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

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