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.[1] 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.

 

 

 

[1] 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.

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[1] 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.

 

 

[1] NAPEO: Industry Statistics

Improving Productivity with E-Learning

Productivity is a common issue among employees everywhere. From lack of direction and inadequate training to poor communication and inconsistent processes. Employee productivity is directly linked to the company’s environment. Managers who are aware of the productivity issue will, in many cases, attempt to rectify the issue(s) by stepping up their involvement in feedback and training. In these instances, distance learning or e-learning have become the more popular options for employee training.

 

Integrating e-learning into employee training can boost productivity in the following ways:

 

Flexibility
E-learning typically allows for flexible scheduling. This means employees are able to schedule training sessions based on their availability. Employees will no longer have to fret about when they can complete training before or after work, or missing work to complete training assignments. Training can be completed within a reasonable amount of time without adding stress to the employee.

 

Measurable Progress
E-learning makes it easier to track and report on employee participation, engagement, and this data can provide details as to the employees’ progress and performance. When it comes time for annual or regularly scheduled performance reviews, some of the information as to the employee’s progress and productivity can be pulled from this source.

 

Employers should also be able to track the return on investment (ROI) of the training when compared to employee performance. Managers should see a boost in productivity and in the area on which the employee(s) received training after the training period has ended. This data will help prove the ROI of the program.

 

Skills/Knowledge Gap
Much of what slows employees down is the skills or knowledge gap associated with their position. The gap is underlined when new technology or processes are introduced. Employees struggling to pick-up the new technology or implement the new process may show decreased productivity. Providing e-learning on the new technology or process will help employees feel confident in their new skills and allow them to refocus on their primary job duties.

 

 

Consider integrating e-learning into your business when it comes to improving employee productivity. The increased knowledge boost your employees’ confidence and reduce the amount of time and energy they spend struggling and stressing over new technologies or processes. Vensure recognizes the importance of employee well-being as a means of retaining top talent and increasing productivity. Connect with Vensure today to learn more about the valuable products and services we can offer to help your business stay productive.

 

 

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A High-Level Look at PEO Services

Professional employer organizations (PEOs) offer companies of any size the ability to outsource certain administrative or back-office duties in order to focus more on revenue-generating activities. More than 175,000[1] businesses across the United States look to PEOs to assist in their outsourced HR and benefits needs! Here are some details around the most common solutions available through a PEO.

 

Pay or Be Paid: Payroll Services
The payroll services offered by PEOs include all of the bells and whistles like new hire paperwork, preparing and filing payroll taxes, and issuing W-2s.

 

All About People: HR or Human Resource Management
Human resource automation assists the business in managing their employees through an unbiased look at the company’s technological landscape in terms of employees and benefits value. In an effort to both retain top talent and increase productivity, businesses rely on PEOs to manage personnel files and the HR database, unemployment claims, and other administrative services to help the business stay competitive in the industry.

 

The Art of Attracting and Retaining Talent: Employee Benefits
A competitive, employee-first benefits program is a vital element in not only attracting but also retaining top talent and quality employees. With this, however, making benefits decisions for an entire employee base for the whole year can be overwhelming. Find confidence in knowing employees will receive access to affordable healthcare, vision, and dental services from providers with nationwide coverage. Additional coverage includes 401(k), gap insurance, telemedicine, and critical illness, among others.

 

Managing Injuries: Risk Management and Workers’ Compensation
With Vensure, risk management and workers’ compensation outsourcing means allowing us to provide and administer your workers’ compensation insurance, assist with maintaining a safe work environment through our loss control services and manage claims by getting your employees well and back to work as soon as possible. This would also include on-site guidance with safety and OSHA compliance training.

 

All of the acronyms and abbreviations used when working with a third-party to outsource administration services can be overwhelming. When it comes down to the basics, businesses need a partner in administration services to maintain and improve employee morale and minimize threats to the business. With all these services offered in one place, what else are you waiting for? Get started today!

 

 

[1] https://www.napeo.org/what-is-a-peo/about-the-peo-industry/industry-statistics

 

 

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Growing Companies Considering a PEO

In the realm of “up and coming” or small businesses, the competition is fierce. The Small Business Administration reported in their 2018 Small Business Profile that while 872,000 jobs were created, over 749,000 jobs were lost.[1]

 

Some of the top reasons new companies fail includes not having the “right” team, cost issues, and ignoring customers.[2] Partnering with a professional employer organization (PEO) from the beginning can help eliminate these failing elements. The PEO can assist in bringing the “right” team together, take on much of the heavy lifting in terms of HR administration (putting money back on the table), and giving the business owners back the ability to focus on the customers and other revenue-generating activities.

