Probably. Maybe. Maybe not. Who knows? Do you know?
As a Sales Rep for a Professional Employer Organization (PEO), I talk with small to medium-sized business owners on a day-to-day basis. I never cease to be amazed at how well they know their company, their employees, their business, their industry, and their competition. When you spend 80 hours a week working on your business, you become an expert.
Yet, these same business owners will often tell me, “I don’t know what I don’t know. And even if I knew what I didn’t know, I don’t always know how to find out what I need to fix, remedy, or comply with the situation.” Of course, they don’t. They’re devoting all their time to making a better product and/or a better company.
If you’re new to the game or haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about this, you might be wondering what regulations I’m speaking of in the title of this post. After all, those are geared towards large companies, not small, independent businesses, right?
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.
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.
The end of a calendar year usually causes business owners to do two things: Review the past year and learn from its successes and failures. They also start looking to the new year and set their expectations of what they want to accomplish. While a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) can’t help you with the former, it can help you tackle the latter.
When the Trump Administration took office back in January, most people believed that they were going to focus on three things:
- The repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act
- Tax cuts
- Tightening the country’s borders as it pertained to immigration
We all know what happened with the repeal and replacement of the ACA. The Republicans have tried a couple of times, but simply do not have the votes to make it happen, even in their own party.
Anyone who has seen attempts at tax cuts over the last 30-plus years knows how challenging the passage of that can be.
That leaves immigration. There’s been a lot of squabbling about walls, travel bans, and the such, but some things seem to have gone under the radar.
Towards the end of July, the Republican Party made a couple of attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. When the Senate couldn’t pull together a consensus on a replacement bill, they moved forward with a straight repeal bill. Both attempts failed.
Where does that leave a business owner who’s trying to figure what to do about healthcare? Two recent articles help shed a little light on what to expect.
When the Affordable Care Act passed in late 2010, one of the major tenets of the plan was the creation of healthcare exchanges in every state. These exchanges would be state-run with federal seed money used to create them. People who didn’t have coverage or had unaffordable coverage through their employers would be able to buy subsidized plans at a comparatively low cost.
The exchanges began with the implementation of the ACA in 2014. Of the 50 states, 23 of them were run by the federal government. In late 2015, it was reported that 12 of the 23 federally-run state exchanges were shutting down due to unsustainable losses. In some areas, things have gotten worse.
There are growing signs that the economy is improving. Perhaps the most notable marker is that more people are starting to come back to the workforce. The unemployment rate is continuing a downward trend, meaning that more employers are starting to hire again.
Of course, finding good employees is important to a company’s growth, but keeping their best employees is vital to an employer’s productivity. Keeping your best employees ensures a smoother transition for newer employees and keeps the job environment stable with their most seasoned employees.
Of course, with a growing job market, sometimes a company’s best employees begin looking at this as an opportunity to “test the waters” of their own value and see if there are better options. How does a small business owner retain good employees while attracting qualified candidates? By offering benefits.
Back in June of 2016, I wrote a blog that talked about some of the changes that were being planned over at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. As 2017 kicks off, there’s more to talk about.
According to an interview in Smart Business, there are some distinctions that may have slipped under the radar for some small business owners.
As a sales rep for a Professional Employer Organization, I have spent the last four years talking with business owners who were worried about the impact of the Affordable Care Act on their businesses and employees. In many cases, I helped them find a cost-effective solution that helped them gain control of one of their most uncontrollable costs. Sometimes, I didn’t. Sometimes, the uncertainty of the previous two election cycles caused them to freeze up, maintain their status quo and hope for the best.
Now, we are about to embark on the Donald Trump era. For many, this is a sign that the ACA is going away and they can go back to things as they were. Perhaps so, but were things all that great before?
The reality is that it’s impossible to predict with any certainty what will happen in the next 12 months, let alone the next two years. A recent article on Smart Business’ website does have some thoughts on it that I would like to share and expand on.