November 30th is officially “Small Business Saturday” – a day to celebrate small business and what they do for their communities. As we are inundated with Black Friday ads and the hustle and bustle of Holiday shopping, let us not forget that supporting small business is critical to the health of our local economy.
Did you know that small businesses make up 99.7% of all employers and employ nearly 50% of all private sector workers? Were you also aware that small businesses account for 64% of the new jobs in our economy? (A small business is defined as having 500 or fewer employees). It takes an incredible amount of hard work to stand the test of time, to adapt to change, and continue creating new jobs in our communities. In 2012, consumer spending on Small Business Saturday was estimated at $5.5 billion! This kind of support helps secure the future of the community you are currently living in and there are so many ways in which you can help! Sustaining strong small businesses is vital to the health of our country, which is why we are asking each of you to participate in Small Business Saturday!
Below are tips for shoppers and business owners. –Source: SBA.gov
Visit the Shop Small Map to find local businesses in your area that you can shop, dine and be entertained on November 30th.
Spread the love of your favorite local business on social media! Tell your friends and followers why you love shopping or doing business with “XYZ, Inc.”
Include local businesses in your holiday wish lists to encourage family and friends to also shop local!
Throw a party on November 30th with festive decorating, treats and candy, maybe even some champagne.
Treat every person who walks in your door like a celebrity. They will come back!
Hand out coupons and fliers to everyone who visits your location to attract more buzz for your SBS event.
Create “share-friendly” graphics for your social media accounts! Encourage your customers to share by creating a fun contest or offering coupons or BOGO deals.
If you are a restaurant or coffee shop, offer a discount if they show a receipt for a purchase at a local boutique or shop in your area.
Visit AMX Small Business Saturday to download free marketing materials, shopping bags and even a welcome mat!
Small Business Saturday is important to everyone in our local communities! So get out there this Saturday and help make 2013 Small Business Saturday the biggest one yet and be sure to share this article with your friends, family and business associates! Help spread the word of why shopping local is so important!
Shopping for a personalized payroll company is a serious challenge for small businesses. What to look for, what questions to ask, who to trust? These concerns, along with a host of others, saddle on the fear, doubt and uncertainty when gallivanting through the wearisome wilds of payroll providers .
No two businesses are the same. Your goals are unique to your business, your needs are subject to your circumstances and your preferences are contingent on your employees. So how do you set your sights on the right payroll services partner for your specific company? By asking the right questions and putting all crucial information on the table, you’ve got a confident decision on lockdown.
Here are three ways to help you communicate your specific needs and land the best payroll services provider for your small business.
1. PAINT A PRETTY [PRECISE] PICTURE
Provide a completely accurate overview of your company. How long have you been in business? How many employees do you have at present? How’s your growth rate and what are you shooting for in terms of expansion down the line?
2. LAY IT ON THICK
Give high-level insight into the products and services you're using today, especially the ones you must maintain. Be specific about how these products work. For example, if you offer direct deposit to your employees today and you plan on continue doing so in the future; then be completely clear about that. Furthermore, be sure to provide the intricate details about the process you use today to ensure that the prospective payroll service provider operates in a consistent and complementary way. For instance, ask when your account is going to be debited for direct deposit and tax payments/filing.
3. DISH OUT THE INSIDE SCOOP
Don’t be shy about your company’s unique employment situations, if any. Do you have a significant volume of part-time employees, seasonal employees and/or contractors? By offering up this information early on in the process, you increase the likelihood that the information you receive from a new payroll processing company is compatible with all your needs as 1) they exist today and 2) they evolve down the line.
Keep a close eye on how the payroll company’s sales person interacts with you throughout this search process. Are they listening and asking thoughtful questions, or do you feel like they’re simply following a script with a pre-determined product already in mind? The partner who makes payroll personalized – who asks, listens and custom tailors a solution based on your input – is the one you want handling your payroll management, employee benefits administration and HR systems.
Fill out our online form to learn more about payroll outsourcing with a partner who goes “beyond the payroll” for its clients.
