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Starting a business is no easy task. The range of possibilities for new opportunities in today’s modern world is staggering, particularly with the presence of consistently evolving technology. Small business owners are constantly under pressure to achieve short term goals as well as attract and retain valuable team members to grow efficiently and make their long-term goals a reality. We’ve put together an outline of major categories for your small- or medium-sized business or nonprofit to consider, followed by some solutions to alleviate some startup-related stress, particularly with the help of a Professional Employer Organization (PEO). These are all aspects of an organization that can, if not handled properly, come back and surprise you with unwanted and unexpected fees, penalties and time sinks.
This quick guide is broken down into four segments:
- Employee management
- Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs)
Compliance is key
As a growing organization, it’s important to stay compliant and scale accordingly with the law. There are currently 38 employment-related agencies and/or departments that operate at a governmental level. That’s a lot to stay on top of!
A few things to get you started include:
- Obtain a Federal Identification Number (FEIN)
- Register your business with the IRS and state revenue departments
- Set up a payroll system to withhold taxes
- File IRS Forms 940 (Federal Unemployment Tax) and 941 (Employer Tax Return) yearly
It’s important to have a strong foundation to build on as your organization scales up. If your company isn’t compliant with federal or state laws, fines or even lawsuits could become a real problem down the road.
Protect your employees (and your company)
Nobody likes sitting in on a safety seminar, but it could save your company money later on. In 2019, workplace injuries cost the economy $171 billion, and over $53 billion in lost wages and productivity.
To help avoid some of these costs to your company, make sure to:
- Get workers’ compensation insurance
- Adopt workplace safety measures
- Establish safety trainings (if necessary)
- Post required notices
Make sure to check with your state’s labor laws to ensure your organization is doing everything to remain compliant with all regulations. Getting set up can be tricky, and it can be easy to miss the minor details. If you have questions, ask an expert for peace of mind.
Hiring and onboarding
You dedicate most of your waking hours to delivering reliable solutions and/or products to fulfill your customers; shouldn’t managing your employees be the least of your worries? Developing a structure for attracting and bringing on top talent for your team is vital to the continued success of your startup.
Some tasks to consider as you begin onboarding employees include:
- Create onboarding process and orientation
- Setup personnel files/records
- Create an employee handbook
- Consider a time/labor management system (i.e. clocking in/out)
Having a consistent process for hiring and onboarding employees is essential to the growth of your operation. A quick and easy turnaround time will allow you and your new employees to hit the ground running and increase your overall productivity.
Now that you’ve hired your dream team, it’s important to keep them. Author Stephen Covey once said, “Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers.” This sentiment is more prevalent than ever in a world of constantly competing benefits, perks and salaries between companies.
A great first step (when possible) is to:
- Set up employee benefits
- Be flexible
- Cultivate a positive workplace culture
- Encourage open conversations
- Be mindful of mental health and burnout
It’s easy to get immersed in your mission’s work over time, especially when things are going well. Be mindful of overworking your employees, even during well-known or expected busy times of the year. Showing your team that you and the rest of your management staff care will go a long way in keeping them on board for the long-term.
The tough talk that no one wants to be a part of. Having a system in place to properly terminate an employee in a professional manner is extremely important to scale your organization. Over time, your organization will be able to identify problems earlier and navigate difficult conversations more efficiently and smoothly.
To put it in perspective, small business owners spend an average of 22 hours weekly on employee-related tasks such as the ones we’ve listed above. That’s 22 hours you could be using to do anything from catching up on the status of your business, to cleaning up your inbox, to sitting down and eating lunch.
Professional Employer Organization (PEO)
Luckily, there are organizations (like ours!) that are called Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs). The PEO model is a simple and effective way to help small to medium-sized organizations focus on their missions and goals. PEOs are able to streamline hiring and onboarding, improve talent retention and save you time and resources, all while keeping your business compliant.
AccessPoint provides a single, go-to system for managing all of your human resource related needs. It’s simple to start, affordable and streamlines your infrastructure to a point where you don’t even notice all those pesky administrative tasks exist. Our team of experts can handle all required registrations, tax filing and reporting for you, making it easier to focus on the things that matter to you.