After 27 years working in Human Resources, the most important thing I have learned is to not forget about the “human” in human resources. Every small business owner is unique—from their background, to where their franchise is located, to their financial situation, and so forth. Each of these factors brings unique challenges.
“Don’t forget the human in human resources.”
Humans are not perfect. We live these crazy things called “lives.”
You all have the same motivation: the American Dream of building and owning your own business. That’s what we are all about: the spirit of entrepreneurship. In order to improve HR at your company, you need to bring real life and this spirit into the mix.
Frequent Friendly Fellowship
Let me just say real quick how important it is to find a way to have frequent friendly fellowship with other business owners or mentors if at all possible. Find other entrepreneurs that have a vested interest in your success. Look for ways to fellowship with these people often. I truly feel like this is one of the most valuable assets you can have. Look for people who have been there and done that. Listen to their stories. You need to find peers that can act as an old friend to tell you stuff you do not want to hear, but need to hear about your business.
Personally, I am a mere W-2 employee, and if I make my boss mad today and get fired I have to start over tomorrow. You are building something of value you can sell. You can pass what you’re building on to your children. It is like I am renting a house and you are buying a house and building equity.
Day one, every business owner knows to be successful they need to implement the proven systems, processes and software in marketing, accounting and sales to be successful, but then life happens.
You all have the same goal of working on your business instead of in your business. You all have a dream of the day when your business is working for you and you are not working for your business.
Then life happens.
Hire Great Employees
This reminds me of Technology. If you know me, you know I cannot spell I.T.! But, I know we invest in technology and software. At first, we are working for the software and then one day it works for us. Everyone would like to shorten the time it takes for this turnaround to happen for their business. The key to doing so is hiring great employees.
In your business, you will face very tough questions like: “When do I buy the next Van?” “When do I hire the next technician?” “Should I wait until I have jobs falling off my plate or do it before my number of jobs justifies it?”
There are only so many hours in the day and only so much of you and your employees’ time to go around. The best use of your and your employees’ time is getting customers, taking care of your customers, and getting paid by those customers.
At some point, you’ll need to find the right employees in order to keep growing. Some of you might get lucky and have the perfect employee walk in the door whose spouse also happens to have health insurance through their employer. Maybe you have a family member that can be very valuable doing one thing, but they really need to be interacting with prospects and customers.
Employers tell me that when they post a job with employee benefits it is night and day on who they get responding as opposed to when they post a job without employee benefits.
Along with buying employee benefits comes compliance, administration, and liability, thus sucking hours out of your day. With the good comes the bad.
Only One Way to Wealth
Dave Ramsey with Financial Peace says that there is only one way to wealth, and that is to spend less money than you make over a long period of time.
When you work for someone else, you enjoy a more predictable cash flow, as opposed to employers with ups and downs of income. It is hard to budget spending with these highs and lows of income. This is especially difficult when most of the money that goes through your cash register is not actually your money at the end of the day. Instead, it goes to state and federal payroll taxes, workers’ compensation insurance, sales tax, employee benefits, and more.
The difference between gross and net pay is when I tell my wife I make X and she says, “I do not care what you say you make; I care what I can spend.” One of the biggest problems is when an employer commingles their personal checkbook with their business checkbook.
The greatest advantage to a 401k is the discipline it brings the individual. Money that is out of sight and out of mind. It is not my money to spend.
Do You Smell Smoke?
The biggest problem in any budget is the dreaded old miscellaneous. These unforeseen pot holes in the road are when life happens. These are not only financial hits, but they also suck the hours out of your day. These balloon payments can come when your employees’ drama becomes your drama. This happens with wage and hour claims, accidents like when a technician wraps your van around a pole, you have workers’ compensation audit check to renew, and countless other situations.
No matter how much we hate writing that check each month for fire insurance, it does give you peace of mind. You may think you don’t need fire insurance until there is smoke coming from the house, but by that point it is simply too late.
The Path to Predictability
How do you get more predictable cash flow and time management? Consolidate your payroll, payroll taxes, workers’ compensation Insurance, and employee benefits under a PEO’s federal tax ID number.
One invoice, one team of professionals, one phone call away for those moments when life happens.
- Normalize cash flow.
- Keep the “human” in HR.
- Share liability.
- Have experience on your side.
- Sleep better at night.
In all relationships, both parties sometimes feel like they are paying too much and getting too little. Then there are other times when they are paying too little for the tremendous value they are getting.
There’s another model. It appears cheaper initially. It’s the traditional comp and a check mode.
With a PEO, we’re talking about an approach to being an employer that radically simplifies running your business. The comp and check model does not:
- Consolidate: payroll, tax, work comp, benefits. etc.
- It does not normalize cash flow.
- They are call center based, and you are a number.
- They do not share in your liability.
- Experience is not on your side.
- Most importantly: they do not help you sleep better at night.
Improve HR with Real Life and Real People
These days where changes come at you faster than ever before, and the ability to roll with these changes with sound decisions, is more difficult than ever. Having the peace of mind that you are current, and even financially and have a team of professionals one phone call away when life happens, is huge.
Employers Resource believes entrepreneurs like you are not only what made this country great, but you are also what will continue to make this country great.