For the last several months, we have been writing about the Affordable Care Act. We have provided facts, written about the constant changes and issues to the website. We've also spoken to numerous individuals in the healthcare field, which led us to the idea of having an MD weigh in. Our choice: Dr. Christine Meyer from Exton, PA.
Christine Meyer, MD and Associates shares office space in Exton with a pediatric practice, Healthy Steps Pediatrics, operated by Christine's husband. I personally have been following Christine's blog for the last year. She is straight-forward with a passion for her patients. She is also a no-nonsense Doctor and couldn't be a more perfect choice to write an article for us on her thoughts about Affordable Care Act.
She is a full-time physician who was born and raised in New Jersey. She and her family now reside in Chester County, PA. She has three children, Maisy age 13, Sam age 11 and Hadley age 6.
After completing undergraduate studies at Rutgers, Dr. Meyer attended Hahnemann University School of Medicine where she met Dr. Christopher Meyer, her husband since 1996. From med school, she went on to complete a rigorous three year residency in Internal Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. She became board certified in 2000. In 2010, Dr. Meyer completed her Board Recertification in Internal Medicine.
After completing residency, she joined a three person practice in Delaware County where she learned a great deal about day to day medical practice. In December of 2004, Dr. Meyer was able to realize her lifelong dream of opening her own medical practice along side her husband.
Here are her thoughts on Affordable Care Act:
Healthcare Reform. What you call it implies what you think of it.
Regardless, I do not think it is the ACA-polypse some doctors are making it out to be.
Those that call it Obamacare worry about cost and overflow and government intervention. They say things like "If I wanted socialized medicine, I would live in Canada!"
The ones that call it the ACA, are thankful that finally "EVERYONE will have health insurance!" Or, "Finally, doctors will be paid on their quality of the quantity of patients they see."
My opinion in 7 statements:
1. Our health care system is a mess.
2. I love what I do. I am sick of "physician advocates" telling me to secure "an alternate career path just in case." Just in case what? We wake up on Jan 1, 2014 and disease is abolished and all doctors can go on to make homemade wine or take up logging?
3. It is a shame that depending on the hospital you go to, your colonoscopy could cost $6000 or $25,000 or that any patients in this great country have to choose between their medications or their food.
4. I would love to be paid based on the quality of my patient's health...as long as my patients are paid to actively participate in their health.
5. I want to practice good medicine without fear of a law suit. Maybe then I wouldn’t order so many expensive tests. Which part of ACA addresses that?
6. Is 26 too old to be on your parent's insurance? I don't know. When I was in med school I had no money and no insurance. Thank "goodness" I was healthy. Why does our government decide that at all? How about I, the payer, decide how long my kids stay on my insurance? Kind of like I decide when they are kicked out of my house.
7. Denying people coverage because of prior illness is unfair—especially since those are the folks that need it the most. However, the reality is that those patients consume more healthcare dollars. If we are going to even the playing field in terms of cost it must mean that healthy people are going to pay for the sick. Isn’t that precisely what we are trying to get away from by insuring all of our uninsured?
If you are reading my post trying to figure out which side I am on, I will save you the trouble: I want to keep doing the job I was born to do. I want to have more freedom to order the tests and treatments I know will be effective. I don't really care what formula is used to determine my pay schedule--as long as it is fair. I would rather see a 26 year old on his parents insurance than dead in a ditch because he couldn't afford to see a doctor. Lastly, I don't want to hire more people, spend more money on my overhead expenses, or pay more in taxes.
Of course not. However, speaking two different languages as loudly as we can at each other is not the answer.
For more on Dr. Christine Meyer's thoughts, please like her Facebook page!
Your business is unique: You have your own set of goals, challenges, concerns andopportunities. You need tools and solutions that are tailored to your specific needs, and you shouldn’t compromise your productivity or success with a one-size-fits-all-approach to any aspect of your business operations. Your payroll service is no different.
So how do you know what payroll services are the best fit for your company’s specific needs? Take the following seven considerations into account when setting sights on that perfectpayroll company.
1. DIY: well done, medium or rare?
How much “do-it-yourself” are you comfortable with? Do you enjoy working on the computer or would you prefer someone else handling all the technical details of payroll software? Find an organization that is willing to provide services at the level at which you want to engage.
