structure and roles. The end goal, however, is to pay employees fairly and keep them engaged and motivated.

 

Employees find growth and development to be a major factor in staying motivated and in showing professional progress toward their next career goal. Consider including opportunities for the adoption of new hard skills, the refinement of specific soft skills, job shadowing in complementary roles, or giving employees the ability to broaden their knowledge in an area of their choosing. Regardless of the method, it’s important that the organization supports the employees’ desire to achieve a goal and stay motivated.

 

Job satisfaction and employee engagement feed directly into employee retention. This, in addition to refining your existing hiring process, conducting a regular pay analysis, and enabling employee growth and development will all aid in improving employee retention, overall. Contact Vensure to learn how integrated HR technology can reduce employee turnover and accelerate organizational growth.