 

When considering a partnership with a PEO, business owners will want to look into:

 

Range of Services
PEOs have the ability to offer any number of primary (e.g. payroll, workers’ compensation, risk management, etc.) and supplementary services (e.g. short-term and/or long-term disability, telehealth, gap insurance, etc.). Outside of products, the PEO of choice should help in understanding compliance regulations, reduce the overall administrative burden, and offer benefits that the business may not be able to secure on their own. Make sure the PEO you choose has a full end-to-end service offering to help you stay competitive in the industry—especially as a thriving, new business.

 

Flexibility
With all of the services available, it is important that you select a PEOs that provides service to small to medium-sized businesses with tailored packages that fit the needs of the business. In true à la carte fashion, ask the PEO if they will allow you to choose which products and services you want for your business. A customized bundle of services will not only get you the industry-best cost, but will ensure your employees are getting the benefits and services that they need most.

 

Ability to Grow
The PEO should be able to take on a young business with a small number of employees and have the experience and structure to grow at the same pace as the business. The services offered, also, should be able to grow with the business, offering varied services to meet the changing needs, including new or expanded service lines as they pertain to a larger employee base (i.e. 401(k) or specialized insurance plans).

 

Businesses that are just ramping up are naturally front-loaded with excitement, momentum, and motivation! But these energetic qualities can quickly fade when faced with some of the more intricate details of starting and maintaining a business. Adding a PEO to the mix early on gives the business a renewed sense of focus and gives business owners the ability to really focus on what matters most: the customers, the employee(s), and generating revenue. Is Vensure on your radar? Contact us today to learn more.

 

 

[1] https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/advocacy/2018-Small-Business-Profiles-US.pdf

[2] https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/307724

 

 

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PEO FAQs

Partnering with a PEO provides an array of benefits for any employer. For example, the time the employer is able to focus on the key business elements to support the business’s growth and profitability is a direct result of quality PEO services. While not all PEOs are created equal, Vensure Employer Services will always do the heavy lifting. Contact Vensure today!

 

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PEO Basics: What is a PEO?

Companies, regardless of what stage of business they are in, may experience difficulty meeting their human resources needs. This is especially common for organizations who are in the growing stage of the business lifecycle—a crucial time where increasing profits is front-of-mind. Companies in this stage will typically engage in a partnership with a professional employer organization (PEO) to assist the business with HR-related responsibilities, including workers’ compensation, employee benefits administration, and payroll, just to name a few.

 

Partnering with a PEO provides support with compliance matters, as well as access to a team of subject matter experts. The business is then able to reduce unnecessary stress while steadily increasing productivity. The PEO assigns a focused team from each department (e.g. payroll, HR, employee benefits, risk management, etc.) to the day-to-day administration. This frees up the business owners and employees to focus on the tasks and duties that are necessary to keep the business running.

 

Benefits of partnering with a PEO include:

  • Employers have a resource to assist in handling the many legal intricacies regarding HR administration.
  • Businesses gain access to top industry-leading technologies without affecting their bottom line.
  • The PEO can assist with ensuring client knowledge around relevant local, state, and federal laws pertaining to PEO-related administration and services.
  • Businesses that rely on their PEO for payroll will see a decrease in payroll processing-related accounting costs.

 

 

PEOs like Vensure Employer Services offer a multitude of solutions designed to meet the needs of any growing business, regardless of size. Let Vensure help get you back to focusing on growth and revenue, rather than COBRA compliance or employee taxes. We’ll take it from here.

 

 

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Cybersecurity, PEOs, and Your Business

At the intersection of people, processes, and technology is a hub of sensitive information that requires protection from damage or unauthorized access. In order to keep maintain the integrity of sensitive information and eliminate interruptions to normal business processes, organizations invest in multi-layer cybersecurity as their primary guard against cyber-attacks.

 

From individual attacks (e.g. identify theft) to critical infrastructure attacks that shut down financial services organizations, the security of our information, data, and processes are essential to keep everything functioning without issue.

 

Today’s enterprises require more than a simple spam filter to keep their data and client information safe and confidential.  Interested in seeing what a ransomware attack looks like? Click here.

 

The National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO) published The Pillars of Cybersecurity for PEOs. The report focuses on the risks PEOs face regarding housed data. Read the full report to understand how to prevent, comply, react, and protect your business against cyber-attacks.

 

Vensure’s cyber liability program is available to all existing and new clients. Contact Vensure today to learn how to protect your business from cyber threats!

 

 

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Small Business. Big Information.

Click to view full infographic. While more than half of all Americans work or own a small business, these business leaders also say that they spend half of their time on manual processes. Much of this manual work is related to payroll and other complex human resources administration tasks. Vensure has both the technical expertise and advanced technology to exceed your expectations and reduce your overhead. Schedule a consultation today! [vc_single_image image=”7394″ img_size=”full” qode_css_animation=””]