2. How personal do you want it?
How important is a personalized payroll service [ Link to - http://blog.primepay.com/payroll-services-for-small-Business/] to you? Are you the kind of person who takes comfort in knowing exactly who you will talk to when submitting payroll, or would you prefer to operate via online with less personal interactions?
3. Who takes responsibility?
It’s important to find out if your payroll provider offers a guarantee. What happens if a mistake is made on your payroll processing by no fault of your own? Are you covered or are you expected to clean up the mess yourself?
4. Do you want beyond-the-payroll solutions?
Is you payroll company able to provide strategic and customized workforce solutions to help you better run your business? An example is employee management programs to track time, attendance and employee scheduling. How robust is your provider’s suite of products and services for employee benefits administration and other HR systems?
5. How important is that “easy button” to you?
Ease of installation is incredibly important to most business owners and HR administrators. How long does it take to set up the products and services you need? What work is required of you? Is the installation process simple, seamless and complete with non-technical instruction? If it’s not simple, it ain’t easy!
6. Where’s the value?
What other value, besides payroll processing service, does your provider offer? Free reports, downloadable content, tools and calculators are just a few ways that a remarkable payroll provider adds value to basic payroll management.
7. Does price match value?
When you consider your responses to the previous six questions, does the price you’re paying match the value you’re receiving from your outsourced payroll provider? If so, then you’re with the right partner. If not, you should start exploring new options.
PrimePay works to deliver the best value to our clients at a fair price. Our goal? To help you run a better business by providing you with the industry’s best employee management solutions. With PrimePay, you get payroll personalized.
Click the link below to learn how a PrimePRO can be your payroll outsourcing partner who goes “beyond the payroll” for you.
Throughout our careers, we've all been told “Don’t let your emotions get the best of you" or "Leave your emotions at the door." What do these statements mean to you?
Decision making is often viewed as a cognitive process by assuming humans evaluate the potential consequences of decisions dispassionately. But over the last several years there has been a burst of interest in studying the role emotions take in decision-making. Think about the last time you were faced with making a significant decision. Did you feel intense emotions that produced butterflies in your stomach, anxiety, anticipation or excitement?
There are 6 basic types of emotions: Excited, Tender, Scared, Angry, Sad and Happy. Each one of these emotions creates an action. A study from New Mexico State University and Temple University of Medicine states that emotions describe the intensity of how the body and mind responds to an event. These events are surrounded by our emotions. The study found that emotions protect us from areas of danger or move us toward sources and growth.
Our emotions are the true cause of our actions. We make decisions based upon how we feel about problems. Motivations are not necessarily driven by our knowledge, our mentors, our employees, or even our clients. At the end of the day, what motivates us is our emotional thought process before every decision we make.
Whatever your role may be in your business, these decisions we make can define your career and the future of your company.
When can emotions creep into business decisions?
When the economy tanks
When you see your customers going elsewhere
When new technology confuses you enough to ask someone “how to tweet a facebook”
A huge potential for growth
Emotions drive more than 80% of our decision making, while simple logic makes up the rest. The importance of emotional decision-making, though irrational as it may sound, can help a business shift through the changing economy. As a business owner, you may have to make a decision for your company you may not feel comfortable with. There’s an emotion behind that and it’s called uncertainty. And guess what? It's okay to feel uncertain. But as a leader, you must confront that uncertainty and make the best decision possible, regardless of how uncomfortable it makes you.
The businesses that stand the test of time not only remain true to their customers and products, but realize there’s a moment when stepping outside of the comfort zone produces the most amazing successes. Emotion pushes you to step outside that comfort zone.
So the next time someone says “don’t let your emotions get the best of you”, pause for a moment and say to yourself “you know what, I think I will”.
Please feel free to download our FREE eBook by clicking the image below:
9 Steps to Growing Your Business
All over the internet, I read articles about sharing content on social media. Content that is rich, entertaining and informative so that it produces social shares. Last week's Square 2 Marketing blog post asks us to consider social media as a highway used to drive everyone back to your website.
