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How the Ongoing Evolution of the Fiduciary Rule Affects Small Business Owners

by Tom SmithMarch 28, 2018 8:00 AM

The fiduciary rule has had a bumpy ride in the past few years. After initially going into partial effect in June of 2017 and targeting Jan. 1, 2018 for a full rollout, the move to have all financial professionals who work with retirement plans follow the same fiduciary ethics and standards was postponed until July 1, 2019. Now MarketWatch reports that the Fifth Circuit Court “struck down the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule” in a split decision Thursday, March 15, 2018.

This may not be the end of the fiduciary rule, however. According to Forbes Contributor David Trainer, the fiduciary rule may still make an impact even after being struck down. Trainer writes “While the ruling could end the Fiduciary Rule as law, it cannot erase the awareness the DOL [Department of Labor] raised, nor can it stop market forces leading the business towards a more ethical place.”  

So, what does this mean for business owners? The fiduciary rule wasn’t designed to directly impact you as an owner, but it does affect the financial advisors connected to your business. Here’s a quick rundown of how the fiduciary rule can still make an impression on financial advisors and what that may mean for your business.

Financial advisors for a small business 401(k) plan.

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Benefits

Do Wellness Programs Really Work?

by Tim AustinMarch 14, 2018 8:00 AM

Wellness programs have become very popular in recent years. In its 2017 Employee Benefits Survey, The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that 24 percent of organizations added to their wellness benefits, which was the biggest increase for any benefit during the year. 

While more businesses are investing in wellness initiatives, some owners may ask how effective workplace wellness programs really are. The answer to that can depend on your goals.

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Benefits

The Benefits of Profit Sharing for Small Businesses

by Tim AustinMarch 6, 2018 8:00 AM

After a great year, giving back to your employees can be very beneficial for your business. CNBC cites that “more than half of small business owners say that offering a [retirement] plan helps attract better employees.” A profit sharing plan is one way that you can use your business’ financial success to you and your employees’ benefit.

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Benefits

Keeping up with the Joneses

by Andrew SzczesniakMarch 2, 2018 8:00 AM

Every day (well, at least Monday through Friday), I get a chance to meet with small business owners. Some of these business owners started their company because no one would hire them. Some started because they were tired of working for someone else. Some because they saw an opportunity to do what they wanted to do and how they wanted to do it. Many found a niche doing something no one else was doing and turned it into a lucrative business.

In my travels, I get one common concern from employers that reaches across all industries and sizes: It’s hard to find and then keep good employees.  

You’ve heard of all the offerings companies provide to help them address this issue: better benefits, more pay, flex time. The list goes on and on. What’s the best one that’s out there? That obviously depends on who or what you’re looking for.

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Benefits

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2018

by Andrew SzczesniakFebruary 23, 2018 8:00 AM

On Dec. 20, 2017, Congress passed the most significant tax reform act in over 30 years. Business owners have been clamoring for this type of reform, but now that it’s passed, what does it mean? Who wins and who loses?

The National Association of Professional Employer Organizations produced a comprehensive 40-page breakdown of the tax bill. Don’t have the time, stomach, or patience to read it? I’ll touch on a few of the highlights.

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Grab Bag

How Telemedicine Can Help Employers During Flu Season

by Tim AustinFebruary 20, 2018 8:00 AM

Flu season is normally bad for businesses, but 2018 may be much worse than usual. The New York Times reports that “this year’s flu season is now more intense than any since the 2009 swine flu pandemic and still getting worse,” which creates havoc both for you and your workers.

You can’t always prevent the flu or stop employees from getting sick, but you can offer them the means to receive quick, affordable attention from a medical professional. Telemedicine is an attractive benefit that gives employees 24/7 access to physicians via phone, video, or internet chat and benefits your business. Here’s why you should consider offering telemedicine to your employees this flu season.

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Benefits

Handbook Updates You May Need to Make in 2018

by Tim AustinFebruary 14, 2018 8:00 AM

A new year brings new opportunities. Unfortunately, it also ushers in big changes that can leave businesses scrambling. Recent changes to legislature or ongoing trends can leave your company open to legal problems if you don’t take appropriate action. A good employee handbook can be a key tool to make sure that your business is  prepared for 2018. 

An outdated handbook is a serious problem for any business. It’s important to make sure that your handbook evolves as new laws go into effect. Here are five parts of your handbook that you should update in 2018.

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Risk Management

What is a Supplemental Insurance Plan?

by Tim AustinJanuary 30, 2018 8:00 AM

When you run a business in a competitive industry, it can be difficult to find and retain employees. The Society for Human Resource Management conducted a survey and found that “95 percent of HR professionals rated health care as one of the three most important benefits to employees.” In short, benefits are big.

Of course, every prospective and current employee may have different health needs. While a group health insurance plan provides employees with medical coverage, there may be some additional health needs that don’t fall under your base plan. This is where a supplemental insurance plan can give your business an edge in attracting new talent and retaining quality employees.

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Benefits

2018 Dates Small Business Owners Should Know

by Tim AustinJanuary 12, 2018 8:00 AM

When you’re a small business owner, your schedule is never empty. Each year contains several important deadlines that you need to follow to keep your business compliant with important laws and regulations involving your company’s finances and employees. Just a single missed date can lead to problems with the IRS or other government agencies.

Keeping track of all these dates as well as everything else you need to do as a business owner can be difficult. We’ve put together a list of critical dates you need to know to keep your business legally compliant.

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Grab Bag

2018 Small Business Calendar of Events

by Tim AustinJanuary 9, 2018 8:00 AM

Every year presents new opportunities to strengthen and grow your small business. Sometimes it’s just a matter of finding and identifying which of these opportunities make the most sense for your organization. 

A good small business conference is a great place to uncover ways to improve your business, whether you attend in person or send key members of your team. While some people may not think that leaving your office to attend an outside event may be all that beneficial, finance website The Balance lists five good reasons why you should consider attending small business conferences:

  • Educational opportunities
  • In-person networking
  • Learn about competitors
  • Marketing to potential clients
  • Spark creativity and innovation

Whether you’re interested in just one of those benefits or all of them, there are plenty of conferences across the country that may be beneficial for you or some of your employees. We’ve identified some of the top HR conferences to attend this year, but you also need to consider marketing, finance, and other functions. Here are some of our top conference choices for small business owners in 2018.

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