But, what if you have employees concerned with connecting their personal Facebook page with their company? What if you are the CEO or the HR Director shaking your finger at the mere thought of Facebook as it relates to your company? And what if you are the social media manger trying to figure out a way to connect and maximize results?
There are ways to do it all without causing any rifts at the playground…I promise!
For many years, Facebook was viewed as a HR nightmare and the thought of your employees sharing company content was *gasp* a big no-no! But, creating a great social sharing community within your company can produce amazing results and concrete branding strategies. Did you know that regular, rank-and-file employees now have more creditability than chief executives in the social media world according to the 2012 Edelman Trust Barometer?
The problem is, there are some misconceptions. Once you clear up those misconceptions, you can begin to guide your readers down that social media highway and directly to your website.
Below is a list of very common misconceptions from the reluctant non-adapters to this social media channel:
1. If I like my company’s Facebook page, my company can see all of my posts:
FALSE! On the top right corner of the Facebook website, there is a little round grind icon, to the left of that is a lock. Click on that lock and a drop-down menu will appear. Click on “Who can see my stuff?” Another drop-down menu will appear. First, make sure that “Friends” is clicked under “Who can see my future posts”. Once that is clicked, scroll down and click on “View As” under “What do other people see on my timeline”. From here, you will be able to see your timeline exactly the way everyone else sees it. If there are pictures on there that had “share with public” clicked before posting, these will appear on your timeline for everyone to see. Just be sure when sharing your photos that ONLY friends can see them. This goes for any pictures you are tagged in. See, aren’t you starting to feel better already?
2. Facebook is just for teenagers and college kids.
FALSE! Ages 25 to 34 are the most common users with 53% female and 47% male. (Source: zephoria.com) Those 25 to 34 year olds are going to be, if not already, business owners, entrepreneurs and the future of your company! If you aren’t talking to them the way they want, you will lose them to your competitors.
3. Businesses aren’t really on Facebook engaging, so why do I need to promote my business?
FALSE! 16 Million local business pages have been created as of May 2013. That is a 100% increase from 8 million in June 2012 (Source: zephoria.com)
4. It’s not good business practice for employees’ Facebook friends to know where they work or connect the company in the About section.
FALSE! Why wouldn’t you want your employees’ friends to know where they work? As an employee, why wouldn’t you want this either? What if your friend Jack has three friends who are business owners? You share your company’s latest blog on your timeline and your friend Jack sees it and shares on his wall. His three friends see that same content and share on their wall. Before you know it, your friend Jack, who had no idea you worked for XYZ, Inc. wants more information about your company and so does his three friends.
5. You are worried that your friends will make embarrassing comments on the post you shared about your company or from your company’s Facebook page.
First of all, if you share an article from a company's business page on your timeline and someone comments on it, the only people who will be able to see those comments are your Facebook friends. No one who “Likes” a company's business page will be able to see comments on an article you shared on your own timeline. And second, you can’t control what people write on your wall, comment on status updates or what people write on a corporate business page. A good rule of thumb, when people leave questionable comments, they are looking for a response and attention. My advice, ignore it or delete it. Simple fix.
6. You have to start connecting with business owners on Facebook to be affective.
FALSE! You can use Facebook for prospecting and opinion mining without connecting with a single person. The Facebook search tool is a great use to search hashtags and company names. You can share your company's blog posts and other content that might benefit your friends or other company pages if it relates to a status update they've shared or a question that was asked.
When you begin to learn the facts about Facebook and clear up the misconceptions, you will see the benefits from it. Begin to train your employees on sharing the content you work so hard on creating to generate leads!
500 employees can have a reach of 500,000 or more!
Saving money is critical in today’s world, both in the personal and professional arenas. As the economy continues to struggle to find a stable growth footing, consumers and businesses alike are continually looking for ways to reduce costs and improve efficiency. Payroll outsourcing provides multiple benefits to you, your business and your employees.
Here are four areas in which outsourced payroll with a personalized payroll company saves you money, penalties, time and headaches:
1. Labor costs.
Paying employees is often a business owner’s single largest expense. Working with a payroll provider that offers reliable “time and attendance” solutions helps you manage your payroll costs more effectively by reducing "buddy punching" and giving you real-time insight into your labor costs.
2. Fees and penalties.
According to the IRS, one in three businesses incur a late fee or filing penalty each year. Many payroll providers offer advantageous tax-payment payroll services that help minimize or completely eliminate the possibility of a late fee. How does it work? Each pay period, your payroll taxes are debited from your account and the payroll provider remits those tax dollars to the appropriate taxing jurisdiction. In many cases, the provider accepts responsibility for the timely filing of your payroll taxes -- provided you have properly funded your account.
Business owners who do payroll in-house spend 40-120 hours each year paying their employees. That’s a lot of time siphoned away from doing what they’re meant to (and want to) be doing: running their businesses. If the business does not leverage a dedicated provider to handle its payroll burdens, there’s more than just an opportunity cost of “lost time” at stake here. Time is the most precious and limited resource a business has. Spend it wisely, and the door opens for money-saving improvements and game-changing innovations. Waste it and it’ll cost you more than just a few tics and tocks of the clock.
No one starts a business to do payroll ... unless, of course, you’re a payroll company. Whether you produce a tangible product or deliver a much-needed service, your expertise is in your business. So take care of and preserve that expertise! For most people, stress builds up when you end up doing work that you are 1) not very good at or 2) simply dislike … or, worse yet, dread. For most business owners, payroll administration falls into both of these categories. Outsourcing eliminates the headaches by unloading payroll processing, plus HR systems and benefits administration, to experts who specialize in these organizational intricacies.
Every business is unique. PrimePay’s PrimePROs work closely with businesses of all shapes and sizes to understand what’s important to them and their employees. They assess your current circumstance and provide a clear recommendation that helps you accomplish your specific savings objectives and business goals.
Fill out our online form to reach out to a PrimePRO and learn more about making your payroll personalized, painless and profitable.
In the 2013 Benchmarking Study performed by bswift, it is apparent that the costs of health care are severely impacting Employers, which in turn, is beginning to impact the consumers. Some American companies have to pass their health care costs on to their customers, by increasing the cost of their products.
To off-set these costs, employers are recognizing the benefits in maximizing their wellness program to create a healthier workforce environment.
The key findings of this study as written by bswift include:
Employers are increasingly investing in wellness incentives. In 2013, more employers offered incentives to motivate employee participation in wellness programs. While large employers only experienced a slight increase from 76% to 78%, the use of incentives by smaller employers increased from 52% to 69%.
Biometric testing emerged as the foundation of most wellness programs. This year, 77% of large employers said they have biometric testing in place for employees compared to last year’s 61%.
Premium adjustments are the most common incentive payment mechanism. Most large employers (64%, up from 59% in 2012) use health insurance premium discounts or surcharges to motivate employees.
The dollar value of wellness incentives continues to increase. More than half of large employers, 54%, reported spending more than $250 annually per employee on wellness incentives compared to 49% in 2012.
Early adopters are showing interest in defined contribution. 14% of large employers said they are considering defined contribution for some benefits for active employees in 2014. While there has been considerable hype around this funding strategy—and there could certainly be substantial longer term adoption—the study revealed that defined contribution is not in most employers’ plans for next year.
Employers remain only partially automated for benefits administration. Almost one-third (31%) of large employers do not offer online benefit enrollment for new hires. Similarly, 31% of large employers still manually adjust coverage amounts when employees turn 65 or 70; and 63% manually verify dependent eligibility for life events. These high numbers suggest a significant opportunity for administrative cost savings, especially given the availability of economically viable technology that automates these processes.
Want to learn more about this study? Click below to download your copy! You may also head to our website to learn about our HR & Benefits Administration.
On October 31, 2013, the White House issued a press release announcing a change in the Health FSA (Flexible Spending Account) policy. By modifiying “use-it or lose-it”, the new provision allows for up to a $500 rollover of unused FSA funds into the next plan year. For those participants that scramble at the end of the plan year to use up those funds, this is BIG news!
FSAs are one of the most attractive benefits employers can offer. The accounts provide great tax savings to both the employer and employees, and employees love how FSA help manage medical expense cash flow. But fearing the “Use-it or Lose-it” rule, typically only 20% of eligible employees actually enroll in this plan. With the new Carry-Over provision, the burden of choosing the ‘right’ FSA election and the employee’s fear of forfeiting contributions is greatly reduced. Many employees will enroll for the first time and save 25% or more in taxes on their contribution dollars. Also employers who take advantage of the provision will encourage greater employee participation, and as a result, they will enjoy greater tax savings and increased employee satisfaction.
Employers interested in this new carry over provision may adopt it immediately; however, FSA plans may not include both the Grace Period provision and the Carry-Over provision. Employers interested in adopting the Carry-Over provision immediately should contact their benefits attorney or third party administrator since the deadline to amend your plan will depend on your current plan design. And some plans may be subject to non-Code legal constraints and cannot eliminate a current plan year grace period provision. Of course, employers may opt to adopt this provision for the next plan year.
Steve Jackson, PrimePay’s Senior Vice President of Strategic Development, predicts this new provision will benefit both employers and employees. “After performing hundreds of employee FSA enrollment meetings for our PrimePay business clients, the Use-it or Lose-it Rule has been the main point of contention with their employees participating in this benefit. With insurance deductibles and out-of-pocket medical expenses at an all-time high for consumers, this timely, carry-over provision dramatically lessens this barrier to participate and increases the opportunity for consumers to pay for their medical expenses utilizing pre-tax dollars from this spending account.”
On November 13th at 1:30 pm EDT, PrimePay will host a webinar discussing the FSA policy change as well as other important HRA, PRA and COBRA Compliance changes. This will be an educational webinar to join and we encourage you to register via the below button.
As 4th quarter continues, year-end closing procedures begin for many business owners. Marketing budgets are often depleted, preparations begin for the 1st quarter of the coming year and sales executives are still running the race to close big numbers.
The biggest challenge throughout the 4th quarter is to stay competitive. Often times, companies make big announcements or introduce a fantastic new product, but if you aren’t in the position to do either of those, what are you doing to close the year with a bang?
To end your 4th quarter with a bang you need to recognize the needs of your clients and prospects. Do you have a product or service that isn’t well-known? Well, it’s not over till it’s over, so write and share compelling content to increase visibility. Don’t put the hard work throughout the year right in to the hands of your competitors, while you work on the budget for the next year. Make sure you continue your efforts creating lead nurture campaigns to prospects and to current clients with upsell potential. These tasks will not only help you close 4th quarter, but will also launch you right into 1st quarter better prepared.
An example of recognizing clients’ needs here at PrimePay is the focus on our time and labor management system. This product is important to our clients and prospects because the Employer Mandate under the Affordable Care Act goes into effect January 2015. We are currently writing and preparing content that will educate our clients and prospects on the importance of preparing today - not tomorrow - for ACA. An automated timekeeping system is critical to remaining compliant. Our timekeeping systems offer various reporting features that simplify ACA Compliance as it allows the employer to determine hours worked per employee and identify the full-time and full-time equivalent employees; both, which are essential to meeting the requirements of ACA.
In their latest blog, one of our time and labor management partners, SwipeClock listed 9 ways a time and labor management system is important to any business:
Ease the stress of payroll preparation
Increase profitability with controlled/reduced labor costs
Eliminate hours of unnecessary and costly manual data entry
Increase employee accountability and correct costly employee habits
Minimize wasted labor minutes, “buddy punching,” and employee time theft
Protect the organization from labor disputes and costly audits
Streamline time card management with automated time punch collection
Reduce employee dissatisfaction (e.g., human error, tedious tracking, unpaid wages)
Make life easier on key employees, supervisors, and administrators
At PrimePay, we recognize that a time and labor management system may be essential to our clients as it may better prepare them to meet the ACA compliance requirements in 2015 and forward. Preparing and educating your clients on products that they may not be aware could help you close 4th quarter with a bang.
If you are a business owner that hasn’t given much thought to a time and labor management system, we encourage you to subscribe to a FREE 30-Day trial of ReadySetWork. You will learn about the convenience of this system, how it can benefit your business and cut your labor costs, and more importantly how it can help your company remain ACA compliant throughout the life of your business.